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Kassandra Taggart on Becoming The Local Expert In Your Market

Kassandra Taggart on Becoming The Local Expert In Your Market

Today I’m talking with Kassandra Taggart, the president of Real Property Management Last Frontier, a fast growing property management company in Anchorage, Alaska of all places, which was named RPM franchise of the year in 2016.  

Kassandra is also the president of The Landlord’s Almanac, one of the largest landlord clubs in the country dedicated to networking, supporting and training for professional landlords.  

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk a little bit about how Kassandra is using thought leadership to grow her reputation, to grow her business, what it actually looks like in practice, and how you can use some of these same tactics to benefit your business.  

So, if you’re curious about how to stand out from the crowd, you’ve been doing some marketing and sales and you just haven’t quite got to the point where it’s really in a flow state, then this episode is for you.

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Topics covered:

  • (01:27) – Background Leading up to Today
      • (01:36) – Kassandra shares her property management journey and how she got into the industry.
  • (02:38) – Thought Leadership
      • (03:07) – The development of The Landlord’s Almanac.
        • (04:59) – How the Almanac makes Kassandra a better entrepreneur.
          • (05:15) – Establishing her as an expert in the industry.
          • (06:08) – Pushed her limits personally to handle the explosive growth.
      • (07:07) – Discussing the psychological shift of assuming the role of expert.
        • (10:10) – The effect this has on sales.
      • (12:36) – The kind of client attracted to thought leadership marketing.
        • (13:56) – Influencing accidental landlords to embrace wealth creation through real estate.
          • (14:41) – Three types of influence within the accidental landlord demographic.
            • (14:41) – Secondary level of referrals via presentations.
            • (15:14) – Consulting.
            • (15:28) – Landlords who decide to pursue wealth creation through real estate.
          • (16:01) – Addressing the concern that landlords can “just do it themselves” when it comes to property management.
      • (17:04) – Kassandra discusses the challenges she faced with public speaking and establishing the meet up infrastructure.
        • (17:35) – Realizing the limits of knowledge that landlords possessed.  
        • (18:02) – Developing speaking skills.
      • (18:49) – The ins and outs of running monthly local meet ups.
        • (19:23) – Locations.
        • (19:59) – Structuring the conversations.
      • (21:32) – Where Kassandra thinks her business would be had she not developed the educational component and pursued thought leadership.
      • (25:20) – Inspiration for improving operational efficiency.
        • (26:47) – How Kassandra communicates financial performance with her clients.
          • (27:25) – Empowering clients by offering opportunities and solutions to challenges.
  • (28:32) – Leveling Up
    • (28:32) – Awareness of future trends in the industry.
      • (28:49) – The growing importance of differentiation.
      • (30:25) – Kassandra shares her opinions on what holds up people in the industry from adapting to coming trends.
        • (30:40) – Being proactive versus reactionary.
        • (31:53) – Taking ‘buffer days’ to strategize and plan.

Resources mentioned:

Where to learn more:

If you want to get in touch with Kassandra or learn more about her business, find her on her flagship website TheLandlordsAlmanac.com.

Transcript:

Jordan: 0:00:00.3 Welcome closers. Today we have another episode of The Profitable Property Management Podcast coming at you. This is Season Two on sales.

I’m your host Jordan Muela, and every week I interview world-class entrepreneurs and industry experts who share actionable insights to help you grow your property management empire.

Whether you manage 100 units or 1000, this broadcast is designed to help you see the big picture and to give you the tools and tactics that you need to get to the next level.

0:00:25.6 Today I’m talking with Kassandra Taggart, the president of Real Property Management Last Frontier, a fast growing property management company in Anchorage, Alaska of all places, which was named RPM franchise of the year in 2016.

0:00:39.6 Kassandra is also the president of The Landlord’s Almanac, one of the largest landlord clubs in the country dedicated to networking, supporting and training for professional landlords.

0:00:50.2 In today’s episode, we’re going to talk a little bit about how Kassandra is using thought leadership to grow her reputation, to grow her business, what it actually looks like in practice, and how you can use some of these same tactics to benefit your business.

0:01:03.3 So, if you’re curious about how to stand out from the crowd, you’ve been doing some marketing and sales and you just haven’t quite got to the point where it’s really in a flow state, then this episode is for you.

0:01:14.9 Welcome to the show Kassandra.

Kassandra: Thank you Jordan, I appreciate that. Great introduction about what thought leadership is.

Jordan: 0:01:22.7 Well, so you’re doing it. You’re one of the few people that’s actually doing some of the heavy lifting.

0:01:27.4 So, I want to start here. Just rough parameters of the business. How long have you been in business, how large is your franchise, etc?

Kassandra: 0:01:36.6 Sure. I’ve kind of done twists and turns over the years.

I started as an investor when I was 18. Bought my first property. Learned from my father and grandfather and I kept growing from there.

0:01:46.6 Eventually I had quite a few rentals and said I probably should have a property management business to support them.

0:01:53.3 And then I could also use that to help others in the industry as well. And maybe find some deals. Right?

0:01:58.8 So we opened up the property management company, and I quickly realized that investors are a different mindset than the accidental landlords and different then the DYI landlords.

0:02:11.8 So it kind of created a very interesting problem to solve because then we developed into creating a book to try to teach people the difference between making painful decisions and profitable decisions.

0:02:23.7 Then we kept pivoting from there over and over and over, over the years. 0:02:26.3 So, that’s where RPM started and my management company, and that’s how we pivoted into The Landlord’s Almanac being a referral source and a leverage for us.

Jordan: 0:02:38.2 Got it. So, to me, The Landlord’s Almanac thing, it falls into the category of content marketing and thought leadership.

And all this stuff is really in the long game, right? 0:02:47.0 If you could easily do that within 30 days, get spun up and having all these leads come in, everybody would do it.

0:02:53.5 But, it doesn’t really work that way. It’s a lot of effort.

0:02:56.1 So from behind the scenes, kind of talk me through from conceiving this idea to actually getting some ROI off of it. 0:03:03.5 What has that journey been like with the Landlord’s Almanac?

Kassandra: 0:03:07.3 Well, it’s been an interesting four years, I believe it was, to get it kind of started.

And it first started off with I just wanted to socialize with other landlords so I started creating little gatherings.

And then I realized that the people, the DYI landlords, the accidental landlords and beginner investors, had no clue what they were doing.

0:03:27.0 So then it pivoted into training and educating them. 0:03:30.7 And teaching them how to basically do my job.

0:03:33.4 During that process we – the local college started doing classes, so we started actually having degrees and certificates in property management. 0:03:42.6 But the public doesn’t have access to that.

0:03:46.8 So, then we pivoted over to doing classes in educations. That took about a year to grow. 0:03:52.9 We ended up growing to around 50 to 70 people that show up every month just to listen to the classes.

0:04:02.3 And then they started asking, “Hey, we want to socialize with each other. We want to be connected to more professionals.” 0:04:10.2 Because we’d have guest speakers. So now we have a platform where they socialize and engage.

0:04:13.4 So it was a four year process and it just keeps changing because we listen to the customers. And we didn’t do what we wanted, we did what they kept asking.

Jordan: 0:04:21.1 I love that. So you’re following the request of your customers. Always a great recipe for success.

What I find is that when we talk about content marketing, people tend to put it in the same bucket of a sales expense or a marketing expense.

0:04:35.2 But it is oh so different to try and do lead generation through thought leadership versus, let’s say, buying All Property Management leads. Right?

0:04:41.1 Philosophically, you’ve got to be pretty bought into this, so how does you doing The Landlord’s Almanac, how does that make you a better entrepreneur and a better service provider, aside from the leads that come from it? Do you feel like it just makes you better at your job?

Kassandra: 0:04:59.6 It does, because you’re getting boots on the ground to listen to your clients straight on. You are able to learn what their perception is of property management.

0:05:07.4 They just think it’s cashing a rent cheque, and nowadays, they can just buy a program and do it themselves.

Jordan: Cosy. Yeah.

Kassandra: 0:05:15.6 I mean, it’s like they go buy the Zillow and get everything that they need, or Cosy.co for example.

0:05:23.4 So they don’t realize that rules and regulations are quickly changing. 0:05:27.8 Like how we do tenant screening, and how fair housing works at the federal and the state level. 0:05:32.0 And all of these fines that can just happen with no trials.

So, it’s very interesting to engage them in that conversation and teach them the inductments of what property management is and how to do it so they can make profitable decisions.

0:05:45.0 But when we do that, it established ourselves as the expert and word of mouth went crazy.

We opened RPM in 2012. Since that day we have not technically spent money in online, Google, anything. Or ads or whatever you want to call the online social stuff outside of Google reviews. Right?

0:06:08.5 All of our energy on these classes and networking have been what’s created a huge referral source for us.

And it made it to our conversion rates are a lot higher than most of the other companies that are in the industry. 0:06:21.5 And it made it to where our growth went through the roof.

0:06:25.5 There was one year where we had 118% growth, and that was very challenging as a business owner to learn how to manage growth and reputation and the errors that come with going to fast.

0:06:37.2 And learning portfolio mixes as a business owner and learning how to restrict growth but at the same time get just profitable growths to come on.

0:06:47.5 So it was a little bit of a learning curve with how to work with the community, listen to the customer and manage the growth as well as manage profitable growth.

0:06:57.7 So it pushed my limits and I am very thankful for that. I won’t forget that period ever.

Jordan: 0:07:02.7 Yeah! Of course. That’s a part of the ride, for sure. That’s what entrepreneurs sign up for.

0:07:07.5 Can you talk to me a little bit about the psychological shift of taking on that persona. Of being the expert. Right?

0:07:14.2 There’s something called Impostor Syndrome, which is basically just kind of questioning, “Am I really this smart? Am I really that much of a leader?”

Going from not having that platform to having it is a shift in terms of what people project onto you and how you view yourself.

0:07:31.3 Has it given you more confidence in how you approach owner focused conversations?

Kassandra: 0:07:36.6 It’s actually very, very fascinating to go through that process. When I first started the connecting with the other landlords, I thought I was going to be learning from them in the sense of, “Well how do you do this process better? How do you get more rentals? And how do you do this?”

0:07:54.6 And come to find out that the knowledge base that they have is so little. And I didn’t realize how little it was.

And if you think about it, it wasn’t a thing to have a college degree in property management until recently. 0:08:10.2 It wasn’t a thing to be able to read articles and blogs on it until recently.

0:08:16.6 So what people know about the industry in the history of America, is just what their grandfather and their father taught them. Or life experiences. 0:08:25.8 Nothing else was out there for them.

0:08:27.3 So just feeding their hunger to want to learn and educate naturally makes you look like an expert. Because you have so many properties you’re managing and you know all the stories that they don’t have.

0:08:40.3 But they don’t realize the consequence of doing the wrong screening the wrong way or the decline of a screening the wrong way. Creating the government to come down on you or something.

0:08:48.6 So when you introduce them to those stories, they just put you on a pedestal and it’s funny. You’ll see them on the forum and they’ll say, “Hey Kassandra said, ……… so this is the answer. You’re doing it wrong.”

0:09:04.4 I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” You need to do your own research and learn.

Jordan: 0:09:10.1 But people crave leadership. Right? I mean, that’s very obviously the situation.

Kassandra: 0:09:15.5 And they crave it, so it’s kind of cool to be the person that says, “Hey you should read this book or this thing.”

0:09:20.8 We’ve actually had some of our customers come to the class, loved it so much and they went off to school to get a property management degree just because they wanted to learn more.

0:09:27.9 And it’s changing the industry by being proactive and giving them what they want versus reactionary and just making property management being a transaction-based system. That’s the difference.

And that’s where my mind has shifted this whole time. 0:09:45.2 Because it’s not about the transaction of, “Oh I got 500 units” or “I’ve got 600 units.” 0:09:49.6 It has nothing to do with that.

0:09:50.7 What it deals with is, “Were we able to watch that person grow from one unit to 15 units. Were we able to watch them develop knowledge with going to school and learning about equity trust and ways to maneuver their retirement account. Are we partners with them?” 0:10:06.4 It’s way better than just being a transaction.

Jordan: 0:10:10.5 I couldn’t agree more. You can call this so many things. You can call it consultative sales. You could call it thought leadership.

But ultimately, it’s just caring. It’s caring enough to actually put yourself in your client’s shoes and to take action.

0:10:25.0 And what I find is that when I get that mental orientation, it creates energy and inertia, and people just – they smell it, they breathe it and they want to be a part of it.

0:10:36.0 A little commentary from you on the sales side of things. Because my interactions have been – when I’m out on a sales conversation with somebody who’s heard the podcast or they’ve seen me speak, it’s a completely different situation versus somebody that’s like, “Sell me.”

0:10:48.7 I can’t stand – that is such an inferior place to be starting the conversation from. I assume you’ve experienced some of that halo effect as well on the sales side.

Kassandra: 0:10:59.0 Of course. You know, it’s fascinating. My very starting years of being in the sales industry was back in the day I created a little lawn mowing company to start mowing all the rental properties in the area.

0:11:13.2 And it wasn’t a sales pitch, it was, “I have this service, I can fit and do for you.” And if you think about it, we’re constantly selling, so sales pitch is kind of not a thing.

0:11:23.3 It’s really about what service can I provide, what can I connect you with, what can I train you on with the value differences between me and the differentiator with somebody else down the road.

0:11:33.7 And it’s not about a transaction or a pitch. It’s about the value opportunity and how well you can articulate it. 0:11:41.9 And connect.

Because everybody has different personalities. So you have to understand their personality, you have to understand their state of mind. You have to understand their goals. Before you even pitch. 0:11:51.7 Otherwise your pitch is going to be way in the left field and you’re just wasting time.

Jordan: 0:11:54.1 And then you’re asking – well people only want to talk about price. Well, there’s a reason for that, you know?

Kassandra: 0:11:59.8 Yeah. And I don’t want to be in an industry in 20 years from now, where I’m just a line item on their budget sheet.

0:12:06.0 I want to actually be a partner who can get them where they’re wanting to go as they define financial success. 0:12:13.4

Because some of them define financial success as being able to afford that vacation trip in Disney Land. Where some says it’s just to come up with college money for their kiddos.

0:12:24.1 Everybody’s definition is different and how could you even begin to walk them down the path if you don’t know their goals. 0:12:30.4 And you’re just 0:12:30.7 [Inaudible] their goal. 0:12:32.9 It’s not a pitch that you’re looking for.

Jordan: 0:12:36.2 I like that. So let’s talk about who this attracts. Do you find that because you’re engaging in being out there and educating people that the client profiles – is it anymore biased towards investors versus accidental landlords?

Kassandra: 0:12:49.1 You know, there was a study, I believe you’re aware of it, called The Iceberg Report.

0:12:55.0 In that report it talked about there being 234 million private landlords that aren’t stuck in an entity. And out of that number 19.6 were the DIY landlords from the single family homes to fourplexes in size.

0:13:12.2 So when I first started this Landlord’s Almanac, I thought I was going to attract those guys that had 80 units, 100 units and were big players.

0:13:19.3 But those are so few and far between that all I attracted was guys that had one to four units willing to step up or by more or just make profit on what they have.

0:13:31.1 So I didn’t – I went into this thinking I’d be able to surround myself by bigger investors so I could be a bigger investor.

0:13:39.0 When really, I surrounded myself with more of those that were hungry to learn and grow and actually they ended up spending more money with us by buying forms and documents and books before they spent any money on professional services.

Jordan: 0:13:56.1 Got it. Yeah, that makes sense. So, for that profile of folks that are smaller, do you find that you are still able to influence them in terms of helping participate in the wealth creation through real estate story?

And then get them to actually purchase more properties and have you manage them? 0:14:10.9 Do you feel like you can influence them doubling down on it as opposed to a lot of people feel like for the accidentals, they got what they got, they’re not going to buy any more houses and it’s just kind of static?

Kassandra: 0:14:25.0 A lot of people think that about the accidental landlords. Is they start at one property and then they stop.

But when they realize that you make revenue, several different ways in rental properties and how they can maximize it, they get hooked on the dream of having rentals.

0:14:39.1 So they end up buying more and making more 0:14:39.6 [Inaudible].

0:14:41.4 We actually found three things that grows our business from the group.

The first one is the secondary level of referrals. It’s kind of like BNI.

You do a presentation every week and then you tell them about yourself and they become these little mini sales force people telling the next people who you are and, “Oh you should call them.”

0:14:59.6 So, we’re getting mass amounts of our referrals through secondary relationships and third layer relationships. Not so much to people that are in the room.

0:15:08.8 The people in the room are kind of like our marching sales force for us.

0:15:14.5 And then, the second thing that we get, obviously, is we’ll do our consulting stuff sales with consulting coaching, how to buy the right property, what to look for in buying the right property. 0:15:25.8 Things like that.

0:15:28.0 And then the third one is, there’s about 20% of the crowd that will start off with one thinking they’re going to sell it and then they end up buying more and having us manage all of it.

0:15:36.4 So it’s kind of three areas where we’re generating revenue off of for the group.

0:15:41.4 And it’s really cool because we now have it so systemized where sponsors pay for the cost of the events and pay for the cost of the forums that we do.

0:15:54.8 We don’t even have to worry about those costs anymore. So it’s literally zero cost marketing platform for us.

Jordan: 0:16:01.6 Big objection removed right off the table. Obviously, another objection is, “Well Kassandra, if you educate them, then they’ll just do it themselves and they won’t want to hire you.” 0:16:09.7 How do you address that potential concern somebody may have?

Kassandra: 0:16:13.6 That actually hasn’t really been much of an issue. I thought it would be by sitting there teaching them how to process rent or how to do an eviction.

0:16:21.1 But what happens in the room, and what happened every time we did webinars, it was more of an, “I didn’t know” and “I don’t have time to know, so therefore I need to hire or tell my buddy to hire you.” Over and over and over, that was the conversation.

0:16:37.0 Every state is very complicated on its evictions. And there’s a step for this, a step for this, a step for this.

If you miss a step you have to go back to step one and start over. And it gets very expensive.

0:16:47.7 So, the landlords, when they realize how many steps there are to accomplish one task, they realize it’s too hard to do it themselves, so they start handing over their properties, or they start following even more and bragging to the world how much they know.

Jordan: 0:17:04.6 Love it. So, in terms of the actual setup of an individual meeting. When you talked about starting off just doing meet ups, that sounds like a fairly low bar as opposed to – in terms of the infrastructure, it’s people in a room, you’ve got to find a meeting space.

But still, maybe some folks would have some hesitations around public speaking or – what was the friction or the inertia that you had to get past when you first started doing it?

Before it was actually something that you were really comfortable with?

Kassandra: 0:17:35.1 For me, it was kind of two things that I had to get over. The first one was I thought I was going to be standing in a room full of landlords that knew more than me. And come to find out we knew more than them because we’re in it every day.

0:17:48.8 And we see the lawsuits, we see the complaints, we see the government regulations. Whereas they don’t.

0:17:55.6 So we were actually far more advanced then they realized. Or I’m far more advanced then they are realized. Anyways.

0:18:02.1 The second thing that I had to get over was just simple speaking skills. Because when we first did the speaking, it was more like I’m talking like a teacher.

Then, when I did that, you didn’t get as many referrals. Or you didn’t get as much engagement.

0:18:17.5 So we had to learn how to speak not with a sales pitch, but with a value proposition at the same as teaching them. At the same time of what we’re rolling them towards they want to hire you.

0:18:28.2 And, you know, it’s like this science mix of all of this.

0:18:30.8 So I did a lot of Toastmaster classes. I did a lot of training on how to do my presentations differently.

0:18:37.5 It’s kind of like you with the podcast. You had to learn from when you started versus today, how to even start each session and have the conversations.

Jordan: 0:18:46.2 Sure. Yeah, so it’s a work in progress, no doubt.

0:18:49.7 So now, when you do these, you’re still doing the local meet ups even though you have the online forums.

The local meet ups are happening on a monthly basis, is that right?

Kassandra: 0:18:58.1 Yes. We have 1000 members. We’re now in three states. Oklahoma, Washington and Alaska are the three states that we’re in right now.

0:19:06.3 It’s partly because that’s where I am as an investor. So it kind of grew in those areas. 0:19:12.5 And they all sit online chatting in our private forums that we have.

Jordan: 0:19:17.5 So when you say states, what does that mean? Is that the places where you actually hold meet up events in?

Kassandra: 0:19:23.1 Yeah, there’s local meet ups in Everett, Washington. I was able to find another property manager that was willing to host the events.

And then I will participate in some of those events. I like to travel, so I’ll go there. 0:19:35.1 Frequently in Oklahoma because I have rentals there. So I’ll do events there.

And then I have other investors that will do events there as well. 0:19:43.4 So when we – then we started creating a forum. Creating connections and access. Now people will post in their local meetup area.

0:19:53.5 So it’s different than Aria. Aria is everything and anything real estate. Whereas this one’s hyper-focusing on landlording.

Jordan: 0:19:59.6 So how do you structure the conversation? For your next meetup, is it topically focused? Is it more a Q&A, free flowing conversation? Like how do you actually structure that time?

Kassandra: 0:20:09.6 Well, what’s fascinating we learned is that we change it up. It’s not always the same setup.

So sometimes the events are a little bit more created to creating speed dating and networking. So that way professionals can connect with the other landlords.

0:20:23.2 Sometimes the event is a classroom style, which is like teaching them step by step of how to do an eviction.

0:20:28.3 And then other times it’s a combination of inviting a guest speaker so we can hyper-focus in on, for example, how to use your IRA to buy rentals.

0:20:36.8 And we’ll go into depth of how to do that. 0:20:39.9 And it all deals with property management, landlording, buying more rentals, risk mitigations, asset protection. Anything and everything that will support a landlord.

Jordan: 0:20:50.5 Yeah, that makes sense.

So if somebody was thinking about hosting local events or just doing education in general – if you were going to sum it all up, these sorts of things are hard to quantify in terms of the time investment and the outcome – 0:21:05.1 you can to some degree, but eventually it snowballs and becomes such a big thing it just all kind of gloms together.

0:21:12.4 And for people like me, I don’t sweat that because philosophically, I am committed to education as a part of what I do. It is part of my job.

0:21:22.7 And it’s something that I find deeply rewarding. And it’s the number one reason people want to have a relationship with me as a service provider.

0:21:32.2 In your situation, what happens to your franchise had you not done any of this education? How do you think that the company’s destiny would have been different had you just said, “You know what? I can’t get out of my shell.” Or, “It’s going to be too much time” or “Come up with some kind of excuse.”

Kassandra: 0:21:47.8 So, I’m kind of like you. Education is my motivator and touching thousands of people is my motivator to get up and get over any fears I have to make something happen.

The secondary one is I always use math when it comest to trying to evaluate doing something. 0:22:04.3 So you can either spend – so I’m at 500 rentals, I know a lot of people will spend a certain percentage of their marketing towards – a percent of their revenue towards marketing.

0:22:17.2 And that could be anywhere from 60 to 100 thousand dollars in Google Ads and Facebook and all those things. Website hosting.

0:22:24.1 Or, you can just spend your money and get it – free marketing and just get out and start talking and socializing and listening to the community.

0:22:33.8 It’ll give you ideas of how to pivot your company to provide guarantees and warranties and services that you haven’t thought of before.

0:22:41.8 It will give you ideas of challenges that others are facing in the community that you aren’t facing but you might soon face so you can get ready for the change.

0:22:51.6 Like rents going up or rents going down, or somebody getting sued over x, y, z and you can start thinking back on your processes as a company.

0:23:01.5 So it’s going to help your business by listening and hearing what’s going on in the market really close.

0:23:08.8 But it’s also going to make it to where you’re saving a lot of money on marketing cost by just going straight to them.

0:23:15.2 I’m not asking Google’s permission to get in front of them and just be. I’m now a partner and everyone refers us.

0:23:24.3 And because of that, we now get speaking opportunities all the time. 0:23:27.1 At the banks and at the local chambers. At BNI. Every time there’s a huge event, they want us to be a guest speaker because we’re good at speaking now. We’re also good at relating to them.

0:23:38.1 And that does help us with our sales presentations when we’re just trying to bring on a new client because we know how to relate to them and talk to them at their level not our level. 0:23:47.4 So it’s just a big circle. Of saving money and growing.

Jordan: 0:23:52.0 I love it. So here’s the way I think about it. To own the relationship, you have to tell the story. And at the point that you own the relationship, it’s pull rather than push.

0:24:02.4 When we think about all the different ways that you can deploy a dollar or any resource to get some kind of a ROI – pay per lead, pay per click, SEO, all of these things require expertise in and of itself. Right?

0:24:15.8 Like, if you really want to leverage pay per click, you’re probably going to need to learn about it on some level.

You could try completely outsourcing it and knowing nothing, but what we tend to find is, if you can’t audit the good or service that you’re paying for, it’s difficult for you to find a service provider that’s going to do right by you. Just as a general concept.

0:24:40.4 If I go to the mechanic and he tells me that there’s something wrong with my car and I have no ability to audit that – I could go to another mechanic, but I’m kind of in a bind, you know?

0:24:46.2 They’ve got me by the short hairs, more or less, and I’m subject to their whims.

0:24:51.0 What’s unique about the form of marketing that you’re leveraging, is that it doesn’t require you, by and large, to learn this crazy new skillset. Of marketing automation, or technology, or whatever.

0:25:01.4 It plays to your strength. Because, if you’re a competent service provider and you know how to do your job well and you’re comfortable sharing it, what could – where could there be more possible overlap for you to penetrate the market.

0:25:16.0 That’s why I like where you’re focusing your lead gen and your marketing efforts.

0:25:20.6 But you brought up some other great points. Like, for example, getting ideas for operational efficiency, or fees.

Like what’s some of the inspiration on the operational side of things that you think came from a specific conversation in the meetup?

Kassandra: 0:25:34.3 One of the biggest things that was a big eye-opener for me is I kind of have a paralegal background, so when we wrote up our emails and messages and our internal documents that get sent to the clients, we realized that that’s like legal jargon over everyone’s head.

0:25:53.2 So, by listening to everyone, there’s kind of two sides to their mentality. It’s how I feel in the moment of whatever is happening, which is usually an emotional decision that they make and not a business decision.

0:26:06.1 And then B: there ability to trust us to help them make that business decision so they can make the right decision for their property to be profitable enough without a painful process.

0:26:14.9 So, by that concept, I was able to go to all of our messaging, and everything that went out to the customer, and changed it from legal jargon to content that was at their level of understanding.

And at the ability to educate them on how they could step through this process with us rather than fighting us because they don’t understand, or they get scared and emotions overtake their ability to do the right decision.

0:26:41.5 So that’s just one thing that we changed just from this process.

Jordan: 0:26:47.3 I love that, that makes so much sense. I’m also curious about the insights you may have around how your clients want to be talked to about the financial outcomes.

Like, how do you think that you may communicate with your clients about the financial outcomes differently than – aside from just putting it in laymen’s terms.

Like, what do you do basically to communicate financial performance? 0:27:11.8 Like the equivalent of layman’s proforma, or something like that, for your clients.

Kassandra: 0:27:14.7 So, what’s fascinating is most of the landlords don’t understand basic profit and losses. Or basic balance sheets.

They don’t get it. They don’t know how to read them. They don’t understand where it goes or any of that stuff.

0:27:25.3 So what we started doing is, every time we’re faced with a decision like ‘tenant gave a notice’, simple as ‘tenant gave a notice’, we go to the owner and we send them a series of messages saying, “Hey here’s opportunities that you can derive from this action that happened.”

And then that will – one of those series of messages that go to them will usually engage them in a conversation of, “Hey, I think I want to go from a single-family to a duplex.” Or “Hey, is it time to start rehabbing so that way I can maximize my rent.” Or “Hey I didn’t know that I could do these repairs due to deprecation. I’m a high income earner, how can I work with that?”

0:28:05.9 So we take these opportunities of the life cycle of the rental property and use it to guide them over other options.

0:28:14.4 And when they read it, and when they engage, and when they pick the action that they want, they feel empowered.

0:28:19.5 Like it was their idea. 0:28:21.0 And then they will grow with us and add more accounts accordingly.

Jordan: 0:28:26.8 Wow, so that’s value. Right?

I mean, by giving them options that they didn’t know that they had, you just created a massive amount of value.

Kassandra: 0:28:32.3 Yeah, and if you think about it – if you follow kind of – because I’ve been listening to your podcast for awhile and there’s been a couple people from Australia on the podcast.

And they talk about how we all are now at the phase of having similar systems, similar processes, similar ‘have to deal with the government the same way’. So on and so on and so on.

0:28:49.4 That the key thing is, is they have to find a way to be a differentiator and strategies of working with the clients to get the clients to grow.

0:28:57.3 And that’s the differentiator between them and another company.

0:28:59.7 So if you were to be a leader in this industry in America, you need to already be thinking about that because here in about 10, 15 years, we’re all going to have the same programs.

0:29:09.6 We’re all going to have the same data, we’re all going to have the same, “Here’s how you process and press enter on this thing.”

0:29:15.2 For crying out loud, we all do tenant processing. Rent payment processing. We all can do credit cards, we all can do online portals. We’re all doing that.

So maybe we have to start saying, what makes me different than you? 0:29:30.5 And that’s the conversation you need to start thinking about having with the public.

0:29:33.7 Because they can now download a form and do it themselves without you. They can buy the software.

Jordan: 0:29:43.9 Yeah, I could not agree more. Ben White in one of this books talks about hygiene factors. The concept of hygiene factors.

It’s not something to be self-congratulatory about, it’s something you have to do just to even be in the game.

0:29:58.1 And a lot of the processes that you just described, the online portals, whatever it may be, fall into those factors.

0:30:03.6 And that’s why it’s so challenging to wade into the differentiation conversation. Because it requires a certain level of honesty and self-indictment about saying, “You know what? I may be just like every other property management company in my town. There may be nothing unique about what we today, but what could I do to actually position around that?”

0:30:25.4 You network with other property management companies, you’re a part of a franchise, I know you have a lot of conversations, what do you see as being the primary hangup that prevents people from going down this path that you’ve gone down?

Kassandra: 0:30:40.3 You know, I think what happens – it’s the old adage that we all face, is we’re always busy in our business, not busy thinking on our business. If that makes sense.

0:30:50.3 I think that’s what happens, is we get so busy in our day to day of, “Oh this tenant did this, this owner did this, this thing hit our plate”, and we become reactionary.

0:30:59.9 And for the most part, as a country, we’re kind of reactionary in a lot of things that we do. Which makes it easy to slip into those habits.

But if you were to sit back and just find a way to calendar yourself time to think. 0:31:13.2 Like, for example, I don’t go to work on Mondays.

I use that as my day of just sitting and thinking of where can I go, what can I change, what can I edit. Or, what book can I read that will provoke the idea of what the future could look like.

0:31:28.2 So I can put steps in place to start making that happen.

0:31:32.4 Otherwise, we’re just going to stay 20 years behind and there’s literally one management company in my town that still does collecting rent cheques on a paper ledger where they hand write it in and all that stuff. No computers.

0:31:46.0 If we don’t keep up with the times, we’ll be that guy in ten years from now.

Jordan: 0:31:53.6 Yeah. Buffer days. I love that concept. So, Dan Sullivan, who’s a strategic coach, talks about a buffer day.

One day out of the week where you take to just get really clear on what is actually happening as opposed to just being victimized by the 0:32:05.8 [Inaudible].

0:32:07.9 And I think every entrepreneur can relate to that.

0:32:10.8 When we think about what you would do with a buffer day, or the margin that you get by working yourself out of a job, what I notice, is that entrepreneurs move up on the food chain, they have more free time, but they tend to default towards their own skill set and area of comfortability.

0:32:27.1 I’ve got one client that is an engineer. And so, you know what he works on? Systems and processes. 0:32:32.6 And they’re really dialed in.

0:32:33.1 I’ve got other clients that are natural born sales people and so they tend to work on marketing.

0:32:38.9 But what I know, is that when we think about the economic value being created by the different functions within the business, sales and marketing creates an overwhelming disproportionate quantity of value in the business.

0:32:51.7 We like to think that the best widget wins. The best service provider wins. If you build it they will come. 0:32:57.6 It’s a dirty lie. It’s just not true.

Focusing on sales and marketing is one of the best investments that you can make. And if you can do it from the vantage point of leveraging the expertise that you already have, more power to you.

0:33:10.8 I love the example that you’ve set up. If folks want to find out more about what you’re doing, maybe get in touch and learn more about The Landlord’s Almanac, what’s the best place for them to do that?

Kassandra: 0:33:20.9 We are revamping the site to make it where it can handle more nationwide. I’ll send it to three areas we’re in right now.

0:33:27.3 So today it’ll look different then what it will look like when we launch the new platform. So, the website is the best place to get ahold of us and it’s TheLandlordsAlmanac.com.

And you’ll get a taste of what it looks like and it’ll launch in August with the new platform. 0:33:43.8 So that way they can join in and start chatting with us as well.

Jordan: 0:33:48.0 Alright. And you mentioned that you have a couple of partners in some different states. Are you still – are you open or looking for potential partners in other states outside of those three?

Kassandra: 0:33:57.5 Yes. We’re always looking for additional landlords to connect into to. Additional property managers to connect into. Y

es, I am part of a franchise, but I to do consider this as a like a separate entity and a separate performance because the franchise helps me within my local market.

0:34:13.9 So this is open for everyone to come and chat and hang out with us.

Jordan: 0:34:18.7 Alright! So open for chat and maybe some travel opportunities for you. So anybody with a property management company in Cozumel or Rome or France, reach out and let’s connect here.

0:34:29.1 So hey, I appreciate you sharing and kind of opening up the kimono. 0:34:33.1 I commend you for the tremendous effort that you’re putting forward. I have a ton of respect for it and I think it’s the way of the future guys.

0:34:40.4 So if you want to get ahead of the curve, belike Kassandra. Start committing to educating to educating your clients.

Start committing to being that thought leader that has an end destination and a journey. Not just handing over dollars for services rendered. Provide that long-term customer journey.

0:34:57.8 Really appreciate you coming on the show Kassandra. Next time I’m in Alaska I’m going to look you up.

Kassandra: 0:35:02.7 Sounds like a plan.

 

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