The situation …
You run a small real estate investment/development organization. You have a ton of work … modeling new deals, pursuing relationships with brokers, and running your current deals. With the minutia pulling you in various directions, you have no time to be a leader in your business. You need to build a team.
The problem is you don’t have money to hire a full-time staff!
You need to build a team.
Good leaders build businesses with great teams. However, not all businesses can support full-time employees. Small to medium-size businesses have a few options:
Driven, hungry interns can be a great source of low-cost business support for small businesses. Interns are creative and when given freedom will approach problems in ways that you don’t.
High quality freelancers can be a great source of part-time, as needed labor. Real estate is a transactional business, and the cost of freelancers can be aligned with your current projects.
Additional equity partners in your business can be a great source of low-cash labor. A co-founder’s compensation is closely aligned with the success of the business (a major plus). However, equity can be the most expensive form of compensation in a successful business.
What mix of co-founders, freelancers, and interns should I target?
A little bit of everything goes a long way. Most successful businesses have two co-founders who work in tandem. Freelancers can be used for skilled tasks that require consistent, part time support. Interns are perfect for temporary, project-based team support.
Where do I find interns?
Interns can be found using a variety of online tools and a little creativity.
Angellist has a job board that makes it easy to post internship opportunities for your company. The audience on Angellist is typically excited to be a part of small, growing companies.
If technology isn’t your thing, post your internship around your local university. Students bring a sense of creativity and “new-age” thinking to old problems — a great asset to your business.
What about freelancers?
The rise of the “gig economy” has created an influx of freelancers who are ready to support your company from afar. Different freelance networks cater to different types of freelancers. See the list for a few ideas:
Bullpen — Real estate freelance platform
- Focus on commercial real estate industry freelancers
- Curated … freelancers are interviewed for quality before receiving access to the platform
Upwork — General freelance platform
- Open source … no curation of freelancers
- Broad … lots of different types of jobs and freelancers
- International … freelancers/employers from all over the world
Toptal — Technology freelance platform
- Focus on UI/UX and engineering freelancers
Graphite — Consultant freelance platform
- Focus on highly skilled consultant work