The strength of your investing team goes a long way in determining your success. Whether you close one deal a year, or one a month, at some point you will rely on your team for help. Keeping your real estate agent, attorney, wholesaler and contractor sharp and motivated is a hidden key to success. How you treat them often determines just how hard they will work for you the next time you need them. If you constantly ask for a rush or to lower their fee eventually they will have enough and find other people to work with. On the flip side, if you are generous with your compliments and don’t nickel and dime them you can bet they will go the extra mile if you ask them. Your team has a direct impact on your success and your reputation. Here are five tips to keep them motivated and productive.
- Communicate, but don’t overdo it. Communication is the key to almost every relationship in life, with business no different. Regardless of the team member it is essential to have an open line of communication. They should never feel intimidated or unsure if they should reach out to you if there is a question or a problem. Before a project is started you should spend time explaining your thoughts and goals. You should also be open to hearing any feedback or suggestions from your team. By spending just a little time at the outset you can let your team work without constant micromanaging. Nobody likes working with someone looking over their shoulders, especially other professionals. Your ability to communicate with everyone around you often shapes your reputation and just how effective a leader you are. Your team should know what you want and how you want it without constantly beating it over their head.
- Empower. Every real estate investor has a vision for what they want to do with a property before they take ownership. Right or wrong, they have a plan in place and are often stubborn with it to a fault. Even though you are the quarterback of your team and you have the most at stake financially, it is ok to hear other opinions. By simply listening to your real estate agent or contractor not only may you find a better way, but you make them feel vested in the process. When someone thinks they are part of the decision-making process they are empowered to go the extra mile. They will work harder and think of ways to help your bottom line. If they ever make a suggestion that you end up using, they will feel vested in your team forever. Don’t be afraid to give the people around you the forum to make suggestions or to make minor decisions on their own. Everyone wants to feel they are in a position of power. The more you let your team do on their own, the harder they will work for you.
- Cross reference relationships. Everyone on your team should be aware of each other’s presence. Your real estate agent should know your mortgage broker and your attorney should know your contractor. This helps improve the flow on every deal, but it also keeps your team happy and motivated. It is a good idea to have a team function once a year. Something as simple as a happy hour can get everyone together and on the same page. Invite everyone you work with and use it as a networking opportunity for your team. Everyone can always use some extra business and by getting everyone in the same room they may benefit and in turn you will benefit. If your real estate agent gets one new contact because of your happy hour just imagine how motivated they will be to find your next property.
- Be fair and timely with compensation. The most successful people in business know how to take care of the people around them. Instead of pinching pennies on pay, they look for cost effective supplies to save money. You can only use the discount card so many times before it becomes ineffective. Not every job is a favor or must be a rush. In the big picture you are better off paying your team more or offering higher compensation and look to make it up elsewhere. Not only will they work harder but they know you are fair, which has a positive impact on your reputation. It is also critical that you pay everyone in a prompt manner at the completion of a job. Never make your contractor wait for you to have funds or for you to inspect the job. Think of how mad you would be if you had to wait to get your check at a closing. As simple as it sounds people work to get paid. Don’t be cheap or make them wait longer than they have to.
- Offer professional help. The longer you are in real estate the more you will find that the people around you want to do what you’re doing. It is no secret that the demand and interest for investing is near an all time high. At some point a team member may call or email asking you for some advice on how to get started. Instead of viewing this as competition, you should steer them in the right direction and provide any help you can. There are more than enough deals to go around and by paying it forward you further help build your reputation. This will come back to you in spades at some point down the road.
The little team building actions you do help shape and define your team. A good team makes your life easier by freeing up time to focus on areas you are needed most.