A Podcast | Phil Owen
Pete Neubig: [00:00:04] Welcome back, everybody. As promised, I have the matcha tea kingmaker. Uh, Phil Owen, CEO of OnSight Pros. So, Phil, thanks so much for being here today.
Phil Owen: [00:00:18] Glad to be here. Thanks for having me.
Pete Neubig: [00:00:20] So if you if you ever been to a Naropa event, you know that on site over the last year or so has been the matcha king where they make all these great matchas and I never had it before. And now I'm addicted. So as long as the.
Phil Owen: [00:00:34] Unions at the hotel will allow it. That's right. That's that's the kicker is, is do we get busted by the unions? So, so.
Pete Neubig: [00:00:41] So Phil, your CEO of OnSight Pros, can you tell us the story behind why and how OnSight pros got started?
Phil Owen: [00:00:49] Yeah, absolutely. So it actually started I didn't found it. I'm the CEO now, but the original founder was a property manager in San Antonio, Texas, named James Alderson. And, you know, the the long and short of the story is he he went to a presentation by a gal named Susan Orban. And in her presentation.
Pete Neubig: [00:01:13] Susan's an.
Phil Owen: [00:01:14] Og. That's exactly right. Yeah. Um, and she she. Basically scared the crap out of him and he realized that he was not maintaining property awareness at his properties. He wasn't doing an adequate job of move ins, move outs or periodic reports, and he realized the legal liability that he had hanging over his head and realized that he did not have the capacity to do it himself or manage a team to do it. And so he said, Man, I'm going to go find somebody that I can outsource this to. Outsource so many things in my business. Let me find somebody else who can do this. And he couldn't find somebody. So he started having some conversations with some other guys in the industry and said, Hey, what if we all put our properties together and we just found a third party company that that allows us to outsource our property awareness? And that's how OnSight pros was born. And then people from other cities started going, Well, when are you going to open up in our market? And we've we've sort of spread across the country organically now.
Pete Neubig: [00:02:12] How many markets are you all in?
Phil Owen: [00:02:14] We're currently in 24 markets in 11 states. Nice stretching from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Salt Lake City, Utah, I think is our furthest west right now. We're we're still still stretching the borders a little bit.
Pete Neubig: [00:02:30] So so tell us, you know, what are the different types of property reports or, you know, inspections, whatever you want to call them, What are the different types that that you go through? So take me through like the life cycle of the of, you know, of the house and then how many times do we got to get out there and what are the different reporting types?
Phil Owen: [00:02:49] You know, that's a really good question. And that's something that that candidly is evolving a little bit as new technologies come into the mix and make different things available. Um, for our purposes, we really just boil it down into to two different categories. One is a basic report and one is a detailed report. A detailed encompasses your move in and move out reports and in a detailed report you want to capture every square foot of the property, whether it's damaged or not, so that you have a very thorough. This is what the property looks like before the tenant moved in. This is what the property looked like when the tenant moved out. We can compare those two things side by side. You get away from any issues of, well, it was like that when I moved in, you know. So like on your move in reports a mistake that a lot of people make is they only document issues. But if you only document issues, you can't prove the negative when at the end of the lease, the tenant says, Oh, it was like that. You can't go back and say, Well, I can show that it wasn't like that. So on a move in and move out, you want to document every square foot of the property, no matter what the periodic is what we refer to as a basic. And that means you're looking at the same scope of work as what you're looking at on a move in and move out, but you're not necessarily taking pictures of everything.
Phil Owen: [00:04:08] It's more of like an overview and issues type report because you want to respect the tenants privacy and frankly, their time. You don't want to be in the house for two, three hours. Right. You want to you want to be able to get in and get out and let them get back to their lives. Um, so, you know, as far as a timeline, typically what and we actually just just had a focus group a few months ago of some industry leaders to say, hey, talk us through what your property awareness timeline is. What does that look like? Let's let's build an industry standard. And the long and the short of it is, um, they wanted to get into the property a couple of days before the tenant moved in. You always want to do that before the tenant moves in so that it's completely vacant. You can get all the floors, the ceiling, the walls, all that kind of stuff. Nothing is damaged during the move in process. So really important that you actually get in before the tenant moves in. And then what we have have understood is is kind of industry best practice. And what most of our clients do is you get back out to the property the first time around, month three. That allows the tenant to have had the opportunity to kind of settle in. If they're smoking in the property, you're going to know it by then. If they've got illicit pets that aren't on the lease, you're going to know it by then.
Phil Owen: [00:05:29] If they're hoarders, you're going to know it by then. If there are additional people who are living there that aren't on the lease, you're going to be able to identify it by then. It's not so early that you're going to miss things, but it's not so late that there's so much water under the bridge that, you know, the cat that they brought in is completely destroyed. The carpet or the cigarette smoke or, you know, whatever the case may be. You get out there and you catch things early before it comes. A much bigger problem. Um, and then after that, you know, you most of our clients tell us that they require a 60 day notice for renewal. So at that point, you would, you would get back out to the property. Um, you know, so that you get that lease renewal or if they tell you, Hey, I'm going to vacate. Then you go ahead and schedule the move out for the day after the tenant has, has left the property and something that may be a topic I don't know for, for later in the conversation. A lot of our our clients are also scheduling tenant self inspections between those periodic assessments where the tenant can use software to get eyes on the property. I don't know if that's if that's a direction you want to go today, but that has been an interesting twist in the property awareness side of things.
Pete Neubig: [00:06:45] Well, I was going to ask you what other what other reports do they use? So we got move in, move out periodic, maybe periodic two times a year, three, maybe month 9 or 10. And then and then you have these residents self inspections. Are there any other instances that people have asked you guys to do? You know, have you know, what's your take on drive bys? Like should property manager drive bys? Like, I never did it. I had 900 homes or 980 homes, so there was no way I was going to be able to do drive bys. But I know people that they say they do drive bys. What's what's your what's your take on that?
Phil Owen: [00:07:17] Um, we do it. I don't think it's a valuable use of your time or resources because frankly, there. Yeah, that's right. Maybe do a.
Pete Neubig: [00:07:26] Drive by after a tornado hits. You know, maybe Kansas is a drive by section.
Phil Owen: [00:07:29] That's right. Yeah. And we do a lot of that, you know, especially like in in Florida when we'll have hurricanes we have have people send us out and just do exterior only reports for disaster assessments. You know. But honestly, to me, with the technologies that are available now, um, the drive by is pretty much a non-issue. You give the tenant an app and let them go take a picture of the front yard in the back yard and you've accomplished the same purpose as a drive by. Look, would the drive by just doesn't tell you enough to make it meaningful? Uh, it's just making sure nothing's on fire, right? You're making sure there's not a trampoline or, you know, dog roaming around in the backyard, whatever. But, you know, it's not a super valuable, uh, awareness item. Another report that people do. You ask what what other reports people do is an initial and we highly recommend an initial report or an intake, some people call it when you first start managing a property, you know, whether it's the move in and move out, that is to establish this was the condition before the tenant moved in and this condition when the tenant moved out. The the initial assessment is to say, hey, this is the condition of the property when I started managing it so that you don't get blamed for the failures of the previous management.
Phil Owen: [00:08:49] Uh, and you don't get that call three months in going, How could you have allowed this to happen? You go, No, no, no, no, no. Wait a minute. Let's look back. That was already there. Uh, you know, and two, it allows you to get that first look at the property before you start managing the property to go. Okay, look, here are code issues that I see. There aren't smoke alarms where they're supposed to be The you know, in Texas there's not a keyless deadbolt. You know, whatever the case may be, here are the things that before I start managing it and before we start renting it out, these are the things that are going to have to be done to bring it up to tenant, landlord law or property code. And if you have an owner that balks at that and it's like, well, I don't want to put smoke alarms in. Great. Well, I don't want to manage this property because if you're not even going to do the minimum, which brings it up to code. Dear God, what's it going to be like trying to get you to do preventative maintenance, you know? Yeah. So that initial report is important.
Pete Neubig: [00:09:40] I think it's a great idea, right? Because like, I still meet people today that they go and walk every property still that that they're going to take on. And I understand why, right? Because if there are any issues, if the property is not up to code and you get rid of those pain in the butt, you know, clients ahead of time. I get that. That's right. When you're a high growth property manager company, it's really hard to do. Even if you have sales people, it's just hard to do. We actually got to the point where we were doing our sales through Zoom or just phone calls. We wouldn't even go see the property. Google Earth was our friend and we would get, um, a percentage of time, right? Not super high, but a percentage of time. Ten, 12, 15% of time where it was a house. Like, why did we take this house? Like we could have put eyes on that property. So let me ask you this. On that on that initial report. Right. There's there's hard dollars and then a soft dollars. Right. So if my team is going out to the property or I'm going out to the property, it's soft dollars, right? I'm paying them a salary already or I'm paying myself, you know, if I'm the business owner, probably nothing, right? But I'm paying. So, like. But for you to send a third party out, that's hard dollars, right? And I got to come up with that, right? And for whatever reason, people have this mindset that hard dollars cost more than soft dollars, which I can make an argument that soft dollars cost way more than hard dollars. But is there a way on let's talk the initial just right now. Is there a way to get the to get the client to potentially pay for that for that report? Like what's your take on that?
Phil Owen: [00:11:14] Yeah, almost all of our clients ask for their clients to pay for that and they basically just say, hey, this is this is an initial assessment that helps us to identify any code issues, that helps us to identify any kind of maintenance issues that might be there so that we can make sure that this house is ready for you to rent and that we're going to be able to present to prevent any kind of significant legal liability for you and for us. And we want to make sure that you're you're ready for this to be a rental property. And so as a result, you know, we're going to be sending out an independent third party. And this is what it costs. And, you know, I've never had a client tell me that that an investor has batted an eye at doing that because it covers them. It covers the the client like everybody. Everybody's covered their.
Pete Neubig: [00:12:00] Yeah. And I think that, um, when when you're doing it internally, you don't have a report, right? Like most of us don't. Right? We just. We just look at it, put eyes on it, maybe make a couple of notes on, on, on a, on a scribble pad. And so that's hard for an owner to pay for. Right. But with, with on site or, you know, with on site pros. I do know this because I used to use you guys here in Houston. Um, I know that you guys produce a, you know, multi-page professional report where when we had any kickback, we would just literally send the report and that kickback went went away.
Phil Owen: [00:12:39] Yeah. Yeah. A deliverable makes all the difference when you're charging somebody for something. A deliverable makes all the difference. Now in fairness and I think everybody should use on site pros, but you don't have to use on site pros to be able to create a deliverable. You can use a tool like Z Inspector and have your team go out and create it. Now, I will tell you, it's a lot easier to bill when a third party goes out and does it so that you can say, Hey, here's the invoice, You pay this invoice, then it is to send your team out and go, Well, I think you should pay us for our time because they'll look at you and go, Well, no, that's just something you should do as part of this. But when you have an actual company, you're sitting out and going, Hey, this is who we sent and this is what it costs. Here's the invoice. A lot easier to pass those costs along than when you're doing it in-house and trying to to create the charge as a result of that.
Pete Neubig: [00:13:28] Got it. Agreed. All right. So let's talk a little bit more in depth about the move in report. Yeah.
Phil Owen: [00:13:34] Yeah. So the move in report is I mean, you're basically going out and trying to our goal is to to photo document every square foot of the property. And you know we use a 360 camera that you set it in the middle of the room. You capture, you know one scan and it captures the floor, the ceiling, the walls, so on and so forth. And then, you know, beyond that, we have a list of criteria that we're taking in each room that we want to to look at. We want to check all of the smoke alarms. We we spray smoke in a can to make sure that not only, you know, if you push the button, all you're doing is checking the battery and the horn. But we actually spray smoke in a can to to simulate a smoke emergency. So that way, you know, you have a functional smoke alarm and that the sensor is actually working. We pull them down, make sure that they're not older than ten years old, make sure that they are where they're supposed to be according to code. One of the important things to do on a move in move out is to photo document the interior and exterior of cabinets and drawers so that you can show that they were clean and empty when the tenant moved in and then do that again on the move out, because a lot of times they'll come back to you, greasy, grimy stuff left in there. And if you haven't photo documented the interior showing that they were clean and empty on the move in, it's hard to charge the cleaning fee on the move out because you can't document that it wasn't clean at the at the beginning.
Pete Neubig: [00:14:59] So do you think it's possible that I can kind of do a two for one here like I can send you guys out to to do the move in or, or if going out doing it myself. Right. Which but if the move in looks good, which in theory it should can I use those photos for listing as well or is that. No, absolutely. I have a third party. I have a yet another third another person come in because with the 360 camera, I would think that you might be able to use those photos for listing.
Phil Owen: [00:15:26] Yeah. And a lot of it depends on the market. You know, right now rental demand is high and inventory is low. So you can do that. Now, I'll tell you if on site pros or if your maintenance guy or whomever goes out there with an iPhone or an iPad or whatever the case may be, that is not going to get you the same pictures as a photographer who's a professional and knows how to how to set up the room and get the lighting right and has a dSLR, you know, I mean, you're not going to get the same quality of image as you are. But the fact of the matter is, when the when the demand is high in the market, you're really just telling the story. You're showing the house. You're not you know, it's not like a sales listing, you know, And for instance, we use the Ricoh theta cameras. You know, we're not using a $5,000 Matterport like you do sometimes in the sales listings. So it's not like this super high quality, sexy 360 degree image, but it tells the story of the property where they go, Does this fit my lifestyle? Will my family live well in this house? Um, so from our portal, you can actually download a zip folder that has all the high resolution images from the move in, save that and then use that the next time that that property is is vacant. That is. Yeah that's that's something. Yeah. Okay. But yeah absolutely you can do that. It doesn't produce the same results as sending a professional photog, but a lot of our clients use it that way.
Pete Neubig: [00:16:54] If anybody knows me, you all know I'm cheap and you all know I always try to figure out ways to make money here. So on the move and report who do I who can I push that to? Is there a way to push the cost to the mover report to either the tenant prospective new tenant or the or the owner is there? Yeah.
Phil Owen: [00:17:14] I'll tell you this. And let me let me let me take a philosophical moment here. My degree is in philosophy. So let me let me philosophize here for a moment. That's what that's exactly right. Um, so I strongly recommend to property managers and I'm not one so, so take this with a grain of salt. Everything I know about property managers I've learned from our thousand plus clients, but I spend a lot of time talking to to very intelligent property managers. I highly recommend that for all of the report types that you you perform, you charge both the owner and the tenant, and some people charge both the owner and the tenant the full amount and make it a profit center. Some say I'm going to charge the tenant 50% and the owner 50%. That's neither not my concern. The reason that I suggest that you charge both of them is even if you so like, for instance, for the move in reports, most of our clients charge enough to cover both the move in and the move out report on an admin fee at move in and they basically just say, Hey Mr. Ms.. Tenant, I need your security deposit, I need your first month's rent and I need your X dollars admin fee.
Phil Owen: [00:18:23] And you know, the tenant pays that and then they apply that money to pay for the move in, even if that completely covers the move in and move out. I strongly recommend that you charge at least a nominal fee to the homeowner, to the to the investor. And the reason for that is not greed, which you guys work hard and you deserve to make money. Go get paid. I'm all for you. But the real reason for that philosophically for me is it is a lot easier to increase an existing fee. Than it is to say, Hey, I've always given you this. I'm going to continue to give you this and now I'm going to charge you for it. So right now you can charge enough with that move in fee, with that admin fee that you can cover the entire move in and move out, report with that admin fee. But. You've been around this industry long enough and a lot of your listeners have been around this industry long enough to have seen, you know, the signs, hey, no move in fee, first month's rent free, free Xbox for every new tenant. I mean, like whatever, where, you know, there's a scarcity of good tenants.
Pete Neubig: [00:19:27] Right, right, right.
Phil Owen: [00:19:27] That's it.
Pete Neubig: [00:19:28] So anybody in here? Yeah, that's.
Phil Owen: [00:19:30] It. So when that pendulum shifts, you want to have that placeholder fee that's already being charged to the investor that you can say, Hey, this fee just went from X to Y. It's a lot easier than saying, Hey, I've always done this and I've given it to you for free, but now all of a sudden I'm going to start charging you. So I highly recommend charging both, but the majority of our clients are paying for it through an admin fee, and that covers the majority of the cost of the move in and the move out report.
Pete Neubig: [00:19:57] Yeah. No, like the resident benefits package, you could kind of build that in. A lot of people are doing that, right? The admin fee for that. That's right. I know one of the things that we did is we charged a a move in fee, so if you had a move in fee was X dollars and part of the move in fee because you know, we don't want to just I don't like creating fees just for the for the just to create fees.
Phil Owen: [00:20:19] Junk fees. Is that is that what the HUD secretary calls it, junk fees, is that right?
Pete Neubig: [00:20:23] Yeah. And Todd Oh, he's a he's a fee monster. But every fee he does, he there's some value there. And so if you bring value so we used to charge X dollars and in that you got the move in and move out fee and why the move in report the move out report and why that fee why that was so important is because it helps them guarantee their security deposit back. That's right. So they so that it's help it's helpful to the resident. Obviously it's helpful to the property manager. It's helpful to the to the owner as well. Right. So on the move out. So I do have a couple of questions on that because I think maybe, um, I have a different philosophy than you and I like and maybe we debate this or maybe we agree. So you said that on your move in and you move out report you want to document everything from head to toe. And I can tell you that we used to do that at first and the challenge was going through those reports became very, very tedious. Right. And it took hours of time, not just hours being at the property, taking the photos, but then hours for the property manager.
Pete Neubig: [00:21:26] Right? So we had field techs. If you're big enough to have field techs, great. We still used OnSight even though we had field techs for our for our periodics and then overflow of move in and move out. So I'm a big fan of of Phil and his team over there so but but my my field tech would take two three hours on a house right depending on how the size of it. And then my property manager would take two hours to kind of review this thing. So what we did is we said, you know what, on the move outs now, the move ins, we did what exactly what you said, head to toe, everything on the move outs though all we took photos were anything that looked like wear and tear or damage. And we went from a 2 to 3 hours at the house to 30 minutes to house, 16 page report to a two page report. And we were it actually helped us and reduced our overall cost and it actually helped us have a reduction in security deposit disputes. So I just wanted to get your good, bad, indifferent. What are your what's the positives and negatives of doing it that way?
Phil Owen: [00:22:28] Yeah, I mean, well, clearly you're wrong. I'm just kidding. But no. So and there's value for for you in that. I will tell you what we do in that approach and and I assume that any software out there like Z inspector you know, anything like that is going to have a similar functionality. But in our software we're taking pictures of everything but on items that we see that we go, Oh, there's something wrong with that. There's a little button that we click that says needs further evaluation. And that puts it up in a summary section at the very top of the report that says, Hey, before you get to the whole house walkthrough, here are all the items, here are the pictures that we've marked as needs further evaluation. So a lot of our clients, they never look past that. They just look at those items marked as needs.
Pete Neubig: [00:23:18] Documentation just in case. Right?
Phil Owen: [00:23:21] That's exactly right. And then on our client portal, can.
Pete Neubig: [00:23:25] Look at your reports side to side.
Phil Owen: [00:23:27] Yeah, absolutely. Through our client portal. You can, Yeah. Oh, absolutely.
Pete Neubig: [00:23:30] Okay. So go look at kitchen and kitchen. Living room. The living room. So. That's right. Sift through it. Right. Like I have to sift through each report. I can just literally look at them side by side. And then of course, if you pinpoint the damage now instead of two hours reviewing it, I'm literally and if you guys are doing it, don't have to have a field tech, do it for three hours.
Phil Owen: [00:23:48] That's exactly right. Now, the philosophy behind why we take a picture of everything is twofold. Okay. Number one, you never know what you're going to miss. That might be important. And I can tell you, we had a situation.
Pete Neubig: [00:24:04] Might think might not think it's important and it might become a big importance. So that's right. We have we.
Phil Owen: [00:24:10] Had a situation in Atlanta, Georgia, and this just got wrapped up. But we did a move in report and in the move in report, we were not taking a picture of the gas line. That's not something that we that's not part of our scope of work. We weren't trying to capture the gas line, but because we philosophically do things the way that we do. The gas line was in one of our pictures. Okay, I'll give a very brief summary. But tenants moved in, bought a gas powered dryer on Craigslist. Now, I suspect that they tried to install it themselves. Go out for dinner. Come back from dinner. They smell a musty smell. They thought there was mold or mildew coming from the the washer dryer. Lit a candle. Blew up the whole house. Like, literally lifted the roof off the house. Walls come, like, real bad. I mean.
Pete Neubig: [00:25:05] Obviously, they didn't survive, which is to say.
Phil Owen: [00:25:07] They did survive 80% burns over their entire body, internal burns from inhaling the flame. I mean, like, real bad. Really sad situation. Truly a tragic situation. But. Because we had taken pictures of everything. We inadvertently had a picture that showed that when they moved in, that gas valve was closed.So.
Pete Neubig: [00:25:36] And now the insurance.Company, that's what they're looking for. They were trying to blame it on whoever. And now.
Phil Owen: [00:25:41] Yeah, that's right. They want to say, well, you know, that that gas valve should have been closed and y'all had a gas leak, whatever. No, no. We we were able to show that that gas valve was unequivocally closed. But then when the fire marshal came and did the the inspection after the fire, it was in the full, open position. So our photo showed it in the full off position. After the fact. It was in the full on position. It was very clearly opened between the time that the tenant moved in and the time of the explosion. Those are the kind of things that you just don't know what you need, right? So that's number one, is there's so many things that you just don't know what you might need, at what point. And we're in this industry, we're in risk mitigation, right? We're making sure that we're we're covering all those bases. The other thing and this is what's unique to us, that you could do what you could do or what you do that we can't. Right. As a third party. We can't make decisions for our clients. So you might be able to have a technician in a property and say, Ah, that wall doesn't need to be painted. I see the smudges, but we're just going to leave it as is. And they don't take a picture of it, right? We got to document everything because we've got to give you the photo information so that you look at it and go, Oh, I see why that was questionable. And they didn't mark it as needs attention. But yeah, I'm going to go back and have that wall painted. We're not happy with that. That's a half million dollar house. Nobody expects to move into that house with smudges on the wall. So we have to photo document everything because we're not the decision makers. As a company representative, your team member could make that decision on the fly. We got to document it just in case you feel differently about it than we did. Does that make sense?
Pete Neubig: [00:27:22] There's a lot of sense. Let's move on to periodic real quick.
Pete Neubig: [00:27:25] Yeah.
Pete Neubig: [00:27:26] All right. So periodic is one of the main hassles is getting that resident on the line and having the resident, you know, have somebody now after pandemic, it's it's actually been easier as my guess because more and more people are still working from home during the pandemic, believe it or not like we can get in any house. It was amazing like after the initial scare. Right. Because everybody was working from home. So I know it's a pain, but when you guys are doing the periodic um, you know, what are, what are we looking for, What are the top three or what are top three things that you see that are maybe infractions or, or, or, or liabilities.
Phil Owen: [00:28:06] Instead of specific items? Let me start with giving you categories. When you're doing a periodic report, you're really looking for three things. Is the tenant doing what they're supposed to be doing? Are they changing the air filter? Are they changing the batteries and the smoke alarms? Are they mowing the front yard and the back yard? I mean, there are things that they have to do to maintain that house, right? So are they doing what they're supposed to be doing? Number two, are they not doing what they're not supposed to be doing? You know, have they are they installed a house?
Pete Neubig: [00:28:34] Are they.
Phil Owen: [00:28:34] That's right. Trampoline, swimming pool. Do they have illicit pets? Are there seven people living there when they're supposed to be two people living there? You know, are they not doing the things that they're not supposed to be doing?
Pete Neubig: [00:28:44] Are they building a meth lab?
Phil Owen: [00:28:46] Details? Right. Yeah. And then and then third is identifying any type of unnoticed or unnoticed or unreported maintenance or risk items or liability type items. So those are the three things you're really looking for. Are they doing what they're supposed to do or are they not doing the things they're not supposed to do? And are there any unnoticed or unreported maintenance risk or liability type items if you categorize it that that way, the details of it kind of fall into place of the types of things. But I mean, honestly, Pete, just to get on site, to get making sure that the air filters are being changed every six months, you're going to save your owner a lot of money over the life of that property. A lot of money. Yeah, it's worth that.
Pete Neubig: [00:29:31] So one of the things that we did at Empire was because people wouldn't respond to your calls and we'd get a long list of, Hey, these people aren't being cooperative, right? So to combat that, what we did is we would not do a lease renewal unless they unless they did the the, the periodic.
Pete Neubig: [00:29:54] That got a big amount of people to to to let you guys in. Right. Because if they didn't do it, if they didn't do a, um, um, a lease renewal, then what we did is we would stick a for rent sign in their yard.
Phil Owen: [00:30:12] Nice.
Pete Neubig: [00:30:12] Now that's, that's drastic, you know, But you know, first we were doing like month to month and then we realized that people still wouldn't do the periodic, but they pay the month to month. And I'm like, What the heck? They're going to pay an extra $200 plus an admin fee. I'm like, This doesn't make any sense. Yeah. So for the for the few that would not, you know, that wouldn't let you guys in, we would go in and we'd put a for rent sign and let them know that this is their 30 day notice and they're moving out. They basically in effect, they gave us their notice by not allowing on site into the into the property. So just a tip there for if anybody is having challenges with a with a resident that's not letting somebody in because they're quote unquote too busy. Right. Yeah. And you guys work. Um, I think you guys work Saturdays, right? Don't you guys work? We do. Yeah.
Phil Owen: [00:30:56] Yeah. Saturday appointments are precious, though. They book up fast real fast. But I'll tell you something that another another strategy that a lot of our clients pursue is they basically build a penalty and they say, hey, listen, if you don't get this scheduled. Fine. We'll go meet on site pros and we'll go through the property with them. But you're going to pay for our time from the time we leave the property or leave our office to the time we get back to our office at X dollars an hour and all of a sudden people get it scheduled. It's amazing how available they become when, when, when threatened with those kinds of things.
Pete Neubig: [00:31:32] Well, I think, again, you know, I think it's getting. Well, you tell me, is it getting easier to schedule now with a lot of people being able to work from home a couple of days a week? You know, a lot of people I mean, back to the office full time.
Phil Owen: [00:31:42] Yeah, it's easier than it used to be. And honestly, we've in general, we've never had a significant amount of difficulty getting it. There's a percentage of people that just don't want you in their house, and that's more of a preference than it is availability, because we can work with the people who have limited availability, but there are people who stonewall you. Those are the people that, whether they're sitting at home, working from home or not.
Phil Owen: [00:32:07] Right. Yeah, exactly. That's right.
Phil Owen: [00:32:08] But those are also the properties that you most need to be in, right?
Phil Owen: [00:32:12] So, yeah.
Pete Neubig: [00:32:14] All right. So we got limited time left here. But I do want to talk a little bit about using the reports as a marketing tool. You know, I think you had brought this up to me years ago and just tell the our audience like, you know, how to get clients by using these professional reports, whether you use OnSight Pros or Z inspector or something like that. But you know what? What's the benefit and how do we get clients by using by actually showing these reports?
Phil Owen: [00:32:40] Yeah. And we've got a lot of clients who who do that. Some of our clients actually print out a copy of our report and they put it in their, their investor packets, which that's a lot of ink and a lot of paper. I don't, I don't really recommend that. But as part of the the wooing process, they make sure that they get a copy of a report that has been done at a home in their portfolio and say, look, this is the type of property awareness that you can expect from us and this is done by an independent third party. So they're showing you not what we want you to see, but what is. And it it gives you confidence that we are caring for the property the way that you would want it to be cared for, that there aren't things going on there that we don't know about, that we are getting out there with regularity. We're not just going to get too busy and not be able to make it because we've got someone else who's doing it. And here is the thorough nature of that report. You know, you're going to be able to maintain high levels of property awareness. And that's that's part of the value of what we provide you as a service, as your property management company is this level of detailed property awareness. And it makes a huge difference to maybe not to that, you know, institutional investor that's got 150 doors, but to that investor that's got one, two, three doors, man, that is is for them.
Pete Neubig: [00:34:03] The accidental landlord, which we're going to have an influx this year. It makes the most difference too. Yeah. And and so more it's more important now than ever if you if you're able to know who your target is and who you're talking to. Um, I highly recommend when you're talking to an accidental landlord that you know that the this report is showing is in your sales pitch or in your marketing. At some at some point we had it on we had a report on our website. We literally literally linked the report on our website. We had a really good one and a really bad one because you know what? People don't want to see the perfect one. Like, I want to show you the bad one. You know, like this. This stuff happens. And I know some people would say, well, now you're you're showing them bad and you shouldn't do that. And maybe that's not the right thing or or whatever, but we did both. Um.
Phil Owen: [00:34:49] I think that's the right call.
Pete Neubig: [00:34:50] Now at VPM, I talk to a lot of people who have like 100 doors, right? And so they're looking for their first remote team member. And every time I talk to them, we for some reason the, the, the demo becomes a coaching call and the coaching call comes to, you know, the going to the properties. And they have to, you know, they feel like that, you know, they still have to go to all these properties and do all this stuff. And I'm like, if you could, you know, hire a fueltech, great. But at 100 doors you probably can't. So leverage OnSight pros. Let them do all the windshield time for you. Figure out a way to to to to offset the cost you know whether it's to your your owner or to your to your resident and then you could have hire the remote team member and train them to actually review the reports and then they can move all escalations up, up to you. And so highly recommend Phil and his team. Phil, we're up against it. So I'm going to take a quick commercial break and then we're going to put you in the hot seat, The Lightning round. Are you ready?
Phil Owen: [00:35:57] I'm ready. All right. We'll we'll see.
Pete Neubig: [00:36:00] We'll be right back after this.
Pete Neubig: [00:36:05] Here we are. The Lightning Round. Phil Owen, CEO of OnSight Pros. Are you ready?
Phil Owen: [00:36:12] I'm ready.
Pete Neubig: [00:36:13] All right, here we go. All right. What piece of advice would you give someone just starting out in the business?
Phil Owen: [00:36:21] Do things today the way that you will wish you had done them 3 to 5 years from now. Start out building the way that you you hope you will achieve. You know, build things in a scalable way. Don't just look at it and go, Well, I've got time to do it now, so I'll always have time. You won't build things the right way from the ground up.
Pete Neubig: [00:36:42] Does on site pros use virtual assistants?
Phil Owen: [00:36:45] Absolutely. Lots of them.Thank you, by the way.
Pete Neubig: [00:36:51] You're welcome. Does pineapple belong? No, thank you. But does pineapple belong on pizza?
Phil Owen: [00:36:56] My favorite pizza is a thin crust mushroom, bacon, pineapple and black olive. Yes, Unequivocally, yes.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:03] We used to be friends. Phil, we.
Phil Owen: [00:37:05] Used to wedge Issues.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:10] What was your first job?
Phil Owen: [00:37:12] Oh, my first job was waiting tables.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:16] Really?
Phil Owen: [00:37:17] Actually, that's not true. My first job was. Was working residential construction. That was. Yeah, that was before for waiting tables. Okay.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:24] What is your ideal vacation?
Phil Owen: [00:37:27] Oh, mountains. I live in the mountains, but like to get away to the mountains. I hate the beach. Drives my family crazy because they love the beach but.
Phil Owen: [00:37:35] Hate the beach.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:36] What is something that that most people don't know about you?
Phil Owen: [00:37:41] Oh, wow. Um. You know, you wouldn't you wouldn't know it from looking at me now. But in high school, I was actually an all state wrestler. And once upon a time I was a fit.
Phil Owen: [00:37:53] Guy, like.
Pete Neubig: [00:37:54] £110 weight.
Phil Owen: [00:37:56] In high school it was 125, actually. So you're not too far off. College was 133 But that was that was when I got buff and up to £130. Right? That's that was big.
Phil Owen: [00:38:06] Phil Yeah.
Pete Neubig: [00:38:06] Well, now, now I will let you win the pineapple on Pizza War. I'm not definitely wrestling over that one. What book are you currently reading or what is one that's impacted your business or life?
Phil Owen: [00:38:20] Uh. Currently I'm rereading Traction, which is one that has significantly impacted my life. Uh, that that, that has changed our business Traction by Gino Wickman.
Pete Neubig: [00:38:34] Agreed. What Disney character do you most associate with?
Phil Owen: [00:38:38] Who? Um. Gosh, that's a tough one. Let me go with you froze.
Pete Neubig: [00:38:49] Up for a second. You know, it's funny. All the questions I ask in the lightning round, this is the one that gets people the most.
Phil Owen: [00:38:55] I mean, there's so many. Like, you're sitting here, you're racing through all of these. All of these.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:01] Can I make a recommendation? Maybe. Tell me. Oh, come on.
Phil Owen: [00:39:06] I was going to go with Aladdin, but that's.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:09] With Aladdin. I like that one.
Phil Owen: [00:39:10] Yeah. Right.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:11] Not the Genie.
Phil Owen: [00:39:12] Aladdin.
Phil Owen: [00:39:12] Yeah, definitely Aladdin.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:14] Yeah. All right.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:15] What is one challenge you are currently facing in your business?
Phil Owen: [00:39:19] Gosh, scaling. You know, it's a matter of the the labor market is so tight that a lot of people are outsourcing and they're going, hey, we can't hire and keep people to do this. So we want to outsource it. So they're bringing it to us and we're having the same problem, but we're we're finally getting over that mountain. But that has been a huge challenge, is just the tight labor market.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:42] Which do you prefer? Dogs or cats?
Phil Owen: [00:39:44] Dogs.
Pete Neubig: [00:39:46] All right. We're friends again. If if somebody is listening to this and they want to get in touch with you guys or with your team over at Site Pros, what's the best way to contact you guys?
Phil Owen: [00:39:57] You can go through our website on site pros and that's on IG h t as in site visual site on IG Proz.com.
Pete Neubig: [00:40:07] And if you were listening to this and you're not a member of them and you'd like to join, you can go to npr.org and RPM. Org. You can email them at info at npr.org or give them a call at (800) 782-3452. And if you want to scale your business and you want to be able to go to the mountains or be on the beach and not have to worry about tons of emails and phone calls when you get back and you want a remote team member or a bunch of them, go to VPM Solutions Virtual Property Management Solutions. Solutions.com or you can email me at Pete at VPM Solutions.com. Phil, thanks so much for being here today, man.
Phil Owen: [00:40:45] We really want to revise my statement. Best advice I would give is join Narp on the first day. They're going to teach you to set things up the right way. Start out joining Narp if you're not a knaapo member. Fix that.
Pete Neubig: [00:40:58] That's right. All right. Thanks, Phil.
Phil Owen: [00:41:00] Thanks, Pete.
A Podcast | Enhancing Property Management: The OnSight Pros Experience
In this episode we call "Enhancing Property Management: The OnSight Pros Experience," NARPM®️️ Radio host Pete Neubig interviews Phil Owen, CEO of OnSight Pros. We delve into the remarkable journey behind OnSight Pros and discover how their innovative approach is reshaping the property management landscape. Phil shares his expertise on essential reports that drive results and even reveals strategies to combine reports and streamline windshield insights, optimizing efficiency like never before.
Phil is the CEO of OnSight PROS, a national third-party property reporting company. He has 15 years’ experience in project management, software design, and executive leadership. As CEO, Phil’s primary professional mission has been to help property managers learn to maintain exceptional property awareness, facilitating accountability and fairness with tenants, landlords, and professional property managers. He has traveled from coast-to-coast teaching and collaborating with professional property managers to that end. Phil spends most of his free time working on his kid’s lemonade stand: Ethan & Nora’s Fresh Squeeze. Always avoid this topic when talking to Phil. You’ll never get him to stop talking about it!