Sentences I sometimes hear:
"It takes courage to do real estate in the US when it's so far away, I dare not think about it because I'm not there"
"What I can not see and monitor, I do not invest"
"How do I know everything's going well there?"
And more priest and priestess in this style…
My immediate answer is that it all starts and ends with management. When I ran Sonny, I did not exactly sit all day next to each of the 300 employees of the company, and check what they were doing. In the end, every manager should develop for himself a tool of supervision and control through which he can manage an unlimited amount of people, regardless of their whereabouts. What does it matter if the employee is in another city compared to another country or another continent?
True, technically, our team members in the US are not really company employees, but I treat them as such. It means they have tasks and I keep track of the tasks, those who do a good job get reinforcements (not just money), and those who do a bad job are replaced. We have a long-term relationship, each of which needs to connect to our business vision, and want to be there for the long term.Types of the "Zebang and we're done" type do not stay.
What is meant by?
In every company I ran, I built a small management team, something like 4-5 people, and they were the "kitchenette". Those who knew everything. Each came with his own area of expertise (sales, finance, operations, etc.), and was a partner, each in his own field, to all a decision. In every deliberation I used to gather them, present the problem, and hear their opinion. I did not always follow their advice, but no doubt what I heard from them guided me and helped me make an optimal decision.
What did it give?
Lee - a broad picture that allowed me to make more accurate decisions. For them - a sense of partnership, organizational belonging and tremendous motivation to make the business successful. Win-Win Situation.
In Ohio, we have a small management team that includes a mediator and inspector. Both with me from day one. I met them by chance, the chemistry worked, and like any employee who survived with me in previous incarnations, they connected to vision and goals. From day one I felt it was important for them to see the business succeed, because it meant that in the long run, they too would succeed. Absolute identity of interests. True, it took me and them a while to reach a level of openness where everyone says what they think. It is not always popular to have your say, and in addition there are cultural gaps and it takes time to build a coaching relationship. But there were a few things that helped it happen.
The main and important thing to me is my presence there. I make sure to come at least once every two months. On the first day of the visit we are going to see all the properties. In each property, the operating contractor meets us, and together we discuss renovation, plans, and of course the most effective problems and solutions. Everyone voices their professional opinion, and progress. We end this long day at a restaurant I order for the three of us, and there over a good meal, we are updated on developments, goals and objectives for the near future. Today as a company, we will not enter into a transaction that my inspector will warn against due to a structural problem, nor will we enter into a transaction that the broker will think will be difficult to support the planned sale price.
Quite at first I also added to the ranks a small, family-owned Teitel company, which keeps us from other kinds of problems. The owner of the company and I have connected personally, and I also usually meet with her every time I come to town, for lunch or dinner. One of the things this essay solves is for example a notarized signature. The holder of the title of notary is certified online, and saves me in any sale transaction or loan, which requires a physical notarized signature. For those who do not know, the substitute is the notary at the US Embassy or an apostille (about $ 50 per signature, time, FedEx).
And how is it possible without saying a word about the contractors?
I probably had my share of crappy contractors…. There were 3 more and you will hear about them this week. Everyone had their own particular problem, but the bottom line with none of it worked. Today we have 4 teams, and if I have to define what I think makes a contractor one that is considered successful, these are the following main things:
- Quality - Better an excellent and expensive contractor than "Hafar" that no one wants to live in the houses he renovated and the municipality thinks it is the worst thing since the Civil War.
- Competition - Even if you have the most cannon contractor in the world, he should know that there are a thousand more like him, and everyone is busy.
Supervision - Big Brother. Someone independent who always samples every step of the renovation work and through whom the path to the next payment passes. For us, it's the inspector.
There is no substitute for humanity, as one bank said, and the wall is built together, on every visit, with many meetings, many conversations, and as you have already understood between the lines, much food (I.e.🍔
In the pictures some really great renovations and my picture follows, not related at all, flying on a turtle… ????