How EOS Can Fuel Growing Property Management Companies

Over the last eight years, we’ve helped more than 500 property management companies grow their business by helping them develop a sound and effective marketing strategy.

We’ve also been busy growing Fourandhalf.

Once we hit around $2 million in revenue, the systems we had in place ceased to meet the demands of our clients and our business. Our initial instinct was to throw people at problems. Things began to spiral, and we realized we needed to do something that would protect what we had worked so hard to grow and to help us scale for the future.

We got lucky and found EOS, which stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System. This was popularized by a book written by Gino Wickman called Traction. After implementing EOS, we have a quality control and a scalability we only dreamt of a year ago.

Today’s guest on The Property Management Show podcast is an EOS implementer. He’s also a successful property manager and is the CEO of Gulf Coast Property Management.

Andy Moore is here to help us define EOS and talk about what it solves.

Hitting the Ceiling – Solving Growing Pains with EOS

Growing companies will eventually hit a wall (or a ceiling, as EOS calls it). The systems you create in the beginning don’t necessary translate as your business scales. When you hit a wall, you tend to do what Fourandhalf did. You throw people or you throw money at the problem, and you expect immediate solutions. That’s easy for companies to do. The EOS system can provide clarity and a roadmap for implementation. Instead of looking for a quick fix, you get an idea of where you are and where you’re going. And, your entire team is on the same page.

Whether you hire an implementer like Andy or you decide to self-implement, the EOS can help you organize and systemize your company for the future. Andy works with companies to deploy this system and provide support as changes are made. He wants the companies he works with to become self-sufficient as soon as possible. It’s not meant to be a lifetime commitment.

Some companies self-implement if they have the right structure and the ideal personalities in place. Others have a lot of help. It can work either way, and if you want to fulfill the vision of your company with the help of EOS, have someone take a look at your organization and help you establish whether you’re capable of taking this on.

This is a necessity for property management companies in particular.

Why?

Because not all property management businesses realize that they’re a business. This is a huge mind shift for a lot of property management company owners.

Work Chart Definitions: Visionaries and Integrators

Andy and Alex are both filling the visionary role in their respective organizations. That’s not as lofty as it sounds, according to Andy, It’s more an admission that he doesn’t follow through with everything. He likes ideas. He likes coming up with new ideas, but then he gets bored with the implementation process, and he starts looking for newer ideas.

Does that sound like you?

Companies need a ying and a yang. They need one strong leader to bring the ideas, and they need one strong leader to be a perfect integrator of those ideas. Your integrator is process-driven and thinks in black and white terms. If you are the person bringing in new ideas, you also need someone who can take those ideas and put them into place while keeping all the other trains running.

That’s the main difference between a visionary and an integrator. 

Identifying the integrator should be easy. In Andy’s case, he began working with Jodi about 10 years ago and because they were a small business, she got to sit in a lot of seats. She understands the business from the ground up, and she has an attention to detail that would drive a visionary like Andy insane. She loves data and she loves processes. A person who values the workflow and the detail of every system would make a perfect integrator.

Building and Managing for Visionaries and Integrators

Your property management business has two distinct cycles. There’s building and managing.

  • Building looks like market research, idea validation, team building, beta sales, developing a sales process, and launching some marketing.
  • Managing looks like operations. There’s the optimization of product delivery, HR strategy, finance, and a lot of product management. Visionaries may not embrace systems the way integrators do, but they are responsible for the direction of the organization.

Decide which one you are and which one your property management company needs.

The visionary has big ideas and wants to drive the culture and direction of the company. Visionaries are typically the owners. Your integrator helps you support that culture and direction.

Consider reading Rocket Fuel because it’s part of this process. The story is a fable about an integrator and a visionary. There, you can see the dynamic between the two. You can see the distinct differences.

Think about your leadership meetings. Are they on track or can they improve? Is there a lot of arguing and talking without anything actually getting done? Or, does each meeting have a clear and disciplined path with both big ideas and action items? EOS keeps visionaries disciplined.

If you identify as a visionary, you cannot just walk into a leadership meeting and say hey we have a new product. We’re going to sell fur coats and everyone has to focus on fur coats. The team would then go crazy and everyone’s working on fur coats and then the next day, the visionary comes in and says forget fur coats, we’re only selling jeans.

This creates chaos and frustration, not growth.

Visionaries tend to do this to their teams. The EOS is a roadmap. There are scorecards and accountability. There’s a clarity in meetings and a direct division of roles.

Where Does Sales and Marketing Fit In?

There might be some push and pull about who should be responsible for sales and marketing: the visionary or the integrator.

For Andy, the sales and marketing is with him. If the responsibilities stay with the integrator, it might create some discord simply because there’s not an immediate return on a marketing investment. An integrator is going to need to measure results and see some tangible win before wanting to invest in a marketing goal or a sales plan.

That’s what they should do.

But, sales and marketing requires vision. It requires creativity and experimentation, which doesn’t always fall into the expert wheelhouse of integrators.

Decide who will be responsible for this function, and hold that person accountable. If it looks like things aren’t working with the visionary or the integrator in charge of sales and marketing, make an adjustment.

One of the principles of the E Myth, a book by Michael Gerber, is that you have to assign every function in your organization to a person. This is true even if you’re a one-person company. If you are your sole employee, you’ll need to be the janitor and the accountant. You’ll need to put your name in every box on the accountability chart. As your company grows, you’ll start replacing your name with other names.

Typically, you’ll hire for what you’re not good at. Visionaries won’t hire another visionary. You want to hire what you need, and you build your empire to the size you want it to be. You hire better people than you to fulfill those roles in your organization.

EOS and Property Management: Why it Works

At the PM Grow Summit in April, Andy will talk about EOS and why it works especially well for property management companies. He’ll also lead an expert panel on the subject, and give you the opportunity to decide if this is something that sounds good for your organization. He’ll even give you some shortcuts that can help you prevent things from falling apart.

Property management is aggressively complex. The competitive pressures are intense, and probably driving much of the industry’s willingness to embrace EOS. Gulf Coast Property Management and the top-tier property management firms like it are providing a certain level of service. Every owner and investor out there is expecting that same high level of service no matter where they are.

We’re setting the bar higher in property management, and companies are responding. There are still 70 percent of rental properties being self-managed. That’s a ridiculous statistic, and we are slowly changing it.

In addition to competitive forces driving property managers towards solutions like EOS, there’s also a generational shift. Sons and daughters are taking over businesses from their mothers and fathers. They want to innovate and do new things. 

As this industry becomes more professionalized, companies realize that they want to work with the best in breed, whether it’s an accounting professional or a business development manager. They want the top leasing agents and extremely good maintenance. Customer service experts are managing tenants and owners better than property managers. You cannot be everything to everyone. Use EOS to develop your team and build your business. Then, you’ll grow.

Property managers weren’t doing any of this 10 years ago. But, you’re doing it now, and you’re only going to get better.

Increased Opportunity: Growing the Value of Your Business

Another benefit to EOS is that it increases the valuation of your company. Your first 150 properties might be easy to earn and manage. Soon, you’ll want to grow and you’ll not only want to grow by number of doors, but by different types of revenue. Andy’s company isn’t only doing property management. They’re caring for vacation rentals and handling maintenance and sales. They’re becoming more valuable to their customers.

This increases your company’s value. You can exit the industry in five years. Or, you can stay in it and keep growing with continuous innovation.

Your choice.

Come to the PM Grow Summit where the best property managers learn and network. You’ll meet Andy there and ask him any questions you want. In the meantime, find him on gulfcoast.com or sixkeycoaching.com.

At Fourandhalf, we’re here to help our customers get scalable. We want to help you see the value in marketing and to find something that works for you, whether it’s EOS or another program.

Contact us at Fourandhalf if you have any questions or thoughts about today’s podcast.

Alex Osenenko

About Alex Osenenko

Alex’s professional mission in life is to help small businesses grow and thrive. Alex is the President and CEO of Fourandhalf.com and a Co-Founder of the PM Grow, Inc. His business philosophy is simple: Happy Customers are created by Happy Employees, which results in Happy Shareholders. Alex's deep commitment to entrepreneurship and improving the lives of small business owners everywhere empower him to host “The Property Management Show” bi-weekly Podcast and speak internationally on the subjects of Growth, Marketing, Sales, and Entrepreneurship.

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Alex Osenenko
President and CEO

Alex’s professional mission in life is to help small businesses grow and thrive. He is the President and CEO of Fourandhalf.com and is serving his 5th year on the Board of Directors for CALNARPM.

After spending 9 years in the trenches with his property management clients, Alex draws on his experience to host “The Property Management Show” Podcast and co-authors a weekly Property Management Blog on Fourandhalf.com. Alex has extensive experience speaking for various NARPM events at the local, state, regional and national level.

Alex is a graduate of San Francisco State University with an Electronic Commerce Systems Degree. His business philosophy is simple: Happy Customers are created by Happy Employees, which results in Happy Shareholders. Alex serves on the Board of Directors of CALNARPM (California Chapter of National Association of Residential Property Managers) and hosts a Podcast “The Property Management Show“, available on iTunes.

 

John Bykowski
Chief Operating Officer

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a film degree, John proceeded to do everything but. During his career, John has specialized in operations and has developed processes for small companies in diverse industries, such as bleeding-edge marketing technology, social networking, trade shows and exhibitions, and cloud software. John and Alex had worked together previously, and when he needed someone to help take Fourandhalf to the next level and beyond, Alex brought in John as his first employee, and later, business partner.

In addition, now that he’s using his film school know-how to help property managers look their best in their blogs, his mom no longer feels his degree was a complete waste of time.

Danny Morris
Director of Account Management

Born in Australia and growing up in Israel, Danny has spent a lot of time traveling the world between those two places. After completing his military service in Israel, Danny began following his biggest passion, writing, which he discovered while backpacking South America and publishing his first book.

When it was time to unpack, he returned to Australia to complete his Journalism studies amongst the beaches of sunny Perth. Danny is a huge online fan and after working in a number of related jobs, he finally gets to combine his two favorite things, working with media and people.

Marina Osenenko
Product Manager

Marina draws upon her real estate, business operations and customer service expertise for Fourandhalf. Her favorite part of being with Fourandhalf is the opportunity she has to really get to know our clients, build professional customer relationships and truly be part of a team that assists in their success.

Her time away from work is happily spent watching her children grow up and attempting to keep up with them! Any spare moments beyond nurturing her children are filled with hiking, spending time with friends, exploring the Bay Area and squeezing in a non G-rated movie every now and then.

Marie Liamzon
Product and Marketing Manager

Before joining Fourandhalf, Marie worked for one of the largest banks in the world. She took on different roles, but couldn’t find what she was looking for. She pursued a variety of side projects until she finally decided it was time for a career change.

Marie is very passionate about helping people and learning new things. In her spare time, you might catch her exploring new places and taking far too many pictures.

Kyle McLean
Customer Success

Born in San Diego County, Kyle McLean has since migrated to the Oakland woods. A fan of tall trees and tall tales, he holds a bachelor’s degree from the creative writing program at the University of California, Riverside and is a licensed California Certified Shorthand Reporter.

After a few years as a freelance court reporter, Kyle has joined Fourandhalf for an opportunity in sales and digital marketing. In addition to reading and writing, his hobbies and interests include gardening, hiking, soccer, coffee brewing, and craft beers.

Karen Wyle
Account Management

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Karen moved eight times in seventeen years all over the East Coast and to the Midwest before settling here in Northern California six years ago. She is an alumna of Brandeis University with a BA in American Studies and earned a MBA in Marketing Management from Indiana University in Bloomington. Karen’s business career has been well-rounded, with experience including advertising, direct marketing, corporate retail, product management, new product development, and new customer generation. Beyond an office setting, she has been thrilled to volunteer her time giving back to the community with KPMG’s Family for Literacy, at her daughter’s school, and as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. Karen enjoys music, good food, traveling to new places, completing jigsaw puzzles, meeting people and making connections.

Karen became a part of Fourandhalf’s Account Management team in 2016, relaunching her marketing management career after a pause to raise her family. She is excited to rejoin the business world and to work with such a strong marketing management team.

Paige DeRuyter
Account Management

Paige graduated from Chico State University with a degree in Journalism. Her favorite part of working at Fourandhalf is helping clients create and produce educational blog content to grow their business. She is an avid sushi enthusiast who enjoys riding her bike and watching college football and in her free time.

Nissim Boozaglo
Web Hosting Support

After working as a Radioshack store manager, Nissim decided to change his career path and pursue his passion for music production by getting his B.A.S. from Expression College for the Digital Arts. Nissim has a beautiful 8-year-old girl and loves cooking delicious homemade food and going camping with her! At Fourandhalf, Nissim is responsible for the implementation of the clients’ Landing Pages and Google Adwords campaigns.

Theresa Barnes
Campaign Director

Theresa Barnes was born and raised in the Bay Area and graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Communications Studies at San Francisco State University. She worked in aviation at a private FBO for 3 years, and other industries, before joining the Fourandhalf team. She finds a balance between being a young mother, work, and living a healthy lifestyle outside of work by staying as active as possible. She is dedicated to customer satisfaction and having a great work ethic.

Brittany Stephens
Campaign Director

Brittany recently moved to the Bay area after graduating from California State University Chico with a degree in Business Marketing. She is known for her excellent communication, customer service skills, and shameless nerdyness. Her passions include: music, tabasco, Lord of the Rings, and the Golden State Warriors.

Logan Jones
Business Development

After graduating from CSU Chico with a Degree in Business Marketing, Logan moved back to the East Bay and pursued a career in sales. With an attention to detail and a relentless drive, he strives to improve himself and his passions each day. When not at work Logan enjoys playing guitar and writing songs, and occasionally performing around the Bay Area. He is an avid sports fan keeping up with everything SF Giants, 49ers, Cal Bears, and Golden State Warriors.

Hope Lumbley
Account Management

Hope recently moved to the Bay Area after graduating from Chico State University with a degree in Journalism. She is coffee crazed, dog obsessed and hopes to visit all National Parks. One of the greatest times in her life was when she lived abroad in Costa Rica and hopes to travel more of Central America in the future. She feels blessed to work for a company who supports her love for travel and the need to learn more about what the world has to offer.

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