DGS 446: Scaling Property Management Starts with Maintenance

If you are a property management entrepreneur who is always looking to grow and scale your business, you are open to new ways to automate processes in your business.

In this episode of the #DoorGrowShow, property management growth expert Jason Hull sits down with Tom and Diego from Calvary to talk about new maintenance coordination and manager trainings to scale property management maintenance.

You’ll Learn

[01:28] Property management maintenance bootcamp and trainings

[06:07] How to manage a maintenance team

[08:12] Trainings for a maintenance coordinator

[12:04] Making sure things don’t fall behind

[15:51] Maintenance teams at no cost


“The more involved you can make the material with all those different elements, the better the results are going to be for everybody.”

“It’s about preserving the property, but it’s also about tenant satisfaction, of course, owner satisfaction, and then building a strong relationship with vendors.”

“What you say and how you say it matters.”

“When you get overwhelmed, especially during high season, it’s very easy to let things fall through the cracks.”


DoorGrow and Scale Mastermind

DoorGrow Academy

DoorGrow on YouTube



TalkRoute Referral Link


[00:00:00] Tom: Why is maintenance important? Everybody thinks they really know, but it’s about preserving the property, but it’s also about tenant satisfaction, of course, owner satisfaction, and then building a strong relationship with vendors.  

[00:00:16] Jason: Welcome DoorGrow property managers to the DoorGrow show. 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 property manager. DoorGrow property managers 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. At DoorGrow, are are on a mission a 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.

[00:01:10] I’m your host, property management growth expert, Jason Hull, the founder and CEO of DoorGrow. Now let’s get into the show.

[00:01:17] All right. So today I’m hanging out with Tom and Diego from Cavalry. Call in the cavalry. 

[00:01:25] Tom: Yes. Once again. 

[00:01:26] Jason: Talking about what today? 

[00:01:28] Tom: Maintenance as always, but I’m super excited, Jason, because we’re finally launching our training programs.

[00:01:36] It’s actually our in house training program that we use for our own employees. Our own maintenance coordinators, and we’re making it available to the public. So super excited about that. Yeah. And the reason why is because we gotten a lot of requests from people outside of our service areas. We’re about 18 months into our business now, so we’re not covering the whole of the U S yet. And therefore we found a way to still help those property management companies outside of our service areas. And that’s what we’re doing. Yeah. 

[00:02:07] Jason: Awesome. So this training is pretty in depth, I would imagine, right? This is your best stuff. Because this is stuff you want your people to know to represent you and showcase your business. 

[00:02:19] Correct. 

[00:02:19] A lot of business owners might not want to do that? Like you’re giving away your secret sauce. 

[00:02:23] Tom: Yeah. So the reason why we’re giving it away is, our main mission is to help property management companies.

[00:02:30] And of course this one is also paid. Then the main reason for it being paid is because it’s a fully guided course. So it’s a cohort course. So it’s not just like, “here are some videos go ahead.” No, we’re actually guiding the students through the whole process. We have two courses, one for the MCs and one for the managers. For the MCs, it’s a 30 day bootcamp plus 365 guided throughout all of the seasons because- 

[00:02:56] Jason: MCs meaning maintenance coordinator. 

[00:02:58] Tom: Yeah, correct. Correct. Yeah, the maintenance coordinators. So that’s 30 day bootcamp plus 365 guidance throughout all of the seasons. And then for the maintenance manager course, it is 60 day bootcamp and then also 365 days of guiding and implementation.

[00:03:14] Jason: Got it. Okay. Very cool. We spoke earlier and you’re like, “I’ve got a course.” And I was like here’s what I’ve learned about courses. And so what we’ve learned at DoorGrow it’s a lot more effective to do what you’re now thinking of doing, which is have a cohort, have people move through a class together, which is great.

[00:03:30] We’ve just found we get so much like bigger results with our clients instead of just giving them videos, which we used to do. They still have access to some cool video material. But when we take people through a class with their peers, and they’re working on it together, it feels like they’re actually doing something with other people.

[00:03:48] They tend to get a lot better results. They actually get stuff done. They have homework, they have deadlines, they have completion timelines for getting things done. And so we just found that they just get way better results because the completion rate on most courses is pretty abysmal. A lot of people like buy a course, but then they don’t do it.

[00:04:05] And I’m sure everybody listening, you bought a course before and just didn’t do it like myself included. Yeah. And so we’ve learned at DoorGrow, coaching clients for like over a decade now that this is 1 of the best ways to get results is the hybridize everything. It’s like we give them, a little bit of the ability to ask questions and have, that little 1 on 1 sort of accountability aspect.

[00:04:30] There’s the cohort where we’re moving them through a program course material. Then there’s the training material that’s video course material. They can move through. And I’ve noticed also that people learn in different ways, right? Some people need to learn visually. Some people are more auditory.

[00:04:43] Some people are more like kinesthetic, which means that it’s more about feelings and the physical state in doing things. And so, the more involved you can make the material with all those different elements, the better the results are going to be for everybody. So I love that you’ve developed this program.

[00:05:02] So why don’t you tell us a little bit about. These two programs and how they would know which one should I have my maintenance person do? What’s the difference between a maintenance coordinator and a maintenance manager? 

[00:05:14] Tom: Yeah. So I would say that the maintenance coordinator course would, I would recommend those for maintenance teams that already have a maintenance manager in place.

[00:05:24] Jason: How do you define that? 

[00:05:26] Tom: A maintenance manager does it all and maintenance coordinator coordinates maintenance under the guide of a maintenance manager.

[00:05:33] And that’s why I wanted to say, I feel like if you have a one team person, they should follow the maintenance manager course. Why? Because it’s so complete and you can build that person to then hire later on other people, them become under their guide. 

[00:05:47] Jason: Got it. So if the maintenance person has an assistant or something like this, then they would do the maintenance manager thing.

[00:05:54] And that assistant maybe could go through the maintenance coordinator course. 

[00:05:57] Tom: Correct a one person team, 100 percent go with the manager course, because it’s much more in depth. Hiring, vendor onboarding, it goes a lot deeper into all of that. 

[00:06:06] Jason: Got it. Okay. So tell us about the maintenance manager course.

[00:06:10] What are some of the things that you’re going to cover so that you can turn these people into effective maintenance managers? 

[00:06:17] Tom: Yeah. So it’s going to be how to manage a team. So there’s a lot talk about leadership, one on one meetings, evaluation of the team. What also sets it apart is the vendor onboarding aspect of it, how to find vendors, where to find vendors, what the process looks like, how to do it very time efficiently.

[00:06:37] And yeah the manager’s course goes a lot deeper into the training as well and how to implement our maintenance system as a manager and how to daily uptrain your team maybe not necessarily every day, but that’s what we do. So that’s what we recommend.

[00:06:53] So it’s really how to manage the team within our system. So the idea is that if you have a larger team, then you would just give the MC course to the maintenance coordinators and then the maintenance manager course to the manager and it all works in harmony.

[00:07:08] Jason: Got it. Okay. Now, a lot of people are like “I don’t need my maintenance person to manage a team. I just need one person. I’ve only got a handful of doors or maybe a hundred or maybe 200 doors. Maybe I just need the maintenance coordinator one,” or what if they don’t have a maintenance person yet?

[00:07:27] Which one should they do as a business owner? It sounds like maybe the maintenance manager one would make sense because they need to hire somebody. 

[00:07:33] Tom: Exactly. 100%. If it’s 1 person, it’s the maintenance manager. Why? Because we also give a vendor agreement example, an owner agreement example, a maintenance coordinator agreement example.

[00:07:46] So it’s very complete. And again, if you have a 1 person team you go with the manager course.

[00:07:53] Got it. Okay, cool. The reason why we made the maintenance coordinator course shorter, it’s just because there’s stuff in there that they don’t really need to know.

[00:08:03] And if at some point they want to become a manager or you just feel like that person should know everything then you can just give them the manager’s course. 

[00:08:12] Jason: Okay. So what does the maintenance coordinator course material cover? And what’s left out? 

[00:08:18] Tom: Yeah. Let me grab the modules here.

[00:08:20] So we have eight modules in the maintenance coordinating course. It is an introduction of course, and then understanding property management maintenance. It is about maintenance ethos. It is about why is maintenance important? Everybody thinks they really know, but it really highlights every single detail.

[00:08:39] It’s about preserving the property, but it’s also about tenant satisfaction, of course, owner satisfaction, and then building a strong relationship with vendors. Then we have a module about vendor management, so how to communicate with vendors, how to explain to them what the NTE means and how to implement it or how to use it.

[00:09:03] We have how to assign work orders to vendors. We have a day in the life of an MC. That’s another module that is one of the most important ones. It is rather short, but it is super important because it talks a lot about time management, how to schedule your day and how to be very efficient with your day, because this is one of the biggest problems we see when we hire new MCs or maintenance coordinators is that they start by reading their emails, for example.

[00:09:32] Classic mistake. No, you should never start with reading your emails. You should start with the open emergencies, then the new work orders, and then you go through all of those, and then you can go to your emails, right? So it’s it’s one of these small details that make a world of difference.

[00:09:49] Okay. We also talk about the snowball effect. That is, for example, when you’re a little bit slow and you get complaints, now those emails and those phone calls come in, right? So that means that now you have to spend a lot of time because when emails or complaints come in, you have to always go and dig a little bit, search a little bit further.

[00:10:10] And that takes a lot of time. All that time that you’re then spending on that. Now you’re delaying all of the other work. So that’s what we call the snowball effect. Another module, for example is communication. What you say and how you say it matters. We have leveraging chat GPT to write perfect emails to give great responses, troubleshooting, big one for chat GPT.

[00:10:32] And then we discuss occupied service requests. And then the most important module is all of the flow charts. So the service request flow chart. So we have a full flow chart for every single type of work order. So emergency, normal, recurring vendor, owner, home warranty, or warranty job. 

[00:10:49] Jason: Got it. Okay. So Diego, how involved were you with all this stuff?

[00:10:54] Diego: Pretty involved when it came to creating the systems. Yeah, I’m sorry that I’m not talking so much today. I’m feeling a bit under the weather and and that’s why I asked. 

[00:11:04] Jason: I just figured you’re probably the brainchild behind most of the processes and systems. Yeah, we better make sure that you get some credit here.

[00:11:13] Diego: So, yeah, thank you. Yeah. No I’m sorry you guys. I do feel a bit under the weather, but I didn’t want to miss this podcast. One of the things that I wanted to add with the maintenance scores and the manager scores. Is what we’ve seen is with new property management companies that we’re working with a lot of times just looking at the KPIs, and looking at how many work orders you have open and how many you have closed and so on, which the course talks about, what happens a lot of times is that no one’s really following those numbers. And as a manager, one of the reasons why we recommend the manager course, especially if you’re looking to become a manager and how to manage your team members.

[00:11:58] Is taking a look at those numbers and making sure that things don’t fall through the cracks. You would be surprised by how easy it is. I’ve seen it countless times with multiple companies where work orders just get left behind. They were opened. Somebody sent a couple of messages, trying to gather more information, but no one actually followed through with those particular work orders with these type of courses and having those flows the SOPs, it allows you to truly follow up on all of your open work orders, making sure that they’re closed out correctly and that nothing else is pending. When a maintenance coordinator, or even a property manager, when you get overwhelmed, especially during high season, it’s very easy to let things fall through the cracks.

[00:12:46] So the course does go through that in detail. Tom touched a very important subject about every different flow. Sometimes we tend to want to handle every work order the same way. When they’re very different. So, for example, you cannot handle an emergency the same way that you would handle a recurring type of service request.

[00:13:08] And so it does go into detail of yeah, pretty much every flow, how it’s broken down and why it’s so important to take specific actions depending on the type of service request that it may be. 

[00:13:20] Jason: Got it. So you guys probably have certain systems that you use internally with your team. So, property managers, they all have different tools, different software different property management, back office accounting.

[00:13:33] So is this system specific or are they able to use whatever system they have and apply these principles? How does this work? Is that an issue? 

[00:13:43] Tom: Yeah, so there’s a difference between systems, processes and SOPs, right? So the system is a culmination of all the processes with human intervention and technology, processes is what needs to happen. The SOP is how it needs to happen. It’s by the company. So we recommend that every company writes their own SOPs. Now, of course, our courses do guide you on that, but everybody works differently, have different software, all of that. What we will be expanding on is tutorials for the different PropTech software. So Buildium, Meld yeah, whatever. And we also have a community available along with the course. So there’s a chat where we discuss the course, but also a price estimating chat, troubleshooting chat, and, I’m sure we’ll come up with other chats that we can leverage the community for.

[00:14:30] Jason: Very cool. So it sounds great. I’ll be interested to learn more about it. Maybe see it myself. I think this would be great. I think there’s definitely clients that we could send your way that could use some support on the maintenance stuff. So how do people get started with this and what would be the next steps for those listening?

[00:14:48] They’re like, “Hey, I think I might be interested in this. How do I get more info?”

[00:14:52] Tom: Yes. So you can go to cavalry.works. That’s our main website, or you can go to courses.cavalry.Works. That’s the landing page for both courses. And we have a special promo for the DoorGrow community. We’re actually giving a 50 percent discount for all DoorGrow members.

[00:15:10] It’s a way to thank you for inviting us into your community. 

[00:15:14] Jason: Okay. Very cool. So DoorGrow people like here you go. So, all right. Very awesome. We appreciate that. That’s really cool. The discount code is DoorGrow. It’s a difficult one to remember, but I know everyone will be able to do it.

[00:15:26] All right. The discount code is DoorGrow. All right. DoorGrow is the word. All right. Very cool. So, Diego, Tom, I appreciate you coming on the DoorGrow show. Thank you for sharing discount with DoorGrow people. And I love seeing what you guys are doing to recap for those that didn’t see the previous episode that I had them on, they do free maintenance coordination.

[00:15:47] Do you want to just plug what you do real quick for those that maybe haven’t heard the previous episode? 

[00:15:51] Tom: Yeah. So honestly, I should have started with this because the reason why we’re even qualified to teaching this is because we do this for a living. So we offer free maintenance teams to any property management company at no cost to you, the way that works is we get paid through a vendor volume discounts on the backend. But if you want more information about that, you can go to cavalry.works. 

[00:16:14] Jason: Sounds really awesome. So, all right. Thank you, Diego. Thank you, Tom. Diego. Hope you feel better. I’ll let both of you go.

[00:16:20] Appreciate you coming on the DoorGrow show. Thank you so much. 

[00:16:23] Diego: Thank you, Jason. Thank you so much. 

[00:16:25] Jason: All right. Bye bye. Bye bye. Okay. So if you are a property management entrepreneur, you are wanting to get maintenance, check them out. You’re dealing with maintenance. It’s one of the most difficult and earliest problems that you need to deal with as a property manager.

[00:16:39] You’ve got to figure out maintenance, got to figure out leasing. These are some of the basics. If you’re struggling though, to add doors, you’re like, “I just, I need more doors. I need to get more business. I need more leads. Or I need better processes throughout my business. I need to get like my systems going. I need a better team.” Then these are the things that DoorGrow can help you with. So if you’re struggling and you’re not scaling your business, you’re not adding minimum, at least a hundred doors annually, maybe two, maybe even 300. We have clients doing that and we want to help you do that. If you are not getting at least 50 percent profit margin in your business, we can help you get there and help you like implement some of the biggest profit levers that you’ll ever implement in your business. So if you are struggling and you’ve got a handful of doors or you’ve got hundreds of doors, but you’re not making enough money because your profit margin is low. Why are you even doing this crazy business? So let’s get you some money.

[00:17:35] Let’s get you paid. Let’s make sure that this is worth it for you. We’ve got clients that are able to close more deals more easily at a higher price point because we’re optimizing all the different leaks that exist in their sales pipeline. So reach out to us at DoorGrow. We can get you to the next level and we can do it fairly quickly.

[00:17:52] So check us out at doorgrow.Com. Hopefully we’re working together soon. Bye everyone.

[00:17:57] 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! 

[00:18:24] 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.

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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