Warning: This post can be construed as whining. If I had’t promised to be as honest as possible about our journey, I wouldn’t post it. It sounds like whining to me, and I don’t like whining. Feel free to skip it. But if you want to know what it’s really like to run a small real estate redevelopment company, I guess I’m writing this for you.
When you’re getting started—and possibly even after you’ve been doing redevelopment work for awhile—you don’t have a huge staff to rely on. Some of the many tasks required to keep a company like this one working include but are not limited to the following (presented in no particular order):
I believe in job creation, but I also believe in profits. So there are only four of us working on this enterprise, and we each have unique roles and skills. To oversimplify: Russell works on finding deals and keeping the back-end systems running. Carol is our real estate guru; she keeps all of our preliminary numbers realistic, is our numero uno marketeer, and manages projects. Sue Ann is our social media expert, editor in chief, and networker. That leaves most of the boring business stuff to me. I love what I do, but…whine!
We do have assistants—virtual and otherwise—who handle most of our secretarial work: printing, copying, and mailing marketing materials. But the other listed tasks (and many, many more) fall to one of the four principle investors.
What set off this whine-arama is that I spent almost my whole day for the last two days chasing down random bits of paperwork for lenders and title companies involved in two of our current projects. In a perfect life, this would have been work I delegated to a file clerk. Unfortunately, I am the file clerk (technician level, in Kiyosaki’s quadrants).
Now you learn in investor school to prepare for this by keeping the most commonly needed documents in a folder on your desktop. This I do. However, each transaction we do adds to that list of documents. My “Commonly Needed” folder now runs just over 8MB, compressed. I’m waiting for some bank or title company technician to balk at looking though it and ask, “Why don’t you just send me the documents I need?” But so far, they always find just one more document to request.
My advice: Keep smiling and telling yourself it’s all a brilliant learning exercise that you’ll get through and eventually have it all down and a staff to delegate it to. That or learn to “play the guitar on MTV.”