A Podcast | Gail Phillips
Pete Neubig: [00:00:05] Welcome back, everybody, to the Open Radio podcast. And I'm excited. As promised, I got Gail Phillips, executive officer, CEO and all around extraordinaire here. Gail, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today.
Gail Phillips: [00:00:20] Pete, it's always wonderful to join you. Thank you.
Pete Neubig: [00:00:24] So Gail, you are the chief executive officer of Nordstrom, but you work for a company called OMG Management. Can you tell our listeners what the relationship is between OMG and Northam?
Gail Phillips: [00:00:35] Sure. Be delighted to. So our company, organization management group is a management company, just like the property management companies managed properties. We manage associations and people. So the relationship we have is we take care of all the back end operations for Northam so the volunteers can do their job. Yes, they serve on committees. They do things like that. But our staff in the back on the back end takes care of the day to day operations. So Northam contracts with us to do this. They pick what services they wish to use. And then my job as CEO is to oversee and make sure that everything they want done gets accomplished. So it is. Yes, go.
Pete Neubig: [00:01:28] Ahead. Okay. So what are some of the other resources that that Northam has access to by by, you know, by contracting with OMG?
Gail Phillips: [00:01:36] Well, the probably the most significant one right now is our legislative strategies group, which is Tyler Craddick and Troy, who they work go work right now a lot in Washington, D.C. but we'll talk about that later. We also have a division called Meeting Strategies, which are meeting strategies is we have three event planners that help in putting together the conferences, the conventions, the trade shows. They're professionals. They have designations. So that's what they're trained in doing. We also have, of course, our core management services, which is the support, the member support myself, we have a deputy executive director and we just added the communication public relations position with Victoria Hecht, who is pushing out all the social media and taking care of improving our communications. And then we also have our graphics department and our websites and they take care of making sure that Northam looks good, that we stay with our branding, that everything's taken care of as Northam wants, along with maintaining the website.
Pete Neubig: [00:02:58] Yeah. So it's a nice symbiotic relationship where we have our volunteers and they do some of the work, but the heavy lifting is really done by your team over at OMG.
Gail Phillips: [00:03:09] Absolutely. We make sure we're there with the volunteers on every committee meeting and if they can't do it, we find people who can help and assisting with everything. And this year we've had our plate very full. Guess last year going into our second year because of the strategic plan.
Pete Neubig: [00:03:30] I also know that you guys have virtual assistants now to help the local chapters. Right.
Gail Phillips: [00:03:37] So and, and, and I have to say, Pete, it was a discussion that you and I had that made us realize that. Why hadn't we thought of this earlier?
Pete Neubig: [00:03:47] Remember that little fingerprint on my. My fingerprints are all over. Northam Gail. Right. That's right.
Gail Phillips: [00:03:52] That's right. And actually has been the chapters who have adopted the virtual assistant really aren't understanding the benefit that they bring. And hopefully members know that Northam is paying for that. Northam National is fully funding those virtual assistants. Nothing is being paid by the chapters unless they want additional services.
Pete Neubig: [00:04:16] Yeah. And if you're listening to this and you are on a local chapter board and you're not taking advantage of the virtual assistants, reach out to the team at Northam and they will help you get plugged in. Is that is that correct?
Gail Phillips: [00:04:27] Absolutely. Chapter firstname.lastname@example.org will take care of it for you.
Pete Neubig: [00:04:32] There you go. Chapter support at npr.org. Email them. Awesome. Yes. So, Gail, how long have you been the CEO for Northam?
Gail Phillips: [00:04:41] Well, I was our management company was hired in 2005 for the convention. I was supposed to be the interim, and.
Pete Neubig: [00:04:53] You still might be the interim. It just might be a 20 year interim gig.
Gail Phillips: [00:04:56] Thanks to Mark Banner. I'm still here. But no, it's been an interesting and fun ride. It's been really great to see how Northam has grown. And I will have to tell you, you know, people talk about Northam having money. When we were hired, they had $250,000 in reserves, and that was it. And one of our charges was we had to build up the reserves to make sure if we ran into that rainy day or needed to support our chapters or to do whatever we had, that those funds available. And I think we've done a pretty good job of doing that.
Pete Neubig: [00:05:31] Nice. And just that's a great takeaway. If you listen to this and you are a business owner, you know, how much do you have in your reserves? How many months can you go? If we hit a rainy day like we did almost in 2020, you know, where there was a lockdown and we all thought that we're going to have a big rainy day. And so some of us it was. So, Gail, you're probably the the perfect person to ask. I know there's some old timers out there like Dave Holt and Mike Mangini, guys like that. But can you give us a little brief history of Northam at all? I mean.
Gail Phillips: [00:06:02] Sure. Actually, I can give you it has been shared with me by Dave Holt and the older folks. You know, Northam was formed because they felt they weren't getting any services for property management and with some of the organizations that were already established. So in the beginning days, they would do what you call fly ins. They would fly in, they would go to the Yellow Pages, rip out the pages with all the property management companies and start calling them and inviting them to come meet with them and let's form chapters. And that was the way it started.
Pete Neubig: [00:06:39] Yes. Yes. Started that way.
Gail Phillips: [00:06:40] Yes. Good. Talk to some of them. They'll tell you. And this core group of about I think it was about 15. Really built the organization and the base of the organization was education. As you know, that really is the stronghold of of NRP is our education and our two designations, our two major designations. So they have built on those and we have built on those over the years to improve. But that was the core reason that they formed NRP. Then they added the conference. After Northam had been formed for a year. They added the convention, which was a great way for them to get together, to share, to network.
Pete Neubig: [00:07:24] You didn't have to go to different cities. They had everybody come to them at that point. Yeah.
Gail Phillips: [00:07:29] Well, there were so few then they could pick where they want to go. Right. So they so then the convention.
Pete Neubig: [00:07:35] Nobody on Facebook at the time because Facebook doesn't didn't exist can say I hate going to Vegas or I don't want to go to Hawaii. Wah wah.
Gail Phillips: [00:07:42] You know the word advantages. But you're absolutely right. And from there, they added the magazine. And so they continually added things. And as they added, they grew. They grew in in certain markets. You know, they really started.
Pete Neubig: [00:08:00] Out managing all of this themselves at the time. Yeah. Oh, yes.
Gail Phillips: [00:08:04] Absolutely. And and then if you ever talk to Bob Machado, he'll tell you about how many management companies he had to go fire or who fired them or whatever.
Pete Neubig: [00:08:15] Bob Machado out of Sacramento, is that right?
Gail Phillips: [00:08:17] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there there are really some fun stories to hear about the beginning of of. But this core group was dedicated and they still are the ones who are still very much involved or dedicated to the organization. And no, that is a good thing. You know, they share. I have never seen an organization that is so caring and shares so much with each other, and they're there to help. You know, you hear stories about when there's hurricanes or damages or floods, as you all saw in Texas and how the friends and affiliates just jump right in and help. And they I can.
Pete Neubig: [00:08:57] Attest to that. When we had Hurricane Harvey come through, I had 3 or 4 phone calls from all from different parts of the of the country saying, you know, if you need us to answer phones for you, if you whatever you need from us, we're we're there to help. And they were genuine. They weren't just calling to say, hey, you know, they were calling us. They had like an action plan in place, which was amazing.
Gail Phillips: [00:09:18] And then, too, they helped the new members. You look at these conventions and our new members are the numbers are really have been growing that are attending and the members who help each other, how the ones who have established businesses will sit down and help them. And that's really not seen a whole lot in some of the larger organizations.
Pete Neubig: [00:09:41] By the way, a side note, we should have a breakout session with all the old Northam guys and like literally just having coffee, just having stories about what it was like in the old days. I think that would be a fascinating maybe around the bar, around whiskey, but it would be fascinating. How many new members do we have going to broker owner? I thought I saw over 100.
Gail Phillips: [00:10:00] Yeah, probably. So I have not seen the numbers. I know we have over 500 registered right now for broker owner. But yes, we probably have well over 100, particularly when you look at the discussion on social media. You know, it's really exciting to see when someone puts out a message and says, you know, there's a lot of conferences out there, which one should I go to? And broker owner always turns out to be number one, and that's one of those babies has been formed since OMG took over management and it just came from an idea of several members and myself sitting together and said we need to bring something to just our brokers to be able to help them where their staff isn't at the meeting, where they can talk with fellow business owners. So that's what's made this event so successful.
Pete Neubig: [00:10:53] I'll tell you a personal story. When I first started going to broker, owner and National, I would write down all the tasks and all the learnings I got at broker owner, and I do my best to get them implemented before National. And then I would learn, I would get all my tasks and learnings at National. I'd do all my best to get them to to finish them, complete them before broker owner because I was learning so much, especially the early days, the first five years, I would have a notebook full of of information and ideas and I literally built Empire Industries on broker, owner and national that.
Gail Phillips: [00:11:30] And how how did your staff react? Can tell you there's many brokers you say they come back and their staff like oh my gosh here they go because they have all these new things to implement. But that was.
Pete Neubig: [00:11:41] Our culture from the very beginning. We were going to implement an all new stuff. So they like, they think they were numb to it some. If you didn't like it, you left and that was okay, you know? Right, Right. It's not for the it was not for the the timid, that's for sure. Empire was not an easy place to to work with. All right. So Northam's vision is to be the recognized leader in the residential property management industry. So how is Northam the leader and what is being done in Auburn today to stay as the leader in the space?
Gail Phillips: [00:12:09] Well, that's a great question, particularly for right now.
Pete Neubig: [00:12:11] The big boy question. That's like it is Letterman.
Gail Phillips: [00:12:15] So is Tom.
Pete Neubig: [00:12:16] Brokaw. Sorry.
Gail Phillips: [00:12:18] As you know, in the past few years, Northam has become very legislatively involved. The other thing, when our management company was hired, you did not mention legislation or legislative or governmental affairs. It just wasn't heard of. So as we started meeting with incoming presidents and our governmental affairs director would go with them to DC for a little one on one meeting with their legislators. And we've grown and it's grown. So now we do our little legislative conference. But what happens is we now have made enough impact that DC is asking us to join in. The White House is asking our opinions. Hud is was probably our biggest. When in DC. With all of the pet screening, all the pet issues, everything that was going on, because they actually came to us. Wow. And said, you know, how can you help? And thanks to our members, we surveyed our members and got stories about how these. Pet pigs, whatever were impacting their properties and how things were happening for renting. And we gave those to HUD. And HUD was amazed. They thought it was just dogs and cats. And it was surprising when they read the story of the chicken and the pig and the and they said, we had no idea. And we said, you know, that's that's the that is real life. Well, we're doing that right now. So we're collecting Section eight stories. We have a website where we're collecting Section eight stories for something very similar.
Pete Neubig: [00:14:04] So what's that URL?
Gail Phillips: [00:14:06] Sure, it is my section eight story.com. And what we're asking people to do is to share their stories good, bad, whatever story they have, we're asking them to share it on this website. We're collecting this data and we'll be using that when we go talk to the legislators, whatever we need with the section eight, we're going to be using these stories. So we're trying to collect it. It's open to everyone, not just in Arpa members. So anyone who has a Section eight story, we encourage you to go there. Again, my Section eight story.com.
Pete Neubig: [00:14:50] And so what are we trying to do? Just give just try as normal as an organization, we're trying to just give the Section eight housing authority some just some information so they can make better decisions.
Gail Phillips: [00:15:02] Well, it's the whole housing issue that we're dealing with. You know, we want to make Section eight better. We want to make it so it you know, in some areas it works really well. Some areas property managers wouldn't even consider using Section eight. So we want them we want the government to understand why. We want them to understand the issues that people have with using Section eight. And even in the areas where things are working, why is it working? So it's our way of helping them to understand, just like we did earlier, to help them and understanding what exactly is happening with Section eight, you know, because they're not involved with it like you all are. So as you ask about the impact, that's probably the biggest thing we're doing right now as far as protecting our members and getting our name out. So that is a huge leap for them. We have an office in DC. We said we do a day on the Hill. We do a lot legislatively in getting our name out. We're also working in making sure the education we set up, what was it, three years ago, the accounting standards to help our companies in running their accounting. And if you're a member, we will share with you all the information on how to set up your books. Things like we set up those standards, the codes and everything. This past year we hired a company and we did benchmarking where we can actually show where you should be within your company.
Gail Phillips: [00:16:45] Again, paid for this study to be done to help our companies raise their bar. And that is to show them where should you be in your operations, where what should your line items be? So this is been very important. The companies have grabbed them. Many of them have taken full advantage of the accounting standards and are really using them. And, of course, our education, our education platform, our classes are rewritten every three years to keep them current. We're getting ready, hoping all goes well in April to approve a new certification. And it's going to be for the accounting standards certification so that companies can get those and that So when somebody is dealing with your if you get a client, you can say, I have this certification because I'm using the accounting standards, you'll have to take classes. There'll be things set up for you to for companies to do. So we're trying to raise the bar on how our members operate their companies. You know, a lot of our companies are small, as you know. They're they're what we call mom and pops or the smaller companies, and we're there to help them. Our vendors are great. We have some super vendors who are always willing to help, and so they're trying to invest, help the members invest back into themselves.
Pete Neubig: [00:18:22] I think it's a you know, some main points is you're fighting for our cause on the legislative front. You're gathering data so that we know where we stand and you're creating a standardization so that we can all look at the numbers. You know, the same way. I remember my first my first year in Northam, we tried to do a comparison. Everybody put in their PNL and all that stuff. And that that went that went over like a fart in an elevator. And now it's the normal accounting standards. Now we can actually see the data, looks, looks, you know, now it's all conformed. And now you can get a great idea of what your, you know, cost per blah, blah, blah or your, your revenue per per door or whatever it is. So yeah, great.
Gail Phillips: [00:19:03] I will I will tell you that some of the firms who have purchased other firms that accounting standard help them in knowing exactly what they were looking at when they went into these other firms.
Pete Neubig: [00:19:15] Right. So if you asked so if you're buying or selling, you can probably increase your overall asking price by going to the accounting standards.
Gail Phillips: [00:19:24] Absolutely.
Pete Neubig: [00:19:25] So. Northam National Northam puts on two flagship events each year, the national and the broker owner. Now, we believe that. Gail, Some people think that Gail is the one who creates all the speakers. And so I will say this. Gail was not responsible for Vanilla Ice at National. And if you weren't there, if you're there, you know, and if you weren't there, good thing you weren't there. That's all I'm going to say. So tell us tell the listeners, how are the venues, the speakers and the topics? How do they how does that all get picked? Is it OMG, that does it well, who actually does all that stuff?
Gail Phillips: [00:20:02] Well, let's start with the venues. So as you heard, we have a meetings division, but the hotel selections, we actually use an outside company to help us with that, who is a national firm. So they know all the hotels. They can go out, they can touch all the hotels. So we're on a rotation basis. So we move across the country back and forth and we have size limitations. We have spaces we have to to to choose. So the big thing is we need to make sure we touch our members. So we really want to stay in areas where we can reach the most members. So that's how we choose a venue. We go out, we bring in five RFPs, we bring in five properties. We narrowed them down, we go back, we renegotiate, we work with the executive committee, and then we negotiate and we narrow it down. And then they say between these two, whichever you can get the best program with. So that's how we choose the the site.
Pete Neubig: [00:21:07] And you try to move around the country because you want members to be closer at times. Is that right?
Gail Phillips: [00:21:12] Right. Because East Coast people sometimes won't fly West Coast and west coast to East Coast. It just happens. So we want to make sure that we rotate wherever they can get to.
Pete Neubig: [00:21:23] And then can you talk a little bit about the difference between the venues for national and the venues for broker owner?
Gail Phillips: [00:21:30] Sure. So a couple of years ago, as you well know, Nabil made the decision to change the venues around. The convention used to be what we call resorts, the nicer properties. We had brokers who came with us and said, I would rather go to the nicer resort as a broker owner and then bring more of my staff to the convention and go to a hotel to more of a well, a hotel setup. So that's what we did. The the it was switched. So now the broker owner events go to the higher end hotels has more to do around it for the brokers and owners. And then for the convention, we try to do what we call convention hotels. They're hotels that have meeting space within it, but they're basically a hotel.
Pete Neubig: [00:22:24] But a little bit a little bit cheaper, not.
Gail Phillips: [00:22:27] More affordable, so that they can bring their staff if they wish. So that change was made. Uh, whether, you know, everyone didn't agree with it, but it, it it's working right now. And if we.
Pete Neubig: [00:22:42] Recall the national stuff, we're trying to put more in the center of the country as well so more people can get there. Is that.
Gail Phillips: [00:22:48] Well, well, if we have to like right now we're having an issue I no, no one will believe this. But with Covid, a lot of associations had to cancel their meetings. Right. During Covid. Some cancelled them for two years. Well, guess what happened has happening in 2025, all those meetings that were canceled in 2020, 2021, even 2022, are now being booked in 2025. We cannot find a hotel where we were supposed to be for 2025. Wow. So we are a.
Pete Neubig: [00:23:23] Backlog and now everything is full.
Gail Phillips: [00:23:26] Wow. So we actually went to five different locations to find a hotel that would handle the space that we needed. And we think we have one. I'm not saying a word about where it is, and we're going to hopefully. Be there in 2025, which is a which is off of our rotation, but we didn't have a choice. So that's our other issue right now.
Pete Neubig: [00:23:50] Are looking at venues for 2025. Now in 2023, we've.
Gail Phillips: [00:23:54] Actually been instructed to go to 2027 because they're the hotels are so hard to find right now and the prices are going up so much.
Pete Neubig: [00:24:05] Maybe we can just get one big, big Airbnb and have everybody there.
Gail Phillips: [00:24:08] You know, for a community of Airbnbs. There you go.
Pete Neubig: [00:24:12] All right. So, okay, so that's kind of venues. So talk about speakers and topics.
Gail Phillips: [00:24:17] This is really the exciting part and I'm going to.
Pete Neubig: [00:24:20] Get through the vetting process is everybody's on everybody's mind. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.
Gail Phillips: [00:24:25] Well, you have to ask the committee because, you know, So Gail does have yes, I do have final say on certain things within the committee, but we let the members pick the programming because you all know they the members know what the members want. At least so. See you're going to see things change this year. Broker Owner. If you attended broker owner, you'll see that what Scott Brady and his team did was make a decision that they were going to pick the topics and then pick the speakers. Normally what has happened in the past is Northam put out a call for presentation. Everybody dumped in their presentations, and they look at the presentations and you're and you have to submit videos and all of that. And then from that, they pick the presentations. Well, what's going to start happening now? At the end of every event, there's going to be a question in the survey that says, What hot topics do you feel need to be covered at the next event, a next convention, next broker owner. And that should drive the topics and the presentations that are going to be happening at the convention. Of course, in a year, six months, things can change. The the the committee will need to be flexible enough to be able to pick up those new topics. Right. So that's how you know and and truthfully, I get calls from members over things that I didn't even know were coming up. The pipe line. And so I will tell the committee chair or our staff, hey, see if you can find somebody on this, if this could be something of interest. I don't tell them to do it. I give them the suggestion and then they talk about it and it's their decision. Vanilla Ice. We do contract for outside speakers. Doo doo.
Pete Neubig: [00:26:21] Doo doo.
Gail Phillips: [00:26:23] I did get to meet him, but we do contract for outside speakers. A broker owner. They are to be business speakers. They are not motivational speakers. They use three speakers. Three outside speakers. Okay. Convention. It's the same thing. Think they have a couple more but. And theirs can be motivational. They are to watch the videos. They are to vet them. Well, when you vet sometimes a national speaker such as, for example, Vanilla Ice, what you're seeing could be different than what you get. I mean, it's just it's just going to happen. Right. We were very fortunate, um, when we brought in another big name speaker that he really did a great job. He did exactly what he said he was going to do. He was a business speaker and a lot of people got a lot out of him. It doesn't always happen. Got it.
Pete Neubig: [00:27:16] Well, I appreciate you putting some some color to that. By the way. I was actually one of the people who thought Vanilla Ice was a good pick because he you know, he does his he does that Vanilla Ice project and he was real estate related. And he's been in front of people before as an entertainer. I thought he'd be great. And yeah, guess guess great ones have off days.
Gail Phillips: [00:27:39] And and honestly, that's what the committee thought too because he has his flipping program because he when you heard him, he owns a lot of investment properties. That's truly what the committee thought too. Yeah. So I think when the whole presentation was done, what they expected and what we got were two different things. And it happens. It happens.
Pete Neubig: [00:28:02] All right, so how about how many members does Northam have now and what are the latest marketing initiatives to drive membership? What have we been doing that's working?
Gail Phillips: [00:28:12] Sure. So we're right around 6000. We just finished our dues billing, so we're down a little bit. Um, as far as as. I don't know if you remember, because they your listeners may not know. Pete used to be an MVP and served on the board of directors. As we ask on every application, how did you become a member? How did you learn about knaapo? And 70% of them is member to member. A member referred them. A member told them about it. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. So it's very, very important that chapters that when they have chapter meetings that they're inviting members. So we really push grants to our chapters. You know, we give them to different growth grants that they can use to hold meetings. We push things to them to try to bring the members in. We probably are not marketing as strongly as we used to going to other trade shows because we've taken that money, we've put it into Vas, we've put it into grants, we put it into other things right now. So that's the big things. We rely a lot on our affiliates too. They're a big help with us growing our members and it's and it's really amazing to hear members talk to each other. So, you know, Northam is is pretty steady. You know, they don't do any wild growth. It's pretty steady every year. And since the first of the year, we probably have had our biggest growth because we grew about 400 people and about two and a half months.
Pete Neubig: [00:29:54] I think as you see more legislation coming into the industry, people are going to gravitate towards being part of a an organization, especially now that we've not pivoted to really being the forerunner on on legislation for property management.
Gail Phillips: [00:30:10] Yeah, absolutely. So and I think.
Pete Neubig: [00:30:13] Talk talk a little bit about these grants real quick. So again, if you're on the if you're if you're on a local chapter, there are grants that Northam National will give the local chapter funds to to have membership initiatives, membership drives. Is that correct? Right.
Gail Phillips: [00:30:29] Yep. So we'll if a chapter decides they want to do a trade show, for example, with a neighboring association, we have $1,000 grant that they can use to help underwrite that trade show so they can apply for that if they just if they want to do advertising, we have a $500 grant that they can use for advertising. When they do membership events. We have to they can do apply for two $500 grants to help underwrite either bringing in a speaker, bringing in covering the venue, covering some of those costs for two different events to help grow membership. So these grants are specifically for chapters. We have now an advocacy grant the chapters can use for growing their legislative programs because that's the other area. We want chapters to grow is within their the legislative arena.
Pete Neubig: [00:31:29] All right, Gal, we're going to give you the microphone here. You're you know, you're going to have. You have the microphone, what is what is 1 or 2 things that you would like to say to the members that are listening and the people that are on the fence that maybe not members yet, but they found the podcast. Is there any anything you want to let people know?
Gail Phillips: [00:31:50] Well, Pete. None of them really does. Listen to the members, you know. The last year and a half, we've gone through a tremendous strategic plan. And that strategic plan came from the members because we heard that people thought Northam wasn't being transparent enough. So we went hired a facilitator, so Northam wasn't doing it themselves. And he went out and talked to the members, found out what the members wanted and came back. And we built our strategic plan around that. And this past year and a half. Northam And the committees have worked diligently in trying to accomplish.
Pete Neubig: [00:32:29] Can you share one of that strategic plan?
Gail Phillips: [00:32:32] Sure, I'll be happy to. So one of them you know what the big discussion was, our election process. And how it's handled. So a task force was put together. Eric Wetherington shared it out of Charleston, South Carolina. And the and the reason is he was a good person. Eric knows how to research, so he had a great task force put together and they researched how other organizations do um, elections. The American Society of Association Executives, he, they got reading material from them and they spent the time in researching it. And, you know, I have to be honest, the process is going to change some, but not the election. It's still going to be you're not going to you're still going to have one candidate. It's still going to be a slated election. But you have a write ins. They reduce the number of people needed to have to sign a petition to be a write in. So they did that. And that came from and the nominating committee, when they're interviewing the candidates, are going to know who's on the nominating committee. And that's the transparency because they said it wasn't transparent enough. We said fine. The committee said, fine, we're going to let you know. You know. And so they looked at that and they really researched it. They really studied to make sure that what they were doing was within line with the industry. The other thing that we've done is we've looked at both the convention and the broker owner.
Gail Phillips: [00:34:07] There were two task forces formed to keep those events relevant. And the recommendations from broker owner are coming to the board at this upcoming board meeting and we'll see. Hopefully they'll all be adopted. And there's some really exciting changes that will be coming out of it. Convention was pretty much you know, there were a few things like how to vet our affiliates for teaching classes, how to do to to make sure that the courses coming out are relevant. But the one thing that came out of both of them is every three years, Northam needs a study the relevancy of their events. So that was a big step for them. We're forming an at large chapter, so we have a lot of at large members who don't have a chapter. So the member Services Committee. Uh, formed a or got approved the formation of an at large chapter. So they're in the process of trying to put the final bows around that so that it'll be totally virtual. It'll run under Norfolk National, so there won't be any corporate stuff, but where members who do not belong to chapter can still get education, can still get networking, can still get the benefits from from belonging to a chapter, which is huge. And of course, our biggest struggle, as you know, has been our chapters. We have the good, we have those that are struggling.
Gail Phillips: [00:35:43] But chapters are very important to them. And our state chapters, we're supporting them and putting on their state conferences. And those are also very important. And anyone who's listening to this, if you have not looked into them, go talk to member, go talk to people in your market and find out exactly what is the benefit to them. Because I hear from our members that if it wasn't for them, they wouldn't be in business today. If it wasn't for going to an event and learning from our vendors. What's the newest thing out there or learning from our members? The accounting standards or learning from each other or taking a designation course? Our designation courses. Thanks to Covid have turned virtual a lot of them. And it was interesting the other day, you know what I heard, Pete? We had a guy who took a class classroom because everyone says classroom is the best because you can talk to each other. And then he took a classroom virtually. He said the virtual class was so nice because he had people from all across the country in that class so he didn't have to learn just about his market. He learned about other markets and he said he learned more in that virtual class from hearing what other people had to say. And that is Northam. Northam is member sharing with members the networking and the friendships that are formed.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:12] I'll take it one step further. If you're a property manager running a business and you're not a member and you're not learning from the organization and the membership, you will be out of business in. In no time. Northam is like the secret weapon. It's like it's like the Batman utility belt. Whatever you need, you go into your. Northam Utility Belt and outcomes and answer or a vendor or, you know, just, you know, or standards or whatever it is. But there's an answer. Somebody in the organization has already dealt with what you've dealt with, and you will get that and you'll get that answer.
Gail Phillips: [00:37:47] So that's the cool thing with Northam Peak is if we don't have it, we'll help you find it. Exactly. I've had more people who have called me or emailed me or looking for things, and I may not know where it is, but I can find it. We just started a short term rental mastermind group because of a session at a convention and people who came up and said, We need more of this. So now we have a monthly short term rental mastermind group that who would ever have thought of a year and a half, two years ago?
Pete Neubig: [00:38:22] I'll never forget when we were at we were at strategic planning, you and I and the board and you hand me a phone. Pete, I need you to talk to this guy. And it was I think somebody in North Carolina just went through like a major storm. And I'm like, Yeah. And I sent him all my documentation, sent him everything I had because we had gone through the storm and I created literally like what we did to survive the storm. And I believe it helped him. I hope it did. But again, how are you going to get that? How are you going to get that person who's been there, done that and then share they share all that information. And that really is. Northam In a nutshell, Absolutely. All right, Gail, we're going to go to a quick commercial break and then we're going to go to the Lightning Round. All right, you ready? Favorite time. We'll be right back.
Gail Phillips: [00:39:06] Everybody is good. Thank you, Pete.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:13] Welcome back, everybody. We're we're at the lightning round. Gayle, you're in the hot seat. Are you ready?
Gail Phillips: [00:39:18] No.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:21] I'll be easy on you. What is one piece of advice you'd give someone just starting out in the business?
Gail Phillips: [00:39:27] Join Northam Even if you only have one piece of property. Join them. Find people to connect with. Find areas. Yes.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:36] I'm going to give my friend Paula Cleveland. I'm going to give my friend Paula Cleveland a shout out. She joined Nottingham at zero Properties.
Gail Phillips: [00:39:42] There you go. There you go.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:45] Does Pineapple belong on pizza?
Gail Phillips: [00:39:47] No. You're a definite. You don't put fruit on anyway.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:55] Agreed. What was your first job?
Gail Phillips: [00:40:00] I worked in a florist at Dulles Airport.
Pete Neubig: [00:40:03] Really? At the airport?
Speaker3: [00:40:04] Yeah.
Pete Neubig: [00:40:06] What is your ideal vacation?
Gail Phillips: [00:40:08] Uh, everyone knows that I love the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We go down to Rodanthe for two weeks every year, and I just love it.
Pete Neubig: [00:40:20] What is something that most people don't know about you?
Gail Phillips: [00:40:23] I'm an open book. I don't really. Couldn't tell.
Pete Neubig: [00:40:28] You don't have anything. I mean, your life is on. Your life is on TikTok.
Gail Phillips: [00:40:32] Facebook.
Gail Phillips: [00:40:33] Yeah, I have a grandson. I just adore my three year old grandson. And we have a great time together. So he loves his Gigi.
Pete Neubig: [00:40:42] Uh, other than the podcast, is there another podcast that you listen to or that you could recommend?
Gail Phillips: [00:40:48] Never.
Gail Phillips: [00:40:49] It's only. Yours. No, honestly.
Pete Neubig: [00:40:53] Not. No idea. We're doing the lightning round. Uh, if, um. What book are you currently reading or what is one that's impacted your business or life?
Gail Phillips: [00:41:05] Hold on. You gave me this last time and I couldn't find the book. Hold on, hold on. Where'd it go?
Pete Neubig: [00:41:12] Oh, so that is true. Gail is a repeat guest on the show. We we have Gail once a year to talk all things Nahum. What's the book, Gail?
Gail Phillips: [00:41:23] So it was go giver, go giver leaders go Givers.
Pete Neubig: [00:41:26] That's a great book.
Gail Phillips: [00:41:27] Eric Witherington's book when he was president and it was a book I really got a lot out of.
Pete Neubig: [00:41:34] I agree. The Go Giver was a great book. And then I'll give you the last question here. Prefer dogs or cats?
Gail Phillips: [00:41:41] Dogs.
Pete Neubig: [00:41:42] I know you're a dog person best. All right. Well, Gail, if somebody wants to join Northam, where do they how do they do it?
Gail Phillips: [00:41:51] Sure, It's very easy. You go to W-w-w dot northam.org/join or you send an email to info at Northam. Org. And our staff will be more than happy to help you out.
Pete Neubig: [00:42:07] Or you can call them. (800) 782-3452. And if you, if you feel like you need remote team members to help you with your business, please think of VPN solutions. Vpn Solutions.com. Gail, thank you so much for being here today. Everybody have a great rest of your day.
Gail Phillips: [00:42:27] Thanks, Pete.
A Podcast | Gail Phillips
Get ready for a great episode of the NARPM Podcast, hosted by Pete Neubig, as he dives deep into the world of property management with Gail Phillips, CEO of NARPM and mastermind behind OMG Management. Gail takes us on a journey through NARPM's remarkable history, shedding light on their vision. Tune in to learn how NARPM stays ahead of the game and hear about the incredible benefits that await potential members.
Gail has 38 years of association management experience. She has led many organizations. She has managed to increase their bottom line through efficiencies and enabled the volunteers to free up their time to be more productive and work on strategic issues within their organizations. Along with being the NARPM CEO, she oversees the association management side of the management company (Organization Management Group) while working with the other executive directors to assist all of their clients. Gail graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in merchandising and a minor in general business. She has completed numerous certificate programs in association management, marketing, code of ethics, professional standards and association structures. She hold the CAE (Certified Association Executive) designation through the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
Gail fills her free time by spending it with family and, in the summer, hanging around the pool with neighbors. She also enjoys shopping and the time she spends on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.