The most valuable business advice that Hao Min ever received came from a conversation with B.C. real estate mogul and famed philanthropist Bob Lee.
“Lunch is cheap,” Min recalled Lee saying, reflecting on the importance of constantly talking with others in building a strong business. “Always have lunch with others. Never eat alone…. What I learned is … don’t be cheap in hiring. Even as a startup, don’t worry about having the newest computers; it’s about finding the right people, because that’s what’s going to pay off in the long term.”
The advice has apparently served Min, founder and CEO of Vancouver’s Bold Properties, very well. In the six years since the company’s founding, it has amassed a portfolio of nine major projects in Metro Vancouver, in addition to a number of custom home developments. The total value of those developments is more than $435 million.
More important than those dollar figures is Bold’s thriving team of more than 30 people – something that is key to the company’s success, Min said.
“One person can only do so many things,” he said. “It’s always about the team, and the way I see a company – the analogy I use with my team members – is that this is like an art gallery. We provide the materials, the canvas and the creative freedom for the artists to paint. You have to let the team members express what they want – based on the direction in which we believe we are going.”
As personnel plays such a crucial role for Bold, Min said he and his management team have developed specific attributes they look for in candidates. This was a process not without its hiccups; Min noted that some hires in the company’s beginning years were less than optimal, which helped shape the company’s current hiring strategy.
“The most crucial attribute that we look at is whether a person is looking to grow with the company,” Min said. “Attitude and passion are the first things we look at. Then we look at professionalism; is the person organized? Does he or she have the right skills? Are they able to collaborate with others, and can they be leaders? I want to create leaders in the company.”
Hubei province, China
Where you live now:
Highest level of education:
MBA at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Currently listening to:
In a Time Lapse by Ludovico Einaudi
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up:
An entrepreneur operating an international business
Profession you would most like to try:
A professional photographer travelling all around the world
Toughest business or professional decision:
There are many. The toughest one is to grow your team strategically at the right time. Always, making a good hire is tough and critical to the business
Advice you would give the younger you:
Hire great people
What’s left to do:
Develop a landmark building to be remembered for generations and travel around the world with my family, and also get more involved in the local community
Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit http://www.biv.com/events/40under40