Why Hiring People Smarter Than You is Key to Growing Your Real Estate Business

by | BiggerPockets.com

Have any of you guys seen the movie Cars?

My family and I LOVE this movie! Every time my son sees it coming on, he goes, “RHHUMM RHHUMM!”

In the opening scene, the main character Lightning McQueen starts off by proclaiming, “I’m a one-man show!”

Then the King racer in all his wisdom advises him, “McQueen, you’re a great racer. You have more potential in one lug nut then most have through their entire body. But you’re stupid! You’re stupid because you need to hire yourself a team! This isn’t a one man show, kid!”

I think this scene really captures the heart of what I want to talk about today.

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Hire People That Are Smarter Than You

“I hire people brighter than me, and I get out of their way.” — Lee Iacocca

For a long time, I ran my entire business as a one man operation. I was literally everything in my business, from answering the phones, to sweeping the floors, to marketing, to payroll, to serving as the secretary — everything!

And I have to tell you, I was overwhelmed. There is a lot to this wholesaling business that I’m honestly terrible at doing, and though I did it for years, it really wasn’t the most productive thing for me to do.

As the saying goes, I was working in my business and not on my business, and that’s why we never really grew.

Recently, I realized that if I hire out, I can put my time and energy into the things I’m good at doing and at the things I most enjoy and the business prospers because of it.

The truth is, I don’t know anything about building a social presence, blogging, or anything like that. I don’t know anything about taking professional pictures of properties or the best way to handle motivated sellers over the phone. I don’t even know anything about construction work! I’m even terrible at grammar! If you’ve ever read one of my emails, I’m so sorry!

Related: The Step Every Entrepreneur Should Take BEFORE Hiring New Employees

I did it all on my own for so long that for 8 years, our pictures for promoting our properties, our emails, our online presence, and on and on suffered because I didn’t hire people who were better at it than I was.

If you hire people who are smarter and more skilled than you are, your business can have the components that you simply cannot produce.

For instance, right now our presence on social media is growing by about a hundred followers a week.

We are starting to come out with YouTube videos, and our website is a few days away from launching. We’re even thinking about starting a podcast!

Now, I have an excellent salesman who handles and screens all my calls from motivated sellers, which frees me up to focus on analyzing deals and working with investors — the part I enjoy most.

We now have professional cleaners to handle the poop from the poop-y houses, so I never have to even see that stuff again! And because I have hired a professional photographer, our promos for our properties turn out amazing, while I save so much of my time.

If I hadn’t hired people who were smarter than me, none of these things would be a part of our brand and business.

Frankly, I can’t learn every aspect of this business. I just have enough time to master what I am good at doing, what I like, and then leave the rest up to the professionals.

There is a great post by Brandon Turner called, “Want to Make $1,000 or More Per Hour?” That really struck a chord with me. Do you want to be doing what someone would typically do making $10 an hour, or do you want to be doing things that will make you $1,000 an hour?

As a business owner, obviously you want to be doing the latter.

Hire the Right People!

When I first got started in this business, I remember I had another one of my poop houses (did you hear about my latest one?), and I was there shoveling out poop.

What the heck was I doing?

Was that really where I needed to put my attention? Heck no!

As the owner of this business, I need to put my resources into creating systems and getting the right people in the right spots on the team.

The truth is, I am terrible at organization. I don’t need to put my attention on trying to become better organized; I need to find someone who can help me get and stay organized.

You know, I hate doing admin stuff, too. I hate shoveling poop and putting on new locks on doors. I even hate mowing my own lawn!

It’s a really small lawn, too, and it would probably just take me 20-30 minutes to mow it myself. But do you know what I do?

I pay $22 a week for some industrial mowing company to come and mow my lawn, even though with their equipment it might take two minutes.

Related: How and When to Start Hiring Employees for Your Real Estate Business

People may say, “Why don’t you just cut your own grass, man!?” I just cringe and say, “Because I hate doing it, so why waste time doing something I don’t like?”

I’d rather use everything in me to spend time loving my wife or with my kids, and outsourcing and delegation enables me to do just that.


To sum everything up, my point in all this is that you can’t do everything and do it with excellence.

Your business needs you to be in the driver’s seat, overseeing everyone else on the bus, making sure they excel in the right seats.

Make sense?

Do any of you have success stories or advice on outsourcing and hiring people that are smarter than you?

See you in the comments!

About Author

Brett Snodgrass

Brett Snodgrass is a licensed real estate broker and wholesaler who hails from the Indianapolis metro. His mission in life is to glorify God by serving as many people as he can through his real estate business. He has a pretty active community growing on Facebook and is also the founder of SimpleWholesaling.com Come check it out now and connect!


  1. Well most are smarter than I am. So, pretty easy to do this one for me! 😉 Seriously, though, solid tips. Just make sure they’re trustworthy people, too, otherwise they’ll use their intelligence to take over the w…uh, to cheat you somehow without you knowing.

  2. Zack Adams

    Thanks Brett! Do you have some sort of Org chart you could share mapping out the different functions of your business? I am currently working on a business plan and would love to see what a business that is already fully functioning looks like.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      Hi Zachary, I don’t necessarily have a Chart, But here are the basics as w wholesaling business:

      1. Brett: Manage Everything
      2. Tyler: Acquisitions manager: Takes Calls, talks to Sellers, Looks at the property, gets under contract.
      3. Gary: Sales Manager: Works with Cash Buyers, Shows properties, Markets to sell properties:
      4. Jaren: Social networking, Marketing, our website, Blogging, ETC.
      5. KAtie: Works on Bank Listings and HUD offers

      I hire VA’s on UPWORK: to help with Editing, Videos, ETC.

      This is pretty much what we do… Thanks for asking: Brett

  3. Ayodeji Kuponiyi

    Outsourcing is the best way to achieve financial freedom. I’ve come across the topic of outsourcing too many times to ignore the fact that its true. We see it everyday from our personal home life to everyday work life. As I start my real estate business I know I have to outsource as much as possible to keep me from going insane.

  4. Vonetta Booker

    Great article, Brett–I totally agree! Delegation is a beautiful thing–whether it’s property management for my buy & hold, a realtor to sell my rehabs, etc.—I’d rather pay someone who’s good at what they do than struggle and get overwhelmed trying to do it myself.

    My question to you: You mentioned a salesperson that talks to your motivated sellers–I’ve been looking for someone to delegate to in that area. How’d you find him, what types of things does he do re. sellers, and how do you structure pay?

    • Brett Snodgrass

      Great Question: I found him by selling him a couple of properties, (He was a buy-n-hold investor” but he didn’t like his other job (But it was sales in trucking industry). He started part time, then went full time couple of months ago…

      I pay him a fee for each deal he gets under contract on a sliding scale, so the more he gets per month, the fee goes up… this helps motivate him more as he get more deals in the month, the fee per house goes up…. I did Promised him a minimum at the Start Because I knew it would work out.. Thanks. Brett

  5. Ndy Onyido

    Good post. We all have the tendency not to let go. However, if you want to expand your business, you need to let those with comparative advantage in some skills to run the show while you expend your time on some more strategic and cerebral tasks…..

  6. John Daley

    A great point, but easier said than done. It just so happens I really enjoy changing locks, cleaning the yard, tearing out old bathrooms, and generally making an old property feel new again…but that’s not going to grow my business beyond any one project. I just took the plunge and hired my first employee, an office manager. It’s a scary step, but I’m counting on the principle you described here to hold true. Wish me luck. 😉

  7. karen rittenhouse

    In the beginning, we did everything and ran ourselves ragged because we couldn’t afford help. I even signed up for accounting classes because keeping the books was making me crazy.

    That’s when the light bulb went off for me. “This is CRAZY and I can’t be anywhere close to as successful as I want doing it all myself.”

    I quit the accounting class and made our first hire, a bookkeeper. I was so grateful for her that I began looking for others to hire to take over my weak areas. Besides, bookkeeping makes me NO money! I now focus on the high income areas of the business.

    Thanks for the post!

  8. Austin Hughes

    My virtual assistant is fantastic! Not only does he do the tasks I give him well, but he has come to me with TWO lengthy motivated seller lists that he found on his own.
    In his off time, he goes to real estate VA forums to find new business strategies.
    He’s the mirror image of me haha

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