As I’ve said before, having the right team makes my role as a landlord exponentially easier.
It took me a long time to accept that having a team was the right thing for me. I’m fairly capable, and typically am able to do most anything if I put my mind to it. I’ve always been curious, and enjoy “getting my hands dirty”, so my logic would be that it would be easier to do the task myself rather than take the time to find someone to do it for me, then manage them through the process. And I was raised to be frugal – so I just viewed doing it myself as another way to save money.
This was admittedly a short sided view, as I wasn’t taking into consideration the true value of my time, nor the long term benefits of delegating work – namely the exponential time savings. I never realized how much all of the little work, which I should have been delegating, was impeding my ability to grow my business.
Real Estate was one of the first places where I really took some time to build a team. Once I had this realization and put into practice an exercise which identified and built my core team, I found that not only did having a great team save me time & money, but it also cleared my mind of all of the stress related to the tasks. This allowed me to continue to grow my real estate business.
As you’re building your team, it’s really important to pick people who are dependable, trustworthy, smart, knowledgeable in their field, and make themselves available. Inexpensive, while a consideration, should be your last consideration. The saying is true – sometimes you get what you paid for!
Unfortunately, you’re going to need to be constantly evaluating new potential members of your team. People retire. Sometimes as a vendor’s business grows their quality drops (ironically, most of the time it is because they haven’t taken the time to build the proper team). Keep copious notes on the performance of existing team members, so that you don’t accidentally rehire someone who doesn’t do a good job.
But avoid burning a bridges. You never know when you may be in a jam and absolutely need to rehire the person you swore you’d never use again. No matter how bad the work product, never make it personal. As you build out your team, you’ll also be building processes for working with your team – which includes setting SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals for each project.
For real estate, your team should include:
- A real estate agent (for each geographic region)
- A lender
- An insurance agent
- An attorney
- A handyperson
- (I also keep specialists, like plumbers and electricians, on hand)
- A gardener
I make sure that the latter two are capable of video chat, and sending me before and after photos … just in case I’m on a beach and cannot be there in person.