When (and Who) Do You Ask Questions? ….. it matters.

When it comes to business, “When Do You Ask Questions?”
Do you ask questions when the task is pretty hard and you need help, or when the work is fairly easy, you already know the answer and you just want to impress your friend or mentor?

Successful Real Estate Marketing

 Updates for 2014 and Beyond
WREIA Sept. 15th.

I just finished reading an article about a few faculty members at Harvard Business School who completed a study on people who ask questions.

Let me sum up this 31 page by simply saying:

“People who ask more questions appear more competent – in some instances.”

What was interesting about the report was this:  WHO you asked questions to was just as important as WHEN you asked questions. If the task is hard and complicated and you ask an expert, you actually appear more credible to the people you work with, AND the person you asked the question to begin with.  Interesting isn’t it?

However, the opposite is also true – If the task is pretty simple, and you ask a non-expert for advice – well, it actually works against you.  People begin to think that you don’t have the skills necessary to complete the task and you lose credibility.  Paraphrased – You will appear incompetent and people will actually form a bad impression of you.

Now, that doesn’t mean you need to spend all your time caring about what other people think about you. Ask questions if you are having trouble.  But what it does mean is that you need to spend your time talking with the right people, and asking the right questions.

Which brings me to two of the main points we are going to be talking about next Monday night at WREIA.


If you don’t put this combination together in the right way – you are going to be lost and alone in the business world for the next 25 years.

You have to agree – Lost and alone is not where you want to be.

Some of you are taking free advice about the world of real estate investing from “investors” who position themselves as “experts” because they flipped two little condos in a rising market.  Trust me, experience matters and to rise to the expert level takes years of practice and in my opinion you need to survive at least one economic downturn before you can rise to the level of “expert.”

Professional investors are entrepreneurs – and they follow a similar career path as professional doctors.  When doctors are getting started, they go through a training period by getting advice and learning from mentors.  Doctors learn on the job by “interning” for a few years, then many go off on their own and open their own office. They work in big cities and small towns.

How many of you would consider having open heart surgery from a “doctor” who just started in 2013 and had performed two surgeries so far?  Not me……  I want the doctor who is two decades into his career and has performed hundreds, if not, thousands of the same procedures.

Just as dangerous is the doctor who sits alone in his office and never improves.  We have all seen or heard about that type of doctor haven’t we?  The 83 year old doctor who can’t let go of his career, and starts making dangerous mistakes, perhaps makes a bad diagnosis and causes further unnecessary harm to his patient.

Wherever you are in your career, the questions you ask matter.  And those questions need to be asked to the right people.  It matters to other people when they are forming their impression of you, and for that reason it should matter to you.

If you are still spending time online in “beginner” areas of our industry like “Bigger Pockets” or other forums where “newbies” hang out, are you still growing?

Next Monday at WREIA we will have content for beginners, certainly.  But it will packed with higher level information for the more advanced real estate entrepreneurs too.  Especially if you are struggling finding new projects – you will want to be with us on Monday night.

Stay tuned… the next email is going to be a question I asked about my business, and the answer was – Pinterest.

Remember…We will have WREIA this month on this Monday, Sept. 15th
Same Place, Same Time.
You can meet us all at the same place at the Womans Club of Bethesda, and we will start at the same time, opening the doors at 6:30 for light refreshments and networking.

“Successful Real Estate Marketing”
 Reserve Your Seat Here For The WREIA September Event

Join us at WREIA Monday night September 15th, and let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and your business.

John Peterson

Washington REIA Network, President
Profitable Property, FounderP.S.  The answer is YES, in 2014 we are definitely doing partner deals with our students and WREIA members.  Maybe you need some help with financing or could use a valuable construction partner with years of experience. Or do you need us to help speed up the process for you, and help drive your business to the next level?   We are here to help.  Just send us a few quick details at http://dchardmoneylender.com/quick-property-submit/  and we will get back to you ASAP.P.P.S.  If you want some further details on the Harvard study you can find it posted here.