As executives, what we possess in business acumen we often lack in willingness to learn from others. We inevitably reach a point where we put on blinders and take a “my way or the highway” mentality. This cruise-control approach often produces little growth and stagnate profits. Simply opening yourself and your business up to learning from outsiders can do wonders.
While there are a number of sources you could look to for inspiration, let’s take a look at an unlikely resource in this article: landlords. Yes, the person you once delivered your rent check to on a monthly basis. Landlords are some of the savviest business-minded people in the country and have a lot to offer in terms of progressive strategies and innovative thoughts.
4 Lessons to be Gleaned
Here are a few of the top lessons you can learn right from the start:
1. Screening is Important
Landlords are hyper focused on screening tenants. The difference between a good one and a bad one can mean thousands of dollars and lots of headaches. Not only does a bad tenant rarely pay on time, but they may also tear up the property, cause legal issues, and force a landlord to pursue eviction (a costly and time consuming process).
As an executive, you need to place a bigger emphasis on screening. From the people you hire to the customers you choose to work with, you should take a cautious approach. This can save you wasted time and money when it comes to filling positions or targeting specific clients.
2. Switching up Marketing Techniques
It’s easy to get stuck in your way and settle for a single marketing strategy that works relatively well. Landlords are known for mixing things up, though. In addition to yard signs and internet listings, landlords with large portfolios frequently invest in video marketing, content marketing, paid advertising, SEO, and even tenant referral systems.
How many different marketing strategies are you implementing? While the same strategies that work for landlords probably won’t work for you, you can learn the important lesson of diversifying your approach and being flexible. Give some new techniques a try this quarter!
3. Obsessing Over ROI
If there’s one healthy obsession in business, it’s focusing on ROI. Every action you take, needs to be done through the lens of what you’ll get back in return. Landlords are great at this. If they’re investing in a home improvement project, they have a very accurate idea of what percentage they’ll recoup. Do you always know what ROI you’ll get, or do you take a lot of guesses?
4. Asking for Help is Okay
While a landlord with a single property can probably handle the accompanying responsibilities without much need for outside help, things change when you’re dealing with dozens of properties. When a landlord feels like he’s in over his head, he isn’t afraid to get help from a property management company, lawyer, or contractor. It just comes natural.
Are you so willing to ask for help when you need it? If you always attempt to do everything on your own, you may be spreading your resources too thin. This can ultimately harm your company and stunt growth. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing non-critical tasks to skilled professionals; in fact, it’s admirable.
Use the Resources Around You
There’s nothing wrong with blocking out distractions and focusing on your business from time to time, but be wary of continually disregarding outside sources of information. You may be able to learn a thing or two from other industries and business professionals. In this case, landlords may hold the missing key to what’s holding you back.