This is a follow up story for Stratton Equities. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 1 year ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
I am Michael Mikhail, Entrepreneur, Real Estate Investor, and the CEO & Founder of Stratton Equities - the leading nationwide direct private money lender for real estate investors. We specialize in having the largest library of innovative loan programs under one roof.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Stratton Equities has catapulted to a new level in the last 6 months. After what could have been a disastrous year, we were fortunate to utilize the time to strengthen the infrastructure of our company and grow from there. We added new team members, implemented a customized CRM program, and built a customer interface that allows easy direct communication to the consumer. We learned that through automating the majority of our process, we were able to increase productivity, close loans faster, and even build out our hiring plans.
Keep your fixed costs and expenses very low, don’t take on excess debt (or borrow money) for no reason, and start a business small with the money you have.
Another big change that we added in 2020 is expanding our in-house content creation and outreach. We saw a huge need in educating the consumer about our industry as so many people do not know or understand what a private lender does. I felt that having educational blogs and articles was a great way to help people and share our expertise as to why Stratton Equities is the leader in the industry.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
This year has shown us who truly rises to the top during the chaos. A lot of businesses in various verticals were not prepared to create the shift to an online presence - my company has always grown from the strong online vision we present and I have always kept my fixed costs low because of it. When the quarantine hit, I was prepared to pause on everything with only my overhead becoming my rent.
The biggest lesson out of all of this is to always be prepared for every scenario; make sure there are multiple ways for prospective clients to get a hold of you, ensure your company message is streamlined and consistent throughout so there is no confusion, and never sign long-term contracts or contracts with cancellation fees.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
My first goal is to rebuild and grow over the next year. We already have expanded our team and are building out a new office. By the end of 2021, I would like to have an office of 30 Loan Officers and 15-20 supporting staff (Loan Processors/Assistants/Admins/Closers). More than anything else, I am planning on launching a significant amount of mainstream multi-media advertising over the next year.
Over the next 5 years, we plan to continually grow our team and generate a target of $1M/month gross in revenue.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
In the last year, I was focused on self-growth and preservation since 2020 caused everyone to pause. To become a better entrepreneur and manager to my team, I re-read the following books; E-Myth by Michael Gerber and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (it always brings me new ideas every time I read it).
I also read “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
My advice for entrepreneurs that are struggling to grow their business, especially after 2020 which hit us all - would be to keep your fixed costs and expenses very low, don’t take on excess debt (or borrow money) for no reason, and start a business small with the money you have.
GIVE YOUR BUSINESS TIME TO GROW and grow your company with the money that you built. So many entrepreneurs think they need to spend more to make more when they get started, instead they should be capitalizing on their resources that they have already invested in.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
After a whirlwind 2020, that forced us to shift gears and build a better foundation - we are happy to announce that 2021 is not only going strong, but we are expanding our team and looking for new Loan Officers to join us at our new location. This year has become a fresh start for the company and we were able to open a larger office as we expand our company.
Additionally, we are looking for Loan Processors and Loan Closers to add to the Stratton Equities team.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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