By Mike Baird
Do you know one of the biggest stumbling blocks I’ve seen for flippers as they start to get established? When they first get going, they’re usually just flipping one or two properties at a time. At that level, you really don’t need a team working for you. In fact, you might not even need a personal assistant to help you keep your appointments and day-to-day tasks straight.
The problem comes when these new flippers start to add more and more properties to their workflow. Before they know it, they’re completely under water, and they don’t know what to do. Then, when they hire help, they don’t use their new talent efficiently. They’ll have interns getting coffee when they should be getting leads (and coffee). They’ll have perfectly capable project managers and assistants doing practically nothing, and they’ll still feel like they’re drowning, all because they feel like they have to take care of everything for their business if they want to get everything done right.
If this sounds familiar, stop it! I know, letting go and learning to trust your employees is harder than it sounds, but once you learn how, you’ll seriously thank me. Do you think I close more than a thousand deals every year by myself? No way! I couldn’t do half (or even a quarter) of what I do without the support of my employees, but when I first got started, I definitely had to learn how to delegate. Here are the tips that helped me out the most.
Only Hire the Best
First, only hire people you’re excited to work with. If you’re hiring an intern, go with someone you see a lot of potential in, someone you could see yourself hiring as a full-time partner after some development. If you’re partnering with another flipper, choose someone you know you can trust to get the job done and go after great deals. As far as assistants go, only go with someone you feel comfortable putting to work, not someone who’ll have you muttering, “If you want something done right…”
Remember, Perfect Is the Enemy of Good
You’re not perfect, and your employees aren’t, either. If you expect them to do everything perfectly the first time, you’re going to spend a lot of time feeling disappointed and frustrated. If you look for them to do a good job instead of a perfect one, you can work together on weaknesses and build a stronger base for your business.
Check on Progress Periodically—Don’t Micromanage!
You’re going to get to the point where your employees are taking on more responsibility on longer-term projects, and that’s great. As you do, make sure you check in on them periodically to see how they’re progressing, what they plan to do to keep moving forward and stay on schedule, and if they need any help along the way. Whatever you do, though, don’t “check in” every hour on the hour. You need to give your employees some freedom if you want them to succeed.
Only Delegate Tasks You Trust Your Employees to Do
Finally, if you feel like you’re setting yourself or one of your employees up for failure by giving them a task, don’t do it. Take a minute to sit back and think about why you don’t think they’ll do the job well and, instead of giving it to them anyway and then micromanaging them, take the steps you need to get to the point where you can trust them to get it done. That could be working on your own ability to let go, or it could be choosing an employee who’s a better match for the job. It could even mean teaming people up to tackle something together.