- Recognize your capacity for growth, and refrain from stretching yourself too thin.
- Those relying on antiquated technology will have a much more difficult time growing.
- It's inconceivable to think you are capable of scaling your business if your staff isn’t up to the task.
It is imperative to recognize your capacity for growth and thus refrain from stretching yourself too thin. Although speed and efficiency are a critical component to any expansion strategy, scale your business at a pace that allows you to improve the systems you have in place, implement newer technology and recruit the best talent possible.
Neglecting to address even one of these areas could result in a problematic scenario — or worse, stagnation. After all, if you aren’t moving forward in today’s fast-paced real estate landscape, you might as well be moving backward.
Smart ways to grow
Ambition and determination are essential tools in a real estate professional’s arsenal. However, as important as they are for a healthy growth mindset, they must be kept in check.
Again, anyone looking to grow his or her business must understand the company’s infrastructure, and more importantly, how much growth it is prepared to support. Whether you are a new investor or seasoned veteran, you must know your limits.
The minute you overestimate your capacity for growth, you will notice a significant decline in efficiency and productivity. Don’t let this happen to you. Take the time to implement smart growth patterns and increase your probability of a successful transition.
First things first: You must check your ego at the door. Simply completing a few deals with a relatively high degree of success is not representative of a company that is primed for imminent growth.
Celebrate your accomplishment by all means, but there is a huge difference between completing a few deals and scaling your business.
The sooner you understand the difference, the better off your company will be. To that end, make learning your highest priority. Education is perhaps the best investment a real estate entrepreneur can make.
If you are intent on scaling your real estate business, I recommend focusing on a particular niche. Again, learn everything you can about this respective field, whether it is rehabs or wholesales, and focus your attention on mastering it.
I can assure you it will be much easier to scale your business when you only have one or two exit strategies competing for your attention, as opposed to five or six.
Hopefully, you now understand that growth or, at least, sustainable growth isn’t something that will come easy. You must first demonstrate that your business has the capacity to improve the following:
Business systems — or processes if you will, are put in place to ensure that daily tasks are as efficient and productive as possible.
For instance, most real estate investors have a system in place to generate leads and find potential buyers. However, those systems need to be able to adapt to a growing company.
What worked for a small one-man team will certainly fall short in an operation consisting of 100 employees or even 50 for that matter. The more you want to grow your business, the more adaptive and efficient its systems will need to be.
Any attempt to scale your real estate business should coincide with business systems that can do the same. Take a look at the systems you have in place — everything including fielding phone calls and implementing marketing strategies should receive an honest evaluation.
To that end, map out and document every system you want to improve. Your ultimate goal should be to compile a step-by-step checklist for every task that is easily duplicated.
That way you have an efficient map for how the task should be completed every time. Gone are the days when you needlessly waste time trying to figure out how to get something done.
With the right systems in place, employees will be able to replicate success on a daily basis, all because you have a system that points them in the right direction. Once this process gets underway, it should organically grow in the same direction as your business — up.
When daily tasks become easier to replicate, you can focus your personal attention on more important activities — or in this case, scaling your company.
The advent of technology has certainly made real estate investing easier for the masses, at least for those who have managed to adopt it.
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, there are always companies that neglect to embrace new technologies. I can assure you, however, that those relying on antiquated technology will have a much more difficult time scaling their business.
Without something as simple as automation, you are guaranteeing that most of your time will be spent on tasks that could be done in a matter of seconds with the right technology in place.
After all, advancements in technology serve one purpose: to make our jobs easier. If you aren’t using it to grow your business, you can bet your competition is, thus placing you at a disadvantage.
Do a little research and find out which programs or software could benefit your company. Even if it’s something as menial as a digital filing cabinet, I can guarantee you it will save you time down the road.
If you incorporate new technology into every aspect of your business, that time will add up and allow you to focus on the things that matter. Take some time to identify which new technologies could help everything run more smoothly, including your website and marketing campaigns.
I could argue that automation is one of the most important tools for scaling a company. To that end, if you want to grow your business, I recommend automating as much as possible. That way, you will be more prepared for the influx of work that will inevitably coincide with a larger company.
Conduct regular audits of the technology you are currently using and determine what can be improved on. At the same time, make sure it works in congruence with the business systems you have in place.
These two things alone will go a long way in allowing business owners to scale their companies.
If business systems and technology will make it possible to scale your business, talented team members are necessary. It’s inconceivable to think you are capable of scaling your business if your staff isn’t up to the task.
To that end, hiring the right team members can help you grow your company exponentially while simultaneously reducing the potential for headaches and growing pains.
However, hiring the right employees also has the added benefit of creating a cohesive office environment. Before you know it, your office is not only more efficient but more enjoyable to be around as well.
People, not unlike business systems and technology, must be the subject of regular audits. In other words, it’s in a business owner’s best interest to always improve their employees — and specifically managers.
A convergence of talent within your management pool will have a trickle-down impact and inspire everyone within the company to realize their full potential.
I have found that my best investments stem from the employees I have had the pleasure of working with. It is important to understand that as your employees grow, they are more inclined to add to the value of your company.
As their knowledge and contributions increase, so too will your bottom line. The key, however, is to make sure you are bringing the right talent on board.
I encourage anyone looking to scale his or her business to invest heavily in employees. Challenge them to learn as much as they can by reading books, attending seminars and being receptive to coaching.
Provide all of the necessary materials they need at no cost to them. If you place an emphasis on the employee, they are more inclined to reciprocate their appreciation in the form of quality work, therefore improving the overall company culture.
Growth is entirely dependent on your willingness to adapt to a market that is always changing. You must be open to new ideas and accept the fact that your business can improve.
By no means should you ever assume you couldn’t make progress in one area or another. In particular, recognize the need to improve your systems, technology and talent. When it comes time to grow your business, nothing is more crucial to its sustainability.
Than Merrill is the founder and CEO of FortuneBuilders and CT Homes. Connect with Than on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @ThanMerrill.