If you’re new to property management, growing your business or investment portfolio can sometimes feel like it goes in fits and starts. With anything new, it takes time to find a rhythm, and we all encounter some mistakes along the way.

As small business owners ourselves, we’re here to offer a few tips based on mistakes we’ve made in the hopes of helping you avoid a few common pitfalls that can slow down your growth. Here goes.

#1. Don’t Focus on Getting Paid; Do Focus on Adding Value

There’s no doubt that money pays the bills, but if you want to be successful with your real estate investment, it’s about more than money. You have to shift your mindset and rethink who you want to serve.

When you prioritize adding value to your tenants and consider how you can better serve them instead of getting defensive whenever you receive a complaint, you reposition your entire business operation and customer service model.

For us at RL Property Management, we’ve been surprised by how many new connections and opportunities have arisen when we zeroed in on finding ways to add value to our tenants, business partners, and even complete strangers, rather than simply think about how we’re going to get paid.

#2. Do Find Your Niche Customer

Early on in a business, it can be hard to even think about turning away potential clients if they don’t fit your ideal customer profile, but there is a lot of power in getting specific about the type of customer you want to work with.

The more narrowly you define your target audience, the more value you can provide for them and the easier it is to articulate that value. Taking the time to find the very best tenants will also pay off in the form of reduced turnover and fewer tenant issues and expenses.

#3. Do Focus on High-Leverage, High-Impact Strategic Moves

It can be easy to think of our to-do list as a series of items all bearing the same amount of weight. By that we mean filing papers might seem of equal importance to cold-calling a new client.

Obviously, this is not true. If you pick up the phone to call a prospective client, the result could potentially move your business forward in a way that could resonate for years. Whether or not you file your papers, on the other hand? No one will ever know.

Business owners and real estate investors can’t do everything, but by selectively choosing highly impactful tasks, you can be more strategic with your decision making and make better use of your time. Everything that’s not as important or can be done equally well by others should be shifted off your plate.

Growing as a property investor comes with a learning curve, but hopefully these tips will help you avoid some of the inefficiencies and hurdles we’ve had to overcome. To hear more about some of the mistakes we’ve made and to learn more about other property management topics, subscribe to our podcast “Owner Occupied.”