TWLX 22: The Future of Property Management with Mike Catalano, Laura Orr, Andrew Propst

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Air Date:
October 13, 2022

In this recording from TWLX 22, Andrew talks with an incredible expert panel - Mike Catalano, Laura Orr, and Andrew Propst - as they share their insights about the future of professional property management.

Listen as they talk about what trends they’re paying attention to RIGHT NOW, how to make an experience so good that residents don't want to leave, and what other property managers should be paying attention to.

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Hosted by Andrew Smallwood and Laura Mac
Featuring Mike Catalano, Laura Orr, Andrew Propst
Produced by Andrew Smallwood, Laura Mac, and Carol Housel
Edited by Isaac Balachandran

Episode Transcript:

Andrew Propst
The most important thing we can do as managers. We're all owners and managers on this call. When I look back at my career, I haven't I'm not as old as Mike. I just look older than Mike. So the best decisions I've ever made in business are around hiring and firing. So when we think about adding team members or removing team members, just remember that those decisions are huge for your business and huge for yourself. What I talked about when I talked to property management owners is that they're complaining that 99% of the time it's about employee performance. But if you're doing the right things in your hiring process, you can avoid a lot of those issues.

Andrew Smallwood
We're going to start to bring up the future of the property management panel. So if we can start bringing up our panelists, that would be much appreciated. Think we've got Andy Propst here from Home River Group. There's Laura. Laura if you could wave, everyone could see you. Laura from Roofstock. Awesome. There's Andy. Great to see you. And there's Mike. Awesome. Coming up, getting spotlighted. We'll get the whole panel up here and we'll get ready to dove in and get started as a way of getting started. Laura, if you could start first and just give a brief introduction for those who don't know you or haven't met you yet? You just share your name and your company. Anything else you think would be important? Context. We'll go to Andy and then Mike after that.

Laura Orr
Yeah, absolutely. Hi. It's great to meet everyone. I'm Laura and I'm the VP of Leasing and resident services here at St Louis, which is owned by Roofstock. So my responsibility at our company is making sure we get our homes rented and keep our residents happy and awesome.

Andrew Smallwood
Andy, we go to you now.

Andrew Propst
Hello. My name is Andrew and I am most proud of being one of the original users of Filter Easy, which is now second nature. Also the Chief Development Officer of Hull River Group, which is a third-party residential property management company. We're in 66 markets. We manage about 41,000 single-family rentals. So. Great to be here and thank you second nature for all the work you're doing for the NAR from Charity Make-A-Wish. What a great foundation.

Andrew Smallwood
Awesome. Thanks, Andy. Michael, come to you.

Mike Catalano
Hi, everybody. How's everything everybody doing? Thanks so much for having me on. Mike Catalano. I'm the co-founder of Pure Property Management. We're a property management and technology company based in about 23 states. Manage a little over $20,000. Excited to be on. So thank you for having us and the man on the call here. Love being on with Andy. A good friend of mine, so. Hi, Andy, and Laura, I haven't met you personally, but I did see you speak at a conference. And you did a fantastic job. So very excited to be on with you as well.

Andrew Smallwood
Awesome. All right. Well, everybody, we've got this exciting executive panel here to talk about the future of property management. Many of our past events, these panels, and the conversations that have been sparked after this have been really valuable takeaways. And I just want to encourage you, if you haven't found that workbook yet or if you're just joining us after the intro where we made that comment, we'll probably drop it in the chat. There's a place there where you can take some notes and ultimately you're probably going to want to take some notes. If not, you can find some scratch paper, because, after this, we're going to get you into conversations with peers to really deepen the learnings and start to make this really relevant to help put this into action. Get some pure sounding boards on some of the ideas that you heard today. So just one, make sure everyone has that note and we'll get started. So with that said, question number one, what are the trends that you're building your business around right now? And we'll start with Laura will go in the same order that we started here, but we'll feel free to mix it up and bounce around. What trends are you guys paying attention to at Roofstock? Laura, what are you thinking about and organizing the business around?

Laura Orr
Yeah, absolutely. So I think one thing I should mention, for those of you who don't know who Roofstock is, we're a sort of a tech-forward property company, and we operate in lots of different realms of business. But the side of the business that I work in is the property management side of the business. We have about 16 and a half thousand firms under management, but we're a third-party property manager, institutional clients, mom, and dad investors as well. So we have quite a big mix of properties, locations and price points, and everything. So with that said, a resident is a resident doesn't really matter who the owner of the property is. A resident looking for a certain number of things in order to enjoy their farm is obviously the quality of the asset and making sure that that can be maintained and updated so that they can enjoy that home. But ultimately, I think to me and what we're trying to build around is sort of an automated self-service business. So sort of have the fundamental belief that residents don't really want to talk to someone if they can get the answers that they need either online or get automated updates or things that are going on. Maintenance is the number one thing that comes up. If they can get proactive automation or things that are happening, then they're content. They know it's being worked on. They feel comfortable, they don't have to reach out. So that's sort of what we fundamentally believe. At the end of the day, we're always going to have residents contacting us and we'd be set up to answer those questions. But what we try and build is the best sort of self-service platform through online and automation that we can pull.

Andrew Smallwood
So it sounds like a trend is a desire for self-service in that kind of convenience and immediately getting to where they want to go, anticipating their needs, that's cool. Andy, I remember you talking about the Amazon experience sets at an event like this in the past. You know, I'm curious if you have anything to add to that or anything else that you guys are looking at it right now that's really informing what you guys are organizing around.

Andrew Propst
Yeah, we love I love the Amazon experience idea, right? When buying something on Amazon, it's so simple, which is what we compared to the move in returning something on Amazon, it's so simple, which is the move out right? How do we make that? How do we make that tenant transition so easy? Just as easy as buying something on Amazon? Because I know for me, if I, if I find something online I want to buy and it's not on Amazon, I go to Amazon and then see if they have it. And if Amazon has it, then I'll buy it there. If Amazon doesn't have it, then I really think do I really want this? Because it's probably way more work to buy it on this other side saw this form. So yeah I mean whatever we can do to free up our agent's time to you know what we're really focused on right now is the technology that frees up our property manager's time to make more of a connection with our residents and our owners. Right. Because if they're so busy that they can't really take the time to build that relationship because real estate at the end of the day is a relationship business. And if they're just completely overwhelmed because we can't staff, right? Because hiring people so hard, whatever, then we lose that connection and then we lose that opportunity to build that relationship, which is so important. The other trend that we're really working on right now is we have a lot of activity on the institutional front. And those institutional investors are very reporting needy, let's say. And there's a lot of stuff that we can't get out of just typical property management software. So we're working constantly on getting more data out of the system so we can share that with our institutional investor partners, which, as you guys know, if you're trying to pull out anything outside of the normal report in a property management system can be very difficult times. So it's a constant battle that we're going to continue to fight and work really hard with our agents and our property managers to make sure, you know, good data and good data out. That's a constant thing we're working on.

Andrew Smallwood
Awesome. Great. Mike, we'll bring the same question to you. What trends are you guys looking at up here and what are you thinking about organizing around doing differently?

Mike Catalano
You know, I've been in this industry for well over 30 years. You know, I've actually been doing it probably longer than that if you count answering phone calls at ten years old in my own household. But, you know, I think the interesting thing is that this industry has changed more in the last five years than it did in the previous 30. Right. So what we're seeing is you have 40,000 companies in this industry of property management doing it, 40,000 different ways, and not saying that any of them are right or wrong. But I think what you're seeing and of course, one of the big things that we do at our company is part of the consolidation that's happening in partnering with companies. We've partnered with over 45 companies in less than two years. And there are two major things that are happening with this number one, there's a generational shift in the industry where the average owner of a property management company is about 60 years old right now and they're looking for some sort of exit. But number two, their kids are not interested in the business because they don't think property management is cool. But we're going to try and change that. Everybody here is looking to make property management cool again at some point, but you have that shift and then you have the shift to the people who see this shift in the industry because there are so many institutions coming into it, there's venture capital, who is a private equity, and they're seeing this shift and they want to be part of something bigger. So one of the biggest trends we're working on is how you manage your property one way throughout the entire country. Right. And we call that way the pure way. And the way that is to collect every working together as a group of people, all these 45 companies, and learning from each one of them to find out how they manage a property and taking all the best practices of those and putting it into one practice. And I think that you know, we all do things very similar like there's 75% of what we do is the same and there's 25% that is significantly different. And I always kind of I'm a sports guy, so I always kind of equate this to like a batting stance of a baseball player. And of course, we'll say softball because I do coach 14. You travel softball. It's a big deal. So girl power there. But what I would say is that every baseball player or softball player has a different batting stance. So you stand there and you have a stance, but when everyone hits the ball, they hit the ball the same way. So I equate that to property management. We're all standing in a different stances, but we're all trying to accomplish the same exact thing. So how do you do that one way, which that one way will give a better experience to the tenant or excuse me, the resident? I'm old school. I got to learn this verbiage is, again and again, one way for the investor. So really that's the one piece that we're looking for because every company right now is a fingerprint. They're all different. So how do we get that way to make a better experience for everyone to do one way of managing a specific door? And that's probably the biggest trend that we're working on. It's a huge task for anyone to kind of conquer, and we're all kind of excuse me, we're all kind of doing that in our own way. But that's probably the biggest trend we're trying to conquer at this time. Yeah.

Andrew Smallwood
Cool. Yeah. Some interesting comments already so far in that that silver tsunami, I think they're calling it these days, Mike, of people aging out that own businesses that are crazy and then think about the implications for real estate of that all the people that own real estate and have managed it themselves that are handing down those assets over the decade or two to come. It feels like a good time to be in professional property management, right as that demand. Do you know who has that demand? It kind of shifts and property management companies like the ones on this zoom being in a position to, you know, to receive that business and earn that business. So let's talk about that a little bit. Like at second nature, we talk about a vision of how we make an experience so good for residents, investors, and a team that people don't want to leave and that professional property management is so different than what somebody could do in their own right. Or that they could get from a real estate agent who's doing it on the side of sales are slow, right, for a period of time. Like how do we really expand that gap? Right. And put more distance between those things? You know, Andy, I'm going to come to you first, then we'll just bounce around a different order to mix it up. But what are some of the things from the resident or the investor or the team side you were alluding to earlier of focusing on getting things more efficient that is making the experience better in such a way that you think will help differentiate the professional property management firm from, you know, do it yourself landlords or what they can do on their own?

Andrew Propst
Yeah, no, for sure. It's, it's, it's a crazy time. I think everybody is dealing with a lack of engagement at work, and having a hard time finding people. You know, I've, I've learned a lot through the years with my relationship with that Andrew is second nature filter easy folks on engaging culture and you know it has to be a focus one of the best books I've ever read on engagement is Drive by Daniel Pink. I don't know if anybody's read that, but just absolutely fantastic around autonomy, purpose, and mastery. Obviously, if we're still working from home, which I know a lot of people have, it's about how you give out that autonomy to two folks. Hold them, hold them accountable, make things clear, as clear as kind, and in management. So when I'm talking to my managers, there are really two things that managers are really good at. You got to be clear and be clear on expectations and then you have to hold those expectations. You have to hold those folks accountable for what you talked about. And if you're not doing that, it's not very kind. I think people good people love accountability and they love a purpose. So, you know, you know, I look at the rootstock, I look at pure property management and it's very clear to me what their purpose is. And it seems like their folks are excited about what they're doing. So they're going to retain talent and when we look at our markets, h.r. Right. We're in 60 markets where we have the least amount of employee turnover. It's weird. We have the least amount of investor turnover. It's there that coincides. It's very similar. So, you know, our focus has to be giving our folks autonomy when rewarding them, when they do things right, or making sure that that purpose is clear. What we're trying to do and then constantly train them. Mastery is so important for engagement, keeping people, and helping them see not only a path to what we're trying to do as a company but a career path for them. So I don't know if that really answers your questions, but I'm very obviously very focused and passionate about finding really good people, retaining those people, and inspiring them to do bigger and better things with their life. You know, that, that, that, that, that makes me happy. I wrote another thing. It's the most important thing we can do as managers. We're all owners and managers on this on this call. When I look back at my career, I haven't I'm not as old as Mike. I just look older than Mike. So the best decisions I've ever made in business are around hiring and firing. So when we think about adding team members or removing team members, just remember that those decisions are huge for your business and huge for yourself. As I talked about when I talked to property management owners and they're complaining 99% of the time it's about employee performance. But if you're doing the right things in your hiring process, you can avoid a lot of those issues where ramble. That's ours. Andrew, there's a lot of stuff I doubt many people are complaining about what they heard that was great.

Andrew Smallwood
Andy, thanks for sharing that and driving. It was mastery, autonomy, and purpose. I think you said it a couple of times. Those were the three things there that you guys are focused on. How do we give our employees that? That's great. Laura, I'm going to come to you next. What to just wheel back to the question. Hey, when you think about creating a different resident experience, investor experience, team experience, you know, what are some of the things are opportunities you guys have been focused on recently or are focusing on now that you think can help separate ultimately professional management from DIY or an alternative to a professional management company? What are some of the things that come to mind when you think about that?

Laura Orr
Yeah, I think I echo everything you just said then, Andrew. It's something that we're focusing on a lot. I think a lot of us experienced some pretty rapid growth last year and beginning of this year, and that was a rapid growth of staffing, wealth or retaining staff, and training staff, making sure they feel valued is extremely important, but that in my mind, kind of has flow-on effects. If your staff are happy, then they're providing the best possible stuff that they can provide to your residents. If you can keep your residents happy, then they are ultimately staying on their property. They're paying their rent increases, they're maintaining their home, and they're not pulling in unnecessary workloads. And then that sort of leads to your aunt being happy because they're retaining their residents, they're getting their collections. So it's kind of a flow-on effect, which is all really important. So I think Andy touched on all of the staffing retention things, which I think are hugely important in terms of the residents. I think I thought I mentioned this before, but the biggest pain point we face is getting maintenance issues resolved quickly. Single-family residential property is going to be challenging because you're not in an apartment building, you've got to get a vendor out of the property. Often the vendor has to be contacted by the resident. You've got to make sure that you're on top of that. If there are any issues, stay in touch with the residents. So if you can get that right and get the resident's issue resolved quickly, I think that's one of the biggest things that's going to help them to stay in your home. But then also remember that your residents are human and that they are people and that things that go on with the home impact their lives. So if they have to stay home, there's nothing to be done to their property that is impacting their going to work, and that can be stressful or frustrating or lack of income. So I think just making sure that your staff remembers that these things are impacting and when they're having conversations with the residents to be empathetic and understanding of the situation and most of the time, maybe 80 or 90% of the time, you'll find that your residents are actually understanding that it might take a little bit longer to get someone out there or that the vendor has to come from another place and it might take a little bit longer. They're okay. They understand that, and they feel hurt. When they don't feel heard, they're going to be completely unreasonable and really quick. So that's something that I think if you can get that piece of it right, even if you're not getting someone there or fixing the problem straight away if you're empathetic and understanding of that situation, I think that makes a big difference to your resident retention. And then likewise with an owner, if your residents are happy, typically are just happy, right? If not having a workload are you getting it done quickly? But then you've also got to make sure that you're keeping your vendor price points at the right level and that you're providing that information to your own. And so I think where we try to differentiate for our partners, which is your mom and dad art, as opposed to an institutional owner, I guess you would say in this instance, instances that we have that institutional experience, we manage thousands of properties across different price points and markets, and they might not have that experience. And we can provide that experience to them. We can give them information about their market, we can give them information about the returns of their assets. And that's really, I think, where your differentiator comes from for a mom and dad investor and institutional as a whole, a whole different ballgame like Andrew touched on before reporting, reporting, reporting and how do you get that right and how do you make it easy? And sort of can you create a portal that they can digest information themselves and what value add can you have this? So these are all things that we're sort of looking at and always trying to grow and improve in, optimize them.

Andrew Smallwood
Awesome. Great. And Mike, we'll bring it to you. Anything else you feel, you know, pure is thinking about or focused on to really differentiate looking forward to the future as far as resident investor team experience and how those interact.

Mike Catalano
Yeah, I guess we could talk for days on this for sure and I agree with what both of you have said so far. You know, at the end of the day, we're a product and an experienced company. Right. And that's and that's not just us, but that's the industry as a whole. I mean, what that has always been in this industry is there's been kind of this angst between resident and investor, right? And at some point, they have to understand that they're in this together. Right. And this is not a resident against the investor. This is something together. And that's what the property manager supposed is here to do. But I think that some of that angst comes because, you know, we are so fragmented in so many ways with so many people doing it so many different ways. And how do you get to the point where you're doing it one way to make it a better experience, but also the piece that's really important for us is that we want our technology to enable the people that manage properties, to enable them to do the people side of the business. We don't feel the people's side is going away. We don't feel that technology is here to replace everybody. We feel that you know, 90% of the market is owned by mom and pops like the people that own 1 to 10 doors. Right. So the investors out there have put in billions and billions of dollars and they barely have touched the surface somewhat. What how big this market is. So we have to really concentrate on how you bridge that gap as an investor to make it a better experience for both. And I think a couple of things is one is on the resident side, you have, you know, our two largest generations in our country's history that are going to be renters moving forward. The millennial millennial generation and the baby boomers. Right. Baby boomers are selling out millennial millennials who like flexibility where they can actually find a good experience to rent. And that's something that we have to kind of be there and embrace it and say, how are we going to make it a better experience when a tenant moves in? How do we make the move and move our process a better experience? How we have a resident benefit package is again second nature, but because they're fantastic at doing that, offering something that they need and want rather than just charging them because we're trying to make more revenue, right? So it's an experience aspect of it, allowing the technology to do the back-end minutia that nobody wants to deal with. You know, being able to send letters automatically, schedule appointments, and do all those things that take time out of a person's day so they can actually deal with the empathetic piece of an of a resident having a big issue of maintenance or an investor having some problems with their property as well. So that way you can actually handle the people side of things. So I think, all in all, the kind of conclusion on this is that you know, you need to just make a better experience overall for both sides and make sure they understand you're working together. And that to me, out of all my years of doing this, it's always been resident against the investor. You know, it's been like this big fight and at the end of the day, they got to work together. So that's the piece that we really want to try to kind of combat an approach so everyone understands like, hey, let's make this a great experience overall because let's be honest, this industry is one of the largest in the country. It's not going anywhere. So we need to make sure that it's a good product for everybody.

Andrew Smallwood
Very cool.

Andrew Propst
Hey, first of all, yeah, my panelists are amazing, obviously great stuff there. I think I think, you know, I'm calling it the race like you've got to have both. And whoever gets there first, I think, is going to have a large share of this market because there's a lot of us that struggle with high, high tech, and there's a lot of us that struggle with high touch. But whoever can do both is going to be awesome. You know, the one thing I really wanted to kind of nail down on purpose, so some people might know me for my suits. Have you seen these suits? And I've, helped inspire, the second nature guys to go crazy on the suits. On the suits. And they look good. They wear them a lot better than I do. But I get a lot of people to say, Andy, why do you wear suits to work as your property manager? You're yelling at tenants and fixing toilets all day. That's. That's what you do. That's not my purpose. My purpose is, you know what I tell my team when they come on. The first day I wear a suit to work because the average Wall Street investor guy or hedge fund manager is, you know, they manage a couple of million dollars in assets. But we managed just today alone, we managed 16 billion in assets. That's a lot of money. That's a lot of kid's education, somebody's retirement, you know, somebody's rainy day fund. It's just it's all tied up in real estate, which is right now the best place in the world to have your money tied up. And so I try to take that very seriously because that's somebody's future that's in my hands. And I try to inspire those folks that are working directly with me to take more of an asset management approach to business and not just the property management and not just tenants and toilets and like, like what? Mike was talking about, like, how do we bring those two sides together? So we're all winning the triple win and it doesn't just go for RV, Pete. It goes for residents, tenants, our residents, owners, and us. So but again, I'm just I'm really hitting that purpose thing right now because this the engagement that we're seeing in the workplace right now is, it is tough. I'm just in our industry, but every industry I just read this article this morning about why have you heard this quietly quitting. If you haven't taken a look at that look it up I think it's New York Times I read it it's very interesting what's going on.

Andrew Smallwood
Yeah, Andy, I was seeing that quiet quitting thing over the weekend as well. And for those not familiar, I think if I remember it, it's not when people are like the great resignation and like they terminate and formally quit and leave, it's at what point do people stop bringing their voluntary best energy and efforts to work? At what point do they start asking themselves, What's the least I can do to get by here? Versus What's the most I can do to contribute to this organization's purpose and mission? The difference we're trying to make for customers, right? The change we're trying to make happen and man paying attention to that versus the obvious signal of somebody quitting or leaving probably sparks different conversations about how we build the right environment and experience at work and working with customers and investors in a way that, again, is retaining everybody. So cool that you brought that up. Let's do this. I want to ask maybe one or two more questions and we'll have time if there are some questions in the Q&A that you guys would like to ask of the panel. Listen, there's a lot of wisdom up here. There's a lot of wisdom out there. We'd love to connect great questions with great answers up here. So I'll ask one or two more, but we'll have some time. If you guys want to put some questions in the chat, I'll keep an eye on that. Okay, Mike, I'm going to come back to you first. This time, and then we'll go. We'll go, Andy and Laura. But the question is really this like, what are some of the creative, innovative programs, business models, trends, and changes that you're seeing in property management or that you could see happening in property management? We won't hold you to this. If there's something you want to throw out there that's interesting or bold, but it's kind of experimental, whether it's from pure or something you're seeing else out there that's interesting to you. We'd love to hear just what's got your attention as you're looking forward and some of the interesting, innovative, creative things you're seeing out there.

Mike Catalano
Yeah, it's a great question. I mean, as we mentioned earlier, you know, I mentioned earlier that this industry has shifted and changed so much in the last five years. So you have so many different people and companies coming into this in different, different ways and shapes and forms. And I think one of the biggest pieces that we're seeing, you know, there's a big shift in the technology aspect of this, right? I mean, it's and this is something that, you know, prior to peer, I've always thought about. And, you know, this really runs true into the experience of the people that are actually doing the day-to-day at pure or any other property management company is that most companies are using like 6 to 10 different technology solutions to manage their business. And the really interesting part is that none of them connect with each other in a real true API connection way. Right. And makes it very difficult for that aspect. Now you're starting to see that trend and I feel like this is the biggest trend that we're going to see a shift in this industry moving forward is that the connection of technology to make our lives easier, where we don't have to jump from one system to the next to the next, the next. And the same thing for our residents, the same thing for our clients as well, and investors as they have an opportunity to go into one system, see one system and all connect together. Right. And that's, I think, the biggest trend that we're going to see moving forward in the hard part is that people see dollar signs in this industry quickly. Right. Because they know it's a $30 Billion fee-income industry. Right. So you're going to have a lot of different people coming in, a lot of different technology pieces. And that's why I think it's important to there's a lot of companies that we work with directors that are really kind of from the industry. Right. And really understand what our day-to-day challenges are as we manage a property and manage a resident experience and manage an investor experience. So I think that's one aspect that I think we're going to see a change that they're looking at this closely, they understand what we're trying to do and how we can make a better workplace, but we're not going in from system to system to system. I think that's one aspect. The other aspect, and I think, you know, Roofstock does as well, but I think you really it's an important aspect for the investor because we don't talk to our investors like investors. We talk to them like a single owner, even if they have I mean, there's institutional, which is a little different. But I would say the mom-pop we still talk to them like a mom-pop. I think an important aspect and a big trend that we're doing and we're seeing is that like how do you talk to the investor about their property and tell them whether it's performing or not? Is it performing in a positive way? Is it performing they give? Should they double down? Should they buy more property? Should they sell that want to move to a different market? And these are things that, you know, in the past and even my companies prior to Pure in California, we didn't do that aspect. We don't really manage it properly, took care of the maintenance, sent them the money, and hope that nobody complained. Right. And now we're getting to the point where this is a product and an experience for everyone who comes on board. So we want to get to the point where how is your investment actually performing. And you can do that through the proper you know, as you put it through our platform, you could do it through investment tools. You can do it by showing the proper reports. I think Laura kind of mentioned it and them to have that at their fingertips to where they can go, kind of get to the point where we're actually giving them valid information to understand what their investment is. So I think I think that kind of answers the question in a way that I mean, there's obviously a whole bunch of things that we're doing to try and make everything experience better, but as far as the resident and the investor go, I think that's one aspect. The last piece I wanted to kind of touch upon, and that was something that Andy kind of talked about, is we want to make the experience pure or in the property management industry, not a job, but a career. Right. And that's a big piece that has not happened in this industry. It's I mean, I love talking to all the people that have either come on board and we talk to in the industry, everyone's story. How they got into property management is totally different, but as a huge percentage of them were accidentally into this industry, it's not like they, you know, went to high school, went to college, and say, I want to be a property manager, I want to run a property management company. They basically fell into it right? So I think it's an interesting piece. What we're looking at is like how do you make sure you make a career out of this and actually make as I said earlier, make property management cool because it actually is a fantastic business to be in. You get to work with so many different people. And you know, one thing about this industry is has some of the nicest people in it that you can ever meet. They're all willing to share, they're all willing to work together, and they all kind of have the same vision overall. So I think making the experience of the person that's working at the company an experience that they want to stay in and make a career out of, and that's offering fantastic benefits, you know, for when came out saying, you know, all these things that may be smaller companies we never looked at before but really should probably find a way to offer. Right. So we can really make them stay longer, which Andy said earlier, makes a better experience for everyone. When you have people in the seat for a longer period of time and more familiarity with the property, more familiarity with the people. So those are, you know, kind of a few things that I see that we can kind of shift this a little bit. And there are kind of new trends that I think we can work on and be better as a whole in the industry.

Andrew Smallwood
Hmm. Mike, thanks for kicking it off there. Andy will come to you next. And again, the question is, what are some of the creative, innovative practices programs, models, kind of shifts you're seeing in how people are approaching property management or that have your attention going forward, whether you're seeing it at IHG or outside of what's kind of interesting or really seems leading edge to you.

Andrew Propst
Yeah, I like all the stuff that Mike said was very interesting. Good job, Mike. No, I mean, just. Just like, honestly, maybe we can do this in the chat. How about a question about that? Can I ask questions about that? To the group. Okay. Group B, engage here. Come back. Come back. How many people fill out a property budget for each single-family rental that they manage waiting for the chat to blow up? If you don't, don't say don't just if you do, do it. I'm talking about each. How interesting would that be? It's not blowing up. The chat is not blowing up. And you just any way, I, I went to Michael's point. How much should that be? If we had a system like this I was just talking to a turnkey guy about this yesterday specifically if we knew all the points where properties were in trouble. Right. We're not communicating correctly. Maintenance is too high that the tenant of the properties is renting. You guys know you know all the reasons I always, always equate them all to accounting and communication. But those things, we know what those things are when properties are in trouble. Right. How interesting would it be if there is some system in which we had said all these things and we had a green, a red, and a yellow OC yellow? This property is in danger of being lost because we're not hitting the budget for whatever reason or we're not communicating in a timely manner or what have you, I think something like that would be incredible, but it all starts with having proper property budget for each property, which seems like a lot of work. But if you're, if you're an institutional investor or you invest in multi-family, every property has a budget everyone and you at the end of the month the end of the quarter you check your actual it's your budget some of this software that we're on as property managers on the single-family size don't even have a budget feature or they're horrible. So we've got to get that fixed. I think the other thing I brought up the last time was a similar question. Andrew what gets me so excited about this business is other than marriage, there's only one other event in life where you spend more money and it's moving. Marriage is one moving a second. Why don't we have some type of marketplace similar to like an RV, but on steroids where somebody moves into a market and our software can recommend a dentist, a doctor, a half-off pass to the waterslide park, all that stuff? They, they've already put their trust in us. We could recommend that. And that could be an amazing ancillary revenue opportunity for us. I don't know how to build it, but I really want it. I think I think it would just be I think it would be awesome. We have something long before the technology was in this business. We called it the tenant moving guy to the team. Meg And I did the same thing. We went to local vendors. We put a little folder together with all these calls to action. Took a long time. We made a bunch of money on advertising and it worked great. It was this way too much to manage on an annual basis. So something similar to like a pinata, an RV, but a system that maybe could be delivered nationally I think would be an amazing benefit to the property management business. Hmm.

Mike Catalano
That you passing an idea, Andy?

Andrew Propst
Yeah, I think I am, but I don't want to do it. I just think I think the need is there if you know what I'm saying. I'm almost as bad as setting up a property budget for each property.

Andrew Smallwood
Those are great. And thanks for that, Laura. I want to bring it to you next. What are some of the creative, innovative, interesting things that have your attention or that you guys are having a conversation about whether it's internally or things that you're seeing externally, some interesting things you're seeing out there that you're considering?

Laura Orr
Yeah, we're having conversations at the moment about how best to serve our mom and dad investors. It's a really big point of conversation with us right now. And so one of the things that I actually came from a financial planning background and like Mike said, land and property management or property investment accidentally and here I am. But one thing we used to do for our clients with a financial fact, found that the client would fill out before they came in for a meeting that would take the poll on where they stood in relation to their risk appetite basically for various different things. So one thing that we are just about to trial is essentially a property fact. Find out which will go to owners so that they can take a pulse on how they're feeling about things. And therefore, for the next 12 months, watch their strategies for renewal, the whole collection. Do we want to evict someone straight away or do we want to try to retain them for as long as we can? How strange is someone financially needing the income from this property? Do they want to do push renewal rental? They want us to try to retain it at any cost. So we're just about to trial. I'm pretty excited to see how it works. Maybe it'll be a complete flop and artists won't want to fill it out and things will change so much that it won't work. And that's sort of one thing that we're pretty excited about, about trying on the owner side of things. And then for my dream, stay something that I also like, which is the pitch. If someone can go build this for me, then please let me know how it goes. But just maintenance being such a pain point, I would really love a DoorDash equivalent for maintenance service so that the resident goes and they put in that they've put in their work order. You can see where your vendor is, and how far away they are. Once they finish the job, you can rate your service afterward. That would be a game changer for the property manager, especially in a single family, because it's such a pain point at the moment. So if someone can build that for me along with local recommendations for up the ante, I think we'd all be running a great property management business.

Andrew Smallwood
It's interesting you bring that one up like something we've talked about in the past and just heard a lot of conversation about is, you know, looking at consumer experiences outside of the home and how that compares to consumer experience inside the home. Right. When you look at Amazon which was referenced today when you look at the Ubers, the DoorDash, etc., self-service has been talked about a couple of times. And hey, how do we create this platform where it's immediately obvious, like red, yellow, green, right? What's going on and how are going how can we start to not just organize technology, but also our networks and our expertise and everything else to drive a lot of convenience for folks and transparency where they can move through a process easily? It's cool to hear that thread through some of the ideas and how that might materialize in rental management. So very cool. Well, hey, here's what we're going to do, I think in just a moment. We're going to bring a date up to the stage to take people through an activity to really deep into some of their takeaways and learnings that note a lot of cool things that were shared a lot. I'm sure that people are like, Oh, I'd love to go deeper on that. Like, tell me more specifically about like, can we spend five or 10 minutes on a property budget? You know, we're talking about what that might look like, right? And really make that practical or actionable. Hey, can we talk about some of these perks? You know, Mike alluded to for one K's in different things. So what are the employee perks that we think are really going to drive retention and help, you know, this industry helps people turn jobs into careers, right? A number of different things people might be thinking about or have questions about. But with the time that we have and the panel that we have here left, I just want to give you guys a final word, about something we didn't cover today. But if you could express a little bit about your vision of the future for property management, how are you feeling about it? What else do you think is important that people should be paying attention to or be thinking about, you know, in three, five, ten years ahead as you look at this industry and let's do this? Let's go, Andy. First, we'll go, Mike and then Laura, you can bring us home.

Andrew Propst
Okay? Can you sorry. Can you repeat that question? Our vision for Mike is yes, sorry.

Andrew Smallwood
I'll summarize it in a sentence or two here. So as you look at the next three, five, ten years, Andy, you know what else that we haven't talked about today do you think is important for property managers to be paying attention to, aware of, thinking about as they look to the future of this industry? How are you feeling about it?

Andrew Propst
Yeah, well, I definitely feel pretty bullish about the business in general being from the highest HPA market. I'm in Boise, Idaho, right outside of Boise. We had the highest home price improvement throughout the whole country. And so we're starting to see, I think right as of last month, we had 66% of our residential for sale listings take price reduction. I don't know if you're seeing that in your market. That's a lot. You know, two-thirds took a price reduction. And so we're starting to get those phone calls again, which we got back in 2008 through 2012. Hey, we can't sell our property. How much do you think we can rent it for? And I would say anybody that got a mortgage in the last five years should never sell their property. It's free money, right? 3% interest. 2% interest. I have this conversation with anybody, anytime, anywhere. One day you're going to be printing this property and right now you're going to sell this house at a 30% interest and maybe buy another one at a 6%. Doesn't make a lot of financial sense. Hold the freaking property. Hand it over to me. Hand it over to Mike, whoever. I don't care. Don't sell the property. There's a lot of money there. Just I talked about this a little earlier. The asset management approach to owning, to managing investment property. I think we've got to I think we've got to do more like I'd like to talk about on the mastery side to teach our property managers the full aspect of residential property management and asset and asset management. And if we can do that, I think we'll keep them longer. I think that the more excited about the business and ultimately we'll keep we are our owners longer because really they really a lot of those mom-and-pop owners make decisions based on emotions. They get another build. They have to fix their AC heating unit and they're just like, look, I'm done. But they really haven't looked at the numbers. Okay, let's look at what's your what you're writing off. Let's look at your depreciation, all these different things that they don't really take and take into consideration other than they had a bad experience last month. They just want to be done with the property. So just giving them the tools to paint that full picture I think is going to be so important for folks to retain it. And obviously, we've got to do a better job teaching our folks. I think like somebody saying, hey, how can we set up a property budget? How easy is that to do? I'd happily answer those questions and you know, we do it all the time on larger projects. Now we don't do it on the single-family, on the single-family stuff, but I think we should. So anyway, that's a lot of that.

Andrew Smallwood
And it's great. Mike will come to you next.

Mike Catalano
Yeah. And I'm going to continue to go to the fact that this industry is changing so much, so fast. You know, obviously, the private equity world and the venture capital world are on notice for this industry because it's so big and I see so much money. But I think one of the biggest pieces here is that the do-it-yourself landlord still is managing, what, 60, 65% of the properties that are out there right now. So I think there has to be a massive educational piece to the do-it-yourself landlords that hey, look, the regulations are coming, you know, and you know, I'm initially, you know, I operated in California, I'm in Silicon Valley now, and it's one of the highest regulated resident areas in the country. We also operate in Oregon and Washington, and they are as well. And, you know, I think I saw something in the news recently that, you know, Florida is having some fights about rent control and whether that's going to go through or not. But it's coming. I mean, it's going to happen at some point. There's going to be real regulation all throughout the country. So we really have to educate the do-it-yourself landlord so we can help provide a better experience for the residents and make sure that we're following the laws appropriately, making sure that we are, you know, in compliance for whatever state and compliances there are local. So I would say that piece is important. And then secondly, let's be prepared for the two largest generations of renters coming right and or residents if you want to call them. But at some point, you call them renters as well. You know that they're coming and there's going to be a ton of people looking to rent a property for multiple reasons. One is kind of mentioned before about millennials, kind of like to be on the move and be flexible and there's a lot of working from home now due to the COVID, you know, fiasco or whatever you want to call it. But, you know, those generations are looking to rent and we have to be prepared to offer a better experience for them coming in, and that will be better for everyone. And if I look forward to the future, like what I would, I would love to see as we if we really can look at the technology aspect of it, you know, how can we make it better by, you know, being in one system, which we talked about earlier, but, you know, taking that another step is, you know, I really feel at some point that every single resident that's a rental should be a smart home. You literally can walk in and your Internet is set up, your TV has set up, and your utilities are set up. Everything is done. You literally just walk in and you're in your home, right? So I think that's something that, you know, who knows if Google is listening, which and we know they like to listen. So, you know, that's something they can do to every resident residence in the country. You know, get a Google home and all of that stuff is provided for you to a resident the moment they move in. So really at the end of the day, and I said it a hundred times is its product and experience. Like how we make that product and experience better for everyone involved in the industry. So that's the big piece that I see and where are we headed in the future? And you know, I think no matter what size your company is, whether you're huge or small, it matters the smaller property management companies are not, in my opinion, are not going away. Their 100% are needed in this space. And I think you do have to move with the times a little bit to make sure that you're working with this, to compete with some of these other larger companies that are coming, who are going to offer these larger experiences. But one thing they can potentially do is offer, you know, the personal touch, the one-on-one touch. So I certainly think it's still important and I certainly think it's important to kind of move with the times as we continue in this industry.

Andrew Smallwood
Awesome. Laura, as you look at the years ahead, is anything we haven't discussed yet or what you think's most important or salient points of just to be paying attention, being aware of, be thinking about?

Laura Orr
Yeah, I think that most of the points we hit here by Andy and Mike, but the only thing in addition that I'd add is that you have to remember that it or not, has gone through lots of different life cycles with that property and maybe one property or maybe multiple properties, or being able to be that resource through their entire lifecycle, helping them to do the acquisition through the management, helping them with a decision about the sale. What does the financial piece look like? And he was talking about earlier I think is extremely important and thinking about not just being the property manager, but being there for that whole property investment experience is going to be the way of the future and those that can actually help expand their services outside of just being a PM for a home to help well actually help the investment portfolio of their investors, which is to make a big difference and then allocate services. Do you offer just leasing for someone? Do you offer just a renewal or just an eviction process? Can you help with those sorts of things? And does that help you to retain clients? I think that's an interesting question to answer, and I think it'll become more prominent in the future. So those are the main things that we're sort of looking at right now.

Andrew Smallwood
That's interesting. Yeah, breaking up the service, different service points, and serving people on a different basis could be interesting. Okay, I want to say this with the time that we have. Thank you, all three of you for being generous with your time for showing up here today. We know you're busy executives and important companies in this industry and that you guys would be here and share back, you know, so generously start some great conversations. 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 Carol 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 played 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 the social media channels, Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever you're hanging out, you can also send us an email, at triplewin@secondnature.com we just want to give more we're 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 blog and find our newsletters find more resources all at RBP.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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