Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Christopher Rither.Here’s that interview.
About the interviewee
My name is Christopher Rither and I am a currently a professor in Korea, and editor at onemeandream.com. However, as an entrepreneur of many years I’ve started and sold a number of companies. The last company I started and sold was an inspection and environmental service company working in the real estate industry in Hawaii. We performed due diligence services including home/commercial building inspections, reserve studies, insurance analysis, and Phase 1 & 2 Environmental Site Assessments.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
Our clients included international and regional banks, insurance companies, developers and real estate firms serving the Hawaiian Islands. A majority of our work was performed in conjunction with the real estate sales process, so we worked with numerous buyers, realtors, brokers and banks.
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
When I first heard this topic I couldn’t stop reminiscing about the thousands of hours I spent calling and then visiting every real estate firm, agent, bank and insurance company in Hawaii. When I say every firm I mean it. Why I even flew to tiny Molokai a few times to visit real estate offices. It was not easy, but building relationships with these agents was the determining factor that turned us into the largest due diligence company in Hawaii.
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
When it comes to relational sales you must decide your goals and time frame. Do you want to be the expert in your field, the problem solver, top volume leader, or highest dollar producer? Then make a plan and start moving.
For example – the real estate industry is very litigious. Since no one wants to be liable, realtors and other agents will refer 3 different companies. To build my company I had to be one of these. So I decided I had to become “the expert” and go-to guy for real estate agents. I did this by writing down every problem and question buyers and agents asked during inspections. Then I designed free training seminars around these issues, and held them right inside real estate office. This made me the expert in their eyes, and allowed me to individually meet and build relationships with agents all over the state.