by Marc Courtenay –
Most of my professional time is devoted to reading about and interviewing successful people. Yes, it is a fortunate “calling” and one that has taken me several decades to develop. When focusing on successful property managers I notice they all seem to share similar secrets about their success. One of those “secrets” involves a generous heart! These are people who love to give. They are all self-made successes who enjoy working for themselves. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t hone their skills working for someone else. Many confess they follow the examples of their mentors.
That’s in fact what they’ve become…mentors. A mentor is a wise and trusted counselor, a role model that walks their talk. They’re ready to help someone who is struggling and pass on words to encourage. One of my mentors is the successful newsletter writer Craig Ballantyne who authors the wonderfully helpful “Early to Rise” daily online publication. He and his partner Matt Smith are “property managers.” They manage intellectual property, and for all I know they manage a small bevy of income-producing real estate as well. They manage their businesses so skillfully they’ve become mentors to thousands.
Recently Craig wrote about his partner and their mentor. “Matt [Smith] is my business partner at Early To Rise [ETR]. It was thanks to him that we had the opportunity to acquire ETR from our mentor, Mark Ford. “Matt operates on the principle of adding value in every interaction that he has with others.” That last point, “the principle of adding value in every interaction…with others” awakened my memory. Every successful property manager I’ve ever known lives by that same principle devotedly.
When asked where they learned this principle they usually reply from their mentors or from a good book that they’d read or listened to. These are people who value self-improvement and search for successful ideas. They know their business well, but just as importantly, they care about people. These property managers all realize that “… people don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care.”
In his book, Give and Take, author Adam Grant points out that “success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others.” Grant knows that “givers” don’t succeed at others expense. On the contrary Grant convincingly demonstrates that givers “…who contribute to others without expecting anything in return, have the greatest odds of achieving extraordinary results.”
“According to conventional wisdom,” Grant writes, “highly successful people have three things in common: motivation, ability, and opportunity… If we want to succeed, we need a combination of hard work, talent, and luck… But there’s a fourth ingredient, one that’s critical but often neglected: success depends heavily on how we approach our interactions with other people.”
In working with people, Grant claims, “…we have a choice to make: do we try to claim as much value as we can, or contribute value without worrying about what we receive in return?”
This extraordinary philosophy appears to be universally practiced by successful property managers. They seem to instinctively realize “what goes around comes around,” and that giving is its own reward.