Do you overcomplicate things? Try to automate and systemize everything? Focus too much on drip emails, SEO, or pay-per-click (PPC)? Then, you’re missing the most important element in property management: Taking care of people and property. People don’t buy property management. They buy into a relationship with a property manager.
Today, I am talking with Patty Young of Pearson Smith Realty. She describes how technology has its benefits, but building relationships and being there when someone needs you is the key to success and growth in the property management business.
[03:40] Grow a property management business by talking to people and being available on the phone; avoid complicated conversations by being confident and authentic.
[05:38] Pain and pleasures of solving their problems; property managers close deals by asking more than talking.
[09:07] Understand and categorize personality types; don’t stereotype, but figure out where they are to know how to make them feel better.
[11:05] Why are you reaching out to get property management now? Determine what’s driving their decision making to reach out for help.
[13:18] Create opportunities to start relationships by giving away a value and your free time to help people; find events to attend and places to volunteer.
[15:52] Actively create business by being dedicated and disciplined; schedule time every day for prospecting.
[17:53] Growing too fast isn’t always good; only take on what you can effectively manage and avoid sales lumps by creating consistency.
[21:53] Ratio between level of connection and intimacy in sales situation and close rate is not about how many people show up, but how well you connect with them.
[23:10] “Why don’t you like me? What made you decide to go with them and not me?”; ask for feedback to make your business better and leave the door open for the future.
[32:33] Showcase your expertise and stay on top of what’s happening in the industry; don’t listen to people telling you things that aren’t from a real source.
[39:08] Shift yourself with any prospect or referral partner into being an advice-giver; you’re in a position of authority and trust, which is what creates sales.
[44:34] Be aware of applications that come in where person froze their account due to bad credit history and to bypass your system.
Solicit and close deals by asking more than talking.
Be yourself, be a person, and listen.
You can’t sit back and relax. There’s no relax. You’ve got to keep it going.
Needy in sales is creepy.
Patty Young’s Email Address
DoorGrowClub Facebook Group
Jason: Welcome, DoorGrow Hackers, 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 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 the 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 Expert, Jason Hull, the founder and CEO of DoorGrow. Now, let’s get into the show. I have a special guest. We’re hanging out with Patty Young. Patty, welcome to the DoorGrow Show.
Patty: Thank you. I’m happy to be here.
Jason: Patty, you are with a company called Pearson Smith Realty. Maybe you could give everyone a little bit of background on your experience in property management. How’d you get into this?
Patty: Oh, good lord. Many, many years ago, I won’t give out my age, I’ve always liked real estate and just renting property and I was living in Montana at the time. I thought, “You know what? This can’t be that bad. Let’s try this out,” and so I met this fellow who owned a complex and that’s where it all started.
Jason: Were those famous last words?
Patty: No, I guess I’m one of the old people that started this long before we had cell phones and technology, Crowdcast and all those kinds of stuff so it’s really been interesting watching it grow.
Jason: I want people to realize that you have single handedly helped out a lot of doors to some property management businesses. Tell everybody a little bit about your BDM sort of experience.
Patty: I’ve done the franchise route. That’s where I met you many years ago. I did that and grew it and worked with a lot of people in the franchise, which is great, and I was able to do a lot of training. I’m a teacher by trade so I go back to—property management, I think, are protectors to some degree, and so the educating, teaching and trying to explain how to do things is just at the root of what I do. I got to do a lot of training in the franchise world of property management and just kind of kept growing and growing, and it just seemed to make more and more sense.
Jason: While you were working at that franchise, I think you added maybe about 600 or 700 units to the franchise.
Patty: Yeah, in about four years.
Jason: I’m trying to help you brag about yourself a little bit in a relatively short period of time. I think everybody listening would be curious, what are some of the things you’ve done to help grow a property management business just as one of the big challenges?
Patty: One of the big things is talking. You’ve got to be available on the phone and talking to people. All of this technology’s great, having drip emails and all that kind of stuff, but it comes down to the real relationship and being there when they need you. It’s not the SEOs. It’s not all that stuff; it’s about a real person needing real services and being able to help them when they need them. That’s the basis of what we do.
Jason: Absolutely. I think, a lot of times, we overcomplicate things in property management and we think we’ve got to automate everything, we’ve got to systemize everything and we’ve got to create a bunch of drip emails, we’ve got to do SEO, we’ve got to do pay-per-click.
We’ve got all these crazy things that we’re trying to implement and do, and then the challenge is that we’re missing the most important element, which, in property management, if you are a protector, you are taking care of people, and taking care of property. People don’t buy property management; they really buy into a relationship with a property manager, and I think we lose sight of that.
Sometimes,we think, “I’m trying to sell my business to them,” and, really, they’re not trying to buy your business. What they’re trying to buy into is whether or not they can trust you to take care of their property.
Patty: Exactly. I think people are not confident enough sometimes and they think, “I’ve got to talk, and talk, and talk,” and you never stop breathing and then you just become an elevator speech and everybody’s saying, “You’ve just got to be yourself. You’ve got to be confident, you’ve got to feel good about what you do in the service that you provide, and the rest comes.” It is crazy how complicated people make it.
Jason: It would probably be true, then, to say as a property manager if you’re working on closing a deal or soliciting somebody to hopefully get their business that you need to be asking a lot of questions.
Patty: You need to be asking more than you’re talking. You need them to talk. You need them to tell you where they’re scared, where you can come in to help them and where you can support their needs. That’s what they want to hear even though that’s not what you’re hearing them ask.
Jason: What are your favorite questions to ask, then, during that sort of sales process or maybe even in initial conversations to really identify where they’re at and whether or not you can close that deal?
Patty: I want to get a report going as quickly as possible. “So, tell me about yourself.” That’s kind of like the first thing, and they will start talking, and they’ll tell you, “Oh, I just had it and got it today. I’m moving to California. I’m coming up by you,” and he’s got to move, and he’s got this house, and there’s no way he could sell it because he just bought it, and you just let them go.
They will start answering all the questions themselves when you ask them, “Just tell me about yourself. What time would I mail? How can we support your needs? What is it you need?” and let them ramble out. Once they ramble it out, in your head, you’re already knowing how to answer those questions that they—the holes in your life that you can plug.
Jason: Yeah. They’ll start to help you identify some of their pain points. They’ll start maybe even giving you some clue as to what they want. Really, the two things you need to know to close a deal are, “What problems do they have that you can solve? What’s their pain?” and, “What do they want?” and that’s the outcome of solving that problem, the pain and the pleasures. If you have those two pieces, those elements, that can be really effective.
I think, a lot of times during the sales process, if we get too caught up on our own voice and what we want to say to them, we miss really digging into that pain because the stronger we can really identify that pain and really connect with it, and the stronger we can really connect with what they want and really get clear on that, and help them be really hyper aware of those things, the easier it is to close a deal, but if we go, “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah,” and gloss over it and move on to what we feel like we need to tell them or we want to say as a salesperson, then what ends up happening is they start tuning out, they are thinking you’re just a commodity like, “You’re all the same. Every property manager’s the same,” and they’re probably heard that from most of the people they’ve talked to.
“Well, we do this, and here’s our fees, and here’s how we do it, and we’re going to do this. We’ll come out to your property,” and they’re thinking, “Well, what about my problem?”
Patty: Right, and you just sound like a recording like everybody else. No. The one I had today, he was asking about going to California. I said, “Well, great. What’s prompting you to move? Is it a job? Are you from there? Tell me about your trip to California and this new chapter in your life,” and then, all of a sudden, it all just comes tumbling out. In allowing them to talk and then, at the right time, knowing when to—and you’re not going to know until you know.
Now, every human, luckily, is different and all that good stuff, and some people are your very Excel Spreadsheet-of-the-World, some are the technical people, some are more like, “Where’s the pictures?” or whatever, but you don’t even know what they are so stop trying to sell that until you even identify what it is.
Jason: Do you feel like, over time, you’ve become really astute at understanding different personality types? Because what it sounds like what you’re saying is you’re taking some time to get to know them to build rapport, but it sounds like you’ve kind of categorized people a little bit in your head as certain personality types.
Patty: I did.
Jason: Give us some examples of some different personality types that you maybe come across that are different like this gentleman from California. How would you categorize him as different than somebody else that you might talk to?
Patty: He was right to business. He doesn’t want any—he’s no fancy-pants. He just wants to know, “All right, am I going to make my numbers? Is this going to work? What is my involvement in this?” He was just so cute so when he talked about himself and told me about what his needs were, what he did for a living, and all these kinds of things. Every human is different.
Now, I don’t mean to stereotype, but you have to figure out who your audience is. “Well then, great. Now I know what’s going to make this guy happy. We have this portal. Everything is there for you. You have electronic filing cabinets. You’re going to have monthly statements,” and then you go down what they’re really after that’s going to make them happy.
If it’s a person who is more about, “Oh my gosh, I’m so worried my house is going to be torn up,” or if their baby, and they just built, and they picked out every cabinet and all that kind of stuff, it’s a different, softer approach because now you’re dealing with the emotional side of the client. So you have to figure out where they are because you don’t know how to make them feel better unless you know whether it’s making them anxious.
Jason: Got it. Some people might be a little more on the analytical side, they might be a little more concerned about the numbers, you might have some people that are a bit more on the emotional side, maybe the property is connected to a family member or there’s some history there emotionally or there’s some sort of pain that they’re in, emotionally, that is connected to this.
One of my favorite follow-up questions during the sales process after I initially connect with people and get familiar with their situation is to ask, “Why now,” which is a great question just to identify, like, “So you’ve had this property for a while. Why now? Why is this an issue now?” and then I get a whole different set of answers a lot of times.
Why now? Why now are you reaching out to get property management? You’ve obviously had this for a little while and maybe you’ve been self-managing. What’s sort of driving this? Then you’re going to get even more insight they’re going to share with you, and that’s where, usually, I get the real pain answers, when I ask that question.
I’ve heard anything from, “I have cancer,” or, “My family member just died.” To not know that information and to just keep plowing forward in the sales process almost seems insensitive sometimes when you get to the bedrock of what’s driving their decision-making to reach out for help right now.
Patty: Absolutely. Now, this guy, obviously, he’s very excited. He’s got a position in California so he’s changing coasts. He’s not happy about having to pick up and move his family, but it’s okay because he’s leaving winter behind. He’s happy to get rid of our cold. We’ve got more snow coming. That makes him very happy so that piece of it is good for him but then with that move comes the hardship because his brother is here. You have that to go with. “Maybe I can just have my brother do it,” and that comes into play as your why.
You’ve just got to be yourself, be a person and listen. If you’re just a person listening versus this façade as some person who’s just doing their job, walking in, you’ve got to be confident and you’ve got to care.
Jason: All right. If you’re confident and you care, what are some other ways that you are creating opportunities to start these relationships? Because I think a lot of people are like, and I hear this all the time, “If I just get people on the phone, I can close them. I close everybody,” which usually means they’re closing all the word-of-mouth leads, which are easy to close, but the real concern they have is, “How do I get more conversations?” How are you creating opportunities to have these relationships instead of just waiting for them to come to you?
Patty: You’ve got to put yourself in positions with other people so I do that through teaching. I’m giving away a value to a lot of different offices. I’m giving away a value. I do a lot of different speaking engagements for free, no charges, because, in doing so, then, one, they look at you as an expert, two, you’re willing to give your free time and to help people and talk with them, and you’ve just got to find places in your communities to rise above and be there to volunteer.
I look at it as I’m a farmer. It took me a long time to grow up and figure out, “Where am I going to be? I’m a farmer.” I like to grow businesses. I like to grow relationships. What’s a farmer’s duty? There’s different kinds of farms. You can farm neighborhoods. You can farm HOAs. You can manage those if you want to. I personally like HOAs, and a lot of people do manage those. Are you doing more of a commercial management or residential? There’s different audiences. Are you looking for investors?
You have to think somewhat here, and maybe you want to level up, but you’re going to have to set a plan to decide where you’re going to farm and where you’re going to get these people from. Then, once you do it, one of the duties or tasks, if you will, of farmer is you get animals now. Okay, property managers, what kind of animals do you want? Are you raising these investors? Are you doing accidental landlords? Are you looking for trustees?
I’m one of them. One of our animal’s realtors. Some of those are big brokers, but I do go to a lot of real estate events and I do a lot of talking and a lot of chatting. You can do NARPM events. You can do realtor associations. There’s just so many different places that things are happening. You’ve just got to get out of the chair and be out there where the people are because they’re not going to find you in your seat while you’re still there talking on the phone.
Jason: Right. I think one of the big challenges is that there’s so much opportunity in the property management industry. There’s such a high percentage in the US that are not using property management that are self-managing and yet you have so many property managers that are just looking over their shoulders back and forth and everybody else going, “What are you doing to wait for leads and wait for business to come to you?” They’re hoping that they can take money and just hand it to a marketer and suddenly people will just walk in the door and say, “Take my money.”
You’re out there actively doing what a coach likes to do. You’re actively out there creating business instead of waiting for it to come to you.
Patty: Eventually, it comes to you. Once you get enough to go in and you become—yes, you can get that going. Every day, you should have prospecting time, whatever that is. If you’re going to spend two hours every day or whatever it is you want to grow to or do, that’s your call. But you’ve got to have that dedication and that discipline to do it because if you don’t, then time just slips on by.
Jason: Let’s create a little bit of perspective here. It’s taken you a little while, but when you start out in a new market, which you’ve done several times, and you decide you’re a farmer using this analogy and it’s time to farm, and you’re looking at the field and you feel like you need to get things started, how much time do you start spending in a week on prospecting or maybe in a day?
Patty: Today’s world is so different from what it used to be. You’ve got meet-ups, you’ve got Crowdcast, you’ve got podcasts, and you’ve got all this stuff out there. So you’ve got to quiet the noise down, and you have to start somewhere. Don’t be afraid to start because that’s the other problem. Maybe you can just say, “I’m going to pick this neighborhood.” Okay, great. “In this neighborhood, I could do a little research and see that there are 5000 thousands in this development so how do I reach out to these people?”
Okay, maybe you go and you meet the HOA people. They’ve got different events that happen so you’ll want to be part of all that. There’s usually some businesses nearby that you can be part of. Let’s say you’re going to take this area, you want to at least be putting in, at a minimum, at least three hours a day. If you’re going to do eight hours, let’s just say, I think there should be at least three hours of that as prospecting.
Jason: So, probably about 15 hours in a week?
Patty: Depending on how much you want to grow and how fast you want it to go because sometimes growing too fast isn’t good.
Jason: Right, so then you’d be able to handle it, and manage it successfully, and deal with each new property to bring you on each—bringing on board and effectively.
Patty: If you’re going to promise something, better do it.
Jason: Right. Yeah. They can start farming neighborhoods. They can start reaching out. They can start hitting up some groups in the area. How much time are you spending now that you’ve kind of primed this engine in the business that you’re in now towards prospecting?
Patty: Probably at least the same, if not more. There’s very little internet need-leading or any of that going on. At this point, I’m curating it. I’ve got people coming in and I talk to some, need to nurture some and all that kind of stuff, but you can never stop this. You can’t ever get happy like, “Oh well, I’ve got these three coming so I’m all good,” like a realtor will. “Oh, I’ve got these few commissions. They’re going to close them and I’m all good.”
You can’t sit back and relax. There’s no relax. You’ve got to keep it going and, sometimes, it’s evening weekends or whatever it is and, of course, they’re seasonal in this, too, so you have to be watching that, but you can never stop prospecting because even if you’re happy and maybe your goal is a hundred doors and you’re happy with a hundred, they’re not going to stay with you. That rollercoaster’s going to start moving. Somebody’s going to sell. Somebody’s back. It’s constantly changing.
Jason: Right. The sales has to outpace the churn, and the doors getting sold, and so on. I think you bring up a good point in that if you don’t have consistent prospecting and consistent lead-gen systems in place where you’re doing it consistently, then what ends up happening is, usually, it creates a sales slump, and those last for maybe a month to 90 days, typically, and they’re difficult to crawl out because you’ll build up the pipeline and then you have deals closing.
If you get comfortable and turn that off, what you’re doing is you’re creating a problem a month or two months later in which you’re going to have a sales slump. You’re going to have less cash flow coming in and you’re going to have less new clients coming in, and it’s going to get quiet and then you’re going to hi ho Silver. You see salespeople, “Hi ho Silver,” they jump on the horse and they’re like, “I’m going to ride this hard and I’m going to figure this out and do sales, sales, sales,” and then they come across almost needy.
Needy in sales is creepy and then the problem is it starts to get carry for them.
Patty: They’re panicking.
Jason: They start to panic, and so they can avoid these sales lumps by creating some consistency even if they’re only able to dedicate a small number of hours a day or even just an hour a day, as long as they have some consistency throughout the week that they don’t just shut it off for half the month or shut it off for a month, they should consistently be able to generate leads. They have no control when those deals will really close. If they aren’t doing it, those deals won’t be closing.
Patty: Yeah, they’re zero. In the classes that I teach and things, I might get one or two leads that day and then I don’t know what’s coming. You cast out the net and you see what it brings in. I didn’t want to do it. It was early December. It was a bad time of the year, but they really wanted me to come do this and I was like, “You know what? Absolutely. I’ll be there.”
Now, I didn’t think there was going to be much of a turnout but you never know, and it turned out there were four people. I was like, “Whoa, that’s pretty cool. That’s all right. I could do four. It doesn’t matter.” Out of the four, I got three so who would’ve known? It was awesome. Even the lady that was doing the events, turns out she was convinced and she decided to give me her house to manage. You never know what’s out there and if you’re not out there, you’re not getting anything.
Jason: I think there’s a direct ratio between the level of connection and the level of intimacy in a sales situation and the close rate, and so it’s not just about numbers. It’s not about how many people show up but, like you said, it’s about how well you’re able to connect with those people. The smaller the group, the more intimate that communication can turn, like if you’re working with one-on-one with somebody, I’m sure it’s a very intimate conversation. It’s personally about them and their pain that we talked about in the beginning.
You get three or four people, it gets a little bit more broad. If you’re doing it through an entire room, there’s some authority there and that’s nice, but you’re going to then have to do follow-up to create that intimacy and create that connection afterwards, which is really important in those situations, but you then are getting to do one of the many sales and establish yourself as an authority in front of them.
Patty: And you didn’t cancel. They never expected that you’re going to cancel and bail. That would stop you from getting the next gig. These are all gigs. We’re constantly going after these gigs. You cancel one and, “Yeah, do I really want to get out there? It’s [7:00] at night. Could I maybe do more work on the site? Yeah.”
No, being in front of people makes a huge difference. I’ll tell you: Some people don’t think about it, but if you’ve gone on a meeting, you’ve tried and you’ve lost, you need to ask why. At this point, “Oh, that’s fine. I have another company.”
“Okay, you tell me so I can make better my business. What is it that made you decide to go with them and not with me?” It’s a hard question to ask, like, “Why don’t you like me?” but you have to ask the question. “What was it? Was it my perfume?” But you have to ask because if they say, “Well, the other guy seemed more confident.”
Now, you know what to work on. You need that constructive criticism, but most people don’t want to ask because they just want to feel, “Ah, they didn’t fit anyway. I don’t want them.” They may or may not but if you don’t ask, you never know and then you can’t improve.
Jason: Feeling safe asking for feedback is a huge superpower. I feel like, for business owners, not being willing to palate or not being able to palate, digest, absorb or take in feedback is a dangerous thing. I honestly feel like I’ve built my company on thousands of failures, and so being able to get feedback, make mistakes and to keep moving forward as a business owner is huge. If you don’t get a deal, there’s some awesome feedback waiting for you that you could potentially gain from them so I love that idea.
Sometimes, it’s just simple as just sending an email follow-up. “Hey, honestly, could you tell me why you went with this other company? You won’t hurt my feelings. It would help us. If there’s anything that you can do to help us improve, it’d be great,” and people love sharing advice.
Patty: If you put it that way, “Look, I just need a favor. I know that you’re going X, Y and Z, but I would just so be appreciative if you can give me some constructive criticism. What exactly was it? Was I 10 minutes late and you didn’t like that? Don’t you like our pricing? What is it? What swooned you? What was it?” and maybe it was just, “I have no idea. I just like this guy better.” Okay, that’s fine. I’m okay with that, but if I don’t ask, I never know, and if you don’t know, you don’t improve. It’s kind of like those, “Listen to your sales pitch,” and nobody likes to hear their own voice and no one wants to hear why they’re not picking you but you need to.
Jason: Yeah. If we’re really honest with ourselves, we really do want to make money and we really do want to know. We really do want to know why they didn’t go with us, and so being willing to be vulnerable and ask for that feedback can be really powerful.
Surprisingly, when you do that, it gives you ideas. It’s like, here’s how to win more business, and sometimes it’s the things that they use. The deciding factors are so simple and they’re so simple that you’re kicking yourself. You’re like, “Really? That’s it?” I mention that on every call. It’s really simple.
Patty: You’re not going to know if you don’t ask. You’ve got to ask.
Jason: One of my favorite tactics, though, if I don’t get a deal, is to lead the door open for the future. “Why’d you go to somebody else?” Great, I really appreciate that feedback. “If things don’t go well with this company, you have any trouble or this happens to this, we will still be here, ready and willing to take your business and help you in the future.”
I love just leaving that door open. I don’t want them to feel like, “Well, they shut the door on me and they’re dead to me.” I’m creating that anchor for the possible future because I’ve had clients go with another company, they have happened exactly what I had explained to them would happen, and they come back and like, “You were right and I would love to work with you guys.”
Patty: Because they’re not ready to hear it yet. They haven’t reached the point what you’re telling them. They can’t absorb what you’re telling them yet.
Jason: They don’t believe it, they haven’t experienced, and they have to go experience that. They have to go try out the cheapest property manager, the cheapest website company or the cheapest whatever, marketing firm.
They’ve got to try out somebody and test out stuff because they believe they know better and then, as soon as they realize that they don’t know better, they didn’t know something, something blindsides them or they’ve run into a snag that you had kind of mentioned or foretold, you’ve created this powerful anchor that they’re going to remember you the moment that happens.
Patty: Yeah, and it’s great because—you have to leave it open to the point that they’re not going to—a lot of people don’t want to ask the question why they didn’t get it. It’s the same thing; they have to be comfortable to come back to you because you’re not going to say, “I told you so,” so it has to be very open. I always say, “Look, I’m a sounding board. If anything happens in the future,” and sometimes, they’re like, “I’m going do it myself.”
You have those people in the world and you have those that go to the bare minimum bones. “I’m glad they can help you for that price. It’s not something that we can do, but if something should change down the road, if you have questions or something odd comes up, you’ve got my number,” and I sit there with them. “Can you put me in your phone please?” and I make them do it while we’re there.
Otherwise, they’re not going to put you in there. You’re gone. They’re going to forget so I say, “Here, put me in there,” and I watch them put my number in there if it’s not already, and if it is already, I just say, “Just put, next to my name, ‘Call her.’” He’s like, “What?” I say, “Well, down the road if something comes up, you can say, ‘Oh, yeah. It says, ‘Call her.’ You can search and find me.” They’re like, “Okay?” but it works because they do.
It’s kind of like when you have a little child that they’re just not mature enough to understand maybe how to tie a shoe or whatever. They just mentally can’t do it. It just can’t happen. These people are not going to be able to get where you’re at yet, and you’ve got to understand that and it’s okay. They will mature eventually and we’ll see what happens, but making them put you in their phone is like, “Oh, I’ve got to be in that phone because they’ll never find me if I’m not on their phone.”
Jason: Such a little hack and I can see how effective that would be. Yeah. As soon as you have this problem, you’re creating this anchor. “As soon as you have this problem, if you run into this or if you run into any issues, I am available for feedback. You don’t even have to remember my name. Just put, ‘Call her,’ in here and, remember, call her and just plug it in.”
You walk them through, making sure they get it into their phone. They’re going to do it. They want to finish the conversation, they want to be done and you’re hanging out with them or you’re talking with them. “Enter this into your phone.”
Another tactic is you could say, “What’s your phone number? I’m going to text-message you right now and then you have my phone number. Enter this number in,” or however you want to do it and just make sure you get them into the phone.
Patty: That’s the new Rolodex.
Jason: Then, send them a follow-up email after that and say, “Just in case you ever lose my contact details, here is my information. Here is my direct number. Reach me if you run in any problems.” I love the idea you mentioned of being a sounding board. I think a lot of property managers are so focused on getting the deal, but what they really need to start with is being a resource.
Patty: Yes. Yeah. I always tell them, “You’ve got my experience at your disposal.” You’re doing your research. That’s great. We all have availabilities on our computer to do some research. “Great. I’m planning to get a roof, I’m going to do some research,” whatever it is, and that’s all great. Hey, absolutely. I’ll do the same thing. I said, look, if you hear something from one of the other companies that you’re shopping or something doesn’t make sense because you’ve got to peel back some onions to get down to—how you’re really comparing here, apples to apples, call me and I’ll answer whatever it is. There’s no cost to you. You’re just going to call me and ask me a question.
Usually, they do. Maybe you’ve met with them or they’re not going to be moving in for six months or it could be one of these long nurtures or whatever, they’ll come up to something. They’ll go, “Hey, someone told me this but you told me that, by the law, it was this so what really is it?” I’ll say, “Oh, absolutely. Let me send you the statutes,” and, all of a sudden, you’re on top again because they’re constantly doing the comparing. Guess what: I’ve got the law that states this is what it is. Now, Patty wins. I like it when Patty wins.
Jason: I’m sure, in some of those situations, you’ve gotten the deals just because you actually showcased your expertise. They gave you that chance.
Patty: Yeah, it’s amazing. Even in today’s day and age, how much out there is just make-believe and fluff. “Well, our agent said this was it,” or, “This one said this is it,” and, all of a sudden, that becomes a new law and it’s not, and there’s a lot of it out there. Unfortunately, people get away with doing stuff and they keep doing it, but they don’t invest in themselves enough to continue the training, go to classes, just become smarter or at least be updated or something.
Those agents, even when I’m working with them, I can look them up at our MLS system and I look and see when something starts–you get that gut feeling. I’ll look them up and I’ll just say, “Oh, okay. Well, they haven’t done a rental deal since 1997 so now I know how better how to work with this agent to make this deal get through.” Knowing what you’re dealing with helps.
Jason: How much time do you invest in making sure that you’re on top of the industry, that you know what the latest laws are, that you know what’s up with property management in your state? How much time are you investing on a regular basis towards this? How do you stay connected to all of that?
Patty: I’m probably obsessed with it more than most because if we’re here—my job is to protect your property and protect you. How am I going to be done if I don’t know what all this stuff is? Actually, I was on the phone yesterday with one of the attorneys and a simple little thing, as an example—every state’s different, but the pet addendum that’s used in our state does not have a sentence it’s needed to be there that says, like a tenant signing off, “Pet does not have a bite history.” One sentence, that’s all we need. That’s it.
To give the insurance companies all of our emotional support, our services and all of this, they’ve gone away from that dirty dozen. They’re not barring any animals anymore. They’re going by bite history. Why doesn’t our farm have that? I’m like, “Hello? Boo.”
I do volunteer with those associations. I volunteer on education committees, on the fair housing task forces, the forms committees, all that kind of stuff, so that knowing where we need just makes sure it’s pushed through, one. Two, finding out what they’re up to and what we’re going to get is another and fighting for what we need.
If you’re staying in two and you’re involved in these organizations, it’s all volunteer so you don’t have to pay for this kind of stuff, but you volunteer in NARPM and other ones. I’m heavily involved in NARPM and trying to make sure all that’s going through, but you’ve just got to find out what’s around you, volunteer and get into it.
I guess I’ve never really sat down how many hours it takes; some of it just comes up and you know there’s a need for it so you know the right people to call and say, “How do I do it?”
Even if you don’t know, maybe you’re brand new, and just moved here, “Okay, who’s the wielder association? Who’s the property management companies? Where’s the NARPM groups? Where’s this? Where is that?” Some of it is research. You’ve got to find out how do you know and who do you know to call. You find out and then say, “How do I volunteer to get to the meetings?” and then, pretty soon, it just builds its way from there.
Jason: I’ve heard you mention a few things. You’ve mentioned you talk to an attorney so you’ve got some attorneys that you’re connected to that you leverage as resource, you mentioned NARPM which you use as a resource, you mentioned real estate or realtor association and being connected to those, and then you also mentioned doing your own research.
Overall, you said you’re obsessed, and I think it’s important that if there’s one thing you should be obsessed about as a property manager, it’s being able to effectively solve people’s problems. That’s this, is to solve some of these problems. If you are obsessed with doing it correctly and solving people’s problems, that gives you a lot of confidence going into a sales conversation, I would imagine.
Patty: Yeah, and there’s so many chat groups, Facebook groups and all this, but the other thing, too, is make sure that you’re not listening to the players of the world. If I’m listening to people telling me things that aren’t the real source, then I’m learning it wrong, which is the only reason I teach and I have my own real estate school is I teach it right, but if you’re listening to the wrong sources, then now what?
I had a call today from a fellow. He used to own a property management company, I’ve known him for years, and he was a meeting. I won’t say which company he’s with now. Anyway, he’s just doing real estate; he’s not doing management. He goes, “Hey, I thought, years ago, when we did this and this, we weren’t allowed to give out the credit reports,” and I said, “It depends on your contract.” He said, “Yeah, but they’re saying dah, dah, dah, ” and I said, “Who are you listening to? Wait a minute. Why am I on a speaker there? When’s the next meeting?” and that was my question to him.
He goes, “Oh, absolutely. Okay, can you do April?” I said, “Give me a date, Baby.” When I find out and it doesn’t matter whose name’s on the doors. When I find out that there’s stuff happening that I know is incorrect, based upon me being around the right sources and the smart people, then I want to go fix it before they all start it because when we’re running these properties, we’re very real estate-driven. Everything is done through the MLS here, so I’m going to bump into these agents. I don’t want them doing it wrong because it makes my job harder plus I want their referrals.
Jason: As soon as you identify that somebody is inaccurate in maybe landlord-tenant law or in process, you leverage that as an opportunity to go and speak to them, educate and to teach, which then feeds you referrals.
Patty: I attack it. I’ll bring the cookies, I’ll bring the donuts, and whatever. Let’s go. Give me a date now.
Jason: They have a question and you’re like, “You have an audience? I’ll come answer that question and I’ll give even more value.” I love it.
Patty: It’s funny because it all just kind of evolved. When I was doing the franchise pieces, I met a lot of great people all over the world, literally all over the world. It was special over every country and it just became—they would have something come up. “Patty, can you give me a hand? Can you help me?” “Yeah, what’s going on?” and, because we were the same franchise, it was easy for me to answer a lot of questions so I kind of became the 911 or the 411 when they would ask questions.
It was awesome and then I started training with them, too, and I enjoyed it. I enjoy fixing people’s problems. I’m one of nine children so I’ve got on-the-job training, you see. My dad’s an engineer and my mom’s incredible so you learn this stuff. There’s a lot of realtors here that have called me on different things and when they call or when you work with a realtor on something, if you are dealing with them, ask them.
You’ve got to ask, “What do you guys do for training?” and they’re going to come back and say, “Well, what do you mean? All we do is a rental deal.” “I know, but you do guys property management in your office?” Are you asking these questions because there’s another opportunity or a source. Most people get the deal done, they move on and don’t even think twice about it, but you can get feedback.
Jason: Right. You’ll ask them, “How are you handling leases? How are you handling property management-related things?” and as soon as you notice there’s problems, you use that as leverage to say, “Hey, maybe I should come teach a class for you guys. Let me come share some ideas with you.”
Patty: All I need is a little crack in the door.
Jason: “Got it,” and then you’re in. It’s a magical and powerful thing if you can immediately shift yourself with any prospect or referral partner into the category of an advice-giver. As soon as you’re there, you are in a position of authority and a position of trust, and that is what creates sales.
Sales happens at the speed of trust, and so you can skip right to the top simply by shifting yourself and positioning yourself into a position of being able to give them advice, and that instantly establishes you as a trustworthy person in their mind that you can now give them information and value. They’re receiving information and value and once you give them value, then it’s a lot easier for you to get value from them.
Patty: Yeah, and then you’re going to find out too—let’s say you go to their April meeting. Okay, you’ve done their meeting. “So, can I come back next April? When’s your next meeting?” That’s usually the one you can’t stop. It’s follow-up. Our laws in Virginia change every six months. I need to come here every six months so that I can keep you guys abreast of it, right? Because the brokers don’t want to do it. You have to make sure you’re cycling there every six months.
Jason: Don’t just give up. After you do it once and you’re like, “Wow, I did this. Hurray!” you might be leaving a lot on the table if you don’t just simply ask, “Can I do this again? The laws are always changing. Things are always coming out. I’d love to come right back, and I’ll put you in my calendar and follow up with you, and let’s just do it again,” and they’d probably say, “Yeah. Well, this has been great. It’s been a good experience. We would love to.”
If you don’t ask, then, odds are, they’re going to be focused on their own problems, on their own business, and their own things, and they’re not just going to go, “Maybe we should invite Patty back. I wonder what’s going on in property management law lately.”
Patty: They’re not going to call you unless there’s a problem. It’s like when you go to a dentist. Before you leave, they have you booked. “How are you doing in June?” or whatever. They already had you booked for the next one. Before you leave that office or whatever groupie you’re doing, you should be already booking your next event. It’s a new gig. Get that new gig set up.
Jason: Cool. Really smart. What do you do at these events to make sure that you’re able to follow up and connect with people after the event?
Patty: Some events, I do registrations so that I have all the information. Some don’t so if they don’t, I need to sign up. I always give a raffle giveaway put their cards in. If they don’t have cards, I have index cards that they put all their information on it. If it doesn’t have an email and a phone number, it doesn’t count; they can’t be pulled.
If they want the freebie, they’re going to have put them both in, and I want them both. I want their cell phone and I need an email. Otherwise, whatever. I can find the rest out in the internet as to where you live and all that kind of stuff, but it depends on the audience. If I’m with realtors, they love their toys. They’re going to hand me their cards. I do a lot of stuff, too, that’s landlord lessons so I do a series with landlords. I have all kinds of different people come join me, different partners I’ll partner with.
If it’s just a landlord, they may not have a business card. Maybe they don’t want to give me their work stuff so I always have index cards and I have them already ready to go. Phone, email, name—boom. It’s all you need. Otherwise, you can’t win this $100-giftcard and everybody wants a $100-giftcard so in they go.
Jason: Cool. You’re gamifying the whole situation a little bit here just to make it joyful.
Patty: Yeah. People like to want to do stuff and they want to be told. They do, too. Kids will tell you they don’t but they do. They really do and adults do, too. Did you go to the DMV? I know we don’t have to go anymore, but when you did go, I always feel like a DMV person when I’m doing the W-9 form, is they would highlight that one spot. They highlight where your name is, your phone number and all that kind of stuff.
It’s great so it’s like, “Okay, here’s what I need,” and they just look at you like, “Oh, she said so,” and they fill it out and they give it to you, just tell them to do it.
Jason: Yeah, they do it. “This is what I need from you. Here you go,” and they just do it. They’re like, “Okay.” You’re like the Pied Piper.
Patty: Well, one of the biggest compliments I ever got and I didn’t even know is my son has become a realtor, which is crazy and I told him that. I didn’t know he was listening. You’re in the car, you’re his mom, and you hear all this stuff, and you figure they’re not listening. They do listen. Anyway, I used to tell him—I’d be talking to someone and when I had papers that need filled out that I’m actually meeting in person, I highlight everything; it’s all ready to go.
He’s eating his pie. “Here’s your pen. Follow the yellow brick road and everything is all done.” I heard him repeat that and I was like, “Oh my, gosh.” There we go. That’s one of the biggest compliments you can get, is when somebody repeats what you said. He goes, “Well, I told him to follow the yellow brick road.” That went on his first listing with him and that’s what he told the client. I’m like, “Yes.”
Jason: Yellow highlighter. Follow the yellow brick road.
Patty: Yes, that’s all I need, is these signatures.
Jason: Patty, I think you’ve shared several cool little hacks and ideas. It’s really clever and I think all this is very helpful for property managers who are seeking to cultivate relationships which eventually lead to contracts. Are there any other recommendations or any other challenges you’re noticing among property management business owners that are struggling to grow that they should be paying attention to?
Patty: One hack that I’ve seen that’s not good that is out there that they might—I don’t know if they’re aware of it or it’s happening near them, but it’s not for growth; it’s more for protection. A lot of people have identity theft. It’s all over. What a lot of people have done to save it instead of paying money to some of these companies is they’ve just frozen their credit. They’re not buying anything. They just freeze it.
Therefore, they didn’t protect it, but what’s happening is we have people who are putting applications in our—there’s 5 million different software out there, and most people doing applications online actually agree with that. The application comes in and what’s happening is the people with really bad credit are freezing their credit. So when we pull the application and we run it, it comes up as, ‘N/A.’ We don’t see that they have 14 late payments. We don’t see that they have two charge options, three bankruptcies and all that kind of stuff because it comes up as, ‘N/A.’
People assume, “Oh, well, based on the birth date, they just don’t have enough credit established so it’s coming up as, ‘N/A.’” Not true. They’re freezing it so they’re bypassing our system, which is pretty smart when you think about it. It’s pretty slick. What I’ve done and everybody can do is just add one sentence to your application that says, “Have you frozen your credit? If so, please unfreeze before applying,” because if they’d lied on the application, now that affects them getting released, but it’s a pretty slick little smart way.
I’ll give them credit for that because, by freezing it—and I can’t tell you how many people have gotten by with it because most owners—so, if I’m telling you, Jason, “Well, they don’t have any credit based on the score and they really don’t have any debt. They just haven’t established yet according to the agent but they’re making this much money and they’re going to come in and take care of your house, and the property manager’s telling the truth.”
You might buy that, but if I tell you their credit score’s a 420 and they have 18 collections and all this kind of stuff, you’re going to say, “No way,” so I give them an A for effort. However, they’re not getting past us.
Jason: Yeah, if they have a credit score of 420, what then…
Patty: You’re probably going to say no. If I tell you, “N/A. They just don’t have any,” versus a 420, you might be willing to accept the, ‘N/A,’ but you’re not going to take the 420 so it’s a pretty slick little racket they’ve got going on, but the way […] one question in the application and then now you’ve got it.
Then, the other part, too, is there are some people that we have a lot of military government being here near DC so we have a lot of people moving and they maybe forgot they’ve frozen it, and I don’t want to run the credit and then it comes up nothing then we have to go back again.
By asking that question, if it’s a legitimate person that has done so, they can see on there, “Oh, wow. We froze it. We’ve got to fix it,” and they’ll fix it before they apply so it’s a good thing, but it’s been used in a little interesting hack, if you will.
Jason: Got it. All right. Patty, all this has been super informative. I agree with you that property management is about relationships. People need to be getting out there, creating relationships, connecting with people. There’s so much blue ocean and opportunity available that’s just waiting for leads to come to you. It’s probably not a great growth strategy in general, and I know you’ve had phenomenal growth in all the businesses that you’ve been affiliated with because of these methods so I think everybody should pay attention and listen to Patty.
If anybody has some questions for you or wants to reach out to you, how can they get ahold of you?
Patty: My simplest email is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can reach me on my cell number. I’m on Facebook. I’m on your staff, of course. I actually was thinking, Jason.When I was back with OpenPotion, did you live in Idaho or somewhere at the time? Is that where it was?
Jason: Yeah, I’m in Southern California now.
Patty: I know, but was it in Idaho? I want to try to remember.
Patty: Gosh, what year was that?
Jason: I don’t know. A while ago.
Patty: A long time ago. It’s so cool to be old enough, to have a relationship with someone like you back then, and you had the dreams and the ideas to do this, and then to actually see you do it is awesome.
Jason: I appreciate that. I think we’ve probably known each other for about a decade, realistically.
Patty: Gosh, we probably have.
Jason: Yeah, because I helped my brother, Bryant, with his business originally, probably back in 2008.
Patty: I was going to say ’07 or ’08, probably.
Jason: And then you were one of the early clients, I think, that we’ve worked with.
Patty: And you often have.
Patty: Back then, even. See? When you were just starting out on this. It was awesome.
Jason: We’ve learned a lot since then. A lot.
Patty: Yeah, it’s crazy.
Jason: Like I said, a thousand or more mistakes.
Patty: No, it’s all good. We don’t fall; we don’t get up so I’m glad it happened.
Jason: Yeah, always learning. Patty, it’s been great having you on the show. I appreciate you coming out and I wish you continued awesome growth and success.
Patty: And yourself as well. Thank you.
Jason: All right. Thanks, Patty. Okay. Cool. Everybody watching this show, please be sure to check out the community that we have going on online, which Patty had sort of mentioned on Facebook, which is our DoorGrow Club. You can get to that by going to doorgrowclub.com, and if you are a property management business owner and you are looking to add doors and grow your business, that is an awesome community of people that are helpful.
Then, if you want some help figuring out how to grow your business, you want to align and clean up your sales pipeline, clean up the major leaks that are limiting organic growth and preventing you from being able to really capitalize on a lot of the things that Patty was discussing, then reach out to us at DoorGrow. This is what we focus on. It’s helping you align your business so that you can create new revenue, create more growth, and maximize each door that you have.
You can get to us just by going to doorgrow.com. I’m Jason Hull of the DoorGrow Show and until next time. To our mutual growth, everybody. Goodbye.