Wouldn’t it be nice if you could sleep at night knowing that you don’t have to worry about pests in the properties you manage?
In this episode, property management growth expert, Jason Hull interviews Nick Drzayich from Cover Pests to learn about dealing with pests in property management.
[02:00] Cover Pest… It’s like Insurance for Pest Control
[03:59] Dealing with Pests as a Property Manager
[07:48] Dealing with the Different Kinds of Pests
[13:13] How Partnering with Something Like Cover Pest Works
[16:02] Eliminating Having to Figure Out Who is Gonna Pay the Bill
[17:15] Using Pest Coverage as a Selling Point for Property Management
“We want the tenants to feel good about where they live and have it clean. We also want the owners to understand that their property’s being taken care of when it’s needed.”
“It’s nice for the property manager to have someone else get some eyes on the property every once in a while.”
“It’s increasing the visibility. It’s decreasing some of the potential costs for the owners. It’s protecting the owners.”
“We go out, and we take care of it.”
[00:00:00] Nick: We want the tenants to feel good about where they live and have it clean. We also want the owners to understand that their property’s being taken care of when it’s needed and then obviously the property management companies, they don’t have to hassle with the back and forth and who’s paying the bill.
[00:00:14] Jason: 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. 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.
[00:00:53] 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 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.
[00:01:13] Now, let’s get into the show and my guest today, I am hanging out here with Nick, and Nick, you got to tell me your last name. I should have asked you before the show.
[00:01:25] Nick: No, that’s okay. I tell everybody to just say "does your eye itch?" And that’ll about cover it. Okay. It’s pronounced (dur zye ich) Drzayich. It’s a Serbian name, and it’s way too many consonants in a row.
[00:01:37] Jason: Nick Drzayich. All right. From Cover Pest. Cool. And is it Cover Pest or just "Cover?" Website says "cover."
[00:01:45] Nick: Yeah. Cover Pest. Yeah.
[00:01:47] Jason: Cover Pest. Okay, cool. Well Nick, glad to have you on the show. So tell me– give us a little bit of background. How did you– and I’ll just say for those listening, it says, "pest control solution for property managers," like on your website. So tell me a little bit about Cover Pest, and how did you get into this?
[00:02:04] Nick: Come from an insurance background actually. 13 years or so ago, I started and grew a independent life insurance agency, and so that’s kind of been my background. Right. And so within insurance, you’re obviously taking a big cost in life insurance. There’s a death benefit with other insurances. There’s big expenses that come at some point throughout the life of a policy and you’re taking the cost of that and you’re spreading it out among all the policy owners.
[00:02:34] Jason: Mm-hmm.
[00:02:34] Nick: So kind of with that mindset. I was chatting with my business partner who lives north of me, and he actually runs a pest control company and has for several years. We kind of got to chatting about this combination of life insurance and kind of sharing this cost, spreading the cost out and how you could potentially do that with pest control. And that’s how we kind of landed on this idea of using that model to help property management companies take care of their pest control issues, which we know are just a hassle whenever they happen. Yeah. And solve that issue for them and allow them to take that off their plate and add a little bit of revenue in the meantime. Got it. And what areas do you guys cover? Is this a national business? Or is this local? How does this work? Yep. So this is a national business.
[00:03:21] We obviously have the ability to go anywhere in the country. We have, we started it here in our home state of Idaho, which is where we have the bulk of our clients. But ultimately, yeah, we we work with vendors across the country to be able to help take care of the issues that, that property managers are seeing.
[00:03:37] Jason: Cool. So help me understand how this works. Like why would a property manager decide, Hey, I should work with Cover Pest instead of just use some pest control vendors locally and connect with and have these people in as a feather in my cap. What advantages do they have with working with Cover Pest and why would a property manager choose? Or why do they choose to work with you?
[00:03:59] Nick: Yeah. Great question. So. As soon as you mention pest control to a property manager, you’re probably going to get just a lot of heartache right there. Whenever an issue comes up, it’s technically it’s a tenant responsibility. Yeah, but ultimately it’s going to come back to the maintenance manager. It’s going to come back to the property management company or owner every once in a while. And so they’re having to deal with finding a vendor. Vendors got to contact the tenant, get the service done, and then you got to figure out where you’re sending the bill, and there’s always going to be a fight there. The tenant’s not going to want to pay it, the owner doesn’t want to pay it, and you, as the property manager, you don’t want to pay it either. And the benefit here is that, we work best with companies that have some kind of resident benefit package. So what our service does is it kind of slides right into that resident benefit package, and for a very nominal fee compared to what you would normally pay for pest control, your tenants are able to have all their pest issues covered, and when they need service, they put the request in online– goes to call. We send a technician out and take care of it. There’s no additional cost on top of what that monthly fee is.
[00:05:03] So like I mentioned, we kind of slide in the benefit packages. We also work as a standalone amenity for those that either don’t want to put us in a benefit package or don’t offer a benefit package.
[00:05:13] Jason: Got it. So what are what are property managers typically bundling in along with Cover Pest in, you know, in addition to Cover Pest in their resident benefits packages that you’re seeing?
[00:05:26] Nick: Yeah, so oftentimes we’ll see– a big one is filter service, so furnace filters that are shipped–
[00:05:31] Jason: mm-hmm
[00:05:32] Nick: –every few months. There’s a lot of times some kind of a credit building aspect to the benefit package. There’s usually some kind of a maintenance, a 24 or seven maintenance benefit that’s inside of that package. And then a lot of times there’ll be some kind of perks. You get a free maintenance request once a year on something that would normally be charged to you, or you have late fee, late payment protection. Once per year, you can make a late payment and not have to worry about any kind of fees. So those are just some of the things that we’re seeing inside of benefit packages along with our service.
[00:06:03] Jason: Got it. And what are you typically seeing property managers charge for this resident benefit package? And I would assume this is something that they’re convincing the tenants to buy as a product.
[00:06:15] Nick: Yeah, so ultimately, what we’ve seen is that the benefit package just rolls right along with the lease agreement. There’s not an option there for the tenant to either pay for or not. It just is what it is and you get it. Yep. And they range across the board, right? From, you know, 20 bucks all the way up to 75 plus dollars per month, depending on what’s in the package.
[00:06:41] So when we were designing our service to be able to slide into a benefit package, we wanted to be super conscious of increasing that at all right because any increase in a benefit package cost is going to come with some kickback initially. And so there’s got to be some good value there. So we had that in mind for sure, but they definitely range. They kind of run the gamut of, you know, pretty cheap all the way up to some pretty expensive packages, depending on what’s offered.
[00:07:08] Jason: Got it. Now you said kickback, but I think you mean push back, right?
[00:07:13] Nick: Yeah.
[00:07:13] Jason: Okay. All right. Just making sure. People are like, "is there an affiliate thing going on here?" right. Okay. Yeah. Right. The tenants are going to be a little frustrated if it’s too expensive and they’re going to say, "Well, why am I being forced to do this? I don’t know that I need all that stuff." Okay. So then, can you give us an idea of what this would cost? How do you price this with companies? Is this like on a per unit basis that you work out a deal with the property managers? Are there certain rates? Is this something that they just can do on certain properties that they can convince the owners to buy into? How does that typically work?
[00:07:48] Nick: Yeah. So when we onboard a company. It’s pretty much an all or nothing deal. Right. We want to make sure we cover all of their properties regardless of where they’re at and if they have current pest issues. We do work individually on a customized basis with each property management company to decide: "all right, what are you seeing typically pest issue wise? What package makes the most sense, and do we need to customize a package to best fit?" So, at a broad level, we have a couple of different packages. One of ‘them is more of a basic package that covers the things that don’t typically happen a lot, but when they do happen, it’s a real hassle.
[00:08:25] So a good example of that would be bed bugs, for example. They don’t happen a ton, but when they do, it’s a pretty severe cost.
[00:08:32] Jason: Right.
[00:08:33] Nick: Yep. And and then going up from there, our upper package is a little bit more of the common stuff that people call on a regular basis. Your spiders, your ants, wasps, bees, that sort of thing. And so we do have a couple of packages that we work off of, but we do customize with each company and make sure that we’re covering what they want and making it specific to them.
[00:08:56] Jason: Got it. I’m sure it differs. Like here in Texas, we have some big bugs and a lot of mosquitoes here in Austin, but yeah, in some markets, I would imagine you’ve got certain issues that are just typical to that market and then other markets you don’t, and it might also have to do with sometimes– unfortunately might have to do with the class of the property or the area of the property that it’s in, how well it’s maintained, stuff like that.
[00:09:21] Nick: Yeah, for sure. And I mean, ultimately we don’t want the tenants to hesitate to call because that’s what normally happens, right? They know that they’re responsible for it.
[00:09:30] Jason: Yeah.
[00:09:30] Nick: And so, they don’t call and they just kind of sweep it under the rug either literally or figuratively and the pest issue goes untreated and it can get out of hand, and so we want to eliminate that from happening. We want the tenants to feel good about where they live and have it clean. We also want the owners to understand that their property’s being taken care of when it’s needed and then obviously the property management companies, they don’t have to hassle with the back and forth and who’s paying the bill.
[00:09:57] Jason: So let’s make this a little bit real. So let’s say you’ve got a tenant. They’ve got some pests. I don’t know what kind of pests would be a serious issue, but they decide not to call. Give me an example you’ve heard of, and then it’s incurring additional damages that then the owner’s going to have to pay for. Can you think of something like that?
[00:10:17] Nick: Well, I can tell you that, for example, like an average bed bug cost to remediate is going to be anywhere between 800 and a thousand bucks.
[00:10:25] Jason: Okay.
[00:10:25] Nick: So right there, you know, our average package is probably around 10 to 12 bucks a month. So if a tenant is paying 10 to 12 bucks a month, they have a bed bug issue, they’re paying substantially less than what they would have to pay to have that remediated through just a general pest control company. Those obviously become much bigger issues when you’re looking at multi-family situations where units are connected and those bugs can travel. So I’ve seen that stuff get pretty out of hand, but ultimately we want to get it controlled as, as quickly as we can so that doesn’t happen.
[00:11:00] Jason: Yeah. I hate roaches. Really don’t like those things like yeah. I remember being in some houses, like some just not really nice areas, like visiting some houses and stuff in upstate New York and high humidity, and there were some units that I went in that had some really nasty infestations with cockroaches and some of them are really freaking tiny. They’re just running around all over, so. Yeah, I hate those things.
[00:11:27] Nick: It’s rough. It is nice. Yeah. It’s nice for the property manager to have someone else get some eyes on the property every once in a while because typically if you’re seeing a lot of bugs, there’s a reason. The bugs want to eat. And so there’s some cleanliness issues there. So it’s nice to be able for us to be able to report on what we’re seeing and if we’re seeing multiple calls on the same property that’s a little bit of a red flag to maybe send someone out there to take a look at the property and have a chat with the tenant.
[00:11:52] Jason: Got it. Yeah. So one of the key benefits then is it’s giving you greater visibility into some of the problem properties as to what’s going on.
[00:12:02] Nick: Yeah, absolutely because we’re going to track every time we get a service call, and you’re going to see that report as well. So we can both kind of keep eyes on it.
[00:12:09] Jason: Got it. Okay, cool. So this is something they can build into, you know, along with their leases as part of their resident benefit package. It’s not going to increase their costs. Does this become a profit center in any way for property managers or is this just mitigating costs?
[00:12:26] Nick: Yeah, we’ve had property managers use it just to kind of mitigate those costs. No additional revenue.
[00:12:32] Jason: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:32] Nick: Most of the companies we work with as with everything in their benefit package, they’re going to add some kind of a mark up there or an admin fee just for them for kind of doing the work and yeah and setting up the relationship. So it makes perfect sense, so that’s what most of them will do. And it’s kind of up to them, how much they mark it up, but yeah, there’s definitely an additional kind of profit stream there that can be created through using Cover.
[00:12:54] Jason: Got it. And certainly some advantages to taking greater care of the property. Cool. So what are the big questions besides the ones you’ve already touched on that when people come to you, they’re really curious to know because I’m sure some of our listeners are probably thinking, "Hey, maybe this is a good idea."
[00:13:13] Nick: Yeah. Yeah. So one of the main questions I get is how do we roll it out? Yeah. And a couple different ways. Typically what we’ll do is it’s a kind of a slow rollout and it’s upon lease renewal or a new lease creation. So as you’re working with a property management company, they have new leases come up. They’ll send us that batch for the month. That’s renewing and we’ll get them added into the service catalog. We have had companies that have gone in and asked their tenants, "Hey, do you want to opt into this right now in the middle of your lease?" and that option is there as well.
[00:13:44] Jason: Have you seen much success with that, with them doing that? What percentage do you see typically? I don’t know if you have that data, but…
[00:13:52] Nick: that are opting in?
[00:13:54] Jason: Yeah. If they put it out to all of their residents for opt in, I’m just curious what the typical response rate is that people are like, "yeah. I’ll go ahead and do that." Maybe 10%?
[00:14:05] Nick: Yeah. It’s not high. Not high–
[00:14:07] Jason: yeah
[00:14:07] Nick: because–
[00:14:08] Jason: I would imagine it’s like, "Hey spend more money. Do you want to?" And they’re like, " yeah."
[00:14:11] Nick: exactly. Yep.
[00:14:13] Jason: Okay.
[00:14:13] Nick: So most frequently, most commonly, it’ll be rolled out as leases are renewed and as new properties or leases are assigned, that’s the most common way that it’s done.
[00:14:23] Jason: Okay. Got it. So they sign up with you. You’ve worked out the pricing based on what sort of package they need, you implement, consult them and help them figure out how they’re going to roll this out, and they’re probably building this into their lease with some verbiage. You typically provide some verbiage for them to add to their lease as part of this.
[00:14:41] Nick: Yep, absolutely. We have some stuff that you can throw in.
[00:14:44] Jason: And then they get this rolled out. So then they’ve got this new maybe profit center, but at least it’s being paid for by somebody. It’s increasing the visibility. It’s decreasing some of the potential costs for the owners. It’s protecting the owners. If something gets really bad it could cause a lot of damage. And I’m curious, like, you’ve mentioned bed bugs, and I mentioned roaches, but what else are you typically seeing causes a lot of damage? I mean, termites, we hear a lot about. Is this something that is checked for or like relevant?
[00:15:13] Nick: Yeah. wood destroying bugs like termites are a completely different animal.
[00:15:18] Jason: Yeah.
[00:15:18] Nick: That’s not honestly a part of what we do. It’s another specialty altogether. As far as damage is concerned, mice and rats are another one that are–
[00:15:28] Jason: oh yeah.
[00:15:28] Nick: –they’re out there, and we hear about them and we treat for those. Those ones will come in and cause some real issues. If nothing else, just scaring the crap out of people.
[00:15:37] Jason: Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. And then, you know, safely doing the cleanup because–
[00:15:42] Nick: right.
[00:15:43] Jason: –You know, some issues with some of that stuff, so yeah.
[00:15:46] Nick: Yeah.
[00:15:47] Jason: And so no on termites, but yes, on bed bugs, roaches and mice and and rats. Okay. Got it. Any other questions that property managers might ask that would be curious about your service or that you’d like them to understand or know?
[00:16:02] Nick: Yeah, maybe just to, again point out that sometimes when we go out to do a service the property management company will expect another bill from us or think that there’ll be another bill coming, but it’s all taken care of. Just in that monthly subscription that’s paid for by the tenant. There’s no additional fee, no additional cost. We go out and we take care of it. And so that’s a common question, common concern. One other one that comes to mind is sometimes they’ll be rehabbing a property or making some significant changes to one of their properties and they’ll want to stop the service or pause the service. We’re definitely open to doing that and have done that. So pausing service during a rehab or big remodel is definitely something we can do. That’s one question that has come up in the past as well.
[00:16:44] Jason: Unless they potentially could uncover something in the walls during that room.
[00:16:49] Nick: Right. Right. Yeah. And that’s another thing to mention. Yeah. Another thing to mention is the service kind of runs with the address, not necessarily the tenant, so–
[00:16:59] Jason: okay.
[00:16:59] Nick: –if you have a property that maybe sat vacant for a couple months, and you had a maintenance manager out there to check on something and he notice a pest issue. He can just give us a call and we’ll go take care of it. Even though there’s not a tenant in there, because it kind of runs with the address.
[00:17:15] Jason: Got it. And that justifies including it as part of the rent as well. So if you’re saying, "Hey, this. This property, in some instances like in California, like you have to usually pay for lawn care if you want the lawn to be maintained because some people just won’t do it sometimes, right? So there’s certain things you would include. So this would be included. You could then– that could be a selling point to the tenants. Like this comes with a resident benefit package where it includes this and this, you won’t have to worry about pest control. You won’t, and these other things.
[00:17:46] Nick: Yep, exactly.
[00:17:47] Jason: Okay. So potentially as the benefit of helping, sweeten the deal a little bit on a potential rental property for a potential resident, so.
[00:17:55] Nick: For sure. Yeah.
[00:17:57] Jason: Cool. Well, I think we’ve covered most of the highlights. This sounds like– it sounds like a no brainer. It sounds like a good service. Let’s tell everybody how to get in touch with you and how to find you.
[00:18:10] Nick: Yeah, super easy. Our website is CoverPest.com and you can call me anytime. My number’s (208) 477-1330. That’s my cell. And you can go on to CoverPest.com, submit a form, and we’re happy to chat about creating kind of a custom pricing model for your property management company.
[00:18:29] Jason: Cool. So I want to ask one more question. So when they hear you say, "you’ll call my cell" and "here’s my number," they might be thinking, is this a scalable business? What if somebody has 10,000 doors or they’re a big conglomerate, you know, or they’re a small property manager. Is this a scalable model for you? Can you handle different size property management companies?
[00:18:50] Nick: Yeah, what’s nice is that our portal, our backend portal that’s a part of our website makes it really easy for property management companies to go in and add their properties to their list. So every time they have a backed upload of lease renewals. They go to the service portal, they put it in there and they’re added and they can see exactly which properties are covered in that month. And then, yeah, we work with a network of pest control companies that we use as vendors to service accounts that we get with property management companies in different states, if that makes.
[00:19:23] Jason: Got it. So you’ve got this all figured out really well. I appreciate you coming the show, Nick, and it’s been great hearing about Cover Pest. So thanks. Thanks for coming on.
[00:19:33] Nick: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.
[00:19:36] Jason: All right. Cool. So check them out at coverpest.com sounds like a good service. And as always give me your feedback. I want to hear… those of you that work with Cover Pest, let me know how it goes. And those of you that are tuning in for the first time, and you got some value from this episode, or if you’re not tuning in for the first time, give us some feedback. If you find us on YouTube, The Google play store, or you find us on Spotify or iTunes, give us some feedback. We’d love to hear what you think of the show. And we may even give you a shout out on a future episode. So we appreciate that. And if you’re interested in growing your business, check us out at doorgrow.com, and if you want to join our free community of property management entrepreneurs, you can go to doorgrowclub.com and that will get you to our Facebook group.
[00:20:23] Join that community. We’ve got some great people in there and you know, a rising tide raises all ships, as they say this will allow you to connect with some other property managers and have a resource you can go to to ask questions. And we’d love to hear from any of you inside there, so make sure you join. And until next time, to our mutual growth. Bye everyone.
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