Self Storage University Podcast: Episode 51

Pushing The Seller Over The Top To Sign Your Contract

Let’s assume that you have a storage owner who you are so close to getting to sign your purchase contract but can’t seem to get them to sign on the dotted line – how can you push them over the top? In this Self-Storage University podcast we’re going to discuss some real-life solutions to getting your deal over the goal line.

Episode 51: Pushing The Seller Over The Top To Sign Your Contract Transcript

Let's assume you have this great Self Storage deal and you're so close to getting it signed up, and you keep talking to the owner over and over, and you can sense they're just about to sign your purchase contract, but every time there's one little extra item of delay, they wanna talk to their accountant, they wanna talk to a friend. It starts to drive you nuts. And all the time you're wondering, what can I do to push them over the top? This is Frank Rolfe, the Self Storage University Podcast. We're gonna be talking all about that, how do you push that mom and pop seller over the top into signing your agreement? Well.

I've been doing real estate deals now for the longest time, multiple decades, and I can tell you having worked with hundreds of moms and pops that you really can't push them. Let's explain what I mean by push them. When you push someone, you kind of dislocated them from their comfort zone, and when I think of pushing somebody, I think of putting my will on them to get what I want, push someone out of the way. Push someone to buy a product they don't really want. The word push really isn't that complementary of a verb, so to push is to make someone do something that they don't wanna do something against their will, and you can't push older moms and pops to do that, why? 

Because they typically don't need the money. Most Self Storage facility moms and pops are not behind on their bills, they don't have some big capital need, they've got a property that's typically owned free and clear, so from the sale, they're gonna get a big check, but they don't have to get the big check, they've gone on for years and years not needing it. They don't need it right now. So you really can't push them. Instead, your option is to pull them, pull them with positive force, when you pull somebody, I think always of like trying to climb over a wall and the person on the ground, you pull them up over the wall, and that's beneficial to them. So when we pull people forward, typically we're helping them, we're helping them out of harms way, if you push someone out of the train tracks, you pull them off the tracks. So then how do you pull Mom and Pop forward to go ahead and sign up your deal... Well, the first thing I found with most Mom and Pops is they really like positive energy, and the most positive energy you can have with any Self Storage deal is simply enthusiasm.

Warren Buffett once said that, "Without enthusiasm, there is no energy, and without energy, you have nothing." And that's really true. We're all, at all times, attracted to people who display enthusiasm, and if you're a mom and pop owner of a storage facility, that enthusiasm is very complimentary, what it's saying is they made a smart decision, building that property, that you'd be proud to own it. And I know myself, when I encounter someone with enthusiasm, that it draws everyone, Just like moths to a flame. So be enthusiastic, that's the first way to pull them forward, let it be known, you really, really wanna buy it, and you really would really be excited and appreciative if they would allow you to be the next owner of that property. Number two, bonding is such a very powerful force in all of real estate, really, in all of life. What is bonding? Bonding is this hard to describe relationship between a buyer and a seller, in which the seller really, really wants to help the buyer, and it's not just about money. So when you bond with somebody, they wanna help you because they like you, maybe they identify with you, maybe you replace to them some perished family member that they really liked, it's kind of a magical force, you can't really put your finger on it, and you actually can't create it, or can you? 

A lot of times the way to start bonding is just to talk to the seller in person or by phone and listen to them and share your life experiences, and hopefully you too will hit it off. Many of the sellers out there, are into some degree, a little lonely, but they also want to help the universe out, they wanna spin the universe in their own unique direction, and they're really not money-motivated. If you're an older seller, I don't think you're gonna make the decision on who you will sell to... Simply based on economics, I think there has to be a more powerful force.

I think people probably want to hope and believe in a more powerful force. So another way to pull them into signing your agreement is simply to bond with them, spend time with them, talk with them, ask them questions like, "So how did you come to own this Self Storage facility?" These are the kinds of things that open the door to a long conversation from which you may end up with bonding. Also, offer to help them put things together on their end, many times the seller knows that what will come with the act of signing the agreement is due diligence, and they're a little concerned when they get into due diligence, what are you going to ask of them and how they're gonna compile the information? 

If you say, Well, I wanna see the last three years financial statements. Well, that sounds great for people who have computerized records, but what if it's written by hand, and then additionally, what else are you going to ask of them? You're getting out of their comfort zone. They typically have never sold anything before, they sure have never sold that Self-Storage facility before, so a lot of times they're in action is not because they don't wanna sign the deal, not because they don't wanna sell.

But simply because they don't wanna take the effort to steps to provide you what they know that you are going to need as far as document production and items in due diligence, also many moms and pops are just afraid of the whole financing business altogether, because I remember how hard it was for them to get alone back when they built it, so as a result, they're a little afraid of rejection, they're afraid of the bank saying, "Well, no, this just isn't good enough, this isn't good enough, quality." A, they don't wanna get their feelings hurt if they sign the agreement to sell and then it doesn't happen and B it's a little bit insulting, of course, because they were kind of proud of what they did, and then to have some third party come in and say, "No, no, we don't really like this." Either the form of a low appraisal or just negative feedback well they find that a little scary. So offer to help them in this arena, explain to them, You are more than happy to be of complete service during the process of the due diligence, remind them that there's not gonna be that many items.

Explain to them what the items are, and the fact that most of it, they don't have to produce. To go forward with buying it, they're not gonna create the survey, they're not gonna create the title work, they're not gonna do the Phase One, they're not gonna do any kind of property condition inspection, that will all be done by others, others that you pay. So many of them just don't know the prices to sell, and they're a little concerned about that, help them get over that, explain to them that the process will be relatively easy, and it might even be enjoyable for them. The biggest item in all of this is simply the fact that a seller has to want to sell, so at the end of the day, you're not going to be able to push or pull a seller forward unless they really wanna make the transition from the storage owner to a former storage owner. So they will always have a little bit of sellers remorse. And that's perfectly understandable. So what you have to do as the buyer is you have to create in them a little more desire to overcome that remorse, if you're enthusiastic, which they always find attractive and complimentary of the property.

That helps a lot. If you bond with them, well, that helps a whole lot. Because now their unease of selling something they've been running for decades is more than offset by their desire to help you out to make your life better, and then letting them know that you will be a very active participant in it being a very smooth transition will help them feel much more comfortable and comforted in the process of selling you that storage facility, you can in fact pull many sellers over the finish line, and just as we described earlier, you're pulling and helping them. You will be a much better buyer than the other person might be. So don't forget that really? It's beneficial to them.

A lot of people get the mindset that they're winning by buying and the seller is somehow losing, that's not true. All older Americans, particularly at some point, want to retire, they wanna move on to something different, and what you're basically doing is you are allowing them to live their dreams, do what they wanna do, it's a beneficial action for both of you, it's what we call a win-win deal-making where both parties benefit. So those are some thoughts on how to pull that seller across the finish line to sign your agreement. Hopefully that's helpful.

Hopefully, you'll realize it's just a part of life, it's just a standard process, and don't get too worried, don't take it personally, just keep at it until you finally get them to sign the dotted line. This is Frank Rolfe the Self Storage University Podcast, hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.