When you’re looking at buying an RV park, one of the key ways to develop sizable deal flow is to work with the various industry brokers. Of the deals we’ve bought over the past 25 years, the majority came from brokers, with the balance a mixture of on-line listings, cold calling and direct mail. So how can you do a better job of developing a broker base and increase your deal flow with them?
Understanding why brokers are so important
Brokers do the same things that you do to get listings. They contact RV park owners and try to get them to sell their property. The only difference is that they don’t buy it, they act as an intermediary to find the right buyer. Since they are doing this footwork on a constant basis, they have a flurry of continually new listings to review. They also get “pocket listings” along the way – situations in which the seller states that they will sell their RV park if the broker can find a buyer at a set price, but does not allow them to publicly advertise it so as to not upset their management staff.
Developing an effective list
So how can you get a complete list of the many RV park brokers in the U.S. ? It’s simple, go to RVParkStore.com/rv-park-brokers and you will find the complete list. You may also see new broker names occasionally on Loopnet.com, and you should also add these to your list. You can never have a list too large as you never know which broker will have the perfect deal.
Giving them what they need to know
You can’t just say to a broker “I’m looking for an RV park to buy” – they get that many times a day and it’s meaningless. Obviously, you are looking to find an RV park to buy or you would not have called them! Instead, you need to distill your desires down to an easy sound byte such as “I’m looking for an RV park in the Midwest that costs around $500,000”. Now the broker has some actionable information that can steer them into calling you or saying “I have just the right listing for you”.
Being “easy to sell to”
In all your interactions with RV park brokers you should be “easy to sell to”, which means that you should go out of your way to be the type of buyer that a broker likes to work with. What does that entail? It means not wasting time with small talk, returning calls immediately, having a sense of urgency on any deal you put under contract, telling the truth about your concerns with a property early on – the things that don’t waste time and make it harder for the broker to get a commission.
Staying in constant contact without being a pest
Another important part of working with RV park brokers is to stay in constant contact without becoming a nuisance. How do you do that? It all revolves around how frequently you check in with them. Remember that the assumption is that they will call you when a deal presents itself, but the truth is that there’s every reason to believe they may forget about you if you don’t touch base. In general, nobody will get mad if you email or call them every month – or even every couple of weeks. But don’t do it daily or weekly or they will start to get annoyed.
Brokers are an important part of your RV park buying team. Treat them with respect and with a focus on results and you will have much greater odds of buying the RV park that meets your goals.