Lia Spriggs, a Washington D.C. based real estate investor, Real Estate Strategic Consultant PN/NPN/REO Residential and COMMERCIAL/HOTELS Social Media and Virtual Marketing Consultant talks about her way to success and how to find the right people to trust in the real estate industry.
SBT: Hi, welcome to the show. This is your host Ole Didriksen. Today my guest is Lia Spriggs, and we are going to talk about how she helps her clients. Tell us more about what you do, Lia.
LIA: I’m an professional person, and I deal with international commercial properties such as lands, hotels, multifamily, apartment complex and assisted living facilities. It’s a very large grasp of business.
SBT: What kind of clients do you have? Is there a specific type?
LIA: My clients can be a group of small individuals, multimillionaires who sell their properties, or developers who purchase land to build and develop a center or resort. And every investor has their own line of preference. There are two distinct categories: the emotional investor and the business investor.
Business investors don’t care; they give you every detail: location, amount of capital, number of rooms or apartments, how much they want to spend, if they want to renovate, or sell, or rehab something that is empty at the moment. The variables are endless.
Emotional investors are the ones who finally decided to put their money to work and want to buy something. They’re probably one of the most difficult investors to work with because it is so hard to get them to commit. It took them so much and so long to collect that money, so before they make a decision, they have to feel it. It’s like when a bride-to-be buys a wedding dress, she would try some on until she finds the one that will make her feel like a bride. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous the dresses are. If there is no connection, she’s not going to buy. Emotional investors are the same.
SBT: Tell us more about what led you to this field.
LIA: Since I was 20 or 25, I’ve always worked with high-level professionals: I was the right hand of a CEO back in my 30s; I was a model for 10 years; I was in the fashion world. That was in Italy because I’m Italian. I came to the U.S. in 2000. I had my family, then I started to get into real estate because I’ve always deeply loved the real estate world. I started as a loan officer, but it wasn’t giving me the satisfaction I was looking for. Then I proceeded to experience house listing which was a very hard job. I sent 5000 emails in 4 months, followed up by phone calls and responses.
Then I found out that the majority of the agents I spoke with the first time, after 6 or 7 months, were no longer interested in what I was doing for work. So it was very time-consuming and highly stressful. Soon I met a gentleman who shared with me that he had decided to enter commercial real estate and advised me to do the same. I was surprised, but I did it, and I found what was making me happy. And I took it.
SBT: What is the biggest misconception people have about commercial real estate?
LIA: In general, in commercial or residential real estate, probably more in commercial, the biggest misconception is that the people who contact you have actual properties. 95% don’t have properties. So you really have to do your homework. You need to know the right question to ask to pull the mask down of all those impostors: people who are trying to take advantage of you, your professionalism, and integrity.
They don’t understand that if they were just honest and said, “I don’t have any property, but I would love to work in real estate. What can I do to help you helping me? Would you be able to pay me? Would I be able to make the money?” I respect anyone who is willing to work to earn a few extra dollars; however, I highly despise people who are there to deceive professionals or any other human being. There’s a high percentage, like 95% of people in commercial real estate who are just there to pretend to be who they’re not.
SBT: How do you deal with that?
LIA: Unless you work with a mentor, you’re pretty much self-taught. You teach yourself. For example, you think you’re close to the contact, but suddenly realize it’s not going to happen, and you are saying, “It was just the first time”. Then it happens the second, third, tenth time. And you understand that in order for you not to waste your life away, you have to get a notebook and write down the right questions to ask the person who contacted you to know if there’s a real deal or not. If there’s not, be cordial of their time; you thank them for their time unless they were able to provide A, B, C. If they can’t provide A, B, C, it’s a lost cause, then you can simply hang up the phone.
SBT: What is your A, B, C?
LIA: It’s the information that refers to the property that this person allegedly offers you, that says, “I need you to sign my NDA”. If people don’t do that or are not willing to do that, that’s the first flag.
SBT: What do you do differently from other competitors in your market?
LIA: I’m honest.
SBT: Is honesty a scarce commodity in your market?
LIA: It’s pretty much non-existent. And I’m not greedy either, which is also very rare. The one thing I am mindful of whenever I help a client is that his or her money will be treated as if it was mine.
SBT: What would be your best piece of advice for clients who want to find their own commercial property by themselves without your kind of service?
LIA: I don’t think they can, only when they cooperate with someone who they trust. If they have one, ask that person. They can also make a few phone calls and ask questions. Most of the time you can tell if the person you’re talking to is being honest with you. Start asking questions like, “Hypothetically, in a year I would like to invest. What is the best way to go? If this was your money, how would you invest it?” Interview the people you talk to and try to figure out if their answers are truthful. How do you find that out? Talk to more than one person and get the average of the answers.
It’s like when you have a disease, you don’t go to one doctor, you go to several specialists to get different opinions, and you match the ones that have the same idea about it. Then most of the time, it will be the right one. The second piece of advice is don’t be in a rush to invest your money somewhere if that’s something you want to do or interested in doing in the future. Wait until the last minute, get a feel for it, see who’s out there whom you can potentially trust and be able to work with.
SBT: How can someone who needs to find a commercial property find out more about you and how you can help them?
LIA: They can Google my name, go on my page or LinkedIn profile, they can look at the properties that I deal with, the inventories that are available right now, and my connections. If they still have questions, my number is there and they can always call it.
SBT: Is there anything you feel you’d like to add to the conversation?
LIA: There’s no getting rich fast. There’s no such a thing. There’s no elevator towards success, you’ve got to take the stairs. There’s no other way around it.
SBT: That’s a good piece of advice. Thank you for your time and for sharing these insights with us.
Lia Spriggs is a real estate investor and a nationwide PN/NPN/REO finder and facilitator who considers honesty a priority in her business. She runs her own company in Washington D.C. Her secret is to be truthful and genuine with her clients, and her passion is to achieve high goals in everything she does.
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