On being a real estate mensch

Since I’ve decided to make my career in one little corner of Los Angeles, I spend a lot of time thinking about how best to preserve and enhance my reputation among the brokers, owners, and tenants who participate in my market.

The most important thing I do to get and keep a good reputation is to do what I say I’m going to do.

For example: I don’t re-trade. Re-trading is offering high, tying the property up, and then trying to chip the seller in escrow. That’s definitely the right way to go if you don’t care about how people perceive you.

But, I can’t do that, because I intend to do a lot of deals and I want people to be able to trust my offers when I make them.

If I say I’m going to pay a certain price for a building, I pay it, unless there is some major issue that crops up during diligence of which I was not informed prior to going into contract.

Believe me, it’s extremely frustrating to lose deals to people who don’t care about their reputations. But, I’ve also been able to get deals others would never, ever be able to get because the brokers knew me and trusted that I would close.

I’m hoping, in the long run, that behaving like a mensch wins me more deals than it loses me. But the jury is definitely still out.