As part of our series about the “Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times,” we had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Mitchell, a real estate investor who owns and runs a real estate company in Dallas TX. His teaching spirit has allowed his company to grow exponentially by helping many homeowners get out of tough home situations. He is a driven leader and visionary who manages a team of 6 in his pursuit of building the most respected real estate company in TX.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
As a kid I was intrigued with building and creating things. I would take my toys apart and try to put them back together but many times they went back together wrong. This interest in building things was in my nature. My parents divorced when I was young so as I grew up living with my mom and I would try to help out around the house. Helping out meant mowing the grass, painting and fixing things when necessary. By the time I was a teenager I was replacing fascia boards, doing drywall work and fixing toilets for my mom, which was starting to grow into a passion for me. I started a lawn mowing business in high school fueling my curiosity about being an entrepreneur. After college I got a job at a bank managing construction projects further expanding my knowledge and interest in real estate and construction. So when I was 25 I decided to try and flip my first house with my Dad and Step Mom which didn’t go very well. I ended up keeping the house as a rental property. That first rental started my rental property business and I still own it today. This is my journey of getting started in the real estate business.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Not a funny story but my biggest mistake. I should not have started a partnership with my Dad and Step Mom when starting to buy my first house. First because partnerships are very tough to make work and as a 25 yr old, I did not understand all the potential issues with partnerships. Secondly we started the partnership without things being equal since my Dad and Stepmom were married (one). In the partnership, we were equal share partners but my Dad and Step Mom could approve every decision by majority vote without my vote counting. This situation led to some bad decisions and ultimately the partnership ended abruptly. I lost money and cost me 7 years of a relationship with my Dad and Step Mom. Think very hard if a partnership is right for you and set it up correctly.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Many of the people who have helped me are from books I have read. Many of them I have learned from and feel like I know but only from the text on the pages. One stands out is motivational speaker Jim Rohn. His teachings have shaped me and I continue to look back on them for wisdom and guidance. When I am speaking in public or discussing my business I usually use a quote or saying from Jim. Sometimes I have to remember those are his words and not mine. 😊
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your company started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?
The vision of my company is to provide homeowners with a solution that solves their house problem. We have multiple strategies we can use to help homeowners in different situations. One strategy does not work for everyone so our mission to be a one stop real estate company for everyone. By helping the homeowners in our communities we are also improving the communities themselves by fixing up many of the houses.
Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion. Can you share with our readers a story from your own experience about how you lead your team during uncertain or difficult times?
We stay true to our mission and values no matter what is going on. Our industry never completely shuts down so as long as we are doing the right thing for people every time, we will have people to help.
Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the motivation to continue through your challenges? What sustains your drive?
Yes, I have considered giving up. Starting a business is tough, continuing a business when its not generating any income is very tough. My motivation comes from my “why” which aligns with my passion. I want total time and financial freedom and I am passionate about real estate. I put those two things together and never feel like I am working because its exactly what I want to be doing every day.
What would you say is the most critical role of a leader during challenging times?
Challenging times come and go, a leader must continue to grow personally to be able to handle the ups/downs, growth or retraction that comes with business. If a leader wants to grow a business to $5million but is only good at leading a company valued at $1million, the business will never make it. A leader has to grow.
When the future seems so uncertain, what is the best way to boost morale? What can a leader do to inspire, motivate and engage their team?
The best way for a leader to boost morale is to give employees some power to own their jobs. What I mean is allow some employees to make decisions regarding their area of the business. When someone takes ownership in their role, they will naturally work harder and smarter to be successful.
How can a leader make plans when the future is so unpredictable?
The future is not unpredictable. In fact I can predict the future…just ask me how and Ill tell you.
Is there a “number one principle” that can help guide a company through the ups and downs of turbulent times?
Stay true to your mission and values and continue to improve 1% everyday on something.
Can you share 3 or 4 of the most common mistakes you have seen other businesses make during difficult times? What should one keep in mind to avoid that?
In our industry many people pulled back during Covid where we ramped up. Pulling back was a mistake because there were more people that needed our help and we saw an increase in business because of it.
Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
We have positioned our company to be successful in any type of economy by learning multiple strategies to help homeowners. One example is getting our real estate license to not only work with homeowners with run down houses but nicer houses that can be listed on the retail market. This opened the door for us to be able to work with many more people. I would suggest others try to insulate themselves from economic ups and downs by knowing your competitors and customers very well. If your customers or competitors are doing “X” but you are only good at doing “Y”…you may not survive. You have to provide value to customers and that comes from knowing your customers and competitors.
Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should do to lead effectively during uncertain and turbulent times? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Grow as a Leader — read every day
- Share the Vision — make sure your team knows the vision in your head
- Empower Others — let others in your business own their roles
- Do What They Say — walk the walk and others will as well
- Never Give Up — no matter what this is important to show your team
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“For things to change, you have to change.” This is one of the quotes I live by because it reminds me that I have the power to change my circumstances, not the weather or government or outcome of a football game. If I want something in my life: results, finances, relationships, etc to change then I have to change so that I can attract those different results.
How can our readers further follow your work?
Instagram at @homebuyingguys