Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Investing in any business can be a very lucrative deal, but it does require a lot of hard work and attention in many aspects. With the world being turned down its head due to Covid-19, we all have to change and adjust to a new normal in almost every single industry.
As an example, finding reliable workers has always been a bit of a challenge. You need to be aware of what you want, put applicants through a thorough screening process and possibly put the accomplishment of your business goals at risk when you give someone a chance. With so many workers in commercial areas now working remotely, a hands-on business like real estate is bound to see a recoil.
Whether you’re looking for full-time technicians for the maintenance of your apartment complex or part-time contractors to help get a decent return from investing in mobile homes, the struggle is a real process.
Are you confused about how to find good help in real estate? Here are just some of the lessons I’ve learned from my experience:
1. Figure out your people skills
When you are an entrepreneur in any sector, it is essential to read up on sales, psychology and people skills relevant to your line of work. When you’re hiring help for real-estate businesses, this step becomes even more important.
Most of the decisions one makes with real estate will have some emotion attached to them. As an entrepreneur and property owner, you need to have what it takes to handle such emotions and assess candidates accordingly.
Handling real estate means that you have a business that’s focused on people. It’s not just a bunch of employees following a humdrum routine at the office. There might be emotional roller coasters, high-stress situations and the need to be firm yet soft at the same time.
2. Look for certain qualifications
At the end of the day, hiring workers for your real-estate business means that you’re delegating certain tasks and transferring some power (temporarily) onto another person.
These are major steps. So, you have to make sure that the individual or group is qualified and able to take on the responsibility.
Along with providing some peace of mind, qualified workers also give you a reliable perspective of any issue that might crop up. They’ll also be instrumental in supporting your goals in business even if you’re not physically on the property.
If you’re one of the real-estate entrepreneurs who have built themselves up from the ground up, delegating most tasks will be a fairly difficult step. However, making sure of a worker’s qualifications is a good first step to placing trust in your staff.
Surrendering a bit of that heavy responsibility will eventually get you and the business a slew of benefits, starting with more time to reinvest and make the operation larger.
3. Make sure of the agreement or contract
Whether you’re hiring a property manager or technician, make sure to outline a detailed business relationship between both parties. The contract should dictate the responsibilities and tasks of the person you’re hiring. So, make sure to read and reread before signing.
Get all the required amendments completed first, and only then put your name on the paper. Here are a few factors to look at when hiring a property manager:
Expected services and fees
The usual services for a property manager include dealing with the requests and requirements of tenants, home maintenance, filling vacancies, marketing, handling moves, collecting rent, evictions and operational duties on a daily basis.
Make sure all the fees for the services as well as the approval process for additional expenses are outlined in a clear, transparent manner. There might also be a set limit for expenses as well as a process for doing repairs.
Responsibilities of the owner
The contract should state what your role is as the owner of the property. There are naturally some tasks that one might not want to cover or that you feel will be better off under the property manager’s eye.
Expected duration before renewal
The tenure of the agreement should have a proper start date and end date. The most common duration for such contracts is usually one year.
The agreement also needs to have a section covering the breach of any rules and what to do about those breaches. Any termination fees, timelines and other rules also have to be clear.
4. Consider hiring outside contractors
Some real-estate investors might get stuck in the rut of hiring full-time, salary-based maintenance technicians. With the pandemic still going on, however, this is the perfect time to think about making a change and getting more flexible.
Instead of adding an extra major expense to your budget and possibly not getting much return for it (in case you get an unreliable worker), think about going for outside contractors. Such workers are usually paid by the hour or by the job.
Outside contractors might cost a bit more, but the effort will probably pay for itself in the long run. Along with this benefit, they’re also known to be more reliable and more likely to pay attention to detail.
In case any of these contractors seems like a good option for future retention, you may also want to hire them full-time. Initially, hiring part-time or one-off contractors will allow you to observe their work ethic and the quality of their results. That’s not all, though: By working together, you can also determine whether the potential employee will be a good fit with you, the rest of your staff and the demands of your real estate.
5. Get referrals from contacts in the industry
If you’re on the search for a solid individual or team, ask your connections in the real-estate industry. Contractors and other workers usually build up a reputation with other entrepreneurs.
There might also be real-estate investment clubs in the area, which might have directories of contractors who come highly recommended.
Check out track records and see if potential candidates have a history of completing projects within the given time or not.
You may also get the opportunity to see a finished result of the skills you’re looking for. So, check out other properties that they have previously worked on.
Most real-estate business owners have wrestled with the question of when and how to hire employees. In the very beginning, a real-estate entrepreneur might have to conduct every single task to get their business off the ground. After some time, the returns will hopefully be high enough to start making a profit for yourself and even pay the salary or wage of an employee.
However, hiring a reliable employee can be quite beneficial for a real-estate business owner. They get some help in working on lucrative projects and also have someone to share the burden. With more success this way, you get more work to do. Make sure you know your boundaries and priorities while looking for good help within your real-estate business.
Related: You are Your Best Real-Estate Asset