Best ways to find the RIGHT Partner, COO for my company

5 Replies

I am looking for outside opinions on the best ways to find a rockstar COO/business partner for my company.

We are an Ohio based firm doing 15-20+ deals monthly.  Flips, Rentals, MF, Wholetails, Commercial Flex/Med space, etc.  

I've worked with many folks in the past, including attempted partnerships, some of which were less than honest and did not work out at all.  Some were good and honest, just NOT the right fit personality/goals wise.  

Obviously, local networking is the first answer to my question.  REIAs, etc.  I already know that and I'm looking for OTHER methods.  Most of those folks just want to see what they can learn from you, not build a brand and build a team and grow into the future.  I get 10 "pick your brain" requests daily....that is NOT the type of person I'm looking for.  

Where else would you look to find someone that has the right synergy to bring into your business as the COO and even a potential partnership basis?  Headhunter?  FB referrals have never worked out well.   

I need someone with the strong suits that I do not have to compliment me.  Attention to detail, marketing, tech experience, HR management, etc. 

In true Traction style, I am the Visionary and I am looking for the right Integrator.

And no, this is not a 50/50 partnership offer in any way.  We are already far too established to offer someone to come into that situation, so this would be a profit share, COO, small ownership interest scenario.  

Any feedback, ideas, suggestions, etc are very much welcome.  Thanks!

@Bryan Blankenship get their skin in the game. Create incentives for them to not want to jump ship after taking what they learned. If not an equity partner, then be creative. Make them love where they work and the environment. Find out what motivates them. Is it stability and security? Is it creativity and risk taking? Then structure the incentive around their personality to drive them. Protect all your proprietary structure with NCA and NDA even after they leave so they know their are legal ramifications if they take your systems and run. Really define your needs of the COO job duties and hire a COO who has been successful in your market at his prior position. Don't be cheep. Use a search company to help bring in the best candidates.

Great advice @Brian Bradley and good timing as well!

Since this post I have a COO coming in 4 weeks now. Leaving a bigger more structured firm to come to my smaller 12 person office and help us continue our measured steady growth into the future.

And everything you said comes into play.  NCNDA created by our attorney is very specific, and I had just engaged a recruiter to find this person several weeks ago when I found them in my network instead.  

They get to "create" their own salary in a way.  A fair normal base, but heavy rewar to the upside.  Our motto is simple:  We pay for performance, not for bodies occupying chairs and it goes for our CEO/COO down to the newest Admin we bring in.

Thanks for the advice!

@Bryan Blankenship no problem man. Business organization and development is what the law side of my practice does, besides just real estate deals. Young employees look to learn and run. Neither of them work out. You want experienced guys with proven track records but to get them to come in and stay you have to let them feel free and create an incentive to drive them. But I find the trick is when interviewing to try to find what makes them tick so that the incentive matches their personality. All the things you did. Hopefully it works out. 

Thanks, @Brian Bradley  Our biggest incentive here is that we REQUIRE RE investment.  We make every single employee practice what we preach to our clients, so they all buy rental property within 1yr.  And we create retirement plans for them to hit their goals.  The more senior or higher level employee, the more they can buy to build their retirement.  

Thanks again for all of your help!

@Bryan Blankenship that is a good incentive. Get your employees started on the right path. Is the retirement plan a self directed plan? 

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