What will it take to be successful in real estate during 2007?
Here are 5 keys for success from some of today’s brightest entrepreneurs that can shoot your real estate investing into stratosphere.
1.” Lay a solid foundation to support future growth” says Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks.
We’ve just come out of an exciting thrilling market. Now it’s time to really get down to business. Create your master plan of exactly what you want to do with your real estate. Do you want to keep some, or all, of your properties? Do you want to have periods of selling to pay off other properties free and clear?
Are you still experimenting to find what works the best for you? That may be wholesaling, rehabbing, or landlording. Maybe you don’t want any tenants, ever. Whatever you decide, lay a strong foundation that you can build a fortune upon.
Starbucks did that by motivating the best people to become their employees. Results: customer loyalty. You actually find yourself looking up a Starbucks whether you’re hungry in Canterbury, England or lonely in Nashville. You know you will be treated well as a customer. I’ve always thought people are not frequenting those stores just for the expensive coffee.
Go out and find the absolute best people to work with you. Don’t deal with anybody who cheats, does sloppy work, steals, doesn’t fulfill promises, or scares your tenants. Get a team together that can function superbly and provide quality. Whether it’s something as simple as getting a toilet fixed, or as complicated as doing a complete rehab, get it done right. Then you can go on to the next money-making step.
2. Keep it simple- Sergey Brin, Co-Founder, and Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google
Ever noticed Google’s homepage? There is nothing complicated about it, yet it’s the Number Uno, all-time top search engine. It’s easy to use. Let me repeat that. You don’t have to be very smart to figure it out. This surfer certainly likes that.
I’m reminded of a very successful local developer in Nashville who specializes in residential properties. You instantly know one of his houses even if you’re whizzing by twenty miles over the speed limit. He has a simple house plan, easy concept. He didn’t go out and reinvent the wheel. He didn’t get fancy. What he does works. And it’s been working for decades.
Once you find your “sweet spot”, cookie cut it out over and over, raking in the profits as you go.
3. Work complaints to your advantage – Edgar Bronfman Jr, CEO ,Warner Music Group
This is the big one for landlords. Sick of complaints? Are you freezing out the whiners, or trying to?
There’s a better way. Find out what is really going on. Get to the heart of the problem fast. Tell your tenants you want to work with them and you want them to work with you. Build a good relationship. If this can be a crowning success for a major company like Warner think what kinds of results you can get with a few of your fussiest.
Bronfman’s secret is the discussions called “roundtables” where all he has to do is listen. Not only does Bronfman now have waiting lists of employees who want to join his talk-a-thons, but he says he gets some of his best ideas from these sessions.
What can be the results for a landlord? Less turnaround. Faster signings. If you can address a problem like inadequate lighting quickly not only will your current tenants stay longer but new prospects will feel safer also.
4. Treat people Well- Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and CEO, Xerox
“Take good care of the people who take good care of you.” That quote came from the late Queen Mother, or one of the Royals. People who really practice that concept get the loyalty that spurls them to the top.
Xerox has customers, suppliers, employees and all have to be taken into consideration. How those folks are treated can sometimes make or break deadlines and even the bottom line.
Whether you’re a long term investor or you specialize in wholesaling, flipping, or quick turn-arounds, you can make a fortune if you keep the people behind you well positioned. For example, pay your maintenance people on time, even a little ahead of time. Don’t complain to the A/C man if he’s a little late getting to a job. Build loyalty. Take the time to get to know everyone, including the new immigrants who may be having difficulty speaking English.
Meet their needs and they’ll certainly take care of yours. And there will be times when you will need extra help. Build your bank vault of good intentions ahead of time before a crisis hits.
5. Transform Your Biggest Weakness into Your Most Remarkable Strength – Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix
Okay, at first the Netflix concept was a little hard for me to swallow. You order movies, you have to wait a day or so to get them. But Netflix has another concept that millions of people are eating up. No late fees and you can keep the movies as long as you like. And they’re cheap.
We’ve all had real estate at one time or another that wasn’t working for one reason or another. It may be a hard-to-rent duplex, for example. You’ve tried everything. It just sits empty.
Give that property a new unique selling position. It could be something as simple as adding a washer and dryer(which usually gets most people’s attention fast). Hone in on the features that make the property work, whether than concentrating on those things that seem to drag it down. Like Netflix, you’ve got to give it a feature that everyone wants and that will put you over the top.
The last and best piece of advice? …
“We deal with solutions not problems,” says Donald Trump.
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