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Property Management Mastermind Show

#129: Property Management Coaching

Jan 10, 2022 by Brad Larsen

Finding the right coach in any industry can be a game changer, especially in property management.  Kathleen is a property management coach who has helped property managers achieve big goals, hit impressive growth numbers, and execute a game plan for success. Today she shares her expertise, tips, and tricks for how to maximize your business success through property management coaching.

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Learn more about Kathleen Richards' Property Management Coaching:

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Announcer: Welcome to the property management mastermind show with your host, Brad Larson. Brad owns one of the fastest growing property management companies in San Antonio, Texas. This podcast is for property managers by property managers. You'll hear from industry leading professionals on best practices, new ideas, success stories and lessons learned. This is your opportunity to learn about the latest industry buzz surrounding property management, as well as tips and strategies to improve your business. Enterprise Bank and trust the bank you all formerly knew as Seacoast Commerce Bank with the same team, the same benefits and an expanded and improved product suite. Enterprise Bank and Trust specializes in trust accounts and business banking for property managers. One of their best features is a cash analysis program where they can assist in paying your property management related invoices. Contact Allison at six one nine nine eight eight six seven zero eight. To learn more. Remember that commercial? Where's the beef and property management? You could say, where's the profit you want your business to grow, but it feels like you're just spinning your wheels. We get it because we've been there. If you are ready to do something different in twenty twenty two, then head over to the property management coach to find out more about coaching programs and what they can do for you. Mention that you heard this ad on the Property Management Mastermind podcast and get two hundred and fifty dollars off any coaching program. Again, the website is the property management coach.

Brad Larsen: Welcome everybody to another edition of the Property Management Mastermind podcast. I'm your host, Brad Larsen and today's guest. I admit I have miss Kathleen Richards. It's been a hectic afternoon just to get in front of the podcast camera, but we're going to be having a good conversation today about the business that Miss Kathleen is set up, and she's been coaching property manager clients for quite some time. Miss Kathleen, how are you today?

Kathleen Richards: I'm wonderful. Thanks for having me.

Brad Larsen: I appreciate it. So we're going to have a good conversation today about what you're doing, kind of what your services are, who you're focusing on, because I think what you're doing out there is highly needed in our industry, and I want you to give us a few minutes to kind of introduce yourself and kind of what you do and how we should get to get be familiar with you.

Kathleen Richards: Ok, so if people don't already know, I've been an active member of NCAA.com since two thousand five and served on my state boards and all sorts of different associations associated with Nazem. I as a broker owner of a very successful property management company for 13 years and I sold it in twenty seventeen and in twenty fifteen. I became a certified business coach, with my focus being specifically on the property management industry because I know there's lots of coaches out there for real estate, but really none for property management, right? And so I just felt there was such a need there. And so I started coaching over the years and. My background prior to being in property management is I worked in Silicon Valley and I always tried to find ways to do corporate training and then straight out of college, actually work for the State Department as a cross-cultural trainer. And that was a great job. Worked with a lot of foreign government officials and so forth. So I'm very passionate about teaching. I love business, I love small business. And I just think that the majority of people that get into property management or find themselves in small business, they have the heart, the passion. But they often don't have the background of what do they need to do to build and run a successful and profitable business? They don't have a business degree or, you know, they just jump in and do it, and that's what entrepreneurs do. But you make a lot of mistakes along the way. And so what I love doing is helping people get from A to Z and try to avoid all those mistakes in the middle, right, so that they can put their energy towards building and growing a business instead of just spinning their wheels all the time. So in a nutshell, that's what I do, and that's what I love

Brad Larsen: About your target client for the services that you offer.

Kathleen Richards: Yes. So the majority of people that I work with tend to be people that are new to property management. So they're the realtors. Like this past year, somebody had told me the NAR had had put out to a lot of their members, Hey, think about getting into property management to have a revenue stream because inventory was getting so tight for sales. So my phone blew up and I was getting all these realtors calling, saying, Hey, I want to start a property management business. Yet they had no clue what that means. What's involved in it, right? And they think they could just hire an office manager to run their property management division. And so the past year has really been working with a lot of realtors that want to get into property management. But I've worked with many seasoned property managers that are at the point where they really want to have their own business and they know how to do property management, but they don't understand how you set up a company, what's the infrastructure, what do you need to have in place? And then when you get to the place where you need to grow? Who do you hire? How do you hire? How do you find good people, you know, and nowadays we're getting into the VAS and how can that support you? And people are looking to do more automation and how can that support you? But at the end of the day, we're a people business, right? So yeah, my my ideal client are people that are looking to start property management companies and grow them. And my role is to help them be successful at the beginning instead of. I do have clients that come to me five years down the road and they they're up to one hundred doors now and they're flaming out. And so then we have to kind of step back and redo some things and get things streamlined for them so that they're not working. Twenty four, seven, you know, and what they've built up is going to be sustainable and viable.

Brad Larsen: If I were kind of a rookie realtor or rookie property manager and I come to you, how does that work? I mean, do you have kind of like stuff that you can just put in front of me and say, here are some of your policies and procedures. Here are some of the things that you want to do. Here's how you start a trust account. I mean, just I'm just trying to shoot from the hip here as far as what you would offer, so talk me through some of that.

Kathleen Richards: Right. So the one thing that I do share with people, if they haven't done coaching before or sometimes if they have, there's a misnomer about what coaching is about. A lot of times people say they're coaches, but they don't have any actual training or certification as a business coach. And so what I do is I don't offer a franchise model. I hired a coach once myself, and I didn't think to ask and what I got was a franchise model, and it was extremely frustrating for me because I needed help with this now. And they were like, Oh, we'll get to that in a couple of weeks, and I'm like, That didn't work for me, right? So I think having been in the trenches, I show up and every relationship is one on one and some people really like having a plan. Ok, we're going to work that plan, OK? Other people doesn't mean they don't have a plan. They're just a little bit more fluid. And as things come up, they're like, OK, well, I need help with this. So typically, my coaching calls are always in an hour and then in between the coaching calls, if they need help with documents or they're working on their website or putting together their marketing plan or their materials, operational materials, policy and procedure manuals, things like that, anything that they're working on, they're looking to hire somebody.

Kathleen Richards: They don't even have a job description. I work with them to formulate what they need to do. Ok, and then in between calls, I can review things for people. We talk about it. I don't like to spend my actual coaching call going down and job. Description. I don't think that's a valuable use of our time together, right? And then typically it's to support people. I never tell people outright, you can do this, you can't do that unless I know legally you just can't do it. And sometimes people don't know what they don't know, right? My whole thing is to help the individual have the business that reflects them. And that's a big key difference between consulting and coaching consultants. You hire them, you pay them the big bucks they come in, they set everything up and then hand it to you. But it's a model built upon that person. And oftentimes that's why consultants don't always end up really working out for the business because that business owner isn't bought into the way that's done versus coaching. The whole point is, I ask a ton of questions What do you want to do? What do you want your life to look like? How many hours do you want to work? Who's your ideal client? Where's the areas that you're going to work in? Are you doing commercial multifamily, single family? Really fine tuning? What they're going to do, and then we build the structure around that so that from day one, they actually get to have a life versus all too often I see a year into it, two years into it, people's whole lives are being dictated by the business.

Kathleen Richards: And that's not what I want for people because that's not sustainable. You will flame out, you will burn out, right? So everything I do in my clients is very customized to them. And yes, supporting documents are available. I share with people what I used in my own business. I also have an adjunct business, PMA, that provides a lot of operational documents, but I never tell people, you must have this with my coaching clients. I give them a discount. If I feel like what we're really talking about, it might save them time to go purchase x y z. I may refer that to them. If they want to do that, then that's great. I give them a discount, you know, because they're coaching client. But bottom line is just to support them to build the business that they want. That's a reflection of them, their values, who they are, how they want to show the marketplace how they're going to be different than somebody else.

Brad Larsen: I've got some mixed emotions here, right, so I'm looking at the real estate industry and the property industry as a strategic hole. And you look at I'm fearful and I'm thankful for you, right? So here's what I'm fearful about, is I'm fearful of a lot of roosters. If things go south, they're all going to flood into property management because the sales are going to stop. And so I'm fearful of that, but I'm thankful at the same time for what you're doing because your intentions are to keep the industry at a high level by offering these coaches. Yeah, yeah. And another part of me, another mixed emotion is we all have our soft spot in our heart because a lot of us have started there. So I started there 15 16 years ago as a real estate agent, I was doing leasing and a lot of things. I just kind of screwed up and had to learn as I went. So I do have a soft spot for those those agents who are realtors and they want to get into the business, for example. I know that's not all of your clients, but let's say it's 80 90 percent right and they've been doing sales for a long time. They're knowledgeable about real estate, but they may not know about property management. And so I'm thankful that you're here to be able to coach them up and get them on the right path because that does elevate our industry. We do not want them to do things that at a poor level. So to expand on that, some, you know, I've always joked around and don't take offense, but I've always joked around. The most dangerous animal in the world is a realtor who's doing leasing because they're going to knock out a lease agreement, and that's a document that could survive one hundred years. Right? It's a

Kathleen Richards: Legal document.

Brad Larsen: It is. It is. And so I'm very fearful of that. Again, back to my emotions. I'm very emotional today, I guess. So back to that, I'm very fearful of them doing that wrong because that doesn't bode well for the industry as a whole. When an owner or tenant after a year, 10 years, whatever that that lease agreement comes to an end and then something was not done correctly in writing or something goes south during the lease agreement and they can't evict. And now it's like, Oh, this this realtor just through this lease agreement together and I paid him a thousand bucks or ten thousand bucks, whatever the fee was, and they had no real responsibility towards that lease agreement at all. And so it's I'm glad you're doing what you're doing. The other side of that, another fun conversation is we're starting to see some of the states at a slow level. There's been talk about California that have talk about Florida, even Texas, to where they're going to make more requirements for agents to do property management and to kind of get into the weeds about this. And I think it's a good thing overall. But to get into the weeds even further, as they may require more education, right? Not necessarily a different license, but more like a broker responsibility type course like we have to do in Texas here. And they may start doing that more and more states, because what I think they're seeing is realtors are starting to look at this business as a very awesome business that it is, and they start to see Wall Street money flooding in and they're like, I can do that and they just start jumping in as property managers. And so I'm thankful for you again. Circling back is you're available to do some of the coaching to get some of these people to take their already existing professionals and turn it into something good in the property management world. So tell me more about how you take some of these raw clients and turn them into successful business owners.

Kathleen Richards: Yes, so it's twofold, because what I've realized over the years is I'm a very direct straight up person. That's how I ran my business. I was straight shooter with my owners. I'd often say you may not like the message I have, but I'm always going to be honest with you, and then you can decide what you want to do with that, right? I'm the same way what I found with realtors like people that are really passionate about sales, their personality characteristics are 180 degrees opposite from those that are really passionate about property management. So when I get that realtor broker that comes to me and says, Oh, I want to have a property management division, I start really diving in and asking lots of questions like Why? What's your end game? Who's going to run it? Are you going to run it? Are you going to be hands on? Are you going to outsource it because? Initially, I tried coaching some of those brokers that want to do it, and what I found is they were never successful in really making that division work one because they don't know about property management, so they don't really know who to hire. And like I alluded to earlier, they hire an office manager, personal assistant that they think is going to figure it out and run their whole office. And so and then typically what happens is in coaching with that person, they realize, Oh, this is a whole lot more than what I thought I was bargaining for.

Kathleen Richards: And they move on. And now the brokers left with nobody there, and they don't know how to run a property management division. And more often than not, it folds. And so I've gotten to the point now where I'm really direct with people, and if I don't feel like they really have the right reason for going into property management, a lot of times I'll just tell them straight up, I go, You know what? I don't think this is probably the right direction for your company to go. And there have been times where I have worked with people and we get into it and they kind of realize they thought it was a great opportunity. Yes, it made sense for them, but as we get into it, they realize I really don't like property management. I don't want the additional liability, I don't want blah blah blah blah blah. But they feel like they're so invested they can't pull out. And so as a coach, that's my whole thing to say. You know what? You looked at it and you decided this isn't the right fit for you. That's OK, right? Like, don't keep pursuing something that's not going to return what you want in the end. I got into property management in two thousand five. Market crashed in two thousand eight two thousand nine, right? I saw a ton of realtors pouring into property management a ton because they were trying to do short sales that weren't panning out.

Kathleen Richards: They were trying to do foreclosures and banks were buying things up and so forth. And what I found is they did it, but they knew pretty quickly that they didn't like doing it. So kind of when the market started to recover, you could go in and you could get those properties from those people. And so for me, I didn't do sales, but I partnered with agents and I would take over their properties and they were like, you know, they want to keep the relationship with the owner. They really don't want to do the property management side of things, right? It's just very different personalities. There are those people in real estate that have done it for a long time. But they say to me, You know what? I just I want the consistency of the income or I now have a family and small children, and I can't be working those long hours doing the sales, you know, I can do when they come my way, great. But I really want to do property management. So when I'm hearing certain keywords like that, I know they're they're going to be successful at property management because their y is different than, oh, I just want a division to supplement the money that we're making from the brokerage. That's not the reason to have a property management division.

Brad Larsen: Now you mentioned something that caught my ear. You said return. And so I was going to ask you about return on investment. I'll give you a couple parallels. And I really think this is something that people need to understand. So let's, for example, in coaching, return on investment in coaching. So today, in fact, I hired a running coach, right? So I want to do a half marathon into a full marathon next year like trail run. So I'm going to hire a running coach when my return on investment is like zero. Ok? But in parallel to that, again, we hired a sales coach to increase our sales division. This is four or five months ago. I did a podcast on it and I'm going to have that sales trainer at our conference, the Property Manager Mastermind conference, in May. The return on investment for that as far as rent works was immense because that sales trainer came in is helping us to re-establish and rebuild our sales division because of course, we have property management, we have business development for property management. But the sales side on the real estate stuff, we were not capturing as much as we could have should have. So what we do, we hired a coach. The return on investment for that is really good. The return on investment for property management to build up a property management far surpasses anything that we could do as sales because you build that up into a real, viable business, which one spits out cash like crazy if you can run it well and then too, you have a capital value to that business, meaning that if you want to sell it in one day, one year, one hundred years, you can sell it and make money on it again.

Brad Larsen: So the return on investment is just off the chart and building a property management company, which is why a lot of these folks are coming into the business. They're starting to see some of this and they start to see that, hey, this is a real business now. No offense to salespeople out there. Ok, I'm going to say something. Everyone is going to like pitchforks with me. But property management is one of the few businesses real, real businesses inside of real estate. You can't sell a business of sales, you can't be a high producing real estate agent and then try to sell those last year's sales to the. Next, business buyer, it just doesn't work, so what you do is what you get right, you're only as good as your last commission, but in proper management, you can build an actual real live company that runs like a business with all the stuff, HR policies and procedures, payroll staffing, employees, etc.. So it's interesting the ROI now. Do you have any sort of like discussion points on that when you talk to these new agents or these new wannabe property management company owners and kind of talk them through your return on investment?

Kathleen Richards: Yeah, I mean, the one thing that I let them know is that. When you're starting a company, property management and building your business can have a longer time frame than the sales side, right? Because typically when somebody kind of decides they're going to sell, they find their agent and then your relationship when you're off and running. I had clients I would talk to for a year before they finally came on board because the lease is going to be coming up with their existing tenant and they're thinking maybe they might turn it over to property, man. It's just a longer window, right? So I set people up for that expectation that, yes, it's a great business and in the beginning you don't. Many times people don't really have the money to put into hiring a marketing company. So you're going to be doing a lot more on your own. You're going to want to really build those relationships, you're going to want to get out there, you know, variety of different things that you can do to start building your business, right? The biggest ROI in working with a coach is that you avoid so many of the pitfalls and the mistakes that I see people making all the time. There's a certain trajectory that new business owners always seem to follow, and it makes sense they do this. And then they think the next thing is this, and the next thing is that, and that's not right. And then they get kind of down the road and they're like, Oh, so then they're kind of unwinding some things that they put in place or done. I think the the biggest thing in coaching is that you have somebody that you can bounce ideas off of.

Kathleen Richards: You have somebody that can say, OK, well, what other options are you? Depending upon the person's personality. So I've always had a coach. And the biggest value that I have to my coach is I'm an uber focused person. I get my goals checked off and done halfway through the year, even though I give myself a whole year. But I'm so focused that sometimes I don't see the opportunities out here, right? And so that's where the beauty of working with somebody, they can say, Well, what about this or what about that? And it allows me to then be able to see things on a bigger perspective than just my narrow focus on running down the path, right? I think for people, if you want to get up to speed. Whether you have a long time frame or you're trying to do something quickly. Any time you work with a coach. They're going to help you, especially in the areas that are maybe not your strengths. Right? And so they're able to help you supplement. They're going to have resources within the industry to refer you to to help you with this, to help you with that right, so that you always have like that confidant that you can kind of turn to and say, Hey, this just isn't going well or this isn't working, and then we can brainstorm, what do we need to do next? So people feel like they have someone that's kind of in the trenches with them helping them. But I I know just in my experience in working with people that the biggest return on investment is that you start reaching your goals, you start seeing that you're bringing on accounts and you're bringing on the right kind of counts.

Brad Larsen: You know, one thing I want to mention about that, you know, on this podcast show, we're big on goals and we're big on accountability. Almost every December January, we do some sort of episode to talk about last year's goals and next year's goals. And just so I'm big on that. So I want you to talk about how you work with clients and when you set goals and then to how do you keep them accountable for those goals? Go from there.

Kathleen Richards: Yeah. So on every single call, they're going to tell me at the end of the call with their action items are going to be. And then most calls are either every two weeks or once a month. And then I hold them accountable on the next call of like, Hey, you know, this is what I had in my notes of things that you were going to do. How did that go? Did you get that done? And if they didn't get it done, well, what got in the way? Right? What I have learned that's really interesting is people set goals all the time. I think for new business people and this is kind of a return on investment to it's a little bit more subtle, but for for people that are new to business. So they're super confident on one thing, but maybe not something else. What happens is they attend conferences, they see what other people are doing. Oh, I need to do that. I need to do that, and they start getting distracted by all these different things. So part of my role is to let simplify, OK, what's most important? What's going to move the needle in your business, right? There's always going to be lots of things, but let's pick that one thing and move forward with that. And then when people start getting distracted, what happens with that is either it's a matter of they've got a lot of things coming at them and they're not really clear. So we get clarity because when you're really clear about what you're doing and where you're going, then it's easy to recognize those distractions and you say no, right, that's that's not the right time.

Kathleen Richards: It's whatever, OK? But I find that oftentimes when when people are distracted, sometimes there's more of an underlining fear associated with it, and it's because they're not confident in what they're doing. And so they let things distract them. Perfect example. People are scared to raise their rates. People are scared to roll out a new program, I know way back in the day I had all kinds of little revenue generators and I used to get beaten up by fellow people in property management, saying, Oh, well, you're gouging the owner, and I'm like, No, I'm providing a service and I deserve to be paid for it. I'm not running a non-profit like I've never been embarrassed about. I'm in business to make money. And if I have a product or a service that I'm providing, that's a true service of true value and my owners trust like and know me. They're going to pay it. They're going to buy it right. And so I think a lot of people, especially people that may be going to property management, they're more operational office people. They don't feel good about sales, they don't feel good about rolling out some other thing. You know, they're not confident what they're doing. So as a result, even just raising their management fees, looking at what they charge, right, they get frustrated. They're working all these hours. They're realizing, you know, I'm not really making money. Maybe I'm not really profitable yet when I suggest, OK, let's look. Ok, yes. Let's maybe increase your, Oh, I can't do that. If I increase my rates, I'll lose my owners that great. That's fair talking.

Brad Larsen: It is one of the great examples of that is a tax compliance fee. So we have a once a year annual tax compliance fee. It's too small XS, right? Not to talk numbers.

Kathleen Richards: Right, right, right. Right, right.

Brad Larsen: Yeah, it's the only charge. Once a year is reasonable. It is very reasonable. And so we charge all of the owners that one fee. Well, guess what? I just got audited two weeks ago for those taxpayer identification numbers that my owners give us in our W9 form that we turn into the IRS. Well, if those aren't perfectly matching to what they have, we get I think it's a ten point ninety six letter from the IRS, which is a nasty gram. It's like you're in trouble. Here's your sixteen thousand dollar fine. Well, of course, we're not going to pay that. We have to turn it over to our CPA as a CPA, reconcile those tens and send a letter to the IRS. But guess what? That costs money and

Kathleen Richards: Time and

Brad Larsen: Time and time and heartache, and all of that's from that. Oh, that's just from tax compliance. So we have to charge the offset that. And so when people think, Oh, I can't do that to my owners, they're not going to understand it, they're going to come at me with pitchforks and nooses and string me up. No, they're not because you have to explain to them that you're on the hook for things like that. And that's just one example. I mean, I can talk 100 years about revenue generation.

Kathleen Richards: It's my whole thing from day one in property management, maybe because I came from a business background. The corporate world was that your clients have attorneys they work with, they work with CPAs. They, you know, they have their advisors. I'm not their personal assistant when it comes to their rental property. I am a real estate wealth management adviser. Ok? And that one home and especially when I'm out in California, right here next to the ocean, that little two bedroom, one bath home could be worth two mil. That may be worth more than what they've got in their entire retirement plan investments for one k everything. So if they're going to hire me, they have to know that I'm looking at how I manage their property as an investment in their mind. It might be grandma's house that they inherited or whatever the first place they bought, but the reality is it is an investment. So I bring a lot of value to the table. And so that's a big part of coaching is helping clients realize what their value is, what they're bringing to the table. Ok. Because yeah, anybody can hire a personal assistant to run around and do the little itty bitty things. But what we do is know we are an attorney's, but we have to know the laws. We have to follow compliance and fair housing and health and safety and all those sort of things. And I don't know about where you're at, but in California, it's become a real nightmare to own real estate. I have personal rentals as well, and just with statewide rent control and localities keeping things suppressed and extending the moratorium on evictions and on and on and on and on, it's on the flip side, it's becoming more difficult to self manage. But you, as the professional that has experience that brings value to the table, somebody's going to hire you because you know what you're doing and they don't, and they're going to be scared of getting sued. And it doesn't mean you aren't. But the fact is that you manage the property better than they ever would because you manage it as a professional

Brad Larsen: Touch on a couple of good points. And I always say this, and I think you even expanded on it further because I always tell people that. The number one thing we do is property management companies is wealth management and money management, so we're money managers and wealth advisors to say it better. And you touched on it, and I think that's a great thing to be pounding into their head from the very start. Scott Brady just mentioned that about two weeks ago at the Norfolk conference, and he reminded us, Hey, your wealth advisors, right? You are money managers, wealth advisors, because look at that asset, you're managing on behalf of that owner. That's a giant money source that they're going to have in one year or one hundred years whenever they decide to cash it out or hand it to their children, for example, or do all the different things you can leverage in real estate. But yeah, that's a great mindset to to really hone in on and teach your clients. I love it. Keep going.

Kathleen Richards: Yeah, and risk management, I'd say that's the third leg of it, right? So much of what we do is managing the risk not only for ourselves, but on behalf of our owners, right? So that we're not having to evict tenants and we're not getting lawsuits from tenants and other things right. And that comes back to being very clear about the properties you want to manage and where you want to manage and having your systems in place and documenting things and having your photos and making sure that if you get audited, you mentioned getting audited that auditors start pulling files. And guess what? All your files look the same and you've got all these different things in here. And if they ask questions, you're confident about why you do things this way in that way, right? I told people renting a when you run a property management business, it's a legit business. As you alluded to earlier, you have a sales department, an HR department, you know, you have your operations. It's different than. When you are a realtor and you're working underneath a company or maybe you have your own brokerage and you have a transaction coordinator that's supporting stuff and you're doing your deal here and there, but you don't have the infrastructure that you would have like when you have a property management company. And I think just the accounting side of things to people often have a hard time wrapping their mind around how do I do the accounting and what's this trust accounting that you're talking about, you know? Can I just do it all through my my bank account and and my QuickBooks? I spoke to my CPA and they just said, I can do it with QuickBooks and and one bank account, and that's their CPA, right? And I'm like.

Kathleen Richards: Ok. They just don't understand how property management works, you know, so then there's a whole education that I go through with people on just the accounting side alone. Good practices, what you're not supposed to do, the whole co-mingling thing happens, right? No, no, no. People write that you need to do set it up this way and and do it certain ways. And it's great that we have vendors within our firm that I can confidently refer poaching clients to and know that they'll be given sound advice, right? I think for any entrepreneur having a business, you have to go into it with eyes wide open. You have to educate yourself about the pros and the cons, right? Like what are the things that could happen, right? I had a maintenance company in house. I actually thought of getting my contractor's license, but I'm like, I don't want one more liability, right? And so you have to just kind of be very cognizant. Of what you were doing and have your advisers around you so that when you set your company up from day one, you're setting it up. Legitimately, I guess, right? So that you're not putting yourself in a compromising position, you're not putting your owner in a compromising position and you're saying, you know, examples of it's kind of scary thinking that, you know, realtors are pouring in and they really don't know what they're doing.

Kathleen Richards: My project manager lives in Florida and she had to move, and so she finally found a place. And so she was telling me what it was like to go through the process of finding a new place and the things she was telling me and it was realtors. Realtors would show properties on behalf of different property management companies or whatever. And she was telling me what they were doing and my eyes were getting huge. I'm like, Oh my God, that's illegal. You can't do that. That's against fair housing. And she's telling me stuff, and I'm just going, Oh my God. Right? Again, they don't know property management. They just think, Are you use, collect, rent or you find a person that can pay the rent and you do a lease with them and they have no clue. And so part of it for us in educating prospective clients that we're going to work with owners is really helping them to understand what we do and the value that we bring to the table and what that encompasses because we can't assume that a person that owns a piece of real estate really has any clue. You know, when I would teach my classes at the college and people would tell me stories about why they finally came to the class after managing their properties for 20 years, I go, Well, you're really, really lucky you've been doing it wrong for 20 years. You just haven't gotten sujet.

Brad Larsen: That's it, yeah, the risk

Kathleen Richards: Management aspect of working with a professional.

Brad Larsen: Yeah, the risk management, I mean, can't be understated because, you know, I remember attending classes here for one of the designations in the San Antonio region, and you get some air quote property managers that come in there from all the different small companies around and. And one of the things that they were talking about was, well, we would meet a prospective applicant in person. And if we like them, we would decide to rent to them. I'm like, Oh my God, you can't. You cannot do that. You cannot just meet them, you know, eyeball them up and down and say, Well, OK, I like you, you can come and rent my property. I mean, that's just some of the stuff that we are here. And I think, you know, just that alone. Good example. To illustrate a point is just in the application process alone, there are just so many pitfalls and so many things you have to do right to be in compliance with fair housing that you just can't come in from nowhere and just start willy nilly. This stuff, I mean, you've got to do things right and have processes and procedures, because if you don't, we've gone through this. We've gone through the fair housing audit and we came out crystal clean because we had everything in line. We had all the processes ready to go and we were doing the exact same thing for the exact everybody. I mean, everyone's getting exactly

Kathleen Richards: Validation for your office and your staff. You know, when you come out on the other side of an audit, whether it's your proactive, I know I proactively had somebody come and audit my office to make sure I'm doing everything right or you get that notice from the debris or, you know, the employment department because you had a complaint from an ex employee or something like that, right? They do their audit and you come through it on the other end. That is a huge affirmation that you run a business well and it's wonderful for your employees because they can feel confident that, yes, we're doing things right. You know, I mean, it goes to how you train them and reinforcing this is why we do x y z, right? So I think that that's just such a fabulous affirmation. People are scared when they think they're going to get an audit. But I say, you know what, if you've set everything up and you've done things in a certain way and you run your business like a business, you're going to be OK. There might be one thing that they want you to tweak or do or disclose or whatever, but what they're really looking for nine times out of 10, it's the accounting. How are you managing your accounting? And so as long as you cover that well and you've got your documentation? I just know my staff was like thrilled. You know, they were like, so proud of the fact that, you know, flying colors, like you said, it makes them feel good about what they're doing.

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Brad Larsen: So I do want to talk about. I actually want to hear more about the new service product you're coming out with, because this is one of the reasons we wanted to have this conversation just to kind of hear more about this. So tell me what you got cooking.

Kathleen Richards: Yeah, so OK. Since twenty fifteen in my coaching practice, as I said, you know, my niche within the niche is helping people start property management businesses successfully, profitably, right?

Brad Larsen: And what? I've got to interrupt you one second. You set it correctly. It's niche, right? It's not niche or Nisha or whatever the term is, because that would ruin the phrase you've heard the riches are in the niches. Well, if you say it another way, it ruins that whole phrase. I'll keep going. I totally derailed your conversation there. Sorry about that.

Kathleen Richards: Yeah, no, no, no, no. So no, no, no problem. So in doing that, a lot of people, when they start a business, you know, they don't have much money. And you know, my coaching rates, I think, are very affordable compared to what I know, what other coaches, executive coaches charge and so forth. But I know property managers, we don't have big margins, OK, so I want it to be affordable. But at the same time, there's lots of people that they can't work with me, right? And so I've been in the works over the last year. I'm putting together an online course on how to start a property management company, and I'm going to be rolling that out in the course will start in February, and it'll be a seven week course. And so it'll be a very affordable price point. I'm teaching the course video and and hand outs and what they need to know step by step, all the way through so they can set their company up right from the get go. Ok. And then. If people want to come to me for coaching, they can come to me for coaching as they need help taking it, scaling it to the next stage, next stage. But I really want to be able to help people set the company upright, do it right from the get go and not have the monetary concern for them that, oh, I can't afford coaching.

Kathleen Richards: So that's why I'm doing this online course. I'm really excited about it. It's something people may not know. I'm actually credentialed teacher. I taught at universities internationally for a number of years, and so this is like right up my alley. I love teaching. I know how to put courses together. All of that sort of stuff used to be a national instructor for Northam. And so I'm really looking forward to launching this because within seven weeks, you can have a company. Actually, within I've done it with a couple of clients within 30 days, their doors were open for business within 30 days. And so it can be done quickly. And so I'm looking forward to launching that. I'm going to have a training that I'm doing in the middle of January on three steps to generating revenue year round. And that's what the webinar topic is going to be. And then that'll kind of lead into me inviting people of, you know, they'll be really good information there. So people just want to take that and consume it and and use it. Great. But through that webinar, I will be inviting people to join the course when that comes out. So that's what I'm doing. I'm I'm really looking forward to it because I think there's a huge need. I feel really blessed. I've I'm coaching people internationally. I have clients in the Seychelles islands. I've had clients in the UK. I have clients in Canada all across the United States, and it's exciting to me that people want to be in the profession of property management.

Kathleen Richards: I mean, I'm very passionate about it. I love the field. It's been so good to me in my career. I loved everything about it. Absolutely. From the construction maintenance side to the operational side to hiring and training employees. But most of all, I felt like I was really serving my clients. I was helping them get a good return on their investment, providing quality housing for people in my marketplace, employing fabulous vendors, right? It's just when you're kind of in that mode and you've got everything dialed in. Oh my God, I just I felt so blessed to be doing what I was doing right, like I was in my community, having an impact in my community, right on top of making a nice income and being able to plan for my future. So property management is an amazing career. I love that people want to get into it, and I just I want to make it affordable so that people don't say, Oh, I'll do it myself, and they're pecking around the internet watching this video and that video and trying to put the pieces together on a budget, which I get. But then when they do come to me, we're having to unwind stuff, and that's frustrating for them, right? Or they get into it and they realize they really don't know what they're doing.

Kathleen Richards: They thought they had the pieces lined up, but they don't. So that's that's what I'm going to be doing and thank you for giving me an opportunity to kind of share that with people and put that out there that if you're looking to start a property management business, whether you're a realtor getting into it, or maybe you've been doing property management for a long time and now you're ready to step out on your own right. You have your own vision of what you want to offer, and that's OK, too. I originally was underneath the umbrella of a real estate company, and once I stepped out on my own, I felt like I was really able to serve my clients better, right? So wherever people are at, for me, my goal is just to help them be able to start that company and be able to serve their clients the way they want to serve them right? And if I can help them do it through a course that'll shrink the time, make it easy for them, they can go back and do the different modules and so forth. And then I'll provide weekly support, you know, so they're to answer their questions and support them through the course. So I'm looking forward to getting the feedback from people so that when I do the course, the next time, it's better than the first one.

Brad Larsen: So tell us how we reached you. I mean, how does somebody find out more about that coaching and the new course system? So tell us where to go.

Kathleen Richards: Ok, so if the URL, if people go to PM done right, they can go and just sign up for when the webinar is going to come out in January. I'll be emailing people the different webinar dates and times, and they can sign up for that. And then during the webinar, I will let people know when the course is going to start and if they want to move forward with that great. If people are looking to get more information about just coaching with me in general on a whole variety of topics from in property management, whether it's starting all the way through to exiting your business, how do you prepare your business to sell it to get the most for it, right? What do you need to do and everything in between? You can go to the property management coach. And that's my website for coaching.

Brad Larsen: Perfect. That's great stuff. It's been a fantastic conversation. I really learned a lot, and I think you're going to be seeing is a little bit of an influx in clients. And I think that there's going to be some more interest and I hope that you do very well in this. I think what you're doing is very much needed. We want to raise the level of the industry as a whole, and you're contributing significantly to that. So Kathleen, thank you for coming on the episode today. I really appreciate your time. It's been a fan. That's a conversation, and we'll see you soon around the next what will probably maybe see you at the Property Manager Mastermind conference here in May of Twenty Twenty Two Red Rock in Las Vegas. Hope to see you there.

Kathleen Richards: So thank you so much, Brad, for your time and for giving me the platform to share with people, you know, if they're looking to start their own company in twenty twenty two. It's a great time to do it. Despite what's going on in the marketplace is still a great time to start a company and, you know, go out on your own.

Brad Larsen: Kathleen, thank

Kathleen Richards: You. Take care. Bye.

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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 RentWerx, one of the fastest growing residential Property Management companies in Texas that currently manages over 700 single family homes.