Building A Championship Real Estate Team
Yesterday, I watched two amazing victories, which underscored the value of having a great team. In a rematch of last year’s college football national championship game, the Clemson Tigers came back from behind in the 4th quarter to defeat the #1 ranked, reigning champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Led by junior quarterback DeShaun Watson, the Tigers overcame a sloppy start and a 14-point deficit to pull off an amazing upset, winning the game on a touchdown pass with only one second remaining in the game. But Watson didn’t do it alone, his receivers made big play after big play and the defense stumped Alabama’s passing game. The second victory featured my friend, coach and advisor hitting a spectacular milestone - $100,000,000 in real estate. Yes, that’s $100 million. Unfortunately, his feat was not televised, so I have no contextual play-by-play to illustrate the victory, but I do wonder if he did a full split, like one of the Clemson defensive linemen. As both accomplishments unfolded, I was inspired by the character, perseverance, patience and drive it took to reach these goals. It also got me thinking about what separates the good teams from the champions, especially as it relates to real estate.
With that said, here are four keys to building your championship real estate team 1. Be An Outstanding Leader Last year, star quarterback DeShaun Watson won the Heisman Trophy, but lost the championship game. He deferred an opportunity to jump to the NFL for a chance to avenge that loss and try to win a national championship. Down 14 to the juggernaut that is Alabama, many probably doubted their ability to still win the game, but Watson remained poised and kept the team confident as he led them to victory.
In real estate, you are the captain and quarterback directing the team on most aspects of a deal. You need to be an outstanding leader that inspires others to follow you. Sure, an agent will happily take your commission, but when they have a smoking hot off-market deal, will they call you first? Remember that these are people with families so take the time to actually get to know them beyond the business at hand. If all goes well, send them referrals, leave a positive review, and thank them. Above all, do what you say you will do, be honest and respect their time. Whether it’s winning a national championship or acquiring a rental property, leadership is about motivating and inspiring a team towards a common goal. 2. Recruit Playmakers, Not Just Players Championship teams don’t just have good players – they have playmakers. These are the people who can make something happen when others can’t. Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams made remarkable catches over defenders that most receivers couldn’t make. Likewise, you need playmakers on your real estate team. For instance, in his first attempt, a novice capital raiser helped my coach raise $1 million in two weeks for a syndication deal. Now that’s a playmaker! Being a playmaker isn’t just about doing your job, it’s about going above and beyond. My property manager helped me get better financing when the CEO of the bank I was using said no bank would give me a better deal. Playmakers make plays even when it’s not their responsibility. 3. Prepare Them for Anything Having a sound game plan is as essential for real estate as it is for sports. However, the reality is every team has a game plan. What separates champions from the rest is the clear communication of that plan and the anticipation of things that could go wrong. For Clemson, the coaching staff spent hours preparing the team to audible to specific plays when they saw certain looks from the Alabama defense. The same level of preparation and anticipation is needed with real estate. Have your team prepared to discuss the things that could go wrong like an unexpected vacancy or a shift in market demand. Talk to them about what they’re looking for during inspections and showings. The team should understand your strategy and be positioned to execute even if they need to audible, but this can only happen if they clearly understand your vision and expectations. While it’s impossible to run through every possible scenario, a deep level of preparedness helps when the unexpected occurs.
4. Bring in Great Coaches While leadership, talent and preparation are three critical elements to building a championship team, the last piece is great coaching. Clearly, Clemson (and Alabama for that matter) has a great coach to help lead the team to a championship. However, many real estate investors try to go at it alone and seek help only when they have questions. This approach limits most investors from reaching that championship level. The successful people I know have people in their lives who keep them focused, motivated and aid their growth. Whether those are formal professional coaches, mentors, consultants or just subject matter experts, it’s important to have someone to look up to when others look to you. As I looked to scale my real estate business, I decided a coach could help me sharpen some skills and elevate my game. Specifically, I wanted someone who had success acquiring and managing large apartment communities for any and every question that might arise on the journey. A great quarterback has a throwing coach, QB coach, strength trainer, offensive coordinator and head coach to help position him for success. While, I’m not advocating going out and getting a bunch of gurus to help you with your real estate, I am suggesting you consider what’s holding you back from being more successful and aligning yourself with the people that can take you to the next level. Just like Clemson winning the national championship, my coach hitting $100 million in real estate is a testament to his hard work, knowledge and ability to build a championship team. As you look at your business and goals be sure to surround yourself with the right people then lead and prepare them for success.