Growing the business beyond one person presents some challenges. When I asked around to some of my friends who own businesses, most of them gave me this wistful look in their eye as if to say "I remember when we were in that phase of development."
Real Estate has many facets and being an expert in all areas is tricky, and sometimes not smart. Being the expert in sales, bookkeeping, management, interior design, legal matters, human resources, construction, valuation, negotiation, writing advertising copy, photography, web development, and graphic design, gets to be overwhelming.
Other Realtors have asked me why I don't join another agency like Re//max or Coldwell Banker, where the office support is already provided? I tried before and didn't feel like I had the freedom I wanted and needed. The promised benefits always seemed over-priced. I figure I can allow agents to keep more money by keeping costs as low as possible, and working as a team.
The trick to expanding and hiring is that people need to be paid, and the business has to have steady income to it people on consistent hourly wages.
So when the phone started ringing and I couldn't answer, I started trying to figure out solutions. The idea came to me to build a team. I know a good interior designer, an honest contractor, a professional photographer, and a flexible CPA who can do books. I know expert people who want to have part time work and the flexibility to work from home. I contacted them and scheduled a meeting to talk about my team concept and how we might be able to work together.
As the meeting approached I felt nervous but excited. Almost everyone showed up and I presented the concept. We brainstormed some ideas and went our separate ways. I took their ideas and incorporated them into the plan and initiated the first steps. The team are not full time employees but we come together for each project and each is an expert at their portion of the process. It's a super solution that allows me to offer a service that stands above the competition while keeping costs at bay. I have even outsourced much of the important answering service.
I still have to wear multiple hats in the business but am wearing less and performing better. Michael Gerber's E-Myth is an excellent reference about growing business. It's conceptually easy to grasp but creating the company tasks and assigning them to positions requires some serious creativity and imagination, when working with variable income streams. An idea may strike suddenly as inspiration and take lots of time to implement. Doing it requires vision and faith; acting as if it already works.