Property management is like a Rubik’s Cube – you solve one side, which makes you feel great. Then, you go onto the next side. When you fix it, you mess up the first side. How do you get all sides to work together?
Today, I am talking with David Kerner of TouchPoint Property Management. David sold real estate for about 15 years before investing in his own doors and handling rentals. He shares some tips on how he developed systems and processes to grow his number of doors.
[03:48] Difference between doing real estate and property management; going from cold calls to find new business to rental properties that offered residual income.
[04:55] Vertical income streams: Managing properties could feed David’s sales business, and the sales business could feed his property management business.
[05:20] Property managers fear realtors getting into and doing damage to the property management industry; David was successful because he had a mindset from both sides.
[08:15] David successfully transitioned from being a realtor to a property manager by knowing that if he did them both, he would not be great at one of them.
[10:10] Once you make a decision, be 100% in to ensure success and execute it.
[11:21] David learned everything he could to know the right and wrong ways to do things, and made himself available to customers.
[12:40] He systemized and automated processes; many software programs are available to help make property managers more efficient and accountable.
[14:36] David used DoorGrow’s Seed Package to improve his Website and leads; landlords go on the Internet to find property managers.
[18:20] People perceive property management as a commodity/service; the challenge is to shift that perception to being about relationships and taking care of clients.
[19:49] David was able to break his first 100 doors in just a year; does it get easier after that milestone? Depends on you because there’s new challenges every day.
[22:45] David is now at the point where the number of doors is not the main factor – profit and smoothness of his business are key.
[23:25] David attributes much of his success to the Seed Package to help him develop a company name, brand, Website, and sales process; he started creating revenue quickly.
[27:20] Getting help vs. doing it on your own; if you’re not paying for something/someone or have a plan to follow, it takes much longer to get things done.
[32:40] David’s biggest challenge is the entrepreneurial side; he wants to improve collaboration and customer service for his business to be profitable and run well.
[33:45] David recommends making your business more efficient and systemized; focus on entrepreneurial and sales tasks, rather than day-to-day tasks.
[36:50] David started implementing automation, checklists, and other systems right away; be consistent and focus on getting things done.
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Jason: All right, we are live. 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 ultimate high-trust gateway to real estate deals, relationships, and residual income.
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 hacker Jason Hull, the founder of OpenPotion, GatherKudos, ThunderLocal, and of course, DoorGrow. Now, let’s get into the show.
Today, I’m hanging out with one of our clients, David Kerner of TouchPoint Property Management. David, welcome to the show.
David: Hello, Jason. How are you?
Jason: Good. Glad to have you. David, you’ve been around me for a little bit, for a little while now, and you’ve had some great results, and I want to bring you on the show. You started back with us in September 27—I was looking in my records here—2016. Just about two years ago and when you came to us, how many doors did you have at the time and where were you at when you started?
David: I started with some of doors that I owned myself and then I had taken on a few doors from customers because I was selling real estate back then and investing in real estate. It was under 20.
Jason: You have this small number of doors and I think when you did your first check-in, you put down you had maybe about 15. When we had you thought a form later on when we built that out, you had a small handful of doors. Some were yours, you’re doing a few for clients, and you were doing real estate mostly. What inspired you or made you crazy enough to decide you wanted to do property management?
David: I think I stopped taking my medication and I got into property management because I went crazy. No, just kidding. I was selling real estate for almost 15 years and then I got into investing into my own doors. In that process, I was just kind of saying, “You know, kind of like this.” I’m putting together some systems and being a realtor, I’m always in-between buyers and sellers. A lot of them always ask me, “Do you handle rentals?” and I always tell them, “No.” I just thought what if I starting saying yes? I then started going after that and I liked it. It triggered less of the prospector and hustler in me, more so the entrepreneur in me. I decided when I started working, I go more in that direction.
Jason: Before you were saying ‘no’ and I love this idea of just ‘what if.’ “What if I just started saying yes to this, what would that look like?” I think that’s where a lot of entrepreneurs, we see opportunity all over the place. It’s one of our strengths. It also can be our Achilles’ heel that we see these opportunities. You ask the question, “What if I start saying yes?” How did you answer that for yourself? You’re like, “What if I start saying yes?” What was it that you enjoyed about property management that was different from doing real estate?
David: The type of model that I followed in real estate sales was prospecting. Cold calls every morning for three hours. For sale by owners, expired’s, just listed, just sold, I did it every day. I always had to find new business every single month. But I saw that the rental properties, when I started investing in it, the whole deal was residual income, which was very appealing. Then, I always wanting to expand on that and then when I started getting into my own property management, I realized, “Hey, if I start doing property management every month, I could start generating residual income, and it would start to snowball.” I wouldn’t always have to look for my meal ticket on every single call. I wouldn’t just be like a technician prospecting everyday. I could do some business-related stuff like entrepreneurial stuff.
That’s when I realized that’s where I wanted to go in that direction. I also realized that the property management could also be a vertical stream of income. If I manage people’s properties, it could feed my sales business. I realized my sales business can feed my property management business. That was my initial intention was the income every month and then the two vertical streams of income feeding each other.
Jason: A lot of property managers or property management business owners, they seem to have this fear I’ve noticed, of people in the real estate industry getting into property management. Even when I asked people in the group, “What should I say when I was speaking to a bunch of realtors, what advice I should give or what I should say about property management,” most of them said, “Don’t do it.” That’s what the response was. What do you think allowed you to be successful at it versus other people that might get into it and maybe do damage to the industry?
David: Because I had started investing in my own properties, I had the mindset from both sides. I had an idea of how landlords saw things, because I was a landlord myself, and I was hands-on with the tenants and the properties. Just because I wanted to, on the weekends I would do some of my own rehabs. I felt like I had an idea of what needed to happen in the acquisition because I was a realtor. I went to a lot of REIA meetings and I studied a lot of investing. I had a good idea of what it took to find a good income-producing property or keeping the property in check as far as income and expenses. And then also the rehab portion. I felt I had a good, full picture of it. I felt that at that point I was qualified to do it for other people.
Jason: You kind of paid the piper. That’s very different than people that are just an agent and then they decide, “Well, I want residual income. I’m going to go start doing property management.” They haven’t dealt with properties, they haven’t dealt with the investment side.
David: That’s exactly right. In my sales career doing the prospecting everyday, the goal was not to let anything distract you. If you’re into real estate sales and that’s your focus, and you want to do property management just a little bit, it’s a very high chance that one phone call will throw you off your game the entire day for your real estate sales. What will end up happening is your real estate sales will completely suffer and probably go in the garbage can. If you’re going to do it, you need to be very strategic and be able to do it with the intention full-heartedly to do it right. You can probably do both, but you need to do it right.
Jason: Why did you take that transition? That’s a difficult transition. Your income is based on doing cold calling, you’re doing real estate deals, and you’re trying to shift to build a portfolio and get into property management. It takes a certain number of doors before that really feels like it’s an actual stable income. What helped you get through that painful period?
David: The question you’re asking reminds me of when I decided to stop my first business and get into real estate, where there’s that time frame that everybody knows they have to build up their book of business before they could start living off of their income. It’s kind of sink or swim. It reminded me of back then. When I started making this transition, I was doing a little bit of prospecting and property management. I realized if I do them both, I’m not going to be great at one of them, so I made the commitment.
I want to do the residual income thing. I want to do the entrepreneurial thing. I don’t want to do a prospecting thing all day because I’ve been doing it for over 10 years. When I decided that, I said to myself, “I have to burn my bridges.” I have to really jump in. That’s what I did when I got into real estate. Somehow within the next couple of months, I had to work my butt off to build up a book of business in property management so that it can take over my book of business in real estate sales as I’m going to stop outgoing prospecting. I better do it and the fact that I’m just the type of guy who burn my bridges, I just go for it to ensure success. That’s what I did and it was frustrating, it was hard. Then finally, I got to a point where it supplement my income, was at least what I needed, that I didn’t have to do real estate sales anymore to survive.
Jason: This wasn’t an easy decision for you. I remember you asking me questions about it and I think it was this process as you progressed in property management, of letting go of pieces of that as you went as well.
David: Yeah. It’s just a decision I made and when I make a decision, I realized you have to be 100% in to ensure success, so I did that. I was a little worried but I have this feeling in my mind and just how I’ve always dealt with, when you make that decision, 99% of it is completed in the decision. The other 1% is in the execution. I had made the commitment to myself—not to get cooky here—but the universe, my family, that this is what we’re doing and it’s just a matter of, this is when it’s going to happen, so I just had to do it.
Jason: Burning your bridges or it’s like you’re coming to this new area, maybe it’s unsure, and you’re burning the boats because there’s no going back, and doing it, like you’re all in. I love this idea that you need to jump and hope that parachute opens.
David: The better term was burning the boats, exactly. Thank you.
Jason: Yeah. You jumped, you went all in, you burned the boats, and there was no going back, you’re going to make this work. So had a high level of commitment and you put in some work. What was the work that you put in? What do you is different than what you did versus property managers that dabbled with property management and real estate, and maybe you stay stuck at 50 doors for five to 10 to 20 years?
David: I have a little bit of an obsessive-compulsive personality. I don’t dabble when do things. I just obsessed in a lot of your teachings, learning that. I obsessed in learning everything there possibly was on all the forums, internet websites, NARPM, the right way and the wrong way to do things. I network with a lot of really good property managers out there who look like they were on the same wavelength as me or had what I wanted. What I mean by that is I wanted to be where they’re at.
I sought information from people who look like they knew what they were talking about and were willing to share. I did that plus I put in a lot of hours. I made myself very available to new customers. Morning to night, I started my day very early, I ended it very late, and I’m just really worked on systemizing, somewhat automating, just doing everything I needed to do and make it work.
Jason: Going from doing all these cold calls to focusing on building this machine that works really well, it’s quite a change. You even spoke at NARPM or around a panel on automation. Did you fall in love with doing that stuff? Is that really this area that you just found that you didn’t realize you could be so good at? It’s like systemizing a business and building a system versus just working, tactically doing cold calling?
David: Yeah, good point. You and I had talked about this a lot. I do really like that systemizing and automating. I think it’s the kind of the computer geek in me because these days, there’s so many different really cool computer programs that can help property managers be efficient with their business and be accountable. I really enjoyed focusing and learning a lot of those systems. A lot of them are talked about in a lot of your forums and putting them together to make them work. I do like that a lot.
Also, I do recognize that there is a part of me that I have to be careful where I don’t indulge too much in that because when you indulge too much in that, it’s really more indulgence than it is to the benefit of the business or to make money. I am mindful of that. Sometimes, I’ll get into something that I think is a really good idea and then I realize that, “You know what? This is really fun and I really enjoyed doing this but I think I probably need to put this down and get back to what’s simple and the basic stuff, so I don’t get carried away.”
Jason: Not losing sight of the core, main function of the business.
David: Yes, exactly.
Jason: In the beginning, just starting out, one of the first things you did was sign up for RC package and do that process. What made you decide, “Hey, I’m going to start this new business and this is the route I’m going to go.” What made you decide to do that?
David: That was a complete quantum shift in my life and I’ll tell you why. I had the same real estate coach for over 12 years, who was against websites, against leads, and only recommended prospecting outbound everyday. When I realized I wanted to build this property management business, I did Google search, I saw you on there, and I setup the time to talk with you because I figured, I need to make my website a little bit better. I started talking with you, I started watching some of your videos. I’m like, “I got to talk to this guy.”
For 10-12 years in real estate, I never had a real estate lead, I never did the Zillow, I had a little $10 a month website, I didn’t care. I know that the website was more like a business card. When I talk with somebody, they’re going to say, “Well, let’s see if this guy’s really reputable,” and they might go to my website. I had to put my happy face on there, some happy wording, some of my listings just so they can see I’m real. But nothing really above that.
This is something you say and I don’t forget it. It’s at the top of my mind. I don’t know if you remember saying it. You said, “David, people don’t go on the internet to search for realtors. They go on the internet to search for houses.” I’m like, “Yeah, I totally agree with you. That’s why I don’t have a really big website.” “But landlords do go on the internet to search for property managers, and that’s the difference.” When you said that, I was like, “That is so true.” I really liked when you said that. It opened up my eyes. First I agreed with that. It made sense. Then I realized I would have to change everything I do if I don’t want to prospect everyday.
Now, I can get a really great website and figure out ways to attract people to my website. Now, I don’t have to prospect outbound all the time. Now, I finally have a chance to have people come find me and that’s a dream that I had three hours every morning for over 10-12 years. I was hoping for something like that. When you presented it that way, I was like, “Makes sense.”
Jason: Yeah. I think how I usually explain it is because a lot of people ask, “Why don’t you do real estate stuff or focus on the real estate industry?” I’ve got lots of family in real estate. My mom’s been an agent pretty much my entire life.
David: Everybody does.
Jason: Two of my brothers are in real estate. One of them does property management. My dad is property management. One thing I’ve noticed about real estate is that real estate is heavily about relationships but people don’t start their beginning or their hunt or their search looking for a realtor. They either want a buyer, so they try the ‘for sale by owner’ maybe and then eventually fold because they’re not getting anybody, or another side if they’re wanting to get into a new home, they’re looking for properties. They’re searching them or less. They’re trying to figure out––how can I do this without…
David: …anywhere but property.
Jason: Yeah, they want to see properties, and then eventually the agents try to get connected with them. It’s super competitive. Agents are often viewed like sharks. They generally don’t get high ratings among people and people have interesting or negative perception of real estate agents, like they’re almost in line with used car salesmen, except the one agent they like that they work with, that they eventually end up working with, “Oh this agent was good.”
I think the challenge in the property management industry is the reverse. People perceive it a lot of times as a commodity. It’s a service. It’s like carpet cleaning or roofing or whatever. It’s a service. You just need to get bids in this sort of thing. I think part of the challenge for the industry it to shift that perception, that it really is about relationships, and it is about service, and it is about really taking care of your client. But I think people do. If they need a property manager, and they’re aware of that industry, they’re looking for a property manager. They’re looking. They need to see a website that illustrates that who you are, what you can do for them, why they should trust you over your competition, et cetera.
Ironically, most of the property management sites, when we stepped onto the scene, were geared towards tenants. They were like pay rent and they were focused on operational side, not on generating business or revenue. Those probably the conversations.
David: And everybody knows a realtor. You don’t really have to go on and search. Not everybody is a property manager. You got to get a little bit out of your way to do your due diligence to find a property manager and the internet is a really great tool to do that these days.
Jason: You started with the C package back then. You had maybe 15 or so doors. How long did it take you to break your first 100 doors? I mean that was probably an exciting day for you.
David: My goal was to do it in a year. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I really had no idea but that was my goal when I figured I’m going to do it. I had to and I did it. After a year I find it hard to believe that I was able to do it. I still look back and say wow because I imagine that maybe your first 100 doors will be harder than going from 100 to 200, and then from 200 to 500 because you’re taking off, trying to build some momentum.
Jason: The first 100 door barrier is a painful barrier for a lot of people and I find that once you break that, you’re by default going to end up eventually into the 200-400 door category. That next major category. But that first 100 doors is really difficult.
David: You have mentioned when I first started the C package that 100 door is like an invisible barrier that, maybe it’s a real barrier that a lot of people don’t make. Just because you said that, I said, “I’m going to do it,” and when I did it I was like, “Oh, good. Does that mean it gets easier now?”
Jason: I think the answer is, it depends on you.
David: It’s new challenges everyday.
Jason: There’s always going to be new challenges but I think that you can build a business incorrectly. You can build it the wrong way so that 200-400 doors feels 200-400 times more painful than having 50 or 60 doors, depending on how you build out your team, how you build the support system around you.
David: And that’s kind of where I’m at right now. I’m mindful about it, I’m at that stage where I’m thinking of firing people and raising prices, putting more demands on people.
Jason: Firing people you don’t mean…
David: Not my team. Maybe. I don’t know. No. When you get to a certain point, you start to develop the mindset that you’re not as needy. When you’re not as needy, you get brave and if you listen to your podcast about pricing, you start getting brave enough to start adding some of those fees. It’s like, “You know what? If a few people say no, I lose a few customers, it’s okay. But in the long run, if I’m not making this money, am I doing myself a service?”
Jason: Yeah. Confidence builds as you add doors. A lot of people say it’s not about doors and that’s kind of true. If you have a ton of doors but you’re making peanuts per door, really, it just means a lot of stress.
David: That’s the stage I’m at right now. That’s where I’m at right now where the door thing is not necessarily the most exciting thing for me. It’s more so the profit thing and the smoothness of the business.
Jason: You’re not the cheapest guy in your market?
David: I don’t think I’m the cheapest guy. I don’t think I’m the most expensive guy, either.
Jason: Yeah and that was something you learned in the C package from the beginning. That’s a mistake most people make starting out. You didn’t do that, you started out with it, sold a website from us, you started out with a pretty decent sales process, and you’ve been optimizing that over time.
David: Jason, I followed your sales process.
Jason: Yes. So David, what you felt like you got from going through the C package process, for people that haven’t done this and they’re wondering if it’s just hype or if David’s somehow magically special and they can’t do it?
David: You broke up the last 10 seconds.
Jason: Yes. I said, if there’s people watching this that haven’t heard of the C package and they’re thinking, “Well, David must be special. He did something that’s not possible for me to do.” What do you think the alternative would have been if you hadn’t done that? Where do you think you’d be right now?
David: I can honestly give you props right now because I think that your process, everything you lay out make complete sense to me and I followed it. I will attribute it to a lot of my success. I didn’t think about starting my own name and my own company or doing a whole new brand. I already own my real estate company. It was David Kerner Properties but you presented that you shouldn’t name it after yourself, you should get an individual brand. You walked me through that branding process and you put it all together for me. You even helped me pick out a name. I got a good name, I got a good brand, the colors that we used in the logo nobody had, and that was part of your plan. That worked out. You helped us put together a website, which was a nice website. I get lots of compliments on the website. People say they hire me because we have a good website. Now a lot of people have their websites out there, but it’s good to know that the money is going somewhere and it’s working.
You had some really good ideas for generating leads and sales process. I came from a sales process who is all outgoing and prospecting. I had to now change my sales process for more incoming. I followed your sales process on the different stages and the different touches. I set that up and it seems to work really well. It makes people comfortable. That was really good. I have gotten business from realtors. I have gotten business from the REIA groups, the real estate investor groups. I don’t focus on that as much now.
You helped me understand the value of the reviews and how to get them. I actually listened to that video. There’s a lot of insights in there that I may not have considered before, the psychology of the whole thing. That helped. Got some good reviews, went after the good reviews that helps bring people to your website. Just a lot of really good stuff that makes sense.
We always talk back and forth in chat. I’m always learning really good ideas just being associated with you and being associated with everybody in the seed hackers group. There’s always really good ideas. You just follow all that stuff and I guess that we’re 10x, you can’t just work hard and you can’t just follow this process without working hard. You got to work your butt off, you got to be committed, and you got to follow a process and do one without the other.
Jason: We really care about the clients we take on but all that is just you can lead a horse to water, it could be right there for the horse but you can’t make it drink. We can give our clients all the tools and resources but the ones that do the best, the ones that have success like you, they’re the ones that, like you said at the beginning of the interview, go all in. They just trust the process and they do it. But surprisingly, some of our smartest or savviest clients tend to get the least results because they felt they know better. They’re over thinking, they feel they know better, they’re resistant, they’re always questioning things, and the things that we have you do are the things that are proven. They get results and they work.
A lot of people go through and they see our DoorGrow secrets training and some of the stuff that we share for free, and they think, “I can do this all on my own.” They’re that know-it-all and they filter themselves out but they think they can do it all on their own. You knowing being on the other side of the paywall, that’s your perception of like, “I could figure this out. Okay it’s branding and reputation and prospecting and website and sales. I can just look it and use DoorGrow free stuff and I can figure this stuff all on my own.”
David: Well, people can manage their properties on their own, too.
Jason: Exactly, yeah that’s a good—
David: Here’s the thing. Because I have been in coaching for so long, I was looking for a program. If you’re not paying for something, and you don’t have a plan to follow, and other people in the group that are doing the same thing, kind of like a community, chances are it’s going to take you 10 times as long to get it done. The money that I pay you each month is fire under my ass. Why am I paying for it if I’m not going to do it.
I’m at a community where people who are doing it and getting results. I figured I always want to be on the fast track so yeah, do it on your own, go get there in five years, and you’ll over think it, you’ll try to reinvent the wheel, and that will take you twice as long. By then, you’ll be tired of your business, maybe you’ll be out of business, of you’ll just give up on it because it’s just not working.
Jason: There’s an advantage. There’s advantage that those people have over you, though. Some of these clients come to us and you haven’t really felt the pain in property management. You weren’t operating a 56 units for four or five years, stuck as a solopreneur, banging your head against the wall, the lowest priced guy in your market with terrible branding, horror reviews.
This is where a lot of people come to us but those people come in with their eyes really wide open. They tried other marketing companies, they tried other websites, they tried all kinds of different stuff to trying to get their business going, and it’s been really painful. Some of them at that point are broken. Their will is almost broken and they’re like, “I would do whatever you say. I’m going to trust you because whatever I’m doing is not working and they respond coming out of that.”
David: Surrender to the process. The best thing to do is find people who it work for, talk with them so you can hear it for yourself. That definitely will help. I can definitely give you props. The system that you had definitely work for me, I follow it.
Jason: Yeah, I appreciate it. David, how long did it take you to feel like you got a return on your initial investment?
David: I say pretty quickly. If you think about it, you know how much money you make per door and you know how much you’re spending upfront and per month. Because I was in fast action mode and taking on doors pretty fast, it didn’t take very long to do that. At the beginning, every expense that I had, it wasn’t how much does it cost me. It was more like how many doors is that going to cost me at the beginning.
Jason: Okay, I like that.
David: It started creating revenue for me very quickly because I noticed the change. When you’ve got a nice website and you’re following a system, it shows when you talk to the customer because they’re interacting with your website and they’re interacting with you. And because it is a people business, the better you can interact with them, the easier it’s going to be to take a new customer.
Jason: Yeah but it takes work. It takes work to go through our process, make no mistake.
David: I hear a lot of stories about people who do their sales and they do the property management. One thing I was very lucky is my wife and I, we are always business partners. Maybe sometimes not so lucky because you know how that could be working with your wife but she started off handling all the property management side, the technical stuff where I handled all the entrepreneurial and sale side.
I realized that I cannot be bogged down with day-to-day property management stuff from tenants or owners. I can’t let that come into my day. Someone’s going to have to handle that. If I’m going to grow, I had to block all that out and just focus on entrepreneurial and sales tasks, and not get involved in doing inspections, talking with tenants, and any of that stuff. It’s a big discipline that you have to have if you really want to start growing.
Jason: That’s an advantage you have from the beginning because that’s a mindset thing that I push heavily is be the entrepreneur and not the property manager. Hire a property manager eventually.
David: Not everybody can do that at the beginning, though. I was working with my wife. She was always my partner so in real estate sales, she handled the back-end of the transaction, I handled the front-end of acquiring business and negotiating contracts, and she handled the transaction. Naturally, when we got into this, she handled the property management and I handled the sales and the entrepreneurial. But now, I’m trying to work on doing that even more so. Now, I’m even more at the point where some of the sales stuff I’m trying to get out of.
Jason: Help people understand what point you’re at. What door counter you’re at right now coming up on your two-year mark?
David: I’m a little over 250 doors. We’re taking on a few new doors each week. We have a team of nine employees, including myself and my wife. That’s our company. Some of them are VAs, some of them are in-house. The biggest challenge I’m having right now is not so much the sales side. I’m not focusing on that as much as I had to but I’m focusing more on the entrepreneurial side like making the company run better, have better customer service, have my team collaborate better together. That’s my new challenge and I’m trying to become not just a salesperson but a good entrepreneur where my business is profitable and runs well. That’s where I’m at right now.
Jason: Awesome. Coming up on 250 doors in two years, that’s phenomenal growth. Most people dream of having something like that. Any advice for people that are stuck to 50-60 doors or are just getting started and they want to get to where you are. They’re looking at you like you probably look at some of our case studies in the beginning, thinking, “That’s amazing. I would love to be there. That sounds awesome.” What advice would you have for them?
David: Make your business more efficient and systemized with checklist so you’re not bogged down all the time with the daily technical tasks. If you’re listening to this, you should be doing entrepreneurial stuff and sales stuff versus day-to-day property management stuff. That’s why you’re here. Do that more and find someone to give that to, whether be an employee, a virtual assistant, I don’t even know, maybe a business partner? Do that and constantly have checks in your business because as you grow, there’s going to be new challenges.
I was joking with a friend, Daniel. I will say, “Property management’s like a Rubik’s cube. You solve one side and you’re feeling great, and then you go on to the next side and when you fix that side, you screw up that other side. So how do you get all the colors to be solid at the same time? It’s crazy.” You’re going to have new challenges as you go so you have to constantly systemize your business, document your processes, re-evaluate and be ready to change everything every so often. Don’t be a technician.
Jason: Yeah, get out of being a technician, be the business owner, work on the business, not in the business, practice on strategic work instead of tactical work in the business, all very important things. I love your analogy on the Rubik’s cube. It’s very true that the perfect business doesn’t exist. The perfect business is out of business. When you increase any major function in the business, it’s going to create constraints or challenges on either side of that portion of the business.
If you ramp up sales in your business or your closing more deals or getting more contracts, it’s going to create a constraint on fulfillment. If you ramp up fulfillment so you can handle more sales, then you’re going to need to be focused more on maybe on customer service and on retention and retaining clients, and it’s always this juggle as the business grows and as the business scales.
I think the biggest mistake we can make as business owners we think we’ve ever arrived in any area like it’s solid and it’s set, and now I don’t have to worry about it. I think that’s a myth of automation and of systems, that people think they can just set it once and forget it, and they will always stay working, there won’t be a bug, there won’t be hitch, it won’t cause constraints, there won’t be problems, there won’t be things that break outside of that rule set that turn into crises.
Getting just for a little bit before we wrap up into the automation and technical side, when did you start implementing automation and checklist and getting into somebody’s systems as you’re moving through this process of 15 doors to 250?
David: When I was doing sales, I had checklist for all stages of my real estate sales business. I started that right away but I didn’t necessarily—a lot of people spend too much time trying to learn how to use computers and use weird programs before they make their checklist. Just put it on a piece of paper.
Jason: Yeah, just do it.
David: Get your system down on a piece of paper. Just do it and then slowly but surely, get it on the computer. Doing it on a computer may not be better but I got into the automation stuff fairly in the early stages because I have a background in computers and I like to get into that stuff sometimes too much. I started exploring some of the programs and things I was seeing on your forums. That was very exciting to me. There’s a lot of third-party programs. I started delving into that and realizing the benefits there. It’s pretty much early on and I’m still far, super duper far from perfecting it. I bet you all these people that you think are computer gods and system people that think they have it down so well and you’re like, “How am I ever going to get there?” Trust me. Everyday, they’re re-evaluating their systems and one day, “Oh, man, how do I get from here to here now?” or, “How do I fix this?” It can be never ending.
Jason: Yeah, absolutely. I’m as nerdy as they come.
David: That’s why paper’s good. There’s no problem with paper.
Jason: I love this principle, this idea of done is better than perfect. If we’re focused on perfection, which is really unattainable and really difficult to dial in, we can get lost in one system and one process forever. Really, we need to move forward and get to the things that are really the biggest constraints in the business. I love the idea of done is better than perfect. Focus on done. If it’s on paper, you can photocopy it, you can hand it to your teams, they follow this piece of paper until we get something better. Yeah, done is better than perfect.
David: Or be consistent, whether it’s on a computer or on paper, the most important thing is consistency.
Jason: Yeah, consistency. Love it. David, it’s been great having you as a client. It’s been really awesome to see your development and see your growth. As a person and as a business owner, I think your doing some awesome things. I love seeing how you are handling your team, how it’s impacting your relationship with your spouse, and how you’re constantly seeking out to support your team, and you’ve got this culture that you’ve built. Anything else you wanted to throw out there to other DoorGrow hackers that are inside the Facebook group or people that are maybe not familiar with DoorGrow or how people can get in touch with you?
David: My website is touchpointpm.com. I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you like to talk with me, whether it be for referral or you just want to talk about and brainstorm or mastermind on something, I’m always happy to help because a lot of people help me along the way as well. Don’t spread yourself too thin with too many things because we have access some more information and ideas than we ever did before. If you’re anything like me, you want to do everything at once. When you try to do everything at once, nothing gets done. Just pick out a few things and then try to put your blinders on and don’t indulge in everything.
Jason: I was in constant conversation with you. “I want to do this, Jason, because I do this.” I’m like, “David, stay focused.”
David: I’m a little bit more focused. I have got different lists and I got my long-term list, things and ideas that I write down but I don’t look at it everyday. And then I have my today list, of things that I need to get done today. When that list runs down, I don’t have anything on there. I can go that other list and pull a couple of things on it. But there’s so much information, you can get scatterbrained.
Jason: Well, David, I appreciate you coming on the show. Thanks for coming out and doing this podcast episode. Hopefully, it has been beneficial to everybody else. Check out David. David’s inside the DoorGrow Club Facebook group. If you are not inside the DoorGrow Club Facebook group, it is a fantastic forum and community. Everything we have is free for property management entrepreneurs. You can go to that by going to doorgrowclub.com and you’ll see all kinds of property managers in there just helping each other out, creating an awesome community and culture and industry. You’ll be able to connect with David inside there as well.
David: Now I don’t need to be nervous anymore. This is over.
Jason: Yeah. David was a little nervous at the beginning. But it’s pretty easy. It’s just like all of our other calls, except we have people watching us. All right, David, thanks so much for coming out. Appreciate you.
David: Take care.
Jason: All right. You heard that. David Kerner, really awesome to have him on the show. Make sure you get inside the DoorGrow Club Facebook group. If you want to see case studies from David and case studies from other people like David that have gone through our process, these are the people that went all in, they did exactly what we told them to do, and they got the results. You go to doorgrow.com/optin and you can start down this journey of learning about what we do and how we can help you grow your business.
You heard he talked about going through branding and all these different pieces. There’s so many potential pitfalls that David was able to avoid, that most property management business owners fall into. Property management businesses die a death by a thousand cuts or they just struggle and suffer because they’re hemorrhaging all over the place because so many leaks. Our goal is to take you to a process to sort the biggest leaks first before you start throwing money at marketing or doing costly things and dumping them to a leaky pipeline.
Check out what we do. Check us out at doorgrow.com. We are looking for really cool people like David. We want the best property managers, we want to help them win as I said in my manifesto or intro at the beginning. If you resonate with David, you’re like, “Hey, David is a cool guy,” you like David, then you’re probably a cool person, too. We would love to have you onboard as a client. I’m Jason Hull with the DoorGrow Show and thanks for watching, everybody, or listening, I appreciate you.
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