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Advice/tips for working with investors

GoldenEggs

Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
321
38
25
Silicon Valley, CA
I have a situation that I am trying to work through. We have several partners on a real estate deal. We are all active investors but some people have chosen to be less active. We hold weekly conference calls, send email updates as we receive them and have always been available to discuss any questions or concerns further.

However, some partners tend to use inflammatory language when describing the challenges at the property to the other investors. This gets everyone up in arms and wanting to point fingers. But the reality is that we do not yet have the full information or confirmed facts. My preference is to find out the facts surrounding the situation and any possible solutions before presenting the issue to the rest of the group. Yet I don't want to be seen as hiding information.

I am not sure how to work around this. We have had a meeting to air out the feelings but it felt more of a vent session toward me. I am not sure how to redirect the focus to problem solving and away from the blame game.
 

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yveskleinsky

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2007
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I would start off the meeting by setting perimeters- what you will accomplish by the end of the meeting, and what facts you need or have that need to be discussed.
 

Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
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Lots and lots of communication.

Call and talk to each investor privately. Listen to their objections and upsets. Don't defend, don't make excuses. Just actively listen. Ask for more objections, "What else?" "What else?"

When you get all the problems down, restate in a compassionate fashion so they know you get what they're saying. Then address each and every one of their issues.

Set a time to talk in a couple of days to make sure nothing new came up.

THEN have your next investor meeting. If someone brings up a new issue, make a note to have more phone calls with that guy next time before the next meeting.

Do what you need to get into, and stay, in integrity on this deal.

Strongly suggest you do a better job of screening your investors next time. Make sure they have experience in investments (the guys who've been down this road before are much less likely to be pains later) and that they are accredited. If they're risking their mortgage money, they are definitely going to be more upset.
 

JScott

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
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Aug 24, 2007
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Agreed completely with Diane, and want to reiterate one thing she touched on...

If many of the investors believe there is something lacking in your *style*, then there probably is. Try to put yourself in their shoes and sincerely attempt to figure out if there is something you are doing that could be causing this negative reaction on the part of the group.

For example, you mention that you like to get all the information before discussing things. From your perspective, this is a good thing (and it very well may be a good thing); but consider that the perception they may be getting is that you're hoarding information (which may well be a bad thing).

Communication problems often boil down to a disconnect between intent and perception; as Diane said, *LOTS* of communication can help alleviate this.

And I also agree with Diane that you should screen your partner carefully. You all may be smart, motivated, and have the best intent, but if personalities don't gel, there will be problems.
 

nomadjanet

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
310
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26
TX
I would approach the group and ask that you adopt a rule of order process for running your meetings.
Going through the process of making a motion before bringing up business and getting a second on the motion and ratifying a decision can keep people from brining up things before thinking them through which is usualy the problem when people fly off the handle like this.
Here is a link to a simple rules of order procedure. There are lots of books written on the subject, I think the simplest form you can find would be best. I belong to some boards that use web & phone meetings and I have found it difficult to participate in and understand the ones that don't use specific rules and it has caused some misunderstanding between parties when they are called down or disagreed with usualy it's because proper information was not produced before the debate and this can be avoided if you have the rules upfront.

http://www.auxtdept.org/PDF/Rules_of_Order.pdf

good luck Janet
 
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GoldenEggs

GoldenEggs

Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
321
38
25
Silicon Valley, CA
Thank you all for your feedback and suggestions! This has been a tough week, emotionally, for me so I appreciate your feedback.

This is my first time being part of a large group so I have some growing/learning pains. A partner volunteered to manage investor relations (to avoid miscommunication) so that we(my husband and I) could focus on managing the property but like Diane and JScott mentioned, we should also contact the investors individually. And yes, definately need to screen potential investors better!

We're trying to have other investors take more responsibility in the project so it doesn't appear that it's just "our" project. We're working on finding the right balance of information because now we have complaints that there is too much information going around and some are having difficulty interpreting it.

Unforunately, some investors were involved in a different project at the same time as ours that soured so I think we are feeling residual effects of that. Forunately, not all the investors are making emotionally charged decisions/statements and soundly believe in the deal.
 

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