I recently acquired a property that is over 100 years old and was a former stately mansion turned into a triplex. My intention was to use this as one of my rental properties in my real estate investment portfolio. Like many houses of this age, it required a lot of repair although there were still signs of former elegance including original wooden floors, stained glass, bay windows and an Italian marble fireplace (that no longer works). In fact, the property was elegant enough for film producers to do a movie shoot inside one of the rooms where Christian Slater was the leading star.
One of the apartment units was already tenanted and two were vacant by the time I took ownership. Repair issues included many cracks in the walls and ceilings, plumbing that needed fixing, lighting fixtures that needed replacing, broken windows and screens as well as a full repainting of the walls. I personally don’t have the expertise to do most of these renovations so I hired contractors to do what I cannot do.
In order to save some money, I initially tried to do as much of the renovations work myself and this included most of the painting, since I had already painted my own house before. I could also do other simple tasks like replace broken window screens since again, I already did that at my own residence. I was thinking that doing as much as I can on my own would be shortcuts to success in the overall renovations.
When the renovations crew came onsite, the plan was for them to repair the major cracks on the walls so I could do the painting. However, things did not turn out that way. They told me that my painting skills were quite poor being slow and messy. As a result, they would have to clean up after my mistakes.
Ultimately, I got ‘fired’ by my own contractors, in a nice way of course since I was the guy paying them. So I was effectively demoted by my own crew to being the clean up man since that was the only thing I could not mess up.
I could take the time to learn how to do many of the renovating tasks on my own because new skills just take an effort to learn. However, such skills in repairing houses would have taken me so long, that there would have been much delays in achieving the overall goal, which was to get all of the vacant apartments rented out. Each week that a unit is vacant costs a property owner money.
So I gave in and decided upon the advice of my contractors to let them do most of the work, including painting. In many ways, getting fired by my own renovations crew was very helpful. The renovations would be completed much faster with the professionals handling these tasks. Meanwhile, this freed up my own time to focus on the things that I did well, which included marketing the vacant units to potential tenants.
In fact, the marketing campaign was so effective with my total focus, I was able to get new tenants signed up on leases before all of the renovations actually finished. This of course resulted in minimal financial loss due to vacancies.
My example here with my real estate rental property shows that some of our goals in life are not meant to be achieved alone or in isolation. Instead, success will come easier and faster if such goals were worked on with the help from other people.
Such teamwork with others also occurs in nature as many animals including wolves and killer whales hunt together in numbers. It is much safer for these animals to bring down certain prey, especially larger and dangerous ones, if teamwork is utilized.
The assistance of the right people involved with your goals can result in major success that you would not otherwise have achieved by yourself. So it is important to determine which of your goals should be attempted on your own and which ones are best with group effort.
Featured photo credit: Young man touching icons of different people via Shutterstock
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