… and banish overwhelm forever!
It’s almost an inevitable part of everyone’s journey as a property entrepreneur that they will, at some point, succumb to overwhelm. It happened to us when we reached ten Rent 2 Rent properties and we fell victim to a severe case of what is professionally known as ‘headless-chicken syndrome!’
What was once fun became a drain, a constant distraction and prevented us from us focusing on growing our Rent 2 Rent business. What was the big distraction? Tenants! Love them or hate them, there is no escaping them, and though we would never admit to hating our tenants (or customers as we prefer to call them), we decided it was time to hand this section of the business over to someone else, so we could focus our time and energy on actually growing the property business.
We didn’t want to hand the properties over to a High Street agent – and for a number of reasons. Firstly, they would want to charge us a large chunk of the monthly profit; second, they would keep any admin fees paid by the tenants; and thirdly, we felt they wouldn’t ‘really’ care if the rooms were filled or not, after all, they would get paid either way. Added to this, we know from our experience in dealing with agents in Bristol, that very few are actually up to speed with the Multi-Let market and legalities.
But we had a plan! We decided it would be far better if we could integrate a property manager into the team, someone who would work and grow with us as the Rent to Rent business expanded. But at the same time we didn’t really want the financial commitment of employing staff or setting up an office just yet, as it didn’t really fit with our ‘mobile lifestyle business’ philosophy. But we had to find a way.
TAKING THE LEAP
There are lots of things to consider when choosing a new team member; will they share your work ethic, will they be self-motivated, will they put YOUR business first, will they be honest and trustworthy, will you get on with them, will your customers like them, will they be loyal, do you sign a contract, if so which one, what about employment legalities… the list goes on and on. But if you want to grow the business, at some point you have to take the leap… and so leap we did!
HOW IS IT FREE?
The first thing we did was to raise the admin fee we charged new tenants from £50 to £150. We had previously kept the admin fee low because… we wanted our customers to like us… which may not have been one of our finer business decisions!
We really stressed about raising the admin fee, but we needn’t have worried as not one person complained, in fact we were still £50 cheaper that most High Street agents. What this meant was that we now had enough recurring fees landing in our bank each and every month, to be able to pay the new property manager, or at least go a long way towards paying him/her. The next thing Emily and I did was to take the Talent Dynamics profiling test (www.tdprofiletest.com – cost circa £70) to find out exactly where our strengths and weaknesses lay, and what was missing from our business. This was an eye-opener for us and also gave us a clear indicator as to exactly who we were looking for. If you are running any kind of business, we strongly recommend you take this test.
THE HAND OF FATE
We initially posted an advert in the job centre, but this didn’t bring forth any decent candidates (one lady appeared to be promising until she declared she didn’t enjoy meeting strangers!). Next we tried www.reed.co.uk and got 41 applicants, which we quickly whittled down to eight. The day before the interviews one applicant pulled out, so we contacted our number nine choice, and he was the first person we interviewed. As it turned out he was also the person who got the job, and has been an ideal fit for our business for the last three years; which can only lead us to believe that fate does indeed move in mysterious ways.
STICK TO THE PLAN
When we employed a property manager it was at first difficult; after all, this was our baby that we had grown from nothing more than an idea. Fast forward three years and I (Francis) can’t think of anything worse than showing rooms, in fact I have had no idea who is living in any of our rooms (except John who has been with us forever). We have since promoted our property manager to business manager and employed another property manager – Kate. All the time keeping it tight, ignoring the doubters and sticking to the plan.
THE MLCS COMMUNITY
You may know that we have a (somewhat brilliant) Rent 2 Rent lifetime support community for everyone who has completed the MLCS flagship training. When we employed our property manager, Will, we were inundated with requests to spell out exactly how we did it and instead of repeating it over and over, we created the second in the series of MLCS mini-manuals. Many people have used the same formula with great success and when we ask for feedback, they say ‘change nothing… it’s perfect’.
THE EYPM MANUAL
The manual details EVERYTHING we did [twice] to find the perfect property manager, from where to advertise, the advert wording, candidate selection process, the ideal interview venue, how we conducted the interview, crucial employment criteria, the hiring process, job roles, in-house training days, the pay structure, holidays allowances, safeguarding against poaching, HMRC considerations, and much more. We also spell out in detail how we structured Will’s employment so that it didn’t cost us anything in hard cash, and in actual fact he earns us more money! How so? Well, the obvious one is that we have more time to find deals but the big one really is what we call the circle of abundance. If you have our first mini-manual ‘Endless Tenants’, you will know that we never get voids; this makes us much more money, frees up our headspace and allows us to grow a sharp focused business at a controlled rate whilst at the same time creating a LIFESTYLE (we are big on Lifestyle!)
We also asked Will to document ‘A day in the life of a property manager’. The manual also contains a link to a top secret
page on the MLCS website, where you will find the part-time employment contract we used, a full-time employment contract, our property manager manual template, self-employed heads of terms, HMRC’s first time employer guidelines and other valuable documents, so that you don’t need to spend months searching for them and amending them to suit the business.
THE GAME CHANGER
Employing a property manager was a complete game changer for us and will be for you as well. It’s the logical next step in any property investors journey, and indeed an essential part of your entrepreneurial journey if you want to free up time, grow your business and become financially free.
We waited FAR too long to do this… don’t make the same mistake 😉
FIVE STEPS TO (PROPERTY) HEAVEN
- Manager Profile: Consider whether this person will fit in with your style of working. Do you share the same ethics, mindset and long term goals? Start with a three month trial period but also a three day trial period (don’t tell them about this one!)
- The Hiring Process: Ensure that you craft your ad to attract the right candidate and make sure you advertise in the correct marketplace. We learnt the hard way that if you look in the wrong place, you’ll end up with the wrong person.
- The Interview: Where will you conduct the interview? How many candidates? What questions will you ask them? What about profiling and scenario questions to really test them?
- Finer Details: How many hours will you employ them for? Will you sign a contract, and if so, which one? How much will you pay them? What legalities do you need to watch out for? Full-time, part-time, HMRC?
- The Hand-Over Period: What responsibilities of your Rent 2 Rent business (your baby) will you hand over to your new employee first, and over what time-scale? It’s important that you introduce them to each section of the business in controlled stages. What about the financial side of your business?
Employing Your Property Manager… for free,
is the second in the MLCS Mini-Manual series. It is your simple step by step guide to find, interview, employ and hand the operation over to your property manager. As an entrepreneur, you need to be at least ‘thinking’ about employing a property manager from day one!
You really don’t need to struggle, you can avoid the overwhelm and explode your business right now by bringing a property manager on board from day one at little or no cost to you!
To get your copy of EYPM, go to www.multiletcashflowsystem.com and click on the ‘store’ tab. It’ll be a game-changer.
To access your copy of EYPM just click here