The Landlord Profitability Playbook Podcast

Ep008: What To Expect From Your Property Manager Part 1 Get Clear On What You Want From This Relationship

April 16th, 2024

This is the first of our 12-part series called What To Expect From Your Property Manager.

Whether you are your property manager, you are already in a property management relationship, or you are thinking about hiring a property manager, this series help you set expectations for performance that can only positively impact your profitability over time.

Chris and Laci kick off this series with a discussion about getting clear in your mind about what you want in a property management relationship.

Specifically, we cover the many hats a property manager wears in the course of a month, being able to articulate your reasons for investing in real estate in the first place, managing property remotely, the value of your time as a scarce resource, and the hidden and not so hidden costs of going it alone.

As an extra bonus we are going to be joined for this series by Gretchen Mitchell, Director of Property Management for ROOST Real Estate Co.

I guarantee you will find tips tricks habit and mindsets you can you to make your real estate investments work for you – and not the other way around.


  • We kick off our "What to Expect from Your Property Manager" series, highlighting the importance of defining your expectations for a property management relationship to positively impact your profitability.
  • Laci LeBlanc and Gretchen Mitchell join the conversation, emphasizing the value of time as a scarce resource and the significance of setting performance expectations for property management.
  • The recent legislative victory with the Springfield Ohio Landlord Registration and Licensing Ordinance is celebrated, noting the removal of the self-inspection requirement as a benefit for property owners and tenants.
  • We delve into the concept of becoming an accidental landlord, sharing my personal story of turning a bank-owned property into a profitable rental and the strategic benefits of making extra mortgage payments.
  • The discussion touches on the necessity of treating real estate investment as a legitimate business and learning from past mistakes to ensure success and compliance with fair housing laws.
  • We explore the emotional toll and time commitment of real estate investment, particularly for accidental landlords who depend heavily on rental income, and seasoned landlords with a financial buffer.
  • Anecdotes are shared to illustrate the challenges property managers face, such as unexpected maintenance and tenant turnover, underscoring the importance of proactive management.
  • We stress the financial and stress-related advantages of hiring a property manager to mitigate the unforeseen complexities and protect against the unpredictables of the real estate world.
  • In discussing property management partnerships, we reflect on the importance of readiness and finding the right fit for a long-term, collaborative relationship with a property manager.
  • We conclude by affirming that a property management partnership is about more than offloading responsibilities; it's about creating a path to real estate success and achieving financial goals.

    Show Notes

    Be a guest on the Landlord Profitability Playbook Podcast

    Download your FREE copy of The Landlord Profitability Playbook and learn how to automate your property management.

    Visit ROOST Property Management and find out more about the ways we can help you create a more profitable portfolio.

    Visit Rental Property Registration to access the registration page and self-inspection form.


    (AI transcript provided as supporting material and may contain errors)

    Welcome to the Landlord Profitability Playbook Podcast, where we share the best practices we use to help our residential real estate investor clients automate their rent collection and get on with their lives. Check out the show notes at wwwlandlordprofitabilityplaybookpodcastcom. This show is brought to you by Roost Real Estate Co Property Management. To learn more about our company and the services we provide, visit wwwmanagewithroostcom. Now here's your host, chris McAllister.

    Chris: Hello Chris McAllister, here with the Landlord Profitability Playbook Podcast, where it's my job to create and coach business opportunities and strategies that support and add value to the lives of residential real estate investors. I am not only joined today by my good friend and podcast partner, Laci LeBlanc Good morning Laci Good morning Chris but also by our Director of Property Management at Roost Real Estate Company, Gretchen Mitchell. Hello, Gretchen Mitchell.

    Gretchen: Hello.

    Chris: This is our first in a 12-part series called what to Expect from your Property Manager.

    So, whether you are your own property manager or you are already in a property management relationship, or you're thinking about hiring a property manager, this series will help you set expectations for performance that can only positively impact your profitability over time.

    So we're going to kick this off with the discussion about getting clear in your mind about what you want as an owner in a perfect world property management relationship, and that's why we've titled part one of this series Get Clear on what you Want from the Property Management Relationship. So specifically, today we're going to cover the many hats a property manager wears in the course of a month, or, if you're your own property manager, the hats that you have to wear in the course of a month, but being able to articulate the reasons for investing in real estate in the first place, your reasons for investing in real estate, or, if you're managing properly remotely, the whole idea of the value of your time is a scarce resource, hidden costs, whatever. It's a lot, so we're going to get through all of that today. You know it's a lot, so we're going to get through all of that today and I guarantee you as always I know this is a heavy guarantee us a little information about who you are, what you do, what your background is and all that good stuff.

    Gretchen: So I have been with Ruth since it started in 2014. I got my real estate license in 2008, my broker's license in 2018. And I have been doing property management basically since right after high school.

    Laci: Why is that? What's the connection there? I'm going to force this out of you guys. Yeah, is that?

    Gretchen: Mr Chris McAllister is my dad.

    Laci: I've been joking this whole time.

    I was like you know, I really want to get Gretchen on here because you're a wealth of information.

    We talked about how some of the searches for Roost Real Estate because I'm the marketing person, so I'm on the back end looking at search terms are Gretchen Mitchell, Because you network and you talk to people and you share and people know you and you've just been such a key for me to understanding how this property management side of things works.

    But I also want people to know that this is a family owned and operated kind of venture. I think that's really cool and, as somebody who has you know as part of a family who owns and operates their own ventures, I just think it's a really compelling story that you guys have. This is another one that Nana is going to need to listen to Chris for my dad and my brother's sake, as they are her de facto property managers, but really excited to have you with us, gretchen. I'm really excited to hear your expertise. I don't want the relationship to overshadow that by any means, but I do think that it's very cool that you guys are doing this and I get to see what people who are listening don't get to see is how well it works.

    Chris: We wouldn't have gotten this far at all if it wasn't for Gretchen. She's been doing property management since before we launched Roost, so she's got a few years under her belt and a thousand doors to look after these days. So she's done an amazing job. Before we dig in to the topic of the day, I want to give everybody a quick update on the Springfield Ohio Landlord Registration and Licensing Ordinance.

    So back in December seems like so long ago Lacey and I did a podcast on this subject and I am happy to report that the Springfield City Commission voted I believe was on might have been, I don't remember the date.

    I think it might have been the 21st or maybe it was the 28th All those dates are running together but they voted to amend the ordinance by removing the self-inspection requirement.

    So that was what we were most concerned about was this whole idea that we as landlords who aren't qualified to do what they were asking us to do, would have to go in and do an inspection and then a test not to the best of my knowledge, but legally, a test with a signature that we knew what we were talking about. So this is a significant win for property owners and for property rights, and it's also a win for our tenants, quite frankly, because I don't know how we would have been able to manage on behalf of our many owners and still take care of them and take care of the tenants. So the whole thing was a mess, but at this point it looks like it's all gone away. No reason to worry about it, no reason to listen to that podcast, unless you happen to be in a city that's contemplating something similar. But that's. It's all good news for landlords with properties in Springfield Ohio, and we have begun the registration process for all of our Springfield owners. So, Gretchen, you've been working with Courtney on that, correct?

    Gretchen: Yes, I have.

    Chris: So we should be in good shape on that. I think our commitment was that we would have all of our owners and properties in Springfield city limits registered by the end of April. So good news there, all right. So as we dive into getting clear on what you want from a property management relationship even if that relationship is with yourself I want to just have a conversation here about the many hats of real estate investing. So you know, as we all know, you know, with Lacey having real estate and her family, gretchen growing up with it, owning rental properties, herself myself owning rental properties, you know it is a journey and it is filled with many opportunities and many challenges.

    And you know, as an investor, you're not just putting money into a property. It's not that easy, right? You're stepping into a variety of rules that demand, you know, your time and attention and expertise. You know we've talked many times that. You know people think that investing in real estate creates passive income. It certainly doesn't. There's nothing passive about the income that you earn from real estate investing. So you know, when you think about all the things that you have to do, you know getting your properties leased and screening and counting and paying bills and so forth. I mean, there's a million different hats that we have to wear. So you know off the top of your heads what are some of the things that investors have to do for themselves. I guess that we do every day for our investors.

    Gretchen: I think a big one is maintenance Because, let's be honest, maintenance is probably the toughest part of property management. Owning a rental property, we have a whole team that is devoted every single day to just turns to get them rent ready and just maintenance and scheduling the maintenance people to go take care of those repairs. That is a big thing because it can be costly. So maintenance is a big one, like I mean even being a counselor, to be honest, to these tenants of you know you need to get along with your neighbor, keep your music down and we set up payment plans with them. So we hear all the stories, all the struggles they're going through and we try to be there for them, but at the end of the day we still want to help them get their rent paid and want to make sure they're living in a safe place.

    Laci: That's a really interesting point. The emotional toll is not something that I was prepared to talk about today, but I feel like that has got to be huge now that I think about it. After living in one of my grandmother's rental properties for a decade, I had this neighbor who has been there for twice as long and we moved out, and the other day on Facebook he made a public post about his new neighbors which they just happen to be extended family members of of mine and how much he dislikes them and he is such a great renter. You know he's just the ideal relationship, but you know that's something that my Nana and my dad and my brother have to deal with. Every time they get a check from him is you know his emotion, like what's your emotional state? And counseling them. So I think that's a really interesting point. We think about finance, we think about maintenance. You know we think about just like the to-do list, but the emotional toll of being a landlord is actually huge, isn't it?

    Chris: It is, aside from being a plumber and a maintenance guy, you know you have to be your own tenant relations manager, you know, and that's that is a gigantic hat. And I would say that honestly, gretchen, I don't know if you'd agree with this or not, but I think that's one of the major reasons, if not the major reason that people, especially accidental landlords, ultimately hire us is that they just can't stand or they're just not emotionally equipped or have the bandwidth to deal with tenants and their issues.

    Gretchen: Yeah, I agree with that completely.

    Laci: I don't think anybody in my family is any better equipped to do the emotional work. They're better equipped to do the plumbing and the maintenance, the finance, than they are the emotional work, for sure.

    Chris: Yeah, when you talk about finance, I mean you've got to be an accountant, right? I mean to some degree, and I guess you know for some people maybe it's just keeping a checkbook, but you know you've still got to get all your receivables in, you've got to get your payables out. The bank has to get paid, the tax authority has to get paid, the water bill has to get paid. So accounting is a hat. What other hats? What other hats?

    Gretchen: I guess leasing is a big one. If you don't do your homework there, you could end up with a real problem. So, like with Roost, we have a list of requirements that applicants need to meet, whether it be a credit score, income, previous landlord verification references, things like that. Screening tenants is a big one, along with then making sure your lease is correct. Make sure you have specific things in your lease. Another thing is unfortunately they happen, but you know we have done this long enough that we know the rules of a three-day notice. A lot of times individual landlords don't know that in certain counties you can't count holidays and you can't count weekends as part of the three day notice. So when you go to court it all falls apart because they didn't do the original paperwork correctly.

    Chris: Yeah.

    Gretchen: So you got to be a lawyer too. That's another thing.

    Chris: I didn't think about the paralegal hat, not that we're practicing law without a license I didn't think about the paralegal hat, but that's really good.

    So we've got leasing, we've got tenant relations and retention, we've got maintenance, we've got rehab, we've got. I guess that pretty well sums it up. That's a lot of hats. I'm sure if we sat here and thought about it we'd come up with a few more. But you know, I think the first thing that you have to do when you're considering, you know, a new property management relationship, or resetting an existing one, or trying to get clear what you expect from yourself. You know this is a multifaceted responsibility that you've taken on and again, there's just nothing passive about this on, and again, there's just nothing passive about this. But you know, recognizing that fact is the first step in understanding you know what you need and what you ultimately are going to want from a property management relationship. The other thing I think it's important that you be able to articulate for yourself and as well as for your you know potential property manager is what is your why behind real estate investments?

    You know people dive into real estate for a myriad of reasons. For some, again, it's the allure of passive income. For others, it's the stability and the appreciation potential, you know, compared to other types of investments, right, and you know, for others, it's a way to diversify their portfolio. Maybe, you know, they do stocks and bonds, and they also do real estate. I think the coolest thing that people see about it, though, is that it's a tangible asset. They can see it, they can touch it, and, you know, they feel like they have greater control over it because you know it's right there.

    But everybody's goals for owning real estate are unique, right, you know we've got owners that this is how they make a living. We've got other owners that maybe became what we call accidental landlords, you know, because they had a house that you know they didn't want to sell or couldn't sell, and then they need help managing it. And then other folks, you know they may be professionals doctors, lawyers, dentists, whatever who have decided to invest in some rental properties as a way to diversify their portfolio. Everybody's goals and reasons, to a huge degree, are unique, but at the end of the day, I think they're all seeking financial freedom, an opportunity to build wealth and secure a future. The only thing I would say, though, is you still have a lot of folks out there you know that we're dealing with that you know are getting into real estate because they watched a late night infomercial and they think they're going to get rich quick. And I'm guessing those are your favorite owners, right, gretchen?

    Gretchen: The ones that need a little bit of guidance, but that's what we're here for.

    Chris: But, Gretchen, your house. You tell us that your first house was just too good a deal to walk away from and that's why you initially became an accidental landlord, right?

    Gretchen: Yeah, I actually was. Even though I'm in the business, I am absolutely an accidental landlord. So I purchased a house my first house by myself little, two bedroom bank owned property, put some money into it, lived there for a few years before I got married and then we moved out to a bigger home and really the mortgage was low enough that I knew I could make money on it. So we rented it out and it's been solidly rented, truly ever since.

    Chris: So you still make your house payment every two weeks.

    Gretchen: I do.

    Chris: So you make 26 payments, so you end up making 13 months worth of payments in a year then. So how much do they take out every two weeks?

    Gretchen: I believe it's about 175.

    Chris: And I think that-.

    Gretchen: Too good to let it go.

    Chris: And that includes your taxes and insurance, because it's an FHA loan, right, so I don't think you paid. What did we get that for? Like 30 grand or something.

    Gretchen: Yeah, I think it was like 29, 30, 31, something like that.

    Chris: How much do you think you could sell it for today?

    Gretchen: Oh, I have people call about all the time for it.

    Chris: I tell them a million dollars.

    Gretchen: But what 80, 90?

    Chris: I bet you it's worth pretty close to a hundred grand right now. Yeah, you know, when I got into real estate and got my license, I think the primary motivation for me was to own real estate because, you know, I've told the story before on the podcast but I read Rich Dad, poor Dad when I was still working at Target in New York and I thought, well, that might be a cool thing to do, I can get rich and do it quickly. And it didn't work. We bought up a bunch of rental properties, had a bad partner, lost them all in the crash and then we started over. But I started over because at the time coming out into 2009 and 10, you were able to buy houses, just like you did, gretch, for very little money.

    And over the course of 15, 16 years now I've built that portfolio up from nothing again to I don't know 30, 40 doors with some stuff, with board and so forth. So again for me, fortunately, there is some income that I get from those now. But the most exciting thing for me is that you know I'm going to wake up in another 10 to 15 years and all those properties are going to be 100% paid off. So you know, for me, being in the business, real estate is my primary means of creating wealth, which may be different for other people, but we all have different reasons. But at the end of the day, I think we're seeking financial freedom. It's the folks that are hoping for instant passive income that they can count on every month that tend to get disappointed, and, whatever your situation is, I really hope that you'll take the time to get clear on that for yourself so that you can share that with your property manager and they can kind of understand where you're coming from as well.

    Laci: I really love that point. I love the. You know, I come from franchising and it's a very similar conversation where, if you're doing this for as a business right to create wealth, you a lot of people buy into a franchise. And why do you buy into a franchise? It's because they've already established the plan right, and part of that is they've already made the mistakes that have to be made in order to figure out how to make this work and work in the best way possible, and that can include financial mistakes or process mistakes or marketing mistakes or branding mistakes, whatever it is. And so you mentioning that you've done this poorly and then you figured out how to do it well, and some of that was circumstances and some of that was bad decisions or whatever the case may be.

    And I think that's a really interesting point that when you think about doing property management yourself, it's kind of like doing mosquito control yourself right, Like anybody can do it theoretically. Now can anybody do it Well? Like, will you actually get rid of the mosquitoes? That's the franchise I come from. You know, will you? How long will it take you to figure out how to really legitimately break the lifecycle and give clients the experience that they want and need to keep you coming back and paying you right, and how much is that going to cost you, both in time and money and pride, your emotional well-being. So I think that's a really interesting point, too, about choosing to property manage yourself versus using a property management company or a professional.

    The other thing is we always talk about professionalism on this podcast. Usually it's on the agent side of things, but I think that we talk about professionalism being the ground level of being a successful real estate agent, and it's the same for a real estate investor. Professionalism and having a process and a system and playing by the rules and making sure you're doing it right every single time and doing it the same way every single time is the most efficient way to be successful at this too. So two really great points.

    Chris: And when you don't approach it as a business or you don't approach it as a professional, you also run the risk of running afoul of fair housing. So there's some pitfalls in this that some people don't think about. So that's an awesome perspective. So let's say so, it's interesting. So we have owners that actually live in the towns where we manage and we have other owners that live out of town but maybe they can drive in and drive past their properties whatever they want. And then we have other folks that are investing in real estate out of state. And you know, if you're an out of state investor with an interest say, you're in California and you're interested in buying houses in Columbus, ohio there's a that remote control challenge, right, that extra layer of complexity is a big deal and you know, maybe you're experiencing that stress now. Maybe you haven't bought anything yet and you haven't thought about that stress. But the whole thing of what you're going to expect from your property manager when you have zero direct control, influence or eyes on the ground is it's a big deal and it's something to consider.

    And a lot of times, you know, we've dealt with a lot of owners who have made mistakes buying out of state, and we've talked about this before that you know we had a lot of folks, especially during COVID, that wanted to buy up properties because they just look so cheap and, you know, like Dayton Ohio, and didn't realize that those properties hadn't been inhabited for decades in some cases, and had zero idea what it was going to take to get those properties back into service, which makes their life miserable and, quite frankly, gretchen's life miserable as well.

    You know, if you're going to be buying outside of where you are, you're going to have to find somebody that you can absolutely trust and be your eyes on the ground and look after your properties as if they were their own. And when I was thinking about this podcast today, gretchen, you can tell us how it's gone. But we got an inquiry for one of our market rate rent offers and it was interesting because the owner of a property that we currently manage in Springfield wants to sell them and somebody is interested in the properties and they reached out to us to do a market rate rent analysis. I don't know that they were aware that we already managed them or not, but this is what you tell us about the gentleman that contacted us over the weekend.

    Gretchen: So he did put in. I think he put in for property management services as well, but I think he might have known it was us that managed it. But he and I just had an honest conversation. He asked you know, do you know why this owner's selling it? You know we talked to him about what it could be to sell it, what not to sell. You know they're all rented right now. We like this property.

    I told him personally that I hadn't walked it, but I would be happy to do that for him because he actually had to take a plane here from California to see it the first time and he'll probably never see it again, to be honest.

    But he and I just had an honest conversation about what was rented, what wasn't. That I hadn't actually seen it, but I would be happy to go walk it. And we just we clicked and I told him that I would be happy to go to the inspection for him, which is actually happening this morning. So I couldn't go, but I have someone else going. But they're going to go to the inspection and they're going to give me some pictures. We're going to look at everything for him, just to be an extra eyes and ears. And I think he really liked the conversation because we had already been familiar with the property and we want to keep doing it for him. We just got along really well and he's ready to sign the paperwork and get started as soon as he closes. He's very excited and he actually calls me every day to give me updates on what's going on with the sale.

    Chris: But I think that doesn't happen as often as we'd like it to happen. But when it does, it's just a gift, because we know at this point you're developing a personal relationship with him, you're getting a feel for why he's doing this, what he expects from the property, what he expects from us, and if it turns out that his expectations are out of line with what you know we can do for him, or how the property is going to perform, you're going to tell him and that may mean that we lose some business if we tell him something that doesn't align with his hopes and dreams, but still, that's the type of service that we just have to provide. So good on him for reaching out, and I don't know if he's interviewing other property managers my guess is at this point he's not but I don't think that he would get the same answers and responses he's gotten from you.

    Gretchen: I'm working with another lady that called and did one of the inquiries and she actually just signed up her two doubles, four units, and she's got a little bit of a mess on her hands, but we are being completely open and honest with her. We're going to have to clear house. We're going to have to clear house, we're going to have to turn this unit, we're going to have to evict these two tenants, and it's probably not the things that she wants to hear, but fortunately she's on board and she understands and she trusts us to do it, cause again, she's out of state as well.

    Chris: Yeah, that's fantastic, so that understood what a nightmare Like that's just like I just got.

    Laci: I could have a panic attack right now thinking about having to do all those things and you just rattle them off like, oh, this is just on my to-do list today. We got to evict these people and turn this thing and left right, left right, and I'm over here hyper-thinking about just maybe how would I go about doing one of those things and I think that says a lot.

    Chris: And this whole thing of buying remote control. It's just the importance of having a property manager who's not just a service provider but a local partner. You want somebody who understands that market, that neighborhood intimately and connected your eyes and ears on the ground. So got to find that person. All right, let's touch on the time commitment.

    You know we have owners that put more time into their properties than others. Some people have a hard time letting go. Some people, you know, make it hard for us to get a hold of them when a decision needs to be made. But I want to talk a little bit about the balancing act and the time commitment. So you know, managing property it is time consuming, you know, and, as we've said, it involves tenant relations. It involves leasing, tenant inquiries, emergencies, tenant relations it involves leasing, tenant inquiries, emergencies. You know local laws. I mean, you know even the whole thing with the Springfield rental registration that we updated at the start of this podcast. I mean all of that takes time, mental bandwidth, knowledge, and I think it's safe to say that. You know our Springfield owners are happy that we were able to dig into that and try to get out the front of it as best they can. So you know, good job to Gretchen and the team doing that.

    You know from a time commitment as an owner.

    Chris: You know, if you do have a full time job, that pays the bills, the last thing, you know. I don't want to preach, but I think the last thing that you would want to do is end up having this new sideline, this new opportunity to diversify your investments, start to interfere with your primary means of making a living. You know so. The time commitment can be big, and it's not just about the hour spent. It's about the mental load, the bandwidth and the impact on your personal life and business, everything else. So, as we've said a billion times already today so forgive me, you know there's nothing passive about real estate income. So what, gretchen, do you have any owners that you work with that? It really feels like that they have more of a time issue than anything else.

    Gretchen: A lot of it is. There's a difference between, say, a seasoned landlord that has multiple units, say, a seasoned landlord that has multiple units, versus one that really depends on that rent coming in. They need a little more attention and we just make sure to tell them hey, it's the sixth, they didn't pay yet. We're going to post we walk them through every step of the way everyday updates. But there is a difference between owners that have the money from other units that can go toward a maintenance bill and there's owners that have to put from other units that can go toward a maintenance bill and there's owners that have to put in money through their account. That could be a struggle for them. I mean, they depend on that money. So there is quite a difference between seasoned and accidental, or they're really banking on needing that money for other bills to live their life.

    Chris: Yeah, and oftentimes that anxiety comes over, know, comes over on our side and we share that anxiety with them and that's just not fair. I have to tell myself a lot. I think we remind each other that you know we didn't sell them that house, we didn't overpay for that house, we didn't get them in financial trouble. And you know we can't it's not our fault, so to speak but we can certainly do everything we can to help them. But I think you're right, I think from a time commitment, if you know you bought that house with the expectation that you were never going to have to put a dollar in and hopefully you're going to get some dollars out every month you know their time and at least mental commitment is way bigger than it should be.

    That comes, you know, we feel that, but you know like. You know we feel that. But you know, like you know, we've got owners who own well over you know 100 units and multiple complexes and you know it's funny, we don't for most of them our best owners. I don't think you hear from them as much as you hear from the accidental landlord down the street who's just not quite comfortable with renting out their house 100%, 100%.

    So for professional investors, you know, the time commitment might actually be less than for people who own one or two houses or definitely for people who are looking for instant monthly income. I was thinking about our friend Gibran that we've been working with. He started out in Columbus. Now he's in Dallas and we've had some contact with him because he's got a house that he you know he had long term tenants and never had to lift a finger in that house and now he's got a huge rehab because both sides left at the same time and you know he my sense with Gibran is his stress is that he's got a big full time job and you know he'll ask me for something, he'll ask you for something, we'll respond, and then we don't hear from him for a few days and you know then we do. So it's a big deal. And you're right.

    When things are going well and the rent's coming in every month and you don't have to worry, you know maybe the time commitment isn't there, but as soon as somebody moves out or you know something happens basement floods, whatever then you know the time commitment gets big. So you don't want to get sucked into. Every day's just going to be terrific like it is now. There's good times and there's bad, and my advice to everybody is, if you're thinking about you know getting a property manager, start doing your due diligence. While things are good, don't wait till you're up against the wall and you know the whole world feels like it's falling apart around you before you start interviewing somebody, because you'll run the risk of making a rash decision.

    Laci: Yeah, that's Nana for you, right there. You don't get to choose when these things happen, right? Like you don't get to choose when somebody is going to move out or destroy a property. Or you know, you don't get to choose and maybe it's not for a battery, maybe they bought their own home, like, maybe they're moving out because they got to level up right there next roost, but you don't get to choose when these things happen.

    So in my family it doesn't matter what's going on at the car lot where my dad and my brother work full time, you know and are plenty busy, right, it doesn't matter what's going on, you know, health wise, or in your personal life.

    Or it doesn't matter if the grandkids have a special event, or you know if that flooring needs to be replaced and that that unit needs to be turned. Or you know if something needs to be fixed overnight, then something needs to be fixed overnight and it just you don't get to pick it and you don't get to put it off either. So I think that's the when you and when I think about, about these like accidental landlords or people who are relying on this income, how much additional stress they're already under stress and how much additional stress that causes you and really cost too. It has to be like I just I think to myself all the time how much money my, my Nana, could save if she could just take this step to, like hire somebody Right, like it's. It really adds up in the end. It has to.

    Chris: Yeah, I think it does, and Gretchen deals with those owners every single day. You know, marcy and Brenda deal with the tenant stress, but Gretchen deals with all the owner stress.

    Gretchen: So yeah, I mean we had. I felt so bad for her. We had one owner and you know the worst thing happens. So she, there's water and sewage coming up in the front yard. The main line broke from the street to the house. It's on the owner to repair that. Dig up the street, dig up the yard. Permits have to be pulled, thousands of dollars. The next week it happened again on a different property. So no, you don't get to pick it. But unfortunately this owner had been hit hard a couple couple times and we felt it for her and we didn't want to call her and say, hey, this happened again.

    I can't believe it, but we feel the stress for them.

    Chris: Yeah. So I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about or highlight the costs of going it alone, and I guess to some degree this seems self-serving. But I think it's important that if you're feeling any of these costs as you manage for yourself, that you'd be able to articulate exactly what you're feeling to your potential property managers to make sure they understand what's happening with you, because you're the one writing the checks. It is all about you. So you know going it alone independently, you know it's a cost saving strategy, but there's hidden costs and you know some of those costs. Like you, can't you wake up at 2 am and you can't go back to sleep because you're thinking about it. You know you get interrupted on date night. You know you get interrupted at the kid's soccer game. You know you get distracted when you're one-on-one with your boss or a client because some kid flushed a Barbie down the toilet, right it, barbie down the toilet, right it's.

    There's costs to going it alone that accumulate over time and it's like that whole story of you know you have to cook a frog slowly because otherwise he'll. If you just toss him in half hot water he'll jump out. So if you do all these things are going to happen. At the start you wouldn't have invested in rental property. But then, as you do invest in rental property and you get used to this stuff, you just don't realize what's happening, the stress and time command demands. They can and do affect your quality of life and your ability to focus on what you do best.

    And you know even if it's not just you know taking care of baseline right. If you focus too much time on the day-to-day management, you're not going to have time or the headspace to identify new opportunities or, you know, even growing your portfolio. So forget about all that. If you're just trying to get the toilet plunged and you know the lack of professional management can lead to costly mistakes, whether it's tenant disputes, to delayed maintenance issues, and that's going to mess with your profitability and the ultimate value of that property over time.

    So, gretch, when you're well, one of the things that always, I guess what it comes down to is you know, if you're, if you decide that you're going to hire a property manager, you've got to be willing to commit and you've got to be willing to commit to the relationship, and to a huge degree it does mean giving up some control and you will be better able to do that if you can set expectations and really investigate the background of your potential property manager. So you know, gretch, what's it like to deal with an owner who's having trouble, I guess, letting you do your job. What's that like for you?

    Gretchen: Well, you can understand it. So you know they say you're dealing with a new owner that has been doing this for 30 years. It's all they've known. They love it, it's their babies. But you know they want to move on, they want to retire, they want to go move to Florida, but they really just can't let go. It is a little frustrating because sometimes it turns into kind of like divorced parents where it's mom said this, dad said I could do this with the tenants. They sometimes will tell tenants something that goes against what we told them, which can be frustrating and it can be a little bit exhausting. But we understand why. But it's just so much better for your own wellbeing, owners, If you just try to let it go and let us handle it.

    Chris: Yeah, and it's hard. And you know we've turned down owners I know you've turned down owners because we've talked about it who just aren't ready or they have so many rules for us, above and beyond the rules we have for ourselves, that we just can't do what they want. And you know I hate to turn away business, but you know we've had to do that more than once, that's for sure. I also think it's interesting when we were talking to we met with Don. He remembered the guy in Columbus that's got a lot of properties and this guy was interesting because we really want his business and we know he takes care of his properties and he's a super nice guy. But he's been investigating us, courting us, interviewing us for going on nine, 10 months now.

    It's one of those situations where he just retired, so he was in aviation, but he had like 30 rental properties and he's done really well, but he's done all of it himself. Pressure from the family that he needs to give up some of this too, but he is just not ready. You know I'm pretty confident that when he does decide to hire a property manager, I think it will be us, but until he's confident that he really is ready, willing and able to let go. He's not going to do it and I guess, at the end of the day, as much as I'd really like to have his business I think he's a great guy and he's got wonderful properties it's probably better for us that he takes his time, because it's just going to be harder to help him if he won't let us.

    Gretchen: So that's the keys. They have to be ready. And I remember Jeff Butterfield. I signed him on years ago and it was like the first full month that we collected rent, did everything for him. He tagged me on Facebook of him outside drinking a beer, smoking a cigar, just living his life, and it said thank you, gretchen and Roost Real Estate. I can do this now. He didn't have to worry and it just felt good for everybody.

    Chris: Yeah, we got a five-star review before we even knew how important that was.

    Laci: Well, I've always known how important that is, so I'm happy to hear it. That's part of the reason that I enjoy working with you guys so much, but you're too modest. You always say, well, maybe this is a little self-serving to talk about the cost, but the bottom line is the bottom line. You're all in this to make money, we're all in this to make money. The owners and you guys right, everybody and you guys right, everybody has to profit or it doesn't work. So you know the fact that you guys are so tuned in to these and cost is the big thing, you know. That's why Nana doesn't want to give it up, and Nana's great at it.

    You know my dad and my brother are a great team for her. They make money doing it. They I mean deep down, if you ask them they really do enjoy it and that's why they haven't given it up. They're not ready. It works for them. And so you guys, being attuned to that and recognizing that you're all in this to ultimately create wealth and achieve your goals and knowing when to say no, I think is really a nice refreshing take on making money In a capitalist society where everything is you know, go now. You know. It's nice to hear that you guys are really thinking about the like, what is in it for your owners, your prospects, your clients, the tenants. You know you really do. It's important, I think, to look at the whole.

    Chris: You know you're in the we don't want to sign up an owner and lose them right. When we sign up an owner, you know we expect to sign that owner up for as long as they own that property. You know we want a relationship. That's a collaboration. We want them to be comfortable working with us, collaborating with us, and we have to be comfortable working with them and collaborating with them. You know.

    Laci: But it's part of being in the shelter business, right? You guys aren't investing business or the agent business or the tenant business, or you're in the shelter business.

    Chris: So again, it comes back to the whole topic of this episode Get clear what you want from this relationship with a potential property manager so you can lay out your expectations right out there in front. Get them on the table ahead of time. So again, in conclusion, getting clear on what you want from a property management relationship starts with acknowledging the multifaceted, many hats role of a real estate investor, as well as the complexities of the market. It's about understanding your own goals, challenges of distance, commitment, potential impact on your life, on your investments, and then there's always that challenge of are you ready to let go? So, as you embark on a property management partnership or a collaboration, I really hope you'll seek a property manager who not only understands these personal relationship dynamics, but that they also understand, align with your vision, whatever that vision is, and that's going to make sure that your property management investment journey is going to be rewarding, profitable and sustainable for the long term. Anything else, gretch, that we should touch on today?

    Gretchen: I don't think so.

    Chris: Feeling pretty good.

    Laci: Yeah.

    Chris: Laci Nailed it.

    Laci: This was a fun one. This was fun. I enjoyed this very much. Thanks for having me. I felt not gonna lie. I felt a little bit like a third wheel, but you know I'll take it.

    Chris: All right, well, thanks guys, I appreciate it.

    Laci: See you next time. Bye and there we have it.

    Chris: Thanks for listening in. If you want to continue the conversation, go to wwwlandlordprofitabilityplaybookpodcastcom. That's the landlordprofitabilityplaybookpodcastcom where we have additional information about the podcast and archived episodes. We'll be back next time with another episode of the Landlord Profitability Playbook Podcast.