A follower messaged me on Twitter asking about breaking into real estate private equity, specifically in joining me at Bolt Storage. He was a really qualified and competent candidate, a CPA with two years of experience at a Big 4 accounting firm, and said that he wanted to learn from me for a few years before starting something on his own someday. But that pitch stuck out to me, because why would I invest in a new hire that sees themselves on just a short timeline before exiting?
Earlier this year, I was hiring for my acquisitions team and asked candidates to provide a one-minute video to pitch themselves. I got a lot of great responses and made two hires: one said they were really hungry, wanted to make money, and were willing to outwork everybody else, and the other said he didn’t care about money and wanted to learn as much as he could about the space. One month after hiring them, the hungry candidate had earned $30K in commission, and the leaner had quit.
I don’t have a scarcity mindset, I know that my employees will leave me to do bigger and better things someday. I’m happy to know that I’ve set them up for long-term success, I love to positively impact somebody’s life. But what business owner wants to spend time teaching a new employee if the person already sees themselves exiting after just a couple of years? It takes time, effort, and energy to invest in an employee as an asset, and most employees cost more than their value in the initial months while they onboard. Your time is a resource, and you need to be able to invest it wisely.
We’ve hired a lot of people who want to learn, but the truth is that sales is hard work, and small business is all about sales. Customer service reps sell customers, finance teams sell investors on trusting us with their money, acquisitions teams sell themselves to owners, and none of it is easy. The people who are excited to learn haven’t panned out for us; they want to think and talk about things, but don’t want to do the work that it takes. It’s awesome to learn, but at the end of the day you need to be in the trenches.
The way to get hired is to reach out within real estate is to show that you’re hungry, that you can sell, and that you can work. I want to hire somebody who is an earner, who wants to make money, and the learning will come with that.
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