A Podcast | Larry Frawley:
Pete Neubig: [00:00:04] All right. Welcome back, everybody. So I have Larry Frawley here. So, Larry, just want to say thank you so much for being here and willing to be coached on a podcast. So we really appreciate that, you know, this opportunity, this unique opportunity. But just thanks for being here. Oh, my gosh.
Larry Frawley: [00:00:23] Thank you. This is Pete, this is one of the highlights of my year, I will tell you that. And that's and that's not being funny is kind of.
Pete Neubig: [00:00:30] Set low Larry.
[00:00:31] No, no, no. That's actually being very, very truthful. So awesome.
Pete Neubig: [00:00:35] All right. So I prepped the audience before you came on and we're going to do kind of a coaching session. So just to just go back a little bit. So you when did you join Naropa and when did you buy the company, the property management firm? And then most importantly, why did you get into this crazy business? Why did you want to be a property manager when you had 20 years of brokerage experience?
Larry Frawley: [00:00:55] Yeah. There you go. All great questions. So, uh, my wife and I, Alice, we bought the company back in June of 2022, and ironically, it was a company, Pete, that was at my brokerage here now before my path around the system back actually when you guys part of empire was here I guess before that when I was over in South Carolina. So ironically and that company got sold and then it got sold again to me and I bought it with just 19 properties in it. Um, you know, fast forward now we're, we're 30, well, we were 38 properties. And then finally I've excelled in the property management business that, that I've actually got to be able to fire a client. So so now we're at 37 properties and I'm, I can sleep a little better at night. So that's a.
Pete Neubig: [00:01:47] 3.7% of your business, buddy.
Larry Frawley: [00:01:49] There you go. You know, I mean, you know, it was, you know, sometimes you just got to do that. So, uh, but yeah, so the brokerage business and, you know, ironically so I was here the first time. In fact, my wife and I, we were leaving. We were going to Dallas, and I actually had Steve, your partner, come down and actually go through our home as we were thinking about should we put it in property management?
Pete Neubig: [00:02:13] Oh, so you were almost a client.
Larry Frawley: [00:02:15] We were almost a client. Yeah. And we did decide to sell. And I still. I kick myself in the hind end for that one because that was just a great home. Um, certainly as we came back around again, um, but that kind of got the bug going for me on the property management side of things. And I looked into a couple of the franchises that were out there and then I got relocated, like I said, to Dallas the first time, and then Charleston, South Carolina the second time. And then I started looking at it at Charleston also. I'm like, hmm, Uh, and then ironically, two weeks before Covid hit, I got to come back to Houston because my wife and I, we said, We're done moving around. We love Houston. We're glad we got back here. So that got me going on the property management side of things again, that original, uh, property management company sold it to another company, but asked me, I said, Hey, I'd be interested in buying it. Well, then about a year and a half passed later, and then I was able to go back in and actually purchase the company. So.
Pete Neubig: [00:03:14] So what was the allure? Because like I said, you had 20 years experience of being in brokerages. You've been moved all over the country to basically help run big brokerages across the country. What was the allure of, you know, owning a property management firm?
Larry Frawley: [00:03:29] That's great. I think a lot of that is the consistency. And what I mean by that is, you know, real estate markets go up and they go down, right? And, you know, if on the sales side of things, you're like, oh my gosh, you know, am I ever going to sell another home again? On the brokerage side, you're, you know, everything is managed on expenses, property management. What I in all my research, it stayed consistent, you know, in good markets and in bad markets. In fact, maybe sometimes in bad markets a little bit better because now we got more renters out there. So that was the allure for that. The other part was, you know, it's it's something we're still going to need to manage every day, but it's something that we can go off into into a different a slower kind of retirement thing. I did turn 65, so, you know, a little bit of on the retirement side of things and still own a property management company. And of course, our goal is not to stay at 37 properties. You know, our goal is to be at 337 or 537 properties. So.
Pete Neubig: [00:04:27] Yeah. And I'll give you one more reason why you should buy own build a property management firm is it's a sellable asset. Yeah. When you're when you're just slinging real estate, you don't really have a sellable asset.
Larry Frawley: [00:04:40] There's and I don't want to say it in a bad way. There's not a lot of value in an ownership of a brokerage because you really you can't own an agent, right? You can't, you know, But yeah, you're, you're exactly right. On the property management side, it isn't, it is an asset.
Pete Neubig: [00:04:55] Okay. So you're, you're, you're kind of new to the game. You're doing wonderful already. You've already learned how to buy a property management firm. I'll bet. A small one. And now you've grown a little bit. So. So for somebody at 38 doors and somebody who's new, what's the what's what are you looking at? What's some what's some some guidance, some questions that you may have that that maybe I can help or people at Northam can help? Or just what is what are some stuff that you like to learn?
Larry Frawley: [00:05:22] I like that. One of the one of the things that I did that was the most it was the greatest thing was was joining Northam because, you know, when you get into a different field, even in real estate, like you don't understand all of the all of the verbiage, you know, like what you know, what's a KPI. And then I go, hey, Siri, you know, what's a you know, I have no idea what those things are. But it was it was the research of that and the support of that system. You know, our local chapter here is is a great, great organization.
Pete Neubig: [00:05:54] So yeah, we I tell anybody if you're if you're looking at getting into property management, if you can if you're a if you can find Northam, that's the first thing you should do, right? Join, join. Northam So, okay, so now let's get into let's get into the nuts and bolts. What are some of the things you're challenging? What are some of the challenges you have? What are what are some of the things that I can help with?
Larry Frawley: [00:06:14] Awesome. So you and I spoke just a little bit, but I said, you know, one of the things that, you know, we're in that pattern of growth right now. My wife and I and Alice is my wife, by the way. Bless her heart. She's she's stayed around with me for for some years, you know. And Larry wants to go here. Larry wants to move there. You know, she's she's right on board. Um.
Pete Neubig: [00:06:35] That's key. Number one. Having a great business, by the way. Is it?
Larry Frawley: [00:06:37] Is, Yeah, it really is. Yeah. It really. Yeah, it really is. I think it's, you know, my next step is, is hiring. You know, I, I run a brokerage which involves about 55 hours or so a weekend. Um, you know, a lot of my property management side is my wife. She's managing a lot of that. My weekends are that. So my next step really is, is a sales kind of leasing manager. And you know I am already looking at spoke with Leon all about you know VPN you know solutions.
Pete Neubig: [00:07:11] Let's let me ask you though here so right now in the company 38 units that you're managing all single family I'm guessing. Yes. All right. And right now it's just you and Alice and company. Okay. All right. And Alice is doing me the majority of the work she's.
Larry Frawley: [00:07:27] Doing, the majority, certainly of the the maintenance side of things. I'm still running kind of the books side of things, kind of the sales, kind of the marketing.
Pete Neubig: [00:07:37] So the first question, the first question I'm going to ask you is, do you have an organizational chart built for the property management firm as it stands today?
Larry Frawley: [00:07:47] I do not. I do not. And I will say this, you know, I've done that with the brokerage side of things. But when I when I had the opportunity to jump on this one, I did not I did not do that.
Pete Neubig: [00:07:57] So you are wearing multiple hats and so is Alice. You guys are wearing multiple hats. Right. And so a lot, you know, actually had a talk with with a buddy of mine. He's a solopreneur. So he's like, you know, he doesn't have an org chart because he just has one box him And I'm like, you're missing the picture. The picture is you have to put all those boxes. It's not Larry. And Larry does all this. It's I have a leasing assistant, I have a leasing manager, I have a maintenance coordinator, I have a property manager. Whatever it is you need to you need to build that that structure. So this way as you grow, you can identify what are the next roles that need that you want to fill in your in your business. Yeah.
Larry Frawley: [00:08:41] Right. Yeah, that was that was probably a key mistake back in the beginning, you know. Right. Just doing that right away. I'm like, Hey, no, this is something we can just do on our own, you know? But yeah, it is because it's, you know, it's really, it's got the potential to be a very, very big business.
Pete Neubig: [00:08:55] So I'm a big fan of the book Traction by Gino Wickman, and Northam is a big fan of that book as well. There, Gino Wickman created something called the The Entrepreneurial Operating System. A lot of members run their business on it. It's a it's a great little tool. And one of the things he discusses, he calls it an accountability chart. I just call it an org chart. Um, but he says you should build the org chart the way it looks like today. You should build the org chart for like what it looks like in five years and then you should build the org chart for when the company is finished. So one of the things that most people don't do when they start a business is they don't understand the complete vision. You know, a lot of us get into it because we couldn't actually sell the houses and we had to lease them. And then the our clients would ask us to manage them. That's how a lot of us got into the business. I got in the business the other way where I was an investor and I was tired of of managing companies, not managing my property correctly or because I didn't find them, you know, luckily I didn't find them vendors because I probably would never have started a management company. Yeah, you never start with the with the vision in mind. The end in mind. Right. So you want to build your org chart for what that looks like. What is your vision? Now I know you're a little bit older, so maybe your vision is I just want to get to X number of properties in Houston, right? And so with our vision and Empire, at first it was like, I want to get 300 properties because I heard that was where you profitable? Then I'm like, okay, we got 300 and our profit margin is really slim.
Pete Neubig: [00:10:23] Let's get to 600, let's get to a thousand. Then it got to we want to be in all of Texas, Then it got to we want to be all over the all over the country and and the vision needs to you know, it can change over time, but it should be you know, it should be big and you should be able to build that org chart based on that vision. Now, trying to build an org chart for 100,000 units across the country, good luck. I don't know how how the guys at mind and and pure are doing that that's that's way beyond my capacity but but by by you know and the org chart doesn't have to be perfect it's really just to get you to think outside the box on how big this thing should be and what does that look like. Now, I will tell you, when you're when you are smaller, you're going to hear you're going to be portfolio based. And what does that mean? It means that one person is doing everything or two people are doing everything right. So Alice, she might be we call it the head cook and bottle washer. But you know, in the E-Myth revisited by Doctor Gerber. But really, Alice is the property manager, the maintenance manager. She's maybe doing the tenant tenant residence lease renewals, right? So she's doing everything right. Everything comes in and out. And then your side is you might be doing all you're doing all the leasing and you're doing the the books.
Pete Neubig: [00:11:34] So you're the accounting person, the leasing person, the move in person, maybe the move out person, right? So that's called portfolio. That's called portfolio based, right? So in in theory, I have one property manager. I manage 100 units. That's all we have. And I do everything right. I'm a solopreneur right, which by the way, is it's still a sellable business, but you're not going to get as much as if you were. The business was running on its own unless somebody was going to fold you in. Right? Somebody like a big company like pure comes in and buys you. They don't they don't really want you. They want the doors. They don't want your processes. They want the doors. When you bought the 19 units, right, you wanted the processes and probably not the person, but because you know, but but you get it, right? Correct. So so it's it's it's important to know like that's the first step. Right? So it's going to be hard to build an org chart that uses that same you know portfolio based when you're going to have let's say your vision is a thousand doors right. Whatever that vision is. The next step is you go to hybrid. And so hybrid is just that, right? So now let's say you do, you know, you use virtual, let's say you use VPN solutions and you hire a great remote team member and that remote team member is going to do what are you guys looking to hire for? What's the first position you're looking to hire?
Larry Frawley: [00:12:51] I've called it sales, sales and leasing.
Pete Neubig: [00:12:55] Okay, so sales and leasing. So tell me a little bit more about what that role would do.
Larry Frawley: [00:12:59] So I think, you know, probably in in the real estate world, I think there's opportunities, you know, opportunities like expired listings. Um, you know, I, I subscribe to a service that does that. So you know, listing comes expired. Somebody else maybe has bought something. There may be an opportunity there to manage a property.
Pete Neubig: [00:13:20] They're going to be kind of like your cold callers appointment setters Cold callers.
Larry Frawley: [00:13:24] Right exactly right.
Pete Neubig: [00:13:25] And how did you help on the leasing? Same thing. They're they're reaching out. Okay. Yeah, same.
Larry Frawley: [00:13:29] Thing. And and, you know, I think there's, you know, literally we could go through every every listing that's out there for lease and quickly look in a in a particular area, know which ones are potential property management ones, probably right.
Pete Neubig: [00:13:44] Ones that are not managed by property managers and one that are managed by realtors have no idea what they're doing once they lease the property, they should probably get over to a property manager. Correct.
Larry Frawley: [00:13:53] And handle. You know, the nice part is being part of a brokerage is, you know, I have a lot of internal people that can't manage properties, really not allowed to manage properties, you know. So I've got kind of that I don't say captive audience, but I've got I've got an audience of people. And that's primarily where all of our doors come from right now is just agent referrals.
Pete Neubig: [00:14:13] I think that's brilliant. And if you're listening to this like so you, you own a property management firm and you're the broker of the property management firm, not Keller Williams. Is that correct?
Larry Frawley: [00:14:22] That's correct.
Pete Neubig: [00:14:23] If you can get a deal like that and you can office out of a Keller Williams, a Remax, anywhere where they have in your you have 600 agents, you said? Correct.
Larry Frawley: [00:14:33] Okay. Over 600.
Pete Neubig: [00:14:35] You're going to be a pretty big player in Houston within the next two years, just even if you did nothing else. Right. And the fact that you're looking to grow already now, what's going to happen with with with your company, Larry, is you're going to outgrow your your processes pretty quickly. Right? Right. And so that's the dichotomy of, you know, hey, I'm going to grow this thing or now I break stuff and now I have instead of you firing clients, clients fire you. Right? Because you're you're, you're kind of fault. The cracks are falling through. Exactly. I will say. The org chart again, and the structure that you put in play is going to is going to be the biggest savior or hurt, if you will, hurdle, if you will, when you grow like right now, 38 properties up to, let's call it 125 portfolio with a couple of assistants, right. That's kind of a hybrid is going to work. At some point, you're going to have to go to departmental or you have to go to pod structure. So those are the next two org charts that you will as a CEO. You are responsible for the organization, organizational structure, the culture, the resources. Those are the those are three of the you know, those are the three main things. And the strategy, those are the four things the CEO is responsible for. Right. So. If you're listening to this and you and you can keep your ownership of your of your firm and you can office even if Keller Williams charge you a couple hundred bucks, 500 bucks a month, $1,000 a month, it's going to be worth it because they are just going to basically have all the agents basically look at you first and give you you'll be top of mind. And so you're going to grow your business pretty rapidly. I got a good buddy of mine shout out to Greg Dearing. He has built a company with I think it was 900 units before he sold in Round Rock in Austin, Texas. And he operated out of a Keller Williams office out there in Round Rock. So. So it's like.
Larry Frawley: [00:16:33] It's like today. Tomorrow. I'm sorry. Tomorrow I've got one of my agents that's teaching a leasing class, and she has asked for, you know, my property management flyer for everybody that's in the class. Right? So now they've got you know, they've got even more information on that because once again, you know, agents, you know, there are some that go, hey, I can manage properties. Well, you're not really allowed to manage properties. Right? There's a whole process. Texas is not you know, it's more lawsuits in Texas and for property management side of things and anything else.
Pete Neubig: [00:17:05] So yeah. Okay. So all right. So give me the next thing. What's the next thing you're looking at? So I think that's a great idea to, to to hire this, you know, a virtual, by the way, Y virtual assistant over over one of your agents to do this.
Larry Frawley: [00:17:19] Um, you know, I think it's it's some of it's kind of the cost right in the beginning and and yeah I mean an agent you know they're, they're going to get paid mostly on the commission side of things but but yet they can make more money in traditional real estate sales and I'm not saying that I'm opposed to doing that at some point in time, but I think we need certainly some more doors where, you know, virtually I was telling you in another conversation, you know, we have virtual ones that are in here out of the Philippines that work for us. There's about nine of them that do transaction side of things. So, you know, so I believe in that process. The next step really is probably it's, it's marketing, um, marketing and, and, and then internally on, on ours right now I've got, I'm interviewing a, a bookkeeper, you know, just I was telling you, I think in a brief conversation, you know, the bookkeeper that I had was kind of decided to leave on January 30th and had to run around trying to figure out how to how to do all the rest of that stuff. And it's just not in my wheelhouse. So so I guess my org chart would have been a little bit better to have at that point in time.
Pete Neubig: [00:18:27] But hey, at least maybe you, maybe you got something out of this conversation.
Larry Frawley: [00:18:31] No. So marketing, really and bookkeeper. I think those are probably the next two things.
Pete Neubig: [00:18:36] Okay. So what's your what's going to be your your budget for marketing? What's your investment per month in marketing?
Larry Frawley: [00:18:45] Um, ideally, I mean, part of it is going to be, you know, part of it would be the, you know, the expired listing service, um, part of it.
Pete Neubig: [00:18:55] That could fall under sales. Now that could.
Larry Frawley: [00:18:57] Fall under sales. So, um, it's funny, social media, you know, think social media, you know, we and I say, you know, I'm an older guy here, but, you know, I realized, you know, when people said, you know, I can sell a house on Facebook, I'm like, you can't do that. Well, yeah, you can. So, you know, so let me ask you this.
Pete Neubig: [00:19:13] Um, do you. Do you have an agent referral program? Somebody you adore? I do. All right. So let's talk about marketing. So I'm a big fan of marketing, and sales are separate. They're separate in my org chart. They're separate personality types. If you're into disc, you're marketing guy is going to be a see, your sales guy is going to be an I. If you're not in a disc, I'm sure there's the Archer or whatever, whatever they use or the red, green, blue, whatever it is.
Larry Frawley: [00:19:42] Die right here.
Pete Neubig: [00:19:43] Die your die. Right? So you're closer. Love it. So. So when you know. I look at it like this, you need to know how much you can invest in marketing or in sales by hiring a sales person first, the inside sales person and making those calls. And by having your your your deal, your office in Keller Williams, you actually don't have to spend a lot in marketing. You really don't because you're going to get deals both of those ways. Now marketing obviously is is incredibly important. But somebody who's making, you know, 38, 38 units, I can't imagine you're bringing a ton of revenue in. Yeah. And so you you have marketing, unfortunately, typically means money. It typically means you have to invest the money and then you have to be able to capture the leads. So I guess my first question is. You know, how much how much do you plan to invest in marketing on a monthly basis? So that's the first question. Then the second question is what are the strategies you're going to use for marketing? And then the third question is, what's the what are the lead count that you're forecasting for each of those strategies? So how many leads a month are you looking to get, Larry, from your marketing? Not from sales, but from your marketing?
Larry Frawley: [00:21:01] Yeah. So I so ideally, if if we could get, let's just say 20 leads a month, right?
Pete Neubig: [00:21:09] In total. In total.
Larry Frawley: [00:21:10] Yeah. 20 leads a month. And I base that on, you know, some of the platforms that we use around here on the sales sides of things. So if we, if we had just 20 and there's of course there's not going to be 100% conversion on those, but they are opportunities. You know, right now our our marketing budget would be less than $500 a month. Right. That's that's realistically you know where we go for this current time right not not to say that's forever thing so and you're right you know probably even when I was in real estate sales 93% of my business, you know, came from referrals. Right? So I work those referrals pretty hard.
Pete Neubig: [00:21:51] So yeah, in my experience, when we got a referral from an agent, we closed that person. I think it was like over 80% of the time. Yeah. So, so what we did is we defined what a lead was and what an opportunity was. Okay. For us, a lead was basically anybody who came inbound, that's a lead, an opportunity. Was anybody who came inbound that had a property that we wanted to manage within the next 90 days? That was our that was our definition of opportunity. And so, um, you know, so basically, hey, I'm calling because I'm thinking about buying a house one day, and I just want to make sure like, that I have a management company I want to talk about. Right? You're you're a lead, but you're really not an opportunity or. Or I come in and, hey, I have a 14 unit apartment complex. I want you guys to manage. Not in our wheelhouse. Right. So, like, no, that's a lead, not an opportunity or Hey, I'm moving out of town in the next 60 days and I need somebody to lease and manage my property. Now you're an opportunity. So we define those. And why is that important? Because one is if you're not getting a lot of opportunities, your marketing message is off. You're not hitting the right target. So you want to you want to make sure that whatever money you invest in marketing and notice I keep using the word invest, not spend. Correct. Um, I was a culprit of spending money in marketing. And when you spend money in marketing, what you're doing is you're just throwing stuff up. Against the Wall is a podcast. Larry So I can't.
Larry Frawley: [00:23:22] I got it.
Pete Neubig: [00:23:23] I got it. To not allow me to curse. But you're throwing stuff up against the wall, right? And you're not tracking it. And so like. So that's spending money, right? When you have your marketing plan. I'm glad you brought this up because this is something that I actually got dialed in an empire and I have not dialed in at my new company yet. And we're still working very diligently to get these numbers right. But you need to know how many leads come in. So ultimately you want to know this, right? And it takes a little while to get there. But ultimately, you want to know every strategy you've invested money in. Okay. Whether it's a Facebook ad, a Google ad, a a campaign for, you know, for real estate agents, Um, you know, whether it's going to speak and it costs you a little bit of money for speaking engagements, maybe doing a class, whatever that is, you want to have those strategies down and you want to have a a chart of account for each one of those strategies in your in your QuickBooks, because I want to know how much I spent not just in marketing, but each strategy in marketing. From there. I want to know how many leads I got. So now how do I capture that? Well, now the importance of, you know, I'm probably not teaching you this, but a CRM system, right? It's important that you have a CRM system that can track if it's a lead or an opportunity.
Pete Neubig: [00:24:40] So you actually have to do some manipulation, say, is this a lead or an opportunity? Right. And then from there, you can then determine how much money at the end of the month, how much money did I spend on each strategy, How many leads did I get, How many opportunities did I get? And then what's the you know, what's the dollar amount? And then what's my percentage of opportunities from leads. So if I run a campaign and I've and I've, you know, got 50 leads, but 25 of them were opportunities, well, that's pretty good. That's 50%. And then you can start tweaking the message to how do I get that to 50 to 55? Because even 1% makes a huge difference. Like a lot of people think, oh, I need I need to be, you know, 20, 30% more, you know, right now, just just switch just changing things at a at a couple percent. If you can do multiple things at 1 or 2%, it'll it's exponential in in in the difference in how your business runs. And so you have to know how to track all this stuff. Right? And then of course, then once the once you get the opportunity, then it goes into the sales pipeline, so to speak.
Pete Neubig: [00:25:42] And then you have then you have your sales numbers, right? So for example, let's say I'm I'm working for for your company and I'm doing the marketing and I send out a Facebook ad and, you know, we get ten, ten people, you know, reach out, we talk to, we talk to them, and five of them have houses that we want to manage. So we got 50% conversion rate on lead to opportunity. So you're going to talk as a sales person, you're going to obviously talk to the five opportunities first and foremost. Now you will you convert some leads? Yeah, we'll convert some leads for sure, but that's going to be really low percentage. You really want to focus on converting opportunities because they convert at a higher rate to give you real numbers at Empire, we got it to a 50% conversion from leads to opportunities. We when we dialed back our investment in marketing and we stopped spending, we went from about 150 leads to about 100 leads. But here's the crazy thing. Our opportunity stayed the same. Wow. So we had 50 opportunities at 150 leads and we had 50 opportunities at 100 leads. So we went from whatever that whatever that difference is, right? We went to 50%. So we went from whatever, 25% or 30% to 50%.
Larry Frawley: [00:26:57] Just a lot less money.
Pete Neubig: [00:26:58] Just a lot less money, a lot less money. So that meant my cost per lead and my cost per opportunity trended way down. Um, my cost per lead at the end was, I think it was like $75, like your numbers here, you want to do a $25 cost per lead, which is really, really, that's going to be hard to do. But if anybody can do it, I believe you can do it because you have. Oh, well, thank you. Well, you have the connection with Keller Williams, and so that's going to help you get lots of leads with not a lot of money. Um, and then and then, you know, our cost per opportunity went down. Don't have the numbers in front of me. I wish I did now. But I can tell you my cost per acquisition at one point was like $3,500 and I got it down to like $200. Nice, nice. That's a huge difference. But it took us a while to get there because we had to know our numbers and we had to get our bookkeeper to work with our marketing guy, to work with our sales team, you know, And then when you as you grow and you have more and more team members, it gets a little bit more, more difficult.
Larry Frawley: [00:28:04] So and it was funny, you know, back in the beginning, real quick, I, I said, you know, I want to I want to own a property management company. I want to build it from scratch. I want to have nobody. And then all of a sudden, the opportunity came up and you know how that goes. Sometimes the opportunity came up all of a sudden to buy this company. So I wasn't really ready. By no means I thought I had a little more time to build, you know, the models and the systems. And next thing you know, there's 19 properties with, you know, security deposits rolling in and contracts rolling in. And, you know, we got to talk to people. So and I love and once again, I, you know, I love doing that stuff like that. Um, so now the nice part is, is kind of slowing down just a little bit just to kind of get the systems going. So today's call was really just, you know, really good for me.
Pete Neubig: [00:28:52] So, yeah. So what are, you know, the next thing really is going to be the system. So what are, what are, what's your strategies on building your, your systems and documenting your systems? Is it too early to document systems? Is it never too early? What's what's your what's your take?
Larry Frawley: [00:29:06] You know, it's probably never too early to, you know, document all your systems. You know, I always tell people here, you know, I'm the CEO of the company here, but if I if I walk out across the street and get hit by a bus, you know, I don't want people going, What is what did he do? Right? You know, So it's just always having those systems lined up. Well, here's what he does. Boom, boom, boom, boom. And everybody on staff has has the same thing just in case something would happen. So no different for the property management side of things. You know, what what our systems are, what they do. Um, just in the process now, we've tried to, you know, we've tried a financial system, you know, that was property management and get ready to switch over in the next month to, to something new and different, something a little bit more easy, in my opinion, at least for for me, because I'm just not that, you know, I'm not the accountant, you know, by no means.
Pete Neubig: [00:29:54] So yeah, choosing the right property management software is is paramount for sure. There's obviously there's no one size fits all and there's no perfect software. So you do have to you have to rate rank and rate what is most important to you and and then go for that, Go with that one. Right. The only thing I would say is make sure like that this one can grow with your vision. That's the main thing, right? Going to grow with your vision. Um, I'm going to give a couple of shout outs here. So I'm a big fan of what Lead Simple is doing there. There are new software. Well, they're not new anymore, but they, they have a new product that will help you automate your operations. And they were always doing the automation for CRM and our CRM system, and now they're doing it for operations. And I've seen the software a couple of times. It looks really cool, but I've talked to lots of people who use them and it's really functional and that's the main thing. So as you I would say, you know, you're you're in a unique opportunity that you can start building your systems with automation early on and then just tweak them as you grow. Now, of course, that costs money and it really just depends. Can you know, will you you know, will you will you be cash negative if you would, if you can afford it, You know, great.
Pete Neubig: [00:31:18] Um, I'm an operations guy, so I'm a DC I'm an operations guy and I love flowcharts, process flows and things of that nature. And, you know, when I first started Empire, there was no such thing as lead simple. There was no automation. It was paper checklists. And then then we found, um, Microsoft. Oh, man, what was it called? But we had this Microsoft like online checklist thing. Then we went to HubSpot and we used the folks at Rent Bridge for a while and did some automation, some ticketing. I will say this, the quicker you can get on a ticketing system instead of using email to to manage your your property management firm and the quicker you can get onto automation. Now here's a trick my buddy Errol Allen with consulting highly recommend him. Errol says before you automate you need to process flow all your processes out because garbage in garbage out. If you don't know exactly what's going on and again you're unique. You're you're you're a young business. Your guys are doing everything. So you know, everything that's going on. When I started this, I had 12 people working for me already and I'm like, Oh, maybe we should document our systems, right? Like, that was like a ha moment.
Pete Neubig: [00:32:30] So, you know, you're unique, you can do this. So build you build your systems from, you know, from scratch, build those checklists and then put them into something like lead simple and then build the automation. And so that's that's kind of one thing. I wish I had go back and kind of redo and then I'd say if um, so I'm again a big fan of, of consulting. He helps you build your process flows. And then I'll throw one more shout out to Deb Newell with Real Time Consulting. She's probably as a property management business coach. Um, she's, she's, she's solid. Um, I won't say she's the best because I think there are others out there, but I know Deb personally and I know some of the work she's done, some of the people she's worked with, and she gets great results. So, um, step one is find them and get plugged into them. When you're new to the business, when you're new to the business, Northam is probably not just the number one place for resources, but Northam is the number one place to find like minded individuals who have already walked the path you're walking. Then number two is, you know, set up automation or document your systems and get ready for growth. And with automation, if you can. Number three is I love what you're doing, find ways to grow the business inside sales person.
Pete Neubig: [00:33:51] Some marketing. Make sure that you invest instead of spend. Step four is look at solutions as a as a solution for great team members at a lower cost. Also, not a lot of people know this. I'll give us another plug. Solutions has what's called the Academy. And we have I think now we're at 25 courses. Most of them are for remote team members that can get certifications. We have a property management 101 series of 12 courses and now we have courses for the company. So I have one on how to successfully hire, train and, and manage your remote team. We have one on leadership we got. So we got more coming out every month. We have more coming out. And so it's a great it's just a, it's a great, uh, platform for resources. And of course you don't have to pay to be on the platform. And so those are and then of course, if you need coaching instead of hiring an agnostic business coach, which was helpful, I had an agnostic business coach when I started Empire and is incredibly helpful. But getting a business coach like a Deb Newell that is in the proper manager, right? Like how many business coaches have we are there for the real estate industry.
Larry Frawley: [00:35:06] Oh gosh.
Pete Neubig: [00:35:08] Endless. There's a few. There's a few here in the management firm and a PM company. And if you go to our our website, solutions.com, we actually have a resources and vendors page and you can see all the business coaches there. I just I just plugged Deb because I just know her personally. She does not pay to be on here and good stuff. So. Yeah. All right, Larry, we I can I can sit here and we can do this.
Larry Frawley: [00:35:31] Oh, I can do this all day long. Yeah. I've locked my door so nobody walks in and interrupts us. But I can do it all day long.
Pete Neubig: [00:35:36] But we got to take a break and then we're going to come back for the lightning round. The lightning round. And we'll be right back, everybody. All right. Welcome back, everybody. I got Larry's on the hot seat in the lightning round. So, Larry, hopefully you took some good notes and hopefully you listening? Got some got some value out of this. And hopefully I didn't lead too many people astray. So. All right, Larry, let's go with the lightning round. What software do you use?
Larry Frawley: [00:36:03] Uh, we're just switching over now to Payprop.
Pete Neubig: [00:36:06] Payprop. Okay. We already talked about your organizational structure, and so what is one piece of advice you'd give? You'd give someone just starting out in the business kind of like yourself?
Larry Frawley: [00:36:17] Yeah, I think I think just looking at all of the resources, having lots of conversations, you know, with those, join them right away. You know, I think that that right there, you know, will certainly help your your property management business. Get get off to a great start.
Pete Neubig: [00:36:33] All right. This next question will determine if we remain friends or not. Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Larry Frawley: [00:36:39] So my I just ironically, we just got pizzas on Friday and I stopped on the way home and picked up two pizzas. I picked up one that's deluxe, That's mine. I picked up one. That's pineapple. That's Alice's. So does pineapple belong in pizza for me? No.
Pete Neubig: [00:36:55] All right. We can be friends. But tell Alice, you know, she can only be an acquaintance.
Larry Frawley: [00:37:00] I love.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:01] It. What was your first job?
Larry Frawley: [00:37:04] Uh, first very first job was picking sweet corn out in a in a 300 acre field up in Ohio. Right. That was my. That was my first job. Yeah.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:14] All right, We need to have drinks and talk about that one. What is your ideal vacation?
Larry Frawley: [00:37:20] Uh, we have a we have a little timeshare in Panama City, Florida, that we just love. It's it's a it's just a nice little escape for us, you know, just to kind of kind of get away for a week and kind of unplug a little bit.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:31] So what is something that most people don't know about you?
Larry Frawley: [00:37:36] Who? Um. So I ran for politics up in Ohio. I ran for a city council position and I lost by a little less than 800 votes. And I and I always said, you know, had I been had I won, I would still be in Ohio. Not that there's anything wrong with that except my opportunities in life and in leadership really happened after that point in time in my move to Texas and then around the system.
Pete Neubig: [00:38:05] What book are you currently reading or what is one has impacted your business or life?
Larry Frawley: [00:38:10] I think one of the best books out there to read, Gary Keller wrote the book The One Thing. And it was ironic in the podcast you said early on you said something about one thing, you know, because here's the thing we can focus on. I mean, my focus every day is on a bunch of things and putting out fires and, you know, rescuing.
Pete Neubig: [00:38:29] The property management to. Yeah.
Larry Frawley: [00:38:31] And property. Yeah, exactly. So but what I've got to realize is I've got to still focus on one thing. You know what one thing in my day that by doing it, nothing else most is less significant or not even needed. Right. That's really what the kind of the key to that book. And you know and of course in real estate, in recruiting, in property management, it's all around really for us around lead generation.
Pete Neubig: [00:38:56] Would you prefer dogs or cats?
Larry Frawley: [00:38:59] Dogs we have on most awesome. We've rescued our second boxer, you know, and he's an old guy like me and you know, we. Yeah, he's he's just he's awesome. Dogs.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:11] All right. Thank you, Larry, for being in the hot seat. If somebody wants to reach out to you and maybe join a mastermind with you or help you or, you know, maybe learn more about the brokerage side because you probably forgot more about the brokerage side of things than many of us know in our in our lifetime here. How do people get in touch with you?
Larry Frawley: [00:39:30] Probably cell phone (713) 899-7394.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:35] That's the I and him folks. If it was me, you'd probably get an email address. Yeah if you want to join them. And you haven't joined yet. What are you waiting on go to Northam. Org or call them at (800) 782-3452. And if you are looking for great team members that you you know for low cost if you're business is, you know reactive not proactive if you're working nights and weekends, if your team is super stressed, go to solutions.com and check us out and reach out to me personally. Pete at VPM Solutions.com. Larry, thank you for being here. Thank you, everybody. We will see you next time. Thank you.
A Podcast | Larry Frawley
Join us for an inspiring and refreshing episode of the NARPM Podcast! Grab a drink, some snacks, and a notepad as we sit down with Larry Frawley, a successful property management entrepreneur, and our radio host, Pete Neubig. Discover the challenges of growing your PM business and how to overcome them. You don't need to wear too many hats! Tune in to learn how to conquer your own business hurdles and take the next step in your growth journey.
Larry Frawley is a real estate broker and has been licensed in the states of TX, SC, and NC for the past two decades. With an extensive background in the industry, Larry holds the position of CEO/Team Leader at KW Memorial, overseeing a team of 650 real estate agents. In July 2022, Larry and his wife Alice made a significant acquisition by purchasing a property management company. At the time of purchase, the company managed 19 properties, but under Larry's guidance, it has since grown to a portfolio of 38 properties.