In the real estate investing world, many business owners dismiss the idea of creating mission and value statements. In the corporate world full of woke businesses, these statements mean nothing.
But when you don’t define your values, it’s impossible to attract the best fits for your business. In fact, defining my company’s values was the single most valuable thing I’ve done in the past 5 years.
And you know what?
When you define your values the right way, it’ll be the most valuable thing you do in the next 5 years too.
In this episode, you’ll discover the right way to define your company’s values and attract all-stars to your team with ease. Listen now and make your next hire your best one yet.
Show highlights include:
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You're listening to the “REI Marketing Nerds” podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: All right, hello and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com. How are you? I hope you are well. Thank you for being here and tuning in every week, and, hey, if this is your first episode, welcome. This is the podcast where we talk about online marketing for real estate investors. [01:05.0]
As always, if you want some help with your online marketing for real estate investors, you know where to go. It's AdwordsNerds.com/Strategy. Our team can help you get set up.
Now, this week, speaking of my team, this week I want to talk about the importance of hiring to values. Hiring to values, and the reason I'm bringing this up this week is, look, I don't know if you've caught onto this by now, but I actually talk in this podcast very much about things that I'm seeing in our online marketing agency that works with real estate investors, see things that I'm seeing in the industry, things that I'm seeing in my personal life, things that I'm seeing in my business, and we are in the middle of a hiring process. We are hiring a new PPC manager for the first time in forever. I think it's literally been five or six years since I have hired for this role. [02:03.2]
It's because a PPC manager, obviously for a Google Ads agency, Facebook ads agency, SEO agency, these people are critical. They're the lifeblood of the business. They're critical to the success of our clients and, frankly, the quality of my PPC managers and the systems that they operate in is the reason that AdWords Nerds continues to be the top of our market in terms of agencies that serve real estate investors, and that's not me patting myself on the back. It's just a fact. Okay?
Obviously, hiring is so important, but I will be honest that in the past when I've hired, I have done it pretty haphazardly. I have gotten very, very lucky in the past, really lucky. I just kind of hired people randomly because I desperately needed someone and it just so happened that those people really worked out. [02:59.6]
But now that I've been in business for nearly a decade, AdWords Nerds has done bigger revenue than I ever thought was possible, we've helped more investors than I ever thought was possible, I've just been around way more, and I realize you exactly how lucky I got. It was basically like playing Russian roulette with my business for several years and it happened to work out really well, but I'm not foolish enough to think that that means I'm really good at playing Russian roulette, right? It just means I got lucky, and so now our hiring process is much more in depth. It takes much longer. We pay way more attention to it. We do it far earlier in the process.
But the single most important change we made was making our company values explicit, and then hiring directly to those values. Now, here's what I mean. Values in terms of your team, your business, they are not aspirational in the sense of you are going to apply them from the top down onto a team, and, suddenly, everybody is going to change and care about your values. [04:15.5]
I think the reason that most entrepreneurs, myself included, have kind of this negative view of mission statements and value statements is basically because we all know they don't mean anything, right? I mean, we live in the age of woke corporations and whatever your politics. I mean, my politics tend to be fairly socially liberal, right? But even I don't care that Cheetos is on whatever side of a political debate. It just doesn't matter. I view that primarily as marketing, which is what it is. It's what it is. So, we've all come to be really jaded about the idea that like, okay, big companies have values. Yeah, yeah, sure they do. [05:01.3]
But that's not what I'm talking about here. What I'm talking about is digging deep with the people on your team that really matter, the people on your team that have been with you, the people on your team that are A players, and looking at the way you work, the way you interact with each other, the way you interact with your clients or your sellers, and asking, “What are the values that we are living by?” because there is a very big difference in most people between the values they espouse, the values they say out loud that they believe in, and the values that are expressed by their actual behavior.
It's one thing to say, “Well, I really believe the customer is always right,” but if you don't live that value, everyone is going to see the hypocrisy that is inherent in that, and not only your team, you are going to know that deep down and none of you are going to give this process any credence and you're not going to get any value out of it, not going to get any value out of values, right? [06:08.1]
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Values are not something that you aspire to. They describe the way you work. What I did was I sat down with the team at AdWords Nerds and said, “What really describes the way that we work, the way we live, the way that we treat our clients, the way that we think about our business?” and I'll tell you the values that we have. I'll tell you these. [07:05.5]
These are the AdWords Nerds values. We are always willing to build trust through authentic communication. We assume positive intent. This is a core aspect of who we are. We believe everybody believes they're the good guy. Everybody believes they are on the right side, and even if we could not disagree more or someone is yelling at us, we are always working to see the good in what they are doing.
Second value: we are free and self-determined to do the work the way that we want. This is more internal, but I don't like to micromanage my employees at all. I give them goals. I give them guidance. I give them coaching, but their work is their responsibility, and as long as they get their things done and get them done well and get them done on time, I don't care if they're in the office. I don't care if they take time off. I don't care. That's core to who I am, because I don't want anyone to micromanage me. [08:05.5]
Third value: we are ready to check our egos to improve. I really truly believe we are the single best marketing agency working with real estate investors today. There's no one better at doing what we do. I believe that. But the flip side of that is I am always ready to learn. I am always ready to get better. I am always looking for where I am wrong. That is not a contradiction. That is the reason I am the best at what I do. It's because I am willing to accept I don't know it all and I never will.
Fourth value: we are holders of a fiduciary standard. We do what's in our client's best interest, not in ours, so we really look at this. We say, look, it is our job to tell our clients not what they want to hear, but what they need to hear in order to be successful.
Fifth value: we are constantly learning and always trying to get better. I am always, always, always reading, studying, buying courses. I expect the same from my team. [09:04.8]
Then, finally, we're always working to make work fun. We create a higher quality of life for everyone around us. Our company is not just about getting as rich as humanly possible and, in fact, there are many ways I could grow AdWords Nerds and I simply don't because what is important to me is doing high-quality work and having a high quality of life, so if that means taking fewer clients, but doing deeper work for those clients, that's what we're going to do.
Those are our values. Now, it's one thing to describe the values that really describe how you live and how you see the world, and how your team sees the world. But when you go to hire a new person to bring a new element into this team, the single most important question you have to ask yourself is not “Do they have the specific skill set?” because skill sets can be trained, but values cannot be trained. I really believe this. [10:01.4]
If you have someone who deep down simply does not live your values, that person, no matter how talented they are, is going to hurt your business. They're going to hurt your business. They’re going to hurt your clients and they're going to hurt you.
And this is not to say that people that don't match your values are bad people. There are many different ways to live, many different ways to walk around this Earth and there are many different sets of values, and as far as I'm concerned, most of them are totally legitimate.
However, if you don't match our values, you won't match us. You won't fit our vision for the company and for the team, and that's not to say that you are a bad person or that we're better. It simply means we're not a good fit. Hiring employees that are a good fit for you and your clients and your values is, as an entrepreneur, as the CEO, as the leader, the single most important thing you can do. [11:06.8]
If you're listening to this and you've poo-pooed the idea of value statements and all that stuff, look, I was right where you are, but I'm telling you, this is the single most valuable thing I have done in my business in the last five year and I could not recommend it more highly.
So, number one, if you know someone that matches the values I talked about this year or this podcast episode, let us know. Go to AdWordsNerds.com. We would love to interview them. And, two, think about the values for your company, because hiring to your values is the single most valuable thing you will do in the next five years.
I hope that makes sense. As always, this is Daniel Barrett from AdWordsNerds.com, signing off—and, look, if you need help with your online marketing, go to AdWordsNerds.com. We're there to help. I will see you next week. Cheers. [11:52.6]
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