The next time you play golf on company time make sure insights into how you spend your time on the job out in the field is not being tracked.
Today’s guest is Barima Kwarteng from Timeero, a GPS app that reduces overhead costs and streamlines time tracking. Basically, Timeero started to prevent golf (at least on company time) because it’s expensive!
[01:52] Barima’s Background: Originally from Ghana in West Africa, but attended BYU.
[02:35] Timeero: Some employees work in the field. How do they spend their time?
[03:01] Drunk Coworker Confesses: On company time, they play golf on Fridays.
[03:35] Software not from Scratch: Acquired cold base from Texas cop and rebuilt it.
[05:00] Theft Prevention: Timeero tracks time, location, mileage, and much more.
[06:10] Screenshot Safety: Pressure to prove work is being done to get paid.
[06:58] Big Brother? Find out if employees are being accountable or taking advantage.
[07:22] Bottom Line: Companies save 5-15% payroll costs by tracking employees’ time.
[08:16] COVID Cash Crunch: Tighten belt to offload employees not pulling their weight.
[10:00] Technology and Time Management: Paper timecards/sheets take too much time.
[12:07] Timeero: How the Web application works after downloading app on smartphone.
[15:06] Geofence: Reminder to clock in and clock out as soon as you arrive/leave work.
[16:36] Better Culture within Business: Nobody likes to be micromanaged. Trust me.
[20:49] More Money? Most are more motivated by recognition than monetary benefits.
[22:05] Simplicity vs. Tech-Savvy: Get people to use new things or do things differently.
[24:10] Why is Timeero different from other apps? Gives outside team more insights.
[30:42] ROI: Timeero is $5 per user per month, plus $10 base fee for business account.
Jason: Welcome, DoorGrow Hackers, to the DoorGrow Show. 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.
At DoorGrow, we are on a mission to transform property management businesses and the owners. We want to transform the industry, eliminate the BS, build awareness, change the 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.
My guest today, I’m hanging out with Barima Kwarteng. Did I say it right?
Barima: I think you got that right more than most people.
Jason: Okay, awesome. Barima has a company called Timeero. Before we get into that, I’m excited to hear a little bit about this. I was checking out your landing page for your software. It looks like it’s kind of unique with the GPS stuff and some of those kinds of things.
Before we get into that, why don’t you introduce yourself to those listening or watching this later? Just help them understand what brought you to Timeero, and share a little bit about your entrepreneurial background here.
Barima: Yeah, absolutely. I’m originally from Ghana, a country in West Africa. I’m not sure if many of you listeners know where that is. I originally came to school out here in the US at BYU. At BYU, I was able to learn a little bit more about entrepreneurship and starting businesses. It’s something I’ve always wanted to be able to do. That opportunity presented itself with Timeero.
The whole idea behind Timeero was that many businesses out there have employees out in the field. They have teams out in the field. They want to have a little bit more insight into how their employees or team members spend their time. Timeero provides you that opportunity to be able to have more insights into how your outsight spends their time.
One of the events that really triggered this was I have a friend who owns a construction company. His employees, every Friday, they would bring their golf clubs and check it in their truck. On company time, they will play golf on Friday. The company didn’t know about this. They only found out during a company party that they were playing golf on company time. One of the employees was drunk and finally spilled out the secret about what they were doing.
He needed a solution to be able to track again and have insights into where his employees were spending their time. Working with him, that was how the whole idea was born. I initially did not build it from scratch. There was a company out in Texas that the owner of the company wanted to sell his software.
I remember thinking to myself, you know what, this is what Brad wants. This is the kind of solution he needs. I actually ended up acquiring the initial cold base from this guy out in Texas. He was a cop. He just wanted to get rid of it and focus on something else.
What we ended up doing was rebuilding the whole system again and making them much better. That’s a little bit about how we got started on Timeero.
Jason: Timeero started to prevent golf, basically.
Barima: I have a problem with people playing golf. When you’re doing it on company time or when you’re playing when you’re not supposed to be playing, it gets pretty expensive. We’re on company time.
Jason: Yeah. If golf is helping the bottom line and helping you get revenue, great, but otherwise…
Barima: If it’s helping the bottom line, yeah. Exactly.
Barima: Sometimes, it feels like it has a big brother feel to it, but you’ll be surprised in many ways that people use it. It tracks time, location, mileage, and a whole lot of things.
Jason: My company’s virtual. One of the challenges I’ve noticed over the last decade or so that I’ve been running a virtual team is you sometimes get people that are not full of integrity. They come into the business, you think they’re going to do a good job. If there isn’t a level of accountability that needs to be in the business, people sometimes will take advantage of that.
The challenge is that I’ve had people stealing time from me in the past. Eventually, you find out. Eventually, you figure out they’re not getting stuff done and you’re paying for that time. That’s a challenge people deal with. It’s theft in the business. It sounds like we’re talking about preventing theft.
One of the side effects I’ve noticed in having time tracking and time software for some of the team members, contractors, or people that I hire, some of these do screenshots, some of these do things like that. It’s created safety for my team members or as contractors as well.
One of the challenges a lot of contractors deal with is they have to prove that they’re doing something and they feel that pressure. It could very easily be somebody that hired them to say I don’t think you did anything, or I don’t think you did enough. I don’t want to pay you.
There’s also the issue of if there are interactions or dealings with customers, so having accurate records protects the customer, it protects the employer, the team member, and it protects entrepreneurs, the CEO, or the boss of the company. I think people forget that and they sometimes like to focus on it feels so big brother.
I generally found that I only get that feedback from people that want to not have accountability.
Barima: I think you hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what we’re seeing as well. There are a whole lot of uses for it. Generally, people right off the bat think, oh, it has a little big brother feel to it. What we’re seeing is it’s actually helping the bottom line in terms of payroll as well.
One of the things I haven’t really mentioned is just with time theft, it’s natural for us to have our times. I may come up to you and say I work from [8:00] AM-[5:00] PM. The reality is I probably worked [8:13] AM until [4:42] PM. Five minutes, 10 minutes here and there start to add up all the time. It starts to affect the bottom line. We’re seeing companies saving anywhere from 5%-15% payroll cost by just having a system in place to help them accurately track more time and also have more insights as to where the employees are spending their time.
That’s one of the few statements that we’re giving businesses that you’d also have to […].
Jason: I think one positive advantage that has come from the whole coronavirus, COVID-19 epidemic is in March, everybody sort of experienced the significant cash crunch—most businesses did—and they had to tighten their belt.
What we saw is a lot of businesses laying people off, a lot of property managers were tightening the belt because they worried rent wasn’t going to come in. That created this massive mass cleanse of wait, bloat, and fluff inside of companies. There was just this offloading of that.
That makes people really conscious. I think people, more so now than ever, are really conscious of the fact that a 5%-15% reduction in payroll cost is significant because that’s typically the largest expense in a business. That could be a significant reduction in expenses, which means you have a lot more cash flow health.
If cash flow goes into the business, the business is dead. The second cash flow is gone, the business is done, unless you get loans or something to squeeze out and get a little free cash available. Cash flow is king in a business, and payroll is going to directly impact that.
Barima: Right. I think you’re spot-on on about that. What the coronavirus and everything going on, as a business owner, your natural instinct is to try to cut down costs. Like you mentioned, most people may be looking to lay off people.
A lot of times, as business owners, we’re so focused on bringing in more business. How do I increase my revenue? It also makes sense to look at your bottom line and figure out, how do I cut down costs using technology? I think it’s easily forgotten by a lot of team leaders or business owners. In figuring out how to cut down on costs using technology, you can dramatically cut down on costs and help improve your bottom line.
In terms of time management, let’s just focus on time management. There are a lot of companies out there who still use paper timesheets, they’re having their employees to text in their time, or using some form of […] system. What we’re not even talking about is the amount of time that’s involved in processing your payroll.
First of all, your employees may not be turning in their timecards on time. Depending on how often you’re running payroll, you may be finding out two weeks later how many hours they may have spent on a job. They may not have the greatest handwriting and you’re spending a lot of time trying to figure that out. Or you may have to open a call and try to get everyone to turn in their time card in a timely fashion.
Today is Friday. The last thing you wanted to do is to spend your Friday afternoon or evening trying to chase people for their timecards. If you’re using a system like Timeero, you don’t have to sit around and wait for any of that. We’re talking about cutting the amount of hours anywhere from 30 minutes to even 5 hours for some companies or more to minutes or even seconds. You can just pull up a report of how many hours have been worked, how much mileage, and have insights to where they’ve been.
Technology saves you a lot of time. As a business owner, you can dedicate those hours or time to something more beneficial. It might be spending more time with your family or other areas of your business. It definitely does help save you a lot of time and money as well.
Jason: Okay. We talked about some of the benefits of saving time. Let’s talk a little bit about how it works. Say, a property management business owner has some boots on the ground, has an agent or a person at the field, a property manager, and they’re doing showings. They’re going to open up a property for somebody in getting a lease handle. They’re moving around and doing stuff.
But they’re not sure if this person is going and just picking up the gates in school, hanging out and watching Netflix for an hour here. They want to verify this, how does this software work?
Barima: The way it works is that you have your web application, which you can run on an iPad or a normal desktop machine. Your employees are going to have their smartphone. We have mobile apps that they can download on their smartphones. Once they have the app on their smartphone, they can log in using the credentials that they’ve been assigned.
Whenever you’re ready to start with it, let’s say we’ll start at [8:00] AM for me. I come in, I punch in, and it starts tracking my time, my location, and my mileage. Whenever I travel around it logs my positions. Let’s say I clock in and decide to drive off to go play golf. Now Jason is going to come in and see that I’m at a golf course.
That’s probably where I’m not supposed to be—at a golf course. You’re going to see a trail path of where every single employee has been while they’re on the clock. Managers can review that and ask questions. Why were you at the golf course? Or were you supposed to be there in the first place?
Jason: For the manager that’s looking in the app—managing their staff that is tracking their time—they will see a map for this?
Barima: They will see a map, exactly. There’s a Google map. For every time entry, there’s a Google map that shows your trail path of where you’ve been while you were on the clock. Again, the app only tracks time and movement while you’re clocked in. The moment you clock out, it stops tracking you because we really value privacy.
We’re not interested in knowing what you were doing off the clock. It’s only while you’re in the clock that it tracks your trail path, where you’ve been, and any information that’s needed
Jason: Great. If they have a maintenance person going around doing maintenance in some properties, they can say, hey, this tenant called me. They said you haven’t shown up yet. Where are you at? Oh, yeah, I’m on my way. You check and they’re at the golf course. I know that’s not the case.
It creates some accountability, which I think lessens the temptation for people to lie, steal, and do things. It also creates more accuracy because they know that their location is being entered in. Now, say somebody forgets to clock out. They go do an errand at the grocery store. They’re like, oh, I forgot to do that. Are they able to edit their time entry to remove that portion and eliminate that pin from the map?
Barima: Absolutely. You’re able to go edit your time entries and change all of that. One of the things we’re doing or some of the few things we’ve got is to make sure we can remind people to clock out as well. Not just clock in, but also to clock out.
You can set a reminder. For instance, we use a technology called geofence. We can set a geofence around your work area. The moment you leave your work area, it notifies you to clock out because you probably may have forgotten to clock out, you’re leaving off for lunch, or leaving off.
The other thing we’re coming out with is an automatic clock in and clock out. Whenever you arrive at the job site, it automatically clocks you in. When you leave, it also automatically clocks you out. These are optional settings you can turn on and off.
Again, it helps people track time more efficiently and more accurately. Now, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to clock in and out. It just handles that for you if you turn on those options.
Jason: Yes. I’m a big fan of creating or implementing systems that can do the job of managing certain pieces rather than micromanaging your team. I love when information’s pushed to me instead of me having to go and ask them, and get it, or find out, or that sort of thing is. You may want to know, as a boss, what were you […]. What were you doing this time?
If you go and ask them all the time, if they are doing the right thing, they’re going to feel invaded. They’re going to feel like you’re not trusting them. Having a system like this, I can see the advantage in being able to check and say okay. It can alleviate those fears you have in the back of your mind. Oh, they were on the job site. They were doing this job at this property. They were in the office this time while I was on vacation when I checked.
It just allows you to lower that pressure, those noises, those fears, and those doubts. And it allows you to facilitate greater trust in your team.
Barima: Absolutely. Speaking of micromanaging, I’m not a micromanager at all. I don’t like environments where people feel micromanaged. Sometimes using the software may come off as micromanaging.
One of the things we do is we like to train our users to have a better culture within your businesses, within your companies. Foster an environment where people feel trusted. And also, using tools like this to foster more accountability. You can have a great accountability system without micromanaging people.
Sometimes, people don’t think those two things go together. You can have good technology in place, make sure people are held accountable, but then also avoid micromanaging people.
Jason: Yeah. This is an ironic thing in business or some people think these things don’t go together. But really, when you create really good accountability systems inside your business, first of all, it’s going to prevent the hiders or the people that aren’t real believers in you or in your business from being able to get away with theft, stealing time, or being lazy. These are the team members we sometimes have in business that just want to leave for the weekend, complain about their boss, and they hate their job. None of us want those people on our team.
Ultimately, we want people that are believers, people that buy into our vision, that want to enact the change that our business’ mission is focused on. Those are the people that we want working for us—people that are inspired rather than controlled.
What I found is that those types of people love accountability systems because they get recognized. They want recognition. But when you’re hiding, when you’re trying to steal, when you’re trying to do as little work as possible, and just get a paycheck, you don’t want accountability or recognition. You just want to fly below the radar.
For my team members, we have a weekly commitment meeting. We show up and everybody says what they got done that week based on what they committed to doing in the previous week and what they didn’t. My team members love being able to say, I got these things done. Everybody can see it. Great job you got these things done.
Nobody wants to be the person that has a bunch of things that are in the red that they didn’t accomplish, that are nos on the to-do list and want to feel like the weakest link. It creates a performance culture in which there’s positive peer pressure. I could see how some people would resent this system and some people would respond well to it.
Ultimately, as entrepreneurs, we want those that respond well to accountability and they love the recognition. The big mistake we make a lot as entrepreneurs is we think that they just want more money. We think they want bonuses. That’s going to incentivize their behavior. Most people, besides entrepreneurs and salespeople, are more motivated by recognition than they are by increasing monetary benefits.
Barima: I totally agree with that. It’s very easy to think money motivates. Not everyone is solely motivated by money. Money helps but there are so many other ways to motivate people. It comes down to figuring out what each person on your team values. Recognition is one of them. It really, really, helps to help people feel recognized. It helps them feel that a good job is very important.
There are many ways to motivate people outside of money. I’ve seen it go both ways where money motivates people. Actually, I’ve also seen it not motivate people. You just never know. It’s up to you, as the leader, to figure out what motivates each and every single person.
Also, like you’ve mentioned, there are some people who just are not ready to work. They will be the ones complaining about accountability systems, and they will be trying to figure out ways to beat the system. With those people who fall in that bucket, you have to forego different ways to work with them.
Jason: Now, when it comes to technology, the biggest challenge with the team is adoption, which means getting them to use it. This is usually the biggest challenge with software is getting people to use a new thing or do things in a new way. What’s your experience with people being onboarded into Timeero and getting their team members to use this?
Barima: It’s been on a wide spectrum. Overall, one of the big reasons why people go with us is because of simplicity. We put a lot of effort into making sure that our software is very easy and very simple to use. We know that not everyone is very tech-savvy. We really invest a lot into the design. Simplicity is always at the very top of what really shapes the design.
When it comes to onboarding, it’s very simple. We try to make the process extremely simple so that with a few clicks or a few taps you’re in the system and you’re starting to log hours without very much help. We also invest in a lot of our customer support. You can get on the phone with us and talk with us. You can get on live chat. We’re happy to do a video call and help anyone get onboarded.
There are few players out in the space. In software in general, it’s a well-known fact that it’s not that easy to get support when you need it. Sometimes, people will put you through an email system and you may hear back from them several days after. With us, we really invested a lot in our customer support, so you can get on the phone with us in the live chat.
I can tell you, Jason, once you put out your request, you can expect to hear from us within 10 minutes. That’s it if you’re within our core hours of the business. We really take that. It’s a high priority for us in giving people the support they need.
Jason: You mentioned that there’s a lot of other apps in the time tracking space. Customer service and being intuitive are two areas in which you stand out. What are some other features or benefits we haven’t touched on yet? Or is there anything else that leans people to using your software to do this rather than whatever they’re comfortable already or that they’re using currently?
Barima: When it comes to time tracking, time tracking has been around for a long time. You have companies that have been doing this for over 30 years or probably even longer. It’s a very saturated space. There are so many time tracking apps out there. Some of them are free and some of them are paid as well.
Where we separate ourselves from the gazillion apps out there we are mostly focused on helping you give your outside team more insights, having more insights into how your outside team is spending their time.
We have a lot of property management companies that use us. Also, we help you track mileage. There are few apps out there. I can only probably count two apps I know that probably do that—track your mileage and track your time.
Many companies will want to track your mileage. Perhaps you reimburse employees for mileage driven as well. They may probably be paying also for a separate time tracking app with GPS tracking capabilities. What we’ve done is we’ve matched those two. You don’t even have to pay for two separate apps. You get time tracking, your mileage tracking. You’re also getting scheduling and your host of other things we want to come up with like expense tracking as well.
We’ve been able to mash all of these different technologies. It’s very appealing to a lot of property management companies, businesses, and even property managers with one or two employees will use us. It just saves them a ton of time.
As a business owner, you’re focused on trying to grow your business. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to chase paper timecards, figuring out mileage, and whatnot. With technology, you’re able to do all of these very, very quickly, and much more easily. Your time can be focused on what’s supposed to be important.
There are several things we do: time tracking, mileage, GPS tracking, scheduling, and a few other things. Again, with our software, you have a lot more insight into how your outside team is spending their time.
Jason: Awesome, that’s great. There’s a lot of property management business owners that have property managers that are spending some time in the office, some time out in the field. They’ll be able to assess whether they’re out, in, or not. They’ll be able to see how much time they’re spending at the office. They’ll be able to see that they are going to the properties at the times they’re supposed to.
I’m sure every property management business owner has heard, I showed up for the showing and nobody was there. Usually, the assumption is this tenant is totally out there. But it may be the case that you have team members that are not really measuring up, being fully honest, or doing the things that you need them to do. That level of accountability is going to keep them at that high level.
Barima: Right, exactly. You probably end up getting a bad review from a customer that says, They never showed up. As a business owner, you can go to their system and say, Where was John at [3:00] PM on this day? It will pull up that system and tell you.
Jason: Yeah. If they were there, then that could be your comment on that review online. We use GPS technology to track. That’s a selling point. That’s a feature. We use GPS technology to track each of our team members that are out in the field, and this team member showed up at [2:58] PM—two minutes before and was there. We have this verified.
You have facts and data. This will protect you legally in certain legal disputes. You’ll be able to verify the things where people were in certain places when they were supposed to be. If you were supposed to be there to deal with a constable, an eviction, or a policeman. Any of these things, there’ll be a record that somebody was there at that time stated and you’ll have history.
If you end up in a courtroom, some sort of a challenge, or a discrepancy with an owner or a tenant, you’ve got verification. You’ve got validation from a third party showing that there is a GPS time tracking being done.
Barima: Absolutely. Jason, it’s very interesting with my experience just talking with different business owners. What I’m seeing is the businesses that are investing in technology are the ones starting to get ahead. Over time, they’ll start to get ahead because it just gives you such a huge advantage. It’s tremendous the amount of advantage that technology just gives you.
Sometimes, you have some business owners that just want to stick with the old way of doing things because that’s what they’re used to and it works. Yes, it might work, but your competition is just getting ahead, miles ahead of you just because you’re investing in the right technology. The ROI that you’re getting from using technology is so much bigger than what you’re paying for.
Jason: Yeah. You’re saying that this can save people on average between 5%-15% in payroll?
Barima: Exactly. 5%-15% of payroll. That’s just the payroll side of it. Now, there’s the human. We’re not even talking about your time spent trying to do payroll and capture people’s times. We haven’t also talked about the errors that happen from getting the payroll log. The last thing you want to do is overcompensating people or under-compensating them.
Again, you use technology that takes care of that. You don’t have to spend your time worrying about, did I end up overpaying this person or did I underpay them? We’re talking about tremendous time-saving costs as well.
Jason: Okay. I’m looking at your website. The pricing looks really affordable. Let’s just do some quick math for property managers here. Say, you’ve got one team member. They’re maybe between $15-$20 an hour. They’re full time. You’ve got one team member full time. That could be anywhere from $3000-$4000 a month that they’re spending on this person. 5% of $3000 is $150. Your software is not going to cost them $150 a month. Not even close.
Even if it just helps them a little bit, it sounds like it can easily pay for itself right out the gate just by reducing a little bit of extra fat that people are padding accidentally on to their timesheets.
Barima: Absolutely. It pays for itself right out of the gate. Again, looking at the ROI, you were paying this amount of money and you’re saving this amount of money by using our system. It pays itself off right away. In a lot of ways, you can say it’s a no-brainer to use that.
Jason: All right. Is there anything else we’re missing?
Barima: Our pricing is very simple. It’s $5 per user per month. It doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. In the future, we’ll eventually introduce extra pricing tiers as we add more technology as well. We do have a $10 base fee for your accounts. The $10 base fee just covers your whole company account.
Let’s say you have 10 employees in your company. You’re going to pay 10 times your $5, so that puts you up at $50. Then, there’s the $10 account base fee that you pay every month. In total, you’re paying $60 a month to manage your 10 employees—whereabouts, the time entries, the mileage, the scheduling, and a whole bunch of things—only for $60 a month.
Like you mentioned, you can look at how much you’re saving in payroll costs by using that. Purely just for payroll cost, you can—
Jason: If it only helps them save 1%, even just a single percentage in staffing cost, it would be a no-brainer.
Barima: Yes. It is a no-brainer, but you’ll also be surprised not everyone finds it to be a no-brainer. You get it, but not everyone might get it that way. Yeah, it’s very interesting.
Jason: Very cool. Barima, it’s been great having you on the show. We haven’t had anybody on the show yet talk about anything like reducing or tracking time with GPS out in the field. I think this is a common issue that property managers run into, or it’s a blind spot they just have they’ve just not been paying attention to.
Something like this would probably create a little bit more safety and certainty for them. It sounds like it would also lower some of the effort, pressure, noise, work involved with timesheets, payroll, and dealing with people that are out in the field or in-house vendors. People that they have maintenance, people inhouse, property managers that they have out in the field, people doing showings. I think there are a lot of benefits here for property managers. I appreciate you coming on the show and sharing this with us.
How can people find out more about Timeero? Get in touch with you? Plug your stuff.
Barima: Yeah. You can visit our website at timeero.com. Visit our website. Use our live chat. You can also call into our office. If we’re in, we will answer it. If we’re not, we’ll respond back to you.
Please do visit our website and use our live chat. Get on with one of our support agents or a customer sales agent who will get in touch with you and help you solve problems. We’re here to solve problems. Get on and talk to us. We’ll figure out if we’ll be a good fit for you or not. If we’re not, we’re happy to recommend any other solutions that might be a better fit for you as well. We look forward to hearing from you.
Jason: Awesome, Barima. Thanks for coming on the DoorGrow Show.
Barima: Thank you. Thanks for having me on, Jason.
Jason: All right. We’ll wrap this up. If you are a property management entrepreneur that wants to add doors, you want to make a difference, all the things we talked about in the beginning, in the intro, be sure to reach out to DoorGrow.
We’ve been having great success helping clients, coaching clients, helping them clean up their business, clean up their branding, clean up everything that’s preventing them from getting the deals, and the leads that they really believe they should or could be getting.
The reality is that SEO won’t save you. Can SEO help your business? Absolutely, but there is not a lot of search volume for property management for this industry. The best deals and leads are snatched up before they start searching on Google.
You need a game plan, you need a system in place that you can grow your business, and not be waiting and relying on having the top spot on Google in order to grow. We want to help you get there. We want to help the best property manager succeed.
Reach out to DoorGrow. Check us out at doorgrow.com. And be sure to check out Timeero. You can check it out at timeero.com. Until next time, everybody. To our mutual growth. Bye, everyone.