Chuck Hattemer on The Journey From 0 to 1200 Doors in 3 Years
Today, I am talking with Chuck Hattemer, the co-founder and CMO of OneRent, a property management startup that has raised $8,000,000 in funding to deliver a tech first customer focused property management experience. They launched 3 years ago and now manage 1,200 homes across two states.
Similar to my interview with Max Nussenbaum from Castle, OneRent is aiming to build a true national customer brand.
In our chat, Chuck holds nothing back as he shares the exact tactics, strategies, funnels, and even scripts, that he and his team have used to rapidly grow their business as well as how they plan to scale.
In addition to what we covered in the interview, here are three things worth checking out:
- This PDF from OneRent on scaling while in chaos
- The onboarding kit for the OneRent real estate agent partner program.
- Their buy and hold guide for investors is one of the finest examples of content marketing I’ve seen from a pm company
- (01:16) – Chuck’s background leading up to today.
- (01:26) – Chuck discusses the influential role of film and video production.
- (01:51) – His previous life as a web designer.
- (03:15) – How his experiences at Santa Clara University introduced him to the world of real estate.
- (03:31) – Chuck’s involvement in the Santa Clara single housing issue.
- (07:53) – The initial growth phase of OneRent.
- (08:28) – Building their first powerpoint presentation.
- (09:31) – Making their first pitch and getting their first customer.
- (10:20) – Acquiring more partnerships with property managers.
- (11:02) – Chuck’s advice for an early transition phase.
- (11:39) – Early inspiration for their growth.
- (11:57) – Lean startup methodology.
- (11:57) – The importance of developing your customer discovery process.
- (13:27) – Chuck discusses the process surrounding their first round of funding.
- (15:03) – Post funding pivot.
- (15:07) – Responding to the seasonal lull in the student housing market.
- (16:00) – How they began to target individual property owners as a full-service property management company.
- (08:28) – Building their first powerpoint presentation.
- (17:00) – Priorities going forward.
- (17:28) – Where OneRent wants to be in three to five years.
- (17:28) – Chuck’s explanation of the three phases of real estate technology.
- (17:32) – First phase: Information made available to the consumer.
- (17:58) – Second phase: Utility or value add platforms.
- (18:23) – Third phase: Transformative models that take a process from beginning to end.
- (19:30) – How OneRent is different from platforms like Zillow, Trulia and Craigslist.
- (19:40) – View a listing and schedule a viewing in one click.
- (17:28) – Chuck’s explanation of the three phases of real estate technology.
- (22:58) – Chuck’s role at OneRent.
- (22:58) – His day to day responsibilities.
- (23:36) – Focus on the growth side of the business.
- (23:55) – Speaking with clients.
- (23:55) – Outreach campaigns.
- (22:58) – His day to day responsibilities.
- (24:39) – Expectations in terms of doors for the next three to five years.
- (17:28) – Where OneRent wants to be in three to five years.
- (27:21) – Commercial Break.
- The PM Grow Summit January 2018.
- www.pmgrowsummit.com and using the coupon code JORDAN to get $100 off your ticket.
- (28:02) – The continued growth of OneRent.
- (28:13) – Discussing the differences between the real estate markets in Seattle and the Bay Area.
- (30:58) – OneRent’s biggest challenge.
- (30:58) – Property owner’s concerns regarding an automated system.
- (32:24) – OneRent’s conversion funnel.
- (32:32) – TOFU (top of funnel).
- (32:54) – Building partnerships with real estate brokerages and agents.
- (35:42) – Building a Facebook community.
- (36:33) – Quora.
- (39:56) – Chuck let’s us hear his elevator pitch that he gives to real estate agents.
- (43:21) – Whether or not OneRent’s effort to partner with agents and brokerages is paying off.
- (44:47) – Discussing OneRent’s lead magnet.
- (45:22) – The Buy and Hold Blueprint. A tax strategy guide for real estate investors.
- (47:11) – Working with digital agencies for content marketing.
- (48:33) – MOFU (middle of funnel).
- (49:08) – How OneRent qualifies and segments their leads.
- (52:28) – How they recycle leads back into the funnel.
- (53:29) – Retargeting efforts.
- (54:01) – Working with Scout.
- (54:49) – The benefits of Scout compared with other similar service companies.
- (55:45) – How OneRent incentivizes their funnel.
- (56:12) – Referral program.
- (58:00) – Using HubSpot for their blog and email marketing.
- (32:32) – TOFU (top of funnel).
- (59:41) – How much is too much to pay for a new property management contract?
- (1:01:12) – Who do you learn from?
- (1:02:51) – What books have impacted you the most?
- (1:03:44) – The number one mistake that you see property management entrepreneurs making when it comes to sales and marketing?
- (1:05:07) – Are entrepreneurs born or bred?
- Steve Blank (11:42) – Resource for startup methodology.
- Lean Startup by Eric Ries (11:57) – Lean startup methodology.
- Max Nussenbaum (22:29) – Previous guest on the podcast who spoke on building a national brand.
- The PM Grow Summit (27:21) – Property management convention.
- Bad Ass Real Estate Professionals – OneRent’s Facebook community.
- Quora – Online question and answer resource which Chuck is actively contributing to.
- The Buy and Hold Blueprint (45:22) – OneRent’s tax strategy guide for real estate investors.
- Scout (54:01) – Direct mail company that OneRent uses to generate leads.
- Lob (54:36) – Direct mail service.
- Twilio (55:04) – Cloud communications platform OneRent has used to track client behaviour.
- Instapage (55:04) – Landing page service for optimizing your ad spend.
- Profit Well (57:16) – Recommended resource for managing your churn.
- HubSpot (58:00) – Inbound marketing company that OneRent uses for their blog and email marketing campaigns.
- John Burns (1:01:19) – Chuck’s recommended mentor and advisor.
- Bob Moles (1:01:50) – One of the founders of Intera Real Estate whom Chuck is partnered with and seeks counsel from.
- Sprint (1:02:55) – Recommended book on design.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things (1:03:15) – Essential advice on building and running a startup, which is recommended reading from Chuck.
Where to learn more:
You can also find Chuck on Quora, where he’d love to answer any of your questions on real estate, or learn from what you have to say.
Jordan: 0:00:00.0 – 0:00:16.4 Welcome closers. Today we have another episode of The Profitable Property Management Podcast coming at you. This season we’re still focused on marketing. I’m your host Jordan Muela and every week I interview world class property management entrepreneurs and industry experts who share actionable insights to help you grow your property management empire. Whether you manage 100 or 1000 doors, this broadcast is designed to help you see the big picture and give you the tools and tactics that you need to get to the next level.
0:00:44.7 Today, I am talking with Chuck Hattemer, the co-founder and CMO of OneRent. This is a property management startup that has raised over eight million dollars in funding and currently manages over 12,000 homes in two different states. All this in just a few short years. Today we’re going to talk to Chuck about how he has managed to handle the growth side of the business in such a short period of time.
Welcome to the show Chuck.
Chuck: 0:01:14.4 Great, thank you for having me Jordan, glad to be here.
Jordan: 0:01:16.9 So let’s start here. Let’s talk a little bit about your background personally. Before business, before the startup, what was some of your background, kind of leading up to today.
Chuck: 0:01:26.6 Yeah, so you know, funny enough, my background was not in real estate actually. Funny enough. So I got started with, kind of, technology when I was just in high school. As a kid playing around and how technology played a role in the actually film production. I was really into film production at the time and video production.
0:01:51.9 And kind of a funny transition to real estate ultimately, but yeah, my background had always been in kind of, really enjoying this concept of putting together projects. Whether it’s a film, or as well as in my previous life I ran a web design company. So I was putting together websites and working with clients all across the country.
0:02:15.2 And I really found that, you know, I was really passionate about this concept of being able to kind of work on a creative project from beginning to end. And 0:02:22.6 [Inaudible – glitch] tangible impact in helping that audience change their perspective on things. And so, when it came time – was in this transitionary point where I transitioned from a huge interest in film to really technology and startup and entrepreneurism.
And really that was driven by, you know, being at the helm of this web design company that my brothers and I had started. 0:02:52.0 And working with clients all over the east coast, working with them over on the west coast, and building websites for small businesses, and really trying to figure out, you know, how to make these small businesses grow. 0:03:09.1 And that was really why I kind of got my start in the marketing and technology world before OneRent.
Jordan: 0:03:15.0 So talk to me about where real estate actually comes into your purview. I know that you had some – you had done some student activism. I’m thinking like the Santa Clara single housing issue. Was that kind of a pivotal point in you becoming more aware of the potential of real estate?
Chuck: 0:03:31.0 Exactly. Exactly. So when I was at Santa Clara University in the San Fransisco Bay Area, you know, a couple years into my schooling there, it came about time to rent a house and move off campus with all your friends. As is kind of the college kid’s dream. And it’s amazing just how sensitive and intense the housing process is. Especially somewhere like the Bay Area where the prices are high, and around universities the properties aren’t in great condition.
0:04:02.9 And so there was the huge, kind of ordinance that was on the table at the local Santa Clara City Council. Which would basically limit the number of occupants per room in a building. And we were kind of – my friends and I, you know, we were in the process of trying to, you know, rent the house there. Eight of us together, trying to fork our way into a four-bedroom house and so it was – it felt like the Hunger Games trying to find a place to live.
0:04:31.1 [Inaudible] a year ahead of time. So it was this really hot button issue that really impacted people’s lives down to the core of, you know, what they were able to afford and enjoy about their home.
And so we kind of caught on to this housing ordinance and you know, in order to kind of sustain affordability for students and to really protect the, you know, student body of Santa Clara University.
My co-founders and I at the time, we put together you know, kind of an initiative to attend all the city council meetings, listen to the kind of the complaints and stories of neighbours around the university and really try to work together and open up a discussion to, you know, come to a kind of an agreeance around what are the rules around rent – these rental properties around the university in terms of usage and you know how active they could be and what role did they play in the community.
0:05:26.9 And it was through that experience that I really saw just how important housing really was. Both to, you know people that were not renting in the neighbourhood as well as to students who were looking for their first home outside of living with their parents or in a dorm.
So that really intrigued me. Just this concept that you could build technology that really impacted the real world as opposed to just another platform or online piece of software out there. And that really, really you know, I found a huge passion in that.
0:06:01.1 And it’s you know, both good and bad. You get – by dealing with one of the most sensitive parts of people’s lives, whether it’s an investment or their home, you also open up, you know, a whole can of worms if things go wrong.
0:06:15.1 So I really like that challenge and that responsibility that we have to really impact people’s lives and real estate, that’s really what drew me into it. 0:06:23.8 The fact that it is a real world asset and it’s a very valuable asset to very many people. So there’s a way that you can take care of that and really provide a great experience to a property owner or a renter.
Jordan: 0:06:37.1 So you and your co-founders meet up at some point, start off with an idea. I believe the initial idea was some kind of a rental listing aggregator that pivots into something more mature, full-bodied, management, company grows over time. The area that you are in, being roughly within the valley area, the broader Bay Area, is notorious for spitting out companies that have a similar story.
0:07:05.6 Folks that are young, folks that are leveraging technology, that are somehow able to very quickly, sometimes even dropping out of school, very quickly go from iterating on an idea, basic proof of concept, raising money, etc., and that timeline relative to what typically looks like forming a property management company in the rest of the nation, is very, very different. 0:07:29.6 One of the chief differences, is there is a lot of pressure.
So talk me through that process of going from meeting some guys in college, having an idea, to raising eight million dollars. 0:07:42.2 And now, presumably, being balls to the wall in terms of the type of growth that you need to sustain in order to – in order to make those numbers work. Talk me through that early transition process.
Chuck: 0:07:53.5 Yeah, I think in the very early transition process, it’s easy to kind of get caught up in the idea stage and just kind of spin your wheels trying to think how can we be truly different and truly game changing.
0:08:28.6 And for us, we just saw the initial pain from the renter perspective and we knew that this was a huge problem for us and our peers. And in order for us to move from that idea phase to execution, what it took us to do is put together a very, very simple – essentially we – the first day I remember we put together a power point of a website that we imagined for a student housing platform where we could just aggregate all the inventory around it – the university, onto one platform.
0:08:47.6 We could help our peers and ourselves, you know, find these places, apply online, qualify to rent it, and then ultimately sign the lease and pay online.
0:08:57.5 And we took this basic powerpoint kind of markup and took it to one of the local property managers, actually, who we had identified who had a majority of the inventory around the university.
And you know, this is in a matter of days from the inception of the idea and the problem that we discovered to a very, very simple kind of solution, to be frank, you know is not completely unique that’s out there today, but it was something that solved a pain point in the market that we were in, which was around the university that we were attending.
0:09:31.6 So we took this powerpoint markup to this property manager’s office, you know, we presented it, we said, “Hey we’re going to make you a great deal, you don’t have to pay for anything, the property is on one platform and it acts as the bridge between you and the students.”
0:09:47.8 And that was our first customer, you know, before we had even put any money into the business. Within just a couple weeks of kind of the idea phase, we had just put together a very simple, you know, powerpoint overview showing some very simple features that we believed would be valuable to students and to the property manager, and you know, we kind of had a unique market where there was one or two property managers that controlled the majority of the market, so getting the supply side was actually pretty quick to get them on board and on-board all the properties.
0:10:20.6 And this was back before we became a property manager, so that experience working with these property managers, you know, we would go into the offices of the local mangers, sit down with them – and you cannot believe the number of hours we just spent you know, going through all their paperwork, all the different processes they used.
0:10:42.1 And over time we learned a lot of things that ultimately forced us to kind of transform ourselves into becoming actually a property manager ourselves. And really a full-service licensed brokerage where we could handle the whole lifecycle of a rental property. 0:10:58.7 And we ultimately moved away from that student market into the general market.
0:11:02.1 So really, to sum it up, to answer your question, that first transition phase is all about getting your first customer. Getting one person to say yes, because otherwise you’re going to quickly burn out or just spin your tires with your founders or your friends who are thinking about this idea.
As soon as you get someone who says yes, or says, “Hmm, this may be interesting”, that is motivation. That is the best kind of motivation you can get. 0:11:29.2 And from there, it’s just yeah, balls to the wall, full speed ahead. You know, 14 hour days to try and build out that solution that someone said yes to.
Jordan: 0:11:39.5 So as you’re teasing out this interest and trying to rally the concept early on, what were your inspirations? Did you look to guys like Steve Blank 11:42, follow a traditional customary discovery process, did you wing it? Just talk to people? What was the structure that you used to guide that inquiry?
Chuck: 0:11:57.2 Yeah, I think we definitely really liked the lean startup methodology. You know, from Eric Reese and the kind of agile development as well.
And so one of the key parts to that customer discovery is really not building anything until you have some level of, you know, product market fit. Or just understanding of what product you’re going to bring to the market.
0:12:23.9 And so what that meant was you know, literally drawing your ideas or your you know, putting together if you have an app or a website, putting together that stuff on paper, and just getting out there and presenting it to people.
0:12:38.1 And it doesn’t need to be pretty, but it was not necessarily like a step-by-step structure that we were following, but the key thing we knew first was, before we build any sort of technology or implement any sort of technology, talk to as many people and present your ideas to them to see how they respond.
0:12:56.7 Whether it’s you know visual mockups or drawings of your technology and just and iterate on that first before you actually commit to building anything in code.
0:13:07.5 And so that was really the you know, kind of mentality we adopted early on. And the way that we grew our business slow early one, which was picking up the phone and calling as many property owners as possible. 0:13:21.9 And just iterating on how we were pitching the service.
Jordan: 0:13:27.2 So a couple more steps. Eventually you do get to the point where you have built something. You’ve got a couple customers. When you actually went to raise an initial seed round, what did you actually have in hand? Did you have a cobbled together product? What was the proof of concept that you brought to raise in that initial round?
Chuck: 0:13:47.8 So we actually did bootstrap the first version of OneRent, and like I mentioned, it’s really you know, it was a student housing platform.
So we you know, had over 200 properties on our platform. We weren’t the property manager, we were working with property managers, we were working with landlords. They were listing their properties on our site.
So we had that kind of supply side you know, growth engine working where we literally cold calling out donors, they were signing up. So we had that model working and then on the supply side, being students ourselves, and really building out this initiative around the student housing ordinance that was being pushed through city council. That helped us gain a lot of traction, kind of brand awareness among the renter side. 0:14:32.6 The demand side.
And so we had this supply and demand kind of market matched and what that allowed us to do, is we actually processed well over 200 leases through the system and processed over a million dollars in rent and that is what we had as our initial business model and proof of concept that we then took at the beginning of – end of 2014 we took that to some 0:14:59.3 [inaudible] investors to raise our first round.
Jordan: 0:15:03.2 So you are saying – are you saying there was a pivot post funding in that regard in terms of moving towards a full-service property management company?
Chuck: 0:15:07.5 Exactly. So, that kind of happened. When we reached the end of the rental cycle at the university, you know, everyone goes home for the summer, and no one’s renting property anymore, so we kind of had this all of a sudden this lull that we hit where we couldn’t even expand to another university yet, because they were also out of school.
0:15:29.4 So, this kind of seasonal business model we identified as problematic and constrictive. And generally when you get in those moments where you’re stuck, once again, you get out of the building and talk to people.
0:15:43.6 And we went and talked with a lot of the property managers and individual owners, and what we found is that the opportunity and the role that technology can play in the rental experience is even more – most valuable for the individual owner.
0:16:00.0 And we were finding that the individual landlords were really excited about OneRent. They were willing to pay us for more and more services and they wanted more and more help on the operational side.
Because property management is such a difficult business to get right. You know, there’s over 200,000 property managers in the US alone. 0:16:19.7 It’s an extremely fragmented market and some of those pain points of a fragmented experience were coming through to us from the individual owners.
0:16:27.3 While the property managers we were working with, again, we were sitting in their office just seeing the workflow. And they weren’t as willing to you know kind of pay for a platform. There was already these large incumbents like AppFolio 0:16:38.3 or Buildium 0:16:39.4 so we weren’t – we didn’t want to try and build just another CRM.
So at that point, part way through 2015, is when we made the pivot to a full-service property management company. 0:16:52.9 And, you know, we had our first building signed up within a few weeks of making that move and we became a licensed brokerage at that time.
Jordan: 0:17:00.7 Got it. So this is a great part of the story. So you raised money with Thesis A, moved to Thesis B, get some more traction, raise some more funding. So the next time you raise additional funding, now you’re pitching the true opportunity that you’re currently pursuing. 0:17:18.7
So, just go ahead and describe for me, what exactly the opportunity within this industry is that you see. Where does OneRent want to be in three to five years?
Chuck: 0:17:28.9 Yeah. So I think there’s these three phases of real estate technology. 17:32 You kind of have the first phase which is you know really the age of unlocking information for consumers to make better buying decisions.
So, think of Zillow, Trulia 0:17:45.2, the kind of large platform plays out there, where it’s exposing information that was previously held within the industry. And that phase really kind of kickstarted technology in the real estate.
0:17:58.0 And then the second phase we see is more of these utility or value add platforms where you have not only like the Zillow platform but you have these tools baked on top of it. So you have online rental applications or online payments. Things like that. 0:18:16.4 And so you think of companies like Air BnB is a great example. They’ve got a platform as well as some useful tools as part of it.
0:18:23.0 And then, you know, the third phase is where we really see OneRent and where we really see the opportunity in real estate. And that is these transformative models that really take a process from beginning to end. And even the operational part. From beginning to end and transform that business model for scale.
And 0:18:44.8 [Inaudible] scale. 0:18:46.5 [Inaudible] ok, we can put together a business that not only does the online part where people can find property, but we can even take that experience even further.
So, you know, if you’re renting a property nowadays, you may go to Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, and maybe you get ten listings that you’re interested in.
So maybe out of those ten you have five that are actually already taken or outdated or the owner’s not responding, so you don’t get them. And then you’ve got five to work with and you’ve got to spend all this time going and trying to get in touch with the owner and try to schedule a showing and visit them.
0:19:22.6 And maybe there’s some scams from Craigslist that you’re trying to deal with and those are some – that removes some of those things from you.
0:19:30.6 So the difference with OneRent is that instead of spending all that time trying to chase after these owners or managers that are listing on these platforms — when you come to one as a renter the real magic moment is that not only can you view the listing, but in one click, kind of on demand within four hour notice you can schedule a showing at any property. And once you arrive to that property, you can even apply while you’re there for free.
0:19:56.9 And these are the steps that we’re pushing towards this kind of one-click rental experience. And that’s where we see a huge opportunity, is to take this beginning to end rental process and control both the logistics side of it as well as the online side of it, to provide a seamless experience for the renter and the owner.
0:20:17.2 And so, from the owner perspective, on the flip side of that, is the key to being a great property manager that we discovered is be proactive. So rather than being a reactive property manager, we really think about the role of technology is, how can we use technology to be more proactive.
0:20:34.8 So what that means is, how can we use all the data that we’re collecting about someone’s property to send recommendations back to them, or help them optimize their investment strategy when it comes to you know, buying a rental property.
So that’s where we see a lot of the future of OneRent, is transforming owning rental property more into owning stock. And being able to manage your rental property as if you were managing a stock.
0:21:03.2 And to get smart recommendations throughout that process. How to optimize your property. Whether it’s doing maintenance proactively ahead of the bad seasons, or if it’s adjusting your strategy during the leasing time to more proactively meet the needs of the renter market to reduce vacancy costs.
0:21:25.3 These are some of the things that technology really plays a role in for us to drive the business and where we see the opportunity to create consistency in a market that is so, so fragmented like property management.
Jordan: 0:21:41.9 Right. Yeah that’s exactly right. I believe it’s fair to say that nobody currently owns more than 1% of the single family market right now. That demonstrates the fragmentation. And I love what you said at the end there. You’re talking about a consistent consumer brand experience.
When I think about what it means to have a true consumer brand that is nationally identifiable, or at least follows with you through your lifecycle of a customer. Whether or not I’m living in the Bay or maybe I move to Seattle and I move to Austin, my attachment to the brand is defined by both the brand being able to service me as I go from market a to b to c.
But also being able to manage a bigger lifecycle of my experience. 0:22:26.2 And this is actually a very similar concept to what Max Nussenbaum talked about 0:22:29.7 in the last interview that I did with him.
And I think it is one thing that is unique to the companies – the few property management companies that have more of a tech focus is that kind of all-encompassing vision. It’s not just being ubiquitous, it’s not just being in multiple markets, but it’s owning a much broader and deeper section of the customer experience. And obviously technology is a huge part of that. So that’s a super exciting vision.
0:22:58.1 Let’s dive into how you intend on making that actually happen. And let’s start here: You are the CMO of OneRent, in addition to being one of the co-founders, so what does that mean? What are your actual day-to-day job responsibilities?
Chuck: 0:23:12.5 Yeah, so you know, day-to-day what I focus on is to really the kind of marketing and business development side of OneRent. And you know, as of on those kind of – startup environment, you have to wear many hats. Even with a small business environment like a small property management firm, you have to wear many hats.
0:23:36.3 But I really focus on the growth side. Especially on the supply side. So really focusing on working with property owners, working with those customers, learning about what their needs are and where we can add more value and really differentiate from what is the status quo in the industry.
0:23:55.4 And so, you know, day-to-day what I’m working on is talking with customers, putting together outreach campaigns, and also working with our product team to really translate the customer needs back to the product team to make sure we’re putting together a kick ass product that really delivers that proactive experience I was talking about.
Jordan: 0:24:19.3 So you’re doing this in the context of a growth environment that is presumably is a lot more demanding than many smaller businesses, where regardless of whether or not they would or would not categorize themselves as a lifestyle business, by nature, the industry being that it’s recurring revenue puts you in a position where you can choose to grow.
0:24:39.3 And that’s awesome, that’s fantastic, or not, and you can still have an exciting business, where you’re not going to be starting from zero every 30 days. So in light of the additional burdens that come with fund raising, how do you think about the growth ramp that you guys need to be able to hit? Where do you expect to be in terms of doors within the next three to five years?
Chuck: 0:24:59.8 Yeah, so yeah, I think in terms of where we expect to be for doors, we’re not looking to be like a technology company like SnapChat or Facebook where you’ve got millions of users all at once. That’s just not how real estate is designed.
So what we’re – we’re over 1,200 properties at this point and we’re looking to really scale that up to probably around five to eight thousand over the next few years. And really get that depth within each market.
0:25:33.1 So, we’re not thinking about expansion like go to every market kind of strategy. We’re thinking about expansion as, “How can we gain depth in the markets that we’re in and really become local experts with the kind of properties we’re handling.”
And also, what that means for us is we’re not looking to expand into large multi-family buildings right off the bat. Right? We’re really tackling what is 90% of the market. 0:25:59.9 You know, 90% of properties are 15 units or less, you know, across the rental market industry. And single family homes represents the fastest growing segment of new rental property inventory.
0:26:12.9 So that is – that to us just speaks to just how challenging it is to create a standardized experience across single family and small multi-family. So we believe that’s where our growth will be and we expect to ramp up as we gain this brand awareness within the local markets.
0:26:35.0 So right now, we’re in the Bay Area and up in Seattle. You know, we may be looking to one new market for the beginning of 2018. But we’re really focused on these top 20 metro areas for now. And we believe that those are good markets to be in just because of high rental turn over, low vacancy rates, so we can place tenants quickly. And there’s just a higher kind of average rent on property so it’s good for the business model as well.
Jordan: 0:27:06.3 This is a really smart strategy. Going deep rather than wide. It allows you to have penetration, there’s that network effect, there’s really that ability to develop an unfair competitive advantage because of the economies of scale, even if it’s in a smaller market.
One of the things I want to hear about is the differences you’ve already observed between Seattle and the Bay Area.
27:21 But before we do that, I want to mention our show sponsor, The PM Grow Summit, which is happening at the end of January in 2018.
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0:28:02.1 Now, moving forward here Chuck, you just talked about the slow expansion, but you already are in two markets. What are the primary differences that you’re already seeing between the Bay versus Seattle?
Chuck: 0:28:13.8 Yeah, so I think – funny enough, the first thing that popped into my mind was mold. I don’t know why that popped into my own mind, but …
Jordan: 0:28:26.4 It’s real!
Chuck: 0:28:26.6 Yeah, being a property manager, it is real. And mold is scary. And that is much more common up in Seattle. No. But in all seriousness, I think the biggest difference is that you know, in Seattle, as everyone probably has seen out there today, Seattle is booming.
And there’s over 1000 people moving there every week. You’ve got Amazon and Google and Facebook all in downtown and so there’s a huge population influx.
0:28:57.1 And so, we find that properties are actually moving very quickly in Seattle right now. Especially this time of year, September and August time frame. And with Seattle, I think the other thing is just with a little bit less kind of robust rental regulation and laws, it’s a little bit easier to penetrate the market and establish yourself as a local expert.
0:29:23.7 With that being said, you know, right now there’s been implementing a lot of new rental laws and so it is getting a lot more complex and starting to look like San Fransisco a little bit. But yeah, in the end of the day, the rents are lower in Seattle, but we find that vacancy is lower because we can move properties faster.
0:29:45.8 And then in terms of growth up there, I think the type of property owners who may be kind of, understanding of technology and more willing to adapt technology into managing their real estate investment. Those type of owners in Seattle are very responsive to our message and our value proposition.
0:30:09.6 And that could be, you know, San Fransisco and Seattle, they trade populations pretty heavily, so we find it to be a great kind of technology corridor that we want to own when it comes to the rental market.
Jordan: 0:30:20.9 Sure yeah. So this is interesting. This could be a potential barrier to expansion. Moving from where you’re at to Tennessee, Ohio, you could run into the point where there actually is resistance rather than perception of enablement through technology.
0:30:37.6 Not to say that a smart phone and apps is not ubiquitous. 0:30:40.3 I mean, that truly is a ubiquitous experience across the nation. But, on some level, maybe there will be a little bit of a tech barrier. People slower to adopt the processes that are not just value add but are really core to how you operate in certain markets.
Chuck: 0:30:58.5 Yeah, and that’s a, I think one of our greatest challenges is kind of is really overcoming that kind of objection of you know, “I don’t want my property to be automated.” Right? So it’s really, really important to keep the human touch and that’s always core to every piece of technology that we have – also has a dedicated person that sits behind it that’s always available.
0:31:25.9 So it will be interesting to see when we do expand to those tertiary markets. Especially because there’s a lot more out of state 0:31:31.6 [inaudible]. So, kind of, our long term goal is, right – if we build up this great network of people who may just have one or two real estate investments, and that’s really the type of owner we do best with, then let’s say they take a – get a taste of their experience investing and they say, “Well hey, where can I find other property to add to my portfolio?” 0:31:53.1
And if we’re expanding into these tertiary markets, you know, we want to be the one to answer that question for them. And say, “Hey here’s a property over in Texas or you know, in Chicago that you may want to invest in.” And have everything centralized under one property manager. And that’s unheard of in today’s market because no property manager has such national reach.
Jordan: 0:32:17.3 0:32:18.3 – Edit Cough 0:32:19.4 Absolutely. I think that’s a very common pain point for folks that do own in multiple states.
0:32:24.6 Chuck, I want to transition to talk about the conversion funnel for OneRent when it comes to owner prospects. I want to talk to the classic TOFU, MOFU, BOFU framework.
32:32 So let’s go with top of funnel first. When you think about generating awareness, particularly in light of the fact that you’re a funded company. Right? You can afford billboards, you can afford traditional media with less accountability. How do you think about driving awareness at the top of the funnel? Where are you investing your time? What’s working for you guys?
Chuck: 0:32:54.9 Yeah, so in terms of building top of funnel awareness, one of the key areas that we’ve started investing in that’s really promising is partnerships with real estate brokerages and real estate agents.
0:33:13.6 And so you know, if you think about you know a property owner, we really want to think about all those moments where they may be making these kinds of decisions about who to hire as a property manager. 0:33:24.8 And one of those moments, obviously, is buying the property.
So we went out and we kind of took this 0:33:30.2 [Inaudible] where we went out to individual agents and established partnerships with them and saw some really good traction around referrals of owners back to us. And we took this kind of case study, working with about 50 agents in the Bay Area. 0:33:48.7 Really only about 25 were really active, engaged and referring, but we took that as a case study and we then were able to sign partnerships with a couple large brokerages.
0:33:59.7 Such as Intero Real Estate 0:34:00.7, which has over 3000 agents in the Bay Area. And Zephyr Real Estate 0:34:05.4 up in San Fransisco with over 360 agents.
And so those partnerships have been huge for us to generate awareness and get our name out in the real estate community.
0:34:16.5 Once again, I told you my background. I don’t have years and years of experience in real estate and our team you know, is young and new and so we need to make sure that we are in our key kind of – our credibility is upheld within the real estate community.
0:34:31.2 And so, one of the best ways to do that is obviously, be a part of that network and that community. So, we love to attend different events. There’s a great group that does – called Techa State Today 0:34:42.0 that puts on great real estate technology events here in the Bay Area.
And you know, that community, getting our word out to real estate agents has been a great way to generate awareness. 0:34:54.9 Aside from that, you know, we do have – we still to this day, we pick up the phone and we talk to owners and we reach out to them.
And so that’s still a large chunk of our business, is just having a sales team that is doing demand generation and generating leads.
0:35:11.4 And then we also have some communities that we start to build together so once again along this theme of generating credibility in the local real estate community. 0:35:26.0 Being a technology startup, new to property management, one of the biggest things we have to fight against is people with 30 years of experience on their business card.
35:42 So we’ve found one effective way to create awareness around OneRent is really plugging into that community, trying to add new value to real estate agents. So we do have a Facebook community that we put – called Bad Ass Real Estate Professionals 0:35:51.5 that we put together to deliver tactical content and new value to real estate agents and any brokers and professionals.
So we go over some things like how to effectively run your Facebook retargeting campaigns. We also put together some extensive reports on the state of the rental market that agents can share with their clients.
0:36:16.1 So having this content out there and having these agents with a lot of credibility distribute that content to their clients who may be buying rental property, that’s been a really effective way to number one, create awareness, and number two, create credibility and trust around our brand.
Jordan: 0:36:33.9 Fascinating. You just mentioned that you’re helping real estate agents run retargeting campaigns. That would fall into the category of what I would call non-traditional marketing. In that category we would also put things like Quora.
0:36:47.4 How do you think about the value derived of something like Quora 0:36:51.8. Are you tracking – referral tracking to the site? Walk me through the results framework from an analytics perspective that allows you to be broad in these different approaches but still have some kind of assurance that things are actually working.
Chuck: 0:37:09.3 Yeah, so really what – the way that I’ve – these things, you know, they’re still in their early days, so it’s a constant iterative process, but really what I’ve learned so far is that when working with real estate agents, there is high potential, because they’re sales people.
0:37:27.0 They love to talk, they network their local community, but at the same time, the reality is that the majority of their transactions over the year are selling property to people with 0:37:35.9 [Inaudible – glitch]. That it’s going to be their primary residence. And so the rule of these communities, whether it’s you know, I’m actually writing on Quora on different topics of renting and property management, or writing these – providing these guides or market updates to agents.
Some of this content marketing initiatives are really designed to get OneRent to be a top of mind kind of you know thing for these agents and real estate professionals. 0:38:04.3 And have that you know, when we started opening up our Facebook community, some of the first people we invited to the group was all of those agents that we had worked with last year out of those 50.
And as I mentioned, we only had 25 or so engaged. We invited all of them to the group and what we found is that engagement number of 25 you know, within the first couple weeks jumped up to 35 and just having ten extra agents who were reminded about OneRent because I was posting regularly and trying to deliver real, valuable content to them, it rose to a top of mind thing.
0:38:42.3 And agents are extremely busy people and they don’t have a lot of time and so you are fighting for mindshare with a real estate agent. And the only way you occupy that mind share is by really delivering something extremely valuable to them. And so in talking with agents, I found that a lot of them don’t really have any idea about marketing.
They’re great sales people, they’re great networkers, but when it comes to scaling their marketing initiatives, they’re kind of in the dark. 0:39:11.2 And so I saw an opportunity there to provide really tactical value and what I saw out of the result of that was an increase of our engaged partners.
Jordan: 0:39:25.3 Yeah, that makes sense. Now I don’t want anybody to be disillusioned here. You’re talking about leaning in, creating valuable, high demonstrable value that is above the threshold for what most people are doing. So it needs to be special and unique.
But paired with that is the offer. You can create value, create friends, buy beer and chicken wings for a group of realtors, but to actually capture 0:39:48.0 [Inaudible] back, the offer needs to be tight.
And the offer, the approach that you’re taking with the partner work that you’re doing with real estate companies, the angle is a little bit different. 0:39:56.6 Could you just describe the elevator pitch to me that real estate agents are receiving from OneRent?
Chuck: 0:40:03.0 Sure. So for real estate agents, OneRent is a new business development tool. So think about if you’re a real estate agent and you’re walking into a conversation with a potential buyer. Right? And you know, this buyer has some interest in becoming some sort of real estate investor.
0:40:27.7 As a real estate agent, the usual conversation would be, “Hey, here’s some properties I think would be a good fit, here’s what I found out about the ones you’re interested in.” And lets say the owner says, “Ok, I like these properties, by the way, I’m also looking to lease these – lease this property, would you be – could you take that?” And that conversation nowadays, most agents will run away at that point.
0:40:53.9 Because taking on a lease or taking on property management is pennies compared with what you can make on the transaction of course. And it’s not their core business. And so our pitch is, “Hey, you focus on your core competency, which is real estate sales, let us be the partner for leasing and property management. We’re not in the sales business and use OneRent as a business development tool.”
0:41:17.9 So now you can walk into that conversation with a buy and instead of saying, “Oh you know, I don’t think I’ll be a good representative to buy this property for you” because you’re taking on the lease work, you can say, “Yes, I’d be happy to take on the property and run the transaction for you.
And by the way, OneRent, they’ll go ahead and during the closing period, they’ll prepare the property and get it ready for rental and then on day one when you get the keys, your property is listed, available for rent, and they’re going to manage every step of the process.”
0:41:51.2 And it becomes – it enables real estate agents to have a conversation with an owner. And, of course, if they do make a successful referral, there’s also a financial incentive where we do a revenue split as well as a discount for their client.
Jordan: 0:42:09.9 The lengths that you guys are going to to integrate into the realtors process and to accommodate them is pretty significant. In fact, I would say it’s the kind of steps I would somebody to go through in white labeling a process, but you’re not white labelling.
You’re effectively co-branding what you’re already doing. Because with the real estate agent, it’s incredibly important that they still own the relationship, when that property gets sold at some point, that’s absolutely a huge concern for them.
So not only are you saying verbally we’re going to give it back to you, but more importantly, you’re keeping their name in front of the consumer for the duration of their lifecycle as a OneRent customer. That’s really, really, really interesting to me.
0:42:54.5 That’s the difference between reducing it down to commerce, right? You can take $500, you can chop it, massage it a lot of different ways, and for most business relationships with real estate agents. “Hey you refer somebody, we’re going to cut you a $300 cheque.
This is a lot beefier than that and I can see why it’s working. And I assume it is working right? I mean, what kind of success have you seen with the program so far?
Chuck: 0:43:21.6 Yeah, so we’ve seen that number of 50 agents now. We ballooned up to around 120 agents that we have signed up for our partnership program. And at this point we’re getting three to four properties referred to us each week and right not we’re at a pace of adding around 100 properties a month. And so it’s starting to add up.
0:43:44.7 And of course, it’s not the majority yet, but it’s really about building that awareness for us. And that’s where we see long term value. Yes, the effort involved in the upfront relationship does require some time and personal nuance, but if you can really demonstrate with a few clients of successful transition from agent to OneRent, then that becomes a great case study to use to get other agents on the platform, and to really engage the existing ones.
0:44:17.0 So we’ve seen a lot of great success so far from there. We have now over 150 I would say, around 150 to 200 of our units did come from that community over the course of our time with building that community, so its really delivered a lot of doors for us over the years and we see it as a direct solution to what our biggest challenge really is. Is developing that local presence and credibility.
Jordan: 0:44:47.5 Well done. I really like how that offer is crafted. Let’s move on now to talk about another offer. A content offer. A lead magnet if you will. This is something that our listeners are going to be familiar with, and in this case the lead magnet is crafting a strategic tax plan. I’m looking at it right now. It’s an ebook, it’s a course, it’s multi-part, it’s done quite well. With lead magnets, the goal is to essentially to start the relationship early before somebody is ready to buy. And this is a really, really sharp one. What kind of results have you seen here?
Chuck: 0:45:22.0 Yeah so, we’ve seen actually that – the tax guide when it comes to property management, taxes is one of the most unknown areas, so we’ve seen a lot of interest in there and the reason we designed – so we have this three part – it’s called The Buy and Hold Blueprint 0:45:41.9.
It’s basically this three-part guide that goes through how to identify investments, how to 0:45:48.3 [inaudible] a smart strategy when it comes to taxes and then how to scale your real estate investment strategy.
0:45:55.1 And the reason we designed the content like this is because the most successful type of customer we work with, is what we call the “first-timer”. It’s the person who just owns one, two properties. It’s their first time renting it out, or maybe they’re an accidental investor kind of situation, whereas they inherited the property.
0:46:14.3 So we’ve seen that guy deliver quite a few units and what’s great about it is it’s evergreen content. So it’s something that’s always useful. To always be something that people have to worry about when it comes to real estate. So its been useful for us, not only in sustaining a lead gen, but also for allowing us to split out that content into other content as well.
Really one strategy we take with our content marketing 0:46:46.7 [Inaudible – Glitch] of the most interesting parts of those guides and turning them into different articles or videos. So that’s where we see a lot of the value and some of the results from developing that more extensive guide up front.
0:47:02.5 So yeah, I couldn’t give you an exact number of units that it’s delivered, but I can tell you its sustained since we created it almost two years ago.
Jordan: 0:47:11.4 It’s absolutely an essential strategy. Specifically the recycling of content. When you think about the big picture, overall strategy with digital, do you guys have internal resources to handle all that? Do you work with agencies? How do you collaborate on that?
Chuck: 0:47:28.6 Mhmm. When it comes to digital, we’ve worked with agencies, but we do it all in-house at this point. And so we really focus on not trying to be everywhere all at once. We try running experiments and seeing if they work out.
One really successful experience we found was using our lead magnet content material and pairing that with social retargeting campaigns.
0:47:57.9 And so that’s been one area of digital that we’ve really invested in, is taking these contents and really embracing some of the new advertising formats that are out there, such as Facebook’s Lead Ads, or Facebook’s Video Ads, or even their messenger ads.
And pairing that together with some of this more valuable content. And that’s generated – you know, right now on Facebook we’re seeing cost per clicks that are, you know, half as much as something like Google Adwords and costs per conversions that are much, much lower.
0:48:30.9 So that’s where we’ve started investing more of our resources when it comes to digital.
Jordan: 0:48:33.9 Let’s talk deeper in the funnel. So you get somebody with the investment guide. They’re on the list, they’re getting a series of emails. 0:48:44.3 At some point, presumably, they raise their hand and either schedule a free consultation, something along those lines. Talk me through that sales handoff. And really, before you even get into that, internally, what kind of categories do you guys use? Do you talk about stages like prospect, MQL, SQL? What does it look like internally for somebody to go through that phase from prospect to lead to customer?
Chuck: 0:49:08.6 Yeah so, we do have the standard kind of lifecycle stages. We have subscribers. People just on our content. Then we’ve got everything, the lead, the MQL, SQL and then opportunities and customers and then evangelists.
And so for us, once someone demonstrates that they’re interested, our best call to action has always been, “Hey, find out what your property is worth.”
0:49:35.0 And once again, appealing to that first-timer demographic who may not know what their property is worth. 0:49:40.9 So we really pull them in that way and if they have property that’s within our service area and it’s coming up for vacancy soon, or they have an existing manager but want to switch over, that would be a situation where it’s a well-qualified lead. Especially if there’s a vacancy coming over. That’s usually when people switch managers.
0:50:04.8 So, we qualify them. We do have – what’s different about us compared to another traditional manager, is we do have an inside sales model.
So borrowing the SaaS model where we have a sales development team who reaches out to our leads, whether they’re cold outbound leads or whether they’re MQLs. 0:50:26.7 I’m sorry, just leads. And then qualify those.
0:50:29.7 So we ask them a series of questions. For example, you know, have you ever done maintenance before on your property? How much have you invested in the maintenance? Have you ever worked with the manger?
0:50:38.9 Really making sure that we find the right people to work with and make sure it’s a right fit between the owner and OneRent. And then they’ll set up a meeting with our market specialist.
So we have someone who can walk through a detailed rental comp and at that point if it does become a sales qualified lead and once the person who has that call, we walk them through our services and the rental comp report.
And then we make the determination, “Ok is there a real opportunity for business here? Do they have a property where they’re actively thinking about switching managers within the next 30 days?”
Ok, so then that would be an opportunity. And then we work with the owner to walk them through our agreements. We do all of our sales over the phone. 98% of them are done over the phone.
0:51:31.7 Every once in a while we get someone who wants to come to the office. But then at that point, once they’re ready to go, then they schedule their first meeting with us at their property to do an on-boarding and a walk through. 0:51:43.1 And complete the agreement.
And at that point they become a customer. And right after they become a customer, we already have the gears turning to reach out to that owner and make sure they’re having a good experience. And if they are, we’ll ask them to share their good experience and spread the word.
0:52:00.2 And so, when it comes to thinking about growth, I think the number one channel that everyone is always chasing after is word of mouth. So that means really investing in a great product and a good experience for those owners.
If they do make a referral, at that point they become an evangelist. 0:52:18.2 So then we take extra care of them and their life-cycle stage is under that evangelist stage. We work to get them to continue to refer.
Jordan: 0:52:28.2 I love the holistic life-cycle that you just described. There’s a lot of clarity on process there. Talk to me about one often neglected issue. And that is the recycling of leads that do not convert. They’re effectively going up funnel to revert to being a prospect. How do you guys handle that?
Chuck: 0:52:45.2 Yeah, that’s actually an interesting question. So funny enough, we always – one interesting thing we’ve played around with is, especially with rentals right? They have a cycle and most long-term rentals are on 12 month leases. And so what we do is we recycle the leads from a year ago.
0:53:07.9 And we’ve tried shorter time frames, a few months or so, but we’ve found success with recycling leads that are almost exactly a year old.
And so those leads that we’re pulling into our funnel, who maybe had some level of interest and were qualified, you know, we’ll take those audiences and do outreach to them via email and then phone.
0:53:29.5 And also do things like retargeting so that we have all of these leads’ information, you don’t want to just have it sitting there in your CRM. You want to really leverage that. And so we’ll take that out and run retargeting campaigns, whether it’s on social or display.
0:53:44.4 And that’s really effective to get someone thinking about OneRent again. And we have a lot of those who do come back to us after six months or a year and say, “Hey my tenants are moving out and just remembered you guys. We talked a while back.” And they’ll be open to the conversation then.
0:54:01.4 And so that’s been effective for us. And one final thing we do to recycle leads. We’ve been working with a great company called Scout 0:54:08.5. They do direct mail. And direct mail has been an effective channel for us.
And with Scout, the beauty of it is you’re able to basically track the performance of each post card or letter that you send out and so we’ve been doing direct mail campaigns, and old leads just – you know, refreshing their memory, letting them know 0:54:29.4 [inaudible – glitch] in your area. Here’s some photos and 0:54:32.3 [Inaudible – glitch]. Draw them back in.
Jordan: 0:54:36.6 Now we’re getting into the weeds now, but you mentioned Scout. And I think being a tech company, did you guys look at using something like Lob 0:54:42.7, which is a little more completely roll your own.
What was the benefits of having some pre-configuration with an option like Scout?
Chuck: 0:54:49.0 So we were on Lob and funny enough, you know, I believe Scout still uses Lob, but what we found was that we were spending a lot of money and time on other systems to track the performance of our direct mail campaigns.
0:55:04.3 So we were using Twilio, and Instapage and all these other tools that you can Google and find out. And in order to just track how many people called, how many people clicked on the URLs, how many people visited the page.
The beauty of Scout, is they have all that centralized under one dashboard. And they also have some really unique technologies such as you can track anyone who visits your landing page from a post card that doesn’t actually convert. You can get that level of granular data.
0:55:35.7 So you can even re-market to people who may have had enough interest to visit your site, but didn’t actually convert. You can get an even more specific audience to market to.
Jordan: 0:55:45.8 A lot of different ways to skin a cat. A lot of tools out there. You talked a second ago about the funnel. At the end, you mentioned the evangelist category. If we imagine the funnel getting narrower, eventually at the point of the evangelist, it effectively gets wider at that point as they’re bringing more people into the funnel. 0:56:04.4 Do you – is that a formalized program on a consumer facing level? How do you get – how do you incentivize people to get into that category?
Chuck: 0:56:12.3 Yeah so, we do have a referral program where we give you know, credit for one of our services to both the referrer and the referree. And then same thing if you’re adding a property. One of the most powerful metrics any startup can have is this idea of reverse churn.
0:56:32.5 So you know, thinking about how you can grow the account of each customer. We’re starting to build a more formalized process around that. Really building on top of this concept of, “Hey, if you won multiple properties, isn’t it annoying to have multiple property managers? Why not just centralize everything under one roof?”
And that’s really a message that performs well with those people that own multiple properties. 0:56:56.0 You know, it is a formal process. As soon as they make a referral, their record in our CRM changes to an evangelist.
We’ve got a set of email that come out from our co-founder, our CEO, thanking them 0:57:08.8 Inaudible – glitch …on how to spread the word, whether that’s leaving a positive review or getting them to refer an owner. Both of them we incentivize.
Jordan: 0:57:16.8 Man. Love it. Guys, go Google ‘negative churn’. Profit Well, Patrick Campbell 0:57:22.0 does a good job talking about this.
But it’s a powerful, powerful concept. You can maintain your existing level of customer churn, but your revenue churn number can become negative if you can get people to hand you more properties and refer you more new business. Very, very powerful concept.
0:57:39.3 I want to move over to the rapid-fire section of this interview, but just before I do that, I just want to hear a little bit more about the tech stack of what else you guys are built on in terms of third-party products.
You mentioned Scout, Instapage, what else are you doing in terms of the website, etc.? Did you guys roll your own? Are you a HubSpot shop? What’s that look like?
Chuck: 0:58:00.6 Yeah so, right now we do use HubSpot for our blog and our email marketing. We do, you know, kind of one of the big challenges of property management is a backend system that is reliable.
And for us, the out of the box property management systems don’t necessarily accommodate some of the unique features we have, such as scheduling on-demand showings. We also do – we also offer property owners guaranteed rent payouts each month.
0:58:31.2 So some of these things we found limitations in the existing property management systems, so we’re actually looking at centralizing all of our backend sales, CRM, and service into one tool. And you know, the big elephant in the room is Sales Force 0:58:46.8. So we’re – that’s where we’re moving too next, is centralizing things on Sales Force.
Jordan: 0:58:52.4 What’s the head count within marketing and sales internally?
Chuck: 0:58:56.1 So we have about 15.
Jordan: 0:59:01.4 Got it. So 15 and obviously that’s going to scale over time. And what I tend to say about Sales Force is that all paths lead to Sales Force over time at scale. Right? It’s easy to criticize the platform because it is so diluted in the sense that it caters to a bunch of different sizes of companies and industries, etc.
But you get big enough, you’re a 1000 person org, you’re a 10,000 person org, at some point, all paths do lead in that direction. So I hear where you’re coming from and wish you much success getting on board with that platform.
0:59:34.4 I want to now move over to the rapid-fire section of this interview. We’re going to quickly go over some questions that I ask every single guest. 0:59:41.3 And the first question is how much is too much to pay for a new property management contract? I’m talking about CAC. What’s your tap out number?
Chuck: 0:59:51.0 $500.
Jordan: 0:59:54.4 Are we talking including – are we talking marketing spend only, or is that including sales labour?
Chuck: 1:00:00.7 For us, that’s including sales labour. So we are actually – we do have a key part of our business that I didn’t get a chance to mention. Is we do have an offshore operation that we built ourselves. A company offshore and that’s where we do our sales.
Jordan: 1:00:19.8 Got it. Wow. $500. Now, is that number significantly different between Seattle and The Bay? Or is it pretty much the same?
Chuck: 1:00:29.5 For now, that’s pretty much the same. I couldn’t tell you the granular difference off the bat.
Jordan: 1:00:37.3 Fair enough. So is that your target or is that your tap out number?
Chuck: 1:00:42.2 That’s our target.
Jordan: 1:00:45.4 Ok, so what’s your absolute tap out number? If you’ve got a long healthy pipe of leads that come in – contracts rather, that will come in at $700 a pop. Do you tap out? Is that too much? What is your absolute tap out number?
Chuck: 1:00:58.8 Let’s see. Yeah, it depends on the value of the property, but if we’re thinking on an average property, let’s say $750. $750 would be a good tap out.
Jordan: 1:01:12.3 Ok. Alright. Fair enough. Second question Chuck, as a marketer, as a founder, who do you learn from?
Chuck: 1:01:19.8 Yeah so, I really try to learn from our advisors and mentors. So some of the folks that I follow in the real estate industry. I love following John Burns. 1:01:33.7. He’s actually the brother of one of our advisors. And he has a great consulting firm that puts out a lot of really good stats on the industry and the real estate market.
And then really trying to get close with any of the owners of some of the real estate brokerages. 1:01:50.7 So, you know, Bob Moles 1:01:53.0. He’s the – one of the founders of Intera Real Estate who I mentioned we partnered with. He’s someone that we always go to to get advice for real estate.
And then I got to shout to our kind of online community of real estate professionals. Whether it be in our Facebook group or through some of the other organizations like TechaState Today 1:02:18.6 that I’ve met. There’s a lot of really technology for brokerages and real estate influencers out there and it’s just about finding them and getting to know them.
And yeah, I think beyond that, just having personal mentors in your life, so my oldest brother is one of my greatest personal mentors who has built a couple of businesses before. And so I always go to him for help as well.
Jordan: 1:02:46.8 Very healthy shout out list. This guy has networked up. 1:02:51.6 Next question. Chuck, what books have impacted you the most?
Chuck: 1:02:55.1 So, I actually you know, I’m very into the product side. I really love the book, Sprint. It’s actually a design book.
Jordan: 1:03:05.8 Google Pictures. Absolutely. Solid.
Chuck: 1:03:09.4 Yeah, exactly. So that’s a great one to just help you think about how to execute on ideas and projects quickly. And how to build consensus among your team around the solution. 1:03:15 And then some other, there’s a great book called, The Hard Thing About Hard Things.
Jordan: 1:03:25.5 Ben Horowitz. Classic. Classic.
Chuck: 1:03:28.3 Classic classic. So that tells you what to do when shit hits the fan. And a startup is always in the fan so it’s useful to have that.
Jordan: 1:03:39.5 Ok, a couple of good ones in the mix there. Absolutely. I’m with you on both of those specific recommendations. 1:03:44.1 Next question, what is the number one mistake that you see property management entrepreneurs making when it comes to sales and marketing?
Chuck: 1:03:52.8 I think it’s diluting the message. I think property managers, historically, you are a licensed real estate agent, and so there is this attraction to do real estate sales and to do transactions on properties.
And most property managers do that as their kind of primary business. And so, the biggest mistake I see, I think, is a dilution of messaging of, “Hey, you know, I do real estate, property management and sales”. And it creates this negative experience for the owner because the owner will always think that there’s some alternative motive to you managing their property. Which there is, because you ultimately want to sell it.
1:04:34.1 And so I think that’s one thing that contributes to the fragmentation. And then the biggest thing is just not adopting technology into your everyday work flow, and trying to do everything on your own. It doesn’t – you don’t need to be the same person that picks up the phone, signs a client and also does the showings and every step of the way. Why not specialize a team? Have dedicated teams for each part of the process and design your company for sale.
Jordan: 1:05:02.3 Why not? Yeah, why not Chuck? Great question. 1:05:07.1 Last question of the day. Chuck Hattemer, are entrepreneurs born or bred?
Chuck: 1:05:14.6 I would say bred. I would say bred. I think there is an element of the environment that you grow up in and having challenges that you need to overcome. I think it is a key part of being an entrepreneur but yeah, I think at the end of the day if you can solve problems, even if it’s small personal problems up to large business problems and you do that in a repeatable scalable model, then you can really tackle big problems on your own and become an entrepreneur.
Jordan: 1:05:54.8 Well said. Everybody’s got a different opinion, and there’s no wrong answers to that question. Chuck, if people want to keep in touch and find out more about what OneRent is up to, where can they go?
Chuck: 1:06:04.9 Yeah, so our website is just OneRent.co. Not dot com. It’s still in the shopping cart. And then also, find us on – you can find us on Facebook if you just search up the BadAss Real Estate Professionals Group.
And come find me on Quora. I just started on Quora, so if you search out my name on Quora, I’d love to answer more questions and get more networked in the real estate community. Always looking for people to help teach me more about real estate, since I am a newbie to the industry.
Jordan: Go find this guy online. Chuck, we’re going to have eyes on you. Thanks for jamming with me in this interview, it was a ton of fun. We’ll be in touch.
Chuck: Awesome. Thank you so much Jordan, I appreciate it.