This week was a momentous one in my real estate business. My new assistant Michael started this week (give a shout out to him, I’m sure he will love it — and share any advice you have!). He has done a wonderful job.
It’s amazing when you start thinking about all the things that go into real estate deals; it’s something I’ve been working on for more than a decade. Michael came in this week with a lot of experience in the banking world, but very little in the real estate world.
I’ve had to make myself break down what we are doing. Figure out more processes that are going to help us work together, coordinate tenant maintenance issues through not only our online management system, but also through helping Michael learn who people are. Who do you call for this? Who do you call for that? Where the heck to I find out about ____? What do all these short abbreviations and phrases like LTV, ARV, ALL IN, net rental income, and gross rent multiplier mean?! #help #gulp
Yep. There is a lot to it. Just like anything, it takes time.
Now, taking the DISC profile (which I love and also had Michael take), I am a 99% D and a 99% I. Yes. If you are familiar with this profile, it’s… well, scary, I know. To say I am “driven” would be an understatement.
To help you better understand mine, I used this crazy tool called Google to help you understand my D/I personality.
The first part of the paragraph said this (and you can find the entire link here):
A profile of this type (D/I) represents a highly assertive person, capable of both direct, dynamic action or charming sociability as a situation demands. In combination, these factors describe a person with clear goals in life with the determination and commitment to achieve them.
Wow, Ok. Feel for Michael yet? I kinda do too. 🙂
However, my business partners, joint venture partners, and growing base of wholesale and turnkey buyers appreciate having someone with drive to achieve my real estate goals, as well as the capacity and capability to help them achieve theirs.
As your business grows, you need to be able to leverage the things you do well, with people around you who do other things well — even (and often in my case) things BETTER than you. This isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of a willingness to do what is necessary to put yourself in the best position to be great.
Here are three things we are working on.
1. Hiring Talent
Michael wasn’t originally in the real estate world, and he didn’t really have any experience with it. But he had great communication skills. And he took great care of me each and every time I needed something at the bank, where he was my former personal banker. I had him take his DISC profile, and I shared mine (so he knew what he was getting into!), and we spent some time talking about how we would work together.
Although I am not an overly patient guy, I know that these things take time. It’s worth it to build a team full of people who you like to be around, who do a great job, and who desire to learn, grow, and help build your company alongside you.
2. Having Open Communication
We are beginning each morning with a brief walk through of whats going on. We are calling it our “Morning Coffee/Check in.” During this time we talk about all the major points that need to be dealt with — on his end or on mine. We talk through new tenants or new properties, new closings and whatever I might need specifically that didn’t make it on his calendar. We’ve set up the calendaring so he and I can see each other’s and add stuff both ways. We also have started using Google Drive to help us get documents in a location we can access, both from the office and from mobile devices.
Communication is about the good and the bad. I asked him today what I was doing to drive him nuts… seriously! I want to make sure it’s a great place for him and for me. As our team continues to grow, we need to keep those communication lines open so our great systems don’t break down through missing things.
3. Creating Systems (That Work)
It’s been one thing for me to manage everything; it’s another thing to have someone else relying on your guidance and instructions. Just this week there have been many things I could have explained better, or Michael could have laid out in a better way (organizationally) than I did. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, we will be building, using, refining, tearing down and rebuilding — and then honing — our systems.
Oh, and if the system proves to be a dog and isn’t working, don’t be afraid to scrap it and rebuild. It’s ok… it just means you learned a ton on how not to build it, and now you have a great framework on how to move forward for the future.
As your business grows, the people around you mean everything. Building a sustainable business is about keeping all the things together, the team you have, the product (real estate in this case), and the process you use to go about doing everything. Keep growing in the ways you need to, whether it be online systems, hiring people or adding rental units (we are on track to add nearly 40 this year!). These take time, patience, persistence and a great attitude to roll with things, as they don’t quite go as expected.
I’d love to hear what you are doing to help grow your business, in talent, in process and in systems — what is really working for you?
Leave a comment, and let’s talk!