Real estate investing doesn’t fit into the mold of a traditional business. Generally speaking, it’s not the kind of business where you have standard 9-to-5 hours, cubicles, breakrooms, and rigid HR policies.
Whether you’re wholesaling land or renting out single-family properties to tenants, your business moves to the beat of a different drum. Having said that, there’s one thing that you need to be successful: trustworthy people. The big question is, how do you find them?
Why Trustworthy People Matter
It doesn’t matter if you have a team of two people or 25, you need to be in close proximity to trustworthy people. Here’s why:
- In the real estate industry – and life in general – there are few things more important than your reputation. And, for better or worse, your reputation is based on the people choose to surround yourself with. If you want to maintain a strong, healthy reputation, you need to align yourself with people who say and do the right things.
- Think about how much easier it is to delegate tasks when you trust the person. You don’t have to micro-manage or worry about whether the job is getting done right the first time. Trustworthy people are reliable.
- Legal ramifications. There’s nothing casual about the real estate industry. Mistakes can lead to serious legal ramifications, lawsuits, and other industry-specific penalties. Trustworthy people lower your legal risk and help you stay on the right side of the law.
- While good, trustworthy employees may be more expensive to hire and keep on the team, they typically provide a much higher ROI (when compared to questionable hires). They do things right the first time around, which saves you money and increases your profit margin.
- Peace of mind. At the end of the day, trustworthy people put your mind at ease. Stress and anxiety dissipate, which allows you to focus less on putting out fires and more on building your business.
5 Tips for Hiring Trustworthy People
You can clearly see the value in bringing trustworthy people onto your team. It makes perfect sense. But how do you hire people you can trust – practically speaking? Here are a few tips and recommendations:
- Know What You Want
Before you consider bringing on a new team member, pause and consider precisely what you want. What kind of work will the individual be doing? How much responsibility will you be dishing out? Which character traits are most valued?
Once you’ve created a sample profile/resume, you can use this to filter your search and quickly approve or dismiss possible candidates on the fly. It’s much more efficient than taking each new candidate and evaluating them independently.
- Pull From the Right Sources
The quality of your candidates will greatly depend on the quality of the sources they’re coming from. If you want to hire trustworthy people, you need to establish trustworthy sources.
Trustworthy people tend to flock together. Tap honest, high-integrity individuals in your professional and personal networks. Ask them for recommendations. If you already have some good people on your team, consider gathering referrals from them. You’ll find that your employees will be careful in who they recommend (considering that it’s their reputation on the line).
- Establish a Pipeline
Don’t wait until you need to hire someone to begin recruiting. The most successful real estate professionals cultivate pipelines that they can easily tap when an opening or opportunity emerges. You can establish your own pipeline through continued networking and by setting up regular meetings with people you may be interested in hiring in the future. Paying for lunch is a great way to get people to engage.
- Ask the Right Questions
A candidate can look good on paper, but it’s hard to know what they’re all about until you meet with them face-to-face. Whether it’s formal or informal, an interview will give you a feel for what a person is truly like. It also provides you with an opportunity to ask some good questions. Here’s a good one:
Can you tell me about a time when you were challenged ethically?
What you don’t want to hear is someone say something like, “I’ve never faced an ethical challenge.” They’re either lying through their teeth, or they have no life experience.
“It’s a given that most of us have faced an ethical challenge at one point or another in our careers,” entrepreneur Marcel Schwantes writes. “For more seasoned candidates operating with integrity, you’ll most likely hear them clearly describe how they avoided misconduct, or how they called out someone acting unethically. Don’t trust a candidate who says she’s never faced an ethical challenge.”
Listen to their answer and watch their body language. Pry a little if you need to. This is a telltale question and you don’t want to miss what they have to say.
- Treat Your Employees Well
It’s not enough to hire trustworthy people. If you want to continue growing and performing at a high level, you must retain these individuals.
The best way to keep employees is to treat them well. And there are three primary ways you can treat your people well:
- People hate being micromanaged and love having independence and autonomy. When you extend certain freedoms, your employees feel trusted and respected.
- Verbal praise and recognition of a job well done is enough to make most people feel valued and appreciated.
- Money talks. And while it might not be the best incentive, it’s certainly a good done. Consider offering bonuses and other financial perks to keep employees on the right track.
Not all employees are created equal. Some people prefer independence and autonomy above all else, while other employees are much more inclined to respond to recognition or financial rewards. You’ll have to spend time learning what your people respond to so that you can shape your retention strategy.
Work With Green Residential
At Green Residential, we’ve been in the Houston real estate management business for more than 30 years. Over that time, hundreds of real estate investors have trusted us as their property management company of choice. If you’re looking to partner with honest, experienced professionals who understand the ins and outs of the real estate business, look no further.