As 2022 comes to a close, annual planning is at the top of every successful property manager’s to-do list. But do you know how to truly set goals that will lead to long-term success?
In this Triple Win LIVE recording, Andrew talks to Julie Mullinax of CRM Properties, Paul Kankowski of PURE Property Management, and Matt Tringali of BetterWho as they share their strategies and insights on goal setting and how to successfully plan for the coming year and beyond.
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Hosted by Andrew Smallwood and Laura Mac
Featuring Julie Mullinax, Paul Kankowski, and Matt Tringali
Produced by Andrew Smallwood, Laura Mac, and Carol Housel
Edited by Isaac Balachandran
One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make is they can't, they can't rely on doors instead of profit, and they don't. And I know that we've really gone through that. You should concentrate on profit. Should be the number one thing you're concentrating on all your long term goals. You could say, I'm going to 10,000 doors, but if you're paying $1,000,000 a month and you're losing out on that benefit.
Thanks for being here. Listen, we take a lot of things very lightly at second nature, but one thing we don't take very lightly is your time. And so you know that you're sharing a piece of your Wednesday, a piece of your life with us. It really means something. And we are so excited for the expert panelists that we're going to be.
Bring it up here. We'll just go ahead and bring them to the Zoom stage. Now. So we'll bring Julie, Paul and Matt. And if you haven't seen the email, I mean, you had to see an email or a Facebook post or something to get here, right? So you've at least seen a little something about the panelists. But if you don't have the pleasure of knowing them as well as some of the rest of us, I'll have them just go around now, just briefly introduce themselves, you know, but how about we do it this way?
We'll have you share again your name, your company, where you're located and let's do one interesting personal fact that most people don't know about. You will make a little fun, a little personal before we get started. But Paul, why don't you get us kicked off? We'll start with you.
Sure. My name is Paul Kankowski, I'm from Southern California. I'm with Pure Property Management. I run a systems conference in Las Vegas. There's a September that I would highly suggest that you go to. It's a lot of fun. It's a good event and it's really interesting fact about me is that I also read 100 milers. I know the tagline is the one that everyone knows in the group, but I ran 100 miler when I was 40, so ten years ago.
So before we even got there, I did. I'm still trying to do it again, unlike Tony Kline and 240. But an interesting fact is that I have done ultra running.
Wow ultra marathon. That's awesome. That puts you in an elite category. I'm like, I'm trying to think if I've ever gone 100 miles, like over the course of what period of time it would take me to go 100 miles potentially.
Well, the good thing about running 100 miles is that it makes you plan, because if you're going to go run, you know, 20, 30 hours a week, you have to plan to make sure that your company can get the stuff done.
We got some systems conference fans in the chat. I see that. Thank you, Paul. Julie, why don't we go to you next?
I’m Julie Mullinax. I am COO at CRM Properties and co-owner, but my official title COO. And we're in Kokomo, Indiana, but we are in about five different markets in Indiana. One fact that probably most people don't know is that I'm a peak. So if you don't know what a peak stands for, I'm a pastor's kid. So my dad's a pastor. So there you go.
Yeah, that's great. I don't. I don't think I knew that, Julie.
Well, there you go.
After being at Cubs games and having some time together and. All right. Great to have you with us. And Mr. Tringali, golly, I can see Mad Man did some of that. Somebody got you on brand today. You are fully ready to go. I love it if you'd introduce yourself for those who may not know yet.
Hey, guys. Matthew Tringali with BetterWho. I'm a property manager, just like you guys for the past 15 years. Although I sold my property management business to Paul earlier this year at Pure AL, I am super excited to now be doing the other thing that I love. You have a sellout and do the other thing that I love here at better, which is helping other property managers with staffing and strategic planning just like the type of stuff we're going to be talking about today.
A little known fact about me. So Julie was just Cheryl before you guys all hopped on that. Today is your 33rd wedding anniversary so Degrassi to Julie Ella and I assure you I claim to fame. I've been married for 22 years, but my claim to fame is that my wife and I dated for two months and were engaged for two months and then got married. And here we are 22 years later.
So wow. It's like it's like it's like when you see one of those dates, like two months, two months, 22 years, it's like it all ends up there.
Man. Well, anyone could have a claim to fame if you're just married and you're happy for 20 years. So you all. Well, you know, just that's a claim to fame itself 22 years in.
Does being happy for 22 years answer that question to be fair, yes.
But your daughter asked you know, it can't be for your 18th birthday, which means you're doing something right. Yeah.
And I think, listen, we've got a lot of open questions and answers. You know, we love to, as people have questions, find a way to integrate them, pull them in along. And I have a feeling maybe 8 minutes in, it'll just be like, all right, this annual planning stuff's great, but how do we get to, you know, marriages lasting 20 plus years?
Let's get to the real value of this is. That's good stuff. So. All right, everybody, we're going to dove in if you're not familiar with me, Andrew Smallwood, VP of Revenue at Second Nature. I'm in your friendly neighborhood purple shirt and moderator for today and very excited to be with our esteemed expert panel. We are going to be talking about goal setting planning.
It's that time of year where we're coming up on the first year. Sometimes people wait a few weeks after this to get started on this. Some people are already in a planning motion. Some viewers are looking to use this as a way to get kick started and whatever place you're in, we're hoping that by the end of today, it helps you move forward to a place of higher clarity.
You've got some actionable ideas that you can take away. We may even have some time and a benefit of being here live, even to pull a couple of you up if you want some live support with what you're working on from this group after we've covered a few things. So we've got some prepared content, but we've got a lot of open space to cover a lot of ground.
So we'd love to see you keeping us busy in the chat with any questions or things that you want more detail on or things that we haven't covered yet. So with that, I'm going to kick it off. And the first thing in my notes here is talking about just what's your current annual planning process? Can you help people observe, like how you approach it, what framework you might be using and why?
Like what? What have you definitely been doing? What's your current process look like? And Julie, if you don't mind, I'm going to come to you first, then we'll go around the horn.
Yep. So my husband and I own the company together, so our yearly planning is the two of us. We usually do it the second week in December. We go away somewhere for four days and we do a SWOT analysis of our company and we really do a deep dove into our financials. We review the past financials and where we want to go next year.
We use this as an opportunity for us to do both our personal and business review of our net worth, which if you don't do that and you are a business owner, I highly recommend that you do that. Even personally, I'm going to get you somewhere to go somewhat to something to work towards. We look at what new things we might want to add or increase, and we look at our benefit package for our team.
What do we want to add to our benefit package? Are we wanting to make any changes to our PMS or at least documents? This is kind of a big one. Do we want to make any changes to our service area or do we want to make any changes to the types of properties we take on or the types of clients we take on?
We have a pretty big range of properties with the markets that we're in, so we have properties that are running for $500 a month and some that are running for 3000 not so it's a wide range. So we review that, review the data of those different kinds of properties to see if we want to offload some or keep going with those we actually give our agenda to.
We have a leadership team, so we actually give our agenda to the leadership team ahead of time. So they see what we're going to be talking about and then they can give us their suggestions or ideas so we can take those with us. As we talk through them, we use the modified U.S. framework, I would say, but it's similar to the U.S. framework.
And we really look at and I know you're going to get into this later, but we really, really look at our ten year, three or one year rule to help us decide what we are going to do over the next year. We set our goals. We have three categories of goals, our team goals. What are we going to do as a team for our staff?
What are we going to do for our clients? Score goals and then our customers, which are our residents? And then we map those out for the next year and then kind of break it up into a quarter. We absolutely make sure that they are smart goals. So if you don't know what a smart goal is, it's very specific.
It's measurable, attainable or achievable, relevant, time bound. And if you don't make your goal smart, it's really hard to see if you accomplished your goal at the end. You may think, Yeah, I did it, but you didn't make it specific enough to really say Yes you did, or at the other direction you may think, No, I didn't do it, but when you really break it down, then yeah, I did get it because this is exactly what I was supposed to do.
So after we have our yearly planning, then we meet with our leadership team. We have a full day planning day with them that we go over. Then basically what we've decided we're going to have for our goals next year. And then we divide up those goals among the different department heads and then they create their smart goals.
And that's our year and planning.
Awesome. I just want to reflect on a couple of things before I come to Paul next and a couple of things back for folks that I'm sure we're taking notes at home or they're listening to this. And one thing I loved is you talked about like I almost see that like triple win lens of like looking at like residents in that investor relationship, investors in that relationship, our team and thinking about things right from these different groups of people and how are we, you know, advancing things and making progress for folks as it relates to that, I love that for those who are less familiar, I'm going to sneak over to my overhead camera here just
for visuals. But EOC just stands for our entrepreneurial operating system. There's a podcast for the podcast episode where you can connect with Sue Hawks, who's a professional implementer. She has some history in property management. If you want a little more on iOS, I'm sure we'll talk a little bit more about that. Matt has a lot he can offer on that as well.
We got the smart and swap for those who don't know and I did this round. But anyway, there's four quadrants: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as a way to look at and think about your business, what's going on, and analyze it from that lens. So some good frameworks there. Julie, thanks for getting us kicked off. We'd love to.
And by the way, 3 to 4 days, I mean, that's a real commitment, right? That's a statement, really.
So then I'll clarify that we usually go somewhere. I think I mentioned on our first call, we're going to Frankenmuth this year. So we try to go someplace that's going to be fun so we can work hard during the day and then go out and have a meeting. So it's kind of a go planning and then sometimes you'll love it.
That's great. So can you tell us a little bit about your current situation?
Yeah. So the funny thing is that Chris and Julie are still my best friends, so we kind of have talked about these things. Ours are very different and I know exactly what Chris does. And you know, I know Chris, you know, they want to talk with three states, 10,000 doors. The goals are very, very big. Mine was more than multiple companies.
How can I make it so that I can get myself out of certain things and do things better? So in the end, we both do the same thing. I know, Chris, you and Julie, I mean, Julie, Chris usually go to a little cabin by the lake in Indiana or somewhere down. And I am always very impressed. So my thing is a lot of people try to do their end of the year goals as well.
They try to be in the office. And I don't want you to test this, either. You don't get the stuff done first. You don't invest the money and you're like, No, I don't want to pay to have a room. I don't want to pay the bills. But when you go away, you're forced to really get stuff done because otherwise people walk in your office to interrupt you and you're in the same routine.
So Julia me bullhead, we've done it, but I do my little differently. I am going to Mexico where I used to do my end of the year planning and I will have like all my remote team members into Walmart. So I had a couple that were in Mexico City. One was in Cancun very, very cheap before I went from Mexico to Mexico was like 40 bucks, 50 bucks a flight.
But ours is two days long. So I was going to Mexico for the week. I leave on a Sunday on Monday and Tuesday. We go through all the processes, what we're doing, and we go to see how it's done better by video call in my U.S. base. So what I want to do is focus at the beginning of the year on my remote staff so that they are the ones that are the most important ones.
And my team members in the U.S., they will chime in when they need to chime in. They'll come in the video conferencing and I sit down with the people that are actually doing the work. And one of the things we did for our annual planning is the best idea that we think can save the company the most money or they can make us the most money during that week.
They get $100 cash, just, you know, a $100 bill, take it up to the wall. And whoever has the best idea, we bring it down to two and then we vote on that. They get that. So we do two days of planning with the staff. So they fly in there, then they leave, then I do. One day by myself in Mexico, where I'm just kind of going through what we did because you get so much information, you really need to process it.
And then my management team in Mexico, they thought I was still there because they live in Guadalajara and they would come in and meet with me at the end of the week and then I would leave on Friday. So I spent a week and I'm still getting a lot of things done. I need to for other businesses, but it really gets me so that I can focus on the next year, so I can do it.
And I used to do this every January, but the last time I did it was this last January. I no longer will be doing it this January because I'm in a different role, but I would highly recommend that you plan something. It did cost us some money because I had to get hotel rooms. But like at the end of the day, like Julie said, we would take the team and go play laser tag.
We go to dinner, we do things like that. We would do a lot of fun things. And I wanted to focus because I think a lot of times, you know, we don't look at what our team can do. Another thing we did for end of the year planning is when I do get a goal, then I find someone that can help me reach my goal.
So one of my goals that it was four years ago, five years ago, was that I didn't I did not want to talk to tenants anymore, like I wanted to not be involved in tents. So Chris, Julie's husband, would call me once a month and ask me and as Julie says, you need to have set measurable goals. So every time I talked to a tenant, I would write down on a piece of paper.
He called me and said, How many times have you talked about this? I talked to four people. That's not very good, Paul. You got to do less next month. It was two. And then when I would get to zero would be like, Good job, you have to buy your drink next time I see you. And so find that person that you can call and it can't be your spouse because they're not, you know, find another manager.
And when you make a goal that you're trying to change, get someone to help you with it. And that was huge for me. And that was a great thing that, you know, and like me, Chris actually came down and was there when I was doing my, my, my one week thing. So I believe Julie's actually. You're doing some of that other times that you're the same thing with your staff.
So many things that do. And I know Matthew has a ton of stuff he does with us, and I've learned a lot from Julie and Matthew on his end of the airplane.
Awesome man. Paul, that was great. I love how I think most people hearing that, it's like, okay, that's a different approach, you know, than I've heard. Most people take the idea that, hey, we're going to go line by line, right? And look at each process and the prize, right? The people who win in a couple of days are staff with managers.
There's people, to be honest, I love the monthly accountability with somebody in the business. And a specific example of the goal that you had and I was tracked and how you handled that. That's really cool. Awesome stuff. Great. Well, Matt, we're going to bring it to you. There's also a question in here which we integrated and Paul mentioned, hey, close to being remote in Mexico, how that was handled.
Matt, you may have some perspective. People have, you know, even beyond time zones or across oceans in the remote team, how people engage their team in annual planning. As you also explain your current process.
Cool. Thanks. Yeah. This is a lot of great information that you guys both shared. And, you know, one of my takeaways is there's no wrong way to do this. You know, if you're doing it you're clearly ahead of the game. You're doing more than probably 90% of your competitors. So one of my other takeaways from what you guys are saying to address this a little bit is, some of your different strategies depend on your team size, right?
So Julia, the you guys have a staff of like 20 or 30 plus people at this point, 45 or 45, some of that's maintenance or whatever. And so versus Paul's team, you were more like 5 to 8 or something like that. Paul Or even.
We were over ten or so.
11, 10 or 11 at that point. Yeah. So, so some of it's going to kind of depend on that and it's helpful to you go ahead and identify sort of like who's your executive team, who is your leadership team, you know, who all really needs to be involved in the annual planning versus maybe they just need to be, you know, kind of be informed about what gets decided at the annual planning.
So here are some of the answers about remote team members that really kind of depend on that, right? So Julie has like 15 remote team members on her team or something. I'm sure they're not all involved in annual planning, you know, or at least not all in the same capacity the way you know Paul is doing with his. So I'll keep some of my answers a little bit high level here.
First of all, I also highly recommend offsite. So like business partners and I just as an executive team are actually doing our annual planning this Sunday. Tony has violated Charlotte and Little Tony and Jay Larry get to drive up to Asheville for three days and do our annual planning and really, really it starts with the basics and kind of just touching on some things that maybe you've already touched or you have.
But I think it's worthwhile to address the right people? Right. Seats at the beginning, like, you know, what are the right roles, the right team? Is everybody in the right roles right now? What are the staffing gaps that we have right now? Because usually all the planning in the world, but if you don't have the team alignment in place, you're not going to achieve any of your goals.
So we kind of start with just touching the right people, right seats, touch on our core values and overall mission. Are they doing for us what they are meant to be doing for us? So again, we know you spend a lot of time talking about that, but it's worth looking at those every year, just making sure they're not cursory, making sure they're really full and doing something for you.
And then as Julie kind of mentioned, she has, you know, this big long term vision and it's worthwhile to readdress that long term vision. You know, is that also doing what we wanted to do for us or does it need tweaking once we kind of have that foundation in place? Well, what do you sort of review for a year?
So how did we do this last year? What did we actually accomplish? What did we not accomplish that we wanted to accomplish? There's a great book. I know, Andrew. You guys had Dr. Benjamin Hardy on your podcast. He has a great book, The Gap in Legal, which kind of addresses this, you know, how to think about what have I achieved versus what have I not achieved?
So helpful to kind of start there. And then for us we maintain something we call the parking lot. So all throughout the year, we're constantly putting stuff in the parking lot and these are basically like ideas we have or maybe failed projects we had or, you know, just anything like that that we know we have interest in but haven't had time to do yet.
And that's basically the start of our annual planning. We start by looking at that parking lot to say, okay, well what's in the parking lot? And you know, what is going to make the cut for this year a little? Then we kind of take all of that information to say, okay, which of these things are going to help put us on track to achieve that long term vision versus which are things that maybe are interest to us, but they like kind of be a distraction from our long term vision because there's lots of things you can do, but if you are pointed at certain directions, you want to make sure your marching in that direction.
And it took me a while to kind of learn this. So it has, as you alluded to, a former US civil critique. I kind of like the iOS method. It's by design meant to sort of put you in a pressure cooker situation and just decide in the moment. Right. And so like you go off you do this offsite, you're like, okay, great.
Here's all the information just aside and there's pros and cons to that. You know, some of the pros are you force yourself to make a decision, you start moving. But some of the cons are you might be making decisions where you didn't really have all the information you wish you'd had in order to make that decision. And so for that reason, one thing that I've really added over the last few years is kind of some pre-work before we show up to the annual planning.
So we'll kind of do some of this reflective work will come to the table with maybe some of that SWOT analysis done that Julie talked about or some of those kind of like, okay, if we have a project we think will make the cut, you know, we'll do a little pre-planning for that project. So that way we can show up and make more informed decisions instead of showing up and really just totally starting from scratch.
So for us, you know, we'll get the whole team, whoever it is, will do all that pre-work. We'll go off as a leadership team, kind of do this play, and then when we're done, we'll circle back around to the team to be like, okay, we got the whole thing started. Now we need everybody else to kind of fill all of the mortar around the cracks here and figure out what the solid plan is for this year.
Can I question Matt? Matthew, I agree with what you said, Matthew, about big teams or small teams. Yeah. I think if you're doing like let's say your goal is maintenance or your goal is applications, who's ever doing applications that you're if you're a team of 40 people and you have five people that are involved in applications, bring those five, bring whatever your goal is.
And I know Julie does that too. But yeah, I agree. If you have 40 people you could do it. But you know, with pure we this summer we had all the owners and all the upper management, we all flew to Colorado and we did two days of that with 60 people. So you can do it with a lot of people, but it gets very expensive.
It's, you know, also to echo and some of the things that Paul mentioned to you, I love some people feel differently about this. Some people may think it's hokey, but I don't underestimate the value of team building activities. Right. So, well, my partners are familiar, like we're going to breweries and we're going to this pinball museum and, you know, just things like that.
That'll be fun. And again, everybody kind of has different vibes on that kind of thing, but I find a lot of value in it.
Yeah. It was interesting that all three of you mentioned off site as something valuable and yeah, I mean it's probably just the same as jokingly listening if you're trying to figure out, okay, so how do I figure out the offsite and like affording the offsite to this annual planetary? So just go sign up with your friendly neighborhood second person on RTP and then you can fund your offsite.
But jokes aside, that was a really interesting thread. I got a couple of notes here, Matt. I'm not going to do this, by the way, every time you guys talk. But you know, I love what you said about the right people, right? Seats, the mission value vision check looking at ten of your first four games planning process, we have the book shout out for people who missed a gap in the game.
Dr. Ben Hardy The parking lot concept and events is a forcing function. I love what you said about there's pros to that and there's cons, but also how you address the cons, trying to increase decision quality by getting some time free work and allowing people to let things sit, percolate, start to develop some thoughts and bring that information together.
I really like that as a great actionable tip.
Okay. Especially by the way, I've become more cognizant over time for introverts on my team, especially the introverts of the team. They don't like that. They don't want to be pressured, like saying something on the spot. They want time to percolate on that. So I think you have to be respectful of different people's decision making and how they do how they decide things.
Yeah, I'm one of our friends and mentors at Second Nature talks about how it's not that. I think there's a book Susan Cain wrote it called Quiet Talking about Introverts and how it's not always the loudest people that have the best ideas, but how do you, as a leader of an organization, facilitate things in such a way where you're able to draw the best ideas out from everyone?
Right, when you're getting that contribution, not just those who are most confident or first to speak. Really great stuff.
I want to go ahead now you go, Julie.
I just wanted to touch one other thing. I know I saw the comment about the remote team members. I know Paul touched on it. I just wanted to share what we do. We have I believe we're up to about 20 remote team members now and want them to they're spread across a lot of different departments in our company. And one of them happens to be the director of one of our departments.
So we kind of made a joke about it. But when we have our full day goal planning with our leadership team, she's on screen and we this is the part that I make a joke. We carry her around with my laptop, so we're just kind of moving around the room with us. But she's right there with us. And I think that the people who aren't used to having remote team members, it's, it's, it's a mindset change to think you don't really need to do anything different.
They're just not sitting right next to you.
Totally agree with that. I love what Paul does. I mean, if you have them all in a tight geographic area, that's really cool. You know, a lot of us have road team members spread out between like four different countries at this point. So that would be harder for me. But just like Julie said, the technology is there.
There's a cool tool also called I think it's called Owl that you can look at to put it into a kind of a boardroom setting that really feels really incorporated.
But not my first time doing it. I really screwed up. I go to Guadalajara for a reason. The first time I did it, we went to Cuba and I brought my staff from the US down to and this is when I was smaller. So it was seven people with a couple remote people in the United States and one of them was like, So when do we get to play golf?
We're actually going to work today. And I'm like, okay, never am I going to the beach. They don't go to the Y and think that your team's going to get a lot accomplished. Go to Saint Louis, go to Walmart, go in the middle of a country like where you can still have fun at night, but they're not sitting there looking at the palm trees going, I just want to get in the water.
That's the voice of experience right there. But I think it's great. I want to shift to a question. Yeah. Matt and Julie, you're alluding to iOS, right? There's a start of ten years and three year and one year goals. And I've got a thought to add to this. It's something like we've been running with recently, but I'd like for you guys to kick this off and maybe Matt will start with you on this point of, you know, how do you think about and how have you helped other property managers think about ten year, three year, one year goals like how much time do I allocate for each of these?
It sounds like you're revisiting them at least, at least once a year. What do you think about that? How are you allocated to that and work through that?
Yeah, the idea behind the.
Ten years that the number ten is kind of arbitrary like a case, the whole idea behind it is just it's really far away, right? It's what Jim Collins calls your BHAG. Right. Your big, hairy, audacious goal. So like Elon Musk, his BHAG is to colonize Mars. Right? And so it's really distilling it down to a vision statement.
And there's lots of different ways you can think about that. Lots of things I can say. But I'll give you two examples of what I think are great vision statements. The first one here is a computer on every desk at every home. So who knows who said that one, right? You put it in the chat, if you like.
Who said that one? Right. This is a classic one from the eighties and mission accomplished, right?
It was Apple. Right?
Yeah, that was Bill Gates. Another one I love is finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. Anybody have any guesses? He put that in the chat if you think you know who that is. Right. But these to me are the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Right. So these two are great examples of your ten year BHAG.
You know something? The whole point of it is it's your compass, right? It points you in a direction. So now any other, you know, vision or goal you want to come up with, you have to filter it through like, well, is this going to help me put a computer on every desk in every home? Right. Is this going to help me find a cure for Parkinson's disease?
Yes or no? Right. Well, as you get to three years, it's like, okay, cool. Now I can start to get a little more specific, but it's still going to be a little broad. And, you know, I get to detail the way things might change a little bit in three years, but the point of the three year again is to be able to when you ask the eight at your annual planning, you ought to be able to say, okay, what do we need to do this year to achieve what we want to achieve in three years?
Because that's where you can start to get really specific. The whole point of that is to drill it down further, right? To say, okay, great, if that's what I need to get to this year, what do I need to do this quarter to put me on track to achieve that by the end of the year? And let me get even more specific, what are the milestones I have to hit along the way over the course of the quarter to get that done?
Right. So the point is that you're breaking it up into smaller and smaller pieces and it's all pointing you in that direction of your BHAG.
And that's awesome. Paul. Julie, any thoughts on like ten versus three versus one? How much time you're spending on each, how do you think about it?
I enjoy some bags, but I was going to say just what Matthew said, it depends on the type of person you are too. Like for me, I'm a really like anal type person. Like things have to be right, I have to get it right. And so what happens is the reason for these goals is because you'll get so focused on this that it has to be correct.
This has to be correct that you don't go forward and I'll think about it with second nature. I was one of your first customers way back in the day, and for the first year I didn't implement it to any access. It was maybe like five because I'm like, it's not correct in the language, the contract is not correct.
This is incorrect. Oh, I got to make sure this is and this was before everyone in California was doing it. So I was still trying to make sure every law was correct, everything was right, and I just wouldn't take the step forward. So I agree with Matthew 100%, have a ten year goal, have a three year goal, have a one year, have a legal, but then get out there and do it and make yourself go forward and make yourself take some risk.
You're an entrepreneur. You've got to do something. It's just, it's just the big thing. And the other thing, when you're looking at these goals is to think of an ending goal. Like we always don't want to think about what's my end game, but, you know, ten years you might be 60 and I might not. Ten years might be like, Yeah, I hear you all retire.
You should always be thinking about what I am going to do as an exit plan? And my thing was, I kind of found this out when I was in California. My wife was a broker and I was a broker and I forget who it was, but someone said, What happens if you get hit by a bus?
You know that all your doors will go away because you don't have you'd have to get your doors to someone else. And we're like, Oh, crap. We didn't think about the end game plan. So pristine. What you got is a broker's license. So if I get hit by a bus, we would still have our company. So you should think about an end game plan.
You should think about all that stuff because it helps you realize what you're doing wrong right now. It helps you see what? Yes. If you get hit by Powerball, then they don't care that you're not the broker because you are $1.9 billion. But yes. So always in these goals I also start to think, what is my company valuation?
I never did that early on, never did things like that. It's really nice to know these types of things because we know what's going to happen. And you know what your end goal is and you don't have to have an end date of three years, two days and five, five months to do this, whatever it is.
But you need to think about what if this happens. There's a lot of other things that go on. So what Matthew said, get it. Get a big, hairy, audacious goal. It's great. It'll help you move forward, but then really do doubt and then make yourself your quarterly goals. Make yourself complete them and make yourself move on.
And I got way better at that after five years and thought of other people that were around me and said, you know, take some risk, push yourself.
I think what Matt was saying is really spot on and it's how we think about things a lot. I think we do have a ten year target. It's not necessarily a ten year goal, but it's the target that our entire staff company is rowing towards. We're all in the boat running towards that one spot.
But then in order to get there, that's where we break it down into, okay. In three, if we want to be here in ten years, where do we need to be in three years? And that three year goal, I think, is much easier for our staff, even for our directors. But the staff underneath them to be able to see is to, I guess, buy into that.
And I think the ten years they're like, I'm not going to be here in ten years. Yeah. So they might not even like whatever you guys can do what you want. But I think breaking it down for your staff or your team members, it makes it you get a lot better buy in from our experience of getting those smaller pieces.
But then when we have our three years and then yesterday or next month, when we're looking at next year, we want to be here in three years. This is what we need to do this year to get there in three years. And then Brighton pieces it down into the quarters and then the little rocks and pebbles along the way.
Matt, I just have this question. One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make is they constantly rely on doors instead of profit and they don't. And I know that we've really gone through that. You should concentrate on profits. Should be the number one thing you're concentrating on while your long term goals, you could say, I'm going to 10,000 doors, but if you're paying $1,000,000 a month and you're losing, was that beneficial?
So once I started looking at price per door and what I was making, and that happened with the lead simple survey like five years ago that really six years ago that really changed everything that my company was doing when we focused on numerical, as Matthew says, you know, goals that you can actually see, touch, feel, you know, there you know what they are.
Yeah, the largest profit. But also like you said more specifically are unit economics. You have to be focused on your unit economics and it's what allowed both Paul and I to operate property was three companies that only had about 200 doors and yet were extremely profitable at $200 because we got laser focused on the unit. AKLAVIK So I do agree with one other thing, Andrew, on this point, you know, while we were preparing for this call, one of the things we talked about is if you don't already have that bag that tells your long term vision, don't worry about it.
So the advice for now would actually be don't actually worry, like do your annual planning, but don't actually really worry about the annual plan right now. Right now, really just figure out what are your most high priority projects over the next quarter. As Paul said, get realistic about it, get those things done. We tend to underestimate what we could get done in the long term and we tend to overestimate what we get done in the short term.
So be smart about the next quarter and while you're going through that quarter, have a plan to figure out what your bag is, what your three year one year is. But don't just start with your year because you really it's kind of arbitrary. If you just start with one year.
You guys are texting our video editor right now just to apologize, like we're going to keep you busy for a long time, cutting this thing up and getting all the nuggets out of great, great stuff so far. Listen, I pulled Sam up. I didn't want to kill the flow there, but he's got.
I want to listen. I wanted to ask, is Matt almost answering it verbatim? One of the concerns that I have is the fact that, like, I don't want to have a 3000 unit property management company. You know, I'm a very profitable 300 unit property management company. I just hired my wife and a remote team member to work sales and marketing because I'm so profitable and I feel like it'd be a crime to not try to grow.
But my ambition is maybe to a thousand, not to 3000 or 10,000. And so part of my part of my question, and I think Matt finally answered it was my behind might not be in property management. It might be that I want to own 200 or 1000 units. Right. And I want to do syndication and stuff like that.
So I guess my question is, when you're when you have multiple properties, multiple companies and or if you really do not truly have a B hag because you want more of a lifestyle company, where do you start in your goal setting? Because I always start the other way, which you just told Matt not to do, which is one of the things that I need to do right now to make my business more successful as opposed to going to the goal.
Right. And for me, things that I need to work on with sales marketing. So that's why I went there.
But I don't think Matt ever states that you should start right. What you should do now you should also just look at what you might want to do in the future. Most people start with what they're going to do now. And I mean, Matt, in many conversations about this, you start with what am I doing now in the next two or three months and your goals are I want to be able to make every one of my kids soccer games, not miss our times, go hiking.
Those are important goals like money doesn't run everything because we die and you have millions and millions of dollars, but you didn't get to see anything. What does it matter to get that money? So, you know, I think that all of us look at lifestyle goals to what we're going to do, what stress critic taking the tenets of me that that help the company but it really helped me because I hated talking to tenants and so that got it off me.
It was a win win. I gave someone else a job and I had to do it. So Matt, would you go on there? But I believe you've always told me about that. You can start with the current.
Yeah, totally. L.L. Yeah. What I would say, Sam, is, you know, so like us, we build a smart system, as you know, and smart stands for self and responsible team. And that's because that's what I find that most business owners are looking for, is a self managing team. So for most of the companies I work with, that's actually one of their very first goals.
And the beehives they have are just like Paul wanted. How do I remove myself from the business right? You create a lifestyle business. And so when I had done that, just like you, I was the same as Paul in yours. It was like, I actually want to have multiple businesses, multiple streams of revenue. And so I always felt like, well, there's got to be something more with the property management company.
So I asked one of my mentors, I'm like, Hey, I've only worked for like 5 hours a week. And like I don't know, like, what do I do now? And he said, Well, I think the role of a business owner is whatever will exponentially add value to the company. And it was that word exponential that really triggered something for me because most business owners focus on what linearly adds value to the company, right?
One unit at a time. But you can easily hire people to literally linearly add value to the company. But if you got really smart about that, there are ways that you can exponentially add value right through new verticals or other streams of revenue that are kind of, you know, supporting your property management company. Right. There's other things you can do that would be exciting for you at that point, which is what I started doing.
I think that actually resonates a lot with me because I've always done it on a vertical basis and I haven't started a maintenance division. I have gotten a really well oiled brokerage division and I haven't done that. And so maybe it's about a thousand units with a fantastic all of these other verticals that are also, you know, very profitable.
So that's good. I like that. Thank you.
Yep. Awesome. Hey, Sam, we may bring you back up again a little bit later. Anybody else have questions? You see, we're. Well, we're willing to work some stuff in here. I just want to reflect a couple of things that we were just talking about and a couple of thoughts and inspire you. One is, I've been thinking a lot more recently and we talked about this before our three year goals.
And a lot of times I found myself like the long term goal was very like inspiring and energizing and the one year goal very practical, but that three year planning start starts to get me thinking differently than the routines of thinking I had before about what systems do I need to put in place to actually get there, right?
Like not just what do I need to get to this part, right? And maybe it's to what Matt was just saying about not just like linear or depending on what my goals are, aggressive, etc., like, how am I thinking about putting the things in place right that are going to set up that next stage to look the way it does that connects beyond there and the value of that.
Another thing that is sparking this is like what? What's the purpose of a goal? I think it was J-pop that was the author, the one thing it may have been somebody else if I get the credit wrong, but I remember them saying that the purpose of a goal is to be appropriate in the moment, to be able to be appropriate in the moment.
And so, hey, the reason we're setting these goals is so that we've got clarity and presence and attention on the things that matter, right, we need to be doing and executing in the moment and I'll never forget early in my career, one of the best managers of mentors I ever had. I remember reaching a point in the middle of what we could call a quarter.
It was a campaign. We divided the year into three campaigns for four quarters. But, you know, in the middle of a campaign, I realized I was not going to hit my goal as anyone ever had that experience. But it was an annual goal or whatever it might be. And I remember going to and saying like it, like, here's what's going on, it's not going to happen.
Like, what do I do? And he just looked me in the eye and he said, Find a new goal that matters right in it. It got me. As opposed to just dejected and kind of like finishing out like, hey, let me reset a goal, right? This is that, you know, that is smart, measurable, attainable, all those things that matter, that energizes me.
It's that I'm showing up and contributing my best work. And what matters is not just Michael Jordan making every shot right, but on the way to becoming the greatest of all time. And this is a shout out for Bob Hanson. I saw him on the course I'm giving my Chicago Bulls reference here. Right. But, you know, every shot made or missed was on the way, right, to that ultimate vision of becoming the greatest of all time and finding goals again that help you be appropriate in the moment on the way.
Very cool. I love what you guys shared about not just doors and thinking about door counts, by the way, but how are you setting goals? Even like all I think of connecting back to life? Sounds like I don't want to talk about tennis. That's not something I want to be doing right? What do I find not just profitable?
What do I find rewarding in my business and why am I here? I love what you guys shared that I'm sure people take a lot of notes and takeaways. Moving to another question here, which is can we get into some things like tactical, practical, like I want to get into some concrete examples of a goal in a little bit of like the plan that came out of your process.
So maybe it increased the number of doors by this amount or maybe it increased profitability by this amount or maybe it was seeing every baseball game or whatever it might be, but we'd love to hear the goal. And then a little bit of the plan and execution about that and some really kind of practical examples that people can take away.
Why don't we start with Paul on this one?
A funny thing was, one of my systems was crap a long time ago and they were just horrible and I kept having remote team members that were not as successful as they should be. I got that unicorn of a person who can work really well and do things even with crappy systems in place. And so me and Julie, we, we were the one the original ones went to Vegas to work to see Earl Allen and see how we could make systems better.
My goal was, okay, I'm going to get all my systems done in the next three months. That was my goal. Julia. We finished all of our system, yet we have not. Okay, I really realize that that was a goal. I didn't understand the scope of the goal. I made the goal. It was good to make the goal because it got me started, but it was an unrealistic goal.
So you can make an unrealistic goal and then you just revise it once you realize how hard it is. My build. My new goal was to make a new system that works every 3 to 4 months. So to have 3 to 4 new systems a year and then start once we get them all done, then you had to start revising the ones you did and that was a realistic goal.
But I had to fail. And my original goal for me was to realize what it was, what I could do to make the right book. So when you make goals, you're going to make goals and you're going to fail. The big thing is to review why you failed. Figure out why you fail. Don't, don't, you know, be mad at yourself unless you're just lazy.
But if you worked at your goal, then figure out why you fail and move on from there. And I think that's the thing is failure is okay as long as you learn from it and you move on and you make it better. So I did fail when I first set up the systems well. I failed miserably and then my new goals were very successful and it was like I said, one every 3 to 4 months, one new system.
Awesome. That's great. Love that. I feel like somebody can take that specific one and just say, All right, I'm going to run with that. That's great. Julie, let's come to you next. What thoughts on an example of a goal, concrete example goal? What plan did you make from there?
The goal that I am going to talk about. It was a yearlong process as we were. We started very small like everybody probably did. And our growth kind of just exploded and we weren't completely prepared for it. And so we had excuse me, we had financial accounting and reporting, but it was not structured to where we were in it now with the growth.
So we took a whole year to complete, in a sense I'm to say, blow up our accounting system and read, restructure it, create different departments so we could really drill down on our departments. And what was probable, what wasn't where, what was our profit per door in the different areas. So we have a full maintenance and renovation division as well.
So we wanted to see if maintenance is more profitable? Are renovations more profitable? Where are we on leasing and property management services? So we like I said, we blew that up. We had a long time. It was a year that it took my bookkeeper, it took our CPA. We had to change property where we had to change our QuickBooks accounting.
So as far as the plan, we had quarter one. We wanted to be here with X, we needed to change our GL accounts quarter to and we needed then to convert all of our property where stuff into those D account GL accounts to match QuickBooks. At the end of the first six months, everything was set up. So then the next six months we were just really tweaking it and making sure that all of our numbers made sense and we had to make some changes along the way.
But that really was a long process. But we end that. I would say we really had to be diligent on not making our goals to do why to spread our spread. I guess we needed to keep them small or we would have lost focus. We would have quit. So that was a really good example for us of the importance of having those smaller little pebbles along the way in your quarter and your six months and your goals.
And I'm curious, like when you if I ask a follow up question here, Julie, did you like when you first set it up, was the plan detailed to like actually here is quarter by quarter how we're going to break down this 12 month goal like was that there from the beginning or was it kind of like eye level in Q1?
We're really clear on and this other stuff will kind of figure out how we do it. From there.
Julie Mullinax I would say yes. And to go to what Paul said yes, I had a this is where at the end of this year what we're going to be and this is each quarter what we're going to do. It didn't completely work out that way. So we did have to redo our quarter one. We thought and we thought we would get more done in quarter one, but it turned out to be more work than we thought.
So what we wanted to do in order to do that we weren't ready for yet, so we had to push that. So, yes, I did have a plan for the end of the year and yes, we did have it laid out, but it didn't go according to plan.
Andrew Smallwood Oh, yeah. Okay, that's great. That's helpful. Thanks for that context. Yep. Matt, what comes to mind when you think of a concrete example or two of a goal that you set and a plan that you made, how it played out.
Yeah. Life story would be actually the same story that I gave as a talk at the Laffer National Conference a few weeks ago. And it was what Paul I was talking about earlier with unit economics. So I am a highly competitive person at any time and like to gamify something that works for me. And so, we got clear on our numbers and we set a very specific goal around profitability and direct labor efficiency.
And so we saw where we were. We set a goal for where we wanted to be, and then we identified all of the projects we needed to do along the way to get there. Those projects included slashing a bunch of owners. We didn't want to do business with any more slashing categories if we didn't want anymore and were excluded, totally redoing our property management.
We certainly redoing our leases, adding all sorts of different things like a resident benefits package illegally. It included slashing a bunch of expenses. We got rid of our brick and mortar office and we totally reorganized our staff. And that's when we really we'd already been using it for about two years, but we just had a mindset shift with all the remote team members.
And so that was a total timescale of about months for us to achieve that goal. And it was actually sort of ancillary. I didn't mean to put myself out of a job, but that was the ancillary that I put myself out of by achieving that goal.
Andrew Smallwood Yeah, that's great. Great example. It's cool to hear examples of like, okay, here's a concrete number that I'm trying to hit or here's a new practice or discipline I'm trying to develop in my systems, thinking in a building problem or picking an efficiency metric like a DLR, like you're just talking about and attacking that and going after that and seeing how.
So every time it's cool to see different approaches people can take and what's working for you. So I want to move to another question. We'll have a little time to weave in any questions out there in the audience, bring anybody else up for a follow up. If anybody has a goal in the audience that they actually want to bring up and share, get some thoughts like just some counsel here on thinking through it.
And some ideas will even open it up for that. But there are a couple of things I want to hit. Julia, I'm going to start with you on resources you recommend: are there books, are there courses, are there people? What resources might you recommend for folks in the property manager industry who are looking at this and who are those resources?
Like perfect for now, hey, if you're trying to do this or accomplish this or if you're in this situation, it's going to be especially relevant for you would be great.
Julie Mullinax So I listen several so if you are since we're we're talking about goal planning and the your original question was what framework do you use. We have a I like I said, I called it a modified IOC. But I think that the EOC is a fantastic book. If you want to get into learning this model, it's very dumbed down.
It's very easy to read. And I would say it's great for people starting in where they hear the broker owner or you're the receptionist at the front desk. It doesn't really matter. It's a fantastic book, too, to get into that. Another one that we really like for our directors is great leaders who make sure Monday morning doesn't suck.
It's a really good book to help create a culture where people enjoy waking up Monday morning to come to work. This is a good one that I really have had to work on over the last 12 years. If you want it done right, you don't have to do it yourself. I just talked to some of my team today and I said I'm a recovering control freak.
I have I. I have done so much better and it makes me feel so much better. I still have some work to do, but that's a really great book for, I think, those higher level management people who think the only way that I'm going to get this task done is if I just do it myself. And that's not the case.
I think NORTHCOM is a fantastic organization for everybody here. It does not matter where you are in the company, what your what, your role is. I'm an orphan. It's got a lot of not just the conferences, but a lot of resources for everybody. We had a business coach for about four years, and that really shook our business. I would say to a different level, there's all kinds of different business coaches out there and ours was not in the industry of property management, so I think that helped us see more globally, not just tunnel vision of what property management is.
And then I think another one is getting involved in a mastermind group. There's all kinds out there, or you can just form your own. It's just a small group of these would be more like minded people. So it can be that we have resident service coordinators. They're the team members that handle everything on the resident side. So you could just have a group of those, those staff from six other different companies that get together and talk about successes and frustrations and how you work through things.
So mastermind groups, I think are really, really good options and opportunities for people to hear other suggestions and kind of be a sounding board and help you offload some of yours. This is really making me mad and how did you handle it and get somebody else's perspective? So those are some of the resources that I came up with.
Julie I felt like you covered greatest hits there. It's like, look, you've got associates and you got Mastermind, you got business coach, lots of good suggestions, opportunities for there. You know, Paul and Matt, like what? What would you guys reinforce, you know, from that or else that you would add on resources? Would they be relevant for.
I would add to Julie's address. You pretty much covered most of it, but Julie's husband, Chris, was in both my masterminds and I would when you get comfortable with your mastermind, this was phenomenal. We would go away as a mastermind for three or four days and everybody would bring their financials, show them on the overhead, and we would go through with five or six of their companies, our own financials.
And that is so scary when you're showing your numbers to other people. But I can tell you one person, our mastermind group, we have doubled his income or doubled them. Now he's getting four doors and the other has been there because he's like, Oh, well, you guys do this. And then all of a sudden I look at Julie's and be like, That makes that much money for that thing that you're doing.
And it was, but you, you can't just go and get five companies together and say, Hey, let's go share our books. That's not going to work. You need to build a year of trust where you meet with them, you talk to them and you really have to make it like we're it's this is something that we're not going to share with other people, that we're here to help each other.
And so find people that you relate to, find people that you like. But the other thing is traction and what the heck is each of those? Julie said, those are great books. What I did is I used to work out and listen to tracks and so I would go on a long run and I would listen to tracks.
And the only book that I don't read, I just do everything in the airport because I just don't have time. While I have time, I don't make time to read. And so I listen to all my books when I'm running or swimming or whatever it is. But track is one where I have the book because there would be a chapter.
I'd be like, Well, I'm going to go back to that and actually look at that. But I could get it. And it's one of those books that has traction. And what they could use is I don't think you can read it once and get it. It's just like you're like all of a sudden I'll be like, okay, let's work on this section of my company.
And so I'll listen to that chapter a couple of times, look at some things, stuff like that. But those are those that really I mean, basically what Julie said is correct. And, you know, that's been huge for me. Mm.
Awesome. Matt, what would you add?
I was going to put three book recommendations in the chat here, so. Yeah, Julie, Paul, you guys did a really good job answering this question, so I'll just add three books. The first one is I Measure What Matters Most by John Dore What people don't know, this book or this guy, but he's kind of the godfather of what's called OKRs, which is in some ways the predecessor to traction or KPIs.
So that's a really good book. The Effective Executive of by Peter Drucker. Anybody that knows me knows I'm a huge Peter Drucker fan. This book was actually originally written in the 1960s, and to me it's still just as applicable today as it was then. I just really love this book a lot, a little. This book is kind of trendy right now, but I really like it.
Making money is killing your Business by Chuck Blakeman and the book touches on a lot of things we've talked about here in terms of a business owner trying to put themselves out of a job. That's kind of the whole idea behind that book. And it's very good. So I would echo everything Julie and Paul said.
That is fantastic advice. And then here are three more books to consider.
And awesome stuff. I'll give a shout out. Listen, if you're here, you may have found a way to hear from the trip in a podcast. Jordan Wheeler has a great podcast prop real property management. Matt Whitaker's got one 300 to 3000. By the way, you're just trying to go from 300 to 1000. It can still be very valuable for you.
There's a lot of great, great content you can find. There's some Facebook groups out there. In addition, you can find some friends in the Triple Win Facebook group. But also other groups dedicated to property matters out there that I know a lot of people stay plugged in and connected with to find ideas and bounce things off of other folks.
So, Ben, a quick hit list of a lot of different great resources for folks to help them keep momentum. And that's where I want to go next, which is, hey, we've talked about a planning process and setting goals, different ways and a process of doing it. You know, I want to talk to you guys a little bit about how do you keep these goals top of mind?
How do you stay connected to these rights? These things? And what's the way you and as leaders of other folks on the team, how do you help engage your team in staying connected to organizational goals, their goals, you know, over time in a way that's helpful and productive. What advice can you share? Matt, I'm going to come to you first on this one.
Again, the whole point of, you know, the point of this session was really to talk about your goal. And so, again, just as a reminder, something we talked about, the whole point of the annual goal is to figure out what your quarterly project needs to be. And so once you figure it out with the quarterly project needs to be, I don't feel a lot of pressure to remind everybody what the annual goal is.
That would actually be a distraction. So it's really just a matter of staying focused on our projects for the quarter and this is something that the US does really well. And you can read about that level of traction or you know, we have a lot of information about that at better who in our build strata system. And so it's all about having a really good effective weekly meeting, having really good milestones and accountability where you literally just check in with them really to say, are you on track or off track?
And there's no wrong answer to that. There's just whatever the fact is, is the fact. And if you're off track, then you will figure out if we need to talk about that and figure out how we need to help get you back on track and have that extreme ownership within your company. So yeah, that would be my answer to this question.
Awesome. Great. Julia Paul Anything you'd add there of where goals make their way back in or how you keep people connected in winner say I.
Julie Mullinax Matt shared his L10 spreadsheet with probably several different times, different conferences, and we've used that to keep us organized in our weekly team meetings. We have the quarterly goals laid out. Everybody before the meeting goes in and checks marks. Are you on track? Off track? If two weeks in a row they're off track, then we have the OC. Is there anything I can do to help?
Do you need any assistance? Is this goal not working for you? Kind of. That one of us said, you know, it's not a big deal if this goal is I think it was you Andrew said if this goal it's just I'm stuck here. Okay, let's come up with a different one that still gets us to that end of the year.
So that spreadsheet is really, really helpful for us. If we didn't have that, if we lost, it would be like, what are we doing here? So I'm sure Matt would be willing to share that with anybody here. And I think one thing that we struggled with in the beginning, we've been doing that for probably about three years. In the beginning we did not make it a firm commitment every single week we're doing this, so we got out of sync and then we'd have to start all over again.
Where, where, where were we? Where do we need to pick up? So once we, we all and it was a team effort because we all came up with I'm really swamped today. Can we just have this? So once we came up with that and said we're having this every single Thursday at 10: 30. We're doing it. We're looking ahead to next Thursday and the following Thursday.
Chris and I were big next week. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. So we're going to move it to Wednesday to make sure we're not skipping two weeks. So that's, I would say, what we do to stay on task. And then those directors go back to their teams. They have weekly team meetings where they're basically doing the same thing that we do in our director meeting it.
Paula, I'm curious for you, like kind of taking this different approach you talked about of every process, like we're auditing it, right. And finding all these opportunities. And when you first talked about this, it like it reminded me a little bit of like the Nick Saban approach per se of like not worry about winning the game and breaking up into quarters and the big score like every single play, every single 6 seconds, like are we giving our best and like very process oriented, habit oriented kind of along the way that system's thinking the way of thinking that you have.
I'm curious how once you get this big list of ideas and process improvements and opportunities, how does it look from there, you know, actually playing out until the following year?
Well, the first thing I would say is I would have loved it if I was paired, like if I had a business partner that was door to door, door, grab, grab, you know, gung ho, like we're going to market the heck out of it. I've always said marketing is not what I love. I don't like marketing. I like getting things like I look back at like Pete Newberg and Steve Rosenberger.
They are with a perfect marriage. Steve Rosenberg was door to door. Pete Newberg was involved in process procedures. How things work. So you have to know your weaknesses. And I do analyze things. Sometimes you have to get up. You have to move forward. And I'm pretty good. I mean, I'm a risk taker. I'm not like I'm not a risk taker, but it's still you.
Also, nothing's ever going to be perfect. But if you can make things better, then that's good. But you just have to realize you're going to put stuff out there that's not perfect and you have to go forward. I was also going to say one other thing is I'm willing to help anybody if they call me. And people have called me and I'm sure Matt and Julia are the same.
I call them all the time. My list is so long of people that I called for questioning, concerned when I first got property management like eight, ten years ago. Keith Becker, Brad Larson and I don't want to make Brad's head any bigger. Brian Birdie, Pete Newberg and Lisa Force. They helped me and gave me stuff to make my business and they would like.
I remember talking to Brad Larson because he was not just a little tiny guy at the time to give a $200 or whatever it was. And he'd be like, Oh yeah, you want this? This is what we put on the door to the market. And he sent me his marketing flier and set me up and that level within our community, we have to realize, are so many people that will help you with your end goals.
What you want to do, start reaching out to people and make those connections. And while these people that are on this list now, you know, they're way you know, they're running thousands of companies. They're running big things. And but there's a lot of others. And I will always remember that. So if someone calls me, I always try to help them out.
They always will try to, like, see what I can do. And I know Matthew is the same way. So those are the key things like you want to gain your want to make your annual process you want to make if you're wherever you are on the stage between the 25 to 50 people on this call, we've all made a lot of mistakes.
Start asking people around and think and you know, like, you know, some of the bigger companies like, Julie and Chris, they'll ask questions all the time, but they'll be like, Oh, we learned that just because someone is bigger than you doesn't mean that you're not doing it something the right way or something else. So my thing would be to ask a question mark.
I'm going to a great community and I will always, you know, share that for the rest of time. I'm in preparation.
And that's great. Developing a network and property manager that you can go to. We've heard that woven a few, few times, right. How valuable that is. And this relationship can be. We certainly hope that these events get people some exposure and get connected. You know, NCAA.com is a great place for so many people. I feel like meeting a lot of people, start to build that network.
There's lots of great opportunities. Great and great counselor Paul.
Well some honestly, the Narconon I think is Norbert. I think our vendors like well I think an hour ago I don't think enough as the people in charge in Norco, I think they're looking for Second Nature and Ted Turner and all the people that are narcotic like riding a narco might be go second nature and vendor of the year for 20 years straight so whatever it is you know so so that's like when I say the word narco I'm not saying the organization.
I'm saying that organization that we all participate in.
Totally, totally awesome. Well, hey, let's do this. We may wrap this a couple of minutes early, but I'm going to reserve some space in case somebody wants to come up. Has a goal they can try. Laura, I may ask you to, like, ping some folks and reach out. If you've got somebody who wants to bring up something that they're working on and have a chance to do that.
So here's the last question I'll really ask the panel here. And it's really an open field of is there anything we didn't cover yet that you feel like are man. I mean, how could we spend 90 minutes talking about an annual planning goal setting? This is that and we didn't talk about this like you'd roll over tonight. Say, I can't believe we didn't cover that.
I just want to give you the floor an opportunity to share anything there. If nothing's coming to mind there and you feel like we've covered it, maybe you could share something about where you've gotten stuck in the past on this, or where you've seen others get stuck and how you overcame it, or how you saw them overcome it.
To really get to a better place with their annual planning goal setting, move their business forward. And let's do this. Matt, can we start with you again on this one?
Yeah, sure. So one of the other critiques I have about iOS is that iOS presumes that anybody would be a good project, as just as if like, okay, we have this project. Cool, that's in your wheelhouse here. So go get this project done. But what I really learned over the years is that project management is actually a unique skill set, right?
So like if you have some project where you really want to overhaul something is your main experiment. Just because you have this person that happens to be like the manager of your real department right now doesn't mean they're the right person. They can overhaul whatever this project is, the maintenance. Right. So what I really learned is to identify it.
Almost all of you here surely have at least one or two people on your team that like project managers really are kind of more natural for them. There's going to be a person who's very detail oriented and can kind of see a plan and put it together and you know, that kind of thing. So if you can identify who are the right, you know, one, two, three people in your team that are good project managers, then allow them to color.
It's still okay to have your email list manager own the project, but have that project manager come alongside them to help them in the beginning. Like, okay, let's make sure we're thinking through all the details. What are the resources you're going to need? Who are the people you're going to need help from? What's the timeline? We need to build this out on and then to kind of just check in with them over the course of that project to say, okay, how's it going and how are we doing with this?
So, I would say that's a big weak spot that I had for a while before I really figured that out.
Man, that's great. Matt, thanks for sharing that we're asked this question before for we and Julie, I'm going to come to you next.
Yep. So I'm going to answer the day's question : how is it easy to get stuck in these goals and where are you going? And we experience this over and over again. And I think we've finally figured out the key to this. But there's a couple of things that I think when you're planning your goals that can just not work if you have way too many goals.
So you get away from overachiever syndrome and I can get these 12 things done in a quarter, you will not get them done. And then it's just you know, you're going to be disappointed or frustrated, you're just going to give up and say, screw this, I'm not doing goals ever again. So I think we have this and this is an easy thing as well.
And there's some other systems out there that are similar. And 3 to 5 goals is really the number that if you're going to it right is really all that you should put on your plate. And the other thing that we have struggled with is and I'll say when I call them out, it'll be Chris. He sees things halfway through the quarter.
Oh, we can add this to it. We can do this. And I had a hard time saying no. And that's kind of that visionary implementer, those two roles. He's very in the clouds and wants to do all these great things. And I have worked it out that, no, I'm going to be the firm one. No, these are our goals.
This is what we're doing. If you want to add that, let's put it on our list to talk about going in order to. So I think those really are you gotta keep those in mind or like I said, you'll just want to give up. The other one is to make sure you're making our goals smart.
And I said at the very beginning, but I think that's really, really important. Again, you're not going to know you're not going to be able to confidently say, yup, I got it then, or no, I did. So those would be my three things to to really watch when you're, when you're planning your goals.
Yeah I know on our team when we were first implementing iOS like there was a big struggle of like your job became a rock. It was like, wait, this is overall not a good goal, right? Or something that we're accomplishing. Like we'll know when it's done right. And that's really I love what you said about so many goals that it can be hard to focus or really make progress where it matters most.
Really great advice. All right, Paul, anything like, man, I can't believe we didn't cover this yet. Somehow it slipped through or.
Well, one of the biggest things that we did for our company was, we made a rule because I would go to these conferences and I'd come back and be like, We're going to do this, we're to implement this, we're going to do this. We started implementing technology once we switched to Google Drive like we were on like some others. I forget it was a long time ago. We switched to Google Drive like right before summer and it was a complete disaster and it brought down all of our things.
And it was something that should have been very easy. Wasn't so we made a rule. It's the Paul rule. We only do technology changes and implement new programs from September through January, and we get all those done in September through January. And then we work on the rest of the year to make them right. But you don't want to do major changes to your company in the middle of summer because you're going to it. You already have staff that want to quit because it's summertime and they're doing 50 inspections and they're going crazy.
And so when you always then you're like, Hey, we're going to add this new program and we're going to figure it out, and we need to spend two weeks doing it. So that's why it's so important to start your goal planning in September and then, you know, do what it is you do in January, kind of do what we're gonna do the next year, but you've already done that.
But you know what? Don't do your goal planning in June. It is just it's just not I mean, June, August are not at least in my market, in most markets in the United States. Not a good time. Yeah.
On that note to you, like we've had a lot of times probably most years, we don't even hardly set any projects during that quarter. We're just like, nope, we're holding down the fort. Which means when you do your annual planning, you can't just think like, oh, like every quarter the same. It's not right. So you have to think about that a little bit to be like, Yeah, I mean, this is what I got in the first quarter.
I know second quarter, I'm really lucky to get anything done right like so think through that a little bit as you do your annual planning.
Yeah. Of course the best fourth quarter is you should get it undone. Fourth quarter, you're not getting stuff done for a quarter. Then there's a problem because you know, November, December, you at least in most markets, you don't have much use.
Mm. I love what you guys are saying here about the seasonality of the business and the bandwidth and understanding how that affects you in other parts of the team. Like it would be very intuitive to say, okay, we've got a, you know, annual goal. We're going to break it up into four equal parts right across four orders and try to manage it that way versus potentially load balancing that based on what you expect to be happening.
Really cool. Here's the way we're going to wrap this. We're going to actually go to the audience and we'll hear from the audience here at quarterback. This is the greatest gift, in my opinion. You could give Julie, Paul and Matt right now, which is we're going to ask you one or two of your top takeaways. What is the greatest gift of lessons that we're illuminated for you today?
Is there an action that you're inspired to take leaving this event? What is something you've got clarity on that you didn't have the same level of clarity on coming in? What are your biggest takeaways or the greatest gifts that this panel gave to you today? And we'd love to ask you to just raise your zoom hand and we'll bring you up.
Laura, I'll just start getting the zoom queue going. If you don't know how to raise your zoom hand, you can raise your physical hand if you've got your video on and Laura can find and we'll keep you up or you can just put in the chat, hey, here's you got a takeaway ready, but we want to hear them from you because Katherine is on record, is helpful and hearing it directly is helpful.
We'll pull you over to the Zoom stage. We always appreciate the courage of the people who come up here first, second, third. It's a little easier after the first or second person has come up to be able to share. So, Jim Smith, thank you for being first. We'll bring you up then Sam and Michelle after that.
Thank you for being shy. You know me, I want to emphasize something that was said earlier that's really important to get off site, work on the plan, something I've been doing for, golly, 40 plus years. The way I handle it, I jump on my Harley, I take off for two or three weeks. I camp out whenever I have a ritual when I'm camping out where I literally will sit down and I journal part of that journal.
A lot of times I carry big index cards with me and it's on those index cards that I have, the major topics that I'm addressing, and I'll make notes either on the index cards or all. I have different ways I've done it over the years, but that gets me totally away from everything. And the bonus that I have is when I'm actually out on the road driving throughout the day.
Heaven knows where I'm headed and taking in the scenery, but gives me a chance just to kind of get clarity on what I've been thinking about over a period of a couple of weeks. It's amazing what I can do to really channel. Where I want to go is my plan. I'm on topic or not, or as it happened, six years ago, I realized that I asked myself the question If I started the company today, what would it look like?
And it killed me to realize it. By the end of the day, that company would look nothing like the company that I actually was upon. You know, getting away and getting away from distractions like you can hear in the background on my side. I apologize but just getting away and whether it's by yourself, I like doing it by myself initially.
Then I have clarity when I sit on a staff and we can get things done with a focus.
Mm. Jim Hey, thanks for sharing that. Thanks for being first to share takeaway talk about getting outside. Thanks for making it real personal, talking about your personal experience with that is really cool.
Backdrop to did anybody read his background.
Oh yeah. Jim's the perennial champion of Zoom backgrounds. Always has a legendary background. Awesome. All right, Sam, we said we might see you a little bit later. So here we are again at top takeaways. Or I think these.
Guys know that I'm definitely not shy. So ultimately I wrote down two quotes that I thought were really good. I think that really resonated with me. One was Perfection is the enemy of good. I really love that as much as so often we're like, Well, I'm not going to do everything right. And so instead of just doing it, you end up doing nothing.
And so I think that's really the big thing is, is that and then the other one that I really like is Andrew. I cannot say that you said it. This is going to be my new motto: find a new goal that matters. Ultimately for me that's very powerful because instead of just giving up, find a goal, it matters because it's going to redouble down your efforts and to say, you know, maybe this was not the right goal that I really felt passionate about so that I would put in those extra hours.
Do what's necessary. But also, if it's a metric that's related to alignment, sell as many second nature subscriptions. Well, maybe it's the number of people that I talk to and the connections that I've made. Right. So it's, it's finding something that matters that you can ultimately use as the goal and not necessarily the goal itself.
Awesome. All right. We got two good ones there. Thank you very much, Sam. Always, always great to see you, Michel. I'm bringing you up to the zoo stage there we go.
Hi, everybody. Matthew Perry laughed at our Julie because I put in place the level ten meetings but without our goals. So I was like, oh, maybe I need to now meet with our teams and have those goals. And so this is a really great timing for this meeting. But I love Julie. I love your approach of breaking down the goals for each team or like the difference who you're servicing, right?
To get you focused. I think that was very, very helpful. I love what's in the parking lot, but I guess maybe you could even put that in the issues section right of your level ten meeting. Right? Like put it as another drop it down almost. Anyways, that was I was thinking and then the seasonality of quarters, I think that was I think we forget our team gets overloaded during different times of the year and for us like November-December, we're dealing with property taxes and end of year and all sorts of tax, tax, you know, reporting and this is such a busy time of year versus January where suddenly it gets maybe a little quieter for us. So it's a good reminder, good reminder for everybody. So thank you. That's it.
And Michelle, thanks for that. Reflecting those back, we've got time for one more. So I'm bringing ten. Thank you for raising your zoom hand. Can you bet there are so many good ones?
Nuggets here, some of which were brand new to me and some of which were just reminders. But the incremental nature of annual goals is sticking out to me. Like, I.
Think every year I plan and I want to conquer the world in a year. Well, it takes longer than that.
So each year is just a step. It's not it's not the end. So that's thinking about the three years or the ten years as opposed to.
You know, where am I really headed and.
How does that year get me to this next year? Get me there is top of my mind. So I'm grateful for that.
And Ken, thanks for sharing that much. Appreciate it. Thanks for being with us today. If you're like me, you've got like seven pages of notes. I can't help but take notes myself as we're going along. All the great stuff being shared. Listen, I just want to use our last minute before we end on time, which my mom will be so proud of me that I ended one on time.
Thank you very much to Matt. Thank you so much to Paul. Thank you so much to Julie. Anybody wants to express some quick appreciation in the chat, please feel free to do that. Generous of the three of you. You mentioned a lot how other people have helped and inspired you and contributed to you and really paid it forward. Today that's here.
And we know hundreds of people, thousands of people. Sometimes I catch this, you know, after it's been recorded. So we really, really appreciate you guys generously stepping, preparing, delivering great, great stuff today. With that, we're signing off. Andrew Smallwood Happy Triple Wednesday to all the professional property managers there. Keep stacking your triple wins and we will see you next time. Take care, everybody.
That's all for today's Triple Win Property Management podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life with us. We do not take it for granted. I also want to give a shout-out to Carol Housel for everything she and our team does to make this possible. It's crazy to think about. Over 5000 professional property managers have press plays on episodes and season one and season two now, and we really want to encourage you to keep giving feedback because more and more people are listening. It's getting better and better and better thanks to everything that you're sharing with us. If you liked this enough to listen, I want to encourage you to share it with other people. You can give us feedback directly on the social media channels, Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever you're hanging out, you can also send us an email, at firstname.lastname@example.org we just want to give more we're there's no sales pitch here just want to offer more resources that help you find and stack your next triple-win and become a triple-win-driven property manager. So where can you find that? You can find a private Facebook group. You can find our blog and find our newsletters and find more resources at RBP.secondnature.com to search for what you're looking for there and every time we see you, we want to see a better version of you and your business. To that end, keep it going, feel inspired, take our encouragement and we'll see you next time.