Building the right team
Real estate, like many industries today, can be challenging, from locating and acquiring land to getting entitlement approvals. However, the right team is essential to success.
“We’ve been able to attract a very good team of associates, including vice presidents in charge of different divisions, and we’ve been able to maintain, for many years, great sub-contractors and suppliers and vendors, many of which have been doing business with us for almost 40 years,” Schottenstein says.
Even with the downturn in real estate over the past four to six years, Schottenstein Real Estate has still been able to grow and start a number of new projects, which is a testament to its employees.
Finding the right people to hire is a very important factor in any company, Schottenstein says. You need to spend a lot of time interviewing and ensuring someone is the right fit.
“You have to be very definite on the job description and what you expect out of someone, and you have to ask a lot of questions and make sure that they can meet those objectives,” he says.
Schottenstein Real Estate has found that a mix of internal promotions and recruiting talented people from competitors is a successful combination.
Once the employee has been hired, Schottenstein says, you should try to treat him or her as well and fairly and honestly as you can. By helping the employee grow and meet personal goals for success in their job, employees will want to stay with the organization for years.
You also need self-starters and self-motivators, who enjoy doing their work. They aren’t in it just for the money.
“You want people who enjoy getting up every day, going to work, that don’t clock-watch,” he says. “And, to me, no matter what position you’re in, you have to have good communication skills.
“Even people who are on the Internet and computer all day, I want them to be able to communicate with their co-workers and certainly with the public, the customers, anybody else. You have to be able to communicate and also, you have to realize that you’re part of the team,” Schottenstein says.
“Generally speaking, you have to really be sure that they like the industry that they’re in. You don’t want people just holding a place until retirement or just doing it for the money.”
Teamwork is very important in any company. Employees need to be able to understand how they fit in with their job duties as part of the whole organization.
One way to get associates to buy into the company’s mission and vision, Schottenstein says, is giving them freedom with their schedule, including the ability to take personal time off to participate in family and non-work events.
“We like to have them schedule their own time and meetings and not punch the clock. We don’t have a clock to be punched here,” he says.