DGS 159: Building The Ultimate Property Management Team

How can you build the ultimate property management team for your business? Too many entrepreneurs build the wrong team. They have to micromanage their team, they can’t trust them, and their team members do not share the business owner’s values.

Property management growth expert, Jason Hull explains why business owners might get stuck with hires that do not share their values, how to attract the right team members with clearly defined company culture, and what to look for in the ultimate executive team.

You’ll Learn…

[01:13] Recap on the Four Reasons for Starting a Business

[02:22] Going from Solopreneur to Having the Ultimate Team

[04:24] Building a Team to Give YOU Fulfillment and Freedom

[6:19] The “Sandtrap” of Struggling to Grow Business

[7:49] Why You Might Have the Wrong Team and Company Culture

[10:26] The “Fifth Reason” for Starting a Business: Safety and Certainty

[11:05] The Key Team Members for a Property Management Team

[15:10] Creating a Core Executive Team of Thinkers

[18:48] The First Hire You Should Make and Job Descriptions


If every team member is coming to you and asking questions on a daily basis, throughout your day, you do not have a very good team.”

“The reason you have the wrong team is because you are showing up in the business as the wrong person, and you are in the wrong role.”

“The goal is we’re trying to build a core executive team that you can trust to make decisions for and on behalf of you, the business owner. Which means you need people that can think, people that share your values.”

“The very first hire that you get should be based on not what the business needs most.”


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[00:00:00] If every team member is coming to you and asking questions on a daily basis, throughout your day, you do not have a very good team. You’ve built the wrong team. 


[00:00:10] 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.


[00:00:50] At DoorGrow, we are on a mission to transform property management businesses and their 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. 


[00:01:13] All right. So today, we’re going to be talking about this idea of the ultimate property management team, at least the basic foundational team that you would need in order to get to that ultimate level we all want to get to where we have the highest level of the “four reasons.” and if you have not listened to my episode on the “four reasons for starting a business,” Then go back and check that out. 


[00:01:42] So for those that have not heard that, quick recap: the four reasons for having a business are to have more fulfillment in life, to get fulfillment out of your business, to get freedom more and more freedom, and more contribution so you feel like you’re making a difference, living your purpose, and support. This is why we create the vehicle of a business. So it can also give us more support and related to that, you cannot have maximum freedom, maximum fulfillment, maximum contribution, unless you have the ultimate team. So let’s talk about the ultimate property management team.


[00:02:22] Now, for most business owners, you start out as a solopreneur. This is this journey you start on. The transition from solopreneur to having a team is one of the most painful and difficult transitions. I see business owners go through. This was hard for myself. It’s one of the biggest challenges at even multimillion dollar companies or large companies that have been in groups or masterminds that I’ve been in with… it’s building that team and building the right culture and the right team. In building the ultimate property management team, usually you’re going to need a few key strategic ingredients, right? So the ultimate team would be basically you as a business owner– property management business owner– having a team that allows you to not have to do anything you don’t want to do in the business.


[00:03:08] So let’s say, you just want to function as a business owner and maybe just hold on to a couple of little pieces that you enjoy or love doing. So here are some of the key people. So typically you’re going to need at least probably about five team members, and in order to afford that most property management businesses usually are going to need to be around 200 to 400 doors typically. 


[00:03:34] I know there’s this model out there. And a lot of people will bring up Steve Crossland. He’s a really cool guy right here in Austin… does property management. And there is this Steve Crossland model of property management where you do everything. You do every single thing in the business. 


[00:03:52] You do every single thing in the business, and if you’re doing every single thing in the business, that’s cool. But, you might not enjoy that. You might not enjoy every single thing. Most of us as business owners, there’s certain things we’re really good at, and there’s a lot of things we’re really bad at. There’s a lot of things I’m not good at, and I don’t want to do those things. I don’t enjoy doing those things. Those things, those things are not fun for me. So I want other people to help me do those things. And not only that, but it becomes really difficult to try and do everything on your own. 


[00:04:24] Now, is it more profitable if you can do every single thing yourself and you’re willing to just dedicate all your time? Yes. You can make a lot more money maybe that way, because you have very little cost, but you have to recognize on a previous episode, I talked about the five currencies. I think I talked about that. If I didn’t, I’ll do it in a future episode, but these currencies are time, energy, focus, cash, and effort.


[00:04:52] So, not all of them are money, right? Cash is only one of them. You want to hold on to as much cash as possible and you’re willing to give up all these other sacred currencies, like your life time, your energy, your focus, and that’s fun for you? Cool. But for most that’s not fun.


[00:05:10] That’s not freedom. That’s not fulfillment. That sounds like hell right? It’s just another job. And if you want to be the guy, or gal by the way, for every maintenance request and every accounting problem and every sales call, or any leasing situation, or every showing… or every operational challenge you are not going to really— you’re not going to have freedom, you’re not going to have fulfillment. You’re going to be in a prison of your own creation.


[00:05:39] So what’s the ultimate goal? Like, if you start this business, usually for most entrepreneurs, the ultimate goal is going to be to have a team so that you feel supported and you feel like Iron Man in that super suit. You’re a normal person, but you have this team that increases your abilities, your capabilities, allows you to provide a great level of service and to do a good job and feel like you’re making a difference in the world, but you don’t have to do all the stuff that’s uncomfortable, painful, or you don’t enjoy doing.


[00:06:08] So typically, maybe about five team members in addition to yourself. And probably 200 to 400 doors so that you can afford or justify that at least minimum, somewhere in that range or more.


[00:06:19] So we need to get you to that point, and if you’re having trouble with that, that’s something we help clients focus on is how to get to that point. Now, most people get to this point, and I call this sometimes the “second sand trap,” or maybe the third sand trap.


[00:06:33] But, there’s the initial sand trap of like: “I can’t get on any clients” or “I’m starting my business.” That’s where a lot of people get stuck. I don’t know if that even counts as a sand trap because they’re not even going, they have a fantasy business. Right? The next is the first real sand trap is the sand trap of the solopreneur sand trap. Just breaking that a hundred door barrier… getting stuck, maybe around between 50 to 80 doors… can’t grow any more. It’s too painful. You can’t manage any more properties than that on your own for most people and you’re struggling and you can’t afford to hire anybody and you end up painted into a corner and stuck, right? First sand trap. 


[00:07:09] Second sand trap is you are in that 200 to 400 door range and you have a team, but it’s the wrong team. And this is where a lot of property management businesses sit stuck and stagnant. They’re in that 200 to 400 door range. 


[00:07:23] The business owner feels like they have to micromanage everybody on the team, which, you know you’re that person if you’re like, “We just need more checklists! And we need more processes!” And you’re trying to control everyone. And you are the person that every single person on the team comes to and asks questions. If every team member is coming to you and asking questions on a daily basis, throughout your day, you do not have a very good team. 


[00:07:49] You’ve built the wrong team. You don’t have a team of thinkers. You don’t have a team of decision makers. You have a team that you have to micromanage, and these are people as process that you have to control. And this is the initial team most people build. When they start building a team, they build a team the wrong way. They build a team that they have to micromanage and control because at first it feels really cool. 


[00:08:11] There’s a lot of ego and everyone’s coming in asking questions and they feel like they’re really smart. And they end up quickly like the Emperor or Empress with no clothes. Everybody wants to say yes to the boss. They’re not giving the boss valid feedback. And so you end up with a business that is struggling.


[00:08:30] And the reason you have the wrong team is because you are showing up in the business as the wrong person. And you are in the wrong role. You’ve created this role, holding onto all the things that you think you have to do as a business owner. You’re like, “I have to do, you know, the accounting. I have to control the finances.”


[00:08:53] That’s like, “I’m the business owner. That’s my job.” Or “I’m the only one that can do the sales. I have to do all the sales and I’m the BDM too. So I have to do all of that because nobody else is as good as me,” or whatever you tell yourself. Or “I have to handle the operations because that’s running the business and it’s my business and I’m running it.


[00:09:11] “I have to manage the entire team and do everything.” Whatever it is that you are holding on to, if it’s not something you enjoy, you are showing up as the wrong person. So we want to make sure that we build the right job for you, and then we build the right team to supplement you– the right team around you.


[00:09:31] And most business owners are stuck at the 200 to 400 door range in this industry because they have the wrong team because they’ve been showing up in the wrong role and they didn’t understand the four reasons and they weren’t moving towards that consistently. And they didn’t set up the right culture.


[00:09:49] Their team has no clue really what the company’s core values are. They have no clue what the company’s client-centric mission is to, to benefit clients. Then, you know, none of this is clearly defined. There’s a lack of culture. And the business owner has a lack of clarity on themselves and never got clear on why did they even do this? How does this give them more fulfillment and more freedom? How’s this helping them be more of themselves, create more contribution. How does this help bring them more alignment towards the four reasons? That lack of clarity means you’re going to have team members that also are not in alignment with those four reasons.


[00:10:26] So there’s the fifth reason. And the fifth reason is safety and certainty. Your team members are just people that want safety and certainty, they just don’t want to get fired. They just want to keep getting paid. They just want their job and they become hiders, not believers in your business because you haven’t given them anything to believe in. There’s no real culture that’s clearly defined, so the culture in your business is what actually is going on in your business. 


[00:10:49] So if there’s office politics, if there’s micro-managing, if there’s laziness, if there’s confusion, if there’s crappy processes, that’s your culture. That’s the culture that you have defined by not clearly defining it. 


[00:11:05] So let’s talk about these key team members that you would need once you get to that 200 to 400 door range, or as you’re growing and scaling, if you wanted to offload things. So in most businesses at that stage, you’re going to probably need a maintenance coordinator that handles the maintenance coordination.


[00:11:23] This could be an introverted person. That’s just really detail-oriented and really good at remembering stuff and can facilitate tools like Property Meld and stuff like that. That was property meld, M-E-L-D. They can facilitate tools like this for communication and nothing falls through the cracks with them because they’re on top of that kind of stuff, if they’re the right personality. So you have a maintenance coordinator handling maintenance, it’s a big piece of the business, right? 


[00:11:48] You will probably need a property manager, somebody that handles the leasing side of things, that handles the onboarding of new tenants and new owners that the salesperson hands people off to, and that is the boots-on-the-ground person that goes out into the field and does certain things related to leasing and onboarding… that sort of thing. 


[00:12:08] You’ll also need an operator. This is probably the most important role, second to the visionary or the entrepreneur, which would be you, those listening to this. So the operator is going to be the person that handles all the operational pieces they’re going to be very different than the visionary personality type. They have all the details, make sure the team are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They make sure that meetings are being run on time. 


[00:12:34] And in a certain way, they’re handling the strategic planning for the company, which we have a system that we teach clients called DoorGrow OS, which I believe is better than Traction or EOS or any of that kind of stuff that most of you are dabbling with out there. There’s several advantages in DoorGrow OS over that system. Maybe that’d be another podcast episode. 


[00:12:55] But you have an operator and they have an operating system and they’re going to make sure process documentation and systems and everything are working well and that the business runs. And they’re basically the key person that’s going to enact your vision and make sure your vision is coming to fruition and they will ensure that it gets done.


[00:13:12] You will probably also need a BDM. You may love doing sales. And that may be one of the last things that you give up and maybe nobody would be quite as good as you. But if that is not your personality type and you don’t enjoy it, or you just have part time availability to dedicate to that, you can only really do sales and follow-up maybe 10 to 20 hours a week or less.


[00:13:34] Then you may want– if you really want to grow and scale your business, then you will need to get a full time person. That’s focused on networking, connecting, building relationships, prospecting, and growing and scaling your business… referrals… all of that kind of stuff. So that would be a BDM, which is a business development manager. Basically a sales person in your property management business.


[00:13:59] The other role that you may need is maybe you don’t enjoy– or are not an expert at the financial stuff. I’ve worked with financial coaches and things like that, because this was something I was not naturally good at because I didn’t enjoy it. But I like making money and I like winning financially. And I like knowing that the business is sound and safe financially. So I got coaches and mentors on this, but I still have people and resources and a team to help with these pieces so that it’s not something I have to put a lot of time and energy into.


[00:14:33] So you’ll need somebody on the accounting side or financial side, bookkeeping, accounting, that sort of thing if that’s something that you are not getting a lot of freedom and fulfillment from and contribution from.


[00:14:45] Then another role that you will probably need would maybe be a receptionist, somebody to just field the onslaught of all these phone calls that you’re getting from so many tenants and owners and things coming in, to triage things and get them to the right people. You’ll need somebody maybe to answer the phones because those low level calls can eat up a lot of resources for these higher level team members. 


[00:15:10] Now, what is the goal that we’re trying to build here? The goal is we’re trying to build a core executive team that you can trust to make decisions for and on behalf of you, the business owner. Which means you need people that can think, people that share your values. You will never trust your financial person to make decisions, you’ll never trust your BDM to sell and bring in people the right way and attract the right clients, you’ll never trust fully your operations person to do the job the right way unless you deep down know they share your values. 


[00:15:48] They might be skilled and can do those jobs, and you may have a team. If you’re in that 200 to 400 door range and you feel stuck it might be because you have a team of people that don’t share your values, or they’re not clear on your values and so there’s a disconnect. 


[00:16:05] So you need executive team members that are part of this executive team decision-maker/ thinkers that can run pieces of the business– additional engines in the business– instead of everyone just being cogs or wheels that are turned by the engine. You need other people that can take these pieces off of your plate so you don’t have to make every decision. You don’t have to answer every question. You don’t have to do every single thing in that, and they don’t have to check in with you on every single thing either– that you’re able to trust them. And the only way you’ll be able to trust them is if they share your values.


[00:16:40] And if you cannot trust your team members with those things, either you haven’t made your values clear to them, or you just know already, which is probably more likely they don’t have the same value set as you, You cannot create enough processes and checklists and systems to force executive-level-thinker team members to be effective at implementation and taking action and taking over pieces of the business. That’s impossible. There’s too much going on. 


[00:17:07] They need to share your values, and those values need to be clear to them and need to be related to them, and they need to buy into them and be believers in those values and believers in you and believers in the vision of the company.


[00:17:21] If they don’t believe in you, and they don’t believe in the values, then they’re just “hiders.” they’re just showing up to get a paycheck. They’re going to just do their job. They will do the bare minimum. They’re not going to do anything extra. They’re not going to think or make decisions ’cause they’ll probably just make a mistake or get in trouble, so they’re going to come to you and ask you to do it for them. “Make this choice for me.” And then you end up just with a whole bunch of people that are eating up your time instead of taking more of your time off of your plate because they’re just eating up time, asking all these questions. 


[00:17:54] So that’s kind of the ultimate team. Now, if you have other ideas or other team members, feel free to comment inside our Facebook group, which is the community for those that are fans of this podcast and that are fans of DoorGrow. You can go to doorgrowclub.com which is our Facebook group, and you can join that group. 


[00:18:16] Let me know: what does the ultimate team look like for you? I’d be curious to see if I missed something here, but this– these are some of the key team members that I’ve seen people need in their businesses in order to offload and take things off their plate. So that’s that. That’s about the ultimate team. So in order to have the ultimate team, you need culture, you need a lot of clarity on what you and your role should be in the business and on your purpose in life and on what your values are and what drives and motivates you so that we can build the right ultimate team around you.


[00:18:48] And the next step: the very first hire that you get should be based on not what the business needs most. It should be based on what you need most in order to get to the next level towards the four reasons. This is why I have a strategic process for clients to do a time study, to figure out: what do they need next?


[00:19:10] And then we have a specific way of doing job descriptions that I call “Rdocs” to figure out what is the ultimate job description for the next hire that I need to get in order to let go of the things that are eating up the currencies that I don’t want to be giving up, which you know, things that are stealing my energy, things that are stealing my focus, things are stealing my cash, that were preventing from making more cash things. They’re stealing my time. 


[00:19:35] What are the things that I would want to give up most? And how can I build the right job description around that? And what is my current accurate job description? Is this what I want? Or are there things I can just highlight on that, that I could eventually put onto somebody else’s job description. So these are the things we get into more in the DoorGrow OS and into the scale program that’s in our mastermind. 


[00:19:55] So if this stuff is interesting to you, if you got some value out of this, you might be a good fit or interested in being part of our DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind. So reach out to us, go to doorgrow.com, schedule a call with our team, and we will give you a free training that will help you know everything about our mastermind and help you learn some of these cool frameworks. 


[00:20:20] We give this free training away that has seven– actually, it has probably like nine or more, frameworks that are gonna help you learn how to scale and grow your business more effectively, and we hope you get really excited about that. Realize you’re a great fit for it. And it will also break down why most companies are struggling to grow and why most marketing ideas and channels like SEO and pay per click, Google ads and content marketing and social media marketing and pay per lead services are BS and are not helping you grow your business.


[00:20:52] And if you’ve been trying this stuff and struggling, they all can work, but there’s a big, massive reason why they’re not working. We can reveal that to you in that training and help you do something that’s not those things that cost no dollars and we’ll make you a lot more money, and it takes less time than using those strategies to get on a lot of business.


[00:21:14] So anyway, check this out. Doorgrow.com and until next time, to our mutual growth. And I hope you all build the ultimate team and have the ultimate level of freedom and fulfillment in your life and contribution and support. Bye, everyone.

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.