If you enjoy unique challenges, daily variety, learning new things, finding opportunities, and experiencing freedom, then you would probably be successful in property management. Entrepreneurs would rather work 80 hours a week for themselves, than for someone else. You don’t have to do it all on your own. Be willing to take some risks, and connect with like-minded people. Let your entrepreneurial spirit fly!
Today, I am talking to Bryan Jenkins and Jonathan Cook of AHI Properties. They share strategies that consistently grow their business and add doors in multiple markets.
[02:00] Keep on Growing: Corporate housing to single-family homes to property management.
[05:25] Real Estate Market Crash: Created shift in income and dealing with investors, despite technology.
[07:20] Love it, or Hate it: Learn something new every day in property management.
[08:05] When’s the right time to grow and expand? Adding doors in multiple markets.
[09:42] Sand Traps: Think outside the box to grow property management business.
[11:15] Educate Clients with Market Knowledge: Direct investors into markets where they can make money and purchase more doors for AHI to manage.
[12:03] Game Changer: Diversifying existing portfolio and dealing with accidental landlords who leave when it’s a good time to sell.
[13:40] Recipe for Success: Gain momentum and referrals by building partnerships and relationships with sister companies, third-party providers, and contractors.
[19:57] Four Ds to Revenue: Deals, Doors per deal, Duration, and Dollars.
[24:30] Focus on Funnel: Multiple sources serve as supply line for incoming clients.
[26:07] Strategies and Approaches: How to expand and operate in multiple markets.
[27:13] False Scarcity: There’s plenty of opportunity to create business and follow up because 70% self-manage single-family residential properties.
[29:10] Remember Me? Make sure to have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy to keep track of clients and properties.
[36:07] Bryan’s Biggest Piece of Advice: Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid, but focus on multiple funnels and opportunities to develop client relations.
[38:03] Generational Change in Property Management Profession: Think about technology, bring awareness, and open people’s minds.
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.
Gentlemen, welcome. I’ve got here hanging out with me Bryan Jenkins and Jonathan Cooks. Which ones which?
Jonathan: I’m Jonathan.
Bryan: And I’m Bryan.
Jason: Hi Jonathan. Hi Bryan. Jonathan, Bryan both of you have some experience in growing your property management business and I’d love to get into your background. Whoever wants to go first, share a little bit about your background, how you got into property management, into the space, and maybe a little bit about why somebody should listen to you today.
Jonathan: Bryan is much more impressive. You go ahead, buddy.
Jason: All right. Let’s go, Bryan. He threw you in.
Bryan: I’ve been a property manager now for 19 years and we started this firm ground-up but tied into a corporate housing company, where we do fully-furnished corporate housing for guests that are relocating. We operate that model in 12 different physical locations in 6 states, servicing 14 markets. With that, we had brick and mortar locations.
I came online in 2000. We started buying residential single family homes to facilitate our corporate housing needs. From there, we actually acquired a property management company here in Birmingham, Alabama back in late 2003. Since that point, we’ve been growing. That’s the only acquisition we’ve really done through the years.
We’ve first acquired that management company. We had 109 properties and that portfolio that we acquired. By that time, we purchased 52 of our own properties and eight classifications for corporate rentals and lease back. With that, we’ve grown over the years to five locations now and it worked in two states with our property management platform. We’re managing just shy of 1100 single family homes now.
I personally came from a military background, 9 years active service, got into real estate. My parents have always been entrepreneurs. I’m part of this operation and really got plugged in. Probably my big cook kick off and the expansion piece of it really took flight after I found NARPM back in 2011. I got plugged in there with the Atlanta chapter. I’m the past Atlanta chapter president. I’m currently the NARPM National Member Services Committee Chair and I just dropped my application for RVP. So, see how that one plays out, but a lot of experience. We’ve got a team. Including myself, we’ve got 23 property managers working on our operation and Jonathan is our business development. I’m going to segue that into him.
Jonathan: I got my real estate license in 2007. I was the youngest realtor in the state of Alabama when I got it. I was 21.
Bryan: Fun facts.
Jonathan. Yeah. Fun facts. But my entire life I have been surrounded with real estate. My step dad owned a real estate company. He was in construction for a long time even before that. My mom’s best friend is a real estate agent in the area that has always owned properties, has her own rental company.
After highschool, it just became my secondary job for the longest time of being her property manager. I don’t want to drive out to my 15 properties or how many she ended up having at that time. “I’ve got this property. I need you to run over there. Get rent. Get this. Make sure you maintain this. Paint these walls. That tenant’s out. That tenant’s in. Call the newspaper.” This is early 2000s. Before I even got my real estate license, I was still trying to do the maintenance piece of it. Then when I got my real estate license, I was doing real estate and had a…
Bryan: Work field tech.
Jonathan: Yeah, like a field tech. I had this halfway working knowledge of what property management was, I thought, supposed to be, but I was a realtor at that point. So, I was like, “Yeah, I’ve got an idea.”
When the real estate market crashed in 2008–2009, there was not the source of income that I was used to. I started dealing with investors with the slight little piece of halfway working knowledge that I’ve built up with my family, like rentals, trying to figure out how the single family rental market works, and start cherry-picking areas because I had access to NLS and I could look up where properties were.
At that time, there was no internet documentation. I couldn’t send documents online and have them signed. There was no electronic signatures at all.
Bryan: It was that long ago.
Jonathan: It really was. I was having to drive offers on HUD homes from Birmingham where I’m at, in an hour-and-a-half away to the closest HUD office which is in Anniston, which is a whole another city in Alabama. It was an hour-and-a-half. I had to drive and had to have ink on page. “Here. This is an offer. Will you take it?” Then you end up, “Nah. Get out of here.”
Jason: So needless to say, things are a little bit more efficient now.
Bryan: A little bit.
Jonathan: My wife actually works for AHI for years before I did. I just started as the Business Development Manager in October of last year after my wife begging me for years. “Would you please go with AHI? You know what we do here.” I’m like, “Yes, it’s property management. I know how to do that.” Oh, I had no idea how to do that. Then I got here and like, “Oh.”
I got plugged into NARPM. Started learning all the extra pieces, ins and outs that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know here at AHI. I learn on a daily basis from Bryan and from everyone out here in the office and it has just become, “I get it now.” There’s always going to be stuff that I’m not going to know.
Bryan: That’s the challenge. That’s the beauty of property management. I always say, you love it or you hate it, there is no really gray area in between. As long as you’re learning something everyday and solving issues, that’s what keeps me coming back daily. It’s kind of us.
Jason: Like I said in the intro, the people that like this like the unique challenges, the daily variety, they like the opportunities, and ultimately if you’re an entrepreneur, you like freedom. And you’d rather be working 80 hours for yourself than 30 for somebody else.
Bryan: That’s right.
Jason: We’re crazy like that. Let’s get into how you guys have grown. You’ve mentioned there was an acquisition, there’s a couple of little things that you’ve done, but let’s get into how are you adding the bulk of the doors into your business. I guess the conversation topic at hand is supposed to be about multiple markets. How do you manage doing multiple locations and when do you feel it’s the right time to go into a second location for most managers that are listening?
Bryan: I’m going to say that, based on what I said earlier in our history, is we’re probably a little more unique than a company that’s trying to open a market from scratch in an outside area. Our growth strategy is actually to come alongside our corporate housing company, utilize the brick and mortar they already have. Then we just come in with client, we come in with systems, and hire local talent. With that, we’re ready to go operational, handling back office out of our main hub here in Birmingham. That allows us greater freedom and greater flexibility and movement with our client base.
Our most recent acquisition was Oklahoma City and we opened in December of 2017. We went out there basically with a client that took us out there with 24 properties to get us started. Hired a single property manager and now we’re managing 158 properties on the ground there. Some other clients have become along the way and have been clients we’re working with in multiple markets as well.
Jason: Let’s give some of the listeners some tips or some strategies here for growing their property management company. We’ve got two kinds of sand traps that people fall into. The first one’s maybe the solopreneur stuck at 50 or 60 units. What would you recommend to somebody that have 50 or 60 units if they’re wanting to add doors and build up a portfolio?
Bryan: Let your entrepreneurial spirit fly, first and foremost. I would say, be willing to take some risk. You have to be able to do that. What I see in property management is, I see people that are stuck in the box. What I mean by that is they’re happy signing accidental landlords on a daily basis and dealing with the one-off homeowner that by default is the landlord.
Jonthan: They called you because they’ve seen your side.
Bryan: Right. Jonathan just talked to one earlier today and the expectations are totally off scale. They have no investment mindset whatsoever and they’ve got a strong emotional attachment to the property.
Jonathan: And in my opinion, if you start taking in those kinds of clients, it’s going to keep you at that rate because they’re going to require way more attention. They’re going to need hand holding for every little thing. They don’t have that entrepreneurial mindset.
Jason: If they’re only going to stay a year, that means every year, you have to get a new one to replace them. Plus another one if you want to grow and add something new. If you build your business on accidental landlords, it can be pretty difficult unless you’re magically able to convince them to switch to buy-and-hold.
Jonthan: Generally, you’re not directing them into the markets that they can make money, which will in turn allow them to purchase more doors for you to manage. That’s one of the things I like to help our investors there is identify markets. I think that’s super important for any property manager no matter where you are. Knowing your markets, knowing them really, really well like the back of your hand, and being able to educate owners and investors from all over.
Bryan: Yeah, whether investors gain experience whatever. Jason, I would say that the big game changer for us was really about 3½ years ago, maybe even 4 years ago. Looking at the diversification of our existing portfolio and then realizing we had a heavy concentration of accidental landlords, and hearing the same information being repeated back to say, “You know what? A lot of the property managers I know, their managed inventory were shrinking and consistently shrinking year after year as the sales market started to gain momentum.” And that’s what happens to your accidental landlords to say they jump ship when it’s a good time to sell.
Jonathan: And get my money back out.
Bryan: That’s right. Some of those we did over the years, as long as we’ve been at it, we’ve had investors that have actually started off as accidental landlords and then they’ve converted to buy-and-hold and then they’ve had another property, and another property. They’ve educated themselves and they’ve become real estate investors.
In my opinion, they’ve done it the right way. They’re learning as they go the right way for them, I guess. They’re educating, taking a step, they’re not taking too much time to take the step because otherwise, you’d miss the opportunity. What we focused on was, we want to understand not only what is going on in our local market, but we want to get a broader national picture and see what markets are hot markets, why are they hot markets, what types of return on investment are investors realizing particularly after we looked at that focus on the time period after 2010. After bottoms have been hit and you’re starting to get some upward momentum again with property values and such.
We started attending outside events such as IMN or Five Star, started to align ourselves with some funds, some small REITs, and property owners that have portfolios that weren’t necessarily internalizing their management operations. They were small enough, they needed a professional partner to partnership with, to make their operations run as efficiently as possible, and focus on key metrics. That’s where we started focusing our education piece and then started signing those clients. Really, that’s been a wonderful piece.
From that, we’ve added another piece to our business which we have an internal insurance agency which we opened up last year that focuses on the investment product. They can insure in 50 states. If they’re buying property in one of our existing markets or even a couple of them, that’s the beauty of having multiple markets. They focus on investment in three- or four-year markets but then they’re buying elsewhere. The insurance piece will pick up their properties wherever they have them in the country. That’s been a really powerful piece for us and that has come online especially we opened it last year but we’re really been gaining momentum in the last six months with that piece.
Jason: This is a third party tool, or resource, or vendor that you guys have signed on with?
Bryan: No. This is a sister company. It’s Birmingham Insurance Group and their carriers are third party. They use national carriers that are backed by Lloyds of London and a few others.
Jonathan: It’s downstairs.
Bryan: Yeah, just downstairs in our office building. They are truly a sister company and my partner is a shared owner in that entity. It’s been a nice value add for us both ways. They’re referring people into us, we’re referring people out to them, handling the renter side of it. The big thing is the master policies with the insurance. That does make it nice and easy for investors, again, no matter where their stuff is, to add or take away property as they need to from online portal systems. It works pretty well.
My partner and spoke on a couple of podcast, investment network podcast and got invited out to the West Coast to speak to some folks and from there, that opened the door to three or four buyer networks, basically. They were focused on Alabama already and then Oklahoma City. Then aligning ourselves with turnkey providers and partnering with some local contractors to be able to facilitate that piece ourselves. That’s been the growth cycle.
Back to that spread your entrepreneur wings, I think that somebody that really get stuck in a box and only want to do property management per se may handcuff themselves a little bit. I think you can’t be the master of all things, I understand that, but understanding what industry you’re in and how you can be most effective and partner with people. For example, I had a phone call with a real estate agent here locally that I’ve known for 15 years and all of the sudden, April 1, he just called me up today just to say, “Hey, April 1. I partnered with a rehabber, I partnered with a guy from a hedge fund, and we’ve got a couple of funds going. I’ve got some inventory to rehab and I hear you guys have some investor clients…” there’s partnerships all over the place.
At the end of the day, I think it all comes down to the relationship piece. Getting in front of people and just building those relationships. Maybe they’ll do it. The one sit down at the bar and have an hour a bit, maybe it’s the third one or the fourth one, just consistently following up. I found that a lot of these guys, if they’re shopping you and shopping your competition, what happens is they’re not really ready to pull the trigger that day. But if you stick with the follow-up, just stay in front of them, stay consistent, and know your metrics, then a lot of these guys will circle back to you and they’ll give you an opportunity. That’s been our recipe for success for the last three years.
Jason: All right. You threw out a lot of things really quickly. I need a recap and I have notes here. For those that are watching, let’s cover some of these. First, you said, make sure you identify the good markets with the best investments. Get really familiar with your market even nationally taking a look at which markets are hot. Most managers are working in the market they’re in, but the advantage of looking nationally would be to understand maybe how their market fits in, play with the national scene to see if their market could be savvy to market investors outside of your geographic area. That sound about right?
Jonathan: We’ve recently had a lot of out-of-state, out-of-market investors coming in because they’ve heard nationally in Birmingham. They come in and some of that information sometimes is going to be a little bit old but it’s taking them in and being willing to, and having the knowledge to help them understand the differences. Birmingham is big. How do we separate that into areas of, “Let me explain this area, then this area, then this area,” and then compare it to whatever markets that are used.
Bryan: There are macro versus micro views. I think that gives you common ground to speak to the investor. If their coming out of the Indianapolis market, then all of a sudden they’re looking at Alabama. It gives you some common ground to start with.
Jason: That first one ultimately what’s really helpful is to have context to give them, these out of state investors, to see how your market fits in with the national scene. I think that is wise. Know your own markets, know the little neighborhoods in your market, but also see how you can fit into the macro view of the nation and beyond.
The second thing you mentioned is to shift away from accidental landlords, just recognizing that. I talk about this concept called the 4Ds to revenue. The first D is deals. The second D is the number of doors per deal. A lot of times people just lump those together and they think a door is a door. The third D is duration. That’s how long you can keep them on. There’s a massive difference between a one year accidental and the 10-year buy-and-hold. Ten times difference in revenue return. Then, the last D is dollars, making sure you get fees in place. A lot of people don’t focus on each of these things individually. They’re just like, “I just need to get doors on.” It’s just about the doors. There’s a such a big difference between those. So I think that’s wise to shift away from accidental landlords.
The third thing you’ve mentioned is identify partnership opportunities. There’s a lot of different ideas here for partnerships. You had mentioned partnering with an insurance product or an insurance company, bringing in a value add and partnering with them, getting on investment network podcast, then connecting to buyer’s networks, turnkey providers for partnerships. Then you’ve mentioned follow-up over and over and over again.
Bryan: That’s right. One other thing I’ll add to that would be your preferred vendor partnerships. One we allude to all the time is we work with Roofstock, which I don’t know if you had an opportunity to speak with those guys in the past.
Jason: I haven’t.
Bryan: Great product especially if you’re buying anywhere coast-to-coast but as roofstock.com—shameless plug there—be sure to check that out.
Jonathan: It’s not for us.
Bryan: No, it’s not for us, but what they do is they come online, they certify their property management partner and the same thing with the wealth networks. Once they’ve certified you as a vendor and a partner in that capacity, then you’re a trusted resource. It makes the closing of the transaction that much easier.
Jonathan: One of the things that I really like about Roofstock is if you are able to direct your own internal investors, if you don’t have enough time to go through an actual buyer’s agency with an investor that does want to potentially grow more doors and you’re busy being a property manager, you don’t have time to walk down every single property with them, you can direct them to Roofstock and say, “Hey, grab your properties from Roofstock. Bring them to us.” That helps take that portion off of it, so they’re buying properties that you want to manage.
They’re buying properties that are already set-up. They’re already getting vetted out. They have an idea of what they’re going to get. They’re not coming to you with some uninformed number of “I saw a house and I have no information about it so maybe can we put […] in there?” No, this house has […]. This is how much I’m paying for. This is the ledger. This is what is already making for rent. This is what it should make for rent. Whatever.
Bryan: It allows you to control that potential client so you keep them inside your little circle if you will, to ensure that they’re going to be coming back to you. Just based on people we referred to them over the last couple of years, the relationships are really tight. They take really good care of them and they do come back. They asked the property managers to perform to certain levels and the properties, as we mentioned, they’re vetted out in advance. A lot of the due diligence piece done, we still always encourage our clients to do their own due diligence but a lot of that is done on the front end for them. It’s a nice value add.
Jason: That’s a great tip. Property managers listening should go get connected, if they can, to Roofstock so that they can have that vendor partnership. They can be listed as a preferred or recommended vendor. Are there other channels or how would somebody identify their channels that they should be looking at to become a certified partnership, or a preferred vendor as a property management company?
Jonathan: Local REIT, REIs, and stuff like that. Any sort of investor networking. Most cities will have a local chapter and sometimes it’s going to be wholesalers. That’s fine. You need wholesalers if you are trying to bring in homeowners that are going to be growing their business and growing their doors which in turn is growing yours. You’re going to have to have some product to give them. It’s not bad to have a few wholesalers that you know and you know the product that they have and you can stir. Maybe you get an extra commission off of that, who knows, but you’re least adding to your own business by adding to theirs.
Bryan: I think my biggest tip in this arena right here would be, I view everything as a funnel. You’ve got to have multiple sources pouring into the funnel that’s going to push out to you on the end. I guess the tip to it all is develop the multiple networks and the multi approach to just having a supply line for incoming clients.
We all know about the renter side; that’s pretty easy. What I think has been underdeveloped over the years in the property management arena has been the client-based side of it and trying to attract the clients back in instead of being strictly out of necessity, such as the case with an accidental landlord.
There’s so many factors to focus on but ultimately, we are big on having probably no less than 10 different sources pouring into our funnel and then we give them points. So, there’s always a trickle effect and then you’re maintaining those relationships along the way.
In our operation, with five locations I’ve got five different property manager brokers that are actually running the operations. We actually have an education piece each month which we push out all of our brokers. We have a mastermind call group each month that we work through problematic areas within the individual operations corporately and then on the local market level. All these things help us stay consistent in our team approach.
You had Jen Stoops on recently, right? With Park Avenue? We love Jen. We did a show with Jen and Deb Newell after the Five Star event in Memphis, March, I think it was. We were talking about Jen’s approach with John in Park Avenue. He’s always been that hub approach. They have their back-end office piece and then they spoke out and she explained it to us. That’s been fascinating to me because we have brick and mortar in each location and a lot of it depends on what your state requires.
Again, there’s a couple of different strategies on how you do those operations and how you expand out and operate multiple markets, but both of them work and both companies are successful at it. Again, I just think don’t put all your eggs in one basket. My grandpa used to tell me that a long time ago and just growing up with entrepreneur parents I […] that, exampled out to me on a daily basis. That’s probably the biggest approach. Don’t be fearful and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Just be mindful of the relationships.
Jason: Yeah. I love this because I feel like the stuff that you’re doing is foundational to growth. This is what the property management industry needs right now. We’ve got 70% self-managing in single family residential. There’s plenty of opportunity. There isn’t scarcity in this industry, yet. Yet, there’s this false scarcity that’s been perpetuator-created. I think it’s just so refreshing that you didn’t mention, yet, it’s all about SEO, it’s all about doing pay-per-click ads, it’s all about social media marketing, it’s all about content marketing. You’re actually going out and tapping into that 70% and you’re creating business. You’re walking out the door, the business is there and you’re getting the business while everybody else is fighting over the coldest, crappiest, worst leads that fall off your table.
Bryan: I’m going out also to say everything you just addressed is important, too. I’ll let you be going on in the background but the resources have been beaten to death over the last several years.
Jonathan: We get those too. We get plenty of those and you have to call.
Bryan: That’s right.
Jonathan: You have to. You have to still call them.
Jason: And follow up, and follow up, and follow up.
Jonathan: You have to.
Bryan: The funniest thing and I know you can probably relate to this but we see it all the time. Any property management firm operator, or property manager just listening, they have seen it on multiple occasions. You’ll get there’s tire kickers that come to you, they’re checking out your services, your rates, your reputation and all these stuff. Then they’ll say, “Okay, I’ll call you when I’m ready.” You follow-up with them and then eventually they come back 12, 15 months later, “Okay, I’m ready to go. You remember my property?” We looked at thousands of properties since then.
Jonathan: “Remember, you saw it? You saw it.”
Bryan: We do make it apprise, “Hey, save that information. There’s a good chance he comes back around.” That’s just experience of it all, but again, those are going to be your accidental landlords, your one off homeowners that—not being negative—aren’t really investors. They’re just investors by necessity only.
Jonathan: Or they just want to know what their property potentially can list for.
Jason: That’s why it’s important to have a CRM and to keep track. I’ve talked to hundreds of property managers and it’s so funny because I always hear, “You remember me?” and sometimes—I’m honest—I’m like, “No, I don’t. But I have really good notes here from when we talked and I can refer to that,” and that’s enough.
Bryan: It is. We’ve seen you around at events and such, and everybody’s intertwined in our industry, at least to the NARPM scene and a couple of other organizations we belong to. At the end of the day, it is about the relationships. I always said, the thing I love about NARPM—not to turn into a NARPM commercial—I always felt like the analogy that I would beat my head against the door jamb every single day and it was quite painful. I got tired of learning from my own mistakes. The opportunity came up to learn from other people’s mistakes, so that made it much more appetizing. I enjoyed it.
Jason: Let other people bang their heads and you can watch.
Jonathan: They already have. They’ve already banged their head on whatever problem you’re about to have. They’ve already done it. Here’s an answer for you already. It’s easy.
Jason: We see that a lot inside of our Facebook community as well, the DoorGrow Club. It’s a resource, everybody’s super helpful, you can just ask a question, and you get at least several really solid answers. You don’t have to be alone as an entrepreneur. I think as entrepreneurs, there’s this myth that’s created in our minds that we’re alone. It does feel like that a lot of times because our teams are a little bit different than us. There are people that want to see the uncertainty or they’re crazy freedom people. Most of the people, I think, in the world are not entrepreneur personality type, so we feel like we’re aliens sometimes on a foreign planet. But if you can get around other people through organizations like NARPM or through the DoorGrow Club and connect with other people, you start to recognize that there’s nothing wrong with you and you’re normal.
Bryan: And you’re not alone.
Jason: And you’re not alone. There’s plenty of people willing to help. I think as entrepreneurs, we are contribution-focused people. We get momentum by helping other people. That’s why we do what we do. I think everyone’s always so surprised if they’ve been disconnected from other people like them, other entrepreneurs at how helpful entrepreneurs will be. They’re so helpful, so giving. I think really, a rising tide raises all ships. This industry really needs more collaboration. We’re not at the point where there’s any sort of real scarcity, or competition really is fierce. There’s so much business available and there’s lots of room for growth. I think the industry is going to start to see that here in the next several years.
Jonathan: I think before I came to AHI, one of the things that I learned on day one was before being at this company, I did have that mindset of, “I can’t, I don’t want to share any of this stuff, I got to do all this by myself.” Once I’ve been at AHI, one of our biggest competitors, we refer to them all the time. We refer people to them constantly because they might handle this better than we will in this instance. The competition is such friendly competition in this industry.
Bryan: Are you talking about Matthew?
Jonathan: I am talking about Matthew. It’s so collaborative. We’re having him in an event in a month.
Bryan: You know Matthew Whitaker, right? Matthew Whitaker with GK? GKHouses?
Jonathan: He’s got good notes on him.
Bryan: Anyway, Matthew’s a contrast to my vision and what we’ve done with growth. He’s been growing through acquisition.
Jason: Very different strategy.
Bryan: Yeah. Homevestors, franchise holder, and then converted, internalized to PM operations after 2007–2008 and then went to work. Basically, he’s growing from Birmingham to Nashville, Chattanooga, Little Rock, Arkansas, then Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado. He’s done it through acquisitions. He’s a sharp mind. He’s cutting-edge guy, but we got along famously and have been friends for years. We’re actually hosting a PM summit coming up in a month, in June.
First thing that we put on in the State of Alabama—NARPM doesn’t have a chapter in the entire State—we’re trying to do a kick-off event and get some property managers in, geographically from Huntsville all the way down Montgomery, and just have a nice panel discussion. I’ve got some professional managers coming over from the Atlanta chapter, Matthew and myself. It would be a great event and we’re looking forward to it. I think it’s going to lead to bigger and better things.
My big piece, I think you […] upon it, is just make our industry better and raise the bar for crying out loud. If nothing else, what that does for operators that are raising their bars, those that refuse to do it, there’s such a difference between the two companies. It’s easy to select the […] that’s doing it bigger, doing it better and more efficient, and giving more value back to our clients and customers. That’s our focus.
Jonathan: One of the things that I see with these smaller realtors that are doing property management individuals is we all know similar stuff. It will be those stories where it’s like, “Oh, I had this client that was doing this and I knew they shouldn’t have done it. We just let him and it was an issue.” Okay, well, that’s not education piece. Inform your client instead of just sitting there and holding it. That’s the thing that I see. They’re afraid to lose that business so they’re afraid to step on those toes to educate their clients.
Bryan: Yeah. I’ll make it a point to empower my team members. When you empower a property manager, you always see analogy of the guardrail system. Our procedures are guardrails and if they stay within the guardrails, they can have their own little flavor. That empowers them to make certain decisions and do things that are instantaneous and beneficial to everybody involved instead of having to go through red tape.
Jason: Yeah. Let’s wrap this up. If people want to connect with you, find a little bit more info, or they’re curious about what you’re doing for growth, how can they get in touch with you? Any final words to those who are struggling with growth right now who are looking to grow their property management business?
Bryan: My final thoughts going back and recapping this thing is just keep an open mind, don’t be afraid but focus on multiple funnels, if you will. Look at multiple opportunities for you to develop client relations. I think our strategy ended up originating from the need for self-preservation. Is not that we are in danger. We just saw that the market was going to change and has changed and will change again. We want to be better prepared for that and allow ourselves better diversity in what we’re doing.
If they want to reach us, we actually do a podcast ourselves. We have an email set up for that firstname.lastname@example.org and that ties directly to both of us. We just love to answer any questions. I’m always open and available by email and phone. I’ll be happy to connect and just give my two cents worth. Again, I always like to give back to the industry. It has been good to me and I like to give back.
Jonathan: I second everything Bryan said. He’s got it.
Jason: All right. Perfect. Bryan, Jonathan, grateful to have both of you here on the DoorGrow Show. Appreciate what you guys are doing.
Bryan: Thanks for having us.
Jonathan: It’s a pleasure.
Jason: It’s a good message for everybody to diversify your interest and how you’re bringing in business. It’s exactly what I coach clients to do, so I love that you’re reinforcing what I teach which is a welcome, refreshing unexpected thing. I appreciate you guys being here on the show.
Bryan: We appreciate you having us. We thank you very much. I just want to actually thank you for what you’re doing for the industry because I think it’s a wonderful thing.
Jonathan: Yes. It makes everything better.
Jason: Oh, thanks. Everyone says that and I’m going to ask you, what am I doing for the industry?
Bryan: Here’s the deal. I’m an old dog but you can teach me new tricks. There’s a generational change in the property management profession and I think as the level professionalism comes up, we see our younger generation of property managers coming in behind. I don’t want to say transitioning of the guard but it is a change of mindset from what was old. Think about the technology piece and the systems pieces that have kicked in, stuff that’s happened since 2012 is crazy. We were server-based.
Actually, what Jonathan was alluding to early on with the ink on paper scenarios. I think that’s the biggest piece. It’s bringing awareness and just opening people’s minds such as myself. The new line of thought process and focusing on efficiencies and systems and the benefits of what’s out there and available to us. I think that’s a huge help to entrepreneurs everywhere.
Jonathan: When you spread this message out to everyone through the internet and it becomes national and worldwide that people can get this information, when you’re going to partner with another property manager in a different area, at least we can start from a place where we can both springboard off of, we were able to send people to you and just, “Listen to this. That’s the information you need,” as opposed to us having to go, “We’re going to have to teach you all this stuff.”
Bryan: It’s fun to do to educate, but it is an education piece for your in-bound clients. You’re using all of that to really set them up for success with the organization. The reason we got into our podcast, specifically, was the first one my partner and I were on was a guest on one of the investment wealth networks and we actually signed 52 houses off that one episode, of clients coming in from out-of-state. That prove the value of it and then the education piece.
If you’re like me, if you travel, I listen to podcasts all the time and come outside my own little world. It just really open that up. People are listening on a more regular basis and it’s definitely an education piece. It’s on demand for you. That’s the beauty of it.
Jason: Great. It’s been great connecting with you guys. Love what you’re doing. Again, I appreciate you being here on the DoorGrow Show and I will let you guys go now.
Bryan: All right.
Jonathan: Thank you so much.
Bryan: Thank you.
Jason: All right. You heard it from those two gentlemen. The strategy for growth, really, you need a diversified approach and there’s so much available potential business out there. I really feel like the industry has so much potential for growth. I think it’s a really exciting time for property management. There are tons and tons of people that are self managing, they’re frustrated and they’re not searching on Google according to Google Trends.
Anyway, reach out to us at DoorGrow. If you’re struggling with any of these challenges, you feel like, “Hey, I’m ready to be coached. I’m coachable. I’m open. I’m ready to grow my company. I’m ready to make some painful difficult changes in my business,” then, I might be able to help you. Reach out to DoorGrow. You can check us out at doorgrow.com and make sure you join our Facebook community so you don’t end up getting stuck on random questions. You can ask questions in there; doorgrowclub.com. Until next time, everybody, to our mutual growth. Bye, everyone.