157 episodes

The goal of the Property Management Show podcast is to deconstruct business success into its key components and invite subject matter experts to help you improve every facet of your property management business. The topics covered here range from property management marketing, industry innovations, success stories, all the way to general best practices on how to run a successful business enterprise.

The podcast creators are Brittany Jones and Marie Liamzon-Tepman from Fourandhalf, Inc - a marketing company that works exclusively with fee-based Property Management companies. Fourandhalf Marketing Agency was established in 2012 and has the best and longest track record for helping property management companies grow. They help with both marketing strategy as well as implementation. Their services include property management website design and SEO, content creation to attract and nurture leads, reputation management, online ads, you name it. Visit fourandhalf.com to learn more.

The Property Management Show The Property Management Show

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 40 Ratings

The goal of the Property Management Show podcast is to deconstruct business success into its key components and invite subject matter experts to help you improve every facet of your property management business. The topics covered here range from property management marketing, industry innovations, success stories, all the way to general best practices on how to run a successful business enterprise.

The podcast creators are Brittany Jones and Marie Liamzon-Tepman from Fourandhalf, Inc - a marketing company that works exclusively with fee-based Property Management companies. Fourandhalf Marketing Agency was established in 2012 and has the best and longest track record for helping property management companies grow. They help with both marketing strategy as well as implementation. Their services include property management website design and SEO, content creation to attract and nurture leads, reputation management, online ads, you name it. Visit fourandhalf.com to learn more.

    Preparing Your Property Management Company for a Profitable Sale with Scott Duke of OpnRoad

    Preparing Your Property Management Company for a Profitable Sale with Scott Duke of OpnRoad

    Welcome back to The Property Management Show.

    On today’s episode, we’re talking to an expert on mergers and acquisitions, who has specific experience in property management. We’re talking to Scott Duke, of OpnRoad. He’s talking about the things that make a difference in the sale of a property management company. Your buyer and your profit will depend a lot on your contracts, your efficiency, and your team.

    Introducing Scott Duke

    Scott and his wife bought and ran a property management company in Revenstoke, Canada. They grew their company for seven years and then sold it for 10 times the amount of what they bought it for. The company was sold to Western Trust, a private equity company out of Utah. Before that, he worked at a property management company in Ontario. He has experience working with three-person companies and those that have a staff of 25.

    His story of buying and selling that Canadian property management company is a bit of a cautionary tale.

    When they bought the company, there were 30 properties under management. Out of those 30 properties, only six had proper contracts with the owners. It wasn’t a sellable asset when they took it over. But, what they really wanted to buy were the brand and the website, and otherwise it felt like they were starting from scratch. It was not a massive acquisition.

    Scott realized that he thought property management meant taking care of people’s properties, but really, he was managing finances. It’s a cash in – cash out business model, and he had to make sure his owners had the money they needed for their mortgage payments.

    One specific event triggered his desire to sell that company.

    It was Christmas Day in 2016 or 2017, and he was under a trailer, defrosting pipes so the family living there could have water on Christmas. That’s when he realized he didn’t want to own the company anymore.

    When the owner is under a trailer with frozen pipes, you know that the company relies too heavily on that owner.

    So, he spent three years making it an acquirable asset. Scott wanted the company to be something that someone would want to buy.

    The starting point? Making the business less dependent on Scott.

    Making a Property Management Company Less Owner-Dependent

    Scott says it’s all mindset.

    At OpnRoad, Scott and his team sell businesses. They work within all industries, but a lot of businesses they sell are property management companies. They all have to get to a certain size before they can be sold. So, he’s talking about owner dependency all the time.

    How do you remove yourself from that dependency?

    Scott says you will be trapped in your business until the business cracks through the million or two million revenue mark. Until that point, there’s just not enough cash in the business to pay to replace yourself. You are buying your time and you’re buying your freedom.

    You want to focus on yourself as a business owner, not a business operator.

    A lot of owners get hung up on the idea that no one can do what they do as well as they do it.

    Scott tells entrepreneurs to embrace that. It’s true. But, it won’t be that way forever. The person you hire isn’t going to be as good as you on Day One. The training and the investment into that person makes them as good as you.

    His slogan is this: Every Day a Step Away.

    You’re getting a further step away from operating your business every single day.

    How to Avoid Hiring Bad Apples

    A lot of business owners worry about investing time and training into someone who may not work out. Having hired across 11 companies with a total of more than 200 staff, Scott understands that bad apples do get into the bunch once in a while. He has a specific model:

    * Be a good leader: Make yourself better. The people you attract to your company will be 70 percent as good as you are.

    • 44 min
    Persuasive Copywriting in the Age of AI

    Persuasive Copywriting in the Age of AI


    Amy Harrison is a sales and marketing copywriter from the U.K. and an expert in storytelling. After hearing her speak at a marketing conference and finding the information invaluable, we invited her onto The Property Management Show to talk about the evolution of marketing content and copywriting and how AI can help with persuasive copy, as long as you’re finessing the message with the information that only you have.

    Amy Harrison’s Background

    Amy thought she wanted to be a screenwriter for film and television, but quickly burned out at a young age and decided to pursue other things for a while. Then, she found her way back to writing and began working for a private investment firm that bought and sold online businesses. She describes it as flipping businesses, and that’s what brought her back into content writing and copywriting.

    When she discovered the psychology around sales copywriting, she knew she wanted to help businesses tell stories and build credibility.

    Amy says that her training as a screenwriter helped with her sales copywriting because it’s always important to write for the reader. If someone does not want to keep reading, you’ve lost them. You need to make sure they’ll read beyond the headline.

    Tracking the Evolution of Sales and Marketing Copywriting

    Amy remembers the early days of copywriting, when everything was very SEO-driven and it seemed like her job was to cram every page full of keywords. The idea was to reach people and to provide as much information as possible. It was more of a transactional exchange.

    People found there were better ways to have a sales conversation, and the content improved.

    Businesses have realized that not all content needs to sound like sales and marketing content.

    There’s a lot more awareness of what marketing and copywriting can do. The struggle, though, has not evolved much. Amy says that large companies with million dollar marketing budgets have the same desire as the freelance photographer with no marketing budget: to sell themselves and to stand out.

    The process has evolved, but the problem sales copywriters are trying to solve is the same.

    Umbrella Terms versus Storytelling with Copy and Content

    How is it done well?

    While trying to talk about what makes them different, a lot of companies will end up sounding like every other business. They’ll use generic words, and they’ll try to talk about everything they do all at once.

    Amy calls those umbrella terms, and she advises companies to be bold and to expand their comfort zones outside of those same words and phrases that are always used. The fear factor will sometime set in. You want to stand apart from your competition, but do you really want to be different?

    Storytelling can be powerful, but it’s harder to write a story than it is to create a list of benefits.

    You have to earn the right to get someone’s attention.

    How do you do that? Amy asks us to think about it from the first piece of content – whether it’s a headline or the first few seconds of your video or the introduction in your email.

    Speak directly to the person you’re trying to reach.

    Think of yourself in a crowded room at a party. You’ll hear lots of conversations, and you’re not tuned into any of them. But if you hear your name, that will immediately get your attention. You cannot call your customers by their name in your content, but you can work harder to make the content more relevant. You want them to feel like you’re talking directly to them.

    Think about how to write the conversation that your customer is having in their mind right now. What are they thinking about in that moment as they approach your blog or your email?

    Here are a couple of examples:

    * If you’re trying to attract a client who is moving, your headline might be “Should You Sell Or Rent Your Home?” It’s not a dramatic title,

    • 47 min
    Rental MLS: A Threat or a Tool to Help Property Managers?

    Rental MLS: A Threat or a Tool to Help Property Managers?

    PJ Clay, the Director of Client and Partner Services at Rental Beast, joins us on The Property Management Show to discuss the company’s role as the rental MLS, and how they provide back-end technology to MLS associations across the United States and Canada.

    We also discussed whether this type of technology can help or hurt property managers.

    PJ says it helps.

    Introducing Rental Beast

    Rental Beast calls itself the rental MLS. It provides back-end technology to MLS associations in certain markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is highly customizable, but also built for the For Sale side of the real estate industry. Rental Beast knows that rentals are different. The process of renting is different from the process of buying and selling.

    So, they built the technology that can integrate rental listings.

    MLS members can add or search for rental listings.

    The second piece of this technology is a productivity suite of tools making it easier for property managers and real estate agents to access lead generation, lead qualification, and rental applications. At the core of this technology is a very large database of rental listings. Members of Rental Beast have access to 12 million active listings in the U.S. and Canada at any given time.

    Putting all the rental listings into one database is the central part of our technology. Members can get as close as possible to reaching 100 percent of their market.

    Accessing Reliable Data and Listings for Rental Markets

    Rental Beast is currently working with MLS associations in cities like Boston, where they’re based, Chicago, Raleigh, Miami, Colorado Springs, Toronto, and other markets. They’re actively growing, too, because the demand for this platform has increased. With home sales still out of reach and unaffordable for so much of the market, people are renting. Having the technology for real estate professionals to make the rental process easier has driven that growth.

    So, where does the data come from? Where do they gather their listings?

    The rental market is fragmented. On the general MLS, you have 80 or 90 percent of available homes for sale on that site. Not all rental listings go onto the MLS, however. Some cities will include rentals on the MLS, but even then you’re only getting about 40 percent of the rental market listed.

    Rentals come onto the database from a lot of different sources. The Rental Beast database integrates with property management software. So, platforms like Appfolio, Yardi, RentTech, and Buildium can use Rental Beast as a syndication destination. Any listings on those software sites can be shared with Rental Beast.

    The other piece is more difficult and labor intensive. These are rental listings that aren’t found on the MLS or on any property management software sites. Staff at Rental Beast must find the listings and then make actual phone calls to owners and property managers to verify them.

    PJ says it took 10 years to build the process the right way. They’re calling any listing that doesn’t come from the MLS or property management software. It’s a huge undertaking, but it’s necessary to avoid scams.

    There are also a lot of details that are confirmed for those listings; they ask if there’s an agent compensation fee, what the showing instructions are, and how a tenant can access an application. These listings have to be updated every week or two, depending on the location. If they cannot get a verbal confirmation that the listing is active, it gets dropped from the database.

    Are These Listings Professionally Managed?

    The majority of listings on Rental Beast are not managed by professional managers or real estate professionals.

    They’re managed by the property owners themselves.

    PJ believes this is hyper-local. He says that in Boston, property management firms aren’t as recognized or understood as they ar...

    • 34 min
    Legacy Planning for a Property Management Business

    Legacy Planning for a Property Management Business

    Two guests are joining The Property Management Show today, and they are Scott Brady and Garrett Brady from Progressive Property Management in southern California.

    Scott has been on the show before, and tends to talk about forward-looking topics that involve challenging the status quo. Garrett is his son, and a big part of the company’s future.

    The topic today is legacy planning, which can be rather difficult for property management companies. Scott and Garrett are sharing their journey and where they are.

    Progressive Property Management Then and Now

    Scott has a story that’s similar to many property management company owners. He began as a real estate agent and had a brokerage business. The recession arrived in 2010, and he wanted to be prepared for the next recession. So, he started Progressive Property Management in 2012. It became incorporated in 2015.

    The company grew organically through marketing and relationships. Over the last 12 years, they’ve grown to about 1,000 doors under management. Garrett joined the residential side in 2018.

    The business model is unique. It’s a virtual company that hires real estate agents to be property managers. Three years ago, they began an association management department, and now manage around 130 associations with about 7,000 owners, total. They use the same business model; people are hired to be off-site property managers for these communities. The team at Progressive takes care of all back office operations.

    About three years ago, Scott was diagnosed with cancer, and he realized the company was not prepared to be sold or handed off. Decisions were made, and a choice had to be made: did Scott want to prepare the company to be sold, did he want to hire someone to run it while he lived off the cash flow, or did he want someone in the family to take it over?

    He’s made a decision, and he and Garrett have been busy structuring their legacy plan over the last three years.

    Garrett says the company – and the entire industry – was old school in 2018. There wasn’t a lot of technology, and everything was very regional. He’s been able to see the industry move from the stone ages to embracing modern technology. It’s a more appealing industry to join. So while it was a family business that he was happy to join, he now sees the value of real estate and how it interacts with so many other business sectors.

    Legacy Planning: Starting the Discussion

    The diagnosis spurred the discussion around legacy planning.

    Scott hired a consultant outside of the property management industry and the first thing he recommended was to have Garrett go to graduate school. This did not make sense at first, but it was pretty transformative. He earned his position with his education and his experience, not because of nepotism.

    The next step was to invite Garrett to earn some controlling interest in the company. Every year that he’s worked for the company, he’s earned 2.5 percent ownership in that company. By now, he’s up to 15 percent. The idea was to have Scott maintain the controlling interest, but to give Garrett a path towards more ownership.

    Garrett has skills that Scott doesn’t have, and they both recognize that.

    Scott excels at sales and marketing while Garrett is all operations. Scott said he knew the future was in the company’s operations. With 130 associations under management, they need good systems.

    Garrett does all the hiring of remote team members and he trains them, too. The company now has 13 remote team members and 13 full-time employees. The future isn’t expanding full-time payroll, but in hiring remote contractors.

    Understanding his own skill set allowed Scott to bring Garrett in, and together they sit down and look for the next opportunities while ensuring everything is running properly.

    Marc Cunningham mentioned to Garrett that he had to do a buy-in for his ownership in th...

    • 47 min
    The Power of Action Versus Perfectionism in Video Marketing

    The Power of Action Versus Perfectionism in Video Marketing

    Marc Cunningham is a property management consultant and he’s also the President of Grace Property Management in Colorado.

    He’s joining The Property Management Show today not only because he’s a prominent figure in property management, but also because he’s one of the first property management professionals who embraced video marketing.

    Marc is still promoting video marketing, and he believes it’s the most effective way to bring new business into your company.

    A Bit of Background: Marc Cunningham

    When Marc started his property management career as a child going to the office with his dad, things were incredibly different. It was the 1970s and buying their first copy machine was the most technology they had. The phone with an answering machine was fancy. Ledger cards were used to manually record when rent was collected, and checks were written to owners once a month.

    His father recognized that technology was a great tool, and they not only got a computer before anyone else, but they also even hired a programmer out of California to write a custom property management program for them.

    In the property management industry, there’s a big scare every couple of years.

    The narrative goes, if you don’t do X, you’ll be left behind. Right now, it’s AI. If you’re not using AI, you’ll be left behind.

    Marc says this is not always true. Provide good customer service to owners and tenants, and you’ll be okay even without the latest tool. You won’t wake up one day and be left behind.

    It’s the shiny thing syndrome. If there’s something that everyone seems to be doing, you feel like you should be doing it, too.

    It’s easy to chase the next big thing because everybody is talking about how cool it is.

    Marc doesn’t chase the newest thing. Technology is something to leverage in order to improve your property management business.

    After graduating from college with a degree in finance and real estate, Marc worked in the industry but not for his father. This helped him when it was time to go to work for his father. He brought a different perspective and a different set of skills to the family business. He always tells people in a family business to send the young people out to work outside of the business for a few years. It generates better ideas and higher level thinking.

    Marc arrived at his father’s company with more of a business mindset. His father was very good at property management, and Marc found he was very good at business management.

    Pioneering Video and Property Management Marketing

    Marc is one of the first property management professionals to begin marketing his company with video. He still believes this is the best marketing tool for property managers.

    Here’s how it happened.

    He was at a conference, and on the way home from that conference, he began thinking about how much time he spent talking to potential owner clients. They all ask the same questions and he found himself having the same conversation over and over again. Wouldn’t it be great, he thought, if, instead of answering those common questions over and over again, he could put those answers in a video and have it on his website. Then, potential owner clients could watch the video and decide if they wanted to know more. Marc thought that if a video could save him multiple five-minute conversations, it would really add up to getting some serious time back.

    He’s action-oriented and he doesn’t over-think.

    So, when he got home, he had his then-11-year-old son stand on his desk with an iPhone and take a video of Marc talking about common property management expenses.

    It was a three-minute video that included no script, no special lighting, and no microphone. The point was not quality. The point was to get it done.

    This has worked better than any other marketing, Marc says, because prospective owner clients will call,

    • 56 min
    Shifting Tides in Digital Marketing with Rand Fishkin Part 2

    Shifting Tides in Digital Marketing with Rand Fishkin Part 2

    Welcome back to The Property Management Show. In our previous episode, we spoke with SEO and marketing guru Rand Fishkin about the shifting tides in digital marketing and the sources of influence that are important today. On the second part of our podcast with this guest, we’re talking about money keywords, vanity metrics, and generative AI. We’re also talking about how to make those immeasurable marketing channels a little bit more measurable.

    Here’s Part Two of our interview.

    Money Keywords: Where Everyone Wants to Rank

    Every business or industry has a set of money keywords that represents where and for what everyone in that industry wants to rank. That’s the bottom of the funnel. If you’re ranking high for property management and your city, you know that people searching for you are very close to choosing a property management company. That’s a good lead.

    But, why go to the battlefield and fight with every other management company that wants the same keywords? There are other marketing strategies that can be leveraged.

    Remember the blue ocean strategy. Go for those keywords that others aren’t paying attention to. Then, you won’t have to fight as hard and you’ll still draw in traffic from relevant searches.

    It makes sense. However, people are so drawn to that battlefield.

    Rand says this is how entrepreneurs are socialized and trained. It’s a cultural battle that’s hard to overcome.

    To really improve website traffic and gain more leads, results, and profitability, you can rank for more than property management plus geography. When everyone else is chasing one thing, you can beat them all by doing something that none of them are doing.

    Vanity Metrics: Measuring Lift vs. Attribution

    Are you getting more subscribers and followers or engagement and not necessarily conversion?

    In 2017, there was an article in the Harvard Business Review that talked about the actual value of a Facebook like for a business. Marketing researchers did a study to figure out whether it really contributes to a business in any meaningful way. They found that a Facebook like doesn’t necessarily reflect a change in consumer behavior or an increase in spending. Consumers who like a brand on social media, specifically Facebook, are simply expressing a pre-existing preference. If they see the brand, they like it. They were going to buy from you anyway, so of course they’ll like you on Facebook.

    It’s much harder to convince someone who has never heard of you to like your page and then buy from you.

    Rand points out that hidden in that study is that the measurement can be used to find out how many people are predisposed to buying from you, and who they are.

    The Facebook like did not influence 300 new people to buy from you if they weren’t already planning to buy from you. So, it’s a vanity metric. It does not change behavior. But, it helps you measure.

    By knowing that 300 new people liked your Facebook page in a month, you can measure the size of the pool of people who may buy from you. This can be useful in a campaign. You can measure what you’re doing that’s having a positive or negative impact. Measure those likes if you want a campaign that grows your brand’s likeability, awareness, and trust. Getting a Facebook like won’t get you more buyers. But, doing things that will encourage more buyers will result in a lift on social media. That’s notable.

    This makes an otherwise unmeasurable marketing investment more measurable.

    You can measure lift. If you see that traffic went up and conversion went up and the Facebook likes went up, that campaign worked, and you know that similar investments on other networks might be worth the effort. Or, when what you did last month did not work well, you’ll know to try something else. That’s where the value comes from. Instead of disproving the value of the metric, that study suggests there’s a lot of value.

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

Shimi Chic ,

Super info!

Brittany and Marie always showcase amazing experts and make such great points STR owners can really use. Thanks!

Bugala23456 ,

Extremely Informative and Insightful

I really love listening to this podcast. The interviews that they have with experts in the field of property management is perfect for professionals looking to build their property management company.

talia_c ,

Really helpful insight

I really enjoy this podcast. It’s authentic, stays on track and simplifies a variety of subjects. They are in with the times, which is so important in the day of endless moratoriums and new laws coming out. The host seems awesome!

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