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Anthony: At what point do you hire people, at what point do you take advantage of outside services and leverage things to free up your time? I get that question a lot and the answers can vary, but let me talk to you about for a couple minutes. If you find yourself in a position that you never have time to be with your kids, never can seem to get home at night for dinner no matter how much you organize or plan your day, that’s the time to start looking.
Now, if this happens intermittently, couple of times throughout the year, if you’re in the mortgage business and it happened this Summer because there was a refi boom at the same time as it being a busy buyer market, maybe that’s a little different. But if you’re in the real estate business if you’re a realtor and it happens to you March and April, but no other time of the year, then you’re probably fine.
If it’s happening to you constantly and you’re never having enough time for your family, never having enough time- you’re always feeling behind, you can’t go to the gym, you can’t work out, you can’t do all these things, you’ve got to do something. You have to make a change and you need to accept the fact that in the initial period of hiring someone, you will make less. I’ve gotten that question a lot.
Back when you started hiring people how did you afford it and make the same money? I said, “No, actually I made less at first, but then I made more, but I always made less initially.” I hear a lot of people, I leverage my business correctly, you should pay less. If you follow the one on one playbook, you’ll be just fine. No, no, no, it’s a bunch of crap. When you start hiring, you start buying computers, you start buying desks, there’s an initial period of financial setback. Even to this day in our business, we open an office, we don’t make money for at least a year.
Sometimes people hear that and they’re like, no way, really? You don’t just make money all the time? No, that’s not how real business works. If your life is being affected in that way, think about that. I’ll tell you some of the ways that we started. Back in ’07, I had a friend of my dad’s who was working 3:00 to 11:00 every night at a hospital and he was looking for more work. I said, “Hey, do you want to take pictures of properties for me? Hang signs, hang lockboxes, measure bedrooms, all that sort of thing?” He said, “Yes.” It literally started out with one to two a week and then it turned into four or five then it turned into seven to 10. We got to that point we said, we’re getting close to needing to hire our own person.
In the initial phase, I had to go out with him, I had to show him, I had to get him set up and then as time went on, he knew how to do it. I didn’t go to any of the appointments and then we flipped to a full-time person and then I had to train that person. Now we have several full-time people doing that and we just build it one at a time. Another thing that you have to think about when you do this, I’m resting my arm now is don’t set something up and then when the slow season comes go, “I’ll just do it myself because I can save $200, I can save $83 I can save–” Guys, stop stop.
When you set something up, set it and forget it and leave it. Don’t nickel and dime, don’t during slow seasons say, “No, I’m not going to advantage of assistants because I can save myself 200 bucks.” When you do that, you’re not keeping your train on the tracks, you’re not keeping things on the same pattern and then when you get away from that, that’s how your business gets into disarray. What happens is, Spring comes, you get busy again and you’re not able to keep up, and then you’re like, “Wait, how did I have that system?” You try to put it back together, the person you hired found another job. They found something else to do.
Guys, in slow season, you make less money, that’s life. That’s the way it goes. You want to build a business, you got to do it. You got to take these steps, you got to eat some money sometimes to get to that next level. I hope that at least gives you guys a taste of hiring and when it’s appropriate to hire, you should have time with your family and I didn’t stage this on purpose, although it seems that way. I’m at the park with my kids right now they’re somewhere. This is known in the Lamacchia family as the purple park in Newton, it’s quite a park. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you guys about that, I hope that helps and let me know if you have questions, post them below. I can elaborate on this topic.