I Was Forced to Stop Working–And My Business Still Did More Deals Than Ever: Here’s How

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On the 4th of July of this year, I was feeling a little nostalgic about my childhood dreams of playing in the NBA, and I found myself in the heat of a three-on-three basketball match. Keep in mind that I haven’t played an organized basketball game in over 10 years, but I thought it was time to come out of retirement and lace up the high-tops.

I was having a blast! It was the 4th, so the smell of BBQ and the sounds of my friends and family were in the air, and I was truly caught up in the fun of the moment. I remember thinking I could not have asked for a better Independence Day when all of a sudden, SNAP! I hear this crazy sound come from beneath me, and an agonizing pain shot through my foot and ankle.

I had to call off the game and was rushed to the emergency room. Turns out, because I hadn’t stretched before the game (my mind still thought I was 21 when my body didn’t agree), I ended up rupturing my Achilles tendon and was facing a 4-6 month recovery time (ouch!).

Naturally, the moment I got the news, my mind went to: “How in the world am I going to handle everything?” “What is going to happen to my family?” “How am I going to support them, as I am the only one who brings in any income?” “What will happen to my real estate business during this time?”

In the past seven or eight years, I have pretty much run the business on my own. I have simultaneously worn the hat of CEO, head of sales, transaction coordinator, lead acquisitions manager, maintenance supervisor, and more!

Since I’ve been on BiggerPockets and began listening to the podcasts, the concept of working on your business instead of in it has been really hitting home for me. So last year, I began the process of replacing my personal involvement in my company. I first started with one employee, who was my personal assistant, and as the year progressed, we’ve expanded to a team of four.

Related: The 3 Non-Negotiable Roles CRUCIAL to Your Property Management Team

In today’s post, I want to share with you how building a team that can run independently of you can transform your life and secure the future of your real estate business.

After my injury in July, as I mentioned, I was pretty anxious about how things would run during my recovery time. I wasn’t able to drive, and I could barely walk for that matter, so my involvement was very limited. To my surprise, however, because we had put the right people in the right places, we ended up purchasing more properties in the month of July and August than we have all year thus far!

I was shocked. The moment I expected everything to go wrong, we ended up thriving as a company simply because we had a team and great systems in place.

team

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What Having a Real Estate Team Will Do For You

You see, what I learned through this experience is that a one-man operation can only produce to the capacity of one person. One person can only do so much.

With a team, it is almost like a compound effect, where the power of each person collectively grows your production to an amount that supersedes anything each person could ever accomplish by themselves. I learned that if I duplicate myself, my business will continue to grow and develop with or without my involvement.

The moment I saw this back in July, it changed everything because I could see that this company has grown beyond me. It is almost like seeing my child grow up and go to college; it’s a very surreal experience!

Another amazing aspect of having a team is that throughout these eight years, there have been some things in real estate that I’ve enjoyed doing, but there are also some things I’ve downright disliked. When you have a team, you can hire someone to do the things you do not like doing, and typically they’ll do a better job at it because they actually enjoy it. I cannot begin to tell you the peace of mind I have gotten from hiring out tasks I do not like or that I do not do well.

Now, there are some keys to building a successful real estate team that I want to share with you.

1. Put the Right People in the Right Jobs

The biggest problem I’ve seen that causes people to struggle is hiring the wrong people for the job.

The truth is this: Certain personality types do better in certain roles. For example, you wouldn’t want an introvert who doesn’t enjoy people answering phones, but they may be perfect as an administrative assistant.

When you interview potential team members, I encourage you to have them take a personality test, or at least assess their interests and personality in order to try and figure out the best spot for them. 

2. Look at This as an Investment

I have heard a lot of people in real estate express fear in hiring people because they don’t want the added monthly expense. However, when you understand this is an investment, it will change that.

Related: The Quick Guide to Hiring For Entrepreneurs: How to On Board Quality Team Members

If you were to hire someone at $10 an hour, but the work they did made your business $20 an hour, is it not worth it? That’s a 100% return on investment!

To me, it makes sense to invest in my business this way, and it completely freed me from the fear of hiring.

real_estate_business_team

3. Let Go…

Finally, getting out of your business requires you to lose control. If you have been doing real estate by yourself for a long time, there are certain ways you do things that others simply will not. Sometimes the biggest hindrance to your business growing is you… and to change that, you might just need to let go.

Trust is required for this to work.

You have to be able to trust that your team is capable of doing what they are hired to do, and if you conducted the hiring process right, there won’t be anything to worry about. You know, after we had accomplished what we did in July, I could not help but wonder, “What would have happened if I did not have this team in place?”

And the truth is, my business would have come to a complete standstill. Everything we accomplished would not have happened if I had still been doing this by myself. As I finish up, I want to pose a challenge.

If something happened that hindered your involvement with your real estate business, what would happen to it? Are you prepared? Would business continue to go on? Would you still have income?

Looking forward to your thoughts in the comments section below!

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!

15 Comments

  1. Andrew Syrios

    Reminds me of a story in Good to Great where the CEO changed his entire work day to focus solely on big ticket items and delegated everything else to subordinates and the company took off. It’s hard to let go of the nitty gritty, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your business to reach the next level. Great article!

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Frank R.

      Yes no Problem, since you had asked. We are strictly a Real Estate Wholesale Business, so we deal in volumes of # of deals per month. In this article, I was specifically talking about the # of deals we were acquiring. From the months Jan – June 2015, we were averaging about 7-8 deals per month. In the month of July and August, we acquired 13 for July and 14 deals for August. I hope this helps, and I think building a team is very crucial and wish I would have done it sooner. Thanks Frank.

      Brett

  2. Gordon Cuffe

    great story except for the part about your injury. I am going to start out sourcing some of my tasks. I just started looking into hiring a VA. I will next look into finding a person good at the phones to help me sell the houses once I get them under contract.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Gordon Cuffe,

      Thanks, I think outsourcing is very crucial. I would recommend if hiring a VA or someone in your own community. I like hiring in my own community because I like being able to see the person, but I also have someone that helps sell a lot of properties that I have never seen face to face… It’s up to you and your comfort level. I wish you much success!

  3. Rick Grubbs

    I had 7 units when I moved from Florida to North Carolina. I had to get a property manager to handle things after I left until I was ready to sell them.

    I soon discovered I was making 80% as much with 5% of my time spent on real estate. The part I was still doing was things I enjoyed like reviewing spreadsheets. That meant my hourly wage skyrocketed and my lifestyle greatly improved. I’ve used a property manager ever since!

  4. Morris Wilson II

    Brett, thanks for your advice! Just curious, what kind of roles did you specifically look for? I understand that you may have someone answering phones and doing administrative work. After you got injured, did you look for someone to fulfill your personal responsibilities?

  5. Brett Snodgrass

    @Morris Wilson,

    Thanks for the Question. Mostly I was referring to Business needs, but I would say yes, if you can have someone do personal responsibilities, that’s a great idea. My wife really helps out a lot with the personal stuff, like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, errands. But, I think if you can sub out any of that, it’s a great idea.
    I used to have someone clean my house, and it was great, because I don’t like cleaning.
    I have right now have someone mow my grass, (I always have), and my yard isn’t big, but I would rather be doing something else on Saturday.
    A Great way to sub out Grocery Shopping, is hiring a Grocery Delivery Service. We love that.
    And I do have a personal assistant that does mostly business things, but will do pretty much anything I ask…

    For my business Team:
    I have one person that works on buying all of the deals, Answering all of the Motivated Seller Calls, looking at properties, getting under contract, etc.

    Another guy who works on selling everything, talking to cash buyers, putting up signs, lockboxes, pictures, ETC.

    I have another guy that works on Marketing, Social Media, Website, ETC.

    Then one Gal who works with all of our HUD properties, and offers.

    That’s the team I have right now in a nutshell. I hope this helps and thanks again. Good Luck Morris.
    Brett

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