How to lease during a pandemic

Join Ken as he speaks with Kelly Johnson, Vice President of marketing at MC Companies as she discusses what her and her team have done to confront that challenges of leasing apartment units during the restrictions caused by the recent health crisis.

Transcript:

(00:00):
Hey everybody. It’s Ken McElroy with MC companies and the real estate strategies and our podcasts. And I’m really excited to have today. Kelly Johnson, let’s pivot a little bit and talk about leasing. So one of the things that did not happen, or people did not move out for, you know, like 60 days some did, but you know, think about what’s happening, we’re on lockdown. So a lot of people just hunkered down in their places. Every state was a little bit different and we have properties in multiple States, but, you know, I was just blown away by the way, guys, I get these emails, I get emails from my onsite folks, you know, that you know, and there’s all these little internal contests that are going on and, and wins that we’re celebrating as individual properties of ours around the country are doing remarkable things. And so how did you pivot? Basically saying, okay, you know, I, how do we rent? How do we rent apartments?

(01:01):
Yeah.

(01:02):
People to do it. And now we don’t. So, you know, let’s talk through that.

(01:07):
Yeah. There were, there were a couple of different fronts that we wanted to address. And the first one was how do we rent virtually? So how can I take a customer’s phone call and rent an apartment to them without ever being face to face. And that was initial, that was in the first 72 hours. And so I did a training call. I got on the phone with all of our leasing teams and we worked through that together because it is a different process. And I did want them to understand everything that we’ve been telling you, not everything, but a lot of what we’ve been telling you to do in the past has to be shifted. So let’s, let’s, let’s just kinda throw that playbook away and figure out together what is going to be a good solution. I’m I like to craft really pretty things.

(01:56):
I want our websites to look good. I want any video that we produced to look good, and all of a sudden I had to open my mind and remember that it’s a time, it’s a time for solutions. It’s not a time for control. It’s not a time for trying to you know, clip anybody’s wings. We had to let people do what they needed to do, which means everybody in the field had to create videos on their own with their phones. They had to do video tours and do that for every single floor plan and do it immediately so that they could start to send those links out to our customer. Then the next thing we did was introduce a virtual tour using an iPad. So we got iPads for every single team and we had to research solutions. So FaceTime is great.

(02:47):
If two people have eye products, eye phones, and an iPad, if you don’t, we need a product that is going to work with everybody. It has to be agnostic. So I found this app Google duo and, you know, going to all these conferences online and you’re trying to absorb as much information as you can. And somebody says, Google duo, it’s agnostic. Boom, we’re going to use that. So they’re gonna have another meeting guys. This is horrible. And and figure out how to take that customer now with my iPad and take them through the apartment so that I’m still communicating with them virtually. And I can show them the view. I can show them where they would park. I can show them their closet space, their kitchen. I can, I can do a tour that way. So that was our very first solution.

(03:29):
And one of the great, I there’s so many great outcomes. I mean, this was a terrible experience. I know for a lot of people, but if we don’t look for those silver linings, we don’t look for those things that are really great. I think we missed opportunities. And so for me one, one of many would be the talent that we have out there. You know, some of our team members put these videos together and they sent them to me and I just, I was at all and I was so proud and, and thought, you know, this is really cool that these people who worked so hard for us and maybe are thousands of miles away, but yet now I’m fully connected because I got to see a skillset that I didn’t even know they had. And so that was our first, that was our first step out of hell. Basically was how do we create these videos? How do we teach people how to rent in that way? And so that was probably the first until things started to open up. That was our first step.

(04:24):
Yeah. That was just incredible. To me. Let’s talk a little bit about the the chat bots, because that was another big piece that you pioneered for our company. And it’s interesting. I got a, I got a tax from the company that, you know, I need you guys to wrap your head around this. We went from in person phone calls, you know, and, and recording them all, which of course we’re still doing, but they share with me in one month, Kelly, that we handled 4,000, 406 communications of which we converted 1,115 prospects to 450 appointments. So we had 450 appointments in one month through AI. And then, you know, I saw your numbers because we have meetings every Tuesday. You, you rented 93 apartments. Like I just, it just, I mean, I floored me when I saw that. I’m like, how did we rent 93 apartments in one week? You know, without people you know, it’s, it’s happening right now. And I think that’s what people want to know is like, how, how are we pulling this off?

(05:42):
I think that first of all, the software that we’re using or are using it’s called lease talks and they have, I’ve been partnering with Lee sock for about three years. So I, I use them in the, the position that I was in prior to coming to MC. And so I already knew that they were really solid company and we use them to grade our phone calls into root chord, all of our phone calls. And then in 2019, in the late part of 19, we rolled out their CRM customer relation management program. And what that does is it captures every single lead. So every phone call, every text, every email that we get from our website goes into that lead system. And I can’t tell you how many times. So, you know, we rolled this out to our organization and anytime you put new software out into, you know, the, the, your, your circle, there’s going to be some bumps and bruises.

(06:38):
Not everybody is all that excited about learning a new software and, and not everything works perfectly. So you’re always kind of working on this adoption. And it’s funny because when COVID hit overnight, everyone said, if it hadn’t been for that CRM, we’d be in a lot of trouble. Because what that CRM did was it captured, it made sure that we didn’t lose any leads, not a one, not a phone call that a text message, not an email, because they all got compiled into that CRM and what it made it, it made it possible for people to work remotely. So in certain cities where they were forced to have to split the teams, because we knew it was the safe thing to do. We were able to put somebody remotely working on that CRM. So we were still refuge to our customers, even if a leasing person was at home.

(07:29):
So they could still, you know, get all those leads. It also captures all of your residents. So any anybody touching the site is going to go into that CRM. So that was the first thing that really was like, illuminating, thank goodness we had it. And thank goodness people realize the value in that CRM. And then I got a call from lease Hawk when we were going through all of this. And I, you know, my hair is on fire. I don’t, I can’t even, you know, the, the list of things, but notepads everywhere. And my, you know, everybody was going through that and I got a call from them because they said, Hey, would you be willing to roll this H product? So it’s an AI product that answers all of your missed calls. So if, if the team isn’t able to get to a call, this AI product, ACE will answer the call and they can answer a lot of basically seeing questions.

(08:25):
It’s a product that they have been working on for awhile, but they they’ve kind of crossed over the bridge. And, and this product is really, really powerful now. And along with that AI answering service, they have a chat bot. So we were able to implement that chat bot right on our website. So now our customers are going to the website and right away, they have access to somebody who can answer questions 24 seven and book a virtual tour. So not only does the phone call have the ability and that’s their goal, they’re just like a salesperson funnel, funnel, funnel, funnel, funnel, let’s get a tour because that’s the ultimate outcome that you want from a sales call. So that was, you know, just like the stats you read off, you know, it was a lot of work to get that set up.

(09:13):
It’s not an easy thing to do. There are a lot of knits and gnats that go into getting that set up. But as soon as it goes live, you realize, okay, now we’re not going to miss anything. And I think that that led to us recovering so quickly, think of our doors, aren’t open yet. Our clubhouses aren’t open. We’re still you know, behaving the same way in terms of being in lockdown, kind of we’re open, but our doors aren’t. And for us to go back to pre COVID traffic numbers this quickly it just, it tells you something, you know, it tells you that the world is different. Our customer behavior is different. The resources that we’re using are different. And we need to pay close attention to that. We need to think about what part of this we’re going to take forward because it’s working. Yeah.

(10:02):
Congratulations. I know that you, you your entire team took a lot of stress and anxiety and fear out of our company because we were heading into this at the end of March, not knowing if we were going to click April rent, not know if we were going to collect may rent thinking that our occupancy and our leasing was done, you know, until the lockdown got lifted and all of those things were handled as, you know, a number of ways. And so for, for those of you you know, obviously one, you need a phenomenal team to, you need to embrace technology. And and, and you, and you, I think you’ve said this a bunch, you’ve got to keep an open mind because things are different, you know, maybe, maybe listen to your kids, you know, is there an easier way, is there a better way, right.

(10:58):
Yeah. Right. Absolutely. And, and don’t be afraid of it. I think that’s, you know, it was personally for me, because I have been doing this for a long time. And I have some pretty you know, certain thoughts about the way things should be, because I’ve just been doing it a long time and like problem, problem, cause solution problem, cost solution. And for me to be thrown into this environment you know, I’ve talked to a lot of my peers as I did. We all did through this entire experience. I called a lot of my marketing peers and fears that, that I’ve known all through my career. And I’m fascinated by how many of them are going to go right back to what they did before. I I’m, I, to me, that’s fascinating that you would take this opportunity, this gift to change and not embrace it. I, I know, I think it’s,

(11:54):
That’s interesting. That’s a, that’s an entire podcast. Do we move forward or do we go back to our old habits, right.

(12:06):
Yeah. I think that moving forward, if you think about it, and you think about the AI that we’ve leveraged and the other, the other applications that are out there, I’m just scratching. I’m doing a new demo every day. I’m talking to a new service provider every day, because I’m trying to figure out, you know, are they really a niche market? Do they have something that I can’t get somewhere else? Did they have something I can’t replicate for less money? Do they really solve as many problems as they think they solve and are these technologies overlapping each other? So you know, is there a one stop solution because I feel like we’re crazy not to, well crazy not to take this new customer behavior and let it be part of our future. You know, just from a purely from a staffing perspective, you know, do you really need four people in an office? If you can leverage some of this technology and maybe do, you know, central leasing centers, you know, as you know, we, we were early adopters in some of that. And I think we paused it because we didn’t have all of the right resources and, you know, we’ve, the industry has evolved. The technology has evolved, and now we’ve been given this opportunity to, to grab that Apple again and figure out, okay, what does 2021 look like? What does 2022 look like? And how can we get flicker in, in doing what we do.

(13:38):
Right, right. It’s well, all I can say is thank you and congratulations for a job. Well done. All right. We’ll see you soon.

(13:47):
Bye bye. Thank you. Bye.

Being a Landlord 101

Being a landlord can be very rewarding, but in order to have a good experience you have to follow some basic rules to do it right and trust me you want to do it right.

  1. Remember it is a business.

    Your tenants are your clients, so while you always want to be friendly and professional you do not want to be their friend. You may have some difficult conversations coming up and a friendship will make them too comfortable and you uncomfortable having those discussions.
  1. Be Clear on Your Policies and Procedures

Who takes care of the landscape? Can they have pets? Do you care if they smoke in the unit? How many cars can they have? Can they park a work van on property? Who handles water, sewer, and trash? These are all policies and procedures that need to be addressed within the lease. Sometimes new landlords forget this and when it comes up later you can’t enforce what isn’t in the lease.

  1. If you put it in your lease agreement be ready to enforce it.

The lease agreement is a contract you both are bound to. You have to perform and enforce the contract. If you do not enforce it it could bite you later in front of a judge.

For example: Even though you were trying to be nice by not charging the late fee, the tenant can then argue they didn’t think they ever would be charged because you waived it the one time. Even though you were being nice, you broke the contract. Even if in their favor the contract was still broken.

So bottom line if you put it in the lease you have to enforce it.

  1. The security deposit.

The number one reason for lawsuits is security deposit issues. Make sure a tenant fills out a move in form with any damages that are there and you take pictures. Then when they move out walk with them and take pictures of any damage. You must have photos of the damage and a bill for the repair. This is what you will need if your tenant does take you to court. You have to get a tenants security deposit back within 30 days, so you have to move fast and have a handyman ready.

Also, make sure part of the deposit is non refundable to cover things like cleaning and if you have carpet then carpet cleaning.

You will want to bring in professional companies to clean at move out.

  1. Run a proper credit and background check

A lot of time new landlords just want to get someone moved in. They seem nice and honest, so you give them the benefit of the doubt. Never do this. You ALWAYS want to run a credit and background check. There are rental screening websites that do this for you. You then charge the potential tenant for the application fee. Never assume or give people the benefit of the doubt. I always say trust, but verify.

  1. Fix what is broken

If you want quality tenants you have to be a quality landlord. If something is broken then fix it quickly. By law, you have 10 days for major repairs. Have a handyman on call who can fix the problems as needed. Also do not let the tenant fix things on their own.

If you follow these simple tips you will be well on your way to being a successful landlord.

The Downpayment

Down payments are a real dividing line when getting into real estate. It is almost like a four year degree. Everyone goes to high school, but not everyone has the endurance to make it through college. Similarly, everyone has a place to live, but not everyone buys a place to live. For most, this is due to having to save up for a downpayment.

I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they want to make passive income on real estate. They tell me that, but then they save no money for a downpayment. It’s too hard. They don’t want to make any kind of sacrifice. Instead, I hear excuses as to why they can’t save up enough to buy their first property. I want you to understand, making passive income on real estate isn’t hard, but you can’t be lazy. You have to save up for that down payment. Now I hear some of you saying. “Ken, I make just enough money to take care of myself and my family. There is just no way I can save money.” You know what I say to that? You’re not being creative enough.

Here are two stories I have for you of people making minimum wage that invested in real estate. The first was a young couple each working minimum wage jobs. They decided to rent a 2 bedroom condo and lease one room out for $500 a month. That helped them have a lower rent payment and they were able to save money each month. They also each cut back on their spending for two years. After two years time they bought a two bedroom condo in Austin. They kept that roommate which was cash flowing them $500 a month and now have purchased their second rental. All because they made the sacrifice of living with someone else. Is that something you could do? Could you rent a room in the place you are living to make extra money each month?

My second story was a 24 year old girl. She was barely making it between student loans and her low paying job. She posted dog sitting services on Rover and used the money to start saving for a rental. She became so busy that she didn’t even need an apartment. She was overnight dog sitting about 26 days a month. She then just paid her friend $100 a month to store her things and she would stay there on a night she was off. Within 2 years she had enough for a down payment on her first home. She now uses it as a dog daycare as well. Which covers her mortgage each month. She is now saving for a second rental.

In these two stories of people I personally know they didn’t have a lot. They had to work really hard to save the money for their first home and rental, but they weren’t lazy. They didn’t expect it to fall in their lap. But what it did is is allotted them the opportunity to get into real estate. Now, they have cashflow whether from a home based business or a roommate to then take that money and continue to invest. To begin is the hardest part, but remember don’t be lazy….but do be creative.

Talk to you soon,

Ken

5 Tips to Keep you Eviction Free

Evictions are a factor of owning rental properties that no one wants to deal with,
owners and tenants alike. There are five key ways that you can avoid having to deal
with evictions all together. Implementing things into the process in the beginning will
save you the trouble of having to file an eviction notice down the road. There are a lot of
factors that you should consider but these five points are a good place to start. You can
add on as you learn what works for you and your properties over the years.

Background Checks

Do a criminal and a background check on every single application that you
consider with no room for exceptions. The ideal tenant that you are looking for has good
credit and good rental history as well. Moreover, you also want to make a phone call to
the last place that they lived at because if there were any issues, they may have not yet
hit their credit. Some people will try to get away with claiming past evictions by
attempting to obtain a new lease before the eviction shows up on their credit report. You
can charge them an application fee in order to obtain this information before allowing
them to sign a lease for one of your properties.

Property Appearance

Maintaining your properties appearance is very important. Nice looking properties
will attract the type of tenant that you want. In order to attract the ideal tenant, you must
have the ideal place for them to rent. Take pride in the properties that you own and
maintain them. This includes updating when necessary and also fixing any issues as
they may arise over the years that you own them.

Be a Good Landlord

Also, and this may seem obvious but be a good landlord if you want to have good
tenants. If you are a good landlord, then the right tenant will rent from you for years.
Some ways to do this are to simply have someone available to answer a phone call
when needed, fix things quickly and be lenient when they may be a day late on rent if
this is not a normal occurrence for them. You want to build a positive relationship with
your tenants so that they will continue to rent from you long term.

Credit Reporting

Make sure that you understand how to handle credit reporting. You want to make
sure that your lease states that you report payments to the credit bureaus. This can be
a very positive aspect for the right tenants. You also want to make sure that you have a
lasting relationship with the company as well to handle the reportings. There is a
process to how you have to report and you should be informed on how to do so
beforehand.

Airtight Lease

The most important way to keep yourself eviction free is going to be to have an
airtight lease. This is why it is so important to make sure that your lease is created by a
professional attorney and that you personally go over the lease with your tenant so you
can know for sure that they understand the agreement that they are signing. If there is a
loophole in your lease, when it comes time to evict, you can be sure that your tenant will
find it.

Reasons A Student Fails in Business and C Students have a Better Chance

Most people are prone to commonly believe that students who do well in school,
as in they get the highest grades will be more apt to work harder but this is not usually
the case for many reasons. Surprisingly, students who have more of an average grade
history are projected to do better in the business world. There are many different
considerations that most people do not realize when it comes to seeing the differences
between these two groups of individuals. These differences include things such as work
ethic and their basic attitude structure.

The talk verses the walk

This is a huge difference that you can vividly see between these two groups of
individuals. Most students that are the top of their class are big when it comes to talking
about all of the things that they are able to do. They always believe that they are the
smartest person in the room and often because of this mentality when it comes to
business, they often fall into the habit of promising things they are not able to fully
deliver on. Students on the other end of the equation, who may have done averagely in
school understand the benefits long term of under promising and over delivering. They
know that if you are stuck in the mindset that you are the smartest person in the room
that you will put yourself in a position where you have no one to learn from and nothing
to gain.

Me Mentality

Students that got the highest grades in school were the best of the best and
rarely team players. They fought hard to individually be the best at everything that they
set their mind too including grades and sports as well. They rarely have to work with
others to figure out how to solve problems because they feel the need to rush ahead
themselves and solve it in order to acquire the praise from their parents and teachers.
Students who received average grades in their formative years knew exactly how to
work with others to even out the workload as much as they possibly could. They had a
game plan to work smarter and not harder. They did homework together, studied
together and worked in packs to get everything passed in their classes. This set of
students obviously translated better into teams when they went into the business world
than those that only worked by themselves.

Credit Vs Blame

The individuals who are still riding the high of a 4.0 GPA and the praise from
high school and even college are seldom the first ones, if ever at all, to take the blame.
They have less experience in having to answer for doing something that did not meet
the highest of standards. They are the first ones to take credit when something goes
right but the last one to stand up and take responsibility when something tends to go
wrong. Average students are more prone to know how to properly take responsibility
when something was not done correctly. They take the blame when it is warranted.

Taking the High Road

It is a key quality for a business owner or anyone working in business for that
matter to be able to take the high road. You can see a clear difference between those
who know how to do this and those that do not. One of the places that this is clearly
seen is how they respond to negative reviews. Taking the high road is knowing how to
stay in your lane and focus on your growth while ignoring any negative commentary in
the other lane.

Conclusion

It may seem easy to believe that by praising the students who do well in school
that we are doing them a favor when in reality, it is not preparing them for the real world.
You can not take a prideful path when it comes to being in the business world. You
need to know how to work as a team, take the blame when necessary and work for the
better of the entire group rather than just themselves. You can not expect to simply be
an alpha and be diligent enough to get everything done on your own. In the end, a pack
mentality will be much more of a benefit in the long run.

How to Prevent Fires as a Landlord

Being a landlord is a large responsibility and you must be prepared for everything
that can possibly come up. Still, there are some things that you simply cannot prepare
for specifically but you can work diligently to prevent them. An example of this is
knowing how to prevent fires when you are a landlord. Remember, it is important to be
prepared even for the things we never expect to come up. One of our own properties
had a fire recently. The fire was contained and no one was hurt. This is why it is
important to be prepared and know how to properly react.

Ways to Prepare

There are many things that you can do as a landlord to prepare for fires. One of
the main ways is to make sure that you are complying with local fire codes in the area in
which your property is located. There are ordinances and local fire codes that you can
read through that will help you stay legally protected while also keeping your tenants
safe. If you do not feel comfortable walking through the property on your own, you can
have a local fire inspector come do a walkthrough.

Talk to your Tenants

There are also things to discuss with your tenants when it comes to fire safety for
your property. You need to set strict house rules for all of your tenants, put them in
writing and have them verbally explained to the tenant as well. You also want to be sure
that you are constantly checking the smoke detectors in each property unit. You can
also add carbon monoxide detectors to your properties to help detect when too much
CO is detected in the home.

Plans and Rules to Establish

One of the most obvious but sometimes forgotten things to consider is to have a
fire extinguisher on each floor of the property. Fire extinguishers may not be able to take
down larger fires but can be easily used to contain small flames in controlled
environments. It is also important to have a strict, “no smoking” policy. You need to
make sure to enforce this policy in and out of the house. You also need to be sure to
follow up on any suspicious activity to show your tenants that you are serious about this
policy. Another thing you do directly for the unit itself is to establish grilling rules or ban
the use of grills all together. If you are going to allow grills, then you need to make sure
that they are being used properly. Your tenants need to know how to check propane
tanks for leaks and keep the grill a minimum of ten feet away from the unit at all times. It
should never be allowed under any circumstances to have a grill on a small patio or
under any type of overhang.

Protect in Case of Emergency

You can do everything that you need to do to prevent these scenarios and still
find yourself running into them. This is why you need to make sure that you are covered
if an incident does occur. It is important to have a clearly understood escape plan,
especially if you have a multifamily unit. You also want to be sure to review this escape
plan with your tenants so that they are sure to understand what to do and where to go in
case of a fire. You should also require your tenants to have renter’s insurance. These
policies ensure that the tenants can recover their personal items in the case of an
emergency occurring. You want to make sure that your tenants feel comfortable
reporting any issues to you that may lead to emergencies down the road. Also, when an
emergency does occur be sure to document everything that you have done to help
prevent the incident. For example, if the fire was caused by a lit cigarette and you have
a no smoking policy that has been provided to the tenant, be sure to keep those
documents.

Conclusion

As landlords, you can not expect to be ready for every single incident that may
happen. When you are on top of preventative measures you can feel rest assured that
when an emergency does occur, you and your tenant are both ready to take it on. By
clearly communicating your expectations with your tenant, executing a safety plan and
are willing to hear your tenants concerns when they arise you are creating a safe
environment that is prepared for any disaster that may occur. Stay calm, stay prepared,
stay diligent and stay documented.

2020 Moving Forward Through Uncertainty

Join Ken as he talks with Blair Singer about how he is approaching the uncertainty going forward.

To learn more about Ken visit: https://kenmcelroy.com/membership-registration/

To learn more about Blair visit his website at: https://blairsinger.com

Episode Transcript:

Ken McElroy (00:01):
Welcome to the real estate strategies podcast. I’m Ken McElroy and I’m here to give you creative ideas on how you can get started or continue your journey in real estate. Each week we will bring you inspiring and informative conversations with successful people and their path to obtaining or investing in real estate. Enjoy the episode.

Hey everybody. It’s Ken. Hey, look, we’re stopped in the office. My good friend, Blair singer. Hey Blaire. Good to see you, man. Hey, not too close, not too close. By the way. Check this out. Social distancing. We’re practicing it. Don’t touch that. So, uh, we are making sure that we’re, uh, we keep our distances, but, uh, Blair, uh, texted me this morning and he’s actually working on a deal down the road and I said, Hey, why don’t you come by? I’m at the office. Uh, I’m actually an investor in that deal. So we haven’t talked about it yet, but, uh, I would imagine it’s going to be a very interesting discussion with what’s going on with everything that’s happening right now. So, um, so first of all, uh, you know, Blair obviously owns properties. He’s an investor. He’s got cash flowing properties. He’s got lots of, lots of, lots of books.
He, he trains all over the world. He actually helped me significantly, uh, do presentations from stage back when I first started with rich dad 20 some years ago, I remember we were in New York and I remember I was scared to death. This is how Robert Kiyosaki does things by the way. He’s like, you remember that you’re up. Yeah. He’s like, Hey, come on, come to New York. I fly to New York and I’m a real estate guy and I’m, and there’s 4,500 people at this place in New York. And he goes, you’re up. So I started, walked up on stage and did my first talk in front of a somewhere over 4,000 people. And um, you know, I’m sure I fumbled through it horribly. And uh, but I, afterwards Blair grabbed me, he said, I see, I’ve just figured out, you know, how you can make your presentation even better. Basically what you did. And he broke it up into four or five things and it was kind of my launch to be able to speak. And, and present and, and all that. And, and Blair does that internationally, right. All over the world, all over the world. So blur real quickly for those people that don’t know you, once you give them a 32nd commercial.

Blair Singer (02:24):
Yeah, sure. No problem. Yeah. And cause that’s exactly what I, one of the things that I do, I’ve worked with entrepreneurs all over the world for the last 15 years, helping them increase their cash flow through sales and pull their teams together and create, get the message out to the world. That’s what we were working on is, you know, you get the ability to present, to present your dream, your, your mission, your product, your service to the world. So rather than going one on one, go one to many, and right now in this environment, the ability to go one to many is critical. So we’ve been doing that, you know, over 15 countries around them.

Ken McElroy (03:00):
I know. It’s been so fun, honestly, and I’ve learned so much from you. Um, so first of all, thanks, uh, literally, uh, guys this morning I said, Hey, you want to come in and, and um, and do something with us? He said, absolutely. Um, because usually you’re traveling a lot. I travel now. Yeah, I know. I know. Usually you’re all over the world and hopefully you quarantine yourself cause I don’t know. Where’d you come back from last? Well, actually, where was I last? I was actually in Germany last I was in Germany and it was there and then came back to Ohio to be with my family and then back here and then everything just kind of locked down. So we’re holding steady. So I know you have a lot of clients all over the world. Um, what are we, you know, everybody, you hear a lot, a lot of stuff. We watch a lot of stuff locally. What’s happening? What are people saying around the world? Well, you know, people that weren’t afraid got afraid. People that, that were afraid are not afraid anymore. It just depends where you talk to you. We have clients in Taiwan and they’re like, what? What problem? Life is normal back here in Taiwan and in Thailand and places like that. You have other places. We’re all like in Italy where we ha we have custom clients, people, members of my team that had been locked up for six weeks. You can’t get out of your house. You know, in Italy they got those big problems. But the one thing that that is true with everybody that we work with is that clear need. You got to pivot right now. If you’re not pivoting in your business and your messaging, who you’re talking to, even possibly who your customer is, you’re in bed, you can be in very big trouble. Or you could be making the first step into a giant new market for yourself either way. Right? Well, right. Some people, this is a clean slate time. Totally peop like people slates are getting cleaned now. They don’t want them cleaned. They’re getting cleaned. So let’s talk about pivot. I love that word. So when you talk to somebody about it’s time to pivot, what do you mean? Well, I think you’ve got to pivot from, from a sales person. I was talking about income. Okay. From an income perspective, you’ve got to pivot. What’s the message you put out to your customers? Is it going to, is it the same message today that it was two weeks ago? Because their needs are different. If you look at Maslow’s hierarchy right at the top, you want to be their best at that. Now they’re people, they’re worried about survival, they’re worried about security. So how do you take your whatever you’re offering and put it in terms that give them some sense of ease along the lines that make sense to them. So it’s part of it’s pivoting your message. It can also be pivoting your product or your service, your offering if you were offering. Um, like for us, we do a lot of work with teaching people to be teachers, leaders and trainers over the last five years. Our roots are in team and sales development, right? So we are shifting very much heavily back to S to helping people generate income. How do you crisis proof your sales team? I know, I’ll tell you a funny story. Um, true story. My trainer who I love, I’ve been training with this guy for four years. He’s in his fifties it’s done Ironman, all that kind of stuff. And he’s a great trainer. But I’ve been telling him for years, you know, I’m like, Hey, like you, you gotta like, cause he loves photography too. I go, you gotta go, he’s not on social media. Okay, think about this. And he’s like, ah, I go dude, you have to like, you’re a trainer, you’re not on social media. So I said, he’s like, nah, I don’t need it. You know, times are good, right? He’s got lots of clients, he’s busy, he’s, you know, he’s putting cash in the bank and you know, he’s traveling and you know, and he’s in great shape and all those kinds of things. So I saw him yesterday because all the gyms are closed in Arizona. So I said, Hey, can you come to my house? We’ll just work out at my house. He’s like, done. So yesterday he goes, I’m thinking about going on social media and I’m just like, are you kidding me? Like, and he’s like, yeah, cause I think then I can start to do short videos on training. I’m like, duh. You know what I mean? Like everybody has these resistance points and um, you know, his, and they all come during crisis. So I said, what are you doing? He’s like, I’m working at ACE hardware, what he’s working on because a lot of his clients, because training through a lot of people’s discretionary, you know, it’s 85 bucks an hour, not everybody has $85 an hour. And, and so he picked up a part time job at ACE hardware. And so then he told me this story, he’s like, there’s a gym that opened up next door as a franchise. And the woman came in and she was buying some things to put, um, you know, to put it in her, in the bathroom, like towel bars and things like that because she had just bought this franchise as a gym.

Ken McElroy (07:42):
And then of course, you know, the governor said, all gyms are closed. So she bought it. I put all his money in there, has this lump, and he’s telling me the story. And I’m like, are you like, this is exactly why I’ve been telling you to, you know, to build this internet presence, people know you need a personal brand and this is, you talk a lot about personal brand and this is a guy that does not have a personal brand. You know, he believes that neck, you know, tomorrow is going to be as good as yesterday. I don’t know about you Blair, but I’ve been through a lot of corrections. He, you know, and he’s not positioned to pivot. He’s now starting at zero. He’s not even online. Right. I know, I understand it. You know we S I see it a lot. It is a part of it.

Ken McElroy (08:23):
We, like you said, we’re having to pivot a lot too. And it, what happens is Mac Newton has a great expression. He told me, he goes, this is why and I love it. He goes, crisis is change trying to happen. That’s a good one, man. That’s a re that’s, that’s a rideable. One of these crisis has changed trying to happen. He goes, so what happens is you always getting invitations to change, but you don’t, with your health, with your finances, with your business, all that stuff, until you get to a point of crisis, like your body gives or your health

Blair Singer (08:56):
gives out, your finances give out. Now you better fricking change because, but now you’re in a crisis, which is much tougher because your emotions high and your intelligence is low and you don’t think clearly

Ken McElroy (09:08):
point. So I know it’s so horrible time. You know what I mean? I mean there’s some, but there are solutions, there are solutions and, and people are in pain, you know, financially. And there’s a lot happening. I mean, we’re having to retract on a number of things. I know you are too, right? Like we’re here talking, but the truth is we have our own fires going on. Plenty. Plenty of them. That’s right. And, and you know, there’s a number of them. And so I don’t want you to think that, you know, it’s all good all the time. It’s not, you know, but I will tell you, we both put things in place to make this a little softer. Right? Right. So when you’re talking, cause we were just talking before this, he’s, you’ve got one guy, a Alfredo who’s got 400,000 followers. You got another guy that’s got 2 million followers.

Ken McElroy (09:58):
So this is the time guys, this is a time to monetize that. And these are followers. Guys want the, you know, followers like Kiyosaki. I don’t know what he’s got now. Few million Facebook followers, right? He’s hunkering down and he said, you know, I talked to him all the time. I know you do almost every day. And he’s like, this is what I’ve been talking about. You know, it’s horrible to see people go through this. But this is exactly what I was talking about and this is why we have financial education. This is why we, we’d go for cashflow, not capital gains. This is why we do personal development. This is why we try to understand that this is why we try to understand taxes all of because of what’s happening right now. Right? It’s a great time to educate.

Blair Singer (10:44):
Yeah, well you have to get educated now because nature of the marketplace, the economies forcing you to do it. Um, and I, and I think, and there are things you can do or things you can do and I think that if you’re an entrepreneur right now, um, if you’ve got a team, it’s time to pull your team together. Okay? If you haven’t done that, you pull them together. And then the second thing is if you’re not, if you’re not selling, don’t stop selling. Now you’ve got to sell more than ever right now. Don’t cut marketing budgets that you’d be marketing, creating more exposure. Now if you are, if you’re used to face to face selling, you better learn how to work on a camera right now. Pull out your phone as are working on it so you, and you don’t have to be great, but you just have to make that change now because here’s the thing, some people will do nothing. They’ll just try to hunt her down and weather this whole thing. We’ll live off their reserves or do whatever. And that’s, and that’s okay. Now, somewhere down the road, smoke will clear, right? There’s other people, they’re gonna jump right on this thing. And in, even if what you’re doing is not necessarily the right thing right now, but you’re doing, but you’re doing the right things, but you’re not doing them perfectly yet, by the time the smoke clears, you’re gonna be so freaking far ahead

Ken McElroy (11:54):
of everybody else that was doing nothing. That this is the greatest opportunity in the world to get ahead in business right now. I know, I was talking to Curtis, you know, uh, today and um, you know, he’s like, yeah, I lost 20 million bucks in Oh eight. He goes, I literally spoke to him today. I go, yeah, I know there’s a lot of people lost a lot of money in 2008. He goes, you know what it was. I go out and he goes, practice. He goes, it’s practice for what I’m about ready to go through. Right. Because it’s true. You don’t really learn much when times are good. I mean, that’s been my experience. So, you know, when, when everybody’s making money, what are they doing? They’re buying cars or buying houses, they’re, you know, they’re doing it. They’re doing all these things that are access related but now is when everybody really learns the lessons.

Ken McElroy (12:41):
That’s right. That’s, and again that’s what I’m saying is that I work with a lot of entrepreneurs. I got a big team, we’ve got about in terms of trainers, we’ve got about 450 of them deployed around the world. I mean they’re their own business guys, they’re entrepreneurs, but they are all part of the same group and you know, working with them and pulling them together and just cross Pawnee, well this is working for you, that what’s working for you, what’s working for you and people going, I tried that to do that joint venture. Let me share your posts. And if you’ve got a network, it’s probably even if you got nothing right now, my suggestion is you jump on a network, jump on a net, become part of one part of something. Yeah. Because being alone is two problems. First of all, you gotta, you gotta lose out.

Ken McElroy (13:23):
Second thing, it’s not good for your mental health. The first sign of depression is isolation. So if you isolate yourself and say, well, I’m not going to, you know, you’re not doing your, you’re not doing your little voice and your mindset any good at all. And we, I’ve seen a lot of that right now. So if nothing else, pull your team together, creates the connection, creates energy, the energy creates confidence, et cetera, et cetera. So kind of wants walk through like, you know, there’s people, you know, going through different stages at different times, you know what I mean? What the first stage is typically shock, denial, right? Right. I mean, and so the question is, is how resilient are you? Right, right. Yeah. I mean, obviously we’re all in shock and denial, but then you have to, you have to just dust yourself off. He goes, Nope.

Ken McElroy (14:15):
You know, no one’s watching. No one cares. You know, everybody’s pretty selfish, right? So nobody’s like judging you. Nobody cares. Nobody cares. They care about themselves and what’s happening next. You know, there’s no one watching. That’s right. You know what I mean? This is your time. This is your time to do something for yourself and your family. You know, and, and it’s interesting you say that too, is that I, Robert was at work, I was at Robert’s house the other day and we’re talking about sales and he goes, okay, so if you’re going to help people with sales, what is it all boiled down to? What’s the big, what is, you know, you know how it gets in your face?

Blair Singer (14:52):
What’s the thing? No, it’s not that. No, it’s not that he’s yelling at me or the yell. Okay, so what do you want? He goes, what is it? I go, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s fucking discipline. He goes, yeah, discipline. And it just popped out. I mean, he’s brilliant that way. Right? And so, and so it’s like, he goes, explain to me, discipline. I go, well, in my life and in your life, we, all of our lives, there’s something that you’re probably very disciplined in something that you’re going to do. Cause you know, it’s the right thing. It could be your health can be working for me. It’s health, it’s working out. You know, it’s honing my personal, my personal skills and I’m really, I’m really diligent about that and studying and those things. And so then out of the question is right now, if you’re going to generate income, you got to take that discipline and that area of your life and now move it to this area of the life because that’s what’s going to keep you going.

Blair Singer (15:45):
I mean that’s what’s true for me. It’s kind of like what Mac dude said. Totally. Totally. So I’m working out with him online, right? So he’s doing everything online and he’s are the workouts now online are harder than what? I’m in his freaking studio. I’m going, he goes, he yells at me, he goes, Hey, what’s the temperature in your room? Cause he always turns it up really hot. Look, and I could lie to him, but I got to, it goes 75 turn it up to 90 right? So he’s putting, so he’s going through this workout and I’m dripping wet and I’m thinking to myself, this is what I need right now. Me, I’m not saying you, I’m saying me because it reminds me that I can do this. I can do that. I can be disciplined here, I can be disciplined there. We all know that you’re, you know, you’re the leader in that area.

Blair Singer (16:32):
How many times have you climbed Kilimanjaro? Uh, 11, 11 times. So, okay. Blair is a rockstar when it comes to health and some of you are, and some of you are not. Right? Right. And so the question is, what’s your financial health exactly? What’s your spiritual health? What’s your relationship? You know, everybody focuses on their physical health, you know, which is super important, right? Yeah. It’s a balance. Yeah. And, and you know, and different parts of your life in different times of your life, you’re gonna be called upon with a crisis or a challenge. And what I got from Mac is the only reason it’s a crisis because you kick the can down the road too long. And you and I have had this discussion more than once when you’ve been in my face and you probably just heard this guy say, I told you.

Blair Singer (17:17):
Right? But, but we all know that, and you know it at the time that you make the decision, you know, at the time that you make the wrong decision that, that you should’ve done something else. Well now it’s all on the table and now we ought to just fricking deal with it. It’s the best of times. I tell you what this time is, it’s your financial report card. That’s what it is. Totally. Yeah. Period. Yeah. So what’s your GPA? Right, right. That’s it. So I remember Robert telling me, he’s like, yeah, Blair’s working so hard, the gym and I’m

Ken McElroy (17:50):
just riding my little bike. He’s watching you run live.

Blair Singer (17:54):
Yeah. Yeah. He goes, cause he goes, uh, well what he say? He said, I’m going to be re, I’m going to always be richer than you. And I go, yeah, well I’m going to live longer than you. Yeah. So he got this back and forth and right.

Ken McElroy (18:07):
So we don’t want to make light of what’s happening guys, but I got to tell you it’s, it’s actually a healthy release. I haven’t actually talked to Blair since all this happened. And um, you know, we have friends, family businesses, all in trouble. Yeah, we do. Right. And um, you know, it’s um, everybody’s just trying to come together and learn.

Blair Singer (18:27):
Right? That’s right. And, and your education is more important than ever. Don’t sacrifice your education because right now the universe, the marketplace, your F your financial statement is talking to you. What are a couple things people can do today? Well, if you’ve got a business, let’s go there. I mean, if you got to, if you’ve got, well, no, let’s go personal first. Personally, you got to keep your little voice in order. Okay. Because it can go pretty crazy pretty quick. Uh, that’s why one of the things we’ve been doing for years is we have a Mo, if you don’t have a morning routine, you should have a morning routine. Right. Uh, how Al rod I believe was his name, wrote the book miracle morning book. Yeah. Get that and follow that system. I follow it every single morning

Ken McElroy (19:14):
without fail is important guys. You know, cause I, I now, you know, I get up, let my dogs out, I meditate. You know, I spend time on myself, I spend time on my company. I have a routine that I do every morning. I don’t, before I get on email, before I get on tax, before I do anything, I knocked this out. It’s super important to get set your mind for the day.

Blair Singer (19:35):
That’s right. Because if you don’t, this whole crisis will dictate every action

Ken McElroy (19:40):
you’ll get up, you’ll get right on the internet and you’ll start going right into panic and fear and anxiety and stress.

Blair Singer (19:45):
That’s right. So you’d have that time, you know, for me it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending upon, say with me how I go through it and I meditate for five minutes as honestly sometimes I meditate longer. Right, exactly. And you know, and then you get a workout somewhere in there, you know, I’ve got to get physical with this thing. Get your cause, your, your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. And they’re all hooked together. You change one, you change them all. So that’s, and then I have a routine at the end of the day, I sit down and I do a gratitude exercise. Part of my gratitude exercise at the end of the day, list all your wins for the day. No matter how little they are, all those wins, go to bed. Okay? So that’s the first thing that I would do. Really important. Guys, you got away, I want to put his point out, cause I’ve known you a long time.

Ken McElroy (20:32):
All of those things that you just mentioned probably took you 10 years to implement, right? I mean they sound like, Oh I’m just going to go follow this checklist. No, no. Something came painfully slow. Then it was adopted. Then the next thing

Blair Singer (20:48):
was adopted a year later, two years later. Right. You know, then we let the children read the book, what, three or four years ago, try this type of meditation or that type of meditation guys, you know, don’t think that we’re just following some checklists and all of a sudden their lives are better. I mean these are, you know, these are trial and error. That’s right. Right. That’s right. And new. The good thing about it is because we’re a team and we’re friends, he said, can’t go is why try this, check it out. Go. Yeah, I’ll try that. Check that out. I hate you. And so we vet the resources together. Yeah, check out this video. Robert probably sends me almost every day a YouTube video. I say this is a book I’m reading. You know like we have a network and this is the network we’re talking about.

Blair Singer (21:30):
You know your lifeline outside of your house. That’s right. Right. You need it guys. I’ll wake up in the morning and some, and I’ll have the rich dad advisors for example. We always have a chain of something going on. Sometimes it’s a lot of smart ass stuff, which is always good and makes you laugh. But a lot of times it’s super educational because everybody looks at the world a little bit differently. Right, exactly. And what’s the business one? So the business one is two is two things. First of all, you got to create it. Well, first of all, if you’ve got a team, pull your team together because the cause, there’s synergy there, or there’s dysfunction there, one of the two. And right now you need synergy. You need to bring them together, get them together, get them to cross pollinate resources, how they’re feeling, what’s going on, and give them tasks to do.

Blair Singer (22:13):
Give them meaningful things to do. Don’t let them sit around. I heard somebody say a real good quote the other day, go fear lives in stagnant water. That’s not a good one. That is, yeah, this is the time for leadership. Yeah, this is it. And right now you’re finding the people that that can lead. And you know, so that’s number one. Pull your team together. Number two is you must freaking sell. Don’t stop selling. And you, and on top of that is you gotta get your team to sell. We’ve always talked about this for years and years. Everybody on the team must sell. Well, now everybody’s got to sell. I mean, in my office, everybody’s got a sales quota every day. A number of calls I gotta make. Even people, you know, customer service, even my bookkeeper, she, okay, I’ll just call these people, check in with them.

Blair Singer (22:58):
How are they doing? I was there any way we can help them. How can we support them? You’ve got to keep that flowing out there. Um, because this is a, you know, we talk, we call them touch points, right? Yeah. How many times we’re not trying to, you know, you’re not necessarily trying to sell them on anything. You’re trying to keep the relationship. That’s right. Let them know your existing clients right now guys are gold. Exactly right. Goal. Yeah. Some of the other thing is, is that sometimes when you’re selling in these days, you’re not just selling your coaching. You’re actually coaching your clients. You know, cause some of them, they’re sitting on the edge, right? They’re like, well, I don’t know what we going to do. So you’re not just selling your product or your service to them. You’re actually coaching them. So how’s it going on for you?

Blair Singer (23:42):
How can I support you? What’s going on here? I saw this video over here. Can I send it to you? Will that help you? How can I support you? How can I support you? That’s it. You know, and I even have people that go, well, I don’t have anything to sell. Okay, here’s, I’m going to give you one other thing to do. If you don’t have anything to sell, go out and help somebody. Just help somebody serve some, find something that people want and need and help them get it, which is basically all sales is anyway, and there’s a tremendous amount of gratitude around.

Ken McElroy (24:09):
What a great episode. I hope you learn something new from today’s guest. For full show notes, check out Ken macra.com if you enjoyed the episode, then jump on iTunes, subscribe and leave a five star review. Also, if you can check me out at Ken McElroy official on Instagram for daily real estate advice. See you next week.

Tenant Screening Tips

There are many tenant screening tips that can be beneficial to you long term in the real estate business. When looking for tenants to rent your properties, you want to be sure that they are individuals that you want to be able to form a professional relationship, often long term. You want to be able to trust many factors, that they will treat your property with respect, pay their rent on time and not cause you any unnecessary issues while they are a tenant in your property.

Key Tips

There are some tips that I can give you when interviewing with new tenants that you may not have previously thought of. One that may not come to mind for everyone is to walk the applicants back out to their car after you speak with them. If they keep an unkept vehicle, they will commonly treat your property the same way. Also, instead of asking them whether or not they have an animal, ask them how many animals that they have. This is a good way to catch them off guard because if they do have animals, they will assume that you already know about them. Do not let them try to assure you that their animal lives elsewhere, this will not be the case. The animal will live on the property that you are leasing and should be tied to the application as such.

Background Checks

Background checks are extremely important when verifying possible tenants for your properties. Always, with no exceptions, do a credit and a background check on any tenant and all adults that will be possibly occupying your properties. Do not accept anyone that has a history of being a felon to rent at any of your properties. They will normally violate your HOA and cause general problems for you and your property. You will also need to be up to date on other laws in your areas concerning things such as service dogs. Service dog laws are generally different state by state. There are only certain animals that will be considered a service animal by the state and they need to have the proper papers in order as well. You subsequently cannot charge them any kind
of additional deposit or pet rent for any service animal.

Conclusion

Understanding these initial key tips for screening possible tenants will help you long term find the best tenants and save you headaches down the road. Paying attention to the small details in the beginning is a good way to make sure that you will have the right tenants moving in in the first place and be able to move forward with a rental agreement with less issues to worry about during their lease period. This may seem like a lot of paperwork in the short term, but there will be even more paperwork in the long term if you do not take these steps from the start of the process. This is also a good reason to look into possibly hiring a solid management company for your properties to handle all of the screening for you.

Having a solid lease is your best game plan

Having a solid lease in play from the very beginning for each one of your tenants is the best game plan you can have as a property owner. You want to make sure that your lease is one professionally. This is an extremely important document and should be created by your personal attorney. This is not a document that you want to simply pull off of the internet and call it a day. This lease is the only leverage that you have over your tenant if they decide to stop paying you. The lease also needs to be concurrent with your specific state laws for the state in which the property is located.

Roommates and Lease Agreements

Make sure that if you do have a situation where roommates are sharing a property that you are renting out that they are all held equally responsible for maintaining the lease agreement. This makes sure that both parties are also responsible for their credit as well when it comes to the property agreement. Set standards strictly in your lease agreement for terms concerning smoking inside of the property as well.

Pet Laws and Service Animals

Make sure that you have strict pet laws in your agreements as well. You need to specify the types of animals that you allow to live on your property and also what deposit or pet rent will be charged for the pets to reside there as well. Make sure that you are up to date with service animal laws for your state and follow the correct laws to allow those with proper paperwork to have service animals with them in the properties that they rent.

The importance of being thorough

You want to be detailed, even overly detailed if necessary, when it comes to your tenants and the lease that they will sign to rent one of your properties. You want to be sure to go over the lease with them before they sign so that both of you are certain that there is a clear understanding of the agreement. You do not want to leave any room for any misunderstandings in the future. By being properly prepared, you are in the best position to protect your property and yourself if you have any future problems with your tenants including but not limited to them paying their rent.

Conclusion

Conclusively, a lease agreement is the most important part of the transaction concerning your property and the tenant or tenants that will be residing in it. You need to be fully informed of what they are signing and so do they so that there are no accusations of a misunderstanding in the future. You want to be absolutely certain that your tenants will be in full understanding and compliance with the lease that they sign with your property management company.