TWLX 22 Bonus Session: How To Turn Customers into Superfans with Brittany Hodak

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Air Date:
August 11, 2022

In this TWLX bonus session recording, we're joined by Brittany Hodak, an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and queen of customer experience. She has written hundreds of articles for Forbes, Adweek, Success, and other top publications; she has appeared on programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN; and she has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and entertainers, including Walmart, Disney, Katy Perry, and Dolly Parton.

Entrepreneur magazine calls her “the expert at creating loyal fans for your brand.” And she's answering YOUR property management questions!

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Hosted by Andrew Smallwood and Laura Mac
Featuring Brittany Hodak
Produced by Andrew Smallwood, Laura Mac, and Carol Housel
Edited by Isaac Balachandran

Episode Transcript

Brittany Hodak
I am a huge believer that your customer experience will never be better than your employee experience. Unhappy employees do not create happy customers. So do really create a culture of customer experience excellence or resident management excellence. It starts with your team and it starts with the way you recruit and interview and train and onboard and enable them. So like, if your job description does not start by saying to better serve our residents you should do that because you want to make sure that every employee knows that the reason they have a job is because of these residents.

Andrew Smallwood
All right. My name is Andrew Smallwood, and Laura Mack is my esteemed co-host of the Triple Win podcast. We're so excited to have Brittany Hodiak with us today. You know, I would maybe refer to Brittany as the Queen of like customer experience. She's a thought leader in this space. She's got a book coming out. We have some mutual friends and mutual circles that we share. And I think everybody here knows how much second nature and the property management space is really starting to think about customer experience, resident experience, investor experience, and employee experience. I mean, that's the three parties, right, that we talk about creating triple win experiences for so very excited for the TWL X Bonus Masterclass that's here. If you're registered for TWL X, you're joining dozens of other professional property managers already, some of the best vendors in the industry, and more to come, and announcements on all fronts there. But on August 23rd, and 24th, I will get a link in the chat if you're not yet registered or you know you're getting a little taste of almost what we're not going to be doing at t w all x, which is not a lot of content and delivering information with TWL X is really organized around and why we convene together generally live is there are some benefits to you know experiencing content together in a group like this but you know really we believe the highest and best use of our time together is how do we get into powerful collaboration, conversation, connections with other valuable people from across the industry that will last well beyond the two days to half days that we're together in August. And so it's less about a long to-do list of ideas. We want to provide great content leading up to this event. So that it sparks some great conversations, and collaboration and actually creates real-time momentum that you start to see this getting implemented and getting results in your business. So that's what it's all about. If you want more information on CW, you can find a ton of information on the website, and more to come out. Stay tuned in your local email inboxes and social channels where you're used to hearing from NARPM and Second Nature. So with that said, Brittany, thanks. Thanks for being with us today. And I'm going to give you a totally insufficient introduction. But I would encourage anybody that has isn't as familiar with Brittany or is newer to Brittany. Laura has been telling me about Brittany for some time, and I just get more and more excited the more and more I learn about Brittany. And I watched it. Cool. She has like a speaker reel. That's a well-produced video of her keynoting for some of the most, famous brands and companies in the world. But also, you know, she's got great stories down to like small business and like local operations. A lot of stories that I think you all will connect with here and principles about creating an excellent customer experience and just loyal fans of a business that we're really excited to get into today. So selfishly. Second, nature is here to learn from and with Brittany. And, and we're excited to make this really relevant and applicable for all of you here. And with that, Brittany, I'd love to even just start. Could you give people a little bit of background of just man, how did you get to where you are today? What got you passionate about what you're passionate about?

Brittany Hodak
Yeah, absolutely. Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to speak with all of you. I can't wait to answer your questions. I have been an entrepreneur for about 15 years now, so there is no audience. But I love speaking to you more than people who know the ins and outs of running businesses and how hard it is. Because I always say it's like having a kid like you think you know how hard it is and then you actually do it and you're like, Yeah, this is so much harder than I ever could have imagined. So I am thrilled to be here with each of you today. I have been obsessed with customer experience for as long as I can remember. I grew up working in the music industry, so my very first job when I was 16 years old was as a radio station mascot, which is sort of my introduction to the entertainment world, which I feel is about as entry-level as it gets as far as entertainment jobs go. And then I had the very good fortune that my maiden name was Britney Jones. And the station manager one day said, You know, I keep seeing movie ads for this Bridget Jones diary. What could we do and call it Britney Jones Diary? And I was 17 at the time. It was like 2000. I was a junior in high school and I said, Well, you're always talking about trying to get people to go to our website. What if I just interviewed the bands that came to town and it could be like Britney Jones's diary, you know, I'm backstage with a band or we're doing whatever. And she said, Oh, like that other movie, that almost famous movie. Yeah, I think that's up for some Oscars. Let's do that. And so all of a sudden, as a 17-year-old kid, it was literally my job to hang out with rock stars and brag about it on the Internet, which was amazing. And also sort of like spoiled. Are any chances of me ever getting a quote-unquote real job? So I was like, okay, entertainment industry, tech, this sounds like something that's going to be a lot of fun. So over the next several years, I went to college, I moved to New York, and I worked for a couple of record labels. All the while I had this idea for creating these sort of super fan experiences and packages to better connect artists with fans. Because I thought I'm so lucky to get to meet anyone I want. I know that 99% of people don't get to do that. What can I do to help share this experience with more people? How could I scale like these? Amazing beings that I get to see like one on one? So I had this idea for this company. I kept trying to get people to believe in it for a year after I graduated, and then finally, one day when I was switching jobs for the third time in like eight years because I was so frustrated that nobody believed in this idea, I was venting to a Wal-Mart buyer who had become a friend, and she said, You've been telling me about this for years, and for years I've been saying this is a great idea. Just start your own company. I'll give you a vendor number. I'll introduce you to anyone you need to meet. But just do it like start your own company. And I literally googled how to start a business because I never thought about being an entrepreneur. I'd never thought about starting my own company, but we did. 90 days later, I had my first product in Walmart stores nationwide. That year, I did over $1,000,000 in revenue over the next several years. I got to an eight-figure business. I worked with some of the biggest superstars on the planet, everybody from pop stars like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry to legacy acts like Kiss and Dolly Parton and George Strait. And like everyone in between, hip hop acts, country acts, you name it. If they wanted to do something at Wal-Mart, we were probably involved. And over those several years I started working with lots of brands because I thought if we could get brands on board, we could scale these promotions even bigger. We could reach even more fans and make even cooler activations. And so what I started to sort of obsessing about was this idea of super fandom and what makes someone not only a fan of an artist but of a brand or of an experience or of a service. And so I went back to school, I got a graduate degree in marketing and customer experience, and I started really going down the rabbit holes of what is it that makes us feel an emotional reaction to something? How can we tap into that as marketers to create customers who create more customers? And, you know, I'm a huge believer that the number one threat that all of us face in business is apathy. People who just don't care either because they haven't been given a reason to or because maybe they just don't know about the problem that we're solving. But it's very often not an awareness issue, as so many entrepreneurs think it is. It's an apathy issue. Plenty of people know they just don't care. So I started talking about this. I started doing events. My business was on Shark Tank. We got a call one day from a casting producer who had read an article that I had written in Forbes, and he was like, You guys sound awesome. You should come to be on Shark Tank. And I was like, Is this for real? I would love to be on Shark Tank. That sounds like an amazing opportunity. So after I was on Shark Tank, I started getting all of these really interesting offers to do more consulting and advisory work and speaking, and that really kind of took off. And after a couple of years I was like, okay, I can't like to have one foot in both of these worlds. It was becoming too much to run my agency and also do all the speaking and consulting. So I sold the majority of my interest in that company at the end of 2018 and in 2019, launched into what I'm doing now, which is just full-time speaking and writing. I have a debut, but that's coming out that I'm so excited about. It'll be everywhere in January. It's called Creating Super Fans How to Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates, and it draws on a bunch of the cool experiences that I've had over the years to teach business lessons that you can absolutely use for residential experience management. But it's lessons coming from people like Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue or Keith Urban or the Beach Boys. And thank you, Alex, for popping that preorder link. It's a really fun look at how if you want to create that same passion that people have for those things that they love in pop culture, you've got to employ some of the same techniques to make it exciting and memorable and shareworthy.

Andrew Smallwood
Man, am I glad I asked you to start there. That was great. Britney, thanks thanks for the backdrop and just how you got to so many things. I saw a couple of people I think I saw Laura even putting like, hey, here's a couple of memorable sound bites. You know what you were sharing there as you went along. And yeah, I kind of want to get right to make this really relevant for people and I want to talk about some of the struggles that, you know, I experience and that I see others experience. You know, maybe I'll say it's in our industry and I'll try to provide, you know, more context like we've talked about before about why it feels specific to this industry. But I'm sure some of this is universal even outside the industry that we can take away. But, you know, in residential property management, it's like there are high expectations from people. It's, you know, where someone lives. We talk about it. It's the only emotional asset in real estate of, you know, people are putting marks on the doorframe of like their kids getting taller. And, you know, when something goes wrong, it hits them in this place. You know, that's important. And also, as a property owner, you're in between the residents' money, and the investors' money it can be difficult to be there and just meet expectations let alone talk about how we create these special experiences. Right. That can exceed expectations. You know, how how do you think about, you know, small business entrepreneurs and people who are passionate about, you know, real estate and really building a great company and a great experience here, you know, navigating challenges when it feels like, man, there's a lot of difficult moments that we need to solve for, you know, how can we create new moments that are unexpected? You know, they seem like different things or almost different skill sets potentially. Like, how do you think about that? How do you teach people to think about that and the opportunities for experience creation?

Brittany Hodak
Yeah, well, thank you for asking the question. And you know, first, I just do want to acknowledge how hard it is, what all of you do for some of those reasons that you outlined. You know, when there is a problem where we live, it sort of compounds everything else, right? It's like if you can't take that work hour in the morning, your toilet's not working or whatever. Like just everything, you know, it's like the first domino on a really bad day. So you guys have the same issues oftentimes of like divorce attorneys or, I don't know, funeral managers in that you're dealing with people who are perhaps not at their best right now. Right. So even if you've got really great residents, you might be dealing with them at a hard time and they're not perhaps giving you their best. So a lot of it is just having that empathy to say, like, I'm going to be the bigger person. I'm going to overlook if I'm getting yelled at. The first step for really great experience management is defining what you want that experience to be. Because if you haven't taken the time to create the roadmap of what the expectations for your tenants should be and what your expectations are not only of them but of your vendor partners and of your employees and everyone else on the team. It's that much harder to get everyone on the same page. Right? Let's the saying that there's no such thing as common sense. Like you've got to create those commonalities. Like you've got to say, this is the experience we are curating and this is what it means. And when I say that, I mean things like saying, okay, the expectation is that any phone call will be returned within this amount of time, and any text message will be returned within this amount of time. I'm going to make myself available for office hours, every week between X and Y, because a lot of times when interpersonal situations snowball, it's because there is an expectation gap. Like one side does not think what the other side thinks is reality. Is reality right? Or are the expectations or the expectations? So be really clear about all of those things that you are holding yourself accountable for and your expectations of your customers. And I think to an extent, remembering that even if it feels like it at the moment, most of your like, well, I should know, most of your tenants, any reasonable person is not going to expect you to be perfect. All the time. They're going to expect you to be available and accessible to fix the problem when it goes wrong and when you can fix a problem in a way that meets or exceeds their expectations, they're going to be that much more patient the next time around. So doing things like saying we've got systems and processes in place around how you need to put in a work order request and then holding them accountable to the same extent that you're holding yourself accountable to taking care of that. I am a huge fan of checklists like the before, during, and after of what you're doing for every interaction and every experience to make sure, you know, you're leaving that tenant or that employee or that vendor or partner, you're leaving them a little bit better than you found them at the end of the experience. Just little things that are easy to automate or check to make sure that you're doing every single time and every interaction. And so that, you know, you have a reputation for being kind. You have a reputation for being clear, and you have a reputation as the person who's going to fix the problem when it goes wrong.

Andrew Smallwood
Yeah. You know, I love what you said here about like starting with defining the experience you want to create and understanding where expectations there's a gap between those things and, you know, satisfied there that probably brings up there's so much activity in property management. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out, hey, where do I start? Where do I priority ties, really defining the experience or hey, if I had a high level and then the application here of where I start know can be challenging for folks so it would love some thoughts you have on that. And if I can weave this in Britney and not overload you with too much to cover, but there's this interesting debate, I think, which is there are opportunities to create an experience like how does somebody show up with surprise and delight? How are you hiring people where, you know, if they're having a really good day, like your employees or the contractor network, whoever it is, they're having a really good day? They're having a good attitude, right? And they're there present to this, showing up at their best. Can the customer tell versus if they're a little off, you're a little cranky? And there's a lot of companies that have organized their business in such a way where you almost can't tell, you know like I can't tell if the Amazon pick Packer, shipper, you know, it is having a great attitude at that moment or not. Right. Maybe if I'm interacting with them at my door, I can. Right. But it seems like there's this interesting question of like, are we trying to automate and create an effortless, convenient experience for people? Are we trying to create a human experience? Right, a connective experience for people. It feels hard to do both, you know, or like like they can be different, you know. What advice do you give on identifying once you've defined the experience you want to create, maybe through that lens? What do you think about making those kinds of decisions and where you might prioritize our start as a company in solving the problem?

Brittany Hodak
Is there a third one too or we tackle this with you first? Okay. I love the first because they can feel very different. Let's automate things to make them quicker, more, and more seamless. And then on the other side, the prioritizing the human side of it. And in reality, there are two sides to the same coin right? There are so many things that at least during our lifetimes are not going to be able to be completely automated. So automation is not going to replace every role. But people who embrace automation will absolutely replace people who do not. And I am a huge fan of looking for ways to automate or simplify things that improve the customer experience. So if it is easier for someone to be able to do something automatically, by all means, make sure you've got a system or a process in place for that to happen. However, make sure that you've got a human behind the scenes. Because for most people, especially most people under the age of like 50 to 55, you want to do something yourself until things go wrong, right? Like I don't want to have to talk to a person unless I know that I need a person because there's not going to be an option on that voluntary or that form. So by automating some of the lower touch stuff, you free up more bandwidth on your team for them to focus on the higher touch interactions, the things that matter more. So in reality, it's a spectrum, right? It's not either. It's saying how do we automate the things that can be automated so that with the same staff we can serve our customers so much better. So the trick in choosing what to automate is really like asking yourselves, is the customer experience going to be improved or made worse if we make this change? So when you're looking about things that you want to automate or eliminate or delegate, just ask yourself the question like our customer's going to be better or worse served by this change? Because if you always make every decision from a place of customer-centricity or resident-centricity, you're going to make the right decisions. In the end, because it's not either or. And to your question about can, people tell whether or not people are having a good day? Yes, they can. Cheri, I love the question about what I have for now. Go ahead and preorder the book, cause it's awesome. And then I promise we can be friends between now and when it comes out. So. Andrew, to answer your question, yes, a lot of times people can tell, especially with like property management stuff, because it's not somebody dropping off a package on your doorstep and leaving. It's someone in your home doing things. So being really clear about the expectations for your own team and your partners now, I am a huge believer that your customer experience will never be better than your employee experience. Unhappy employees do not create happy customers. So to really create a culture of customer experience excellence or resident management excellence, it starts with your team and it starts with the way you recruit and interview and train and onboard and enable them. So like, if your job description does not start by saying to better serve our residents you should do that because you want to make sure that every employee knows that the reason they have a job is because of these residents. And if the residents hate the experience and want to move away and want to tell their friends not to be in business with you, that is a bad look. So every single customer in today's world, every single resident is an influencer. And what I mean by that is we all have people around us who will either make a decision or refrain from making a decision because of something that we say. Right? Every single person has an influence or has the influence of a certain number of people, and they also have access to sharing those opinions with everybody on the planet, like people we don't know. So you got to treat every single customer as if they were Kylie Jenner with like the biggest platform. And the way that you do that is by hiring employees who are very customer-centric. And there are some people who just aren't cut out for it. They don't want to interface with customers all the time. And you're like, That is okay. You just should not hire those people or customer-facing roles because to think like, Oh, you know, this person is so great at plumbing. So I'm going to hire them, but they're terrible people. Person And we'll compensate for that. Like, No, you will never compensate for it. You have got to find people who enjoy solving problems, who enjoy helping other people because that is something that I believe you either have or you don't have. It's like no one could ever work with me enough to make me go to basketball. Like it's just not going to happen. They should just, like, find someone else to play basketball. And unfortunately, sometimes other members of your team used to be like, Look, this person is just and they're like, not going to stop being no matter how many times we tell them, like, you got to do these things. So I think some of it Andrew is getting the right people and then training them and trusting them to do the right thing in the right situations.

Andrew Smallwood
Yeah, that's really great. And I think Bruce's comment if you can see it in the chat, is, is a good one, which is, you know, hey, we want a great experience for residents and we want a great experience for employees. And the challenge is how we effectively, compellingly, and consistently deliver our vision for the experience that we're creating in order to drive that kind of experience culture right internally, which then starts to reflect externally. Do you have some advice for people? Everyone here, they're a leader in their company, right? They're either the founder or entrepreneur or they're in an important leadership position influencing change among other people. And so what advice would you give for, you know, being effective and trying to drive that kind of experience culture?

Brittany Hodak
Yeah, that is such a great question. And it looks like all saying I have a hard time getting myself to believe in inc the experience, vision, and culture. And when you hire third-party managers. Yeah, that, that, that is part of it I would say part of that is vetting those third parties, another being is to overcommunicate like every single person in your company, whether they're, you know, part of your team or a third party must be able to articulate your vision. They must be able to tell you why you are different from every other competitor in your space because if they can't, they're never going to be able to convey it. And if they can't convey it, those residents are never, ever, ever going to feel it. So it starts, Bruce, by saying this is 100% the vision and we are going to communicate this so often and so clearly that everyone is going to know it and we're never going to hire someone without them being able to regurgitate back to us what it means to them and how they're going to embody it. We're never going to start a meeting without talking about it. We're never going to let time go by where we don't acknowledge people doing a great job of it. And most importantly, I am a huge fan of whatever your differentiator is whatever that uniqueness is that you're incorporating into the experiences for your residents, you've got to find a way to track and measure it and then tie that tracking and measurement to the compensation of those property managers. You've got to make them care. You've got to make sure that they understand that your property isn't just like 10,000 other properties in the same city. It is different, it feels different, it is different. And the people who live there can feel it because and then the fun part is designing that because every single one of you could have a completely different answer because each of your properties is unique and special for different reasons. So, you know, designing what those things are could be as simple as the moving experience. Like what do you have waiting for residents when they move in? When I bought my house, one of the fun things that my realtor had done was she had like stalked us on social media and been strategic about asking a few questions to find out what we liked. We moved from New York to Nashville, and when we got here, the refrigerator was totally stocked, but not with like random stuff, stuff that she knew that we would enjoy. She knew I was a huge country music fan, so there was a cool Swindell. Hey, y'all, welcome back. Sitting outside, like all of those personal touches. So figuring out ways to connect your brand's story to each of your residents is not only going to make them feel more welcomed and feel like they belong in that community, but it's also really smart because they're going to share it right? Like you don't even have to ask them to have you create amazing experiences for people. They are going to talk about you. The key is just to be so good that people can't help but tell their friends and family. So looking at a list of all of those things that you can do for your tenant on moving day or, you know, a month before they're up for renewal or on their birthday, which is information that you have on file from them signing the lease or on some fun holiday like National Donut Day or whatever, and having the faith in your property managers and your team to say, we know that you understand the vision. We know that you know that this is important. There are some things that we're going to like tell you that you're going to do, but we're also entrusting you to do some on your own like it is now part of your job that you will be comped or bonus or whatever on customer delight or Resident Delight. So you've got a budget of $15 per resident per month or whatever it is that you are now charged with doing something that is going to make people's lives better. It is going to improve their experiences and make them think, I would never leave this community that I am a part of right here, even if it did take two days for them to fix that thing last week that I wish they'd fixed in a day. Like, you've got to build that sense of unforgettable ness, and like, people would never want to not have that thing anymore because of the commitment and the connection that they feel to what you're offering.

Andrew Smallwood
And Brittney, that's great. And I see more coming through the chat and I want to try to work this in. So, you know, I think what I want to ask you next, is it like something we observe in real estate, in general, is there's this difference between like property management, what I would call like hospitality management. And so if you look at like hotels, Airbnb, and short-term rentals, there's a lot of yeah, I mean there's a lot of focus on the experience there. We've seen over the last couple of decades in large multifamily management, you know that the community celebrations, events connecting people to each other, all kinds of experiential amenities, right? That people can have there. And you know, this kind of thinking is we're going to wait to see your family. It can feel easy for someone who's working in single-family houses or small apartments. And where we are today to think like and it sounds really aspirational and it's going to be like a long journey for our industry. I would bet, you know, over time and thinking about like, what are the ways that somebody would measure, you know, when you talk about like, hey, this is something that's measured and monitored, right? I can see somebody saying, okay, I've got a metric that I measure my team on, which is, you know, how much how many tickets, right. They process in a week. Right. And while that might be a good metric, it also could lend itself toward an experience that says, I'm trying to move through this as fast as possible. Right. Versus First Call resolution, as an example. And I'm just curious, you know, what have you learned when you think about measuring monitoring and even incentivizing employees like the compensation model being tied to it? You know, what really works for, you know, bringing people's attention to that experience or creating what have you seen work there?

Brittany Hodak
So that's a great question and a quote that I love from Albert Einstein. He was, you know, a pretty smart guy not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. And a lot of times we fall victim to saying like, okay, yeah, we're going to track the number of tickets resolved. And the higher the number, the better the job was done because we're tracking that number and it's something we can see very clearly on a chart that goes up and down. But to your point, that may not be the case, because if somebody is rushing in and out and they're making that person feel like they didn't take the time to answer their questions or they don't fully understand, not only is that creating a worse experience for the resident, but it's also potentially making a problem not actually be solved. Right? Like maybe if you were taking the time to listen, you would have uncovered that, oh, it's not this thing with the icemaker that I think it is, or like, Oh, it's probably something else going on in the shower. And you know, so for instance, instead of tracking tickets resolved, you could track CSAT or customer satisfaction. So customer satisfaction is just the measure of asking someone, How satisfied were you in there? There are a bunch of different ways you can you know, you can wrap it. You can it's going to you can track it. Talking about either that specific interaction or a longer when there's also the customer efforts for which all of you have, I'm sure, experienced as customers at some point where people are just asking you how easy or hard was this relative to your expectation? So it's really getting clarity on the way you expect things to be done. And so when you create an environment where you're showing that you care a little bit more or doing things just a little bit differently, what happens is you break through that apathy and you go from like, Oh, I can live anywhere. And it's going to just be, you know, some property manager taking care of my problems to, Oh wow, this feels different. And just as an example, I never really cared about who fixed issues in my house, right? Like it was just I would call the home warranty company and whoever they would dispatch, it was like, fine, whatever. And I usually by the time something else went wrong again, I would just like call them again to like send someone else because I would, I would think like, oh yeah, that guy was nice, whatever. But then I just, you know, like time would go by and I would forget. And so about three months ago, the sink was leaking and we couldn't figure out why. And it was just like there was water all and interesting. Like I opened it one day to get like the dishwasher tab out and everything floated by. And I was like, oh, man. So this guy named Perry came and he like, it's the sink. And it was something really simple. And he fixed it in a couple of minutes. And this is, like, kind of gross so I'm sorry. But he was like, okay, now that we've got that taken care of, he looked up and he was like, What am I looking at? And I was like, It's dead bugs in my light fixture. And he was like, Why are there dead bugs in your light fixture? And I was like, I don't know. It's just like where every moth in America goes to die. And I've got two little boys into like, no matter how many times we tell them the door is closed, are always opening the doors. And we've got to John start in and out all the time. So the light, no matter how often I would clean it like more moths, would just go there to commit suicide. It was like a cult or something that like every month was like, you want to be part of this. So anyway, it's like, what am I looking at? And it was like just in dead moss. And I knew it was gross. And knew it was there. But we have really high ceilings and I've got two little boys and I'm never alone. Could I have taken the 20 minutes to like changed the, you know, pull the thing down and clean it and get all the bugs out? Like, of course. But as those of you with little kids know, there's just always something more pressing. So Mr. Perry, who was there too, like, fix the sink, was like, go get me a ladder. I am taking this down and cleaning it. And I was like, Oh my God, I'm so embarrassed. Please, you do not have to do that like it is. Okay? And he was like, my mom would never let me leave our house. Not in better condition than I found it. This is something that I can do. And he's like, sees the kids running around being all crazy. And he was like, You clearly have your hands full. Like, it is not a problem at all. Like, go get me the ladder or tell me where it is because I'm not leaving your house until I do this. And so he took down the big thing, which, you know, probably weighs like £20. Like that was the other thing. I was always afraid I was going to like drop it. So like in the past when we cleaned it like we would wait till the kids were in bed and my husband would like to hold the ladder and then I would have to like hand the thing down to him anyway. So he cleaned that, put it back up, and made it look beautiful. It had nothing to do with the reason he was there. I'm sure when he got out of the car to, like, come to my leaky sink, he wasn't like, is she going to have a dirty light fixture I can fix? But he just had the personal drive to say, I'm going to leave this house better than I found it. And maybe that's what I was here to do, and maybe it's something I wasn't here to do. So do you think I'm ever going to, like, randomly call the home warranty company when something goes wrong? No, I have Perry's business card on the refrigerator. I specifically was like, what all do you do? Oh, you do appliances. Oh, you do plumbing. Oh, you've got a partner at your business that does each fact. That's awesome because all of a sudden I am not apathetic anymore. All of a sudden I'm not like anybody who can fix a sink. I mean, I can't fix the sink, but like a lot of people can fix things, right? Because I want the person who I know cares the most. And in today's economy that we are living in, in this experience economy, people want to know that they matter. They want to know that you care about them. There's a great Teddy Roosevelt quote, People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. You have got to show them that you care about them and not just because they're paying their rent that month or not, just because you're trying to keep your occupancy above whatever you care about them as a person and as an individual. And I know I've been talking a really long time, but to address something I forgot about before. Andrew, when you asked about like, how do you do some of these things and not make it feel aspirational but make it feel achievable? Start with things that you can automate as you can automate. Sending birthday cards to every single tenant that you have, or at least the ones whose birthdays are on the list that you know you can automate, sending out postcards for special holidays, you can automate offers that go to people for things that like you don't even have to think about. On the third-party property manager level, you can just set it and forget it. And while you can't ever automate your way to superfans, you do have to have a personal touch. It helps make things that much easier because you're checking the box to show somebody that they are appreciated, that you do care about them as a person, that you did notice that, you know, they're a new mom and so you send something fun or that it's their half birthday and you want to tell them, you know, you hope they have a great day or whatever. Like there are things that you can automate to help bridge that gap between like aspirational and Oh, men were amazing at this.

Andrew Smallwood
And really great branding. I've got one more question before I open it up to other folk's questions or just whatever comes up next here. But yeah, one question I want to make sure I ask before we finished was, and let me reflect first on a couple of things. You just said because I got to get that out. Otherwise, I can't stop thinking about it. When you talked about the story. Right. Mr. Perry was his name, right?

Brittany Hodak
Yes.

Andrew Smallwood
Perry, I don't know how many times you've told that story to how many people. Right. But my bet is, you know, it's the kind of thing where, hey, that effort and what he did at that moment to demonstrate his care for you and make you feel something right. You know, that's paid dividends, reputationally speaking, right? You know, from there, these creating these kinds of moments. And culturally, it's second nature. We have something written out of a way. We talk about this and it's when we look at moments and experiences and there's an opportunity to make a moment happen, you're asking the question not what's the least we can do, but what're the most we can do right at this moment is gets people into a different mindset about how to approach things. They may see opportunities, they may see the bugs in the lighting fixtures, so to speak, in an opportunity to make something happen for somebody. And I think, you know, a tip for coming back to like this question of just how do we drive this kind of culture, like telling stories like the one that you just share and encouraging your team within the team to share these stories of making moments happen for people right, of where this is happening in ways in the business can help start to get some momentum going in showing people examples of success and what it looks like that can start to drive things where eventually, as a leader, you go from talking about it all the time, right? And while you've always got to be passionate and convicted in the vision and sharing that with people, if you can start to get people on the team talking about that and sharing with each other and, you know, facilitating those stories being shared, it can help to develop that kind of culture. Was what you were making me think about that might help people here? My last question is this thinking about not just the resume we've talked a lot about resident experience, but also the investor side is really the core client of the property manager, right? Like it starts there. It's like that's my client and the residents kind of my customer. And it's good that there's more appreciation for the resident experience and everything that drives building a healthy relationship between everybody. But coming back to the investor for a second, you know, how do you teach businesses? Some of these businesses have 50 clients. Some of them might have hundreds of clients. Some of them even have over a thousand clients. And thinking about, you know, an LTV, let's call it, you know, somewhere in thousands of dollars, right? But maybe not above ten K. You know, it's not quite like a consumer product where, you know, it's pennies on the dollar, so to speak, and a low LTV transactional type thing. You know, for people who are in that kind of position, how do you teach them to think about making 800 moments happen for people? Do you know? Yes, there are some things I can automate, like remembering a birthday or whatever it might be, but, you know, allocating some budget, an investment, whether that's actual dollars, you know, or time investment, energy investment, you know, how do you teach people to think about, okay, you know, focus on things and do it across the whole customer base or investing a little bit more into prioritizing certain relationships? First, how do you teach people to think about that and what ways are you seeing people approach that that works for them?

Brittany Hodak
Well, I think one way to teach it is I loved what you said before about what's the most I can do versus the least I can do. One is just to look for opportunities as they present themselves, because I promise you, these opportunities exist everywhere, all around you for your investors and for your tenants. I just saw a story the other day about a woman who reached out to Chick-fil-A on social media because they announced that their peach milkshakes are back. And she had. Did you guys see the story? You know what I'm talking about now. Okay. So she posted it and was like my grandma loved peach milkshakes so much. It was one of my favorite things, drinking them with her all summer she passed away, but I was so glad that I got this picture of her enjoying her last peach milkshake. Somebody from Chick-fil-A's social like deemed her and was like, you know, hey, can we get your address? We want to do something. And she was like, Yeah, of course. And they sent her some peach milkshake coupons, and she was like, Oh, that's sweet. That was nice. But then a couple of days later, she got a box in the mail. It printed out like a picture on the like canvas of her grandma, and that milkshake framed it in this beautiful peach frame, sent her like a really nice handwritten letter with all kinds of stuff from her local Chick-Fil-A. So it was like free peach milkshakes for life or something. And like all of these free meals and a note about what a wonderful woman her grandmother sounded like. So of course, this story went super viral, right? Because those are the kinds of emotions that like you can't fake. But if you're paying attention, it's so easy to do because your customers and your investors and everyone else that you work with are giving you like softballs all the time. We all overshare on social media. We all give people those opportunities to do things like that. So it's really just paying attention. And going back to what I said before about like what counts versus what's being counted, making sure that you are giving people the opportunity to, you know, show up in those moments and create those interactions that that become special that your customers can't help but talk about. And Chewy is great for any of you who have pets. If you know the company Chewy.com, they go viral more than any company that I've ever seen. And they do it because even though they're repeating the same things over and over and over and over and over again, it doesn't matter because it's still special when they do it for you. Like when you get a portrait of your dog that an artist painted and sent to you like you don't care if they've done it for 150,000 other people because those 150,000 people's dogs weren't your dog, right? So the things that you can replicate and scale 100%, you should do like you should say what are five things that we can do that aren't heavy lifts that don't cost a ton, but make someone feel really valued and appreciated, look for those opportunities, but also train your team to look for those one-offs that aren't going to look the same from A to B because if you do that, you will create a culture where people are like constantly trying to outdo each other, right? Like people are looking for opportunities to do better than that story that was being celebrated by everyone internally, the company a week ago because somebody else did something so like celebrate and recognize your team as they do these things. And you will create a culture where like everyone wants to be the one who got that I cared the most this week trophy or, you know, whatever it is.

Andrew Smallwood
Man, that's really great. I, I got to acknowledge something in the chat, but I want to just foreshadow the last 10 minutes here so people know what to expect. And we give, give everyone a little heads up here of how we're going to end this thing in an epic, appropriate way. So I'm going to ask Britney a question after that. You know, I'm going to ask you to think about potentially an amazing experience, an example, or a story of an experience that you provided or that was provided to you that might be helpful or relevant or illuminating in a way that reflects some of the concepts that Britney has been talking about today. We'd love to hear a couple of those stories, but I want to start with you, Britney. Our friend John Ruined got mentioned in the chat here. And I know you know, John, I feel like you have a story potentially to share yourself about, maybe an interaction or experience you had with John.

Brittany Hodak
I do. I know John very well and we have become very good friends over the years. And the most recent example of him, gift ology, seeing me, I like I was like, you guys probably know how to do this because you manage properties. But like I was really stumped trying to buy a blender. I was like, Why is this so hard? Like it felt like buying a blender was harder than buying a car. And so, like every few years, I would just buy, like a new blender that costs, like 50 bucks or whatever. And I would use it until the blades didn't work anymore. And then I would get another blender. And I was like, okay, I'm an adult of home and kids and a family and a real job. Like I should get like a real blender. So I started doing all this research and it was completely overwhelming. I was like, real questions were, Do you want a model with Bluetooth? And I was like, I don't know why. What do you want to buy a refurbished model? And I'm like, I don't think so. Anyway, it was so overwhelming. So I do what most people do when they're trying to make a decision about something I posted on Facebook and I was like, What blender do I buy? Please help me. And there were probably 200 responses very quickly, and I was like, Oh my God, this is not easier. This is harder, right? So it's like, unsubscribe. Maybe I just like, won't have smoothies anymore. But then the next day this box shows up and it was a Vitamix blender that John Ruland had sent with a really sweet note, wishing me good luck, blending all of the things that were happening at home and in my career, saying that he was always rooting for me. And the brilliance of that gift wasn't just the clever note. It was, you know, not just the gift that like every time I use that blender, I think about John, which is, you know, all the time it was the fact that he took something off my plate that was like, causing me, like, mental anguish, right? It was like something that I was like, I can't keep asking me about movies, but, like, I need a new blender and I don't know which one to get, like, eliminated all of that, like, cognitive dissonance of, like, do I want, you know, the model that, like, talks to me or not. So looking for opportunities to surprise and delight people, is very much a gift theology principle and something that I've been fortunate enough to get to see and learn from John over the years. And even being on the receiving end a few times.

Andrew Smallwood
Awesome. And Brittany, thanks for sharing that. That's cool. Hey, I saw one or two come to the chat and that probably brought people a minute to think about, Hey, here's an example, a time or a quick story they might be able to share. We'd love to just have you come on up.

Jan
Hi. So my tenants called to say that they weren't working on Thanksgiving Day, and I sent the repairman there. But he called me back and he said, Jan, there's nothing I can do to help them. Even though we got the repair person there, he said the oven needs a part, and that I won't be able to get it until Monday. So I went over and got their turkey and I took it to my house and I cooked it in my oven. And then when I took the turkey back to them, they were so happy and sitting down and I saw those pies sitting on the counter that wasn't cooked. Yes. So I said, okay, what about that? So I took those pies and cooked them while they were eating dinner and then took them back at the end.

Andrew Smallwood
I mean, talk about above and beyond. That's incredible. Jan, can you share what was their reaction like to that and how did it feel for as well?

Jan
You know, that kind of stuff feels great when you're able to provide that sort of service because it's so beyond the pale and it's so unexpected. You know, I don't know if you remember this or not. Maybe it'll just show the difference in age between me and you. But there was a guy named Scott GROSS in, I want to say, probably the eighties and nineties who wrote a series of books called Positively Outrageous Service and he talked about that. And I love those books that I have built my business on that on premise for all these years. And I constantly am preaching that to my employees as well. And it is actually the same premise that we've talked about here today, which is to look for opportunities and, you know, take opportunities to do things that are surprising and unexpected.

Andrew Smallwood
Jan, thank you so much for sharing that. What an incredible example and thanks for being with us.

Jan
This is a good story. It goes a long way.

Andrew Smallwood
That is a positively, outrageously good story. Thank you for sharing that. That was awesome. You're welcome. We've got time for one or two more. Something either you've experienced being unlike the customer or a client-side of yourself, right? Where someone made a moment happen for you or where you've been able to make a moment happen in your business and you saw it really had an impact. We'd love to hear of one or two more. Laura, Mac, if we've got it out there. Know my man Nole from Arizona. How are you doing?

Nole
Great. Great. So this is partially an idea that we've been working on for a long time, and partially something I picked up from Matthew Chagall when he was in town last month on an event. But trying to give some type of gift to the tenant just shortly after move in or. Right, move it just to kind of show him appreciation. And he talked about how he had partnered with a couple of food vendors locally, whom he was able to buy discount gift cards for. So my idea was like, you know, buying him a pizza on one weekend and then co-branding that to one of our local vendors helped participate in the cost for this by branding it. My, best thought here was pest control because everybody's terrified of scorpions here in Phenix. So I'm working with their pest control guy to get like a $50 gift card to tenants as they move in. And just to remind them, hey, even though as controls on you, here's a coupon for your first service and have pizza on us, we move in. And it was just one of the ideas that came up that, you know, kind of all of this we've been really trying to push us ever since our beauty has been pushing us to do this experience. And it's hard without giving away just tons of free stuff. We still got two older tenants accountable, just the gift ology thought maybe made me think of like, give them something, let him know you care a little bit before we start beating them up for the next 12 months.

Brittany Hodak
And when you give them something, just show them that you care and make it about them, not you anybody who's very good theology has heard this before, but I always say if you put your logo on it, it is not a gift. It is an ad like do not mistake a gift or an ad like it is not.

Nole
So that's what they're hoping to engage a vendor to do it as well, saying, hey, you know, get your cert, here's a freebie on us, and here's pizza from the property manager. We know moving sucks. You know, don't try to cook tonight kind of thing. I don't know. Just an idea.

Brittany Hodak
I love that idea.

Andrew Smallwood
Yeah, that's so great. That's so great. Noelle, thanks for jumping up and sharing that, my friend. Hey, we've got time for one more. You can either. You can either come up and share a story or we'll even take one or two. Just reflecting back on what Britney shared with us over the past hour, even just reflecting on some of the ideas she's talked about, and any important takeaways that you're taking away from the last hour that we've invested here? We'd love to hear from a couple of folks. Laura. Mac, There we go. Bruce Good to see you all.

Nole
Hey, good to see you, Andrew. Thank you so much, Brittany, for what you've shared. It's been I can listen for hours. You have tons of valuable nuggets that I type fast enough. So it made it look like I wasn't paying attention, but I was adding putting notes on my phone. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Brittany Hodak
Thank you. That's okay.

Nole
Yeah. One of the things I did is I just copied it out of gift ology. One of our investors is a local surgeon and I had asked him if he cooks and he said, no, I don't cook. I couldn't cook a piece but my wife loves to cook. So I sent them knives from cut co knives that are engraved with their initials. And I mailed them actually to his wife, Heather. And I said, here's a gift for you. And then they sent me a very, very nice email that they were shocked to get these knives. And so they're bright red handles. You can do white and black. I did bright red just so they stand out, they'll always remember. And he's one of our favorite ambassadors. He's just always breaking us up and us. I had to do something for him. And I know that in theology he was cut guys. So yeah, it was a big impact and I thought he took pictures of it, sent them to us and everything. So it's pretty, pretty awesome how it worked.

Brittany Hodak
And it's such a great idea. And what like one idea for any of you on this call? Anytime somebody moves in as a new resident or even like a new investor, Lego Lego sets are so easy and they make sense because they can build a house or an apartment. So like there are so many vendors that you can just Google it. There are a million Etsy-type people out there who will create Lego kits of your thing. So like you can order a thousand pieces or a thousand different sets of like something that looks like a miniature version of your building and then also have a bunch of little Lego people so that when a family moves in, you can have like a Lego person for each one in the family and the kit of the house and like what kid on the planet would not be thrilled to have a Lego version of where they just moved it right? Like little things and when you can involve the family like that. Great story from Bruce when he was like, I didn't make it about my partner. I made it about his wife because, you know, that's how you do it. That's how you win. Hearts and minds are by making people heroes at all and getting things for the people who you care about, like the people that they care about. So Lego is an idea all of you should find a way to incorporate.

Andrew Smallwood
And for Bruce, great share. Thank you. And Brittany, that was that was a really cool follow-up. They're much appreciated. Hey, here's what we're going to do to be respectful of the time and the time we have scheduled would love to listen. We'd love to hear from every single one of you, but maybe just in the chat, you could put an expression of appreciation. The greatest gift that Britney gave you today. What she taught you today that you felt was most important. I know she and her crew would love to see that kind of feedback before they're able to jump off. So Britney will make sure to get you that in May. And just what a great example at the end there, like you think about 80% of single-family homes. It's families, right? And so and what a cool creative idea to connect them to their new home in a fun, creative, personalized way. That's what's exciting. And Bruce, I love what you did about making it about them. Right. And their initials and not about you. And it when you make it so about them, they never forget who did that for them. Right. So it's almost like counterintuitive things. I don't want them to forget me. So let me put my name or logo or initials on it. But it's about making them feel something so deep and memorable that, you know, somebody like Britney is going to say, Mr. Parrish, I'll never his name. Right, because of how he made her feel. And so this was so great. Britney, thank you so much for the entire second nature team. I know we're excited to get copies of your book and stay in touch with everything you're putting out there, you know, to benefit us with what we're trying to do here. And thanks so much for spending time with us today. So appreciate.

Brittany Hodak
It. Thanks so much for having me, Andrew. It was an honor. Thank you all so much for the gift of your time over the past hour. I hope it's been useful and I'm just Britney. And Britney holds out to calm if you have any questions for me or any ideas. As you can tell, I'm an ideal person, so I'm always good to help in any way I can and give you ideas for fun. Surprise and delights.

Andrew Smallwood
All right, everybody, the queen of customer experience. Thanks for being with us today, Britney. So appreciate it. Thanks, all of you, for investing your time and participating 100% here. That made it even more special to be with everyone today. Thanks for all the love that you're putting into the chat. Britney, this has got to be great, and feel great on your end to see everything that's coming in the chat here, and the impact that you made today. Thanks again for that. Happy Triple Wednesday. Keep stacking your triple wins, and creating great experiences and we'll see you guys again soon. Take care, everybody. That's all for today's Triple Win Property Management podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life with us. We do not take it for granted. I also want to give a shout-out to Carole Housel for everything she and our team does to make this possible. It's crazy to think about. Over 5000 professional property managers have press play on episodes and season one and season two now, and we really want to encourage you to keep giving feedback because more and more people are listening. It's getting better and better and better thanks to everything that you're sharing with us. If you liked this enough to listen, I want to encourage you to share it with other people. You can give us feedback directly on these social media channels, Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever you're hanging out. You can also send us an email at triplewin@secondnature.com. And we just want to give more. Where there's no sales pitch here just want to offer more resources that help you find and stack your next triple win and become a triple win driven property manager. So where can you find that? You can find a private Facebook group, you can find our blogs, you can find our newsletter to find more resources all at rbc.secondnature.com to search for what you're looking for there and every time we see you, we want to see a better version of you and your business to that end. Keep it going, feel inspired, take our encouragement and we'll see you next time.

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