DGS 157: Phone Systems & Protecting Your Sacred Cell Phone Number As A Property Manager

As a property management entrepreneur, your cell phone number is sacred information. Not everyone should have access to it. How can you implement and utilize phone systems in your business? Property management growth expert and founder/CEO of DoorGrow, Jason Hull talks about the importance of protecting your personal cell phone number and using systems like Talkroute to make and receive business calls instead.

You’ll Learn…

[01:16] The Challenge of Dealing with Phones in the Business

[04:54] The Frustrating Issue with Many Phone Systems: Latency

[09:02] Why we Like to Use Talkroute here at DoorGrow

[10:59] Why Should You Protect Your Cell Phone Number?

[15:07] Comparing Other Examples of Phone Systems You Can Utilize

Tweetables

“One of the first things property managers learn really quick in starting their businesses: you don’t want everybody to have your cell phone number..”

“As a business owner, in order to leverage a team and have this dream of only having the four reasons, you need to have leverage.”

“One of the ways to have leverage is you can’t be reachable by everybody by phone immediately, you need to have protection and support.”

I recommend that you utilize those tools, protect and insulate yourself and get a really good phone system.”

Resources

DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind

DoorGrow Academy

DoorGrow on YouTube

DoorGrowClub

DoorGrowLive

TalkRoute Referral Link

Transcript

[00:00:00] Jason: So one of the first things property managers learn really quick in starting their businesses: you don’t want everybody to have your cell phone number. So if every tenant and every owner has your cell phone number, your business– you’re going to be the biggest bottleneck in your business, and it’s going to be a nightmare.

[00:00:13] 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’re interested in growing your business and life– and you’re open to doing things a bit differently– then you are a DoorGrow Hacker. 

[00:00:31] 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.

[00:00:52] At DoorGrow we are on a mission to transform property management, business owners and their businesses. 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. 

[00:01:16] Okay. So. This question came up on my Wednesday coaching call today with the group, with the mastermind group. And, um, it was right at the end, but this is such a common question. And this isn’t even a growth-related question. Our Wednesday call’s a growth call. We usually focus on adding doors.

[00:01:34] We had some great wins and things shared, but at the end, one of our clients is like, “Hey, I got a question. I don’t know if I should wait until Friday to ask this during your Scale call, where it’s operations, even though I’m focused on growth, I’ve got a problem that I need to deal with. And I said, “what is it about?”

[00:01:50] And it was about phones. So we’re going to talk about phones today because this comes up– I’m just surprised how often this comes up and it comes up. It’s a common challenge is how do you deal with phones? Why phones are expensive. How do we do phones with our team? What phone system should we use? So I’m going to tell you a little bit about what I’ve used in the past, what we use currently– what I recommend to property managers that could make sense.

[00:02:17] So let’s talk about phones. Okay. So the challenge is most people nowadays are using– they don’t have just a standard phone. They have a phone system, they have a cell phone and they might have some standard phones in their office, like normal office phone system. but all of these things can get really expensive.

[00:02:39] So we used at DoorGrow– OpenPotion– we used RingCentral for a while. So we had this voiceover IP phone system, the challenge with systems like most phone systems nowadays, even if their voiceover IP used to be, Hey, get a voiceover IP and it could be super cheap. Right? But it’s not nowadays.

[00:03:01] Nowadays, it’s like, you have to have a device and they sell you these devices. So you got to buy a phone, you have to have multiple phones for each desk and each person and each line. And each person usually is like $30 or sometimes $40 a seat. And so if you have a team, like, of five, you could be shelling out like $40 a person for each line then, you know, that adds up.

[00:03:26] So let’s say you’ve got a team of five– $40. You spend 200 bucks just on your phone system. Well, in our business, we were spending. Anywhere from two to $300 a month, something like this a month on phones. And it was really costly. And we were using RingCentral, which is a popular one. It works really well.

[00:03:45] It gives you tons of features, which is really nice, but we didn’t– we didn’t need– we had so many team members that needed to make phone calls, but not– they weren’t on the phone like 24 hours a day. They didn’t need unlimited calling. They were making calls all the time. And what was really ridiculous is we all had cell phones.

[00:04:02] We had unlimited calling on our cell phones. We all have plans where we had unlimited cell phone plans. So it’s just– it felt really weird that we have unlimited cell phones that we already have, but we just didn’t want everybody to have our cell phone numbers. Cause that would have been a mess, right?

[00:04:17] Having a business where everybody has their cell phone number. So one of the first things property managers learn really quick in starting their businesses: you don’t want everybody to have your cell phone number. So if every tenant and every owner has your cell phone number, your business– you’re going to be the biggest bottleneck in your business, and it’s going to be a nightmare.

[00:04:33] So you need to get rid of that phone number, right? You need some sort of solution. So you could port that number into a phone system like RingCentral. And then if anybody calls that number, they’re going into your phone system and then you can leverage your team and whatnot, right. That’s one option, but here’s what we switched to.

[00:04:54] So we were using RingCentral and we switched to a system called TalkRoute, which you can get to by going to TalkRoute R-O-U-T-E .com. The reason I like TalkRoute is: I tested a lot of different phone systems. One of the biggest challenges with modern phone systems or voice over IP or VoIP or digitally based phone systems is latency.

[00:05:18] Latency means like a lag, delay. If you’ve ever been on a bad phone system or bad VoIP system and experienced delay, it feels like you say, “hi,” and then two seconds later, they hear it. And so then what ends up happening because of that latency, that lag of even a second, it causes you both to speak over each other.

[00:05:39] So let’s say we’re having a conversation. Somebody who’s like, “Hey, how’s it going?”And they’re like, then you, if you don’t hear them respond for like two seconds or a second, you’re like, that’s uncomfortable. It’s weird. That awkwardness that’s because of there’s lag, there’s latency, and then they’re going to start talking and you might not realize they start talking.

[00:05:57] So you start talking and then you’re going to end up talking over each other all the time. You’ll think there’s a gap and you’ll start talking, but they won’t realize that you didn’t say anything. And so they’ll continue talking and then you’re talking over them and then you end up stepping on each other’s toes, and it’s a really awkward way to have a conversation.

[00:06:13] And so what I did when I was looking at phone systems is in testing them, I would do a trial, do a demo, do a test, and I would set up the phone system. So I could call my cell phone with that system or call the system with my cell phone and, and talk. And I would say,”hi,” and I listened to other one, I say, “hi” and listen to the other one.

[00:06:32] And I wanted to see how quick or how long it took for me to hear what I just said. How quick was it? If it’s like:”Hi.” “Hi.” “Hey.” You know, that’s pretty fast. That’s low latency. You can have a conversation, and it’s routing through the magical internet or wires or whatever, and they’re getting it quick enough that you can have a conversation and it’s not going to cause that delay of stepping on each other’s toes.

[00:06:57] Now, very few phone systems passed what I call that delay or lag test. So that’s the first thing I would recommend when you’re looking at a phone system is do a test and see what the lag is. See what the delay time is. Now, sometimes their servers and your internet are gonna play a factor to this. So sometimes some phone systems were better just simply because you have better internet, you have a better router, some of these ping times or latencies or lags or whatever it could be caused simply because you have a crappy device running your internet in your office or at your home.

[00:07:34] And so you need to have a really good device that can handle a lot of connections and a really good internet connection. So sometimes it’s just about getting a better router and not just using your internet modem, that’s like providing the service. A lot of times, internet providers nowadays will give you a modem that has a router built into it, and it’s doing everything.

[00:07:54] It’s your wifi, it’s a router. And it’s your modem connecting you to the service for internet. And usually it’s crappy. It’s like, they’re doing the cheapest thing. They can get all put together and it’s a Jack of all trades and a master of none. 

[00:08:11] And usually most homes nowadays, or offices have multiple Apple watches and iPhones and iPads and phones and, like, cameras and all sorts of things utilizing this network with the internet of things everything’s connected and it’s just a lot, my house has a ton of stuff. Even light bulbs are hooked on the wifi. So I can talk to my phone and tell things to turn on and off. Right. So. There’s so many devices connected, usually routers, struggle to handle all the device connections and to deal with that.

[00:08:46] So it’s usually just the chipset on the router is not strong enough to handle all of these devices talking at the same time and communicating, even if they’re not using very much internet bandwidth. And sometimes that’s a bottleneck. So first make sure you have a really good internet connection. 

[00:09:02] Now, TalkRoute. Why I liked TalkRoute– TalkRoute is a phone system, you pay one flat fee for their entire service. And then instead of them giving you a bunch of devices, they give you an app that you can install on your phone and you can make calls through your cell phone using your cell phone minutes. 

[00:09:24] So if your outbound calls, cell phone calls are good and you like how they sound and they work fine, which everybody’s cell phone calls generally work really well, those are great networks. That’s what you’re going to be using. You’re just going to be making a cell phone call and there’s no latency at all. Inbound calls will route through the TalkRoute system then to your cell phone, and you can choose to accept that call… if you have them route to you, right? So you can have an auto attendant. You can have unlimited extensions, you can assign extensions to every cell phone in your office, or every person in your office. 

[00:09:55] Some real estate offices, for example, will use TalkRoute. And I think they give you unlimited extensions, something like this. So you can assign an extension for every available property with, and put a little Voicemail voice message on there saying, Hey, this property is really great. You should walk around in it, blah, blah, blah. Right? So you can put record messages and then you can put these extension numbers on every single property. You can just put a number up on the yard sign or on the brochure or whatever, and people will call this number, dial this extension to hear a message about this property.

[00:10:28] So you can build it out really awesome. You can port your numbers in, so if you have a cell phone that too many people have port that number in once it’s ported and that number is in that system, now nobody can reach you. They can reach the system, go get yourself a better cell phone number that nobody knows, and only, only give it out to sacred, well, trusted people. Treat this number like it’s sacred. Only give it out to family, maybe really good friends. Nobody else. You need to protect and insulate yourself and protect yourself from giving out your phone number to everybody. 

[00:10:59] As a business owner, in order to leverage a team, and have a team, and to offload and have this dream of only having the four reasons as I’ve talked about on a previous episode of fulfillment, freedom, contribution, and support, where you get to do the things you want to enjoy and not do everything in the business you need to have leverage. And one of the ways to have leverage is you can’t be reachable by everybody by phone immediately, you need to have protection and support.

[00:11:28] You need to protect yourself. How do you protect yourself? when it comes to phone calls, you have to set up barriers so that people can’t just reach you directly. It’s cool. They should be able to reach somebody directly. That’s fine. Or at very least an auto attendant and it can route to people. They should not immediately all be able– nobody should be able to just reach you directly if you want this business to scale and business to grow.

[00:11:52] So, TalkRoute has an app on your phone. You can choose a number to dial it also can– you can get text messages at this number. You can choose which of the phone numbers you have linked to TalkRoute you want to show up on the caller ID for your outbound calling, and that’s the only number they’re gonna see. You initiate a phone call, it calls in via your cell phone to TalkRoute and then dials that number, initiates the call. TalkRoute knows that it’s you, that you’re going to be calling that number, so it just makes it all happen magically and they don’t see your cell phone number, your personal cell phone number. They only see on their caller ID that they’re getting a call from XYZ property management or whatever the caller ID thing that you have set up for that number. They just see that number.

[00:12:35] Your main business number, or you could even assign a phone number to each of your team members, or just assign an extension and have that outbound number always be the same number. And they call in and they can hear an auto-attendant, ”push ‘one’ for sales, ‘two’ for support,” et cetera. Right. So I recommend you check out TalkRoute.

[00:12:52] When I did testing, we’ve had no problems with latency. All of my team used that for phone calls, except for our sales side of the business and myself. We use our sales CRM, which has calling built into it. I use a CRM called Close, which is really expensive on a per seat basis. But for most of my team, we use TalkRoute and that’s how we can get business and send business text messages. We can do phone calls through that. We have extensions. We have auto attendants. We have multiple 800 numbers for different businesses. 

[00:13:28] So, all of that. Feeds into one system and it’s very easy to manage through TalkRoute’s web app. You just go to talkroute.com, I log in and then I can just customize everything. I can make sure everybody has their voicemails and voice messages recorded. And I have the tree structure mapped out and it’s easy to record. It’s really well thought out and it works really well, and the audio quality is fantastic. So highly recommend that you get TalkRoute. 

[00:13:57] So TalkRoute… I think we spend– I have a lot of phone numbers and a lot of things going on on that now for all the stuff that we have going on underneath all my OpenPotion companies and including DoorGrow– I think our bill is like still under a hundred bucks a month. Like it’s a fraction. And I think initially we were spending like maybe 70, 80 bucks, like it was really cheap. So we were saving you know, probably two, maybe even 300 bucks.

[00:14:26] I don’t know. We’re saving hundreds of dollars over our previous phone set up because we had a large team and everybody had to have extensions and they were charging us 30 or 40 bucks per person. And now it’s a fraction of the cost. So, and most of you operate and live off your cell phones. Anyway, you just want to protect that cell phone number, and then you can make those outbound calls, but not give out your cell phone number. And you can still receive and send text messages through the TalkRoute app, if necessary. Some of you have sales CRMs that will shield and mask your phone numbers as well, maybe like lead simple. So I recommend that you utilize those tools, protect and insulate yourself and get a really good phone system.

[00:15:07] Now, there are other phones, voice-over IP systems out there. Some require more work on your end. Some are going to give you a lot more hand-holding and have really good reviews for taking care of people. There’s Nextiva, which I always found had really aggressive sales tactics, but they had really high ratings.

[00:15:27] There’s, um, Jive, which has really great ratings for a long time. And maybe still is number one because their customer service level is top-notch. It would really hold your hand. I didn’t find they had really aggressive, annoying salespeople. And so I really liked them and they would walk people through it.

[00:15:45] And then there’s RingCentral, which gives you a lot of features and benefits. they’re, they’re affordable, but still it’s a lot more expensive than something like TalkRoute. And so TalkRoute is the winner for us because we’re a virtual company. And I think any companies where you have a lot of team members on the go, everybody has cell phones, they’re on the move. TalkRoute would be a great system for most property management businesses. So that is my recommendation. So nobody has to ask me about phone systems anymore. I can say, watch my episode on phone systems and protecting your cell phone number as a property manager. That is this episode. 

[00:16:21] So, anyway, if you’re struggling to grow your business, you are wanting to implement best practices.

[00:16:27] You’re wanting to set up a business that’s scalable. You want to be adding doors quickly and easily. Instead of losing doors right now, due to the sell-off that’s happening, our clients are adding doors. Clients are showing up on Wednesday calls and they’re– our growth call and they’re celebrating, sharing their wins.

[00:16:43] And a lot of them are only investing a part-time level of hours a week towards growth. That’s it, like, my bare minimum requirement if you want to join this program is you have to be willing to block out at least 10 hours to grow your business. That’s basically two hours a day. It’ll take you less time doing the strategies I give you than it would take to follow up if I gave you a bunch of leads. If I gave you a bunch of leads, that would be terrible because it takes a lot of time. These are cold. You’d have to nurture them and you’ll spend far more than just 10 hours a week. If I even gave you 10 leads, a follow-up in time to nurture and you probably only get one deal a week.

[00:17:21] My clients are adding multiple doors very quickly. And the bare minimum that I tell them is just do two hours a day. It’s 10 hours a week using the strategies that give you to grow. And it’s really effective. yeah. So anyway, reach out. If you’re interested in growing and scaling your business, if you’re a larger company, I love working with those.

[00:17:42] If you are in the two to 400 door range, what I call the “second sand trap.” You’re trapped. You’re stuck. You feel like you’re the biggest bottleneck in the business. You wish just everybody would just be smart enough to do everything on your team and you’re frustrated. You are the problem. I know that’s the sad news.

[00:17:58] So let me help you figure out how you can become the entrepreneur that has the business of your dreams and the team of your dreams so that you can trust them. You probably have a cultural mismatch. You probably have, maybe people that know how to do a job and follow a task, but you don’t trust them. You don’t trust them because you don’t have the right cultural foundation in your business. You don’t have believers. You don’t have people that you can trust to do things the way that you would do them, which is why you haven’t given them more or handed things off to them or relegated or delegated or given up your decision-making in certain areas of the business. And you’re holding onto it too tightly.

[00:18:33] I will teach you how you can offload those pieces, let go of those things and trust people to run your business– pieces of your business for you, especially the areas that they would be better at than you. Because you don’t really enjoy those pieces. And then we can get you closer and closer in alignment towards those four reasons so you really love your business. So 

[00:18:51] if you’re dealing with that, we can also help you with that in our DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind. And so reach out, chat with us. I’d love to help you grow your business. And we’re making some big changes right now. DoorGrow is just really exciting and we’re going to be, we’re improving our programs that we’re constantly improving, but we’re making some big changes to them.

[00:19:13] And clients are getting even faster momentum. And if you’d love to be part of that, you want to have a coach in your corner, you want to feel like you’re not all on your own, you want to feel like it’s not just you against the world and trying to get your business going, and you feel stuck. If you want some support, reach out, we’d be happy to help you. This is what we do. We love helping our clients succeed and win here at DoorGrow. So reach out and you can find us at doorgrow.com or reach out to us on any social media. Just search for DoorGrow. You’ll find us. Anyway, that’s it for today. So make sure you get a really good phone system in place to insulate and protect yourself and present a very presentable professional image.

[00:19:53] And until next time to our mutual growth. Bye, everyone.

[00:19:57] 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! 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 at doorgrow.com. And to get notified of future events and news, subscribe to our newsletter at doorgrow.com/subscribe. 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.