How to Hire the Best Team to Grow Your Property Management Business | Fourandhalf - Internet Marketing for Property Management Companies

How to Hire the Best Team to Grow Your Property Management Business

Hiring someone to help you with your property management business isn’t as simple as it sounds.

If you’re a business owner and you know you need to hire someone because you cannot continue to wear 16 different hats while trying to run and grow your business, the biggest challenges are immediate:

You don’t have the time to hire someone, and you may not be able to afford to hire someone.

But the need is there. How do you get out of that spiral?

Kathleen Richards knows how to help. She has joined the podcast before, and she’s full of exceptional advice and experience. She ran a property management company for a long time, and she’s spent the last few years building a coaching business for property managers who feel stuck. She’s discussing how to balance your team without putting your business or your budget at risk.

Process Before People: Preparing to Accept Help

If you’re wondering who to hire, where to hire, and how to pay them, you’re not alone. It’s normal for entrepreneurs to start out doing everything themselves and then realize they need help.

Before bringing those helpers on board, look at your processes. You need to have systems in place. Because if your systems aren’t working, perhaps you just need better systems, and not additional people.

Hiring the right person is crucial, so you need to know your processes and your strengths and weaknesses. Where are you the most pressed for time? You may need a business development manager (BDM) to take over sales or an assistant to help with administrative tasks. Maybe you are overwhelmed by maintenance tasks and you really need someone to handle that part of your business. It may seem like you have sixteen jobs to fill at once, and in the moment it may be tempting to abbreviate the hiring process for quick relief. But, you need to be intentional about which part of the work you’re going to hand off.

Think about what you’re good at. If you are a stellar sales person, don’t hire a BDM. Instead, get rid of the things you struggle to handle. If it’s maintenance, hire an assistant or someone to deal with maintenance calls, work orders, scheduling, tenant contacts and billing. Think about where you need help.

Instead of screaming fire in a panic, identify which room has the biggest blaze, and hire someone to put that fire out.  

Paying for People: How to Hire Affordably

When you’re still growing your property management business, you might worry that you can’t afford to hire anyone. There are a number of ways to address this challenge.

Some people hire interns or students. This might work, but remember you get what you pay for. So, it might be better for you to pay a skilled person who can really make a difference in your workload. You need someone who can step in and take things off your plate on Day One. If you are busy, you probably don’t have time to train. An entry level person or an intern will need a lot of attention and supervision. Think about this before you choose this option.

Hiring a virtual assistant is another option. Kathleen hired a virtual assistant to take over her leasing process. You can also try a virtual assistant to manage maintenance scheduling and follow up. This is a huge cost savings. You don’t have to pay taxes because you’re not hiring an employee. So much of what you do in your business is in the cloud. You don’t always need a physical person in your office.

Hiring part time workers can also benefit you and save you money. If you do want someone physically present in your office or conducting showings, start with a part time person. You can advertise the job as part time to full time. Don’t hire someone who can’t grow into the position.

Let the experts help you, too. NARPM has a lot of quality vendors who can help you with the things that take up a lot of your time but may not be in your area of expertise. For example, you can find someone to help with your marketing, your website, and lockboxes so you don’t have to show the properties yourself. Put your NARPM membership to work for you, and utilize the vendors who can support you.

Test Your Budget: Put Money Aside

Kathleen suggests putting aside the salary you think you’d have to pay an employee.

If you’re not sure you can afford someone, spend a few months pretending to pay that future employee. Set aside the amount you’d be paying if you hired someone. If you truly can’t afford it, you’ll know after a couple of months. But, if you can easily put the money aside for six months and you have built up a bit of savings, you do have the money to hire someone.

For business owners who plan ahead, this might seem silly.

If you plan ahead and you know what each new customer is worth to your company and what you have to spend to acquire that customer, you know that the cost of bringing on new staff members is part of the growth process. But, not all property management company owners have business degrees. Maybe you started off managing a handful of properties for friends and family members and your business started growing before you could plan for it.

It’s not too late to start planning.

Payroll can be 50 percent of your revenue when you’re running a property management company. This is a service business, and you need to be prepared for growth and for what you’ll need to do to manage that growth. There will be payroll taxes and benefits and other salary considerations. Decide what you need and what you don’t need. Maybe you don’t even need a physical office.

Look around at the people you already know. Realtors can do showings and manage move-in and move-out processes for you at an hourly rate. You don’t need a full time employee for these tasks. There must be someone smart and capable you know who can be counted on to take some of the load off your shoulders as a business owner.

Try to think outside the box for ways you can get the support you need.

Hiring Right: Use a DISC Assessment

You’re desperate to get someone hired. But, it’s better to fire fast and hire slow.

Kathleen believes in hiring with a DISC model. DISC is a behavioral assessment tool that’s based on:

D: Dominance

I: Inducement

S: Submission

C: Compliance

Personality types are important when you’re hiring. Breaking down a potential employee’s personality type into these four areas can help you hire the right person. If you’re looking for a bookkeeper, you want someone really strong in the C- Compliance area. That’s someone who will follow the rules, pay attention to detail, and balance the books. People with strong I and D traits will be great sales people. Property managers will have strong S and C traits. They are calm, steady, and good with administrative tasks. They’re organized.

You need a well-rounded team. Most people, when hiring others, hire people just like themselves. That’s a critical mistake. Instead, you want to balance out your team. Know your own skill sets and then build the team around what you already have. DISC will help you determine this and hire the right people.

It’s easy to administer. You can find free versions of the assessment online, and it’s as easy as emailing it out to your candidates. If they’re interested in the position, they’ll be willing to take the assessment and return it to you. From there, you can talk about job descriptions and duties and day to day work.

What do YOU Think about Virtual Assistants?

Kathleen mentioned virtual assistants as a good way to hire some help while balancing your budget.

But, Alex has found that to effectively work with a virtual assistant, someone needs to coach them, give them feedback, and provide supervision. It doesn’t necessarily require micromanagement, but it’s a person who needs to be managed like any team member you were bringing on staff. Making a virtual assistant your first hire might not work for everyone.

Kathleen finds huge savings with the virtual assistant model. It provides access to highly educated people who don’t call in sick and are happy to have the work. She loves the support they provide and while she enjoys providing work to local people in her community, hiring four people for the price of one is a savings that many small businesses cannot pass up.

What do you think? Do you have experience using virtual assistants? Would you agree with the Property Management Coach that they make good hires? Alex wants to know, so email him at alex@fourandhalf.com.

Planning – Visualize Your Outcome

Kathleen has provided a lot of great information on how to strategize your hiring process. If you take away one major outcome from this podcast, let it be this: PLAN. Once you can see the outcome you want, you can build around that outcome. This is essential.

Looking at your numbers and thinking about your business plan can be uncomfortable and scary. It can even hurt. But, you have to face the numbers and the reality as a business owner. Sit down for a full day every quarter and do some planning. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just think about what the next 12 months should look like.

Talk to professionals like Kathleen who can help you look at your growth and your plans from a different perspective. This will help you eliminate some of your mistakes before you make them.

Just spend some time planning. Put a pen to paper. As a solo entrepreneur, it can be easy to forget to stop and look at what you’ve already accomplished. Do this. It is motivating to see how far you’ve come. Then figure out what to do next.

A Note from our Sponsor: PM Grow Summit 2018

PM Grow Summit is close to being sold out, and you don’t want to miss it. We’ve got diverse speakers from the property management industry who have come together to educate property managers like you. You’ll also get the opportunity to network, and often that’s just as important as the education. Take a look at pmgrowsummit.com and book your tickets online right now. It’s a deep dive into making your company better. A lot of smart people are speaking. Check it out. Make a decision, and soon. You don’t want to go another year without this essential information you need to grow your business.

Finally, Alex Wants to Know What You Think

What is the biggest problem you are facing in growing your business? We want to bring in an expert to help you solve that problem, and we are waiting to hear from you. Email your questions to alex@fourandhalf.com. A lot of topics have been covered in over 40 podcasts. We have learned a lot together. If you have a burning question or a topic we haven’t covered or you could benefit from a discussion of an interesting issue you’re having, or you just want to share your problem, let us know.

Or, just get in touch and let us know you’re listening. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks to Kathleen Richards, the Property Management Coach. You can find her at thepropertymanagementcoach.com.

Contact us at Fourandhalf with any other questions or thoughts, and we’ll talk to you soon.

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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Desired Growth (# of properties) :
Average Monthly Rent :
Annual Contract Value: $0
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How we got these numbers

• Annual Customer Value (8% of average rent multiplied by 12)
• Customer Lifetime Value (4 multiplied by ACV)
• Estimated Annual Profit (at 20% of ACV)
• Estimated Lifetime Profit (at 20% of LCV)
• Estimated Portfolio Value Upon Sale (1.2 times ACV)

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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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