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Higher Paid Staff = More Freedom, Better Team, Better Company

cliff-jumping-into-waterMOTORCYCLE TRIPS AND FREEDOM

My brothers, sons, nephews and I take a motorcycle trip every summer.

As an aside, my three brothers and I all own and run our own businesses. My Mom (who reads this blog) thinks it is b/c she raised fearless entrepreneurs.

But, the rest of us realize it is probably b/c we’re socially inept and unable to work for other people 😊

Anyway – there is a point to all of this, but I need to share a few quick stories first.

Last summer, when we were at Crater Lake in Oregon, my oldest brother (an attorney) was stuck on a pay-phone conference call (b/c there was no cell coverage) and he missed our Crater Lake cliff jumping (which I highly recommend btw).

On that same trip, when we were all enjoying lunch at a run down dive bar in the middle of nowhere, my younger brother (who owns an HR software firm) was feverishly sending code from his laptop hot-spot back to his office (b/c nobody should motorcycle without a laptop and two monitors).

The previous summer, in the Canadian Rockies my other brother, a developer, was stuck on the phone so much that he totally missed feeding “Fluffy” the wolf and several other adventures (“Fluffy” was acclimated to tourists and clearly didn’t get the memo that people are “bad”).

In contrast, I am almost always free to enjoy myself on all of these trips and it is not b/c I am a better businessman or more successful (I’m not); it is b/c my brothers are cheapskates, and I am not :)


At least that is my theory. My brothers pay too little for their staff and they can never really “let go” b/c of it, although there are probably other factors too.

I think my freedom comes from my willingness to pay more for better talent. When I used to try to save on labor costs, my vacations were far more stressful b/c I could never let go.

Along this same vein, Forbes had a great cover story a few months ago called Competition Is The New Union. The gist: companies that pay and treat their employees well perform better than companies that don’t.

I bring this up b/c Heejin often consults with Realtors who are trying to hire part-time help at the lowest possible cost.

And her advice is always to make the commitment, and to pay more for full-time talent b/c it will always end up being cheaper.


There is a caveat of course: make sure your team member compensation is tied to measurable performance metrics and to the overall success of the team, as that keeps overhead in check when the team is not doing well.

Heejin also often consults with Realtors who pay team members far too much b/c performance is not measured and/or b/c compensation is not tied to overall team performance.

I might finally add that one of the biggest factors behind JVM’s turn-around several years ago was the implementation of a tier-based (and compliant) profit sharing program – something we highly recommend.

Jay Voorhees at (925) 855-4491
Real Estate Broker, CA Bureau of Real Estate, BRE# 01524255, NMLS# 335646