Legendary motivational speaker and international salesman Zig Ziglar famously said that: “When you choose to be pleasant and positive in the way you treat others, you have also chosen, in most cases, how you are going to be treated by others.”

Building strong relationships and working with integrity is key to building any lasting and successful business. The fact is that people do business with people they like and trust.

Unfortunately in the property world, gazumping, gazundering and unscrupulous deals are commonplace. This is why it’s even more important for those who want to make a long-term living from property investment to develop relationships and engender trust by being open, honest and transparent.

So, how do you build such strong relationships?

Establish who, what, when and where

Just like you’d need a financial plan for your business, you need a people plan too. As Mark Victor Hansen put it, ‘your network equals your net worth.’ To be a success you have to surround yourself with a powerful team of people who have the same values as you. Not only do you need to determine how they can help you, but also how you might be able to help them.

Always try to meet face-to-face, and regularly. You can’t get a true feel for a person, nor can they get a true feeling for you, until you physically meet.

Have an abundance mentality

When people feel there isn’t enough to go around, they play their cards very close to their chest in the mistaken belief that they’ll have the advantage. But when you help others get what they want, you’ll often find it is reciprocated.

Successful people tend to be fundamentally positive, optimistic, giving and dedicated. This is not to say that you should be naive. Have your eyes open, but also be broad-minded and prepared to continuously develop.

Be ethical

There’s a huge difference between having sharp negotiation tactics for example and treading over people to get where you want to be. You need to be ethical in your dealings and know where the line is and not to cross it. Don’t ask people to compromise their integrity by asking them to do things that fall into a ‘grey’ area.

Keep your word

If you say you’re going to be somewhere or you’re going to do something, then do it. If you have a valid reason for going back on your word then you must be honest.

If you want to succeed in business, you must actively work to build good relationships, simply because ‘people buy people’.

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