Steve Welty on How to Dominate the (Property Management) World

Steve Welty Talks about How to Dominate the World (or your Property Management Market)

Are you still passionate about property management? If you’re not, you may be driving away business.

Today on The Property Management Show, we talk to Steve Welty, owner of the hugely successful Good Life Property Management. There’s a lot to discuss, from how to become competitive in a new market to the importance of reputation to – barbers.

Alex can’t go back to his barber because his barber has lost passion for what he does. The barber is more interested in thinking about other things he’d rather be doing than trimming hair and beards for men.  Alex isn’t willing to work with someone who is no longer passionate about the services he’s delivering – and your clients probably feel the same way.

Passion and the Three Pillars of Success

Passion is required in your business to achieve success. You have heard about the Three Pillars of Success before, and Alex recently did a NARPM webinar about these pillars:

  1. Know the purpose of your organization and what you’re driving towards.
  2. Know your numbers.
  3. Embrace a culture of experimentation and innovation.

Passion drives these things.

Steve understands passion, and the danger in losing it. He came to a place where he had to decide if he was going to go full steam ahead with his property management business or just find something else to do next. He decided he still had a lot to accomplish with property management, so he set a five-year goal: to get to 3,000 units with a 30 percent profit margin.

That goal has given his entire team purpose, and passion is a part of that.

Enthusiasm and passion fuel the purpose.

Pivot Towards Passion and Decide Where You’re Going

Entrepreneurs often take too little time zooming way out to decide what they’re doing and where they’re going. Even the most motivated business owners struggle to focus on their purpose in life and in their company. It’s an easy way to miss your purpose entirely. Don’t get caught up in the weeds of your business. If you do, your life will stand still and your batteries will die.

Think about who you surround yourself with. If you’re a micromanager and you don’t understand the basic principles of human psychology and delegation, you’re going to suffer and so is your business. Put together a brilliant executive team and feed them passion and motivation.

You can set the long term vision and show up. Your team can do the rest.

You have to build your business. You have to know where you’re taking your team. People want to be taken somewhere and if you don’t know where you’re going – fire yourself.

Steve recently had his team review him. He did a performance evaluation on himself, and he got a lot of great insights. One of his accountabilities is culture. His team said the culture had been struggling because of their workload and the fact that they hadn’t had a team outing for a while. If Steve had not asked for this review, he wouldn’t have known what he needed to do to re-ignite the passion in his team. Communication is critical.

Happiness starts with a competent leadership team you can rely on. Put people in place who are better than you in their specific disciplines.

Getting to the Goal: Operationalizing Sales and Marketing to Reach 3,000 Doors

The plan for reaching those 3,000 doors is this:

  1. SEO
  2. Reputation
  3. Conversion

After studying great companies that have grown, Steve noticed one thing they had in common: killer SEO. Google property management or any related keyword, and those companies pop up every time. So, Steve educated himself on what that meant and how to achieve results. He hired a writer to focus on blogging. The number of website visitors went up and so did their ranking on Google. He worked with Fourandhalf to build a good marketing foundation.

With SEO comes conversion. Once you have that visitor to your website, you want to be irresistible to that potential customer. You want to understand your perfect client so you know how to appeal to that client. Great content brings you website traffic, which brings you potential conversions. This is the next phase after SEO mastery, and between the two is reputation.

Steve built his company on Yelp. He understands reputation and its importance.

Yelp is a missed opportunity for a lot of property managers, and Steve has some good advice about what he’s learned when it comes to gathering reviews:

  • It’s important to have so many positive reviews and be so in the game that a few negative reviews don’t matter.
  • Customer reviews are only going to become more relevant.
  • Set up a culture of asking for reviews. Talk about asking for reviews in every team meeting.
  • Appoint a Yelp Czar on your team. That person is responsible for increasing the number of reviews your company receives.
  • Try to convert the negative reviews. They are usually tenants, and find out what you can do. Maybe it’s someone who didn’t get the apartment they applied for. Refunding their application fee can turn a one-star review into something better.
  • Don’t delegate one-star review responses.
  • The number of reviews you have is key – sometimes more important than your rating.

Keep an eye on reputation. Incentivize your team to get these reviews coming in, and your company will look good.

Expanding into New Markets: Landing Pages and Microsites

Good Life Property Management is working on expanding from San Diego into the Escondido market. Steve sees his company as educators, so they’re doing all the blogs and videos and setting up landlord seminars and doing Facebook ads.

What else can be done to dig into a market that’s 30 miles away?

AdWords won’t help with SEO in this case because no one is really searching for property management in Escondido. The best way to use the power of SEO and conversion is through a microsite. Steve can create a lot of content and include a lot of links from his main website, which already has a lot of authority with Google. 

If you find yourself in the same situation, consider using a microsite for a new location. A landing page might work equally as well, depending on your territory and the strength of your mother ship, or your main property management website. Check all the boxes. Put some content on there that’s more than 500 words per page. Make sure you have substance. Create a subdomain. These things will help.

Long form content creates magic, according to Steve, who has effectively done it. Writing something with 2,000 words or more allows you to do a deep dive and reaches important audiences. It also makes Google pay attention. Consider writing long articles or white papers. Short form content is always going to be necessary because you want to show consistency and quality. Long form content, however, can really help you gain significant SEO over time.

If you want to take over and play in a new area, build an engaging page on your website. From there, convert it into a microsite and then include those valuable links from your main site.

Linking higher authority sites to your new page is where it’s at.

When you’re expanding into a new, smaller market, your plan is this:

  1. Build your main site and make sure that website really ranks.
  2. Once it has authority, build pages and microsites that link. 

Giving What you want to Get 

Social media also has a lot of promise. Steve has effectively used Facebook Live videos to reach an audience and share his expertise. It’s like throwing up billboards in front of people who will find the content relevant. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t take much time. He recently did a Facebook Live video talking about the advantages of being a landlord. It can be intimidating if you haven’t done it before, but once you start to roll, it becomes comfortable and easy.

Steve believes in educating and sharing knowledge, and if you read Deepak Chopra’s book “Seven Spiritual Laws” you’ll get to understand the Law of Giving. Whatever you want – you have to give. So, if you want knowledge, you have to give knowledge to the world. Apply this to your business. If you want a great review on Yelp, leave great reviews for other services you use. If you want more education, educate people on the things you know.

Hear more from Steve on his Good Life Property Management podcast, and contact Alex at Fourandhalf if you have any questions or thoughts about what they discussed today.

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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