Amy Karns, who is intimately familiar with various aspects of property management thanks to having bought, sold, and started property management companies.
She got her introduction to property management in San Antonio, where she bought a company over the course of five years by purchasing 20% a year (while the previous owners played less and less of a role each year). Amy built that company up from 90 doors to 225 doors over the 10 years that she ran it.
Eventually, an offer from another company interested in buying hers got her interested in the possibility of selling. While the original offer wasn’t one that would work for her, she soon found the right buyer and sold her company, as she describes in some detail here.
After that, Amy did what we all dream about: moved to a new market and started from scratch using all the lessons she had learned and her vast, valuable previous experience. As she explains in our conversation, her goal is to manage 50 properties from home and make the same income as she did from 250 properties.
You’ll hear how she plans to do this, as well as how she has turned unaccompanied showing systems into a giant revenue generator. She talks about the incredible value in doing everything online, and how her current business lets her work from Punta Cana.
Joining me for this episode is Jason Waggoner, the Vice President of Marketing at ACUTRAQ. In case you aren’t familiar with it, ACUTRAQ is an application screening company that covers various types of screening.
As a result of this work, Jason is full of deep and detailed knowledge on just about every aspect of the application and screening process, dealing with HUD, dealing with fair housing, and all other related aspects of the application cycle. In this conversation, he shares that knowledge and offers great insight into these topics and more.
An example of what Jason has to offer is his balanced perspective on how to handle negative factors on an application, such as a low credit score or a criminal history. In both cases, he advises a personal rather than a kneejerk approach. For example, a potentially ideal tenant may have a low credit score simply due to medical bills, and have a perfect track record with every other bill and rent. Similarly, someone may have a criminal history for a minor crime such as marijuana possession a decade ago, in which case that alone may not indicate anything about how they would be as a tenant today.
With that said, he’s well aware of the risk factors involved for landlords. He suggests being very detailed and open with your screening criteria for reasons that he explains in the episode. When it comes to adverse action letters, he offers great advice such as denying for credit delinquencies instead of credit score.
Many of these subjects have been touchy hot-topics in the NARPM community lately, so let’s take a listen and hear what Jason has to say!
If you’ve been a faithful listener of this show, you will already have heard of Pete Neubig of Empire Industries LLC, a property management company out of Houston, TX. Pete is partners with Steve Rozenberg, my guest on episode three of this podcast. In that episode, we went into great deal about satellite offices and marketing.
While Pete touches briefly on these topics, he spends more time on his areas of expertise. He’s the guy in the background who makes things run and ensures the systems at Empire Industries keep up with the growth.
Pete is also deeply knowledgeable about hiring and employee retention. He’s been using the framework of the DISC personality profile to ensure he hires the right people for the right roles, after realizing the reason he lost certain employees was because their personalities weren’t the right fit for their jobs. He’ll explain this in the interview, as well as offer insight into what personality types you should hire for certain roles within your own property management company.
We then take a deep dive into techniques for dealing with homes that have high days on market. He shares some tips and strategies for how to deal with a situation in which a home you’re trying to rent has high days on market and offers advice on how to get those rented. We cover, for example, the importance of keeping the owner in the loop, and of making the move-in process as simple and hassle-free as possible.
Last week, I had a great conversation with Todd Breen, one of my cofounders at the National Property Management Network. This week, I’m bringing you a conversation with another of the cofounders, Dave Holt. One of the benefits of doing this is that I know these guys well and can personally vouch for their expertise in their niches.
In addition to his role at the National Property Management Network, Dave is the owner of a property management company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He’s been involved in the property management industry for around 20 years and is a past NARPM president.
In this episode, Dave will talk in great detail about investments. He shares his tips and strategies for how he does his own investments, and shares the techniques he uses to find and buy investment properties. He also explains that when you manage single-family homes, you have some unique advantages when it comes to investing in them.
I hope you enjoy and learn a lot from this episode, which we recorded on location in Las Vegas at the NARPM Broker/Owner Conference.
Links and Resources:
National Property Management Network
NARPM Broker/Owner Conference.
As you may know, I’m one of the founders of the National Property Management Network. Todd Breen, today’s guest, is another. Thanks to this close working experience with him, I’m deeply familiar with his expertise in the property management industry, and am glad to have him on the show to share that expertise with you! We’re actually recording this episode on location in Las Vegas at the NARPM Broker/Owner Conference.
Todd has been the owner of a property management company for over 30 years, but he has been involved in the industry from an early age. His dad was a real estate broker, so he began his unofficial training while working in various capacities for his father from the time he was young. Today, Todd is the owner of Virtually Incredible.
In this interview, Todd will talk about outsourcing and why it’s vital to keeping your rates competitive and being able to scale effectively. He also shares brilliant (and sometimes counterintuitive) advice, experiences, and techniques. For example, he explains how he actually increased his income when he reduced his doors from 300 to 140 in 1994.
Links and Resources:
NARPM Broker/Owner Conference
National Property Management Network
The Manager’s Manual
In this episode, we hear from Justin Bajema, a property management company owner from Michigan who recently moved to Texas. In this powerful interview, he talks not only about property management, but also his experiences in the Marine Corps.
In 2003, Justin was coming back from Iraq and got a care package from his aunt and uncle. Inside was a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. From that book, he got the real estate bug, and got involved in the industry when he got out of the army in 2005.
In the process of learning about the industry, Justin’s wife actually went to work for a competitor (where she was open about their interest in getting into property management). From there, they transitioned into owning single-family homes. After finding out about the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), they set up their own chapter.
After learning about Justin’s background in property management, we’ll explore how his experiences in the Marine Corps contributed to what he’s doing today. He’s deeply involved with an organization called Warriors Heart, which helps members of the “military class” (including law enforcement and first responders as well) heal. We talk an important way in which property managers can contribute to this vital and life-changing program.
First, a quick note: today’s show is sponsored by the National Property Management Network, which provides insurance products and services to property managers.
Today, I’m joined by one of my clients, Mark Clayton. He’s a successful long-term single-family home investor who will teach us about investing and working with property management. Best of all, he’s a landlord with a heart. That is, he isn’t in the real estate game just to make money, but also to make his tenants happy.
Before he got into property investing, Mark was the CEO of several hospitals. As a hospital administrator, he had to move from town to town relatively often. This led indirectly to his involvement in property management, as he bought various homes during this process. Once Mark got up to three homes, he started looking into property management and we began working together.
In this conversation, Mark talks about why he got into the single-family home game, explaining that these homes diversify him from a risk standpoint. If you own multi-family properties instead, a single issue or problem (such as a fire) could impact much more of your overall investment.
We’ll also talk about Mark’s financing techniques, why depreciation is a good thing, what Mark looks for when deciding on whether to invest in a particular property, a valuable tool Mark uses for establishing metrics, and finally, his end game and ultimate goal for his business.
My guest on this episode, Darren Hunter, is an expert in fee maximization. Just as importantly, as you’ll hear him describe in great detail, he understands the mindset challenges that need to be overcome to effectively implement fee maximization. For much of this conversation, we go behind talking about that implementation into the mindset of the company owner and staff members.
Darren started as a property manager in 1989 in Adelaide, South Australia. He went on to become a state property manager with a well-known Australian real estate brand, for which he impressively managed 28 other property managers over 18 offices spread over a third of the country.
For the last 11 years, Darren has been a full-time professional property management trainer and consultant. He runs the PM Power Nuts & Bolts Webinar Series, which addresses some of the topics we’ll cover in this episode along with many others.
Much of our focus will be on that question of mindset, which I mentioned at the beginning of this introduction. Darren, we learn, struggled for a couple years because of his own low self-esteem and poor confidence. From there, he learned about the law of the fee lid, which says that your mindset and level of belief determines your fees, and you cannot do any better than what you believe you’re worth.
It’s natural to be hesitant about raising fees over fear that you might lose business. In this episode, Darren also goes into important depth about why losing some business through fee maximization is actually a good thing, and he and I use several examples to illustrate this point.
You can find Darren here:
Darren Hunter on LinkedIn
@darrenhuntercom on Facebook
@darrenhuntercom on Twitter
By email at Darren@darrenhunter.com
Tim Melton is the president and co-founder of SGI Property Management. Before getting into real estate, Tim worked in the automobile industry, where he gained experience working with dealerships and financing. As luck would have it, this correlates nicely to his work with property management companies.
Tim and SGI Property Management are based in Phoenix, but the company has worked its way up to several market locations. Tim started the company in Phoenix in 2011, but his goal was always to move into multiple markets, partly because Phoenix is a volatile market and expanding would allow for more stability. Now, SGI Property Management has grown into Memphis, Las Vegas, and Dallas.
In our conversation, Tim goes through quite a bit of the process of expanding into different market locations. He reveals the exact number of units necessary to make him consider a new location, and emphasizes the importance of understanding the local market dynamics in different areas. This includes not only the local culture and standards, but also practical details like the fact that some areas freeze and others don’t.
He also shares some great insights into how to run a company, with an emphasis on creating a vibrant office culture and environment. You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear everything he has to say, but I’ll share one excerpt here: in the center of the main office, there’s a house that will hold around 10,000 ping pong balls. For each signed property, they drop in a ping pong ball that’s color coded by market. This is a fun visual way of marking their progress toward the large goal of reaching 10,000 units.
As you can gather from that excerpt, Tim is creative, original, and results-driven. Listen in to hear his brilliant insight and advice!
You can find Tim here:
SGI Property Management
This time, I’m joined by Steve Rosenberg from Empire Industries in Houston, Texas. In addition to being an expert property manager, Steve is a distinguished speaker and international trainer who has a passion for helping people -- especially other property managers -- grow their businesses.
Steve and Pete Neubig, whose name you may remember from the last episode, are co-founders of Empire Industries, which now has around 600 properties in the Houston area.
Thanks to the massive growth in the area, Steve has been working on setting up different satellite offices, as he calls them, around the Houston area. This is important in reducing windshield time, which can be a huge problem in such a big area.
In this episode, we talk quite a bit about these satellite offices. Topics we cover include the financial and expense questions to consider when setting up a satellite office as well as the SEO challenges of having these offices. We also talk about the challenges that come with quick growth. Steve explains that about 50% of people and systems break under this kind of pressure, and we talk about solutions and strategies for managing this.
We also spend a while discussing marketing. Again, the importance of SEO becomes clear, but Steve offers some great suggestions for ways to increase exposure, and we explore the fact that great, value-added content isn’t limited to blogs.
You can find Steve here:
Empire Industries on Facebook
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ABOUT THE HOST
The Host of this Podcast is Brad Larsen from San Antonio, Texas. Brad is the founder and owner of Larsen Properties, one of the fastest growing residential Property Management companies in Texas that currently manages over 600 single family homes.