JF1872: Our First Ever Quarterly Team Meeting #FollowAlongFriday with Theo Hicks
We had our first quarterly team meeting earlier this week. Many of us real estate investors have teams that are spread out across the country, our team included. Joe finds it important to get everyone together to discuss the company and where we are going. Theo will cover the structure, benefits, and takeaways from our first team meeting and why you should be doing it too. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners, and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks, and today is Friday, which means it is a Follow Along Friday. Usually, it’s me and Joe on Follow Along Friday, going over the lessons we learned from last week’s interviews, but this week we’re gonna do something a little bit different. It’s just gonna be me today, and we are going to talk about the Best Ever quarterly team meeting that we’ve just completed earlier this week.
Now, I know Joe mentioned this before on Follow Along Friday… He interviewed someone who has a team that is spread out across the country, and in order to keep the team on the same page, he schedules quarterly in-person team meetings, assuming where he lives. Joe thought that was a really good idea, so he decided to quickly implement that into our business… And we just had our first in-person quarterly team meeting this week. It was on Monday.
I wanted to go over the structure of our team meeting, and then go over some lessons and some benefits that I learned along the way. Then we’ll wrap up with the standard trivia question, and we will see you then again tomorrow, for Situation Saturday.
First of all, this was the first time that we as a team have met in person. Obviously, it’s Joe, it’s me, and then we’ve got a few other team members that he’s brought on recently, that I personally hadn’t met in person, because I live here in Florida. One of the team members lives in Dallas, one of the team members lives in Denver… So the one main benefit, I would say, to having this in-person team meeting is just putting a face and a body with a voice or with an email. Obviously, we’ve talked before, but meeting in person is a lot different… So that was one of the main benefits, and that’s essentially how the meeting started out. We all walked into the room and all saw each other, and introduced each other, and it was just really good to actually see everyone in person.
Before we had the quarterly team meeting – and again, I’m gonna try my best to go over the structure, the benefits, and also talk about it in the context of why you should be doing it as well… So if you have a team that is not all located in the same city, or if you have a team and everyone works at home and you rarely see each other in person, it would be highly beneficial to have an in-person team meeting. We’ll go over why here on Follow Along Friday.
The first thing that we did that I really liked after we all introduced ourselves to each other is we went over celebrations. So the first part of the agenda was celebrations, wins, victories and progress. Everyone shares one personal victory and everyone shares one professional victory that they are proud of. In doing so, we got to learn a little bit about what’s important to everyone, what they’ve been working on, any big projects they completed recently, things like that.
And then after that we had six specific outcomes of the meeting, and that’s what we’re gonna focus on for the remainder of Follow Along Friday.
Again, Joe is very outcome-oriented, so we went into this knowing exactly what we were going to accomplish, and what our purpose was for the meeting. So the first outcome – we’ve already gone over this – is that everyone meets in one place for the first time, also to make sure we understand what each of us does… There’s a lot of things that we do individually, collectively, going to one thing. Meeting four times a year is important for our alignment, also to talk about target audience, adding more value to their life individually and collectively… So basically we all met for the first time, and then that was kind of going into what the other outcomes were, which we’ll get into in a second. And of course, a part of that was going over those personal and professional victories.
This next part, which I think was the second most valuable thing that I personally got out of this quarterly team meeting was that everyone on the team created a PowerPoint presentation before we attended the meeting, and this PowerPoint presentation went over exactly what each person does on a daily, on a weekly, on a monthly, and then on a one-off or annual basis. Basically, what they do.
When you’re part of a team at such a big business, it’s got marketing, and social media, then you’ve got an assistant, and you’ve got investor relations, and then you’ve got me, which is kind of all over the place, you’ve got Joe, who also does a lot of different things as well – once it gets that big, it’s hard to stay on top of what everyone else is working on. Yeah, we have morning meetings a few times a week, but still, I think it’s very important for alignment, but also for efficiency to know exactly what someone else is doing.
Here’s an example. Let’s say I have a task where I do investor emails. And then once I send those investor emails out, the next step in the process is someone’s taking in questions from investors. Or maybe it’s a new deal email, and then someone else on the team is taking in the commitments. Well, maybe there’s something that I’m doing on the front-end, creating those emails, that is making it difficult for the next person to take in all those investor commitments. So by learning “Okay, well, who is actually sending me work, and who am I sending work to, and what are they doing with that work once I’ve sent it to them?” Knowing that could help you understand if there’s things that I can do better to make their lives a little bit easier, or that they can do better to make their lives a little easier. Then, of course, it’s also great just to know what’s going on.
So the format of the PowerPoints — and again, this is just what we did; you guys can do whatever you want if you have your quarterly team meeting… But I do highly recommend doing this. I’m not sure if we’ll do this each quarter, or if we’ll just do this every year, depending on how projects change… But the format was you first talk about projects that you have completed, that you are proud of. Next was to go over what you do regularly, so what you do daily, weekly, monthly etc. Next was to go over challenges that they faced… And what was nice about that – it was interactive; it was only six of us in the room, so if someone’s facing a specific challenge, someone could butt in right away and say “Well, maybe you could do X, Y and Z to make that specific aspect of your job a little bit easier.”
Next, what we enjoyed doing the most, and then projects that we are currently working on. The one thing that I added in – and I went first – was my biography/my background; so where I went to school, jobs I had before this… Just to see where people are coming from, just to see what skills you’ve acquired from previous jobs, and maybe just to give someone a little bit more personal information about yourself, so you can relate that much easier.
So once I did that, every single person that went after me also did their bio, which was also interesting to see how diverse the backgrounds were of the people on Joe’s team.
So once we did the PowerPoint presentations – again, these were prepared beforehand – the next part was one of Joe’s mentors presented to us about personality. So we all took personality tests beforehand, and then based on those personality tests, you’re assigned a letter. I was a C. A lot of people on the team were Ds, or S’es… So one of Joe’s mentors came in to talk to us about the results of our personality test and how different personalities need to be communicated to differently.
One funny tip that they had is that at one of his previous jobs they all had their personality types on their doors, so that when someone came in through their door, they would see “Oh, this person is a C, so I need to talk to them this way. This person is an S, I need to talk to them this way.” So that was interesting.
But after that, we got into what I think is the most important, and what I think that we’ll most likely do some form of this every quarterly meeting… Even if you’re by yourself you should do this, but especially if it’s you and someone else, or you and multiple people, you should 100% do this at least once a quarter… And that was doing a deep-dive into our target audience. The main outcome of this was “How can we add more value to our target audience?”
I’m not gonna go into specifics on what we talked about. I’m gonna keep it more general, so that it can be applied to you just in case your target audience aren’t passive accredited investors… But basically, what you wanna do is you wanna have a whiteboard; you want one of those big paper boards, that are kind of like big, massive post-it notes… And the first thing you wanna do is you wanna define your target audience. What we did specifically — well, not specifically, but what we did was each of us has a different interaction with the target audience, so based on that interaction with our target audience, who are they? What’s the demographic? What do they like, what don’t they like? We thought about it, again, based on our personal interaction with them and what our observations were based on that. So that was the first step – we had a big list of “Okay, here are the characteristics, here’s our observation of our target audience.”
The next one that we did was we went over challenges that our target audience faced. So what are the main challenges that your target audience is facing? Not necessarily things that you’re doing wrong, but just in general. So for a passive accredited investor, maybe one of their challenges is time management; they’re being presented too many opportunities. So creating a massive list of all of the different challenges that your target audience is facing, that’s number two.
Number three is to create a list of – in our case – ways we can add value to our investors, or ways we can add value to our target audience. For you, it would be the ways you can add value to whoever your target audience is, or ways you can increase — more deal leads, or whatever your main goal is. And then all of us, together — again, for all of these we came with prepared answers, and we all listed out all of our answers, and then based on that we kind of had a brainstorming session and some more answers that came up… Because obviously, if I have a list of ten, maybe everyone has the same five, and the other five are different. I hear someone else’s different ideas, it generates more ideas in my mind or in their minds…
So we created a massive list of all the different ways that we can add value to our target audience. And then the last step was to go back through all of those ways to add value to the target audience and assign those to some member on the team. We had color coding, so if it was Grant, he was gonna do this color; if it was me, it was this color; if it was Joe, it was another color. After we went through all the list and assigning to people, we set dates for when those needed to be accomplished by.
Again, just to summarize – step one, create a list to define your target audience and their characteristics and your observations of them. Two, challenges they face. Three, ways to add value. Four, who’s going to actually do those ways to add value, and then lastly, what is the timeline for that.
That is how the meeting ended, so now we all have a list of action items to do for the next quarter or so to add value to our investors.
Overall, again, I think this was a really great idea. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I know it was nice meeting everyone in person, of course… But it was really powerful to go through the exercise of capturing everyone’s ideas on how to add value to our target audience… And I think others would benefit the same. Since everyone has such a diverse background, and it’s likely the same on your team as well, everyone’s gonna have different ideas; everyone interacts with your target audience differently; everyone has different skills.
So if I create a list of ten ways to add value – again, maybe some of those are on other people’s lists too, but maybe since I don’t have the same background as other members on the team, or maybe I have different skills than other members on the team, or experiences, I don’t think of the same ways to add value, and maybe one of their ways is much better than all of my ways, and it ends us 2x-ing, 3x-ing, 10x-ing our business. And the same thing can apply for you, even if you’re in charge of the team; maybe your team members have a different background that you, and they come up with a brilliant idea that helps you grow your business, and you wouldn’t have gotten that idea if you didn’t have this in-person team meeting, or if you didn’t perform this exercise remotely.
After that, we all went to Topgolf and played some golf, and ate some food, and gotten to know each other even more. Some members on our team hustled us a little bit, claiming they weren’t very good at golf, and ended up being very good… And I was bragging about how good I was at golf and didn’t do very well, and I’m actually still kind of sore today, from swinging — I think we played like 4-5 games, so it’s 100 golf ball shots, and I swing really hard, so I’m a little sore. So maybe another piece of advice is if you have a quarterly team meeting, rather than just going to dinner afterwards, do some sort of activity… So go to Topgolf, go bowling. I recommended next time we go to a batting cages. Just a little bit more fun; it gets the competitive spirit out of people, and you still get to interact with everyone, that’s not in a very formal restaurant setting.
So again, I hope that what I just went over added value to you and your business, because it definitely has and will in the future continue to add value to our business.
Alright, now on to the Best Ever trivia question. Each week we do the trivia question, and the first person to answer it correctly will win a free copy of our first book. To submit your answer, you either do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re listening on the podcast, or you can submit your answer in the comment section of the YouTube video below.
Last week’s question was “If you need to raise one million dollars for a deal, what is the maximum amount of money a single investor could invest without having to go through the extra due diligence by the lender?” So whenever you’re raising capital for deals, typically you want to set your maximum investment to 19%… Because if an investor invests 20% or more of the capital required to close, then the lender is gonna perform extra due diligence on them, which means extra work for your investor. So just to avoid that entirely, set your maximum investment to 19%. In this case, if you’re raising one million dollars, 19% of that is $190,000, which is the answer.
This week’s question is going to be “Of the two main occupancy metrics, which one is more important in apartments?” So there’s two main occupancy metrics that you need to consider when investing in apartments. Which one is more important? Again, the first person to get that correctly will receive a free copy of our first book.
Alright, again, I really hope this episode was valuable, I really hope to see a lot of Best Ever listeners hosting their own quarterly team meetings; I’m looking forward to hearing the results of that, any feedback that you have, or maybe things you did differently, that allowed you to have a very smooth quarterly meeting, that we could implement into ours.
As always, Best Ever listeners, thanks for tuning in. Have a best ever weekend, and we will talk to you soon.