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Steve Welty on Playing the Long Game for Success

Steve Welty on Playing the Long Game for Success

Today, I’m talking with Steve Welty, the owner of Good Life Property Management, which is based in sunny San Diego.  

After selling his share in another property management firm in 2013, Steve started Good Life with the goal of providing the highest level of customer service and experience in the industry.  

Pretty lofty goal, isn’t it?

Today, we’re going to talk about what he does to actually lean into that.  We’ll cover Steve’s journey and how the business is set up and designed to serve him and his goals while still driving incredible results for his customers.

I have known Steve for quite a few years now. I think he’s a visionary, and from a mindset perspective, we’re very much on the same frequency.  

If you enjoy this episode, please head on over to iTunes and leave us an honest review.  The more reviews means better guests, which means a better podcast.

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Topics covered:

  • (01:41) – Background
      • (01:53) – Steve shares how he got into the property management industry.
  • (04:35) – Business Break Up
      • (04:48) – Steve discusses his views on partnerships and whether he would ever do one again.
        • (05:56) – Measuring success by results, not hours worked.
  • (07:11) – The Good Life
      • (07:22) – Where Good Life is at today in terms of numbers and operations.
      • (10:20) – Working with millennials.
  • (12:24) – Mastermind
      • (13:53) – How partaking in a focused mastermind retreat changed Steve’s business.
        • (14:29) – The absolute important of learning your numbers.
  • (16:02) – Profit vs Growth
      • (16:08) – Intentionality as it relates to growth and profit.
      • (20:35) – How Steve balances profit versus growth.
        • (23:03) – Acceptable losses in profit in the face of growth ambitions.
          • (23:44) – Investing in sales and marketing.
          • (24:27) – Setting a time horizon.
          • (26:22) – The impact of churn.
      • (28:13) – Focusing on revenue and value, not price and expenses.
  • (31:12) – Management
      • (31:31) – Steve shares his vision, his purpose and his values.
        • (32:45) – Getting out of the way of his team so they can grow.
        • (36:52) – Steve’s experience and what he’s learned from working with ProfitCoach and Strategic Coach.
  • (42:29) – Sales and Marketing
    • (42:41) – Steve walks us through what he is currently doing with his sales and marketing.

Rapid-fire Questions:

  • (50:38) – Who do you learn from?
  • (52:34) – What is the one pervasive belief in our industry that you wish you could transform?
  • (53:55) – If you could only take one music album with you to a desert island, what would it be?
  • (54:25) – Why podcast?
  • (55:38) – What was the first song that you wrote and recorded that you were truly proud of?
  • (56:32) – What’s the last initiative that you put in place that meaningfully impacted and increased your revenue per door?
  • (59:47) – Are entrepreneurs born or bred?

Resources mentioned:

  • Greg Crabtree  (17:25) – Highly influential person in Steve’s mastermind experience.
  • Andy Propst Podcast Episode – Referenced by Steve regarding the power of hiring a CFO.
  • Steve Crossland – Podcast episode discussing profit versus growth and Steve’s high-profit model.
  • A New Earth; Eckhart Tolle  (35:23) – Inspirational book referenced by Steve.
  • ProfitCoach  (37:04) – LeadSimple’s property management entrepreneur coaching used by Steve.
  • Strategic Coach  (38:26) – Dan Sullivan’s coaching program used by Steve.
  • Marcus Sheridan  (43:00) – Influential episode in Steve’s content marketing approach.
  • Jim Rohn  (50:54) – Influential learning resource recommended by Steve.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk  (50:54) – Influential learning resource recommended by Steve.
  • Brad Larsen  (50:54) – Influential learning resource recommended by Steve.
  • The Strategic Coach Podcast  (50:54) – Influential learning resource recommended by Steve.
  • The Joy of Procrastination  (51:39) – Influential learning resource recommended by Steve.
  • Steve Welty Spotify  (55:43) – Steve’s music playlist.

Where to learn more:

If you want to learn more about Steve’s business, head over to his flagship website at Good Life Property Management.  And tune into the show for his personal email so you can contact him directly.

If you want to apply to Steve’s mastermind, simply fill out this short application.

Transcript:

Jordan: 0:00:00.0 Welcome closers. Today we have another episode of The Profitable Property Management Podcast coming at you. This is Season Three on Profit.

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

0:00:19.3 Whether you manage 100 or 1000 units, this broadcast is designed to help you see the big picture and get to the next level.

0:00:27.9 Today, I’m talking with Steve Welty, the owner of Good Life Property Management, which is based in sunny San Diego.

0:00:36.6 After selling his share in another property management firm in 2013, Steve started Good Life with the goal of providing the highest level of customer service and experience in the industry.

0:00:47.1 Pretty lofty goal.

We’re going to talk about what he does to actually lean into that. We’re going to talk about Steve’s journey, and really his overarching goal for the business.

How the business is set up and designed to serve him, and his goals while still driving incredible results for his customer.

0:01:04.0 I have known Steve for quite a few years now. I like this guy. I think he’s a visionary, and from a mindset perspective, we’re very much on the same frequency.

0:01:14.5 If you enjoy this episode, please head on over to iTunes and leave us an honest review. The more reviews means better guests, which means a better podcast.

0:01:21.1 Steve, thanks for coming on the show.

Steve: 0:01:23.4 Jordan, what’s up man?

Jordan: 0:01:25.8 Alright. Bro. I’ve been waiting to have you on the podcast. I waited long enough for you to actually start your own podcast. So congrats right out of the gate.

For those who have not seen it, go check out The Good Life Property Management Podcast on iTunes. It’s worth checking out.

Steve: Thank you.

Jordan: 0:01:41.6 So, background story. Every single guest, same story. Nobody at age five said, “I want to be a property manager.” For you, how did you fall into property management, Steve?

Steve: 0:01:53.1 Alright. So. My story starts like many, in real estate sales. 2006. Had fun. Cashed some big commission cheques. Things going well.

2007, like a lot of people, things started to change. 0:02:08.0 So, I quickly burned through all my money and was young and dumb.

And so, I found myself at about age 26, even 27, no 26 I think, entering an add to be a personal assistant for a French entrepreneur in Carlsbad.

0:02:24.9 And he actually taught me a lot about real estate. And he owned rental properties. And the funny thing is, he wanted someone to manage his managers.

0:02:36.0 So, I kind of was able to use my real estate license, and also go pick up his laundry and take his dogs out and things like that. And I swallowed my pride and did that.

0:02:47.6 And actually saw, you know, what the managers were doing and I thought, “Hey I can do a lot better job than this.”

0:02:55.4 But, you know, I do want to rewind. I remember thinking back to that time – I had been working for maybe three, four, five years and, you know, I was starting to doubt myself.

I was like, “If I could just make fifty grand a year. Like, I’m lowering my expectations. Like, this thing is hard. If I could just make like a decent living I would just be so happy.”

0:03:16.8 And the reason I bring that up is I think overnight success – and I’m not still where I want to be obviously, but I think, you know, it takes about ten years right? To be an overnight success.

0:03:29.9 And so, for anyone that’s younger or maybe starting out, I would tell you to stay in the game and just realize and have patience that it’s a much longer road than you think. Because, thinking back to that, I would have liked to hear that.

0:03:41.3 And then I was able to kind of get into property management. You know, I started – I met a friend in college who took me to lunch.

Was like, “Hey we should start doing property management.”

I was like, “Hey I’m actually working for this guy and he’s doing property management. It’s kind of serendipitous.”

0:03:58.4 So we started a company together and grew it for about five years in San Diego. Had a great time.

And then, you know, we kind of had our, you know, different ideas of how we wanted to run the business moving forward and what we wanted to do.

0:04:11.6 And so, we kind of decided to go our separate ways at the end of 2012, middle of 2012. 0:04:17.3 And then kind of went through that whole battle. Which was difficult.

We’re friends now but, you know, we had to go through mediation and it was a trying time in my life but ended up coming up with The Good Life and started that in April 2013. And been having a ball ever since.

Jordan: 0:04:35.5 Well let’s wade into what you kind of glossed over at the end there. Partnerships, man. The ‘P word’. It can be a source of great success, inspiration, pain. It’s sticky.

0:04:48.9 On the other side of a meaningful partnership that lasted for a fair bit of time, what advice would you have and what different perspective do you have about partnerships now?

0:04:58.9 Would you ever do one again? And if so, under what parameters?

Steve: 0:05:03.0 Sure. I would do one again as long as it wasn’t out of convenience. Like, “Oh you happen to be good at this and I’m good at this.”

They’ve got to really bring something – some capability to the table that is not just – more than just convenient. That they happen to be in your market and you get along. 0:05:23.1 Two, is I would plan the divorce at the beginning.

Jordan: Prenup!

Steve: 0:05:31.4 Yeah, if things go badly – well not even if things go badly. Like, if one day I wake up and I just don’t want to be in the business anymore, or you wake up and don’t want to be in the business.

0:05:41.3 So I’d set that partnership agreement up very clearly up front before – it’s easy to do it up front rather in the end.

0:05:49.6 And then I’d also set expectations about – see, I think one of the things I was actually naive about in the past was number of hours working was very important to me.

0:05:56.4 I hadn’t quite understood the concept of results, I guess. I would tie each partners measurement of success to results rather than hours.

Because my partner at the time was actually a little more smarter than I was because I was working like all the time and she wasn’t working that much.

0:06:17.7 And I was like, that’s inequality. And we could have maybe just said, “Hey you need to accomplish these things and you can work as little or as much as you want. And I’ll accomplish these things and you work as little or as much as you want.”

0:06:30.9 So that’s a couple pieces of advice I would probably give if I did it again.

Jordan: 0:06:34.6 I like that. Especially the part about figuring out the divorce or the separation strategy on the front side. That’s really foundational to any operating agreement.

0:06:44.7 And my experience in partnerships, and I’ve been through quite a few partnerships at this point, has been that even if you do really invest a lot of the time into the operating agreement at the outset, it requires being revisited. Right?

0:06:56.8 After about four or five years it starts to get – that operating agreement likely is less flexible in light of the new circumstances of what could take place in a five year period.

0:07:07.9 So, that’s some good advice, I like that.

0:07:11.6 Let’s transition to where the business is at now. Can you give me the rough parameters of where Good Life is at in terms of unit count, staff, the properties, etc.

Steve: 0:07:22.5 Yeah, happy to do it. So, we’re currently at 550 homes. Roughly. We have nine employees and three virtual assistants.

0:07:32.8 Now, how we’re set up is, I handle the visionary role, company direction. I have to keep people motivated and I bring ideas to the table and give them to my team to execute them.

0:07:45.8 Under me I have an operations manager who oversees the operations and is basically in charge of implementing a lot of the things that I bring to the table.

0:07:54.9 And then we have a business development manager. That was one of the best changes that I ever made.

0:07:58.4 And it actually happened by accident. I went on my honeymoon last year and said, “Alright, this is your chance.” 0:08:05.1 This guy had wanted this job on my team. I came back. I was like, “How’d you do?” He’s like, “Oh I got 20 contracts.” I’m like, “Alright, you’re hired.” Because I’m not that good at it.

Jordan: 0:08:15.1 Was it a six month honeymoon? How long was the honeymoon?

Steve: 0:08:18.1 Oh well, I mean, I was gone – that’s funny. I was going for like a week and a half, but I let him do the full month. Like, when I got back I was doing other stuff, so I let him like, run the month.

Jordan: Right on.

Steve: 0:08:31.3 But ah, so business development. I just recently hired my first marketing person. Best thing I’ve done in a long time after BDM.

Because a long time I’d think, “Well what am I going to have this marketing person do? That’s my job.”

0:08:44.2 But then once you actually think about it and list the tasks, there’s a lot of stuff you can have a marketing person do.

0:08:51.3 And then, we have portfolio property managers. 0:08:54.1 So they handle the homes. I’m hoping they can handle up to about 300 homes. Right now they handle anywhere between 130 to 220 each. I have three of them.

0:09:05.3 And then, we have a maintenance person who handles all the dispatching of the maintenance.

0:09:11.9 And then the VAs handle all of the tenant communication. So we’re actually transitioning them to handle all the maintenance dispatch, all the tenant communication and so the maintenance dispatcher guy is going to actually transition into more of a management – mid-level management role. 0:09:29.3 Where he’s kind of in charge of all of that.

0:09:31.6 And then we have someone that goes out and does all the inspections, handles some of the showings. Property associate. 0:09:37.6 And I think that’s everybody.

So, we have an accountability chart, so everyone has a role that they own on the chart. 0:09:45.0 Now, just because you own the role doesn’t mean you’re in charge of doing the role. It means you’re in charge of the outcome. 0:09:52.6 So, that was a big change for us.

And for instance, at my company, I’m in charge but I’m not in control. 0:09:59.7 So, just because it’s your role doesn’t mean you have to actually do it, but you’re responsible for that.

0:10:07.5 So that’s a little bit about what we look like today. 0:10:10.4 We have a couple people working remotely from home that have been with us awhile, and we trust them to work from home and do that type of stuff.

0:10:20.5 And yeah, I find with – we work with a lot of younger people and I know there’s a lot of talk about millennial, but I’ve kind of come to this realization lately, is like a lot of us are trying to jam a square peg in a round hole with how we set up our businesses.

0:10:34.8 And we’re like, “These damn millennials. All they want to do is take time off and they want flexible work hours.”

0:10:41.6 And it’s like, yeah, they’re just a different breed of person. You know what I mean? And so, I’m trying to gear my business towards that rather than swim upstream.

Jordan: 0:10:51.1 Yeah, absolutely. When I think about that typecast of millennials, or that stereotype, off the cuff, what I think of is the – what might be called the Puritan work ethic. The idea of just grind it out, work really hard.

0:11:08.7 For whatever reason, millennials seem to find less meaning or validation in that. As like its own form of fulfillment.

0:11:15.4 I think everybody – what’s universal of all humans is that we’re seeking out meaning, purpose, self-actualization, etc.

0:11:22.5 And some people are capable of getting that through just working raw hours. You know, 80 hours a week, “I’m a champion because I slept in the office,” etc. And some people don’t.

0:11:31.4 And I don’t know that there’s necessarily a right and wrong there. I think, if anything, cracking that nut with millennials is more about thinking through motivation and really being invested and actually proactively providing purpose and meaning in the work.

0:11:46.4 As opposed to just assuming that that should naturally come from offering somebody a pay cheque.

Steve: 0:11:52.5 I think you nailed it. And it’s funny because I think people – society as a whole are becoming more self-actualization and you know, it’s funny, we see it – I mean, I think I’m technically maybe right on the cusp of being a millennial myself, but I think I see it as they’re actually wanting to have a great life and live.

0:12:12.0 Which is actually the point of life at the end of the day. Not so much to just grind your eyeballs out to achieve something that’s never going to make you happy. 0:12:19.2 So, to each his own but it’s kind of a cool progression.

Jordan: 0:12:24.9 I’m with you man. So, I do want to rewind to kind of talk about some of the history of how we met. Circumstances, etc.

0:12:33.3 You’ve been a LeadSimple customer for a long time. Seen each other at conferences. 0:12:38.3 We got to know each other better at the mastermind retreat we did in Puerto Vallarta with a group of entrepreneurs.

0:12:45.2 And that was – when was that? That was last year. 2017. Yeah, man.

Steve: 0:12:50.0 I was thinking about that. It’s crazy, it feels like two or three years ago.

Jordan: 0:12:52.7 Yeah, totally. It absolutely does. 0:12:55.0 But we want to do – have a really tight focused couple of days with some high-level entrepreneurs. Went out there with Alex Osenenko, Greg Crabtree, myself, Danny Craig was out there.

And then, I want to say it was four property management companies. You were one of those entrepreneurs.

0:13:15.7 And I feel like, that in my life and in the life of the other folks that were there, that was kind of a catalyzing moment.

0:13:22.2 At least let me just speak for myself. For me, it put me in a position and set me off on the journey of getting a lot more serious and a lot more invested in the ultimate financial outcomes of my clients.

0:13:33.8 I grew up in the growth side of this business. Been doing that for a decade. Talking about sales and marketing. It’s interesting, it’s sexy, but at the end of the day that does not – adopting that narrative and executing on that does not necessarily guarantee success in the business. 0:13:47.8 Diving into the numbers, looking at bottom line profit has been eye-opening for me.

0:13:53.8 I’m curious. For you, what was your experience like after that? How did that experience kind of frame or shape any of the way that you looked at the business after the fact?

Steve: 0:14:07.3 So, that mastermind retreat really changed my business. And it’s no BS. It really changed my life.

Like, I commend you. You and Alex, I’ve always admired because you actually think of things and you do them. And it’s quite refreshing.

0:14:21.2 You go out on a limb and you make yourself vulnerable and you know, charging four grand or whatever I paid to go on that trip.

0:14:29.2 You know, you’ve got to deliver on those things and so that ended up being the best money I’ve ever spent because I learned – the main thing was I learned – I learned the actual numbers of my business through Greg Crabtree and your help and Danny.

0:14:48.0 And I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to achieve my goals if I stayed doing business the way I was doing them.

0:14:55.7 I had always operated on feel. I’m not a numbers guy so I’m naturally adverse to the numbers.

0:15:01.5 And but, it just opened my eyes because we could do projections. We saw, you know, what am I making per unit, how does this compare with other people. 0:15:09.2 And so, it was like, kind of scary to learn that, but it really changed how we do business.

0:15:17.8 And I look at it – I think we were talking, I think I might have even showed you this, but since that trip our rent roll went 90 degree straight line. 0:15:29.2 Our profitability, same way.

0:15:31.3 And I don’t think it’s a coincidence, so I appreciate you guys doing that because it really changed everything for me.

Jordan: 0:15:39.6 Yeah. I mean, I like the way that you framed it. Where we really did jump off a cliff and figure out how to make a parachute or an airplane on the way down. And I think there’s some upsides and some downside to that, but that’s just my bent.

0:15:52.0 So, for me, in the process of doing that and looking at the numbers, there’s so much that’s wrapped up in this conversation, and I’m so excited to have it with you, Steve, because I know you really relate on this level.

0:16:02.7 But I think about the difference between intention versus mechanism and life in business. 0:16:08.6 Intention is you are commitment. The mechanism is the means by which you plan on achieving that goal or fulfilling that commitment.

0:16:18.7 So, let’s look at profitability, for example. 0:16:23.4 We can get focused and hung up on talking about fee maxing, cost cutting, reducing churn, etc., and those are useful conversations.

0:16:31.9 But if that conversation is being had in the context, or with someone that does not have the intention or the commitment to get profitable, it’s noise. 0:16:41.5 Complete waste of time.

If your goal is to get profitable and you’re a smart entrepreneur and you live in America, you’re going to figure it out. 0:16:51.6 That’s my view.

So, I’m not discounting the numbers and the specifics and the mechanics. There’s value in that. But for me, it’s really opened up my mind’s eye to appreciate the power of intention as it relates to thinking about the priority of profit and putting it before growth.

0:17:08.4 Not in place of growth, but saying, “We must be profitable now. Not later. Not some ambiguous time in the future. Not we’re staffed for growth and we’re going to get profitable when we hit x, y, z goals.” That’s been the mental shift for me. 0:17:23.8 What are your thoughts?

Steve: 0:17:25.4 Yeah, that was huge. Greg Crabtree was really refreshing because I love when people have a different spin on things. 0:17:29.6 And in the startup world and all this stuff and have a different angle.

0:17:33.3 And he was just like, “Profit at all costs. You’re not profitable, you don’t have a business. There’s no reason to be putting that off to some future date. Even startups I’ve seen, they should be able to be profitable.” 0:17:45.7 And I know there are some exceptions to that.

0:17:46.8 But, you know, I agree with what you’re saying. And I think I heard Andy Propst on your show, I think it was earlier talking about how everything changed when he got the CFO position.

0:17:57.5 So, we’re seeing a correlation there. And what I started to realize was, businesses are – it just comes down to numbers, right?

0:18:03.2 And so, you’ve got to be able to look at your numbers and say, “Ok, I’m paying too much of my labor per the revenue dollar based on other people.”

0:18:13.2 And so, Greg was able to give some benchmarks. Like a 3 to 1 labor efficiency ratio. You know? Which used to make my eyes roll back in my head saying that word. Now I actually get it. 0:18:23.3 Like, for every dollar I spend to pay someone, I need to make three dollars.

Jordan: Yeah man.

Steve: 0:18:28.9 You know what I mean? And like, simple things like that really were profound.

And like, “Hey team”, maybe you don’t want to tell your team what you pay everyone, but you say, “Hey, the industry average is three, we’re at two, so we’re going something wrong, we need to become more efficient.”

0:18:43.7 Same with management. Like 5 to 1 management efficiency ratio. 0:18:49.1 And just some of those key things. And you know, doing the projections out was just huge. So, you know, all of that, you know, was just so beneficial for me.

Jordan: 0:18:59.8 So let’s keep leaning into this conversation about profit versus growth. I just did a podcast with Steve Crossland. I released it.

I don’t know Steve personally, but I’m very much familiar with his story. Had him on the show.

0:19:11.1 It’s the first time that I’ve ever gotten pushback on a podcast episode. And it was related to the fact that some folks felt like Steve’s story, which in a nutshell would basically be that he manages 100 units, he has no staff, he has no marketing, he has no office and he’s insanely profitable relative to the 100 doors that he manages.

0:19:28.0 Some people felt like that that model of constraining yourself at 100 doors can be an excuse for not learning how to grow. Or an enabling factor to pretend like you could grow when you really can’t.

0:19:41.1 Honestly, I can kind of see that point. At the same time, what is equally if not ten times more concerning to me, is not prioritizing profit and not putting it first.

0:19:54.3 I know that you mastermind, you network, you work with a lot of hustlers out there. Some of these folks that really do take that balls-out growth vision seriously, what are your thoughts on how your personal balance of profit versus growth looks like?

0:20:07.8 And are you at all sympathetic to the idea of – let’s say it’s one of these folks that is really going on a capital intensive route. Maybe not VC funding, but let’s say friends and family. Bank loans, etc.

0:20:22.7 To what degree are you sympathetic to that narrative and how do you think that that story relates or doesn’t relate to Joe Acme Property Management Company that’s managing 200 doors?

Steve: 0:20:35.0 I’ll say a couple things. First off, in property management, unless you’re doing some crazy venture capital deal or something, it’s not – I don’t see why you can’t be profitable from day one.

0:20:45.6 So, you know, it’s a service based business, you can – you could learn as you go. 0:20:48.8 You can start in the trenches and work your way up.

0:20:51.3 So I don’t really see why you can’t be profitable at day one. 0:20:55.9 The thing that really jumped out at me, what you said with Steve, is like how people are so quick to jump on someone else’s way of business that has absolutely no effect on them. 0:21:09.9 You know what I mean?

0:21:10.0 Like, he’s perfectly happy living his life that way. Who am I to argue with that. 0:21:14.7 And he’s killing it. He’s making a ton of money. 0:21:17.3 So, I don’t understand.

Maybe I’ll have to listen to the episode, see if there’s other stuff, but I don’t understand you know, not the vitriol, but the opposition to that.

0:21:26.8 If he’s making a great income working himself and not having overhead, I just cannot see an argument against that. 0:21:35.8 Now, that’s maybe working for him.

I’m really big – I’m not trying to be the richest person, I’m trying to be the happiest and the most free. 0:21:44.1 So that wouldn’t work for me personally. I’m big into time freedom. And maybe he has it set up where it’s like minimal hours and it’s just doing the stuff he likes. And that’s great. 0:21:52.7

Jordan: 0:21:53.1 He has no staff.

Steve: 0:21:54.9 Right, no staff. So, that’s not for everybody. But, I think people are trying to defend low profit because they don’t have a business that is profitable. 0:22:07.5 And there really is no defense for it.

0:22:08.8 I mean, for instance, right now we’re projecting a 15% profit margin, which is low for us, this year.

0:22:16.4 Because we’re putting money back into the business in the form of hiring people with unique ability. And spending more on marketing and things like that. 0:22:23.9 So that’s ok. I think that makes sense.

But at the end of the day, our ultimate goal is in 2022, to manage 3000 units and have a 30% profit margin.

0:22:37.4 So like, we’ll be able to turn some things down and things off and streamline some things by then. 0:22:42.0 But the thing is, we could not do these initiatives and be profitable now. A lot more profitable now.

Jordan: 0:22:47.3 Well, so I hear a little contradiction here though Steve. Because some people are going to say, “Well you’re making the excuse. You’re saying you’re staffed for growth, etc.”

But the key for me there was that you’re still requiring 15% profitability from the business now while you’re making those investments.

0:23:03.0 What is your gut check level? Would you accept somebody else’s logic that takes that from 15% down to negative 15%? I mean, how much of a profitability bump do you think can be rationalized in the face of ambition for the business?

Steve: 0:23:23.6 I don’t know very many people that are willing to go down that low. Big risk takers in this business. But I’m sure they’re out there.

0:23:31.3 But, you know, a ten or fifteen point swing to do an initiative like hire a marketing team, or really go big on – so I wouldn’t be doing that to anything besides sales and marketing.

0:23:44.4 We really want to become a sales and marketing juggernaut, and so we’re investing in some tools and some capabilities and all this stuff to really – you put it in a perfect way for me Jordan. And thank you for this.

0:23:52.8 You’re like, “Some businesses just throw money at sales and marketing and hope for the best. Some invest in sales and marketing, and really learn it as like almost opening up maintenance. Like another part of your business.”

0:24:03.3 And that really – a light bulb went on for me because you know, there’s an opportunity there, number one, because not many people are doing it.

Number two: it helped – I’m big into just learning these skill sets so we can become disruption proof. 0:24:16.4 You could take that sales and marketing knowledge into any other business. Building a team business.

And then I don’t have to worry about the venture capitalists or whatever. I’ll just pivot into another industry because I already know how the game is played.

0:24:27.2 And so, I think you have to give yourself a time horizon. Like if I, two years from today, didn’t see the growth and was still at 15%, I would – well, I’m not going to technically give up, but some people might want to say, “Screw it, I’m going to do lifestyle business. I’m going to turn that off, I’m going to fire that person, I’m going to go back to profitability.”

0:24:46.9 But the thing is, I already know we’re profitable where I want to be right now. It’s just we’re making the investment to acquire some new capabilities so that we can grow to a certain level at an already pre-determined date. You know what I mean?

Jordan: 0:25:04.0 Yeah. So a lot wrapped up in that. I think what you quoted me as saying was, “Sales and marketing has to be operationalized and have a level of equivalency with the rest of operations otherwise you’re kidding yourself if you’re implying that you’re going to grow through swiping your credit card and buying leads.”

0:25:19.3 If you’re serious about growth, you operationalize it as a skillset and as bodies that have responsibilities just like any other department in the organization.

0:25:28.7 In terms of the actual investment in it, the thinking is, “If we back out sales and marketing and the company is in an acceptable level of profit, there’s some comfort we can take from that. Because that’s not just a raw production operational inefficiency. It’s a growth inefficiency that, in theory, can be turned off.”

0:25:48.4 And I can accept that. I can accept that a business backing out sales and marketing that’s at 30% profit margin, could arguably be growing in a smart way while not sabotaging their business.

0:26:02.2 If your operations is what is driving that low profit, you don’t have anything worth scaling. Furthermore, though, that said, if the sales and marketing branch that is really drawing profit down low is effectively just replacing units you’re losing, that’s where you can get into hot water.

0:26:22.7 The story with churn in this industry can be absolutely brutal. And it was crazy to look in the benchmarking study and see some of the companies that grew the fastest also had the biggest churn issue.

0:26:31.8 I don’t know if there’s a correlation there. Didn’t go in depth enough to study that. But for those folks, those players that are justifying low profit because of sales and marketing expenditure, watch your churn.

Steve: 0:26:43.1 Yeah. You know, obstacles are the raw material for success. I’ve heard it said. And so, high churn, you know, I had to make a decision where we have to go to war. I mean, we have to grow. Not just to be profitable, but to survive.

0:26:55.7 I think that’s going to set us up, and a lot of companies up for a lot more success when things level out in the sales market. 0:27:02.3 So, you know, it’s a good place to be to invest in that now and be ready for that.

Jordan: 0:27:06.9 I love that you’re building that powerhouse though. I completely agree with you. In the same way that cash is fungible, sales and marketing as an asset is also fungible.

The way that you market to owners is the same way that you would market to tenants, or to people in a completely different vertical.

0:27:24.5 The universality of communications, of human to human connection absolutely transcends any one vertical, and at the end of the day, the best sales and marketing organization wins.

Sales and marketing is where the highest level of economic contribution and productivity occurs when it is done right.

0:27:42.3 So, if you have your nut tight, in terms of having your profit dialed in, then by all means, blow it out with growth. That’s what’s sexy and exciting to me.

You just got to be realistic about, as an entrepreneur, in light of your goals, in light of your skillset and your risk tolerance, is that the fit for you.

0:27:59.6 I mean, that’s really what I’ve just learned. It’s about like, what’s the right playbook for the right person, as opposed to wanting to genericize and say, “No don’t give me the nuance. Don’t give me the caveats, just give me the five bullet points of success.” Do you feel me?

Steve: 0:28:13.5 Right. I fell you. 100%. And I think a lot of property management owners’ problems – like, it was my problem when I looked at the numbers. It wasn’t my expenses, it was my revenue.

Jordan: Ok. Tell me more.

Steve: 0:28:27.8 People don’t want to – it’s a scary subject. “Well I can’t charge any more in my market.” And you know, “The owners wouldn’t pay that.”

And all this stuff, these stories that I was telling myself. 0:28:38.0 But when faced – when looking death of my company in the face, in Puerto Vallarta in that beautiful villa, I said, “Ok, we’re going to have to figure this out because I promised my team a great future to be with me. And so, my responsibility is to grow the company and I can’t let them down. If I don’t grow the company, I don’t fulfill my promise, they don’t have a future.”

0:29:01.7 So I said, “Ok we’ve got to look at this thing.”

0:29:03.6 And then I actually ended up finding a new passion with the whole property management game. Is like, I’m so not interested in competing on price. You know, price is only an issue in the absence of value.

0:29:14.1 And so – and I’m a creator at heart. I”m a song writer. I love to create. And so, I’ve found this whole new, you know, paradigm to look at, where how can I create value? How can I charge more?

I’m not interested in beating people to the bottom and there’s always going to be a place for someone – there’s always going to be a job for someone who can create value at any cost. Because that’s what kind of excites me. Anyone can just drop their prices.

0:29:40.3 So I think the revenue is more the issue. 0:29:41.8 I know there’s not a lot of property managers spending a ton on marketing and employees. I mean, would you agree?

Jordan: 0:29:47.7 Absolutely man. Pick the right constraint to solve for. Don’t get to the end of the race and realize you ran to the wrong destination.

0:29:56.2 We’re all going to be in the business, hustling, grinding, motivated, attacking the day’s problems, but what constraint would you rather solve for in light of your goals?

0:30:07.0 Would you rather solve for the constraint of figuring out how to compete on price and lower costs and eke out a living?

Or would you rather figure out the constraint of how to get paid more as a by-product of adding more value to people’s lives? Which of those is going to be more profitable, more rewarding and more sustainable?

Steve: 0:30:26.4 Exactly. And rewarding, you hit the nail on the head. What’s going to get you out of bed more in the morning? Being able to add that value is what’s working for me.

Jordan: 0:30:34.8 It’s so fulfilling to move up the ladder chain, man.

I remember back in the day, starting off my career doing software demos, being commodified, people asking things like, “Why should I buy you? Sell me, sell me, sell me.” You know?

0:30:46.5 And when you’re in that commodity position, you have brought that to yourself. You have asked somebody else to treat you that way if you have not proactively shaped the narrative from the outset in a different form or fashion. 0:30:59.2 That’s been my experience.

And when you’re on that high-value, high-authority, fiduciary end of the spectrum, it’s so insanely rewarding. 0:31:09.3 And yeah man, that’s exactly what gets me up in the morning.

0:31:12.0 Let’s talk about some of the other things that support your goals. In a nutshell, Steve, give me the personal Steve’s vision, purpose and values that even causes you to be running this business.

Why not be a beach bum? Why not be a full-time songwriter? Why are you even going through this exercise of running the company?

Steve: 0:31:31.2 Yeah man, good question. So, I get out of bed now because of a few reasons. Number one is: I want to have – I want to create opportunity for my team.

Number one. I want to have one of the highest paid teams in the industry. I want multiple people making six figures on my team.

0:31:55.3 Not because I’m some altruistic guy. But for selfish reasons. Because if I have a team worth that much, then we must be getting some crazy great results for our customers.

0:32:03.7 It’s funny, I was talking to someone at one of the events recently and he was actually the opposite. He’s like, “That’s funny you said that. I’m actually doing Podio, and we hire interns and nobody gets paid anything.”

And I was like, “That’s totally cool, you know. That’s your deal but I’m trying to really create opportunity for people.”

So I think at this point in my career, that’s what really gets me out of bed.

0:32:26.8 Yeah, I do like the business of entrepreneurship and making money and you know, learning new capabilities is something that gets me out of bed in the morning.

0:32:36.1 I’m not in the grind your eyeballs out crowd. So, I’m in this really cool space in my life where I’m interested in achieving an outcome with the least amount of effort possible.

0:32:45.8 So it’s a game for me now. It’s kind of like taking myself out of the company as much as possible.

Just working on the high-level stuff and giving directions to my team on what I want done and letting them figure out how it should get done and what results – or how they’re going to achieve the result.

0:33:04.8 I think that’s been one of the biggest catalysts for our success over the last year, is me getting out of the way as the bottleneck for the organization.

0:33:13.1 When I’m there, they can ask me all the questions. They can do everything. I’m actually considering moving my operations manager out of the office now.

Jordan: Protecting them?

Steve: 0:33:21.8 Yeah. Like the team will grow like crazy if you just give them flexibility, give them you know, space to operate.

0:33:30.5 And then, make sure they’re doing the types of roles that they’re best suited for and they get passion from. 0:33:36.7 That’s kind of what’s exciting me right now. Building a team basically. I’m a people guy. I love people.

Jordan: 0:33:42.2 I love that man. So you let go of the ‘do more, be more narrative’. That’s a big one, man.

I’ll be honest with you, I’m still struggling with that. 0:33:52.3 That’s definitely an ever present struggle in my life.

0:33:55.8 Conceptually, the contrast between be, do, have versus have, do, be. Meaning, are you something as a result of what you have done and what you’ve accomplished and what you possess?

Or is what you choose to be the thing that drives those results in your life. 0:34:11.7 What is the order of those things?

It’s definitely deterministic in your outlook on life, but that temptation of, you know, “Just a little more, man. Just a couple more hours, just going to get a little bit ahead.”

0:34:23.9 And at some point, does it matter? Does the velocity of your success change the amount of value that you should assign to your work?

0:34:33.7 Meaning, if my income or my velocity of growth, or my velocity of profit was ten times what it was now, would that mean that I was somehow justified in working as much as I’m working? Or should I work more? Should I work less?

0:34:47.3 I mean, ultimately, success, the entrepreneurial journey is definitely a part of everybody’s identity. It certainly is a part of mine.

But what is the relative priority of that versus the rest of life?

For me, at some point you’ve just got to accept the fact that there’s nothing I can do within the context of entrepreneurship that is going to override the priorities that I have in other areas of life.

0:35:09.4 And that’s what I’m trying to stew on right now to just kind of work through that temptation to stay in the office for a couple more hours and delay seeing my three year old for a couple more hours. 0:35:22.6 It’s an ever present fight.

Steve: 0:35:23.6 Totally. It’s a struggle man. And it’s a journey. But I love this quote, it’s in A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

He talks about: What the world doesn’t tell you because it doesn’t know, is that you cannot become successful. You can only be successful. Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. 0:35:44.4

Jordan: 0:35:45.1 Dude, dude, bro, bro I read that quote today, man.

Steve: No way.

Jordan: 0:35:48.8 Yeah man. Like, three hours ago. That’s crazy.

Steve: 0:35:51.3 That’s heavy man. Yeah. It’s a fantastic quote because it takes the pressure off. Because once you get to your goal – like when I get to 3000 units, I’m not going to be any happier than I am today.

0:36:01.3 So, I think happiness is the goal and whatever that means for you as far as working longer or shorter hours, you know, you’ve got to figure that out for yourself.

0:36:08.0 And I know there’s a season of life, but just being the type of person that you want to be and showing up each day and doing the things that are going to get you to the ultimate goal each day. 0:36:21.0 Because it’s the journey, not necessarily the destination. Right?

Jordan: 0:36:24.3 Absolutely man. I’ve heard Sun Tzu quoted as saying, “Champions win first and then go to battle. Losers go to battle hoping to win.”

Steve: 0:36:32.2 Ooh, I like that man. That’s why we get along, man. We’re on the same tip with this stuff.

Jordan: 0:36:38.8 You know, I can feel people coming from all different kind of places. All this mindset stuff, for me, if it results in you running a business that is losing money and you’re unhappy, it doesn’t mean a whole lot.

0:36:47.3 If it actually empowers you to generate results then I think it’s useful. 0:36:51.1 For me, it’s been useful.

0:36:52.6 Let’s talk about beyond books. Let’s talk a little bit about coaching. What has been your background and experience with coaching?

We worked with you on the ProfitCoach side of things, that’s been a ton of fun. 0:37:04.5 But I know you’ve worked with some other organizations, specifically I’m thinking about Dan Sullivan’s organization.

0:37:09.9 Give me a little bit of background about what that’s been like and what’s your take on the value of investing in coaching right now?

Steve: 0:37:16.5 Yeah. So, biggest ROI return I’ve ever had in my life. I’m a honk for it, and if people listen to my podcast they know.

0:37:28.9 But, started about two and a half years ago with them and it just removes you from the business once a quarter.

0:37:33.3 You network with other entrepreneurs, you start thinking in a way that is different, which really makes sense to me. You realize that you don’t have to work until your eyeballs bleed.

0:37:44.1 You realize that you actually don’t have to do all the stuff you don’t like to do. That you’re actually uniquely good at just a handful of things and that you should spend all your time there.

0:37:53.0 So, like my trip right now is that I’m actually a ‘who’ person, not a ‘how’ person. 0:37:58.0 So, I don’t know how to do it very well. Like, I don’t know how to do all these things very well. But you know what? I know Jordan. And I know ProfitCoach.

0:38:07.8 And I know, you know, I know the people that I need to be around that know how to do things that I don’t know how to do.

And I have a team that I’ve brought together that can figure out the how.

0:38:20.6 And so, I used to beat myself up against the head trying to figure out processes and stuff. 0:38:26.7 So like, now my life looks like: figure out what result I want, write it out on an impact filter from Strategic Coach, give it to my team, let them figure out how it’s going to happen, move on to the next idea.

0:38:41.3 And like, I feel guilty for that being my life sometimes.

0:38:43.0 Because I’m like, is that a cop out? You don’t even know how – you don’t do – well, it’s a skill.

0:38:50.1 Because not everyone is out trying to figure out what – how to make the business better and how to improve the life of their team.

And two, my other unique ability is motivating and bringing enthusiasm to the team.

0:39:03.3 I think that’s our biggest responsibility as a leader. Is to bring enthusiasm. 0:39:06.0 So, enthusiasm is so important. It’s almost like the baring of one’s spirit. And people resonate with enthusiasm because it’s almost like they recognize their spirit in another person. Not to get too crazy on you.

0:39:18.5 But the thing with enthusiasm, like yesterday, I felt like crap going to work. I had no motivation, I was second-guessing everything I’m doing, I walk through that door high-fiving, like, “What’s up? Let’s do this!”

0:39:31.2 If you do nothing else as a leader, bringing enthusiasm to the table is so important for just making sure your team stays motivated.

0:39:40.7 So basically, my other unique ability besides bringing the ideas, is the leadership and making sure we have a vision and making sure people stay motivated on that vision and that’s my second.

0:39:51.1 My third is I’m very good at recognizing ability in people. So like, whenever we hire someone, I give them the talk.

I take them off to the side and I say, “I hired you because I recognize in you something very special. And I’m excited to see what’s going to happen for you and I’m going to do everything I can to make you successful personally and professionally. And we’re going to go to war and we’re going to – your life is about to change. And I need you to do everything possible in your power to make me successful and I promise the same back to you. And let’s go to work.” You know what I mean?

0:40:26.2 And so, I’m good at motivating my team and making them successful. Because that’s what gets me out of bed. Is like, I want to help make my team successful personally and professionally. That’s what fires me up. It might not work for everyone, but that’s kind of where I’m at.

Jordan: 0:40:40.5 Yeah man, I love that. And it keeps going back to intention for me. It’s like gravity.

Intention is not a strategy, it’s just reality. Your intention could be that and it will be perceived.

Or your intention could be, “My employees are lazy, they need to do what I tell them to do. They don’t follow the processes.”

0:40:57.5 What I find is that the belief – when it comes to staff and people, the belief that the problem is extrinsic and is external oftentimes is the actual problem.

0:41:10.1 Rather than the thing that I’m assigning to, or the person or the attitude. It’s like the belief that it’s external and that somehow I’ve got to manipulate or change that person and their attitude as opposed to taking it on myself and really just digging deep and saying, “Why am I getting this feedback, this response, this behavior? What is it coming from? How is reality occurring to that person in this moment such that they are reacting that way?”

Their behavior is a byproduct of their perception, and it’s their perception is the level upon which we can have a productive conversation and dialogue to reframe things.

0:41:48.8 And that – everything you just talked about: leadership, motivation. I think there’s a path to the growth, a journey.

0:41:53.5 It sounds really great, but hey, let’s be realistic. You just put a burden on yourself. You put a target on your back.

If you choose to milk this company and to make it purely a lifestyle business that really isn’t going anywhere and it’s your personal piggy bank, that is not a growth engine. There is no ladder to climb for anybody with unique ability within that kind of a flat organization.

0:42:15.9 I’m assuming that’s part of the catalyst and motivation for you to double down on sales and marketing.

Brother, you really went all out. Like when we had that conversation, I don’t know if it was a month, two months ago, and we kind of talked through what you were putting in place, I was a little surprised.

0:42:29.9 But I also knew that you were going to go through with it. So walk me through what you’re doing with this sales and marketing campaign and the ‘why’ behind it.

Steve: 0:42:41.7 Yeah so, you know, it’s funny. So what I did is I hired a marketing person. Number one. I got the BDM in place. We’re bringing on some new software.

Working with HubSpot as far as blogging and some other capabilities there. 0:43:00.8 I’m just basically going big on the content marketing thing with Marcus Sheridan.

You guys brought him into my world. And I dabbled the first year after kind of hearing what he was doing.

0:43:10.6 But this year we’re kind of going all in on it. So that involves – I hired a writer. I hired someone that writes really well and they write blogs. They also do video. They also manage my social media campaign.

0:43:25.3 I’m going into each avenue and getting some coaching from Marcus’s company on that. 0:43:33.8 And it’s really paying off big time so far. I mean, just in what we’ve been able to learn in like three months, I wouldn’t be able to learn otherwise.

0:43:45.1 And what’s funny about their conversation with ProfitCoach is – I’m still a relatively new customer to ProfitCoach, maybe like six months. It’s a new company right.

But when I told you guys that, it was funny. 0:43:55.5 You guys brought so much clarity into what I could have been thinking about before I made a decision to spend like a hundred grand on all sorts of stuff.

0:44:04.9 And I was like, “Oh yeah, they actually are like my CFO.”

So now I know, oh wait, call Danny and Jordan before I make like big decisions. Because at least I would have been able to think through some of that.

0:44:16.5 But I think I did make the right decision. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason.

And unfortunately with me, and I took me in my whole life to learn this, is I learn by doing. I don’t learn by research. I have to see what it feels like. And that can cost money sometimes, do you know what I mean?

0:44:34.7 But so that’s me and I work with it the best I can. I’m hoping to learn as much as I can and help bring my knowledge and capabilities to our property management community and help people grow as well.

Jordan: 0:44:49.4 Yeah man. I’m hoping that there’s going to be – I know that there will be some eyes on you with this experiment. You laid a lot of cash down.

You made the – you threw down the gauntlet and you didn’t do so after becoming a sales and marketing mastermind genius yourself. 0:45:08.0 You dabbled at first.

So you got the vision, you heard the information, you got the vision, the inspiration, you dabbled and then you said, “I’m going to put the cash down as a forcing function to require myself to take this seriously.”

Working together in that group discussion between me and Danny. We got some clarity on the results that would need to be required in order to justify the investment.

0:45:31.1 When you talk about being hands off with the business and really trying to build other leaders within the organization, at the same time, contrasting that with this whole concept of sales and marketing needing to be operationalized, is this a bigger area of focus for you?

On terms of day to day areas where you’re in the weeds, did you have to have more of your time sucked into this area of the business given that it’s kind of a new discipline?

Steve: 0:45:53.2 Yeah. And it was tough for me at first. But I’ve got to be more involved and I’m actually enjoying the process now because I’m learning a lot.

But yes, I’m got a lot of clarity, actually, just recently, you know, if it’s not sales and marketing, I shouldn’t be messing with it right now.

0:46:10.8 I have an operations team, I have that working well, so I’m really excited to put my whole heart into this.

0:46:17.0 And the thing I realized, too, is I’m like, I’m not going to get to 3000 units doing what I’ve been doing. Or doing what everyone else has been doing. 0:46:23.5 You know? I’ve got to do something differently.

And there’s a whole – you know, I think a lot of us know just 1% of sales and marketing capabilities and what we can do and how we can streamline this and how we can really build you know, a really robust sales and marketing department.

0:46:42.3 And so, that’s what I’m really excited about right now and that’s what some of these people are helping me do.

But, real quick on ProfitCoach, I’ve got to give you a plug. Because it’s so funny, one of the things that came to mind after I went through the mastermind in ProfitCoach is like, not knowing your numbers inside and out is akin to being like a professional football coach – or not like reviewing tape and not like having the data. It’s just like, impossible to be successful.

0:47:14.1 So, I would encourage anyone that doesn’t – that just looks at P&L or something, to get some assistance from ProfitCoach or someone else in the industry. I know Andy hired a CFO. Because that will blow your business up.

0:47:26.2 Because you’re going to find out what’s going on. You’re going to have reality. And I don’t like to look at reality either, but it will stare you in the face and then you’ll have to make some decisions.

Jordan: 0:47:37.1 And they could be the same decisions you’re making now, but doing it from a position from knowledge and clarity.

Steve: Yep. Exactly.

Jordan: 0:47:46.1 Yeah, I’m with you on that, man. You know, before we go on, I do want to actually plug you. I’m probably going to forget if we keep talking here.

Tell me a little bit about the mastermind event that you are hosting in San Diego on a Monday, right before NARPM national. I’m going to be there. Pretty sure Danny is going to be there. I know you’ve got a good group of folks coming.

0:48:11.9 You’ve been doing – you’ve been hosting your own mastermind for awhile. Now we’re doing the in-person event. 0:48:14.8 Tell us a little bit about it.

Steve: 0:48:18.2 Yeah. So about three years ago I posted on ListServe, “Hey I’m starting a mastermind, if you’re interested answer these six questions. Send me the answers and I’ll get back to you.

0:48:26.5 Anyway, I ended up forming – I think it’s eight or nine of us. We’ve been meeting once a month on Google chat or whatever it is.

0:48:36.3 And every one of us in the mastermind, like says it has changed our business. Everyone is so grateful to me for starting it.

0:48:44.1 I’m like, “Hey I just started it. You guys made it great and like.”

So it’s just had such a big impact. 0:48:52.1 And I was sitting in a conference recently and after you go to conferences a lot, there’s something that additionally can be brought to the table in the form of masterminding.

0:49:02.2 And when you’re in person, like when we were in Mexico, you can get a lot more out of a full day of being away from your office.

0:49:08.5 Because a lot of people are masterminding in their office, right. There’s a great quote that says it’s hard to understand a system or fix a system when you’re in the system.

0:49:18.6 So, like, there’s something about getting away and masterminding. 0:49:21.2 So it’s a full day event in October. The Monday before NARPM. There’s, I think five spots left. We’re capping it at 18 people.

0:49:30.8 But hopefully, maybe you can put a link to the registration page. If you’re interested. I’m doing it because I needed something new to work on.

0:49:39.1 If my job is to find new ideas, I’ve got to create that environment for myself first and foremost. Two: Your mastermind blew my business up. We had such great results with the one I started online, I’m like, let’s just keep moving with this.

0:49:53.6 And so, that’s kind of a little bit about it. It’s going to have a hot seat format where we’re going to help everyone solve each other’s problems.

Create a real good, you know, community of people that are invested in helping everyone else grow. 0:50:08.7 Figure out what everyone’s ideas are. Brainstorm through them and create a good community through that. So. Yeah.

Jordan: 0:50:14.6 Love it. Guys, if you’re already going to be at NARPM national, I know some folks that are thinking about coming, even if they’re not, just doing a one day in and out.

It’s definitely worth thinking about. Being in that high context environment where there’s an opportunity to go deeper. To get past bar talk, “How many doors do you manage?” You know, “What are you doing with pet screening? Etc.”

0:50:33.7 To really go deeper in a more intimate environment. It’s definitely worth thinking about. We’re going to link it up.

0:50:38.6 I do want to transition now to the rapid-fire section of the interview. I ask every single guest a series of questions. I’m looking for short and sweet answers straight from the gut. And Steve, the first question is this: Who do you learn from?

Steve: 0:50:54.7 I learn from Jim Rohn, the godfather. If you will change, everything will change for you is the quote that changed my life. I used to party, drink, back in the day. Quit all that and got my head on straight and went to work.

So Jim Rohn, Gary V. Love Gary V. 0:51:17.2 Gosh, who else do I learn from? Podcasts. I learn from you, Alex, Brad Larsen a lot. Strategic Coach podcast. Jeez, Dan Sullivan is just smart man.

He’s just so on exactly what I’m trying to do. 0:51:31.9 Like, everything he says I resonate with. So any of his podcasts.

Oh, The Joy of Procrastination. Phenomenal podcast. It’s just two people talking.

0:51:39.5 I’m really interested in that type of podcast format where it’s just a conversation and you’re just a fly on the wall and these guys just talk about procrastination and how it’s actually been this negative term this whole time, but it’s actually this spring of creative ideas to where you should just use it as a way to identify things you can do.

0:51:58.7 Like, “Oh. I’ve been procrastinating on this? That should move up to the top of the list.” Do you know what I mean? 0:52:02.7 So, it’s got a lot of cool concepts in it that I really enjoy.

Jordan: 0:52:06.2 Alright. So we’ve got a podcast to check out. Definitely I can endorse the Dan Sullivan podcast. I like that one. It’s short and sweet. Pretty meaty.

You brought up Jim Rohn. My favorite quote from him is, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.” Love that guy. Absolutely the godfather. 0:52:27.2 He’s the guy that like I believe he’s the guy that mentored Tony Robbins.

0:52:34.4 Alright. Next question is this: Steve, what is the one pervasive belief in our industry that you wish you could transform?

Steve: 0:52:44.6 That doors matter.

Jordan: Doors are success.

Steve: 0:52:49.1 That doors are success. I like – I think we need to start shifting to the revenue per door role.

0:52:57.2 And I hear some people say that it frustrates them. I don’t really care when people – people can say what they want, I don’t care what other people say very much. And it doesn’t like affect me.

0:53:06.4 But, I think revenue per door – I saw – I think Matt on one of the message boards yesterday talking about his revenue per door. Like, getting to $250 or something.

0:53:15.0 I’m like, that’s great. Mine’s right around $205. It’s like, that’s not a dirty thing to talk about. You know what I mean?

0:53:20.2 It’s like, if we’re going to be successful, we’ve got to actually talk about real stuff. Because I could grow to 3000 – oh, and I don’t know if I prefaced this, but my goal is to get to 3000 units and a 30% profit margin.

0:53:31.8 I could get to 3000 units in two years if I drop my prices and just run a horrible business. Right? 0:53:36.8 But you’ve got to be profitable to a certain extent.

Jordan: 0:53:41.6 Yeah. Absolutely. That’s the fantasy right. “Well I could get there in two years and then I’d fix it.” Right? “I’d course correct. I’m just going to send 3000 people a fee max letter and solve it that way.”

0:53:53.5 Alright man, I’m totally with you on that. I love that.

0:53:55.6 Next question is this: Steve, if you could only take one music album with you to a desert island, and that was it, what would your one music album be?

Steve: 0:54:07.1 Bob Marley, Kaya.

Jordan: 0:54:11.5 Jammin’. Jammin’. Short and sweet. 0:54:18.4 Next question. 0:54:18.3 Steve: Why podcast?

Steve: 0:54:22.0 Why podcast? Sorry you cut out a little bit. Say again. 0:54:25.0

Jordan: 0:54:25.7 Why podcast?

Steve: 0:54:27.4 Why podcast? So what I’ve learned about podcasting for anybody that’s interested: Takes a little bit of time to set up, but there’s companies that can help you. You get to reach out to people who you don’t know and say, “Oh I have a podcast.”

And they’re like, “Oh.”

So you get to meet people. 0:54:44.0 You get to sit and think critically about ideas that you’re working on.

0:54:49.2 For instance, podcast ideas currently. I’ll just go to my list of things. Like, ok maybe I need to shoot videos on Facebook. I’ll seek out someone that’s good at shooting videos on Facebook, interview them and I kill two birds with one stone.

0:55:04.8 So, that’s another good thing. 0:55:07.5 And then, I just like the idea of being a thought leader. It’s kind of like a selfish, ego thing maybe, but I don’t know how I’m going to be a thought leader if I don’t have a podcast.

Jordan: 0:55:22.3 I’m sure there’s more than one way to skin that animal, but I don’t think of being a thought leader as being selfish at all. Right? It serves. It improves the quality of the life of every person you come into contact with.

Steve: Good call. I like that.

Jordan: 0:55:33.2 100% with you on that. I love that answer. 0:55:38.0 Steve, what was the first song that you wrote and recorded that you were truly proud of?

Steve: 0:55:43.3 The first song I was truly proud of was a song called, Wide Eyed and Beautiful. And I co-wrote it with a friend and it’s on Spotify. Go to Steve Welty Spotify.

It’s my oldest album. But I’m coming out with new album right now. Be dropping pretty soon.

0:56:00.8 And I’m just having a really good time with song writing because I believe in the Dan Sullivan approach. 0:56:05.5 Which means, to make more money you actually have to work less.

So, when I create space in my life, and I do things that I like and I, you know, feed other areas of my life and I try to be well-rounded, then it limits the amount of time that I can spend in my business, which means that I actually have to do more high impactful things and I have to actually let other people do them and let them grow. And that’s my thesis on business right now.

Jordan: 0:56:32.4 Constraints. The ‘C word’. I absolutely love it, man. Alright man, second to last question: Steve, what’s the last initiative that you put in place that meaningfully impacted and increased your revenue per door?

Steve: 0:56:46.0 Vendor marketing fund. Hands down. It’s bringing in a ton of money. Ok, so two. Vendor marketing fund.

So, if you don’t start a maintenance department, you just go to your vendors and you say, “Hey, you guys are doing great work but I’m trying to really grow this business. So, I want to keep you super busy, I want to blow your business up, but to do that, I’ve got to spend on sales and marketing and I need you to come with me. Because when I grow 100 houses, you get a 100 more toilets to work on. 0:57:15.7 So I need you to put in a certain percentage of whatever you bill my clients to the company, and we’re going to spend it on sales and marketing. I’m going to be fully transparent on what it’s spent on and you’re going to have to be able to see over time that this makes sense for you. But if you want to go on that ride with me, this is where we’re going. We’re going to 3000 units and so if you want to be on that ride with me, let’s do it. Here’s the caveat: You can’t raise your prices. This is not a mark up and then we take – so you can’t charge more than you’re charging now, but you’re going to make up in volume – make up for it in volume and you’ll see. And if you don’t, then it’s just a handshake agreement, you can go elsewhere and not do it. So, let’s try that.”

0:57:57.7 That’s made a lot of money. And it’s a win-win-win because the owner gets better service because this company, this vendor, is now invested in your company wholeheartedly and making sure that they service your clients well.

0:58:10.0 So your clients get better service, your tenants get better service. You actually are now kind of in a partnership, so you actually communicate more.

0:58:17.8 It’s funny – with vendor issues, 80% of the time it’s because you didn’t communicate exactly what you want from your vendor, expect from your vendor. I know because we’re guilty of it too.

Like, “The vendor didn’t do this on the make ready? Well, did we ever lay out exactly what we wanted them to do? Not just for this job, but like, how we work as a company?”

0:58:33.8 So now we’re bringing them in on a weekly, bi-weekly basis to talk and strategize. So that’s been huge.

0:58:40.9 The other one is charging for walk throughs. I was one of those people that was like, “It won’t work in my market. Nobody charges for walk throughs.”

0:58:50.4 My dear friend Clint Collins just put it very simply and said, “Push the button Steve. Charge for walk throughs and you’ll buy a boat and call it Walk Through Cash.” And I said, “Alright, I’m going to do that.”

0:59:05.0 And it’s the same type of thing. There’s value added because now, instead of it being a pesky little part of your business, every property management company that includes them is behind on them. Don’t say you’re not, you’re behind on them. You’re not doing them right, they suck.

0:59:21.5 You actually make them a revenue center and clients get this. You make them a revenue center, you actually put focus on them, you do them right and you don’t get behind.

0:59:28.4 And the client benefits because the home is more well taken care of and everybody wins. So that’s the couple value adds that we’ve done that have made a big impact.

Jordan: 0:59:36.4 Man. Love it. I feel like we just packed another little podcast into the last part of that answer. There’s a lot more we could dig in, but love that answer. Straight from the gut.

0:59:47.9 Final question, as always, is this: Steve Welty, in your opinion, are entrepreneurs born or bred?

Steve: 0:59:55.8 I think they’re born. I think you’ve got to have a desire to really make it long term in entrepreneurship. You can dabble, but I think – like, going to work for someone was just never – long-term was just never right for me, so I can only speak from experience. 1:00:15.8 Like, obviously I had to have jobs growing up, but I knew from the beginning that I’d be my own boss. So I would say born.

Jordan: 1:00:23.8 Love it. Everybody’s got a unique take. That is Steve Welty’s. Steve, if folks want to connect with you, learn a little bit more about your business, what’s the best place for them to go?

Steve: 1:00:31.8 Yeah, you can email me any questions or whatever. If you want to connect. Steve@GoodLifeMGMT.com. And then if you’re interested in that mastermind event, Jordan should be able to put the link.

Jordan: We’re going to link it up.

Steve: 1:00:43.1 Perfect. Put the link in there, love to connect with you there and we’re going to try to blow everyone’s business up and have fun doing it.

Jordan: Alright Steve, we’ll see you in San Diego. Thanks again for coming on.

Steve: Right on. Thanks so much Jordan.