It is vital to be genuine and sincere with your investors, traits most mothers have when it comes to caring for their children. Alina Trigub, a former tax accountant and Founder of SAMO Financial, talks about caring for your investors like a mom. She says treating your investors or potential investors with a mom-like quality by giving them unconditional attention and attentively listening to them allows you to determine how you can help them in the best way possible. Alina shares the importance of communication and transparency with your investors and how you can stand out from the crowd by offering value to them like a mom.
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Watch the episode here:
Treat Your Investor Like Mom with Alina Trigub
Our guest is Alina Trigub. Thanks for being on the show, Alina.
Thank you for having me, Whitney. It’s a pleasure to be back.
She’s been on the show a couple of times before and providing great value, content and helping educate us about many things about syndication business. She’s a former tax accountant with a big four experience. Her business model is to follow Warren Buffett‘s guidance indicating that someone is getting in the shade because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Alina, give us a little more about, what’s new in your business, what you’re up to and maybe an update about real estate. Let’s dive right into our topic.
Thank you for having me on your show, Whitney. I’m all about adding value and sharing what I know with your readers and hopefully they’ll be able to learn something new. In terms of what’s new in my business, it’s always about meeting new people. Some may become investors, some may not. At the end of my day, the goal is to provide value to others. When we’re meeting a person, I try to make it about the person on the other end of me and ask as many questions as possible about them, learn what are they doing, what are they up to, what their plans are? If I can help them along the way by helping them passively invest in real estate, that’s great. If not, there will be other opportunities for us to collaborate. If there are ways I can help them in any other way, that’s fantastic too. That’s what I’m about.
That’s a way to stand out above most people if you can add value to others and that’s your focus immediately. I know you wrote an article about how to care for your investors like your mom. It’s such an important part of this business. I thought it’d be great if you could elaborate on that. Let’s go into a discussion about that topic specifically.
[bctt tweet=”If you make a promise, try to keep that promise.” via=”no”]
Let me ask you this and this is more of a rhetorical question. Who do you know that gives unconditional love to others? The answer is always a mom. A mom gives that unconditional love to her kids. I was thinking about that as a mom of two kids. I was thinking about that and made the parallel between my relationships with my investors versus my relationship with my kids. It’s not that it’s unconditional love. When I’m talking to potential investors, I always give them unconditional attention. I listen to them attentively. I listen for what they’re looking for, trying to learn what their background is, where they at in their career or their business, what they are about. These are the people that I can potentially help because it’s not only about them testing the waters and trying to determine whether I can help them, but it’s also about me determining whether that person is someone I can potentially help with.
There are many factors that go into that from my perspective of I’m talking to a person. For instance, they tell me, “I’d like to start investing. I’d like to be involved in decision making. I want to make sure that if the decision is made to spend say $100,000 or $200,000 from the innovation side, I want my voice heard.” That’s a topic for discussion with this person. That indicates that the person hasn’t done the homework or has not been exposed yet to syndication. In that example, I’ve tried to explain that syndications are all about passively investing. If you want to join us, I can certainly help you. If you want to invest that you would have to be a passive investor, it will entail that you’ll have abilities to lead. It would also entail that you have no authority over the decisions.
You can listen and you will be sure that the decisions that are made by general partners, people that are reading this indication. You will not be given an authority to make the decisions. Questions and topics like that come up. I go into the overview and explanation as to why one thing versus another may or may not work. That leads us to decide on each end, on my end and an investor. Whether that’s something that we can potentially work together and enjoying in the partnership and invest together or whether the investor needs to find some other way for them to go and become potential active investors.
I’ve talked to lots of people who love investing in real estate. They don’t like the syndication model they say because they don’t have any control. It’s a perfect model for many people because they don’t have time to learn the real estate business. They don’t have time to try to find deals. They don’t have time to take the phone calls or to build the teams or all these things. However, they have a large income or they’re wealthy from some other business or a day job or corporate whatever that is. The syndication model is perfect because they don’t have to do any of that stuff, but they still get the benefits of owning real estate.
It all comes down to several things. Number one is whether they have the bandwidth. Do they even have the time to work on their business? Whether it’s syndication or buying properties like single-family houses or any other type of properties. Since this is a business, they need to be able to spend time on this business. In addition to having bandwidth-based potential, investors need to have the desire to work on the business because like in any business, syndication will have its ups and downs. You need to be able to dust off the problem, find the solution to a problem or way around the obstacle and move forward. Go past that and continue with their business. Otherwise, it will be easy to fail and drop out of the race.
You talked about listening to your investors and that’s important. It seems like something simple, however, most people are bad listeners. It’s something I’m trying to get better at all the time. It’s hard not to talk about yourself. You have to fight that urge to share about something you’re doing or whatever, care about the person you’re talking to and what they have to say. I’m trying to think of questions to ask people about what they’re telling me so I can stay in tune with what they’re saying. It helps me to remember as well.
It’s easy. Think of it as a job interview. For example, let’s say you’re on the other end of the spectrum and you’re being interviewed. If you’re being interviewed, you’re still allowed to ask questions. It’s nothing more than a two-way conversation. It’s telling you about the company and they’ll tell you how great this company is, what benefits they’re offering. They touch upon certain benefits and you can touch upon and expand that benefits and talk about it further.
If we make a parallel and take it to investors, think from the perspective of a parent. You don’t have to be a mother, father, anyone. If you’re an attentive parent, when you’re talking to the kids, what they are looking for is that undivided attention when you talk to them. When they come back from school home and they’re telling you, “I got good grades. My teacher gave me these extra points for doing well on a test.” They want you to congratulate them. They want to see that you’re giving them full attention and not you looking at your phone or somewhere else.
It’s the same with investors. You’re talking to an investor. Let’s say an investor is a woman. She’s telling you her life story. She’s saying, “I went to such and such college. I got my degree in economics, but then I decided to do something completely different. I became a social worker.” You’ve got to stop and say, “How did you decide to get a degree in economics? What prompted you to do that? What happened with that degree? Why did you switch to social science?” There are many trigger points. Even if you think that may be relevant, it may trigger something that will potentially become relevant. It’s something about their background or it’ll tell you what their overall long-term goals are or how they perceive both management and wealth preservation. It’ll tell you more about that person in a way that you didn’t expect to hear.
Remembering that for the next conversation too is good when you can do that. You’re talking about investors not having a decision in the deal. There’s a reason for that. Do they have time to work in a business? They understand that you have to spend time in a syndication business.
[bctt tweet=”If you’re showing your true self to the person on the end, they’ll treat you better.” via=”no”]
As long as an investor knows that in terms of the bandwidth, they may have the bandwidth, but they don’t have any desire to be in the business. If the answer is no, that they don’t want to be in the business, then progressing towards syndication would be a natural decision whether it’s a business owner or professional who is not interested in becoming an active investor. They realize that in finding that passive opportunity and investing with a sponsor that they trust and investing in investment, that makes the most sense for them. That’s where I come in.
I help them select the investment that suits their long-term goals. I help them navigate towards the process of investing passively or actively. If it’s not for them, if I hear that they’re interested in having that power or they’re interested in getting their hands dirty or they have plenty of time of their own and want to dive into business, I’ll tell them like it is. “I don’t think this is for you. You should start investing actively. You should start learning the business.” It may not be the syndication business. It could be any other niche within real estate as long as they know that they want to be active. The next step for them would be to start researching and finding what that next niche within the real estate is. That’s how it works.
I’d love to keep diving into how you care for them like your mom and some other techniques that you use that have worked well.
The way I see, there four are critical and important points to keep in mind when dealing with investors. Number one would be to be on top of your game. What it means if you make a promise, try to keep that promise. For instance, everyone knows or a majority of people know that partnership returns were due March 15th and then personal returns are due on April 15th. Some of the partnerships were not able to complete their returns on March 15th. In that case, it’s highly recommended and important to try to complete the returns as soon as possible to give the investors a chance to complete their personal returns on time and try to send those to investors ASAP so that they’ll have at least a week or two to provide the information to their accountant and file their personal taxes.
In addition to being able to stay on top of your game, it’s important to keep investors informed. If you promise them to deliver the updates on a monthly or quarterly basis, stick to that. Always offer all of the updates on time and always be fully transparent about what’s going on with the business. An additional point about number two is if something critical happens with your property. Don’t wait until that monthly or quarterly update time comes in. Offer that update right away. Let me give you a specific example.
Let’s say we had heavy snow and because of the snow, there was some flooding in one or some of the units. The damages are significant. If something like that happened, I would strongly encourage the deal sponsors to share the update with the investors right away. Not right that minute because they need to take care of the problem. Right after that, send a media recording or send an email or even call your investors if it’s still manageable. You can call the investors personally explaining what happened and share the information about the damages that happened to the property. By staying transparent, you’re showing your investors that you’re not only telling them about the positive things. You’re also telling them about anything that’s happening in the business and keeping them completely informed about all of the developments in the business itself.
I find that there are some things that are hard to communicate through an email, especially if it was something that was critical, something that was unexpected. If an email wouldn’t justify it, I may make a phone call to those investors and have more of a personal touch as well. To answer any questions that they also have.
You touched upon my next point about number three, spend time with investors. If they’re local to you, try to meet them for coffee or lunch. Talk to them, ask about their personal life if they’re willing to share. Some people want to stay as private as possible. If they’re sharing, ask what’s going on in their lives. Some women could be pregnant. Guys could be getting married. Certain things are going on in their lives so always ask. Be transparent about what’s going on in your life. It’s not one-way communication. It goes both ways.
If they’re not local to you, then schedule periodic phone calls for the same reason. Keep up with them, make sure they know that you’re still out there. You’re not only reaching out to them about a specific investment. You’re also talking to them like a human about other aspects of life. That’s also very critical. My last important point is to stay true to your word. In other words, if you put together a plan, a value-add strategy, you share that with investors and you start booking. As a part of the strategy, I plan to keep the property for a few years and potentially sell it at that point. If that time has elapsed and you are at year five and you’re not planning to sell them, definitely make it a point to reach out to investors and explain your current strategy.
Maybe the times have changed. Maybe we’re at a different point in the market cycle where it doesn’t make sense to sell and you want to hold the property for a few more years. Be transparent. Explain to investors why you’re doing it, what are you waiting for and assure them that there is still cashflow. They will continue to see a dividend as before. Nothing is going to change from that perspective. Staying true to your word, whatever’s been promised is absolutely critical in this business. I can make another parallel. If you promise a kid to have ice cream if he gets 101% in their test, then you got to buy that ice cream.
[bctt tweet=”Syndications are all about passively investing.” via=”no”]
That ice cream is worth a lot more to my four-year-old than $100,000 to any investor.
You must feel the same with investors. If you made some promises, stay true to the promises. Life happens. It’s normal if things may change along the way. If things do change, make sure that you’re transparent. You explain to investors why you’re going through the changes and what needs to change in the strategy because of this certain point in time in a cycle.
Alina, is there any other ways that you’ve been able to stand out from other potential sponsors that investors are investing with or any other ideas you’ve had as far as being able to make your relationship stand out above somebody else’s? When they’re looking at two people they want to invest with, how are they going to remember you as opposed to somebody else?
I was going to say they’ll remember my accent. Living close to New York City, about 99% of people have accent here, even the ones that have been here one year depending on whether they came from Brooklyn or Queens or Manhattan. Everyone has a different accent. Investors will remember me because of the way I am. Someone I was talking to a long time ago told me, “You don’t have to play a role. Be natural and be yourself.” If you’re yourself and you’re showing the true self to the person on end, they’ll treat you better. It’ll be easier for them to talk to you. It’ll be easier for you to establish a rapport with them being yourself. That’s what I’ve been striving to do when I’m talking. When I’m talking to a person on the other end, I’ll always tell them like it is. I’ll ask questions because I truly care. Whether they are talking about the kids, whether they are talking about their career or how they’re expanding their business.
I’ll give you an example. I had this young businessman, a young guy in his early twenties, who has achieved tremendous success in his business. He was telling me how he is always short of time because there are only 24 hours in a day. He wants to expand, but he doesn’t have the bandwidth to hire more people. I gave him some business advice because of my background and my prior corporate experience. I know ways that would benefit him. I gave him a few ideas. He was truly grateful for the ideas I shared with him. He went ahead and implemented some of them. He’s doing well now. By doing that, I am offering value first as opposed to talking to a person like a robot and saying, “Do you want to invest with me? No. Next.” I am trying to stand out from the crowd by offering value to the people and letting them determine whether they would like to work with me or someone else.
You do stand out. Personally, I know you. I feel like you stand out. Anybody, if you can provide value first, you’re going to stand out instead of asking immediately. If you can stand out by adding value, it’s a matter of time. I had a conversation with somebody for the second time. I’m constantly trying to add value to them. I know they are a potential investor. Either way, they know many people as well. If I can keep adding value like you’re talking about, people remember that as opposed to you asking for stuff right away.
Whitney, you touched upon another important point. You might be talking to a person and the person may or may not decide to invest with you for one reason or another, but you never know. They may be able to introduce you to their network of friends, family and coworkers who might be able to invest. It’s not always about that person on end. It’s about sharing your strategy, your views and giving back to the community, giving back to others and providing values. If they feel that you provide value to them, they’ll be sure to do the same for you as well.
I appreciate that, Alina. Any other advice that you have for people to treat their investors like mom?
When I know someone is trying to raise money, for example, they don’t have to go to a special room where a bunch of investors is sitting. They just need to look around and see the people around them. Sometimes it’s a matter of starting the conversation or doing something fun. I’ll give you an example. One of my colleagues was also in a business of being an investor liaison and has been working and raising capital. What he does is he brings his laptop to Starbucks and on the back of his laptop, he has a sign. It’s like, “Would you like to invest?” I don’t remember the exact word. He made it fun. He put it in big letters so people in Starbucks could see it. He does get approached. Not every day, not every hour, but sometimes several people approach him and start talking to him. He is shy. It’s his way to start the conversation to have that big funny sign on the back of his laptop. It opens a conversation.
I have not heard anybody do that before. That’s thinking out of the box. It’s telling people what you’re doing before you even have to have that conversation.
You should try it. It’s definitely a conversation starter.
Maybe I’ll have it on the back of my shirt or something. Alina, I always appreciate you being on the show. How do you like to give back?
I usually volunteer for children-related organizations, whether it’s kids who are hospitalized for a long time or whether it’s kids from a family that cannot afford many things and trying to help raise clothing or school supplies for these kids. We’re collecting food items for the local food pantries and trying to help food pantries in the local area. I’m one of the lead volunteers that lead at that. We’re going to be distributing this food into different trucks and sending it off to the pantries in the area.
Tell the audience how they can learn more about you and get in touch.
They go on my website, which is SAMOFinancial.com or they can find me on LinkedIn or Facebook. I’m more than happy to speak with whoever wants to reach out and has any questions regardless whether they’re going to become my investors or not.
Thank you so much, Alina. You provided great content and great value. It’s such an important topic of how we care for our investors. We should care for them like our mother. How you went into how we have to listen to them and have to listen to what’s on their mind and what’s important to them early is what we should be remembering. They’ll make that decision if they want to be in the business or not. Helping them makes the best decision whether this is the right fit for them or not. I appreciate you elaborating on keeping your promises, how to treat them well and communicating well. I hope our audience will go to Life Bridge Capital and connect with me and also go to our Facebook group, The Real Estate Syndication Show, where we can all learn and grow our businesses together from experts like Alina.
Thank you so much for having me on your show. It’s always a pleasure to be coming back here and providing value to your audience.
- Alina Trigub
- Warren Buffett
- LinkedIn – SAMO Financial’s page
- Facebook – SAMO Financial’s page
- The Real Estate Syndication Show – Facebook group
About Alina Trigub
Three interesting facts:
– is a former Tax Accountant with The Big Four experience
– her business model is to follow Warren Buffett’s guidance indicating that,
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”
– Alina’s business model is two-fold:
- she helps a select group of people build their wealth passively without distraction to their daily lives
- her investments concentrate on rebuilding communities and giving other folks great places to live