I’ve done more than a thousand interviews with experts in the real estate industry and had the unique advantage of coming across individuals who have made phenomenal strides in the business and skyrocketed to success in very short periods of time. Have you ever wondered about the road map that they followed to get to their peak? Or whether there is a blueprint that will get you to the top?
This question takes me back to my conversation with Master Platinum Coach Trevor McGregor. Trevor has completed 30,000 coaching sessions, regularly leads mastermind groups, and mentors business owners, Fortune 500 executives, and real estate investors to success. This allows him the exclusive first-hand perspective into their journeys to reach their goals. He says, “Success leaves clues” and so, he started to take notes and connect the dots to find out why some people couldn’t scale, while others went from owning single-family homes to a billion-dollar real estate portfolio. What allows an individual to go from the bottom to the peak? Trevor summarized what he found into five key takeaways that help individuals scale the heights to their goals. I’d like to share them with you here and if you’d like to listen to the full conversation with Trevor, click here.
Here are the five keys that will help you scale your business.
#1 Have a positive mindset: “If you think you can, you can!”
Trevor cites the power of positive thinking and optimism as the number one key to succeeding in work and life. Successful entrepreneurs approach their business and life goals with nothing less than a “can-do” attitude. A positive mindset avoids negative thoughts and self-criticism and leaves yourself open to more energy and enthusiasm to work and achieve. A positive attitude also helps in problem-solving, in building resilience, and in making decisions that have a positive impact. It’s also inevitable that with the power of positive thinking, you will attract others with the same mindset and you will encourage one another to reach your goals.
“We spend a lot of time on limiting beliefs. If you think you can’t, you won’t. And if you think you can, you can! People who get real with who they are, what they want, why they want it, are the ones who have a very strong mind in staying on course no matter what obstacles or roadblocks come in their way,” says Trevor.
His advice to real estate investors? Go out there and look for deals, raise capital, find more investors, and meet with property managers but don’t let a bad deal or any setback throw you out of the game. “I’ve never seen a successful business owner who constantly went up and up. There will always be speed bumps. But it’s the way that you’re seeing, feeling, and reacting to these setbacks that will make the difference between rising above or getting crushed by those roadblocks,” emphasizes Trevor.
“Stand guard at the door of your mind. That’s the first step in owning your opportunity to scale your business.”
#2 Create a roadmap: “How to get to my big goal?”
You already know what your big goal or your vision is, right? You already know how big of a portfolio you want to build or how many apartment doors you want to own. Now, how do you plan to reach your goal? Trevor suggests creating a roadmap to get there.
“Don’t be out there winging it. Let’s reverse engineer. Start with your goal and then work backward. List down the steps that will get you from where you are until you reach your goal,” advises Trevor. When you have a roadmap, a recipe, or a blueprint, you will have direction and focus. The step-by-step process will become clearer, and the tasks will be done with more certainty. Knowing what needs to happen and what specific actions you need to take will give you confidence that you can get to the finish line.
Trevor further recommends breaking your big goal into short-term goals that will not look too lofty and will seem less daunting to you. “Short-term goals are what we deem to be one year or less. Set what you want to achieve in one year then chunk those into 30-day goals, 60-day goals, 90-day goals, six-month goals.” Your BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) may, at times, become so intimidating or overwhelming for you that it paralyzes you into over-thinking and inaction. Having short-term goals will push you into motion by giving youa set course of action. With these short-term goals, you can also set the action or event that will mark a significant advancement to your goal. When you reach this milestone, celebrate it and give yourself a pat on the back. That’s a big morale booster and confidence builder as you stride toward that big goal.
#3. Make things happen: “Take action every day”
You have your goal and your roadmap, now what? Take action. Everyday. Your goals will never materialize if you don’t take action. All your dreams and plans will be useless if you don’t take constant and consistent action. And you are required to put in the work.
“Most people aren’t taking massive action every day. If you’re not out driving neighborhoods, if you’re not out there talking to brokers, if you’re not out there talking to investors, talking to property managers, sending direct mail, or whatever you do to get leads, you’re fooling yourself. That’s real estate by hope. I’m not a guy that allows people to just hope that deals show up,” tells Trevor.
He also emphasizes the importance of frequency and consistency in working the plan. Going to meetups, attending conferences, or reading a great book will not be enough if you are not frequently and consistently doing the action. “How often do you go to meetups? Is it more frequent than what the average person does? Are you cultivating deeper relationships with brokers so that they bring you the deals instead of to someone else?”
The small consistent actions you take every single day are what will keep you on target toward achieving your goals. Remember, without regular and decisive action, your goals are simply wishes and dreams.
#4 Skills and Systems
Now that you have your goal set, your roadmap to guide you, and your eagerness to take action drives you, it’s crucial that you learn skills and build systems that will help you execute your plan and achieve your goals. The number four key has three components: time management, systems, and communication.
4.1 Time management
Effective time management is a valuable skill that you need to develop if you want to achieve success in your business and in your personal life. Failure to use your time wisely may lead to some progress in business but failure in some aspects of your personal life which is really the same as coming to nothing. But you can achieve your business goals and thrive in your personal life if you practice effective time management skills in your daily life.
“I can tell the quality of an investor’s life by where they spend their time. Optimize and maximize the high-impact, high-income opportunities. Practice the four Ds of time management by identifying activities that you should Do, Delay, Delegate, or Dump. With the four Ds, you start to get clear on what you should and shouldn’t be doing and what you can outsource to other people,” explains Trevor.
Establishing standardized repeatable processes with proper delegation to your team is an important aspect of your business operations, especially when you’re aiming to scale. Managers who are hands-on involved in daily operations limit business growth and prevent scaling up to levels that will bring more success. Implementing systems may require investments in IT support systems and training of your team but your investment will prove wise and valuable in the long run.
“A system could start with simple processes that would allow people in your team to understand what your occupancy is or where your accounts receivable is, or accounts payable. It could include having crisis management binders should the unthinkable happen. Work your way up to more complex processes. Leave no stone unturned because life shows up. But if you’ve got systems to deal with the unexpected, you’re in a good situation,” says Trevor.
Effective communication is another skill critical to achieving success in your business and your personal life as well. As a business leader, your communication skill will be a key to building business relationships, motivating your team, encouraging innovations and productivity, and promoting better company culture. These make it easier for your organization to reach its goals.
“Ask yourself these questions: How well are you communicating with your property manager? How well are you communicating with your team of advisors, your coach or your investor network or your meetup group, or your insurance agent? How are you communicating with your electricians, your plumbers? It’s not just how are you communicating but how often? Do you know your outcomes with those people?” cites Trevor, emphasizing that improved engagement will result in fewer errors, increase team productivity, and improve client satisfaction.
“In real estate, we are in the relationship game and if you don’t have great communication skills, you’re leaving money on the table,” he adds.
#5 Accountability: “Tell someone about your goal”
How do you stay committed to your goal? Tell someone about your journey to achieving your goal and be accountable to that person. Enlist someone in your circle of influence – preferably someone who has already achieved what you are aiming to do – with whom you can talk about your goals and seek help from when needed.
“Have somebody like a coach holding your feet to the fire, making sure they’re following up in terms of what you said you were going to do. It’s easy to veer off your path doing other things when you should be working on building your business and reaching your goals,” advises Trevor.
Successful business owners most often enlist a coach to help them navigate their business plans, measure success and progress, keep them engaged and responsible, validate thoughts and ideas, and break through limitations and achieve much more than they ever could on their own.
“Those are the five things that I’ve identified that when you as a syndicator, you as an investor, you as a real estate professional own those five things, life becomes so much better for you and your business.”
While your path to business success will be strewn with obstacles and roadblocks, remaining defiantly committed will get you to your destination. Be aware, though, that you don’t have to do it alone. You’ll meet other people navigating the same journey and you can learn from them and they can learn from you. And there is no time like the present to start blazing your own path. Go for it!