4 Key Traits That Define a Good Employee or Business Partner

by | BiggerPockets.com

Happy (almost) New Year, everyone!

I would like to start off by wishing you guys all the love, health and happiness that you desire in 2016. Financial success always tends to follow along with those three.

Let me kickstart your New Year with an article that explains some of my core beliefs as an entrepreneur and what has brought me and my company a ton of success over the past couple of years. Day in and day out, I see folks focusing on many different statistics, metrics, calculations and other longer words that I don’t even have in my vocabulary. I always stress to these folks that they’ve got it completely wrong.

It’s not the numbers that will cause you to fail or lose money but rather the people that you entrust to do the right thing on your behalf. Never forget that the people you decide to work with will either make or break your investments, and below you will find key principles that I look for in every one of my employees or business partners.

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

So let’s get into this, shall we?

We’ve all heard it before: “Business is easy, people make it difficult.” Every time I’ve lost money or had a deal go south as an entrepreneur, it was never due to a miscalculation of the numbers or market fluctuations. It was always someone compromising their integrity and overstepping one of the boundaries below. To give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding in not just business but also in life, make sure to only surround yourself with people who possess these four traits.

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4 Key Traits That Define a Good Employee or Business Partner

1. Honesty

This is critical in life and in business.

It’s even more critical in a close relationship, like those with your spouse or business partner. The ability to discuss anything openly without feelings hurting feelings will make or break the relationship. The underlying component here is trust, which is built over time — not just a single email, phone call or meeting.

Sometimes I’m told that I am blunt, extreme or intense. It’s really just me being honest and passionate about what I do. There is no way to move in a positive direction without this attribute, and I wear this badge proudly. At times, my close associates don’t like what I tell them, but they also know that I would never hold them back, and I mean no offense. It’s just the way I have to be.


2. Loyalty

This is huge. Have you ever worked with someone who gossiped to your boss behind your back? Or if you’re a business owner, they formed a relationship with one of your clients only to discredit the relationship you had with them previously? This is a big loyalty issue and is caused by individuals who lack authenticity.

Over the course of being a business owner, I have had salesmen from other companies try to take me away from their own colleague or business partner and get me to do business with them because they didn’t understand loyalty.

This is one of my golden rules. If you’re honest with me and you demonstrate your loyalty, buy into my vision and commit to the team and company, you have my loyalty in return. No question. If you violate that and go around to accomplish your own agenda for personal interests, there is no coming back. This does not mean I will treat you any differently, but I will never again be all in behind you.

3. Respect

Respect is earned by paying your dues, being patient and waiting for you time to come. Over the years I have met too many people who think the world owes them favors. They feel more privileged than the rest of us. These people tend to be lazy and will never be willing to put in the hard work. They will have no problems letting you do all the work yourself while still looking to reap the rewards of your labor.

They will also never be honest or loyal and will always look for an easy way out. Someone who doesn’t respect what it took to get to where you are and what it takes to do what you do should be eliminated from your book right away. I’ve made the mistake on holding on hoping that I would eventually gain their respect, but unfortunately it never was to be (and I can tell you that it never will be).

As soon I let go of a disrespectful person who was a drag on my business, I realized a shift in our operations. The remaining staff had to push harder and work a little longer, but all of the loose ends were quickly tightened, and a huge improvement was visible.


Related: What I’m Doing Now to Prepare Myself to Tackle Big Real Estate Goals in 2016

4. No Greed

The violation of loyalty and respect that I just finished discussing is completely related to greed.

Greed has its place in movies and is a part of society, but can destroy a business and a brand. In my life thus far, I have not witnessed anything good come from greed. When you’re chasing the dollar, even when you catch it, it will never be enough. When you’re following a vision and stick with it even in the hard times, the financial benefit will always be more valuable. Teams of people who have formed the greatest, most lucrative companies in the world didn’t do it for solely the money. It was about a higher purpose. In the words of Ludwig Borne,“Goodwill is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.”

In closing, I want to stress that I live by committing to the numbers daily: sending emails, making calls and attending meetings. While working the numbers, I always look for these four things in each person I happen to come in contact with, and I’ve learned to identify them easily. And in time, you can too.

Investors: What characteristics do YOU look for in people you work with?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

About Author

Engelo Rumora

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a.”the Real Estate Dingo,” quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He runs runs Ohio Cashflow, a turnkey real estate investment company in the country (Inc 5000 2017 & 2018) and is currently in the process of launching a real estate brokerage called List’n Sell Realty. He is also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His mission in life is to be remembered as someone that gave it his all and gave it all away.


  1. A good overview of what to look for in your employees. Having these traits not only means they’ll be successful at the job they currently have, but that they’ll stay motivated and do well once promoted.

  2. Thomas Franklin

    I would add a fifth character trait…COMITTMENT. If an employee or business partner is not willing to carry their share of the load, he/ she is an anchor around the neck, of the company, thereby increasing the workload, to others; and reducing overall productivity

  3. Katie Rogers

    I just hope employers realize they should manifest the same traits to their employees. I always laugh when a read a job posting from a used car place requiring that prospective salesmen be honest. That usually means honest only toward the boss, not customers.

  4. Kyle W.

    What if your biz partner is all of these things and then some, but you don’t feel they are “pulling their weight” in the partnership? Is it worth it to continuing partnering when I can completely trust this person and can pretty much make all the decisions, but I feel they are kind of “getting a free ride” as I am doing more work but am in control. Any thoughts are definitely appreciated!

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Kyle,

      IMO there is no “Respect” there if your biz partner isn’t pulling his weight.

      When I came up with these traits initially, I only had 3 marked down.

      Then certain business things happened similar to what you’re describing in your comment and that’s how I came up with the last one to add “Respect”.

      I would move on as soon as possible as it doesn’t get any better.

      Thanks and much success.

  5. It can be very difficult to make tough choices when it comes to people and making sure that things are going in the right direction. Try to make sure you aren’t too specific when it comes to what you expect out of people, as they may be reaching their limit. I think that someone who wants to do well can be valuable.

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