When you are a business owner you get to wear all the hats and do all the task to keep the business going and growing. Often that means working 24/7. However, to really grow and to get out of the daily grind you will need to hire help. In my coaching practice people come to me all the time frustrated that they can’t seem to find “good people.”

Then I start to ask questions such as:

  • What is the position you are hiring for, aka title?
  • How many hours a week are they to work?
  • What is the compensation?
  • Is the position entry level or experienced?
  • Do they need a real estate license?
  • Do you have a job description?
  • Do you provide training?
  • Who will be their supervisor?
  • What skills do they need to be successful?

Believe it or not often none of these questions can be answered. The response I get is, “I will know the right person when I interview them.” Really seems like a shot gun approach to hiring. If there is no job description, how can you set that person up for success and how does the applicant know what they are applying for and expected to do?

Because there are no systems in place for hiring and onboarding a new employee it is no wonder they don’t last long.

So, what does the business owner do next? They hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) thinking they will know what to do and they are affordable. Well, guess what? The reason why an in-person staff member didn’t work out is the same reason a VA will not work out. A VA requires even more systems in place to be successful.

The number one question to ask yourself on your way to hire excellence is, “What do YOU want and need?”

  1. Hire what you don’t want to do or don’t do well. Don’t hire someone who is a copy of you.
  2. What personality characteristics are necessary to be successful in the position? Attention to detail, patience, excellent communication skills, adept computer ability, accounting experience, etc.?
  3. Create a job description for the position. Be specific.
  4. Know what benefits you offer. Remember it isn’t always about money. How much paid time off is given, sick leave, education reimbursement, work from home, flextime, etc.?

The clearer you are about the position the easier it will be to find the right person. You will be attracting the right skills, experience, and knowledge. This allows you to screen and hire quicker.

There are lots of hiring sites online but in my experience my best hires were referrals from my current staff or friends of friends.

Once you have someone hired the next step is having an onboarding process for your new hire. You want to welcome them, have a plan of action for the first week. Have a schedule of each day with the training and real-world tasks you want to them to take on. Be available during this period. Don’t hire a new staff member and then go on vacation the next day.

Show your new staff member that they made the right decision to come work with you. That you have a plan in place to get them up to speed. That you are organized or looking to them to help you get organized. That you are available and open to questions.

Then meet with them weekly for the first month and document what is working and not working. Be a coach and guide and ask for input.

Once staff is hired the business owner often has a hard time letting go of tasks or tries to micromanage the new hire. This means the business owner is still doing all the work and NOW managing, directing, dictating what needs to be done. So instead of taking work off their plate by hiring help they have only added to their workload because they refuse to train and give their team member responsibility.

Collaborate with your new team member. Ask them to document how things get done. Ask them for input on how to simplify the process. They should understand their role and contribution to the success of the company. Show them they have a career path with you not just a job.

If you take the time to be honest and intentional about your needs, create a detailed job description, and set aside time to welcome and train your new team member they will contribute to your goals whether it is growing the business, streamlining systems, taking the tasks you just hate to do, or allowing you to work on the business instead of in it 24/7. People today are looking for opportunities to grow, contribute and create a career not just show up and do a job. Success is sweeter when achieved as a team.


Kathleen Richards, MPM®, CPC®, MS in Management, was Broker/Owner of a successful management company with CRMC®. She knows firsthand the highs and lows of being a business owner. She is a nationally recognized coach, speaker, instructor, author, and thought leader for the last 30 years focusing on business, leadership, and specifically the field of property management. She owns PM Made Easy – customizable products to streamline operations and founded The Property Management Coach. She can be reached at 800-475-3084.