We’ve been hearing about him a lot more for his pursuit of the White House of late, but Donald Trump’s success has come mostly from his real estate activities. Depending on which source you consult, his net worth is between $4.5 billion and $10 billion (and does it really matter?).
The majority of that money came from real estate deals, which makes Trump one of the greatest property managers in the history of the world.
Six Management Tips and Lessons from the Man Himself
Love or hate the guy, there’s no denying that Trump is a savvy and successful businessman. Whether as a property manager, real estate investor, landlord, or entrepreneur, there are dozens of lessons you can take from his brash style and over-the-top sound bites.
Some are more useful and relevant than others, though. Let’s take a brief look at the top six management lessons that can be gleaned from Trump’s career in real estate.
1. Work as Hard as You Possibly Can
The “hard work pays off” cliché has been so overused that it probably feels as if it’s lost any chance of being motivational. But Trump believes in the idea of hard work so strongly that he might be able to get you to think of it in a completely new way.
In an early interview with MSNBC, Trump told a reporter that any successful person he’s ever known has worked seven days a week at some point in his or her life. And if you want to be hugely successful, you must be prepared to work up to 80-hour weeks.
As a property manager or landlord, you should keep this in mind when you’re dealing with middle-of-the-night phone calls or facing the prospect of working through the weekend.
2. Knowledge is Power
It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, you have to “know” what you do. If you’re a burger flipper at a fast food joint, strive to be a world-class burger flipper. If you’re a small-business owner, do all you can to be a world-class small-business owner.
If you’re a landlord, be the landlord to beat them all. In crowded industries where similar people are competing for the same positions of leadership, knowledge is power. This is an idea that you’ll hear Trump talk about in pretty much every keynote speech he gives.
3. Love What You Do
As a landlord, there will be times when you question what you do. You’ll wonder, “Why in the world did I choose to do this?”
These are moments of weakness. You have refocus on all the other great times and remember that you truly love what you do. During a 2011 interview, Trump told Lisa Johnson Mandell of AOL that this has been the key to his success.
“I had a great mentor and example: my father. I learned a great deal from him and I watched him work for many years,” Trump said. “I also loved what I was doing. I had a passion for real estate, and I believe that is the most important thing. You have to love what you’re doing.”
4. Don’t Confuse Efforts with Results
If you listen to him speak for any length of time, you’re likely to recognize that results are incredibly vital to Trump. He’s also clear that efforts are not to be confused with results.
Of course, hard work — as mentioned above — is admirable. But ultimately, a person is measured not by the amount of work he puts in, but by the results that are produced.
Whether you’re a local landlord or an international real estate tycoon, you should never be satisfied with simply putting your best foot forward. Weak results should make you ask questions, try harder, and learn from whatever mistakes you might have made along the way.
5. Balance Confidence and Humility
When most people think of Trump, words like brazen and arrogant come to mind … so it sounds kind of odd to hear him speak of humility. Those who truly know Trump understand that he’s actually confident, however, not arrogant.
In a recent interview with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes, Trump was asked about the impression he’s created that he likes to “dish it out,” but can’t “take a punch.” Trump’s response? “Oh I think I can take it,” he told Pelley.
“If I do something wrong, and that happens, and they write a fair story that I did something wrong, there’s nothing to fight about. I can handle that. I don’t like lying. You know, I’m a very honorable guy, I don’t like lies.”
The idea that humility is important isn’t new for Trump. In that AOL interview going back some years, he touched on the balance between confidence and humility.
“Exude confidence. If you know what you’re doing, that should be easy,” Trump said. “Don’t brag too much. It can be taken the wrong way. Being confident doesn’t have to include too many of your greatest accomplishments.”
6. Be Fair and Absolute
Finally, Trump firmly believes in being fair and absolute. One associate who knows him well says he believes Trump would make an excellent Supreme Court judge if he weren’t a real estate mogul.
That’s because he knows how to be fair, while taking a firm stance on important matters. He won’t back down on an issue he believes in, but Trump will also remain fair to all the parties involved.
That’s a lesson landlords, real estate investors, property managers, and everyone in between can learn from. When you deal with people, fairness should always be a priority.
You shouldn’t confuse fairness with being gentle and nice, however. As an individual in a leadership position, it’s often your best move to be absolute and definitive.
Green Residential: Professional Property Management
At Green Residential, property management is our specialty. Whether we’re dealing with a client who has millions of dollars of real estate or one with a single property in his or her portfolio, we give everyone the same level of attention and respect.
If you’re interested in handing over the day-to-day responsibilities of being a landlord to a professional team of property manager, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re the premier property management group on the Houston area, and we’d would love to earn your business.