DGS 170: What Property Managers At 400-600 Doors Need To Know

If you are a property management entrepreneur in the 400-600 door range, you likely experience the same issues as others in this category: company culture, strategic planning, and more.

In this episode, property management growth expert, Jason Hull continues the stages of the Property Management Entrepreneurial Journey series with the 400-600 door category. 

You’ll Learn…

[01:10] Recap of the Other Property Management Entrepreneur Types

[03:29] Defining the 400-600 Door Range

[04:52] Making Sure You Have Help in the Business

[06:42] How to Build Your Team and Processes

[08:23] Optimizing Your Business: Strategic Planning

[10:09] Transitioning from Transactional to Transformational Leadership

[11:20] Recap of the Other Property Management Entrepreneur Types


“So by the time you get to this 400 to 600 door stage, you are either in a massive amount of pain, it’s really painful, or you finally solve some of those issues.”

“So I’m hoping if you’re at this stage, business is not crazy. It’s not crazy at work, and things are good. And a good book recommendation is It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried.”

“I believe most meetings are wasted time, but strategic planning, strategic meetings is one of the ways we really help scale and grow property management companies.”

“If you don’t have really clear strong culture, you probably don’t have a really clear, good team.”


DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind

DoorGrow Academy

DoorGrow on YouTube



TalkRoute Referral Link


[00:00:00] So by the time you get to this 400 to 600 door stage, you are either in a massive amount of pain, it’s really painful, or you finally solve some of those issues.

[00:00:10] All right. Welcome DoorGrow Hackers to the #DoorGrowShow. If you are a property management entrepreneur that wants to add doors, increase revenue, help others, impact lives, and you’re interested in growing in business and life, and you’re 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. 

[00:00:46] At DoorGrow, we are on a mission to transform property management businesses and the business owner. 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. 

[00:01:10] All right. So on previous episodes, we were doing this series of talking about all these different stages of property management entrepreneurs, and just to catch people up that have missed those, go back and watch those– or listen. But what we talked about is we talked about pure startups, and then we talked about those that are kind of seekers and getting past that fantasy stage, and now they have a real business and seekers where they’re kind of trying to figure stuff out, and these are all different door levels. 

[00:01:36] And then we talked about the solo preneur property managers, and then we talked about those stuck property managers on one of the recordings. And then we talked about the transitioning property management entrepreneur, has broken the 100 door barrier, and they’re leading into that next sand trap, which by default, they’ll get to within a year or two, usually in the 200 to 400 door category. And we talked about that. I call it the standard property management entrepreneurs. So we talked about that group and category. And then during that last recording, I talked about the side biz, property management entrepreneur, cause some artificially break, the 100 door barrier and they really just have a side business. Real estate is maybe their main thing. And they artificially are stealing resources from that business.

[00:02:19] All right. That brings you to the present and you’re missing a lot of good info so that you can understand where you’re at in this journey and which things you should have tackled at these various stages. We’re going to talk a little bit today about. That next level. This is those that break past that 200 to 400 door sand trap. Sometimes I call it the second sand trap, maybe the third sand trap. First one is usually where just getting started. That’s like the hardest hurdle for a lot. And so that could be the first, the real first sand trap once you’ve launched your business though is about 50, 60 doors, I see a lot. I call it the solopreneur sand trap. 

[00:02:53] A lot of people get stuck there. They paint themselves into a corner. They end up trapped and that’s really uncomfortable for them. So it’s not like working. So the next sand trap is that 200 to 400 door stage. If you break the 100 door barrier in a healthy way within a year or two, you’ll be there. And that 200 to 400 door stage I’ve talked about on the previous recording for the podcast. If you can break through that sand trap, and this is the team sand trap, and trying to figure out how to deal with the team, you’re now going to be at this next level in the 400 to 600 door category.

[00:03:29] Now, if you have achieved this level, you’re at 400 to 600 doors, you may have done this through acquisition. Maybe you acquired another property management company. Maybe you got here just through grit and sheer will, and doing a lot of the sales yourself. At this stage, you probably have a pretty solid team because that 200 to 400 door stage is really painful trying to figure out your team. So now, you’ve got a good team. You probably like most of the people on it, and you probably aren’t dealing with a ton of churn with the team. And probably at this stage, you’ve offloaded some of the growth oriented tasks. You may have a BDM at this stage most likely. If not, this is probably the next level for you.

[00:04:15] So you might be a closer, and you want to focus on your area of genius and you have offloaded everything else. So you’re still just the closer and you’re closing a lot of deals, which is cool if you’re good at that and you love that. If not, at this stage, I’m guessing by now you’ve already got some people helping you with the sales side, because you just probably wouldn’t have gotten here, but if not, you need to get a BDM or at the very least a sales assistant. That you can maybe groom to be a BDM. But a sales assistant that you can offload at least the follow-up the appointment setting, stuff like that. So you need a setter basically while you act as closer. 

[00:04:52] So you’ve probably gotten out of the day-to-day operations at 400 to 600 doors. If you’re still heavily involved in day-to-day operations, I’d be surprised, at this level. I don’t see that very often. However, even at this level, you still are likely your own best employee, right? You still have your hands in quite a few things. You probably have many of your processes to find ’cause usually at that 200 to 400 door stage, that’s like becomes a heavy focus because it becomes so painful. You need to get these processes defined and you realize there’s a lack of consistency and you realize the team aren’t doing things the way that you would want, and it becomes painful. So by the time you get to this 400 to 600 door stage, you are either in a massive amount of pain, it’s really painful, or you finally solve some of those issues.

[00:05:40] So I’m hoping if you’re at this stage, business is not crazy. It’s not crazy at work, and things are good. And a good book recommendation is It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried. He’s one of the founders, creators of Basecamp, CEO of Basecamp. Really, really great book. I got to hang out with Jason Fried years before he wrote that book. And he basically, during a 90 minute called taught me some of those principles and it was a game changer for my business in making the business more calm and more quiet and focusing on asynchronous communication, some other really cool ideas. So I highly recommend you check that out. One thing I’ll disagree with Jason– if you ever hear this is the idea of not having planning and not having meetings. I believe most meetings are wasted time, but strategic planning, strategic meetings is one of the ways we really help scale and grow property management companies. Game changer. And and that’s using our system, DoorGrow OS, and I believe that that’s more effective than EOS for those that are into rocket fuel and traction and all that kind of jazz. 

[00:06:42] All right. Let’s talk about this 400 to 600 door company and your team. So you probably have a good team. You like them. And if not, you might have one or two people you don’t like, but you probably like most of your team. You probably, at this point have an operator in the business. You have somebody that’s dealing with the operational side of things, because most of you are visionaries and visionary entrepreneurs probably need that in order to make it to this level. You probably have some systems and mechanisms in place. It’s most likely that you do, you have probably some sort of maintenance process and system in place. You have a system for communication with clients that’s working out really well. You have a task management system internally for the business, maybe Asana or Monday or some sort of tool that hands out tasks. We use Basecamp at DoorGrow for the little one-off tasks. And then we use Process Street for processes. 

[00:07:38] So you may have something like AppFolio plus, which I heard good things about or Process Street or LeadSimple has a tool in their sales CRM for processes, checklists, that sort of thing. So you’re going to have something for repeating processes that’s connected to checking things off. Like it’s a checklist, not just like an owner’s manual that sits in the glove box of a car and no one looks at like standard operating procedures on a Google drive that nobody ever looks at. It’s not going to be like that. Right. So you have some sort of process documentation checklist system as well. So that means you have a tactical task management system, you have a process system for repeatable processes, and you have some sort of communication system going with clients as well as probably several other systems.

[00:08:23] So you’ve focused on building some systems out. Now at this stage, there’s a lot of optimization. You need to optimize and figure out how to do that. And so you need to figure out what you need to do next. So you need to figure out what you need to do right now in order to control the future. You need to figure out: “how can I plan and create the future with my team?” So this is where you take your team and you need to shift them into strategic planning and build a strategic system and that would be DoorGrow OS is what I would recommend, of course. So, but you need to build a strategic system where you can get the entire team moving the business forward with you. 

[00:09:05] So the 200 to 400 door primary focus is really creating culture. If you don’t have really clear strong culture, you probably don’t have a really clear, good team and you’re not going to get to the 400 to 600 door level. So you probably have a healthier level of culture. If not, this is going to be a focus. You need to develop cohesive culture. It needs to be documented. You need to develop cohesive, strategic planning for the business, and you need to develop an internal communication system for the team that doesn’t involve one to everyone communication constantly like Slack or some of these tools where you’re communicating one to an entire group, and everyone thinks you need to read everything. It’s about building asynchronous communication, so really you need an effective culture, effective hiring system, effective planning system for strategic planning, strategic stuff, not the tactical day-to-day stuff like I just talked about, and you need an internal communication system, which goes along with that planning and a correct cadence of meetings can reduce a lot of communication and interruptions in business. So, this is how to get to the next level. 

[00:10:09] So, they have many of the processes defined and operations are running fairly smoothly in the business. Now you need to get all the team members helping you innovate in the business, not just getting stuff done that you tell them, which is transactional. Now you need to transfer and move towards transformational leadership. Transactional is I give you a task. You come back and say, you did it. I pay you a dollar, give you a task and you come back and do it, and that’s the transaction. Transformational is I give you an outcome and a deadline, and then I support you in moving it forward, but you get to come up with how to get this done. And this is where you now start to have team members that think for themselves and innovate and move things forward. Instead of you having to micromanage everybody on your team, through processes and checklists. So if you’re spending all your time trying to create tasks and trying to tell the team what to do and answer every question, you have a broken business that needs a strategic planning system, and that’s going to free you up. 

[00:11:11] But in order to do that, you need really good culture, really good team members, and now you can implement a really good planning system and you need a really good operations person or an operator if that stuff isn’t fun for you. If you don’t love spreadsheets and checklists and process documentation and calendars and all that kind of stuff, you’re probably more of a visionary entrepreneur. You’re more on the sales and marketing side of the spectrum. And you’re going to enjoy that a lot more. So hopefully this is helpful for those of you. If you would like some help, if you’re at this level– I love working property managers at this level. A lot property managers at this level, some of them start to get really painful. And they, if they make it to the next level, they’ve checked out. I want to make this easy for you, help you implement a strategic planning system in your business. We focus on this in our DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind. It’s the “Scale” portion. Really awesome. I’d love to get you on a call with our team so we can figure out if we can help you grow your business and scale faster and get your team in better alignment.

[00:12:05] And this alone can cut your staffing costs easily in half, sometimes by a third down to a third, by getting all these things really in healthy alignment and getting you in healthy alignment with your team. You’re going to get way more output and that’s the greatest expense in a business. So, if that’s interesting to you check us out, join our Facebook group. If you’re not yet ready to talk to us: doorgrowclub.com. You can go to doorgrowclub.com, join that, and we will love on you and hopefully eventually convince you to get on a call with us. Otherwise, reach out check us out at doorgrow.com and book a call. There’s a little link at the top, and we’d love to talk with you and see if we can help you grow and scale your business until next time, everybody, to our mutual growth by everyone.

[00:12:47] 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! 

[00:13:14] 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 doorgrow.com, and to get notified of future events and news subscribe to our newsletter at doorgrow.com/subscribe.

[00:13:35] 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.