Building credibility is an important an ongoing effort for real estate principals. You can go about your career and you will build credibility. However, putting your shoulder into the task and working at the process is more productive and more effective. A principal not only needs credibility, but they should determine what the elements of their credibility will be to the extent that they can.

What are the credibility building activities you can engage in as a principal or would be principal?

Industry event participation,Public speaking,Forums,Committees,Job assignments,Writing,Investment participation and development

These are probably the best specifics. Having identified these, how can you capture these opportunities and once captured what do you do with them?

Industry Event Participation

You can buy a booth, simply attend and meet, greet, and interact with attendees, volunteer to help, or participate in panels. You will be staying abreast of activity in the business and developing your own resume.

At events and investment clubs, volunteering to speak is a great way to make an impression on a lot of people and create credibility. In our world, acting in a leadership role like this is a tremendous way to gain credibility.

At events and investment clubs, topical forums are a frequent presentation and engagement tool. Participating in these forums like public speaking builds credibility.

Joining committees for your local community or other government levels delivers instant credibility. Additionally, you expose yourself potentially to tremendous opportunity as you understand better where the industry is going in your local area.

Past work experience is the most tried, true and common approach. Unfortunately, this is to some extent directed by the company you work for and because of this may not offer the positive pointed credibility you would like to have.

Writing in blogs, for other media, preparing plans, and other related items delivers credibility on several levels. The big advantage this area has is so few people are comfortable writing or have the capacity to really produce written product. By way of examples, only.01% of American’s will ever write a book. While writing a book is the extreme, probably only 1% will ever write a report or a plan over 50 pages. Because assembling a complete business plan and the related documents can extend past this level, you’ve left much of the competition behind in the process. And, speaking of this, probably few activities create instant credibility like a blog.

In closing, as principals or would be principals, these options not only build credibility, but in many cases offer a tremendous opportunity to shape exactly what your perceived credibility and competency is. Proactively working these points is a great way to build toward a successful position as a principal.

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How to Create a Self Storage Business Plan

My plan is written as a combination business plan and loan application that focuses primarily on the subject property I want to acquire. It includes a summary of my past experience and successes, my present portfolio of real estate, and pertinent financial data, but the primary focus is on the deal.

The reasoning behind my format is that a self storage facility is not a business that requires many employees, vast amounts of inventory, or major amounts of machinery to manufacture, distribute, or sell a product. With self storage, the emphasis is on the care of a single asset, and the plan is a representation of my ideas for the efficient and effective management of the facility. I’m not downplaying my ability as a borrower, but in commercial real estate, the lender tends to look more to the performance of the asset than the borrower.

Below is a sample outline of a loan proposal and business plan. A good plan is professional, grammatically correct, free from spelling errors, logically organized, and most importantly, thorough. We will discuss these elements in the pages that follow.

1. Summary Page
a. Borrower name and the entity that will hold title to the facility
b. Property Legal Description
c. Purpose of the loan
d. Loan amount and terms requested
e. Loan Ratio, or Loan To Value (LTV) requested
f. Collateral and source(s) of repayment
g. Financial Summary
2. Market Summary and Analysis
a. Area map including facility, and photos of the facility
b. Demographics: Population, growth, employment, & income
c. Market Trends
3. Neighborhood Analysis
a. Location Description in relation to customer base
b. Market position
c. Competition
4. Property Description
a. Site plan and analysis
b. Aerial and or Satellite Photo (
c. Property Photos
d. Property Description and Rent Roll
e. Improvement plans
f. Management Summary
g. Marketing Plan
5. Financial Data
a. 3-year historical financial performance (if possible)
b. 3-year projection of operations
c. Basis for these assumptions
d. Source and use of Funds requested
6. Borrower data
a. Ownership structure and Entity
b. Background and experience of principal
c. Personal Financial Statement of borrower
7. Exhibits
a. Building and site plans
b. Survey
c. Sample Lease

I prefer to copy the package on 3-ring paper, and include in a binder with tabs for reference. Any one of the large office supply stores can assist you with this document at minimal cost. Remember, our goal is to have our loan proposal moved to the top of the heap when all the loans are proposed at the monthly loan committee meeting, and ultimately, given preferential consideration for being so professional and complete. Make it generic in nature, but include a formal cover to the bank and lender you are making the request to. There have been a few occasions where the lender wasn’t able to fund the loan for some reason, in which case I would retrieve the package and forward it to another bank to start the process over.

In summary, when I have taken the time to prepare a thorough business plan and loan request, it has been given the attention and priority it deserves. And subsequently, I have had a great deal of success in getting my deals funded, and growing my business in ways others have failed.

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