The following article will give you another glimpse inside, into the internal workings of a business trying to take the first baby steps. To tell you the truth, even though it was clear to me that I would be able to raise the money for the deal (although you will soon realize that I didn’t really have a good reason to believe it, except that I knew I had a great deal in hand), something in me knew that if
it didn’t work out it might very well be the end of this business.
So where are we at? As you know from the previous article, I grew to know Thessaloniki well. This was long before the coronavirus period and the flights to Greece were very simple and easy, I knew that if I told people about the opportunity that Thessaloniki had it would be very easy to convince them to come to the city. For those reading this, that were in Thessaloniki four years ago (to this day by the way) surely understand that Thessaloniki is developing rapidly, and it’s very easy to understand the potential. It is very easy to understand how great the locations of our investments are and I knew that this would be the turning point for people. In the real estate world, they say you can do real estate without money. They say that, if you have the knowledge and the will, you will know how to find a deal and lots of people will finance you, because people are looking for somewhere to invest their money.
But… If you don’t come from a family with money and your immediate surroundings aren’t considered rich (my situation at the beginning), who do you actually turn to?
Who are those people who invest in real estate and how do I get to invite the out for a coffee?
What I actually did, was shoot in every direction. I started posting on Facebook, I asked my friends and family to pass it on to their friends. I talked to people from the military. I talked to people on the street. I went to meetings talking about real estate. I logged into investment forums and looked for people who financially guide people and I recommended that they go for my projects…
And then it started. A variety of investors found me. Every investor is a different story and a relationship that lasts and probably will continue for the next few years.
So, who are the seven investors?
Customer number 1 purchased a small studio apartment with a balcony, came to me through my brother (they served together in the army), right after his wedding.
An amazing couple, pleasant and trusting, as if they were sent from heaven as a good omen. Most of their desire to enter a deal was based on them relying heavily on the fact that they knew and trusted my brother and the price was in their budget. But for me it was a breakthrough into another world.
Customers number 2&3 came through the same couple I mentioned. A couple of completely different investors, one more apprehensive and older who challenged me in terms of how familiar I was with the whole process (which was of course all happening for the first time, so obviously there were still minor bumps in the plan that needed figuring out)
The second was an experienced entrepreneur, one who wanted to know about even the smallest details in the renovation, the business plan, the planning of the work, the timelines, etc.
There is no doubt that it is much more challenging to have customers like these when you first start out, but it was the best preparation the recruitment world could offer me, and I am glad that I went through that during the processes of the first apartments.
We have 3 out of 7 – A sudden stop.
What am I doing wrong?
Suddenly, people aren’t buying from me. A week, two weeks. Another meeting and another and people aren’t buying, what happened?
Maybe what I have to offer is not that good?
I decided to persevere. I started to reach out to people who may have fallen through the cracks. Sending messages on WhatsApp and Facebook to almost every person I know, and boom! The next customer happens!
Customer number 4 was the mother of a friend who knows me very, very well, someone who grew up with me at home and knew that even if it were my first time and maybe I don’t know everything yet, I was sure to do everything to make her sure her investment would be worth it.
This customer purchased a small apartment (the 1st in the project) and gave me a blessing that paved my way in good fortune.
4 out of 7 and I’m moving on.
The next customer was actually a date. She is a dear customer of ours to this day, and a great friend. It did not quite progress into a more intimate relationship, but we both got a great deal with the purchasing of a studio apartment in the project.
The 6th client. He actually found me! Another customer who, to this day, remains a very close friend of the company. There is nothing better than knowing that someone put all his trust in you and made a big profit because of it.
I tried to find someone for the last apartment but unfortunately couldn’t, so I decided to start the project like this and believed that I could sell the apartment later on (down the road I would realize that it was a mistake and would sell the apartment a little cheaper than I planned). After three months of scouting for clients, with 6 apartments sold out of eight (from the beginning I knew I would keep one apartment in the project anyways).
We’re off, starting with the real thing.
In the following article I will write about the course of the first transaction, the failures, the understanding that I have so much more to learn and the desire and decision that this business will provide a more personal level of service to its customers.
If one of our first clients are reading this, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your trust, for wanting to help me and yourselves grow. You are this business, and I will forever remember it – customers who have become an integral part of Pro Greece.