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    A Podcast | Tal Kramer:

    Pete Neubig: [00:00:05] All right. Welcome, everybody. As promised, i have the Tal Cramer here. Tal, thank you so much for joining the knaapen podcast.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:00:15] Appreciate it. Glad to be here.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:00:17] So tell we were actually at the Atlanta chapter had an offsite conference that that you were integrally a part of. So my first question is, why do you give back so much to.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:00:31] Because I've learned so much thanks to him. I just can't get over what this organization has done for me. What I see, the sharing that everybody does. Um, I'm just blessed that we found the organization. Think it was about 20. Oh, I don't know. It's got to be almost ten years ago now. Um, and, you know, I've been a realtor as well and going over 30 years and nobody wants to share any information with you. They think you're trying to steal their business. And a lot of people know Michael McCrary from our marketplace. And I'll always remember Michael saying our competition isn't each other. It's the 65, 70% of people that self-manage. So if we can help each other get better, let's do it right.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:01:20] All boats, all boats rise in a high tide, you know? And so you and I, we started going on a tangent when we were when we're at the conference talking about, you know, profitability, number of doors, all that stuff. And I stopped you kind of mid-sentence. I'm like, Hey, man, this would be a great podcast. So thank you so much for for joining here. So I'm going to kind of frame the questions that we were talking about that evening so that we can have everybody kind of eavesdrop on the conversation we had. How's that.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:01:47] Sound? Absolutely.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:01:48] So, you know, when I go to any property management conference, whether I'm a vendor now or when I was a property manager, the discussion always kind of migrates to how many doors do you have, Right? And so always, always right. And and of course, you know, so in your opinion, what's what's the most important? Is it revenue, profit or door count or do they all kind of integrate?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:02:11] Well, they do integrate. I mean, revenue is the most important. Um, you know, a lot of people, especially if you're smaller, I think they feel intimidated by that door count. Question And it's like, I can't talk to you. You have 600 and I only have 75, you know, that kind of stuff. But I think it's very important to get a basis, a perspective to be able to learn from each other. I remember, you know, I've taken classes from everybody. I'm a big believer in education and a lot of people know Robert Locke and remember one of my very, very first classes with Robert when he said, What you do at 50 doors is going to be quite different than what you do at a hundred. And what you do at 150 is going to be different than at 100 and so forth and so on. So I don't have a problem with the basis. What I have a problem with is that not enough people do focus on that revenue per door. You know, I was fortunate.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:03:13] So what do you think a good revenue per door is?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:03:18] Uh, yeah, a good revenue per door, I would say. You got to be north of 2500. But there's so much space to have much, much higher revenue. Um, you know, I'm sure we'll get into some details, but, I mean, we've, we're over 4040. Well, actually for 2021, we're over $4,300 annually for each store. Wow. You know, that's and you don't have to nickel and dime people. You just have to have good business models and be willing to implement things. But, you know, we we acquired last year, we acquired a small company. And the woman's comment the owner was, I just want my nights and weekends back. Well, once we evaluated it, she was barely earning $1,000 a year per door. Well, of course, she was working like a dog because she didn't have revenue to sustain having staff and software tools.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:04:19] Right.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:04:20] So 4300 per door per year is is your revenue goal or so. That's that's amazing. I know when I looked at a couple of franchises a couple of years ago and they were saying like 2300 is a good number. So, so how do you get to because look, revenue solves lots of problems, right? If if you have enough revenue, you can pay some bills, you can make some cuts and reduce some expenses. And then revenue, you know, obviously turns into potential profit. Right. So tell us a little bit about what you did on on how to get to that door count because not that door count. Sorry to get to that revenue per door because it's not just like like what you told me when we talked. It's like you don't just create, you don't just create, um, you know, revenue. You just don't create programs just to create programs, right? Everything is built, you know, to, to better the, the client or the or the or the or the resident. So tell me your philosophy and how you and how you did that and how long did it take you to get to that level?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:05:28] Sure. Well, you know, let's start with this, that, you know, we it's kind of unusual. We we actually have our mission statement on the back of our business card. And and that mission statement says we two sentences, we achieve success through honesty, integrity, ethics and caring about our clients needs and concerns. And the second sentence is we measure success by having clients that refer us to the people they care about because they value our services. So in our industry, there's lots of discussion going on in sessions that are being presented at conferences about fee maxing. And I know the intent is to help everybody generate more revenue, but I don't personally like that term because fee maxing tends to give the impression of of your you're being one sided, you're only talking about the value to your side. And that doesn't fit with our philosophy. If you're generating fees like, you know, we're talking everybody knows second nature now they talk about win, win, win. If you can get that triple win that you're providing value to people, then that's a benefit If you're making money at the same time, that's the benefit. And I'm particularly proud that, you know, we've got close to 105 star reviews on Google and half of them are from the tenants. So it says we're giving them good service. Even though they're paying for things.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:06:58] Right? Right. So when you look at a potential fee. What is it? What are you what are you how do you break it down and say, okay, this is a fee that I'm going to implement? And do you implement fees for owners and for residents or do you just push them more to residents? What's your philosophy on that?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:07:18] We have we have grown much more on the tenant side on the revenue than the owner side. Let's face it, owners are shopping in quite a big percentage and are just shopping for price. So, you know, you don't want to you don't want to nickel and dime people. There's if you do it right, there's a lot of nickels and dimes you can collect, but you don't want anybody feeling like you're just creating fees. So, you know, we provide value with those fees and everything that we do does have a markup. I know there's some people that won't do a maintenance markup. I don't see why not. Your staff has to process that invoice has to pay the bill. You have work to do. You don't have to be greedy about it, but have a reasonable margin for that effort you're putting in. And the same thing should apply to everything else you're doing. The owner wants you to pay their HOA dues. Sure, we're happy to do it for you. Here's what our standard margin is.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:08:21] And the cost.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:08:22] Is. Yep. Yes. And the price is right.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:08:25] You know, we're happy to do it. And a lot of times I'm very honest with people to say to them, well, I'm always honest with people, but a lot of times in this when I'm very honest with them to say like sometimes the whole thing about utilities, should they turn it on between we're happy to turn them on between and here's what our additional fees are and it'll save you money if you do it yourself. So it's your choice you want you want the convenience, pay for it.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:08:51] Now, one of the challenges that I had when I when I owned my business was I had all these lists of potential fees, but because there was no automation, we would a lot of the one the team would have a hard time like. Getting on board with the fee, I guess. And two, because without automation, we had a hard time remembering to actually create the fee in the system. So how do you get around to those obstacles?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:09:17] That really has not been an issue for us. You know, we use that folio and as long as you put it in there, you know, your leasing fee, your renewal fee, whatever it is, as long as you have processes to to do this. Now about it's less than two years ago now we moved to lead simple and all of my paper checklists are now processes and lead simple. But as long as you have even if it's just a paper checklist that you check the box. Okay, We added the renewal fee to the tenant charge. We added the renewal fee to the owner charge. There's a simple example on revenue. A lot of people, they'll charge the owner a renewal fee. Why not charge the tenant a renewal fee? You're processing something for them as well. I'm not saying which has to be larger or smaller or equal, but again, why not? And when you ask me about my philosophy on it, if I go to any of these conferences or classes or whatever and I hear about something, it just doesn't make sense. Is it going to benefit all three parties? Is it going to benefit the tenant, the owner ourselves? And then how quickly can I implement it?

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:10:35] If you come back from a conference, you think, Man, I got this great new, you know, fee that I'm going to implement and the teams, the team doesn't buy in. How do you get do you have how do you get the team to buy in or is it just they've always they've always bought in because they've seen it work now. So, so well.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:10:51] Well, first things first I don't like and it's just semantics. I don't go to a conference and hear about a new fee. I look at it as a revenue opportunity. A fee to me goes back against to the whole concept of people calling fee maxing. You're taking advantage of somebody. So I'm looking at as a revenue opportunity. But when we come back, look, we're small. We started out, it was just my wife and I, and now it's my wife and myself and our son. And we have some staff. And, you know, sometimes the biggest roadblock is my wife does all the accounting and handles it all and it's like, Hey, we're going to do this. Wait a minute. I'm not ready to do this. So but we get it all done.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:11:38] Yeah, just. You just put it on the board and. And you do it when you can, right? Like you do it.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:11:43] As quickly as you can. There's no question it's having ideas and not implementing is is just a loss of revenue. That's it's that simple.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:11:55] I love that having an idea and not implementing is a loss of revenue. That's brilliant. I like that a lot. So if I'm listening to this and I'm kind of new, maybe I'm at that 6070 doors or less. When do when do you recommend that you start implementing some of these? I know I call them fees, you know, like call them fees. So but but some of these processes that's a that's a triple win. We'll we'll give Smallwood a shout out for.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:12:22] There you go.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:12:23] Well let's go back to. It was last year at Broker Owner was fortunate to be on a panel about profit and revenue. And one of the first things as I stood up at my portion and I said. If you're tracking your revenue per door, please stand up. Now, there must have been I don't know. I think we had 600 attendees at the conference. I think that was a main session. We had about it probably at least 450 people in that room and said, if you're tracking your revenue per door, please stand up. I'll bet you more than 50% of the room didn't stand up.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:13:03] Oh, wow.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:13:04] So that's the very first thing, is you can't implement things if you don't know where you're standing. Remember when I first heard about this in 2015 is when I first started going back and saying, what's my revenue per da? In 2015, I was at $1,822 annually. I wasn't looking like most people talk about it as what's the revenue monthly? And I get looking at it monthly. But from a business standpoint, I can look at it annually and still figure things out. Um, but it was then what I did, it was interesting, as I said, okay, for the people that are standing, if your revenue per door is over, a thousand a month remain standing. Upon sat down over 2000 a month remain standing. Bunch sat down over 3000 a month. There are only three people standing in the room and said is anybody over 4000 a month? And they sat down and that's when we said our revenue Last year was 4320 for the year. And it just so first things first, start tracking it. No matter what you're where you're at in your business, ten doors, 500 doors.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:14:18] Figure it out.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:14:18] That's the first thing.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:14:20] So what gets gets done?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:14:23] Yeah.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:14:23] And then from there, um, I think your, your question was, I've already forgotten your question about where do you, how do you implement that?

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:14:34] Well, let's let's stay on this train of thought because this is great. So the first thing that you should be tracking is your revenue at at your overall revenue. And then you can easily, you know, how many doors you have. So your revenue per door, per unit, however you want to break it down, that's the first thing you should be looking at because now you can move the needle.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:14:53] That's right. And we're not talking about profit and we're not talking about expenses or anything like that. Just at least know how much money you're generating.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:15:03] Right, from.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:15:04] From property management. Right. And well, let me let me ask you this. Do you do real estate? Do you do realty as well?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:15:10] We do sales.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:15:11] As well, but it's in a separate company. We don't include it in property management at all.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:15:15] Got it. So the property management stops at the kind of the leasing, right? Not.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:15:19] Yes, totally.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:15:20] Okay. So now we're.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:15:21] All by the way, we're all single family condos, townhomes. No, multifamily.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:15:25] No multifamily.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:15:26] Okay. No commercial.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:15:28] Perfect. All right. So now I get the first number. So I finally I finally get all my stuff together and I get the first number, which is my revenue per my revenue total revenue. Then I get my next number is revenue per door, which just becomes super math. Easy now do you how do you break that down even further? Do you look at it a little bit further than that?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:15:47] Oh, for sure. Now you got to look at what are the sources that are generating that revenue per door. You know, obviously, management fee, there's probably the biggest for everybody.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:15:59] Okay, so.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:16:00] You break out management fee separate when you can.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:16:03] Well, I start breaking it down from there. I've probably got about, you know, could I could rattle off the list because I've got a sheet in front of me and this is in the order of most revenue. What percentage of the total revenue this is in the order of the highest.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:16:19] This would be great.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:16:20] We're going to get we're going to get detailed down here. So if you're listening, this is this is going to be great stuff here. So. Okay. So I have my total now. Let's break it down. Yeah.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:16:29] Okay. Management fees, 35.8%. Lease commissions, tenant or lease procurement fees, whatever you call it, 14%. Maintenance markup, 9.3%. Tenant benefit package 8.6%. Credit contingency fees. Some people call them risk mitigation fees, 6%. Tenant early termination fees 5.2%. Master Landlord Insurance 4.1. Pet fees. 4.1. Renewal fees. 2.5. Application fees. 2.4. Late fees. 1.6. Admin fees. Owner admin fees 1.6. Tenant service fees. 1.6. Three more Tenant lost. Discount fees. 1.3. Move in. Move out Tenant fees 0.8% and owner start up fees 0.6%.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:17:42] Wow.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:17:43] So you have it all broken out and then from there, you can actually break out out of your 4300 per year, you would know the percentage of owner fees and the percentage of resident fees because you have everything broken out just up.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:17:56] Right. So like the management fees, you know, were 35.8% of that, whereas most companies are typically 50% or more. I was going to.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:18:06] Say over 50%, right? 50, 60%.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:18:09] And and I forget who I'm trying to remember who I heard this from, but, you know, if you can get your management fees down to being a smaller percentage, that's going to make obviously means your management fees are going to be more competitive to earn more business.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:18:30] That's right.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:18:31] So, you know, I heard years ago, like at some point we're going to get down to the $0 management fee.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:18:39] If you're making enough money and all the other fees, you can do that, you know, and then a lot of people will look at, well, I can't charge for this and I can't charge for that. Well, if you've got a high management fee, if you're a ten, 11%, I don't know, you know, we can't talk specific numbers, but if you're up in a high management fee, then sure, you can choose to absorb some of those things in that monthly management fee. But a lot of people shop on the management fee.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:19:03] I think there's two there's two schools of thought here, right? One is I'm going to go with a higher management fee or I'm going to go with a three tiered kind of model. And my higher tier is going to incorporate some of these some of these fees that we have. And the lower tier is going to be more a la carte right type type stuff.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:19:24] Yeah, I've I've looked at that. I've heard that I've taken classes from people that do the tiered approach. Um, I'm not saying right or wrong, it's just an extra layer of complexity that I don't want to put in our system at this point because now you were talking before and heard a podcast recently from somebody that does audits. How many people have fees but they don't charge the fee or they don't know what they don't charge the fee. I'm going to even increase the odds of something like that happening if I've got three different layers that each have different fees.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:20:00] Yeah.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:20:00] Agreed. Yeah. You know, I go back and forth on this. So let me ask you this. If you were starting a firm today, what pricing structure would you create? Would you do two, three tiered model or would you stay with the you would stay.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:20:14] With the single.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:20:14] Tier. The single.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:20:15] Tier model. And then just just build the process. Now that we have technology like Leed Simple out there, building a process, one of the tasks could literally be create the fee, right?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:20:26] Absolutely. You know, it's. I'm a big believer. I used to write computer software for a living and the old expression, Keep it simple, stupid. You know, I'm a big believer in that I don't need to add layers of complexity.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:20:42] Yeah, that's what I.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:20:43] That's how I look at the multi-tier.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:20:46] I used to be a computer programmer myself and fellow nerd. Oh, a fellow nerd. And to be quite honest, even when I was building my systems at Empire, I overengineered them. Like my business partner would be like, Dude, like, what are you trying to do here? I'm like, I don't know. I'm like, you know, But I'd overengineer them and I can see that. And I'm a big fan of, you know, if the, if the software, uh, you know, folio properly or whoever you're using has it where you can easily build in the, the, you know, if it's a bill and you just build a bill and it happens every month and you can build that. So it happens, you do it one time automatically, you know it charges the lease fee, it charges the you know it, the more the more it can do automatically or at least, you know, your lead sample sends you a task and then it's an auto task sent to you and then that person has to manually do it. I get it. But if you don't have checklists or automation and so it's really hard to implement those fees in your system when when you don't have a process.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:21:49] Right? Well, when we used to and I don't know what your development side was like, but it's like when you're developing software, when you're writing software, you better have a good written plan that you're going to write up into the code because you know, if you've got a bad plan to begin with, you're just going to have bad software. When you're done, you've got to know have that structure and organization. And and I guess because I do come from that technical background and believe in that technical background, um, you may find this surprising, but when we first got in the business and only had 25 doors, I still went with that folio, which at those days had a 200 minimum, you know, and I'd say, okay, so I'll pay four times the door for the software, but I want better software that I can grow into instead of trying to be cheap and just get what I can work with today. And then I'm going to have to go through a conversion at some future date.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:22:47] Which which everybody loves to do right in software. So that's like my that's always on my favorites. My favorite list.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:22:53] Yeah, you.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:22:55] Definitely mean you have to you want to run a good business. You've got to find the right tools and don't be afraid to spend the dollars on those tools if they're going to make your business better.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:23:07] Yeah.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:23:08] So now you have this broken down. Do you look at these numbers quarterly, monthly? And do you build project projects around increasing. Decreasing? Like, do you build projects around how do we get more of these numbers or, or do you look at how do I add more to this or or none of the above? And then when something just happens, you just kind of, oh, this is a great thing to implement.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:23:32] I'm always trying to find ways to increase revenue. Um, I don't you know, I look at the numbers, I don't look at them, you know, monthly. I should look at them more frequently than I do. I know that. But the numbers are not going to change. In other words, most of this is static in terms of, you know, you're going to have a renewal.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:23:57] Especially percentage wise, because if you bring in more doors, it doesn't matter. Revenue goes up, but the percentage is still spread out.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:24:03] That is correct. The variable expenses, which we cannot control, like pet fees, for example. Well, what percentage of your tenants have pets? You know, that can vary year to year or month to month? What percentage of your tenants are you charging that risk mitigation fee? You know what percentage are going to be late. So don't focus on that. But I'm always looking for where I can generate additional revenue. Surprisingly, with all the revenue streams that we've got, there are others that are left that for example, we are only right now starting March 1st, we are now monetizing the pet screening score. We just charged an upfront fee and we charge a monthly fee no matter what the poor score was. Now we're changing that and that'll increase our pet fees. But you know, that opportunity's been sitting there for a while. Just it wasn't a priority and it didn't know enough to figure out how to do it. Well, um, I've been noodling around and I'm sure it'll get implemented soon. We're going to do security deposit in house security deposit, alternative. That'll be a big moneymaker and jump our numbers even higher.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:25:13] Do you feel that somebody some of these projects you can't like the security deposit you can't do until you have some volume? Correct.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:25:20] Um, let's rephrase that from volume. You can't do it till you have some revenue.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:25:26] Okay.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:25:27] You got, you know, it's, um, um, you've got to, you know, actually, in spite of the fact that I'm sure you know Todd outside, he's in our market as well. And Todd has his, his fee course. In spite of the fact that Todd tells me I'm generating more revenue per door than him, I still got his course last month because you can always learn and and you know, his course. One of the things he said in there was you've got to treat that first year of collecting those monies as a liability until you have that cushion that then you can start taking draws against that revenue you're creating. Now that you know you have sufficient funds to pay what you're going to have to pay what you know, who has statistics as to what percentage of the tenants who owe money pay that money. It's different when it's coming out of the security deposit. Now, what percentage do you have to chase?

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:26:22] Yeah.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:26:22] So collections.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:26:24] Right. So, you know, I'm doing my numbers. I'm being as I do this analysis, I'm being way conservative. I'm going to assume 50% of them that own money are not going to pay and it's going to have to come out of our bucket.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:26:39] Yeah, that's that's pretty conservative based on what my numbers were.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:26:42] Well, I'm sure it is, but it's better to do it that way and have the numbers improve. Don't be overly optimistic.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:26:49] You know.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:26:50] I talked to quite a few people in the industry, and I'm surprised at how many of them still have like the three big fees and like that's it, right? They have like their management fee, the lease up fee and like the lease renewal fee. And and I think one of the things that that, you know, joining Northam brings is you meet people like you and Todd and and so many other people who have kind of cracked the code on. It's not just the three fees. You can add a lot of fees, but they're actually not fees. They're actually, you know, benefits to the resident to to the owner and you and to you. And you can literally build your company on this on this revenue by increasing your revenue. Now, you don't have to work nights and weekends and still be able to pay all the bills.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:27:35] Absolutely. And and again, because I started with it was just my wife and I initially and we're small and, you know, I want my freedom. I want to be able to you and I were talking I just got back from Hilton Head. I want to be able to go away. I stress out. It's like if I don't get away every 6 to 8 weeks, I go nuts. Um, so because of that, you start putting in efficiencies and you've got to find the opportunities and then a lot of your, your, the fees as you're calling it may be they're smart fees. Here's something I've put together. Gosh, with my own rental property before I was in property management because I picked up from a fellow real estate agent. Whatever the rent is, we want to charge You want to charge $2,000 a month for rent, We advertise it at 2000. The last sentence of advertisement says Rent quoted reflects discount for on time payment. Ask for details and we write up the lease instead of 2000. We write it at 2100 and the lease says if you pay your rent on or before the first, you get $100 discount every month that you do that. So you pay on time. It's 2000, but on the second it's 2100. On the fifth, there's a late fee on top of it.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:28:52] Right. Well. You know, that has so many wins behind it. When do you think we get 95% of our rent on or before the first? Yep. Because we get our funds so much more quickly than most people that they get paid in the first, second, third, fourth, whatever, up until the late date. We can process it all and pay our owners. You know, our management agreement says we'll pay them on the 15th on or before we pay them. Always around the eighth or ninth, depending on the weekend, because our funds have already cleared. We've given the five business days for something to bounce. Why? Because we have that incentive program and somebody misses it once, twice. They don't make that mistake. And through folio, just like other products they can. Instead of losing $100 of the discount fee, they can pay it on their credit card if they wanted to and pay a, you know, a small convenience fee. But like I said before, what was that number? Our loss discount, 1.3% of our revenue last year was just people not paying by the first and picking up that extra $100. It's such a win win because it incentivize. Incentivize that behavior to pay on time.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:30:10] When you are.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:30:11] When you're looking at implementing a new process like, like this, Um, you know, and we'll get back to that original question. Then we got on a tangent. But so when you're looking to implement a new process, obviously the team has to support that process. The team has to have an update, a new checklist or, or learn a new process. They have to do something different than they did the day before. Um, have you ever had team kind of kick back and be like, Well, you know, Tao, I really don't agree with insert, you know, process fee here or whatever it is. Like I'll give you an example. I had one where we were doing an inspection on the property and we were charging the owner for the inspection and then we would charge the residents do to for the inspection. Now my team just, just could not get past, you know, charging both like we're going out there regardless and the owners paying for it. Why would you charge the resident? And so that was one fee that I just ended up or one, you know, one process ended up not not doing because I just couldn't get the team to be on board with it. Um, so have you like other, other, other processes, I've, I've won the team over, but that was one that really, you know, was, was difficult for us. So how do you do you have like, like I guess is it a democracy or is it a monarchy over there with your with your company?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:31:30] It is a democracy. And again, we're not your typical structure because the three owners are myself, my wife and our son. So, you know, we'll we'll chew it out. We'll talk about it. And, you know, whatever the consensus is, we'll come up with it. And, um, we have not had conflicts about. Whether or not to implement. We might have had discussions about what's the right dollar amount to charge for it or.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:31:59] When or will you.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:32:00] Implement, right.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:32:00] Or when to implement. Exactly. Um, you know, I know our, you know, just again, we're talking about this security deposit alternative and I know, um, our son and myself, we were talking about he says, well, we've got so much going on, let's just do this next year. And I just said to him, No, I want to do it now as soon as possible, because we have to have that year of accumulating the liability. And I want you to start seeing that revenue benefit next year instead of a year later than that. Because eventually he's going to take over the company. So, you know, we want to set him up for success.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:32:40] All right. So before we hit commercial break and we get to the lightning round. Um, what's one Give me one. You know, speaking on on on fees and revenue versus, you know, door count. Give some advice to somebody new. Maybe they're just starting out. Maybe they got, you know, less than a, you know, maybe 20, 30 properties. What is one thing that what is one common mistake that you see that you would tell people? Hey, you know, this is something that I recommend you do.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:33:09] No at the high level. And this is what all of us struggle with, find the time to work on your business instead of working in your business. That's a hard statement to make, but too many of us just are dealing with the day to day reactions, and we don't focus just like how many people don't know the revenue per day or how many don't know the breakdown behind it. So I would just say you've got to carve out some time to run your business successfully. And the other thing is there's really. In this industry, there's really two schools of thought. The Robert Locke once taught it and called it the big agent. The Big A or the little A agent. A lot of people came from sales, and they're so used to taking directions from their customers or buyers or sellers that, you know, they have a different plan for every person, you know. And I exaggerate when I say that, but they let their customers run their business and you can't do that. You have a business. You have to be the big agent. You have to say, this is the way I conduct my business. These are my prices, these are my methods, and I hope it works for you. But if it doesn't, I'm not the right person. Because if you start having structure for person A and structure for person B, you're just going to kill yourself.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:34:31] Oh, man, I'm laughing because like, literally, I did exactly that when I first started my business, right? I somebody would call me up and they complain about how we do it and how we change it. And then somebody else would call up and say, man, you know, you should do it this way. And now I want to. And like and I was literally changing my business for the 10% instead of building the business for the 90%. And yeah.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:34:54] That's you can't.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:34:55] Make you're so busy trying to make everybody happy that you run yourself into the ground.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:35:01] Yeah, Yeah.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:35:03] All right. Listen, we're going to take a quick commercial break and then we're to be right back with the The Lightning Round. I hope you're ready for.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:35:10] The lightning flash suit on.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:35:12] That's right. All right. We'll be right back. Welcome back, everybody, to the podcast. And we're here for the The Lightning Round so we don't have sound effects here at the podcast. You know, we are a non-for-profit, so I make my own my own lightning. That's a lightning sound, by the way, in case you didn't know, that's lightning. All right. We're going to ask you a series of quick questions. Just if you want to expand, great. But they're meant to, like just kind of rattle off. All right. So does Pineapple belong on pizza?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:35:45] Uh, it's okay. But I came from Chicago, and I grew up on sausage, mushroom and onion. That's my pizza.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:35:53] What book are you currently reading?

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:35:54] Or one that has impacted your business or life?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:35:59] Uh.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:36:00] I'm actually reading mystery type novels. I'm just finished another Lee Child's Jack Reacher book just the other day.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:36:07] Oh, man, I'm on his stuff, too. I love his stuff.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:36:10] We'll have Derek.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:36:11] I have Derek Hunter's books still sitting in the package that I need to read. Uh, you know, with all the. The great, uh, Derek Hunter, with all the great expressions and how to handle objections.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:36:22] So.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:36:23] Darren Hunter from Australia.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:36:24] Yeah.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:36:25] Darren. Yeah. All right. Uh, well, after this, we'll talk more about Jack Reacher. So what is one challenge you're currently facing in your business?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:36:39] I think right now is I want to get this security deposit alternative in place. I know it's an opportunity and I've just been too busy working in the business to get it done.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:36:51] What Marvel character do you most associate with?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:36:55] Uh.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:36:57] You know, I'm a big comic book guy. I'm a little older than you, Pete. I grew up with DC and Marvel and loved them, and. And the Marvel characters were, I think, superior, especially the first movies of each one like Thor. I'd say I'll go with Thor.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:37:15] Thor. All right. He's a he's a god, right.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:37:20] In his own mind.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:37:22] What was your first job?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:37:25] Oh, my God. My first job was. My very first job was working at a Dairy Queen when I was 14. And I think they lost money that year by how much I ate.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:37:40] What is your ideal vacation?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:37:43] Warm. Just take me somewhere warm.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:37:48] Other than the Northam podcast, what is a what is a podcast that you would recommend?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:37:53] I like Brad Larson's podcast. I listen to my mind just went blank. It's. I can tell you in just a second, but my mind just went blank on it. No, we.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:38:08] Also got.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:38:08] Smallwoods. The triple win podcast is always a good one.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:38:12] Yeah. Listen to Here We Go Library. Well, yours. I've got that. Doorgrow.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:38:23] Doorgrow. That's a good one. That's Jason Hall.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:38:26] Tell me something I don't know. That's always interesting. The property management show. Another one I listen to.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:38:35] All right. So you got a bunch there. What do you prefer? Dog prefer dogs or cats?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:38:40] Like them both. But dogs.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:38:42] Bald guy. All right.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:38:44] All right. Well, thank you so much for joining the podcast. Being on the hot seat lightning round. Uh, if somebody is compelled that they want to reach out to you, what's the best way they can contact you?

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:38:56] Um, email is tkramer. T is in my first initial Kramer at my dream home.com. Go back long enough. I bought that. I created that URL back in late 90s.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:39:15] Wow. Oh, wow. T Kramer at my dream home.com.com. All right. And if you need if you want to get in touch with me, my name is Pete Neubig. Um, Pete at VPM Solutions.com. If you are looking for a remote team member, please give us a try. Go to VPM Solutions.com. There's over 20 000 remote team members, and it's a it's a free platform for you to find, hire and pay through our platform.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:39:43] If you give a shout.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:39:45] Out to Pete, we have three, three team members through Pete's company.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:39:50] Oh, thanks, Tal.

     

    Pete Neubig: [00:39:51] And if you heard this and you want to give back to them or you want to join them, please call them at (800) 782-3452 or go to NRP m.org. Tal, thanks again for being here. Thanks everybody. We'll see you next time.

     

    Tal Kramer: [00:40:09] Thank you, Pete.

    Jun 13, 2023

    A Podcast | Tal Kramer

    Are you ready to take your property management game to the next level? Then grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this informative and entertaining conversation between radio host, Pete Neubig and Co-Owner and Founder of Avalon Property Management Services, Tal Kramer. They'll share their thoughts on the classic question of revenue versus profit versus door count, and offer up some practical advice on boosting your revenue per door. And if you've ever wondered whether adding fees is a good idea, you'll definitely want to hear what they have to say!

    Bio:

    Tal Kramer, MPM, RMP, is the Co-Owner and Founder of Avalon Property Management Services based in Marietta, Georgia.
    Tal has been a Realtor since 1991. Prior to real estate, Tal was a commodities trader in Chicago and later spent 12 years in Data Processing working in various industries including Commodities Trading, Title Insurance, ATM Communications and Credit Screening.
    Tal and his wife Jeanette have worked together since the day they met in 1981. They spent 10 years together in data processing and transitioned to a career in real estate sales in 1991. In 2009, they founded their property management business, Avalon Property Management Services, increasing their skillset together once again. Their son, Aaron, joined in January 2021 and is now a co-owner and an integral part of the company.
    Tal is an Active NARPM Member who has served on the NARPM Atlanta Chapter in various capacities and is currently the Chapter 2023 President-Elect. Tal has also served on the Broker Owner Planning Committee since 2021.