DGS 160: Visionary vs. Operator In A Property Management Business

If you own a business, you are likely either a visionary or an operator. Entrepreneurs/visionary types are risk-takers. They innovate and lead a business with their ideas and vision. Operators are analytical and organized and solve problems within the business.

This important dynamic between the visionary & the operator personality types keeps a business balanced and running. Property management growth expert, Jason Hull explores the relationship between visionaries and operators and their roles in a business.

You’ll Learn…

[01:02] Intro: Visionary vs. Operator

[01:34] What is a Visionary? What Makes Them Different From an Operator?

[03:22] Visionaries Must be Allowed to Lead

[04:23] Giving Operators the Right Problems to Solve

[06:20] What if You are Both an Operator and an Entrepreneur?

[08:23] Surrounding Yourself with a Team that Supports You

[10:21] Another Type of Team Member: BDMs

[11:18] What to do in a Toxic Business Partnership 

[12:28] The Visionary and the Operator Together: a Magical Pair


Visionaries are big-picture oriented. They’re dreamers, they’re creative, risk-takers, innovators. Whereas operators– operators are these really detail-oriented, meticulous people.”

“Giving the operator correct vision gives them the right problem to solve.”

“Running a business is risky. It requires innovation. It requires creativity. These are the skills of the visionary.”

“The visionary will lead with vision, and the operator in a healthy state will ensure that that vision is always going to get accomplished, which is super important.”


DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind

DoorGrow Academy

DoorGrow on YouTube



TalkRoute Referral Link


[00:00:00] Welcome DoorGrow Hackers to the #DoorGrowShow. If you are a property management entrepreneur that wants to add doors, make a difference, increase revenue, help others, impact lives, and you are interested in growing your business and life, and you are open to doing things a bit differently… then you are a DoorGrow Hacker. DoorGrow Hackers love the opportunities, daily variety, unique challenges, and freedom that property management brings. Many in real estate think you’re crazy for doing it. You think they’re crazy for not because you realize that property management is the ultimate high trust gateway to real estate deals, relationships, and residual income.


[00:00:39] At DoorGrow, we are on a mission to transform property management businesses and their owners. We want to transform the eliminate the BS, build awareness, change perception, expand the market and help the best property management entrepreneurs win. I’m your host property management growth expert, Jason Hull, the founder and CEO of DoorGrow. Now, let’s get into the show. 


[00:01:02] So today’s topic everybody. We’re going to be talking about visionary versus operator. So I get a lot of clients coming to me that are visionaries. And so, I want to get into this dynamic of the visionary versus the operator, and there’s some important ideas to understand around this because it’s a really common partnership or relationship that exists in business. It can be very symbiotic and it can be very helpful to have this relationship in a business. 


[00:01:34] And so let’s talk about the visionary. So what is a visionary? Visionary is the typical entrepreneur personality type. The visionary is somebody that has, you know, vision. They have these ideas of what they want to accomplish. They are usually driven. They’re usually a bit more sales-oriented. 


[00:01:52] They’re a bit more risk-oriented than most people on the planet. They’re comfortable taking on risks. They’re comfortable doing the work. They’re comfortable coming up with new ideas and innovating. They change quickly. They move quickly. They want to do new things. They experiment… they’re driven, risk takers. You get the idea. 


[00:02:13] These are the typical, stereotypical sort of entrepreneur personality type. And the operator is very different than that. Right? So, and to contrast these: visionaries are big-picture oriented. They’re dreamers, they’re creative, risk-takers, innovators. Whereas operators– operators are these really detail-oriented, meticulous people. 


[00:02:35] They focus on the details instead of so much the big picture. They’re grounded. They focus on keeping things grounded. They’re not like theoretical and big plan, this guy dreams… They’re like practical and grounded. They’re meticulous. They’re cautious. And they are focused on implementation rather than so much innovation. 


[00:02:56] And so visionaries, you need operators, right? You know, you might have them as a personal or an executive assistant. They might then graduate to being an operations assistant– might graduate to being an operations manager– maybe eventually director of operations– and then maybe the VP of operations –and maybe even the COO of your company, where they may be dealing with some financials and some other things that you wouldn’t trust anybody else with. Right? 


[00:03:22] It’s important in understanding this relationship between these two contrasting, different personality types– and this is really important for the operator to understand, is that the visionary must be allowed to lead. The visionary has to lead because they’re going to move the business forward. 


[00:03:40] Running a business is risky. It requires innovation. It requires creativity. These are the skills of the visionary. but they are a dynamic duo, right? The visionary will lead with vision and the operator in a healthy state will ensure that that vision is always going to get accomplished, which is super important. 


[00:03:59] A lot of times, visionaries might be trying to do it all themselves, and they wonder why things end up staying on their to-do list forever, why they feel stuck, why they have so much frustration, why they aren’t able to just get stuff done. And if there’s all these things you’ve had on your to-do list for way too long, it’s probably because you’re a visionary and you need badly some sort of operator in the business.


[00:04:23] Now the operator has some inherent challenges. The operator needs vision, and it’s important that you give the operator the right problem to solve because if the operator doesn’t have the right problem to solve, their usual default problem that they work on is how should we do this? How can we avoid this? Is this safe? Keep the business safe and keep things comfortable and make sure everything is done perfectly before we take action. And so they’re always looking for the flaw, the problem they’re super critical. A lot of times and they’re always looking for the flaw in whatever your vision and things are.


[00:04:55] So what’s important to understand, visionaries, is you need to give operators the right problem to work on. So instead of the problem of, “should we do this?” And “what’s wrong with this,? And “where’s the flaw?” You need to give them a different problem to work on saying, “this is the goal. How do we get this accomplished?”

[00:05:15] “How can we make this possible? How can we make this work? How can we hit this target? How can we make more money? How can we do this?” Instead of, “should we?” or “why?” Or, you know, some of these kinds of things sometimes, right? 


[00:05:29] So, giving the operator correct vision gives them the right problem. ‘Cause they are really good problem solvers. They’re really good at solving these problems. And if given the right problem, “how can we make this work? How could we do this?” It shifts the brain out of, “should we do this?” Or “Why?” You know– which your goal is to get this done– shifts them to thinking and helping you figure out how to accomplish this.


[00:05:50] Now a lot of lawyers, accountants, really detail-oriented people might have that kind of personality type. And so a lot of times you need to give them the right problem to solve, because they’re going to try and keep you from doing things or tell you don’t do this, or this might not be safe. And if you know that this vision and down in your intuition says, ‘this is what we’re going to do, this is what I want to do.’

[00:06:10] You give them: this is the problem I want you to work on. I already know I want to do this. Help them figure out how to do this… very different problem to give operators. 


[00:06:20] Alright, now, forcing non entrepreneurial operators. Cause there are some of you operators out there that are also the entrepreneur and you run a business. And you’re kind of a unicorn, you’re a little bit unique and different, but forcing a non-entrepreneurial operator to lead and to push and to have drive is often very uncomfortable for them. And it’s often very ineffective. There’s going to be a lot of friction. They’ll experience massive resistance to doing new things, taking risks, and they shouldn’t be pushed to do sales or marketing or outreach or prospecting, or to be the face of the company in the long run.


[00:07:03] So if you are the operator personality type running your property management business, you may want to attract or get around some people. So operators should not be over sales, marketing, BDM– business development management. They should not be over that typically because they’re going to focus on conservation and conserving and doing less and spending less money and not experimenting and doing things safer typically.


[00:07:29] So your head of sales and marketing would be maybe their equal, not their subordinate. You do not want to put your operations person over them. Everybody may report metrics to the operator, but the operators should not be their boss. They should not be their supervisor or superior. If you have a head of director or head of sales and marketing or a BDM.


[00:07:50] Now, what if you are that operator entrepreneur? So let’s talk about that. First, you may not actually be that person. You may just enjoy creating operational systems. I enjoy that. I love creating the systems and building out operational stuff, but I don’t love doing the data entry. I don’t love running those systems. I don’t want to run the meetings. I don’t want to run the process, but I like building out sometimes those processes or the mechanics or the mechanisms ’cause that’s creative work for me. That’s visionary, creative work for me. 


[00:08:23] Now, if you actually are this operator personality type and you run a business, you may have struggled to grow your business because of that. So you may need to surround yourself with visionaries to get ideas. This is why some of my clients that are operator personality types, work with me as a. It helps expose them to new ideas. It helps stretch them, move them into the things that they wouldn’t normally think of doing. It’s kind of like, I get to be the visionary for them in some regard. 


[00:08:50] Or you may need to go get a business partner or somebody that can fill that role if you really feel that that’s a deficiency. So getting a visionary co-mentor can help… getting somebody else. Now you may also want to– just a tip– is just practice feeling, right? Because usually operators are very in their head. They’re very mental. They’re avoiding their feelings. They’re trying to avoid feelings by using logic, which doesn’t really work.


[00:09:17] The only thing you can do with a feeling is to feel that feeling. So my recommendation is don’t be mentally avoiding feelings, be present, get in your body and feel those feelings because once you’re comfortable feeling uncomfortable feelings… Once you can deal with that, you can move to a higher level of capacity as an entrepreneur.


[00:09:39] You will also need to learn to build the right culture and attract people that you can actually trust to let go of control to. A lot of times, you want to hold onto things and control everything and you don’t feel safe letting go. They don’t really share your values and you’re never going to trust somebody unless they really share your values.


[00:09:58] You won’t trust them to do things the way you would. You won’t trust them to work with people the way you would. You won’t trust your clients to talk to them. You won’t trust that they’ll make great decisions because they don’t share your values and you cannot create values in people. It’s hard wired in. They get their values from their religion, their parents, their upbringing, the culture they grew up in.


[00:10:20] They have those kinds of set. They’ve made decisions long ago, lots of little decisions that led to their values. So you need to find people that are good at culture fit or value fit for you. You may also want to get a BDM. So a lot of the operator entrepreneurs really struggle in the sales outreach, business development sort of category. That stuff’s not fun. Like making a cold call sounds really uncomfortable for a lot of them, for example, right? They just know they’re not good at it. They’re not a closer, they don’t have the bite, the hunger, the drive. They don’t feel comfortable following up on somebody three times in the same day. They’re like, “that sounds mean, or uncomfortable for them. Right?


[00:11:01] So if that’s you, you may need a BDM or you may want to partner with a visionary I had mentioned before. Or at the very least, at least maybe a sales assistant that you can groom to be a BDM, which I’ve done a podcast episode on previously, which is a great episode. You should listen to it if that’s of interest to you.


[00:11:18] All right. So what if you have an operator business partner? You’re the visionary. And you’re both equal partners in this business? This can be a really difficult, uncomfortable dynamic. If you want to grow and you have vision and they don’t trust you, then that relationship is now toxic. 


[00:11:38] If the operator doesn’t trust you– if you’ve destroyed trust with your experiments and your risks, and they don’t trust you anymore, then to, to move the business forward, either you need to rebuild that trust or the relationship needs to end, because it’s toxic. You cannot grow when you have an equal partner that’s able to make decisions in the business, and they’re saying, “I don’t want to do experiments or do something uncomfortable or hire a coach or work with DoorGrow, or do anything that feels expensive or risky or new… I’m comfortable with where things are right now. 


[00:12:11] So if you have somebody that’s growth oriented and somebody that’s comfort oriented and wants safety and certainty, and they’re equal partners, you may have to dissolve that relationship. This is why I say the visionary must be the one that leads. This is super important that the visionary must be the one that is allowed to have leadership and to lead in this organization. They have to lead. Visionary has to be allowed to lead in this organization.


[00:12:38] So the visionary plus the operator: so if everything’s working out, then you will be stronger together. This is a magical relationship. Somebody’s creating the vision and somebody making sure everything gets done. It takes a huge load off the visionary entrepreneur’s plate. And the operator has the right problems to solve and the right things to do, and they know what to do in order to win and what to figure out. And they’re in the right role. And everybody is going to be happier in that type of business. 


[00:13:10] If you’re in a business that doesn’t have a good operator, then a lot of things will fall through the cracks. There’ll be a lot of things that aren’t getting done. There’ll be a lot of chaos. A lot of confusion there’ll be constant changes in direction. Goals will change. Goals will be too big and unattainable. You’re not connected to reality in the business and a business without vision or without a visionary will feel like it’s not moving forward. It won’t feel like there’s growth. It won’t feel exciting. It won’t feel like there’s something to look forward to in the business.


[00:13:40] And it will feel just safe, comfortable, and you’re not gonna have a lot of growth. Right? So my hope is that those of you listening have self-identified: are you more of a visionary? Or are you more of an operator? And what do you need in order to get to the next level? And I hope this is helpful for those of you that are running property management businesses.


[00:14:00] If you want to move your business forward, if you want to grow your company, if you could use a little more vision or you could use some operational systems and to learn how to attract and build the right team, the right planning system, the right meeting structures, the right, systems in order to scale your business operationally… To support your operator or the right sales-related things to support your BDM… 


[00:14:27] there is nothing better out there than the DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind. Our clients are crushing it with this stuff right now. And we have scripts for your BDMs. We have programs that are far more effective than what most people are doing to grow their business that are focused on generating more warm leads, more trust, more relationships that have like an 80- 90% close rate– really effective.


[00:14:52] And we also have systems that are better than EOS or Traction or all these systems that exist out there we call DoorGrow OS. We also have a really brilliant hiring system called DoorGrow ATS so you can attract and retain and have A-players in your business and make sure everybody’s on track, everybody’s accountable and you have no hiders in your business.


[00:15:13] And so if you are interested in this, get on a call with our team, check us out at doorgrow.com and we’d love to support you. And we will also give you a free training with 7– there’s a couple bonus ones– maybe 9 Frameworks, in which you can learn some of the secrets to growing and scaling your business and different lenses to view your business so that you can make your business even more effective. And we will give that training to you for free and explain the program and everything in it. And we would love to do that for you. So reach out to us at DoorGrow, and, until next time to our mutual growth.


[00:15:47] Bye everyone.


[00:15:48] You just listened to the #DoorGrowShow. We are building a community of the savviest property management entrepreneurs on the planet in the DoorGrowClub. Join your fellow DoorGrow Hackers at doorgrowclub.com. Listen, everyone is doing the same stuff. SEO, PPC pay per lead content, social direct mail, and they still struggle to grow! 


[00:16:14] At DoorGrow, we solve your biggest challenge: getting deals and growing your business. Find out more at doorgrow.com. Find any show notes or links from today’s episode on our blog doorgrow.com, and to get notified of future events and news subscribe to our newsletter at doorgrow.com/subscribe.


[00:16:35] Until next time, take what you learn and start DoorGrow Hacking your business and your life.

About Jason Hull

Jason's mission is "to inspire others to love true principles." This means he enjoys digging up gold nuggets of wisdom & sharing them with property managers to help them improve their business. He founded OpenPotion, DoorGrow, & GatherKudos.