Property Management Blog

Air Filter Maintenance


Bob Preston - Monday, August 10, 2020
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The following blog post is a time-stamped, full transcript of Bob Preston’s interview of Andrew Smallwood, Director of Sales at Second Nature. The episode was recorded August 6, 2020 and published on the Property Management Brainstorm Podcast. The audio version of this podcast can be found at this link of the North County Property Group website, as Episode 42- Air Quality in Rental Homes: Property Management Brainstorm Show. 


Bob Preston:                     01:10                    Welcome brainstormers to the Property Management Brainstorm show. I'm Bob Preston, your host broadcasting from our studio at North County Property Group in Del Mar, California. Took a little hiatus in the month of July for some vacation time, but I'm back and ready to go. So, if you're new here, please subscribe. So, you have ongoing access to all of our great episodes. And if you like what you hear, please pay it forward with a positive review. On this episode of Property Management Brainstorm, the focus will be on home wellness as an essential part of healthy living. One aspect of home wellness and healthy living is the air quality within your home. Today's guest on the show is Andrew Smallwood, Director of Sales and National Accounts at second nature, a company providing an easy and automatic way to get the right air filters for your home to change your air filters on time, every time. Andrew, welcome to Property Management Brainstorm. So glad you're here.

Andrew Smallwood:       02:00                    Thank you so much for having me pleasure to be here. 

Bob Preston:                     02:03                    Great. Hey, um, I always ask, kick things off by introducing yourself. Maybe tell us how you ended up at the company and what you do for the company and what Second Nature is all about. 

Andrew Smallwood:       02:13                    Absolutely. So, uh, yeah, Andrew Smallwood here and I'm the Director of Sales at Second Nature. Uh, I joined about three years ago and Second Nature helps property managers design and deploy resident benefit packages. So, they can create a superior rental experience for residents and provide more value for homeowners and add a hundred dollars in profit per door per year for San Diego property managers. We, we are, I should say more than just serving property managers, but delivering air filters on time. That's our cornerstone service. And, uh, I would just imagine your listeners would be most interested in what we do for property managers. 

Bob Preston:                     03:00                    So, starting there. Yeah, no question. And we also have a lot of individual landlords who listen in, so if you service those types of people too, then we're speaking to that audience as well. So, I understand you guys have grown a lot, really fast, a new round of funding I heard in July.

Andrew Smallwood:       03:12                    Yes. Yeah. Thank you. And, uh, you know, it turns out when there's a global pandemic that all of a sudden contactless delivery becomes a very high priority for a number of people and, um, saving money on their utilities and HVAC bills and, you know, providing value to residents that can pay and stay and, uh, better results for homeowners as well is increasingly important. So that's, uh, that's, I would say that’s what reflects.

Bob Preston:                     03:42                    That's cool. So you guys, um, I don't, I don't like to say benefit from the pandemic, but you've piggybacked on some of the demands that people have and that's good on you, you know, it's a, it's an opportunity, so why not seize the moment? Hey, I read a piece that was written about one of your founders. And, uh, I think the story was that the Genesis of the company was he walked into a hardware store trying to buy air filters, right. Is this how it goes? And couldn't get what he wanted, had a hard time finding an air filter. And so, what's the issue, right? Why air filters are your cornerstone? Why are air filters so challenging? And what's the big deal?

Andrew Smallwood:       04:15                    Yeah. Great question. So, the problem that we solve of getting air filters changed on time is one that a lot of people can relate to. If they've, you know, had to go to a store to purchase an air filter or have simply forgotten to go to a store to purchase an air filter until it was a bigger problem. It's one of those out of sight, out of mind issues. And we just realized kind of the breakdown points. Bob are, uh, somebody doesn't know their size, or they don't know the quality to buy. We can get into some of this later, but, um, they don't know how frequently to change them, or they forget any number of these things in the case of tenants that some of them don't remember, it's their responsibility. One of the many things outlined in their lease that they're not reading after they sign it. And, um, ultimately we just, we started asking and property managers asked us, they said, Hey, I got your service for my own house, but how can you help me get tenants to change their air filters on time? And how could we do that? And so, we kind of just addressed those different failure points and said, what would be the perfect way to solve those in a cost-effective way other than doing it yourself? Because, uh, can I, I guess Bob, you can tell me if your, if your audience is, is multifamily. Uh, you know, we, we do have a program for that, um, like large multi-family communities, but for scattered properties, like small, multi-family awesome. So small multifamily and single family, those scattered properties, you don't have onsite maintenance, that's going to go out. And so, you, you rely on a tenant in most cases to do it, at least on some frequency until you can get there. And we had to figure out how to do that in a cost-effective way so that it was adding value to these companies. So those are the, those are really kind of the problems that we got interested in and got to work on solving.

Bob Preston:                     06:08                    It’s kind of out of sight out of mind. Right. Trying to think of an analogy, maybe changing the oil in your car. I don't know I'm coming up with something here, right? I mean, a lot of people just don't even know that they should do it. And if you ask them, Hey, when was the last time you changed your oil, might scratch their head and then might maybe have a little sticker in the upper left hand corner of their windshield that they would refer to. I know I look at it maybe a couple of times a year and I'm usually over my mileage, right. So, I mean, is that kind of an analogy, like I would imagine a lot of tenants don't even know that there is an air filter.

Andrew Smallwood:       06:36                    We have a number of residents that don't know what an air filter is. Um, so yes. Um, absolutely. They have to be educated on that. And I think it's a great analogy and further, you know, with an oil change, if you have a car like mine, then all you've got is the sticker in the window. Some of them have the oil gauge, right? They'll tell you like oil life or percentage, but it, but it's not totally obvious. It's not totally in your face. You do have to pay attention to it. And with air filters, it's really even more out of sight out of mind. So, you know, we wanted to make air filters and remembering to do it as easy as opening the front door in a box showing up. It was that physical in hand reminder that it's time to do it. And here's everything you need to be able to do it successfully, as opposed to it being in the closet or out of sight.

Bob Preston:                     07:27                    So is one part of the complicating factor that one size does not fit all? And there are different, I mean, right. Isn't that true? You have to know the dimensions, uh, what, you know, not only that, but there are different levels of air filters, maybe different quality levels. There's pleated, there's fiberglass. There's washable is another variety, right? Different ratings, kind of like, you know, we're wearing masks today. They're all rated differently for COVID. I mean, is that part of the complication? So, if I walk into Home Depot or ACE Hardware, what am I looking at?

Andrew Smallwood:       07:54                    Great question. And it ties back to that original experience you were talking about that where our company was founded of going into the store. When someone walks into the store, oftentimes what they will find 30%, 40% of our customers can't find their size at their local store. And this is something Bob, like, we're not proud to say this, that it's kind of a shame of, you know, the HVAC industry that existed before we did, uh, and, and home builders and the air filter industry, ultimately of there's 380,000 different skews of air filters. I mean, tens of thousands of sizes. And so, you know, stores cannot carry all of them on their shelf. They do carry the, and the way to think about that is, Hey, there's a dozen or couple dozen sizes that make up, you know, half or 60% roughly, but there's a long tail of people who can't find their filter size in a store. And that's a problem to solve. The, uh, the people who do have their size at the store, even still the stores not going to carry it. If you go to a grocery store or a hardware store, they're not going to carry the two dozen sizes, they'll carry three or four. If you go to Home Depot or Lowe's, you will find, you know, the couple dozen sizes there that cover two thirds or so of the market. Um, but that, that is a big problem.

Bob Preston:                     09:16                    So finding what you need specifically, what you need can sometimes be kind of a headache. So, well, what's the big deal. Why, why is changing your air filter regularly so important? And how often should you do it?

Andrew Smallwood:       09:26                    That's a good question. And I would say it depends on where you are meaning in. Here's one of the things I'll say.

Bob Preston:                     09:33                    Of my questions for later, but I'll let you answer it now.

Andrew Smallwood:       09:36                    We'll get into it now. So, you know, the air filter industry does something that makes sense from like a marketing standpoint. If you think about people that don't know much about air filters, but that we have been kind of trying to educate people against. Cause it's just not the most precise way of thinking about it. And that's this that they will say, Hey, this is a 30-day air filter, or this is a 90-day air filter. And you were saying pleaded, which is, Hey, this 30-day fiberglass filter or this 90-day air filter, but you and I both know the weather in Del Mar. I mean, I wish I was where you are 360 days a year because I, I mean, do you even need air conditioning out there? I'm not sure. Probably maybe one day a year. You're like, I wish I had it, but every other day, you're in good shape.

Bob Preston:                     10:22                    My personal thing is I live, if, you know, just a couple blocks from the beach. And of course, the weather is really temporary. Not only that, but we really don't turn on the heat much in the winter either. So, you know, uh, like in our case we probably don't need to do it as frequently as someone say, I don't know Dallas, right? It's cold in the winter. It's boiling hot in the summer. I'm guessing their HVAC is running.

Andrew Smallwood:       10:44                    That's exactly right. And so how can we call this a 90-day filter? Because 90 days in Del Mar is not 90 days in Dallas or Tampa, Florida. Right. And so, you know, really the function of how often you should change the air filter. There's a lot of factors. Do you have pets? You know, what temperature are you running your thermostat? Do you have carpets? What kind of flooring? I mean, I could make a long list, but the couple key things that you want to look at is basically run hours of the system, right? And that's going to be a function of what's the weather like, and ultimately your the climate, like in your geography and the dynamics of your home, uh, that are going to impact that. And so, you know, we've done a lot of studying into this because it is our business and gone deep into this. And so we've got kind of like recommended frequencies, whether it's 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or in some cases, a, you know, a different schedule, um, to make sure we're optimizing for what's the lowest utility spend. What's the lowest HVAC maintenance I'm preventing the maintenance. I'm ensuring good air quality in this home. Those are the three outcomes people typically care about. So that's what we're trying to, to organize that around and make that decision around.

Bob Preston:                     11:58                    Okay, well, that's a terrific, terrific answer. Cause we've been kind of focusing, or I've been thinking in terms of air quality, but you're saying that there's also longevity of your system if your HVAC system. And also, I guess the energy efficiency as well, they run, they run better if they've got a clean filter.

Andrew Smallwood:       12:15                    It is, you know, the EPA did a study and it's, it's 48% of, you know, the average homes you till are of eight of their, uh, energy spent is based on HVAC heating and cooling the home. So, half of their energy bill is coming from heating and cooling. And if it's trying to push air through a clogged filter system, working much harder, the utility bill is going up. And so, whether someone's got a filter delivery service or they're buying them from the store, I mean, air filters pay for themselves on the utility bill before you get to the HVAC savings. And ultimately the air quality benefits.

Bob Preston:                     12:53                    So, this is a little off topic for you guys. Cause you guys sell, sell air filters, but maybe you have an opinion on it. I mean, we don't run our system very often, but there's other bad guys in our home. Right. There's pollen and we do have pets. We have, we live in a highly moist area. So, I got to believe that there's mold spores floating around, you know, in or outside of our home. Should we be having some other source of filtration, like a, what are they, the HEPA filters or something like that.

Andrew Smallwood:       13:17                    I'm looking at mine over in the corner. I've got the $600 instrument. It's a Molekule is the name of it, Molekule with a K and a, it's got a filter and it anyway, without getting into all of that, um, just because I'm an air quality nerd, you know, some people don't know the World Health Organization, the number one environmental issue, uh, that they've put health issue is indoor air quality and just air quality. And a lot of people in America don't know your indoor air quality. It can be two to five times worse than outdoor air quality. Like I think about a lot of the people North of you in LA, uh, where my, my dad's family is from, you know, they think it was like smog and outdoor air quality, but the reality is we spend so much of our time indoors and now more than ever.

Bob Preston:                     14:05                    Especially now. Yeah. All right. During this pandemic.

Andrew Smallwood:       14:09                    Exactly right. That, you know, we take on average 20,000 breaths per day, and the question is each of those breasts, are they contributing to your health or are they stealing from it? And it's why fiberglass filters are a problem because they don't filter even visible particles. Dust and dirt gets through them into the system. It's why you need a plead to filter. But back in the day, pleated filters were made of cotton and it would restrict air flow. So, you'd have these issues of, um, your systems would be breaking down because air is not getting through. And so now we use a synthetic material that allows for air flow. You're getting basically the same pressure drop rating is a fiberglass filter, but you're actually capturing the particles so that you're not breathing them in, uh, you know, on a regular basis. 

Bob Preston:                     14:58                    So what are some of the things that can pollute your indoor air quality in your home? I mean, I rattle off some things you've been talking about pets and mold, pollen, I'm guessing there's chemicals. What are, what are the bad guys that you're trying to filter?

Andrew Smallwood:       15:10                    You named a lot of them? Uh, yeah, yeah. Dust and pet dander and a lot of those things. And obviously, one thing people care a lot about right now is, you know, virus and ultimately virus carriers, uh, you know, the droplets and whatnot that viruses are on. And I can share with you an interesting at your audience’s statistic about that, which is the fiberglass. You know, the, the rating scale for filters is Merv rating is typically the industry standard. There's also an FPR and NPR rating, but using the Merv scale, which is kind of the most ubiquitous scale that people talk about filters. A Merv two or four type fiberglass filter captures basically 11% of these particles. If you go to a Merv 13 filter, which is the high end, probably the highest you'd use in a residential home. A pleated filter you're capturing 87% of those virus carrying particles.

Bob Preston:                     16:07                    Can I capture COVID? I mean, a lot's been made of air circulation, you know, is it safe for outdoors and indoors? Do air conditioners, spread it around? What I mean, I know you're not a health professional, but you're in the industry. So, what does, what do air filters do in regard to COVID-19?

Andrew Smallwood:       16:22                    Well, Bob I'm going to humble myself because I'm not an epidemiologist here, but.

Bob Preston:                     16:27                    I'm not trying to put you on the spot. I'm just.

Andrew Smallwood:       16:30                    I guess what I can share that I do feel confident saying is that I think most people who know this, know that viruses themselves are extremely small in size and I'm not a hundred percent sure if we've determined, whether COVID is, uh, aerosole or it's, it's just in the air and that's the spread, but respiratory droplets, what they are typically on your breath or in a sneeze or a cough, um, what they're carried upon, at least what we think is a primary mode of transmission. That's what I'm referencing when I say 87%, you know, if that's being captured kind of like when you hear about the mask ratings right. Of, you know, what percentage is being captured. 

Bob Preston:                     17:15                    Okay. Well, it certainly couldn't hurt. And I mean, if you're trying to be safe by wearing a mask, makes sense, you would want to filter your air within your house. Right?

Andrew Smallwood:       17:22                    Commercial buildings. Actually, a lot of them have said, Hey, normally we do like a Merv 8 or a Merv 11. And a lot of them have gone to Merv 13 to be able to reopen these commercial buildings because they recognize it's a, it's important for them to, to have that health standard, uh, in their buildings, as they're inviting people back in.

Bob Preston:                     17:42                    So what are your target markets or vertical markets? I mean, you mentioned San Diego property management companies. Do you also sell directly to homeowners, to individual landlord’s commercial properties? I could think of a bunch of different vertical markets myself. So, what's your, what are your markets? 

Andrew Smallwood:       17:55                    Yeah, great question. You know, it's funny because a lot of our property management clients, that professional management companies we work with, we've been the, I'm going to slightly brag on our team here, but they've been the back to back NARPM, which is the professional trade association for property managers, vendor national vendor affiliate of the year, back to back. And a lot of them, I think, just think of us as a service for property managers. When in fact we started in 2012 as a direct to consumer business, like a dollar shave club for air filters directly to homeowners.

Bob Preston:                     18:28                    That's a great, that's a great analogy. Yeah.

Andrew Smallwood:       18:29                    And we have tons of people who sign up and then we do have, you know, a bunch of commercial partners. I mean, brands, everybody would know from restaurants like Applebee's to hotel chains like Hilton or Marriott. Anyway, without rattling them off, uh, you know, commercial, we've got rental property management and then homeowners for their own personal homes. That's I could talk about other specific types of clients we work with, but that's a good kind of basic summary.

Bob Preston:                     18:56                    That's cool. So, you don't, you know, you don't have to be a property manager to buy your product and sign up for an account. I guess that's what I'm getting at. So, the individual landlords that are out there who have, you know, one or more rental properties could be a client and have this be built into their program. What about home automation? Is there a play there? I mean, I'm trying to understand, I know that smart thermostats and leak detection devices, and certain levels of home automation are popping up now pertaining to HVAC and other aspects within your home when it's time to change your filter. Like on my refrigerator, I get this little light that turns on and it beeps at me. Do you have the equivalent, I guess, regarding your air filter on your HVAC?

Andrew Smallwood:       19:36                    Great question. And I think that is one of those where a future that we see is as, um, as these smart home companies can dial into the HVAC sensors and an HVAC performance where they're measuring pressure drop on a dynamic basis, as opposed to getting your filter every 90 days. You know, some people might get it 81 days out or 108 days out, and you can kind of sharpen the pencil on that, but it's an incremental improvement. Um, you know, it's not like a dramatic change, uh, so to speak versus just changing it on a regular static check schedule. So we do see things going that way and it will be an improvement, uh, when that's enabled of like, imagine a smart thermostat saying, you know, Hey, based on the pressure drop or whatever it is, there's a, you know, something happens and that's when the delivery is triggered. 

Bob Preston:                     20:32                    Interesting. So, it's a different way of measuring, Hey, your air, filter's dirty. You know, it's not just like the air filter triggers that the something regarding the system itself recognizes when it's time to change the filter. That's pretty interesting. Wow. Hey, this has been really great. I, you know, have always been wanting to talk to you guys. I'm an NARPM member. I happened to be the president of Cal NARPM this year and you guys have always been fantastic supporters. So, we hope we see you at the Cal NARPM from convention. That's coming up next year. What else about it? I mean, is there anything else that I'm missing or that we haven't touched on regarding air quality and air filters?

Andrew Smallwood:       21:01                    Just listening to what you said. It reminds me of something that we say in, you know, in our company and that our clients say, which is that professional property managers like you, Bob, they know big doors swing on these small hinges sometimes. And air filters are one of those things where if you think about the number one, you know, part of someone's energy bill is this heating and cooling. And the number one way to reduce that by 10, 15%, according to the EPA is changing your air filter on time. The HVAC probably not Del Mar, but in most of the country or as a nation, as a whole, the single largest item in single family, property management, maintenance, like the largest dollar item without question has been HVAC. And so, reducing that we did a study with the national rental home council, and basically, we took 7,700 single family homes in foreign markets. And across 18 months, we actually measured for these homes where we're relying on the tenant to go to the store and change it versus where they're being shipped filters every 60 to 90 days on our standard program. What's the difference in outcome for HVAC work orders and the financial impact of that? And the answer was 38% less work orders when the filters are being delivered versus relying on people to go to the store, which a very small percentage do. 

Bob Preston:                     22:26                    Quarter being a service call pertaining to your HVAC system, that's now stopped functioning. Is that what you're talking about?

Andrew Smallwood:       22:31                    Yeah, that's, that's exactly right. And, uh, anybody who's a self-managing landlord or a property manager at some point gets that gets that call of no heat, no air, uh, you know, with the, with the exception perhaps being in, in San Diego. Right. But, um.

Bob Preston:                     22:46                    Well even here, I mean this time of year it's, it's pretty weird. It can be pretty warm, so we do get it. We do get it quite a bit. Okay. So yeah, its air filters made easy. I mean, that's kind of what you guys offer, like a come up with a way to get it delivered on schedule. I'm assuming all the model numbers of your HVAC system, what size, what type, what rating all that gets input upfront or handled by someone who's a professional on your end, kind of a consultant who helps walk a property manager or an owner.

Andrew Smallwood:       23:12                    Yeah. One of the biggest questions we get is how do I implement this? You know, how do I, how do I do something like this, where it's a success and I'm getting these outcomes, I want of a better rental experience for my resident and a convenient service for them. And then I'm getting as the property owner, the reduction in HVAC maintenance that usually falls on my plate, even if it was the tenant's fault. Um, and ultimately, I'm just not having to think about it. It's just set it and done. How do I implement that? And for professional management companies, you know, it's leases and renewals are where they're enrolling. And we've got people on our, like Dylan White. And I know, you know, and Phoebe on our team, we've got five or six property managers, people who are actually our clients and roll this out of their companies that we've actually hired that expertise in. And so, they do everything from here's the lease language, like the two sentences you plug into your lease. Here's the move in flyer that explains the service to your resident, to here's how you add the accounting GL into property, or AppFolio, whatever service you use. And ultimately, it's all plugged in place so that, you know, 30 hours becomes 30 minutes and most people are actually deploying this as a resident benefit package.

Bob Preston:                     24:23                    You're giving us the playbook, if you will. And then we just, all we have to do is implement it and take it from there.

Andrew Smallwood:       24:28                    That's what we're known for in the industry. So, absolutely.

Bob Preston:                     24:30                    Great. I love it. Cool service. Hey, I want to shift gears here a little bit, because we are running low on time. You guys are working with NARPM and we've mentioned NARPM a couple of times and playing a significant role in sponsoring and hosting an upcoming event, which sounds pretty cool by the way, I'm going to attend. It's called the PM Leadership Exchange. You called it something different. PLM, PML X, I think it's coming up. Yeah, I know. I'm just kidding. Can you tell us about that and who is, uh, who is open to, and I guess why, why should someone attend?

Andrew Smallwood:       25:02                    Sure, absolutely. And yeah, thanks for the opportunity to speak about it because we're extremely excited. It might be a question of like, why is an air filter company putting, putting on an event like this, but we're doing it in partnership with NARPM in partnership with Rent Bridge, another vendor. And ultimately, we went to 12 of our friends and vendor, you know, best of breed services, if you will, in the industry. And we said, Hey, we want to create an opportunity for people to come together and get into conversation about, uh, you know, what changes they need to make and how to move their businesses forward and move themselves, their teams for, from a leadership development, organizational development standpoint. And so, every single one of them said they were in then a hundred people early registered, and it's just kind of taken off from there. And NARPM also lost every opportunity to raise money for their charity because all of these in person events got canceled. And so, and as you know, I mean, we're looking forward to Cal NARPM next year, right? Fingers crossed we a hundred percent. We will be there assuming it's in person. And if it's virtual, we'll be there to, uh.

Bob Preston:                     26:09                    We're going to have it right. There's going, it's March 31st put, put it in your book, either virtual or in person, it's going to be in Napa, California if it’s in person.

Andrew Smallwood:       26:16                    It's always such a fantastic event and we couldn't imagine missing it. And so having those events canceled and not being able to move things quick enough to get them converted to virtual, we said, we need to create an opportunity for people to come together because all of this networking has been lost. You know, all of this convening for conversation about how to move the business forward to innovative ways what's been lost and the fundraising opportunity. So, a hundred percent of the proceeds of this event are going to NARPM charity, Alexander Hamilton Scholars, and that got us motivated to do something really big. So, we're, I think we're going to look at on the 26th Bob and be very proud of what we did together, and there's a 40-person team involved with this. So, I'm just really grateful to see an energized, to see everyone coming together to make this happen.

Bob Preston:                     27:01                    Is there a theme or a focus around it? Is it, is it basically just, Hey, let's get together and brainstorm how we improve our businesses or what's the, how are we going to facilitate this? What's what are the topics? I mean, maybe you don't want to share too much, you know, pull back the curtain just yet, but.

Andrew Smallwood:       27:14                    Well, I would say anyone who wants to look at, but get more information than I would share here that, you know, pm-exchange.com, which maybe we could get in the show notes has the registration page and some more information there, but we wanted to get that in the show notes. Here's a couple of unique things. What's different about this event than everything else is. It is not a webinar we committed. This is not lecture format content. And I love lecture format, content, and webinars. And I am a podcast junkie. I've added this one to my feed and subscribed to it. Cool. I mean, I've got to give it five stars, at least for my episode. Right. But, uh, all that to say, I love that, you know, passive consumption of information, but what we wanted to do differently was say 50%. We're going to be bringing in global thought leaders. People like Christopher Lochhead, he's got the number one marketing podcast on iTunes. Um, Susan Scott, I think she sold a little over a million books of fierce conversations, um, on communication and culture and conversation. We've got entertainment like JP Sears, 400 million YouTube views comedian. And we've also got industry best practices. We've got an executive panel talking about the future of property management. We've got people talking about process, workflow automation, uh, you know, who are experts in the industry and a number of other topics. Um, but 50% of the time, the number one thing that kind of directed our format, Bob was people would often say when they would go to these events, I love the content, but some of the best nuggets I get are at like the lobby bar, you know, talking to people like Bob, about what we were just listening to together, um, or something else entirely. And we said, we're actually going to facilitate the discussion, uh, you know, to enable those kinds of conversations and that's half of the event. So, people are going to be fully immersed, very interactive, very collaborative. And there's going to be some world class content as well.

Bob Preston:                     29:11                    I love it and that word nuggets. That's the word I use. Uh, I always tell my team when I go away to these conferences, I always try to come back with a half dozen nuggets because I mean, that's really what it's all about. You're not going to come back with this whole new way of running your business. But if you can come back with five or six things that really inspire you to make a change at your company, or maybe a change with yourself to lead the company that much better than it's well worth the investment. Hey, I look forward to attending and I think it's going to be great. I'll put that in the, the, the notes for the episode notes on how people can find it. Hey, I always like to ask my guests, if you're up for this to tell a quick brief story about themselves, it can be anything you're a great storyteller I can tell already, you know, so you got to have something for me, nothing, you know, too personal or anything, just something that maybe has had an impact on your life or that happened to you that you'd love to share with her.

Andrew Smallwood:       29:55                    Yeah. You know, um, we were talking about this right before we, uh, we started up and I didn't have something at that point, but what's coming to mind right now is when I think about the message of my life and what I want it to be, it's, it's one of radical generosity. And one of the stories, um, that I love to tell it, it's part of the reason, by the way, I am so inspired and will be at Second Nature for a long time to come, because that is our company culture. I just have to say like earlier, when you're talking about, Hey, it seems like you guys are doing very well and yes, we are. However, while we are doing well, we're also doing good and we're always focused on how do we add more and more value to the people that we serve we care about. And so that's part of, what's inspired us to put on these 50 digital events that we've all learned from leading up to this conference on August 24th. And the personal story I wanted to share is actually an Uber ride, uh, from years ago. And I landed, I used to travel. Remember when our ancestors traveled, um,

Bob Preston:                     31:01                    Right, just to get on a plane.

Andrew Smallwood:       31:05                    Nashville, which is home for me. And, uh, normally I've got the routine down where, right when I hit a certain part of the airport, I ordered the Uber and it's like pulling up right as I get in. But, uh, for whatever reason, I think it was like March Madness. So, there was something going on and there was like an eight-minute delay, which of course felt like eternity. And, uh, I'm standing next to this nice couple from California, actually Walnut Creek, California. And, uh, I could tell they had been waiting on an Uber, but they'd waited until they got there to order it so 15 minutes and then it canceled at the last second. And so, they're totally bummed out. And I just, something inside me called and said, you know what, just invite them into your Uber or drop them off first. You know, let's just do it. We struck up some conversation. I found out like me, they were into fine wine and nice spirits. I said, all right, we're actually going to go to my place first because I just got this case of bourbon. It's like a 20-year and it's unbelievable. Like you have to taste it. And, uh, and as soon as they tasted it, I could tell they were appreciating it at a level. Um, that was significant. And these, I mean, it's like $150 bottle of bourbon. And I just remember saying, you know, what have this, take this with you? And actually, I count them Sylvan and Karen LaPointe, they're, they're great friends today. And it's amazing how, when I think about PMLX and these other opportunities, like you just never know if you might be meeting a lifetime friend, you might be meeting that person who changes your business or changes your future who's in front of you. And how would you show up to those interactions if you knew, uh, that was potentially the kind of person, if you treated everyone, like it could be that way. And so that's a big part of what motivates me to be radically generous and try to show up, to give big and give first. Um, and it's just a more fun and enjoyable way to move through things. So, yeah. Thanks for the opportunity to tell that story.

Bob Preston:                     32:58                    Dude, you gave me goosebumps. That was a cool story. You did good. It's a philosophy on life, not just in business, right? So, it translates well into the culture you guys have at second nature. And I did notice your culture page really cool. I like what you guys stand for and everything about it. Let's switch gears. Thanks for the awesome story. Someone's only made me cry once with their story and I've never had someone give me goosebumps. You just did. So that's the first with your story. Tell us how we can find second nature. Where, how does someone reach out to you if someone wanted to get in touch, wanting to join the program? How would they do that?

Andrew Smallwood:       33:28                    Yeah. Great question. So, you know, in regard to the event, I think we shared that PM-exchange. If someone's looking to connect directly with second nature, certainly they can go to secondnature.com for their own individual house. There's a typically an offer like a first shipment for free that they can find there. And, uh, if they're looking to get connected with our rental property management team, because we do some unique things like expiration dates and things that you can validate as a property manager, that's slightly different from the homeowner product. Um, then they can find the tab on our page about, uh, property management and real estate and submit a request there to get in contact with the appropriate person on it.

Bob Preston:                     34:08                    Cool. That's fantastic. Hey, I can't thank you enough for coming on the show. I'd love to keep talking. You're a true inspirational person. I mean, you, hopefully you're going to be on the agenda for the exchange because I love listening to you and I'd love to continue, but in the interest of time, I need to wrap up the episode today. So, any last words or thoughts for our audience before we part ways here today?

Andrew Smallwood:       34:26                    I just want to say thank you. And it's, it's a real gift. And I know your listeners probably. I hope they tell you this, as often as they feel it, which is that, you know, bringing people together for great conversations and letting people eavesdrop in, uh, in all of these things, it's a, it's a real gift in, uh, I know everything that goes into producing a show like this it's a lot, and we're honored to be a part of your show, which we know is just a top ranking show. And it's great to talk with you. I look forward to our conversations to come.

Bob Preston:                     34:55                    You came in on one day's notice. So, thank you so much. I appreciate it. I had a cancellation Andrew jumped in and said, Hey, I'll take the spot. So that was pretty cool of you too. I really appreciate it. Okay. So, Andrew, thanks for joining the show. As we wrap up today, I'd like to make another quick plug to our listeners to click on the subscribe button and give us a like also, please, please pay it forward with a positive review. Andrew's going to do it. He said, he's going to give five stars. I'd encourage you all to do that as well so that we can get more great guests like Andrew to come on the show. And that concludes today's episode of the property management brainstorm show. Thank you for joining until next time we'll be in the field, working hard for our clients to keep their properties managed properly and maintain top tenant relations. And we'll see you next time. 



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