How To Come To Terms With Delegation

Corina Eufinger
WAA Director of Records
Owner Brio Properties & CRC Investments

When you delegate something, the person will only do it 80% like you.” I don’t know where credit is deserved for the phrase, I heard it on a Youtube video months ago.  The speaker went on to explain that this didn’t mean the end results were different, just the individual steps or order of tasks that lead to the end result.

As entrepreneurs and real estate investors, at some point most of us will face the point where our investments are more than we can effectively manage on our own or we don’t want to do the day to day management.  This is the point where some entrepreneurs falter and become stuck as a 100% self-employed business.  They become stuck on the mentality that no one will do it like them or as good as them.  We may chose to bring in a spouse, family member, friend, or place an ad for outside help.  Once the position is filled, you will be delegating tasks to the person.  That’s the point right?

It is true, no one will ever do something exactly like you do.  As a day to day example, consider your dishwasher.  If you delegate the task of the dishwasher to your spouse or significant other the end result will be the same but they will do it their own way. Maybe you both wait for the dishes to cool before emptying it, and you both start with bottom rack. But your spouse may put items away going left to right across the rack rather than grouping similar items and putting those away together.  They may remove the silverware caddy and take it over to the drawer rather than just pull out the silverware.  But you both fill the bottom rack with dirty dishes before pushing the rack back in and moving to empty the top rack.  The end result is still a dishwasher that is emptied of clean dishes and loaded with the new dirty ones.  They did it 80% the same as you (give or take) but ended up with the same result.

Bringing this back to investments, if you have procedures in place for  tasks you want the new hire to complete you can ensure a similar end result.  For example accounts payable procedure can serve as a guideline to help the new hire get the same end result of paid bills properly filed under the filing system. But they can be allowed freedom to tweak the minor things so it works for them.  Delegation is about letting the minor aspects go in the bigger picture of efficiency.

It is an undeniable fact that unless you hire your spouse or significant other (which is topic for a blog of its own) very few people will put the same passion and work into your business that you do. You are heavily invested in it.  That doesn’t mean someone else can’t do an exceptional or adequate job at helping you manage aspects of your business. But for them it is a job. Something they leave at a given time of day and return to the next business day.  You can still get great workers who have enthusiasm for investments or simply want to do a good job for you. Hired help if you find the good gems out there will manage the business 90-95% as “good” as you would, realistically most hired help will fall between 80-89% as good as you.  You trade a percentage of your “good” for some extra free time or sanity for yourself.

I have no problem delegating tasks for my  investments as long as the end result is the same and the task is at least 80% as good as what I would give it. Doing this gives me more time work on other ways to put my rental income to work for me. I can look at more properties, read up on industry trends, or devour a new real estate book. To me, that’s a fair trade off as long as I capitalize on using my free time efficiently to either make me happy or further my goals.

(As written for the Wisconsin Apartment Association)

(Originally Published 7/15/2017)

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