Over the years of working in the single family property management industry, I have learned many things. But one of the most important lessons I have learned is this: There are people who do every aspect of working in the business better than I do. Through membership in NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) I have come to know these people. I have also been fortunate to have employed a full staff of people who are talented and knowledgeable. I acknowledge and respect that the company’s staff is better at certain aspects of the business than I. Working here feels like our company more than my company. I believe staff would agree.
I do not mean the statements in the above paragraph to be self-depreciating. I put a lot of time and effort into building the company before it became a successful and going concern. There were many 18 and 20 hour days worked, and for the most part, I worked 12 and 14 hour days, 6 and 7 days a week, routinely, over the years. Had it not been for the people I met in NARPM and other associations, who knew how to do everything better than I, the success of my company would have been left to trial and error and at much cost, probably too much cost to have ultimately found any real success.
To run my business by committee meant going to association meetings and asking questions, listening to the answers and applying the best of the knowledge to my business. The people in the industry associations became my committee members. They became and are as close, and as trustworthy as family.
Now, by proof of what I learned and applied through association, I have a successful business that is run entirely by committee. The company staff is trained by the committee association ideal and together makes decisions about our company. The committee meets weekly to discuss and make decisions about the business. We continue to grow and profit margins are better than ever. When the committee began meeting a little over two years ago, focus was given to expenses. By the end of the first year of running by committee and focusing on cutting expenses and promoting efficiency, profits were increased by 121%.
The primary element that causes the accomplishment of my business to run successfully by committee is my core belief that “I’d take less money out of the business for myself, to maintain the benefit of hiring quality people who can do the work better than I can”.
Training the people who work with me was simply done by asking them to attend training classes through associations, requiring them to get licenses and inciting passion by including them in every aspect of the business, including every email I send to cool down upset tenants and owners, and also including them with the emails sent when communicating for the purpose of garnering new business. Today, I am copied in on every email going out and every email coming in. As I read, the staff sounds like me taking care of business the way I like it done.
Running by committee is working for me. The time freed by not having to work in the day-to-day operations of Efurd Properties allows me to do other things.
Remember the following:
1. Pay well for quality people who do it better than you.
2. Create a committee of employees to make decisions for your business.
Until next time,