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How to Create a Leadership Team That Scales

Ben Sencenbaugh
Ben Sencenbaugh

When startups are still small, with just a few people on staff, it’s hard to build the strong culture that’s necessary for the business to scale. Leadership is still settling in and understanding the best ways to motivate people. Talent may be green and performance is still being evaluated.

As the business grows and takes on tens, and eventually hundreds, of clients, leadership changes. People who were in low-level positions with the company from the beginning may move into management roles.

Ben Sencenbaugh understands firsthand. He’s been with The Realty Medics for ten years now, after working as an engineer for NASA, as a business consultant, and as a lead trainer at Siemens. He has grown the team from having just 5 members to 59 people today, serving just under 1,600 doors. There wasn’t a ton of culture when he first started, and there were a lot of growing pains as the young business scaled.

He realized that for leadership to succeed at every level, managers must implement great processes and enlist critical thinkers on their team whom they can depend on. Asking questions and staying open-minded are both crucial. But as Ben also discovered, managers need to be ready to forge their own paths while helping the business hit its key targets. It can be a delicate balance.

Focus on improving people and processes

Many startup leaders try to do everything. Early on, Ben always had a hand in everything at The Realty Medics, but he realized that couldn’t continue. Leaders must be able to step back when they see they’re doing too much. It’s just not sustainable. It takes the right integration of technology and delegation to establish more efficient processes. Working together and assessing hiccups with processes helps teams eliminate mistakes. And when processes work more effectively, growth is stimulated.

Ben started delegating and brought in the right technology to help the team. He started to make sure people knew what they were responsible for (and what they weren’t responsible for). Each person knew what they had to do to be successful. This created the right amount of traction to help the company reach 1,000 doors with around 20 people fairly quickly. The company had better systems when they could track the right metrics and each person understood how their metrics impacted the larger business.

Startups like The Realty Medics experience a lot of challenges early on. Team members are often brand new to the industry, especially with property management startups. It’s important to focus not only on developing hard skills but soft skills as well. They need to know the nuances of a role, not just what’s required on paper.

In a nutshell, to gain traction, Ben realized that you need great processes and great people. Processes need to be driven by measurable, realistic goals that everyone can align on.

Ben Sencenbaugh

Ben Sencenbaugh

Ben Sencenbaugh is the president of The Realty Medics, Orlando’s highest five-star rated property manager. Ben got involved in the Central Florida real estate market in 1997 when he purchased his first rental home. After earning a business degree and working as a 757 systems engineer for TransMeridian Airlines, he managed the 757 charter program for the John Kerry and John Edwards presidential campaign. He worked at NASA as an engineer for launch operations on the Space Shuttle program and got an MBA and a master’s in industrial engineering from the University of Miami. Ben has also worked as a business consultant and lead corporate trainer.

Ben has founded three internet startup companies and a real estate investment fund. He has bought, rehabbed, and managed more than 75 personal single-family homes.