DGS 177: What To Do When You Don’t Love Your Clients

what to do when you don't love your clients podcast artworkDo you love your clients? I love my clients. Property management growth expert Jason Hull has worked with hundreds of PM entrepreneurs over the years, and has found that many property managers complain about tenants, owners, and clients. 

If you don’t love your clients, it could be time to take a step back. Join Jason as he gives you 6 changes you can make to love your clients in property management, and what to do when you don’t love your clients whatsoever.

You’ll Learn…

[01:48] Finding Clarity for What Clients You Want

[05:17] How to Fix Your Product

[07:27] Why You Should Probably Be Charging More

[08:52] How to Qualify Your Leads to Get Better Clients

[12:43] Changing Your Targeting

[15:16] Why You Should Set Better Boundaries


“The very first thing you need to figure out is who do you want to serve? Who do you wanna have an impact with?”

“If you don’t have clients that you are in love with that you love working with and love serving, you probably have a bad product.”

“So if you don’t like the clients that you’re getting, you might be dealing with a lot of price sensitive, cheap people. If that’s the case, you probably are charging too little.”

“Usually the worst prospects are at the end of the sales cycle.”


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DoorGrow on YouTube



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[00:00:00] This is the crux of the beginning of any sales process. This is the most critical piece at the beginning of any sales process in your pipeline is to qualify prospects. All right. 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 in business and life, and you’re open to doing things a bit differently, then you are a DoorGrow Hacker.

[00:00:29] 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.

[00:00:47] 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. 

[00:01:07] All right. What we’re gonna be chatting about today is if you do not love your clients. How do you deal with this? If you don’t love your clients? So this is a common thing. I hear a lot of people in the property management industry, I hear a lot of people in general complain about their customers. They complain about tenants. They complain about owners. They are experiencing a lot of frustration, and so in general, any entrepreneur, if you do not love your clients– I love my clients by the way– if you do not love your clients, you do not feel like they’re great people, you enjoy working with them, then maybe you need to take a step back. 

[00:01:48] And so, one of the things that I challenge my clients to do is create what’s called a client-centric mission statement, an idea that I got from one of my mentors, Alex Charfen. And so the idea with the client-centric mission statement is the very first thing you need to figure out is who do you want to serve? If you’re gonna start a business and you’re figuring out the mission of this business, who do you wanna serve? Who do you wanna have an impact with? For us, it’s largely single family, residential, contribution focused entrepreneurs, you know, property management businesses, like, there’s a lot of adjectives there.

[00:02:19] I wanna bring up that maybe you’re just focused on the wrong people– might be the first thing. So I would take a look at that. If you don’t like your clients, then figure out who do you really want to serve? Who would you like to have? Because if you don’t have an intention and you don’t have clarity on the type of client or person that you would like to work with, then you may be experiencing basically the evil genie effect.

[00:02:46] Have any of you ever seen a movie with a genie and there’s always some evil twist, right? The genie’s kind of a jerk, and the genie gives them what they ask for but with sort of a sneaky sideways grin chuckling to himself like: “I’ll give you exactly what you asked for,” but they always give them the crappiest or shittiest version of that. So they’re like, “Hey, I wanna be, I wanna be rich or I wanna be powerful or whatever.” They’re like, “cool. You’re a drug lord,” you know, and people are trying to kill you, right? The evil genie gives you the worst version of this. 

[00:03:18] So what I want you to do is write down right now, who do you wanna serve? And when you’re figuring that out, just pretend that you’re asking for this from an evil genie and the way you deal with the evil genie is you have to have enough adjectives that the evil genie’s hands are tied, and it has to give you what you actually really deep down want. So like with our avatar, we want contribution focused entrepreneurs. We don’t want jerks. Single family, residential, fee based, property management companies. That’s pretty specific, and so it kind of dials it in. There’s some other things that we look for that we’ve put into our client-centric mission statement, but figure out who do you wanna serve? And get that really clearly dialed in with enough adjectives so that if you said, for example: “I want investors in Phoenix, Arizona, you know, that have rental properties.” You’re like, “cool, I’m gonna give you the worst investors ever, super cheap, hate doing things. They’re not even current on all their house payments. They’re like the biggest punks ever, right? ‘Cause that’s what the evil genie’s gonna give you.

[00:04:21] So add in enough adjectives that the evil genie hands are tied, and you’re protected and you’re safe because if you can combat the evil genie, that means you have enough detail there. It’s specific enough that you, your unconscious, the universe, God, whatever you believe in or are into can actually give you something really specifically that you want, something very specific. So I want you to be very clear, because if you don’t have that intention, you’re likely to not get what you want, and I want you to be very intentional about what you do want and have that clarity, because the more clarity you have on what you want, the more likely you are to get it, and the more your unconscious mind or your subconscious can work on all the nitty gritty stuff to help make sure that happens and the more you’re gonna be aligned and other people on your team can align and know what you’re looking for and everything can go towards that, move towards that.

[00:05:17] Okay. Now, if you don’t have clients you really love another issue may be your product. So in a property management business, your product is doing property management and servicing these investors. And so if you don’t have clients that you are in love with that you love working with and love serving, you probably have a bad product. So after you have that avatar defined, that personality or that person defined that we just chatted about, and you’re clear as to who you would really love to work with, then we need to make sure we have a product that really solves their problem. So I would make a list of all the problems that they have. What are all the problems that they have? What are all the challenges that they deal with with their rental property?

[00:06:00] And then after you make that list of problems– If you’re actually gonna do what I’m telling you to do– next, turn all of those into solutions. What are all of the things that you do to solve these or could do to solve these? And then take a look at your product? Does it have all of this? Do you currently have all these elements? Because this will give you a bunch of great ideas for how you can improve your business, improve your operations, improve your product and your offering so that it is more attractive, more sexy to your ideal prospect. And so that’s the next thing is improve your product because the better the product, the better the client you’re going to have. Sometimes clients are just bad clients because the product isn’t good enough.

[00:06:40] I’ve been there. We had a product that was pretty good. It was pretty good, but we had some clients would go through it and not do certain things, and then they would just say, “I just got a website and I didn’t get all this other cool stuff,” and so that could be a challenge. You want to make sure that you figure out what are all the challenges that some of our clients have or difficulties they have in implementation or in working with us, or rather than the easiest, best ones that just do what we tell them to do, what are some of the other ways we can deal with some of those others so we can turn more of our clients into clients that we love that get a good result? 

[00:07:13] And that’s something we continually focus on at DoorGrow. We’re always optimizing our process. We are looking at even revamping our current program right now and revamping our offer. We’re always improving that. 

[00:07:25] So, improve your product. The next item is raise your pricing. So if you don’t like the clients that you’re getting, you might be dealing with a lot of price sensitive, cheap people. If that’s the case, you probably are charging too little. It’s also really difficult to enjoy your clients or like your clients, if they don’t value you enough, and if they don’t value you enough, then you need to increase your pricing and charge more money. Most property managers are priced based on the cheapos or the cheapest people in the marketplace. So one of the first things or leaks we want to dial in with our clients is revamping their pricing and making sure it’s psychologically effective and helping them figure out: how can they get more money, more easily for more clients, like making sure their pricing is optimized so that they can close more deals at a higher price point more easily.

[00:08:14] So raise your pricing, and that’s a lot easier to do if you have good lead flow, which we also help our clients focus on, but once you have enough business and leads coming in, you can get pickier and I want you to be pickier. One easy way to filter out the worst clients, the ones that don’t value you, the ones that don’t feel like you’re worth the time or money to be paying is to raise your rates, raise your pricing. And if your clients have been happy over the last year, haven’t had any major disruption to their safety and certainty, which is the thing they want most from a property manager, you can go ahead and disrupt that a little bit by raising your rates and raise your pricing. 

[00:08:52] All right. The next item I wanted to talk about: if you do not love your clients, you can increase the qualifications and qualify your prospects better. So if you don’t like your clients, you don’t like all the people that are coming into your business, coming in through your sales pipeline, then filter. You need better filters, right? And I’ve talked about the “cycle of suck” and these other challenges where you take on bad clients and it leads to bad properties, and it leads to bad tenants, which leads to bad reviews, which leads to you attracting more bad clients, right? That’s the cycle of suck. To escape that, you have to filter your clients. 

[00:09:28] This is the crux of the beginning of any sales process. This is the most critical piece at the beginning of any sales process in your pipeline is to qualify prospects. In order to qualify prospects, you need to be clear on what you want. If you’re not clear on what you want, which we talked about at the outset of this podcast episode, then you’re not gonna be able to qualify people to see if they are what you want. So first, get very crystal clear on what you want. Then, get very crystal clear on what you do not want so that you can qualify these prospects and you can figure out: do they fit what we’re looking for or do they not fit what we’re looking for? Do they have red flags? Do they have things that we don’t want?

[00:10:05] We don’t want people that aren’t current on their house payments. We don’t want people that aren’t willing to invest in a new water heater in the middle of winter or people that aren’t willing to fix the HVAC challenge, you know, or whatever, right, people that are always broke or don’t have the funds and we’re always floating them, these kind of things. So make sure you qualify your prospects, ask good questions, interview them. The pickier you are with clients… in sales, this tactic is called prizing, and prizing in sales means you recognize you are the prize and you qualify the prospect and you filter them and you don’t take on every client, and that actually makes you more attractive to potential prospects and more attractive to the clients you really would like to have. 

[00:10:49] It increases their desire level. It makes you the “sexy guy or girl at the bar.” They don’t get with everybody. Right. That’s why they’re attractive. That’s why people see they have value. They don’t get with everybody. Nobody wants to get with that guy or girl at the bar, right? So I want you to be the sexy guy or girl at the bar, or at least your business to be so that it’s picky. It doesn’t get with everybody. It’s very exclusive in determining who they wanna work with.

[00:11:15] A great book on that subject is _The Pumpkin Plan_ by Mike Michalowicz, who is somebody I’ve had on my podcast a couple of times. Great book, _Pumpkin Plan_. He talks about how it’s important to weed out the bad pumpkins out of the pumpkin patch, so to speak, metaphorically, and to make sure that you’re planting the right seed, which this is why we have a program called the seed program to grow your business, which is planting the right seed means your business has a chance of growing into the thing that you want. You cannot plant a crappy pumpkin seed and get a prize winning pumpkin. You have to plant a prize winning pumpkin seed breed of a plant in order for you to have a chance of getting a prize winning pumpkin, right? You cannot plant a pumpkin seed, for example, and get a giant Oak tree if that’s your goal. You have to plant something that makes an oak tree. Is it an acorn? An acorn. 

[00:12:05] So what I want you to do is start qualifying, get very clear. It needs to be written down, your qualifications for what are red flags and what are green flags for clients? So that when you are selling, you can objectively look at this piece of paper and make a decision. Do they have red flags? Do they have green flags? Do they look like a good candidate? Because it’s really easy for us to lie to ourselves and justify to ourselves that this person might be a good fit or maybe we can make it work or it doesn’t sound too bad. A lot of times, we sell ourselves on the client, and you want them to be selling themselves on you, like, “here’s why I’d be a great client.”

[00:12:43] Number five, the fifth thing: change your targeting. This goes back to the very beginning, but make sure that you’re targeting to reach these customers, these avatars, these potential prospects is correct. So if you were focused on internet marketing, like SEO, pay per click, content marketing, social media marketing, stuff like that, you are going to attract a lot more of the cheapos that are more price sensitive, because these are the people that are searching online. They’re at the end of the sales cycle, they’re a little bit more price aware. They’re out shopping around. That means word of mouth has not captured them. The best stuff is captured earlier in the sales cycle through word of mouth or other challenges, and if they don’t know anybody, they don’t have anyone to reach out to, there’s nothing obvious, they’re gonna now start doing research and they become more price sensitive.

[00:13:26] So usually the worst prospects are at the end of the sales cycle. So if you’re targeting the wrong type of people, like we talked about the beginning or your targeting methods are off and your marketing methods or your acquisition methods are off, you’re going to attract bad people or the wrong people. And so that is something else to take a look at, and we have really effective strategies that cost $0 in advertising costs. You don’t have to do any advertising in order to grow your business more effectively by capturing people earlier in the sales cycle, in the blue ocean, rather than the red bloody water where all the sharks are fighting over the top spot on Google or for attention online, there’s very little search volume for property management.

[00:14:07] It really hasn’t grown much since 2004, which you can verify for yourself by going to look at trends.google.com. Put in ‘property management.’ Change the date range from 2004 to the present, and you will see property management search volume has not really increased much at all. If any, since 2004, yet competition there has increased dramatically. This is the red bloody water, all the sharks, biggest sharks, the biggest whales, biggest companies are all fighting for the best fish. 

[00:14:35] It’s super competitive, but there’s this huge blue ocean, 70% that are self-managing. They’re not even looking online yet. They don’t even know they need property management yet, and there’s ways to reach them and ways to get them on as clients. And you can charge more money. They’re less price sensitive. You can close deals more easily at a higher price point. It’s a lot better. And then you’re creating market share for the industry instead of trying to steal it from another company or trying to get somebody that’s self-managing that needs a property manager and fighting over all the other companies in that red water. So last, change your targeting. 

[00:15:09] Those are some really quick, easy tips for if you don’t like your clients, how to change them. You know, I’ll add one bonus. One bonus one here is set better boundaries. This might be the most important one of all, if you are not happy with your clients, sometimes you created this monster. You made them into a bad client by not setting and establishing really good boundaries from the get go. You need to establish really good boundaries with your prospects and with your clients from the beginning, that “this is how things work. This is what we will stand for. No, Mr. Owner, we’re not going to do that. And here’s why,” or “yes, we’d be happy to do that for you. Here’s what that would cost,” right? 

[00:15:48] You need to set really good boundaries with your clients. And a lot of that is just really setting good boundaries around communication, how they can communicate with you, how they shouldn’t really, most of the time need to communicate with you. They should trust you to take care of things. Setting good boundaries will change your life, so set good boundaries in your property management business. The difference in operational costs between poor boundary setters or really good boundary setters in terms of operational costs is night and day.

[00:16:16] We’re talking like sometimes 10 times difference operational costs or really dramatic difference in profitability. The people that have bad boundaries, they’re on the phones all day long. They have a team that are on the phones all day long, really bad boundaries, and it’s really ineffective. They’re talking to prospective tenants, they’re talking to existing tenants, they’re talking to prospective clients, they’re talking to existing clients all day long. It’s tons of communication. They’re talking to vendors all day long. It’s a nightmare. Really effectively set boundaries. 

[00:16:43] I know property managers that are managing hundreds of doors with only one part-time person boots on the ground and one virtual assistant, and that’s it. I know people that are doing that because they’re not talking on the phone and they’re only texting, and the only people they really talk to are prospective clients that they want to close deals with. They’ve got all these boundaries and systems and mechanisms in place and they’re protected and insulated, and their business is quiet and it’s very easy, right. It’s a lot easier. In fact, One of them is the operator of my company. She has her own property management business, has around 200 doors and very easily is able to manage those while working the majority of the time in my business and helping support our team. Brilliant operator.

[00:17:30] So hopefully this helps you figure out how you can start to love your clients. Life’s too short. You really should have clients that you enjoy working with. That is part of why you should have a business, is you get more fulfillment, more freedom, more contribution. Like you’re making a difference in the world. You wanna be doing those things with people that you enjoy being around, that you like, so work backwards, figure out who you would like to be working with, and then get more support from your team, and your team are gonna be far more motivated to support you effectively and help you get all four of these four reasons for having a business.

[00:18:05] And you’re gonna get that fifth reason of safety certainty more for yourself if you have clients that you love and you build your business around that. And I know it sounds so simple, and it really can be. Figure out who you love and figure out how to get them and figure out how to please them and figure out how to get more of them and we can help you do that at DoorGrow. That’s stuff we focus on every week with our clients. So reach out to us at doorgrow.com, and until next time, to our mutual growth. Bye, everyone.

[00:18:34] 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! 

[00:19:00] 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. Until next time, take what you learn and start DoorGrow Hacking your business and your life. 

Enjoyed this episode on what to do when you don’t love your clients? Get equipped with more content like it by exploring past episodes of the #DoorGrowShow.

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.

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