Generating revenue must outpace expenses and the gap between the two is cash flow. Where are you at and what function do you need to focus on most to grow and scale your business, right now?
Property management growth expert and founder/CEO of DoorGrow, Jason Hull talks about the six core functions of a business. It’s a concept he has expanded based upon what he learned from his mentors, Alex Charfen and Tim Francis.
[01:22] Core Functions: Jason took what he learned, applied it to property management.
[02:14] Rate and Rank 1-5: Assess your business through the lens of core functions.
[03:16] Function #1: Lead Generation – get contact info from potential prospects.
[03:39] Function #2: Nurture – take and follow-up on lead opportunities to build trust.
[04:30] Function #3: Conversion/Sales – deal w/ objections, convince others, close deal.
[06:36] Function #4: Delivery/Fulfillment – do property management work promised.
[10:03] Function #5: Customer Lifetime Value – increase long-term retention.
[11:08] Function #6: Finances – internal cash flow, revenue, expenses, and profits.
“Finances was the additional function.”
“You cannot have all of these areas be great at the same time.”
“Your ability to convert and convince people during the sales process is a skill that develops over time and gets better and better and better the more you do it.”
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, 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 business and their business owners. We want to transform the industry, 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.
Today, I wanted to talk about what I would call the core functions. This is a concept that I built upon that I learned from one of my mentors, Alex Scharffen, and he had what he would call the five core functions of the business.
To me, it felt a little bit incomplete for myself and so eventually in working with Tim Francis, another mentor and coach and friend of mine here in Austin, I realized there was something else missing because I was focusing on those five core functions, but still, financially, I had some challenges. That’s why I was working with Tim. He’s a really good financial coach. He’s one of the financial mentors that I’ve worked with. Finance was the additional function.
I’m going to take you through these core functions and this is a way you can assess your business. As you’re listening along, feel free to assess your business through the lens of the core functions, take notes, and identify each of these core functions of the business, and rate them on a scale of one to five. One being the worst, five being it’s amazing.
The most important thing I think to know about the core functions of the business and recognize is that it’s impossible for all six of these core functions and the six core functions to be a level five at the same time. It’s impossible. You cannot have all of these areas be great at the same time. As you grow and level up the business, you’re going to notice deficiencies or you’re going to want to level these areas up.
There are levels to each of these six areas in which you can get better and better and better over time. That being said, when something is doing really well, other things are going to feel constrained and be a challenge.
The first function that we’ll chat about is lead generation. I call it lead gen for short. With lead gen, this is getting contact info and there are lots of different ways you can get contact info of potential people that might be interested in property management or potential prospects. In general, that’s lead generation, so go ahead and rate that.
The next function that you want to focus on is nurture. This is where you take these leads, these opportunities, and you nurture them, which means you warm them up or inject more trust. You create more of a relationship to warm up these leads to move them towards the next function, so go ahead and rate your nurture.
Nurture relates to follow up, it relates to your ability to warm up these leads to build trust, to build relationships, and it could relate in your business the systems and processes related to this like whether you have a sales CRM like LeadSimple or something. Whether you’ve got the processes built out, you’ve got a good sales pipeline, you’ve got workflow you’ve got follow up, maybe having a follow up assistant, or needing one relates to the nurture category.
The next category is where nurture leads them to, which is conversion or sales. This is where you’re closing the deal. Number three, conversion or sales. Go ahead and rate your ability in conversion or sales. This is to deal with objections, close the deal, convince them to work with you instead of the other company they’re maybe talking to or the other companies they’re vetting.
Your ability to convert and convince people during the sales process is a skill that develops over time and gets better and better and better the more you do it. Go ahead and rate yourself there. These first three relate basically to the front end of the business or sales. What I will hear a lot is people say, oh, my close rate, I’m like 90%. I’m a badass at sales, but then you ask them, where are you getting your leads? And they’re like, they’re mostly referrals, they’re referrals. Cool.
If you have a close rate less than 90% probably and they’re warm hot referrals, you probably have a problem. That’s the cool thing. If you get the right type of lead generation, nurture almost becomes unnecessary. You don’t really have to warm them up. Then conversion also is largely dealt with because you’re going to get the deal, you just don’t screw it up.
Now, when you start dealing with colder leads and colder prospects, my goal with clients is to make sure that you are a badass at conversion or sales and that you notice if that function feels weak right now because you’ve started maybe focusing on colder leads, or you’re just not closing as many of the conversations that you’ve been prospecting or working with as you want. Maybe that function is weak. We can improve that significantly.
One of the easiest ways to collapse time on these first three functions is to just focus on warmer lead opportunities instead of advertising or cold lead opportunities. Cold leads would be like SEO, PayPerClick, content marketing, social media marketing, pay per lead services like […] et cetera. Those take a lot more time and I’ve talked about that in other trainings and other podcasts, I’m sure many times.
Number four, this is more shifting into the back end of the business or behind the paywall. Once they’ve converted into a customer, they’ve signed the contract, they’re now a client. The next step, item four, would be delivery or fulfillment.
Delivery, fulfillment largely is connected to operations. This is everything that you said you were going to do during the sales process. This is screening tenants, working to find tenants and tenant placement. This is maintenance, coordination, everything. All the work of doing property management. That is what is included in delivery fulfillment—dealing with tenants, all that kind of stuff. Generate reports, owner payouts, all of this that’s all under delivery fulfillment operations.
What I’ll notice a lot in the industry—for those that are struggling to grow—is they won’t have operations delivery fulfillment. They’ll have number four out of five or a really high level and yet then lead gen is like a one. If lead gen is one and delivery and fulfillment is like a five, you’re making a big mistake in the business because what that tells me is you consistently keep focusing on the wrong things in your business. You’re doing the wrong things.
Any function that you’re focused on of these six functions, which we’ll finish and go through in a second, any function you’re focused on primarily and trying to maintain it to five, that is not your weakest function. That’s where your time, energy, focus, attention, cash, effort, et cetera are going, you are making a mistake. That means you are distracted.
Those are distractions because what the business needs most right now is whichever of these functions is weakest, that’s where your five currencies I talked about time, energy, focus, cash, and effort should be focused on. This is where all that should be going so that you can get a return and you can level that up.
The goal is to level up the weakest function, and then if that’s now a strength, now your other functions will appear to be weaker in relation. Now those you’re going to rate at a lower level and you’re going to want to level those up.
This is the juggle of running a company and running a business is figuring out what do I need to focus on most right now. If you are at the helm, you are the entrepreneur, you are the leader, you are the business owner, you need to provide this leadership to the business to your team. You need to help them figure out what is our weakest function to focus on.
Too often, the business owners continue to focus on the function that they’re already good at, that the business already has at a five, and they try to keep it as a five. You have to be willing to let a five slip in order to get something from a one or a two, and that’s okay. Get those up to a three, a four, or maybe even a five. If delivery or fulfillment, for example, operation slips to maybe a three in relation because now you’re getting so much business, it’s uncomfortable, you can’t onboard everybody, and things are starting to slip, cool. Now it’s time to shift your attention and focus to that function. If you assess this regularly on a quarterly basis and brainstorm with your team through these functions, you will be able to make really good decision-making.
The next function after delivery fulfillment or operations, number five, is the customer’s lifetime value. The customer lifetime value or CLV includes retention, it includes resell, it includes upsell, and it includes your pricing. You want to make sure that your fee structure is good. That you’ve got really good fees in place so you’re getting paid really well for what you do. That you’re maximizing the lifetime value of these clients in that way.
Also, you’re able to focus on the right types of clients in your lead generation and in closing that are going to have a lengthy retention rate. You’re able to retain clients long term, or you’re able to convert short term property management clients, not sure short term rentals, but accidental investors, for example, into long term buy and hold investors. You have some process maybe for that.
You want to increase the customer lifetime value. If you’re losing a lot of customers due to sales right now, then that’s the area to focus on right now. There’s a weakness maybe on your CLV, for example, or maybe you just need to increase lead generation in order to counteract that.
Number six is finances. The financial area of the business means the internal finances for you as the business owner and for the business. This means cash flow, revenue, expenses, profit, reporting, financial decision making. If you do not feel like this is your strength or this is a weakness in the business, this is something that you will need to work on.
One of the initial baby steps I like to recommend is usually implementing profit first. You can check out my previous episode with the author of the book Profit First, Mike Michalowicz. You can just search for Profit First DoorGrowShow on YouTube if you want to pull that up or on iTunes, podcast app, or whatever.
I’m a big fan of Profit First. We operate with the Profit First system. We’ve taken things financially beyond that to another level in working with some of the financial coaches and financial books that I’ve gone through. I think that’s a really fantastic starting place. It gets you out of the feast and famine of cash flow cycles getting scarce, then trying to make money, and the hunt and the chase constantly of trying to escape.
The way I like to compare finances is, the analogy I like to use is Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones running from the boulder. Everybody remembers this iconic scene in Indiana Jones and I believe the Temple of Doom and he’s running from the boulder. He’s just taken the statue, it set some sort of booby trap off, and now this boulder is chasing after him. He’s running for his life.
Indiana Jones running is generating revenue, that’s revenue. Revenue has to outpace that big boulder, which is expenses. The gap in between Indiana Jones running and the boulder coming after him, that gap, is cash flow. Some of that cash is already spent so there’s really just free cash is the real gap.
Some of that cash is already going to be spent, you know expenses are coming due, you have to have it set aside. Profit first is going to help you kind of get this in alignment a little bit more. It’s going to help you get better cash flow and it’s basic. Some of you are basically borderline accountants, so this isn’t maybe as big of an issue. Maybe the finances are tight.
A lot of entrepreneurs are more visionary-oriented, they’re dreamers. Sometimes they’re hiring staff too quickly. They’re starting to focus on some of the other functions, building up operations maybe, and they’re spending more money. All of these things go hand in hand. Finances also relate to the type of lead generation that you can do, all of these things interplay with each other.
My goal for those listening to this episode is to take a look through these six lenses of your business to figure out what does the business need most right now? What does the business need most? For those that are like why does he add the six functions of finances?
One of the things that’s absolutely possible in some businesses is to generate enough deals, enough sales, and enough business to where you can’t deliver quick enough on it to get the return or get paid on it and you can actually run out of money by doing too much sales.
Just focusing on revenue all the time in a top-down just revenue focus goal is not always the most effective financial goal in a business. It’s the most typical, but that’s not always the most effective. You can actually go too fast and grow too quickly if you’re not taking into account the financial aspect in relation to the other core functions.
Take a look at your business, chat with your team, go through and assess your core functions. We have a more formal brainstorming methodology that will take clients through these functions to really assess their business. At a quick easy glance at your business, you can look through and just ask yourself, where are we at in relation to these functions. You can ask your team as well to get a perspective, and you will then have some pretty good eye feedback and a pretty good idea of which function you need to focus on most in your business.
If you find that operations are a big constraint for you right now, what you’ll find then is lead gen and conversion will be heavily impacted because you won’t really have confidence in your product, in your service, in your offering because you lack integrity.
If you are delivering fulfillment of three or less, and you’re trying to go out and create new business, you probably feel like you’re lying to people by saying, hey, we’re really awesome. We’re the best property managers. We do a great job. When deep down you’re like a two in doing a great job on a scale of one to five. All of these impact each other.
Let’s figure out what’s your weakest function that you need to focus on right now and where does your attention needs to go. If you could use some coaching or some help, we’d love to get you into our DoorGrow & Scale Mastermind. Reach out to us, you can check us out at doorgrow.com. You can also join our free Facebook group by going to doorgrowclub.com.
Facebook’s getting a little weird lately with censorship and craziness, so we’re seriously considering exploring, shifting out of the DoorGrow Club to maybe Telegram or something else. Let me know your feedback on that if that sounds interesting because I think there’s going to be more outages with Facebook, more censorship, and more challenges. I’m less and less of a fan of Facebook every day.
Let us know, but currently, our internal groups are in Telegram so we’re solid there because it seems to be really reliable. Anyway, reach out to us. We’re happy to help you figure out how to grow your business and scale your business. We can help you with getting things in alignment on the operation side. DoorGrow OS, building these systems, building a planning cadence, helping to get operators in the business, helping to get people to take stuff off your plate and to offload. There are solutions for each of these functions that we can point you towards as we coach you and as we help you scale and level up your business, so please reach out.
That’s it for today. As always, my goal is for everybody to grow. To our mutual growth, everybody. Until next time, bye.