The previous episode of the Triple Win podcast featured Cameron Herold, creator of the Vivid Vision. In today’s episode, Peter Lohmann, CEO of RL Property Management, takes center stage to break down how he wrote and applied his Vivid Vision to grow his company.
Hear from Lohmann on how he went about actually writing a Vivid Vision, how he manages to stick to it on a daily basis, and how it has helped RL Property Management grow.
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Season 3 Episode 21 features Peter Lohmann
The Triple Win Property Management podcast is produced and distributed by Second Nature
The vivid vision itself. So here's the hard copy, and you can see it. I don't know if it's coming through on The View. It's dog-eared. There's a coffee stain on it. Right. It's just it's kind of worn out. But that's because I carry it with me everywhere it sits in my bag. So I always have it to reference. So if I'm meeting with someone or if I'm you know, at an offsite or I'm talking to my CEO, I can pull this out and be like, Yeah, but didn't I write about that right here? Right. And kind of remind both myself and whoever I'm meeting with that we actually already have a plan for that. So it's become an integral part of our quarterly and annual planning that we do with EOC.
Hey, Andrew Smallwood here, host of the Triple Win podcast here. Really excited to tee up this short but sweet episode featuring Peter Lohmann. And we had a Triple-Win leadership Exchange event at the end of last year and we hosted Cameron Herald interviewed by Mark Brower, talking about his bestselling book, Vivid Vision. If you haven't checked out that episode, just look back one or two episodes in. You'll see that posted. You may want to listen to that first, but we had Peter actually come in because Peter had read the book, implemented the book, had actually formalized his vivid vision, had nailed that out to hundreds of friends and clients, and used it in his benefits and had a chance to speak to; here are some lessons learned. Here's how he used it. Shared here as an example, you can hear a real practical example of it being applied and making an impact in a property management business. So, with that and no further ado, here's Peter Lowman and his vivid vision. With that, we're going to bring Peter Lohman to the TWLX Zoom stage. And listen, I'm just going to offer a quick personal note about Peter and a note of appreciation, which is that Peter is an amazing follow on Twitter or on X, I should say. The artist formerly known as Twitter. Great follow there. He's also got a fantastic newsletter, which is completely free, and I am noticing it is getting like increasingly more like there was a time where it was like, hey, every couple of months, I would see the newsletter coming from Peter, and I'm seeing them come in on a more frequent basis, which is great.
Just wrapped up a season of his podcast, which was excellent. And listen, I love throwing support behind people like Peter who are of the industry but are really taking time to capture thoughts and distill some important lessons and then share them out in a very public way that takes a little bit of courage and, you know, to create content and take it and put it out there and we really appreciate what Peter has done and continues to do in that space.
And so, Peter, I just want to say thank you for everything you've done. Thank you for taking some time to share what you're about to share and walk through that vision with folks.
Well, thanks, Andrew. That's too kind. Really appreciate you saying that. And this has been an amazing event so far. Thank you to everyone who's been presenting and interviewing. And thank you, Laura, for putting this together as well. So the folks at Second Nature asked me to come on stage and share a little bit about my experience with vivid vision and how it's impacted our company.
So that's what I'm going to do today and we're going to get into some some nitty gritty details. So, let me share some context. How did I learn about vivid vision? When did I write it? How far along am I into our three year vivid vision journey? So the story is I was introduced to the idea by our US implementer who some of you may know him, his name is Chris Kaplan.
So two years ago he was leading a, you know, probably a quarterly offsite or maybe our annual offsite. And we were working through a problem in the business. And he said, Hey, have you ever heard of vivid vision? My friend Cameron Herold wrote this great book, and a lot of my clients have had great success with it. I said, No, I never heard of that.
So he actually sent me the book, which is really nice. I read it and immediately was hooked. I instantly saw the potential of having a vision clearly outlined that everyone could understand. So the next thing I did is I asked my friends and colleagues if any of them had ever written a vivid vision because great artists steal, right?
And so why reinvent the wheel if someone has already written a vivid vision that I could crib a little bit of, mostly just like the format and the sections and how long is it and what does it look like? Like, is it going to actually take the content that would be kind of pointless because it's for my own company, right?
But I do best when I have something I can kind of reference off of. And by the way, a little sneak peek, if that's you, I'm going to make our vivid vision available to everyone on this call who wants to get a copy of the PDF. So I asked some friends and a couple of them had either written vivid visions themselves or they knew other people who had and they had some that they could send me.
So I got a hold of a few examples and I promptly left for my three day solo retreat that I do every year. So this was January of 2022 and around the New Year. Every year, I take two or three days by myself. I leave all electronics behind, except for my cell phone. In case of emergency. I bring a bunch of books, I bring notebooks, and I do a lot of thinking, reading and planning and writing.
It's been really impactful for me. So on this solo retreat, I decided I was going to write my vivid vision. So in my notebook, not on a laptop, handwritten, I still have it. I just started writing the sections, like Team technology, office, PR, and all the sections you'll see like that are recommended if you read the book.
So spend a lot of time writing this. I didn't make it neat or perfect. It wasn't dramatic, grammatically correct. It wasn't beautifully written. It was just getting it out there. It was trying to get the vision I had in my head down on paper. So I came back to the office, handed off to our marketing group. They cleaned it up and they made a nice color graphic printed up version of it, which we then had printed and distributed to our leadership team, as well as key partners, vendors, friends, colleagues.
Right. The people who had shared it with me originally. So I was able to distribute this far and wide, and this is actually a little bit uncomfortable. If you haven't gone through a process like this before, you're going to be surprised when you get to that point where you actually have the printed copies in your hand and you know that the next step is you're supposed to share this, you're going to kind of hesitate because it's actually quite personal and you're going to see that in the process of writing this, you're sort of sharing a bunch of details about yourself and what's important to you and your priorities and your vulnerabilities.
And now, by the way, well, what happens if you don't make it? What is someone going to bring this back to you and say, well, look here, you wrote here this was going to happen and it didn't happen. So, all of this is going to start to run through your head. But I encourage you to push through that, distribute this because you're going to get a lot of value from I mean, this is the whole point, right?
There's no point in writing if you don't share the ideas. A vivid vision is you're supposed to help other people see what's in your head. So let me just say that I'm going to share my screen and show you what it looks like briefly. So here it is. And this is just, you know, the PDF version, but we have this printed.
So we've got our core values here. We've got some financial stuff, some marketing sales clients. So it ends up, you know, it's it's six or seven pages, actually, no, it's ten pages here. Now. I'm seeing on the PDF we've got our flywheel here organization of the firm reputation. We got a nice, you know, company photo here, employs systems and process.
You know, I'm big on systems and process how to keep this section small. Otherwise, it would have been the whole thing. So that's just a little taste. You know, you can see the marketing group kind of made this look nice and and made it something that we could get excited about and feel confident. And and really, when you share this with folks that little extra time to have it professionally produced, I think kind of takes that all to the next level.
So, I was glad that we took some time and money and made that happen. Okay, so that's the story. So let me share now the impact. So we've heard a lot today about what the vivid vision is and how to do it and why you should do it. Well, I've done it. Okay. So let me talk about what has been the impact for me and for our company.
So as a reminder, I did this in January of 2022, which sounds very but that was actually two years ago, almost two years ago. So I'm going to give you some hard numbers and maybe a little vulnerable here. So in January of 2021, I'm sorry, at the year-end, 2021. So. Right. You know, leading into that January when I wrote this, we had 580 units under management today.
Earlier this year, we peaked over 700. Now we've dropped back down and I wrote about that in my newsletter, why that happened and what we're doing about it. But I don't blame vivid vision for that. So we went from 580 to over 700 revenue year end 2021. We did about 1.6. We're going to end this year around 2.8.
So, pretty significant growth. Now, I can't credit all of this to vivid vision, right? There's a lot of things that have come together that have made some of these some of this growth possible. And I also don't want you to get the wrong idea and think everything's going amazing over here. Our property management, it's not we've got problems. I just came back from a leadership planning lunch where we went through them.
Excuse creating detail and I write about those in my newsletter to the problems and how we're overcoming them. But there's no doubt that vivid vision had a big impact on the growth that we've experienced since we since I wrote that and rolled it out. So those are some of the hard numbers. Let me share some more of kind of like the soft side of it, some of some of the other things I've observed, the vivid vision itself.
So here's the hard copy and you can see it's I don't know if it's coming through on The View. It's dog-eared. There's a coffee stain on it. Right. It's just it's kind of worn out. But that's because I carry it with me everywhere it sits in my bag. So I always have it to reference. So if I'm meeting with someone or if I'm, you know, at an offsite or I'm talking to my CEO, I can pull this out and be like, Yeah, but didn't I write about that right here?
Right. And kind of remind both myself and whoever I'm meeting with that we actually already have a plan for that. So it's become an integral part of our quarterly and annual planning that we do with EOC. So that's, that's, that's probably one of the bigger impacts. The other really nice thing it did is it gave my CEO a roadmap when she was hired.
So we brought our CEO on board right around that same time. It was January of that year, that same year, 2022. And so having this ready to go, I was able to give this to her and say, go do this right. It's a very clear vision of where we're going and how we're going to get there. And now she's got something she can work toward and work on rather than just esoteric, whatever the big idea was.
I came back from my last conference with, right? So that was really helpful. It's also been really great for our team. When we onboard new team members, they get a copy of this so ,they know what we're doing and what we're up to. And also especially when you're promoting or hiring someone into a leadership role, it's even more important because that leadership team needs to all be pulling together in the same direction if we're going to have a chance of trying to get where we're where we're going.
It's a big reminder for me. So I have a tendency, just like I'm sure many of you do, you attend a conference, you go on a webinar, you read a book, you listen to a podcast, and you get these great ideas. And a lot of them are great ideas, but they can be very distracting. And Cameron was talking about the power of focus, and I am a huge believer in that.
In fact, I've gotten a little bit too scattered with with what I've been up to in the last year. And I'm I'm I'm actually concerned about that. So having the vivid vision allows you to recenter yourself if you reference that that document and be like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's what we're doing. That's what we're doing. Yes, we do need to still stay focused on this, and you can use it as a filter through which to evaluate new potential, new software ne,w sources of revenue, or new profit centers.
You know, is this going to get us to our vivid vision? If not, is it really that important? So that that's been really helpful for me. I mean, it's also great for recruiting. So I don't know how many of you have worked with kind of like all-star players before, but the first time that you interview someone like that and when you get a little bit further along, maybe you have an offer out.
It's a little intimidating, to be honest, and I experienced this when we brought our CEO on. When you start to work with people of this caliber, they are looking for leadership and they're looking for direction and momentum and exciting possibilities. And if you're just kind of a sleepy Main Street business that's growing at 2% per year, that's not going to cut it.
You want to bring in a player in there, not even going to come for the second interview. So that what the vivid vision does is it lets you you could share this with candidates for four high level roles and get them excited and show them that you've actually put some thought to this. You know where you're going. That's not a given, by the way, and you've thought about it in sufficient detail that you can actually describe it and why it's important and how it fits in with your core values.
That's huge. You know, what percentage of entrepreneurs can do that? Not many. Not many. So if you if you put this together, you take the time, you write it, you have your marketing group, make it look nice and you have it available. When you're interviewing for leadership roles or or high level role in your company, you are going to stand out head and shoulders above other companies that that those candidates may be looking and sort of chopping you again, so to speak.
So it's a big deal. All right. I think I've got just a couple minutes left, so let me give a couple tips. So as you go to do this, couple of things keep in mind, doesn't have to be perfect. Perfect is the enemy of the good. So do not worry about exactly the sentences. And as you know, the format and like, I'm not coming across the way, I want to forget that.
Just start writing, just get it down. You can even do this over audio if you want. Just talk through it. There's a bunch of AI tools now that are amazing at transcribing audio and summarizing. So if you need to just hit record and start talking, that's a lot easier for some people. Next thing is have it printed and keep it around.
This is as much of a reminder to yourself as it is to everybody else. Write it in the present tense. This is a big one, and if you read some good, vivid visions, you're going to notice this right away. Even though you're writing for a period in time, three years away, you're going to write it as if that's today.
You're going to say things like, Our company is well known all throughout the region for customer service. You're not you don't write. In the future, our company will become very well known for customer service. Right? It's a very subtle difference, but it really helps make it feel real. And it when you start writing this way, it becomes easier to fill in the rest of the picture.
And speaking of that, you want to use as much detail as possible. So get really, really, really specific in writing this. Don't use a bunch of fluff and flowery language. Try and get concrete specifics. And this is this can be hard because you're it's so it seems really far away right Three years away it seems like a long time.
And so you may be hesitant to put down hard numbers like number of employees revenue, profit number of customers. Right. But I really encourage you to do that because that's going to help you figure out how to get there. I don't know how to help you get a lot of customers, but if you have 75 and you want 100, I think I can figure out a plan on how you might be able to get there in three years.
All right. Last thing, try not to worry about the how. So I'm a visionary, but I have a lot of integrator tendencies. And so as soon as I start thinking about a big vision, immediately that kind of engineering part of my brain is like, But wait, how how are we going to do that? I got encourage you to turn that part of your brain off for a little while and don't even worry about the WHO, right?
We hear about who, not how. And I am a big believer in that. But don't even worry about the who just what what are we going to do and worry about the house and the is later. And I think you're going to really like the vivid vision that you come up with if you follow those examples. So if you'd like a copy of our vivid vision, the exact pdf, just scroll on the screen.
I think Laura is going to drop a link. I created a landing page. All you have to do is enter your email. I'll send you a copy of that automatically. You should get it in one or 2 minutes. You can download the PDF and have it, keep it, reference it to whatever you want. Good luck.
Awesome. Hey Peter, thank you so much for sharing that love. Seeing illustrative examples. So helpful in getting started with something I've like not starting from a total blank page without at least a little inspiration to go off of. So, thanks for sharing that example again, Peter.
Laura Mac & Carol Housel
And that wraps up another episode of the Triple-Win Property Management podcast. Thank you for pressing play. We hope you've gained valuable insights and inspiration.
The Triple-Win Property Management Podcast is proudly produced and distributed by Second Nature, where we believe in a Triple-Win, building winning experiences for your residents, investors and your teams with the only fully managed resident benefits package. Visit SecondNature.com to learn more and talk to an RBP expert in your area. If you have any questions or comments or want to weigh in on the conversation, we'd love to hear from you. Email TripleWin@SecondNature.com. That's TripleWin@SecondNature.com. Stay connected with us beyond the podcast. Visit our website at SecondNature.com to stay updated with upcoming property management events and articles. And don't forget, you can keep the conversation going in the Triple-Win Property Management Facebook group. It's exclusively for property managers. To receive even more valuable insights and updates, subscribe to our newsletter. You can find the link to that and much more in the show notes. On behalf of the Triple-Win community, this is Laura Mac, thanking you for tuning. And on behalf of Second Nature, this is Carol Housel. Check back soon for another exciting episode. Until then, keep striving for that Triple-Win.