RV Park Mastery: Episode 60

How To Make A Seller Sell

Before you can buy an RV park you must have a willing seller. But how can you make them sell to you? In this RV Park Mastery podcast we’re going to discuss what motivates a mom and pop RV park owner to sell and what you can do to push that concept forward. Why you can’t control the whole process, there are definitely three actions you can take to improve your odds of success and that’s what we’re going to review.

Episode 60: How To Make A Seller Sell Transcript

If you look at the definition of sell, you'll see there's two. Number one, to exchange money for something, and the other is to persuade. So when, I guess, you combine the two, you get persuading someone to take money to give you an RV park. This is Frank Rolfe with the RV Park Mastery Podcast. We're gonna go talk about that question I get frequently, which is, how do you make a mom-and-pop sell you their RV park? Well, let's first start off with the motivations behind someone selling their RV park. We've been in this industry for about 25 years now, and sometimes we map out, just for fun, why people sold to us.

And when you take and you map all that out, what we've found is most people sell for one of four reasons. Number one, health emergency. They go to the doctor and they find out there's something wrong with them. Maybe it's curable, maybe it's not, and they decide, "You know what, I need to focus on my health. I need to not focus on running this RV park any longer." Another is divorce. We live in a country where roughly half of everyone gets divorced. So as a result, when people get divorced, they typically split up their assets, and as part of that division of assets, often, mom-and-pop have to sell off their RV park. Third one is wanting to retire. They just don't want to run an RV park anymore. They want to go off and have no responsibilities, maybe not see anyone ever again, live out on the lake, live out on a beach somewhere. And then finally, death. That's the ultimate reason you have to sell, is if you're no longer around to make the decision to sell or to not.

But all of the things I just mentioned, none of those are really the RV park buyers input that causes that. It's external factors that the RV park buyer has nothing to do with. So the first thing about make an RV park owner sell is that you have to realize the ball is really fully in their court. You have to find somebody who, for whatever reason it is, want to move on. They wanna go ahead and transfer that asset over to the next buyer because of things that are going on in their life, not in the buyer's life. So all of us who buy RV parks, we're a little bit stymied by the fact we don't have complete control over the process. There are in fact no magical words that can make the RV park seller wanna sell. So if that's the case then, what can we do? What can we do to try and push people over the edge to make them wanna sell their RV park? 

Well, the first thing is an external factor that you and I have no control over, but yet does permeate everything anymore, and that's just negativity about America. So when people read nothing but bad stories on the direction America is heading, it depresses many moms and pops and they say, "You know what, I don't really wanna own this RV park anymore in a country that I just don't fully engaged in or appreciate," or maybe they see news channel stories about perhaps changes in capital gains, taxes or other issues, and they just say, "You know what, I think I better sell this RV park before things get much worse."

So that's one manner in which RV parks often get pushed forward by the mom-and-pop to sell, is just current events in the news. But there's actually two bigger driving forces that you do have something to do with as the buyer, and that's what I wanted to chat about. Well, the first one is enthusiasm. So what is enthusiasm? So enthusiasm is when you aggressively and display to the world and the RV park seller that you're really excited about buying their RV park. Now, why would enthusiasm get you anywhere? Well, because when the RV park owner hears that you are enthusiastic about buying their property, it makes it fun. It makes it exciting. Enthusiasm is really contagious. When you are so happy and so excited about something, it's infectious. It makes the RV park seller also get kind of excited. So as much as you're excited about buying it, well, they're possibly gonna get as excited about selling it.

It's also a huge compliment when you really, really want to buy something from someone, what you're basically saying is, I like this thing so much. I like your creation so much that I wanna part with lots and lots of dollars, my hard earned dollars, because I want a piece of that creation that you made. So it's very, very complimentary. And again, to many moms and pops, it's good news to them. They didn't waste all that time and money on nothing. They, in fact, found someone who appreciates what they did and wants to pay them for it. But there's another thing beyond enthusiasm which you can do to help the process, and that is the strange nebulous term known as bonding. Now, bonding is a very, very powerful tool. In fact, bonding is probably the most powerful tool there is in RV park purchasing. Now, why is it such a powerful tool?

What makes bonding so very powerful is simply the fact that the seller likes you and they want to help you. That's really what bonding is. Now, I have so many stories of bonding where I have gotten a relationship with the RV park seller that is so strong that that helps push along the RV park seller to wanna sell, and then additionally, often when you have a strong bonding with the seller, you also have the option sometimes to get remarkable terms of the deal, so not only a great price, but often they'll carry the paper sometimes at very low down payment or below market interest rate. So how do you get bonding then? 

Well, when you talk to somebody, typically an older person, and it can be by phone or it can be in person, every minute you spend with them, makes them feel closer to you. It's just human nature, we all bond with people constantly in our life, just maybe not on the scale of an older mom and pop seller and the buyer. But we're all guilty of it, because when we like people, we wanna help them. Have you ever had a kid come to your door trying to sell some Christmas paper for a school project as a fundraiser? You don't really want that Christmas wrapping paper. You know you could buy probably better stuff at a lesser cost, but you wanna help them, and the more they talk to you about their school project and how they wanna go ahead and maybe win a certain prize or something by volume of paper they sell, well, you feel sorry for them and you become, in that classic case, the same as the RV park seller where you really, really wanna help them and you'll go out of your way, and it's not all about the money. And that's one big part about bonding, is [0:02:00.6] ____ the fact that it's not all about the money.

If you take two buyers who both go to the same RV park seller, and one is a huge company that offers much more than you do, and you're just someone starting out looking to buy that RV park, if the seller likes you, they will go with you even if your price is lower and the terms of the sale as far as them carrying the paper or whatever the case may be, aren't as attractive. When you get older, you don't wanna assume that life is all about the money, that makes life kind of depressing. You wanna feel there's some kind of higher purpose, higher force. And that's what bonding is all about. When you bond with that mom and pop RV park seller, you're allowing them to establish the premise that it wasn't in the end just about the dollars, but there was a bigger reason to it all. In this case, the reason is helping somebody else out, someone who really appreciates what they built and wants to take it to the next level. Now, bonding, if you lay it out on paper, is something that any buyer can achieve. It has nothing to do with your finances, it has nothing to do with your experience, it has nothing to do with your credit score, it simply has to do with people liking you, and if you want people to like you, here are some tips.

Number one, be likeable. Be a nice person, be yourself, don't put on airs, don't try and play aloof. All of those business books out there on how to negotiate, they're all flawed in one way, because they want you to believe that how to negotiate things is to appear that you don't care. And when you appear that you don't care, you don't come off as a very friendly, likable individual. So first thing is care, be yourself. Like people, because when you like people, they tend to like you back and to bond with you. Also, don't give Mom and Pop RV park sellers any clues as to any part about you they might not like. Dress in a neutral fashion. Never talk about politics or religion. Just talk about the big item at hand, which is their RV park. We've had buyers with much lower resources beat us out on deals, many times, and that's simply because the seller bonded with them more than they bonded with us.

And we all bond with people differently. If we all had a room and there was an RV park seller and we all had five minutes to converse with them, we would all score a little differently in our bonding with the seller, and there's not a lot you can do about that. Which leads me into my final topic, which is just raw volume. If you have no control over the motivations of the RV park seller, if you have no control over your ability to impress that seller through enthusiasm and bonding, then your final and best shot is simply volume, to look at as many deals as you can, to make offers on as many deals as you can. Dude, display your enthusiasm in bonding with as many sellers as you can. At the end of the movie, bonding is great, enthusiasm is great, but volume is equally important. The more shots you have, the more baseballs you had to throw at the milk cans at the fair midway always increase your chance of success, and when you combine enthusiasm and bonding with lots and lots of volume, you typically can have really magical results. This is Frank Rolfe, of the RV Park Mastery Podcast, I hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.