Property Management Brainstorm

Property Management Brainstorm Podcast

Property Management Brainstorm is a top ranked podcast, hosted by Bob Preston, RMP®, featuring top professionals and experts related to the property management industry. Bonus episodes are called Five Minute Friday (FMF), providing tips and advice, every Friday, in five minutes or less. Tune in, have a listen, and subscribe today!

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Episode 19: The DNA of a Successful Property Management Team

Bob Preston - Thursday, August 22, 2019

Property management is a detailed business with many moving parts - but it’s made simpler with the right property management team in place. On this episode, Bob wanted to do something a bit different - by introducing you to the members of his team at North County Property Group. You'll get to know these fabulous team members...

Property Management marketing manager: Ally Kubarych
Ally is our Marketing Manager - she manages the company’s marketing and communication activities for digital and print marketing channels. That includes everything it takes to publish property listings to Real Estate websites. She touches everything that you see on a screen or in print. If the public consumes it, Ally is in some way behind it.

Property Leasing Manager and much more: Olesya Williams
Olesya came to NC Property Group at the end of 2013 - making her our longest tenured team member. She is the primary point of contact for all leasing and renting activities for our team - both for long-term and vacation rentals. She does lots more than that, though. She is also involved in identifying appropriate rental properties, conducting showings and walk-throughs, and completing all lease/rental agreements.

Property Operations Manager: Brittany Hunter
Brittany Hunter began her career in property management as a 19-year-old when a friend told her about a position in a property management office. She loves being a problem solver - interfacing with up to a hundred individuals per day. Brittany has learned to keep good records - taking detailed notes with every meeting to make sure that the proper information is available in the proper places so everything runs smoothly. A positive attitude and proactive approach are hallmarks of Brittany’s role on the team - she has learned to put herself in the other person’s place to respond as well as she can.

Lana Bryndina: NCPG Accounting Manager
Lana is the one who keeps all the numbers straight for NCPG. She’s a Certified Bookkeeper who specializes in real estate issues and applications. One of the big things she has to take care of is the trust account - a carefully regulated aspect of doing property management in California, where we are located. She’s also responsible for producing and sending out the monthly owner statements that report the income and costs of the properties under our care - and paying the owners the profits they’ve made during the month.

Brett Preston: Our Business Development Manager
His primary role at the company is to spread the word about our San Diego Property Management services. He does that by networking in the local Real Estate market and property investment community. It’s in those forums that he’s able to acquire new clients for the company. Brett is glad that he’s had experience in customer service in the past and believes that it provides him the right perspective to do his work with NCPG.

See the North County Property Group team profiles on our website

Connect With Bob Preston 

This episode is always available for listening, sharing, or download at Property Management Brainstorm

Bob Preston:                      00:01:10               Welcome, welcome, welcome to the Property Management Brainstorm Podcast. I'm Bob Preston, your host of the show, broadcasting from our studio at North County Property Group in Del Mar, California. On today's episode, we are going to do something a little different today. You'll get to meet our team from North County Property Group. You will learn about each of our key staff members, what they do for the company and why they decided to join us on the NCPG journey. If you're interested in learning more about the team, you can go to our website at Hover over the “About Us” navigation button at the top right area of the page and then click on meet our team. All of our professional profiles are posted there, including yours truly. So I meet with each of our team members every week for a brief one-on-one to review how things are going in their area, status of various projects and the like this week that one on one time will be dedicated to record this episode. So here we go and enjoy the show. I'd like to introduce Ally Kubarych who is part of our team as our Marketing Manager. Ally, you get to kick off the show today, which is kind of fun. So yeah, good on you. Thanks for being on the show. 

Bob Preston:                      00:02:18               Okay. Maybe you can start things off by just telling us a bit about yourself and what you do as our Marketing Manager.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:02:24               Yeah. So I am a San Diego native. I went to San Diego State University, graduated at a time where media was changing and overall how users and just general consumers were changing their purchasing habits. Things like social media were just starting to kind of become a hit platform. Facebook, Twitter, very beginning phases.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:02:50               So, it was a Journalism and Media Studies and that was just the kind of the tip of the iceberg where it was, it was starting to become a new way, reinventing maybe what the traditional marketing tactics were, you know, whether it was print to TV ads, to radio and needing to think a little bit more broadly.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:03:15               Yeah, very much. I mean that was 10 plus years ago and things have changed so much since then. And that's the world of marketing. Yeah. So, you know, come to now where we're at in relation to being the Marketing Manager. That is just the key point to it, is needing to adapt and adopt new technology, new streamlines of communication, needing to really match to how the market is changing and it’s changing every day.

Bob Preston:                      00:03:43               Well the company changes too, right? So our marketing needs and the way we do things. You found this, we've launched all kinds of new software and platforms and things that need your marketing touch.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:03:52               Yeah. And technology is just the beginning to adapting to what the company is experiencing as a whole, as a business, but then what we're experiencing in the real estate market.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:04:07               Yeah. Um, you know that's going to be everything from, you may see on a screen, so right from our website to email communication to then print collateral. So maybe you're meeting with our Business Development Manager or you’re visiting a property to see if it's the right rental for you and your family from flyers that are distributed, to a business card.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:04:32               You name it. The website, all up to planning and scheduling out photography to capture our beautiful portfolio of property rentals. And so all of that encompassing in one way or another is tied back to marketing.

Bob Preston:                      00:05:00               So tons of detail and that, I mean everything from square footage on homes to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, right. I mean all this kind of detail. So how do you go about your job and making sure that the company and you, even on behalf of our clients, we're putting our best foot forward?

Ally Kubarych:                   00:05:15               You know the way I see it is marketing from the very beginning is really going to allow our company be successful. And when I mean successful setting up my team members for success individually. Um, so from the start for our Business Development Manager, does he have the tools he needs to be prepared? Absolutely. Whether it's from this first site visit to our website from a potential client to a meet and greet to even a phone conversation. Um, is he equipped with all those tools that are necessary to be able to accurately communicate to clients?

Bob Preston:                      00:05:53               Yeah. A lot of people don't see that as marketing, but sales support and which is basically what Brett does, he’ll be on our show here in a minute, but um, yeah, that's all that all comes out of marketing. 

Ally Kubarych:                   00:06:02               Yeah, it's all a form. And in my mind of acquisition, a phone call can be the make or break moment and our team needs to be equipped with the right messaging to be sure that we have a cohesive brand image and voice across the board.

Bob Preston:                      00:06:16               Right. And then what about like some of the other aspects supporting the leasing team, supporting our property management team. Obviously getting people to call on properties is huge.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:06:26               Yea, and that's making us stand out among the rest. Our rental property themselves needs to stand out against maybe a like property that's in the same neighborhood. Maybe it has the same rental price, but what features, what experience, um, what support will they get from us as their property manager to distinguish among the rest?

Bob Preston:                      00:06:48               Yeah, and what are we doing? I mean, I, I know we have a professional photographer. I had a consultant that I work with who is nationally known and the property management business and she was like, wow, your photographs are better than, you know, anything I've seen.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:06:58               Yeah. Well let's face it, you know, pictures, people are attracted to them. If they see it's photographed professionally, it stands out tremendously among maybe a self, you know, rented, managed property that, you know, maybe it's shot on an iPhone, which can be great, but there is something really different if you compare the two. We capture every part of the property, whether it's a closet to the outdoor space, and then also having a descriptive description about the home or the property itself, gives them just one more element of what it could be like to live at that home or the property.

Bob Preston:                      00:07:38               Yea, you know we’ve done a couple of new things recently too with our property listings. We've done the 360 degree dollhouse for our premium clients. And then we also do these virtual tours. Can you tell our listeners about those a little bit?

Ally Kubarych:                   00:07:48               So the 3D dollhouse feature is a great way, especially if we have a prospective tenants who maybe are not in the area right now and so they can't pay a visit to the property. This allows them to take a 3D tour so you actually get an experience of being in the home without physically being there. And it's just one more element to separate us, uh, among the rest of property management companies. And then it also allows our clients, our property owners to, you know, showcase what it would be like to be in this home of theirs. And I think that in itself is a really cool, unique technology that we've taken on most recently. And then the virtual tours is just, I would say a step continuation from there to capture as a whole, showing the, the location of the rental property, providing some additional details about the home and capturing it in one, in one video, all encompassing rather than needing to read a description and look at all the photos separately.

Bob Preston:                      00:08:52               Yeah, there's, it's narrated. So it kind of combines your listing description with the photographs and things like that. So. Cool. Well, what do you find most challenging about your job? You're, you're touching a lot of things in the company. You work with almost every individual on our staff. Well, I mean, what do you do you find the most challenging aspect?

Ally Kubarych:                   00:09:08               Yeah. You know, I mean, something in relation to marketing in, in any type of area or focus, you know, field is you're needing to react a lot of the time, as much strategy and planning as you can do when it comes to a project, an ad campaign, there's always going to be something that comes up.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:09:32               Totally. And that might be from an element of your website is having complications to one of our additional softwares that we use to syndicate out to rental listing sites might be experiencing some issues. So you're having to trouble shoot whenever those things come up.

Bob Preston:                      00:09:50               We do get, that's interesting cause we did get reports every now and then. Like I went to Zillow and I couldn't find my listing and sometimes it's user error, right? Sometimes there's some sort of a problem with the feed that we weren't aware of and it just happens. It does, you know, sometimes a things hiccup at Zillow or with our property management software.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:10:20               You know, I would say the collaboration of our team, it takes everyone effort to make our company meet its mission and it thrives in the culture that we've established here. And it's such a unique opportunity being a small company to kind of get your feet wet in everyone's area of focus. You know, there's not a really siloed segmented department within this company. Everyone is involved in some way or another, which then allows all of us to become knowledgeable one step further about the operations.

Bob Preston:                      00:11:01               It's interesting comment because we are what I call departmentally organized, right? Everybody has a functional responsibility, but I, I've used companies kind of one big Venn diagram, right? You have all these overlapping areas of responsibility and they all touch each other. You're, you're absolutely right. Yeah. What are your thoughts about the property management industry? You've been with us for I guess about a year and a half now. You've done a terrific job, but you talked a little bit about our company and our culture, but what about the industry itself?

Ally Kubarych:                   00:11:26               You know, so coming here, it was my first time really getting any insight or additional knowledge, you know, from an operational standpoint and, and just to the field of real estate. And it's been really educational, very informative of, how is the real estate market going? What does it take to maintain the condition of a property? To all the different people you interact with and touch on a daily basis to have happy clients. Owners, tenants, vendors, and then what it takes among our team to make all of that happen. And you know, every day it's a different experience. Uh, and that is just based off what clients are coming in, what rental properties we're bringing on board. And no one is like the other, which is exciting and keeps us all on our toes. 

Bob Preston:                      00:12:25               It's true every day, every, every property, every person, every owner, every tenant. They're all unique individuals and uniquely unique aspects. You know, I'd never really thought about it this way, but yeah. You have a lot of content come across your desk. Our website, our listings, all these podcasts, you know, you help, uh, with the sort of transcription into the written word and putting it up to our blog, all this stuff. Right. And so, yeah, I can imagine, uh, you've learned a ton over the past, uh, past year or so. Any other thoughts or words kind of in summary Ally? We gotta move on here. Um, yeah, it's been great having you on the show.

Ally Kubarych:                   00:12:56               Yeah. You know, getting to be a part of this team has just been such a rewarding experience because it's just not only challenged myself, but we challenge each other, which only allows us to further grow and develop as a company and help push ourselves to the next step. Whether it's bringing on another software provider to help us improve our experience internally or outwardly for our clients and tenants and vendors. To just engaging with one another, to allow us to further explore what opportunities we have in the future. And it's, um, it's a, a great group to do it with.

Bob Preston:                      00:13:45               All right. Okay. I now have Olesya Williams with me and the here in the studio. Olesya is our Broker Associate and also our Leasing Manager. Olesya, you're also the longest tenured employee here at the company. You've been with us quite a few years. So welcome Olesya to the show.

Olesya Williams:              00:14:10               Oh, well I remember as it was like yesterday. So basically I've been with the company since, um, uh, the end of 2013. And um, you at that point, I don't think you had the, any official posting for the job. Yeah, I was just kind of all this was interested in real estate. I was always, um, uh, wanting to work for a property management company. So I researched some companies, uh, online. I, uh, basically came across our website, which was very professionally made at that point. And then I looked through the website and I said, yes, that would be wonderful to be a part of this company. So I messaged you. 

Bob Preston:                      00:14:50               It's funny, at the time the company was still working virtually, it was quite a bit smaller. Right. We didn't even have an office yet. In fact, I think that was right, right as I was signing the lease for the new office. So I knew I was going to need help. And I think we met at Starbucks as I remember. 

Bob Preston:                      00:15:22               So you've seen a lot change here and you've been through a lot of experience in the last five or six years with North County Property Group. What have you seen, what are some of the changes that you've noticed the most about the company?

Olesya Williams:              00:15:33               I understand you have a very extensive background in consulting for a tech companies and that basically you brought their experience into North County Property Group. So technologically, um, we're advancing. Um, I saw a lot of new technology of faster operational aspects. I mean we went paperless.

Bob Preston:                      00:15:54               Yeah. I think they're all ways to be more efficient as a company and as we got bigger we needed to improve ourselves and in a lot of those areas. Right, which forces change.

Olesya Williams:              00:16:03               Yeah, absolutely. And you as a leader, you're very open and you're looking always at new opportunities, how to improve processes and that's what I noticed about you. You're basically not afraid of trying new things and always improving all this searching for new solutions to the problems that arise and we're in kind of a problem solving business. So that really helped me to learn on how to stay ahead of the curve, I would say.

Bob Preston:                      00:16:35               Right. That's one of my motto's. I'm glad to hear you say that. I always like being ahead of the curve so we're not caught in some bad situation where we feel like we have to scramble to keep people happy. So. All right, that's good. Well, you've also had a lot of personal and professional achievements during the last five or six years. Can you share some of those?

Olesya Williams:              00:16:52               Yeah, absolutely. So when I started with the company, I didn't really have a lot of experience with uh, leasing aspects. I didn't at that point I was taking real estate classes, but I didn't necessarily have my real estate license. Yeah, I wasn't licensed. And I'm very thankful for you seeing this in me seeing and giving me a chance to basically, uh, join, uh, your company at that point. You, I know, you know, you placed a lot of things on the plate to make this business successful and I'm very thankful to you for basically letting me join your team. And at that point I started taking real estate classes and I passed the real estate exam for the sales person's license. And then I worked as a real estate salesperson, uh, for first three years I guess. And then I decided to get my broker's license. So I finally got my broker's license and a, I've got a lot of experience and now confidently working.

Bob Preston:                      00:17:54               And today I been, you know, so much about this business and about our business. It's uh, it's unbelievable. So I find that people come to Olesya every day because she's been here, you know, since we very first time opened our actual office. So a lot of the office processes and the amount that you've learned over the last five or six years is unbelievable. Okay. So today you're the Leasing Manager. Um, you're the one who interfaces with a lot of prospective tenants. Listeners that might be interested in finding a property manager or maybe even hiring us, would be interested to know what a Leasing Manager does. So how do you spend your day here at the company?

Olesya Williams:              00:18:54               Yeah, that's right. So basically first time when I come to the office, I start to look at inquiries that came in throughout the night or from the night before and basically start answering those inquiries, answering emails. I typically walk in and my email inbox is full of emails. I would say on average I will have around 50 emails that need pretty much immediate attention. Again, we have a really good lead management program that allows us to send emails in a timely manner. Then with every email I basically give a call to a potential lead, then try to kind of find out, discuss their situation, their um, you know, a future move in and details and a schedule showing appointments. 

Bob Preston:                      00:19:43               Right. And we've also got a technology that allows you to help them schedule a time when you would be available. Right? It's, it's called Tenant Turner.

Olesya Williams:              00:19:49               Absolutely. So, but since we have, yeah, but since we have so many properties, sometimes it's a challenge. I admit that. But it's a high pace environment and that's what I enjoy working with people. I enjoy meeting people face to face. I enjoy daily interactions with people and people have different, their personalities, different characters. But that's what makes my job very interesting.

Bob Preston:                      00:20:12               Yeah. I kind of equate it to this funnel management. We use this in our, uh, we every owner who joins a North County Property Group with their property every Friday when their property is listed for rent, they get what's called the Listing Tracker. And we use the funnel analogy where you have a whole bunch of leads or inquiries on a property that kind of fall into this funnel. And it's Olesya’s job to move these inquiries or leads down through the funnel. So hopefully eventually we have one apply and pops out at the bottom as a, as one of our tenants. Right. I mean that's kind of the process that you're in charge of.

Olesya Williams:              00:21:25               Yeah, absolutely. My favorite part is to provide a great customer service. I really love seeing people happy when they are basically satisfied with their choices and satisfied with the level of customer service that we as a company provide. Uh, we are in the problem solving business. We're in the customer service business and it's very fulfilling to me to know they're happy. So when I interact with tenants, they would like to find this ideal property that they can call home, uh, where they can be comfortable and with, uh, I believe in majority of cases people just trust us and trust our professionalism. And uh, that's my main objective to provide great customer service and provide them with the highest level of professionalism and treat them fairly.

Bob Preston:                      00:22:16               Yeah. One of the things we've done for the tenants that we actually meet face to face and show properties is we have a little pamphlet that we hand out to the tenants and you sort of market the company to the tenants too, right? Because I think that there's some comfort that a lot of prospective tenants get from the fact that okay, this property is professionally managed by North County property group and tell us about that. Is that, does that helpful and kind of pitching to the tenant, I guess,

Olesya Williams:              00:22:43               I think it's basically from start to finish the process, how you respond to inquiries, how you schedule showings, how you being responsive throughout the process and how you meet them at the providence and present yourself. I'd say additionally with the marketing materials and our marketing materials and marketing was top notch, I would say. So a lot of people looking at it and they're wowed by this because not a lot of property management companies are to this level. So I think all items and combination basically create a great experience with our potential tenants.

Olesya Williams:              00:23:28               Yeah, absolutely. The great tenant, let's set aside their qualifications, but also very important item. I have met people professionally who were our tenants and they would have everything great on paper. They would have the great credits, a very organized, great credit score. Great. Um, uh, income, let's say. However they would lack personality or an attitude and sometimes, uh, it would be challenging to deal with tenants like this down the road in the future. Right. But then you meet people that are basically, they're qualifications are great, their personalities great. Are personalities also makes a big difference when you interact with this tenant, you know, it shows you how tenant will basically react to the issues that may arise at the properties. Handled themselves. Exactly how they treat our team, how they, it just a, the whole combination of things.

Bob Preston:                      00:24:30               Yeah. What I've found in working with you, cause we talk about our tenants, we're screening almost every day, right? There's probably a couple that happened and I find that the tenants that are more forthcoming and honest and they say, okay, here's my application. Here's what you're going to find. Right. Those are the ones that really are probably the easiest to work with because they're organized, they're telling you the truth. They give you all the information that you need. The ones that are harder is when you're sort of pulling teeth or maybe everything's not quite as clear. What's going on with that individuals. So you know, those, those can be a little bit more challenging.

Bob Preston:                      00:25:21               Well you do a really good job also being patient because let's face it, some people have never rented a property before. Sometimes we have executives even coming in from out of town to take a new job. They need a rental property, but they've owned a property in another city or even state and there can like, hey, I don't know what to do. You know, so you're very patient with them. Kind of guide them through the application process, tell them what they need to submit, what information you need from them to, for us to be able to make a decision. And that's a, that's also, I think one of your big attributes too, is making people feel comfortable and calm, you know, is a big aspect that you bring to the job.

Bob Preston:                      00:26:07               Good intent will they see a, you're super valuable to this company. You've been a incredible addition and you continue to grow, which is astonishing to me. The, the amount that you've learned and the amount that you've grown in this job over the years is fantastic. Hey, thank you for being here today. We gotta move on and I gotta get you back, uh, talking to tenants. Okay.

Bob Preston:                      00:26:30               Okay, Brittany Hunter, our Property Operations Manager is now in the house. Thanks for joining us, Brittany. 

Bob Preston:                      00:26:37               So you are relatively new to North County Property Group. You've been here what, a couple months now I think. Yeah. Even, but you're not new to the industry. So maybe you can tell us about yourself, your background as a property manager and how the stars kind of aligned with you and I and the company here for you to become a member of our team.

Brittany Hunter:              00:26:54               Sure. I have been doing property management in several different capacities for the past 10 or so years. I have worked in multifamily and single family vacation, a little bit of commercial even. North County Property Group has such an amazing reputation in San Diego and also is the best in north county. So kind of wanted to be a part of that.

Bob Preston:                      00:27:20               How did you get into property management? I mean how does that, how did that happen?

Brittany Hunter:              00:27:23               Yeah, I was in college and I had a friend of a friend who was working at a property management company in Mission Beach and needed a receptionist, admin assistant type thing.

Bob Preston:                      00:27:43               Well, it suits your personality. Property management's a tough role. I mean it's really a, it's a difficult job. Lots of multitasking and balls in the air. Sometimes things are emergencies, are incredibly stressful. How do you do it? How do you handle it? How do you handle the stress? How do you handle the, uh, keeping so many things going at one time?

Bob Preston:                      00:28:36               Because I mean, we don't always have the answers and sometimes you, or sometimes I even have to do it, be the bearer of bad news and owner's your property. Yeah. Always very uncomfortable. But they just want responsiveness. They want to be kept informed. And so the communication aspect is, you know, really, really key.

Brittany Hunter:              00:28:52               Yeah. People come to us to help solve problems. And I think like being a natural problem solver and just wanting to get to the bottom of it and solve whatever comes our way is, is fun.

Bob Preston:                      00:29:04               And that's true. I mean you interface not only with property owners but also with our tenants, with our vendors, with our other staff members. So how many different people do you communicate with on a daily basis? I mean, you make a lot of calls, get a lot of messages, right? I see you on your phone and you're on your get a lot of texts, you know, on your email. Any guess?

Bob Preston:                      00:29:39               I always tell my wife, you know, we have a hundreds properties. Each property has usually two owners, sometimes one, but sometimes two owners. We have tenants where oftentimes it's a family. So there might be two to four people and one of our properties as tenants. Yeah. We have vacation rentals where people are coming and going all the time. We've got our vendor team. So literally there are thousands of unique individuals and personalities that we deal with on a, on a day in day out basis. 

Brittany Hunter:              00:30:22               Yeah. I take detailed notes in meetings on site with owners or if I'm on a phone call, I make sure to take detailed notes. I also document things with photos and just make sure that all of that documentation is being saved in the place that it's supposed to go. And referring back to that in the future, there's a lot of record keeping and comparing notes from when a tenant moves in to when a tenant moves out. Um, and just making sure that's all at the click of a button in one of our, our platforms. We have a lot of different technologies that help us stay.

Bob Preston:                      00:30:59               Yeah, Olesya had brought that up in her conversation with me a couple of minutes ago that we have a specific one for property management right at AppFolio.

Bob Preston:                      00:31:24               So you've been in the business for long time and so, and I remember when I first interviewed you, I just thought you'd be a really good cultural fit because of some of your kind of personal philosophy. So I don't know if you remember what you said to me or if you'd care to share some of those things, but I was impressed. And yeah, I think more than anything that despite your experience, which is fantastic, I mean I was really looking for someone who is a cultural fit. So maybe you can just share how you view the, the job, the industry, where you want to work.

Brittany Hunter:              00:31:51               Yeah. Yeah. I think culture is hugely important. I think that, you know, coming in with a positive attitude and a proactive approach is super important. We're faced with challenges or requests from people on a daily basis and just being ready to give our recommendations, be really proactive on that and stay as a team. I think that, you know, we're all working hard at the end of the day to achieve the same things. So I also try and put myself in the place of an owner in the place of a tenant and think to myself, okay, if this were my investment, how would I want this ran? Or if this were my home, what would I want it to look like? So that's kind of my philosophy.

Bob Preston                       00:32:38               Yeah. And sometimes get upset, right. As it can be a job and a business that sometimes can have to deal with conflict. Right? Absolutely. Yeah. How do you find that? I mean, how do you keep your calm? How do you interface with people that might be upset or? 

Brittany Hunter:              00:32:55               Um, I do a lot of listening, so I think hearing people out is huge. Um, a lot of the times people may just want to vent and then when you get to the end of it, they're happy. I think that you always just do your best to try and hear people and address things and, and the way that they'd like sometimes you aren't able to, and sometimes it can be challenging to meet the needs of both, but I think a lot of the times it's all about listening.

Bob Preston:                      00:34:27               Right. So you're right, some things are kind of cyclical. You know, when a tenant's moving in, you don't want a tenants moving out. You know, when we might have inspection scheduled, you know, maybe when I'm a plumber or an electrician might be going to a property, but what you don't know is the unknown of what you might be walking into on a daily basis and yeah, things happen. Right. So it's interesting. What do you find most challenging about the job?

Brittany Hunter:              00:34:48               I think that sometimes tenants and an owner's goals are not aligned and sometimes trying to sync that up and make sure that both parties are happy and that's sometimes challenging or just unexpected events where you are, um, affecting someone's home. You know, you want to make sure that people are feeling comfortable in their, their home.

Bob Preston:                      00:35:13               There are two sides, there's the tenant side and make sure the tenants feel secure and safe. Wow. And then there's also getting the owner to align. I think that's what you're saying with your recommendation that you may or may not or may have already talked to the tenant about. Right. That's, that's tough. Okay. That's what makes us job, I guess, kind of fun for you. Right.

Bob Preston:                      00:36:02               Okay, so now I've been joined by Lana Bryndina. Lana is our Accounting Manager at North County Property Group and thank you for taking your time away from crunching numbers. Lana's great to have you on the show. You're very experienced as a bookkeeper in this business and well-educated. Maybe you could tell us a bit about your background and what your qualifications are for, you know, being our bookkeeper and accounting manager.

Lana Bryndina:                  00:36:20               I graduated from University with degree in Economics and Management. Not really a picture of myself doing accounting in the future, but in some time, um, I decided that it can be a really good fit for me. So I get my second degree in Accounting and this is how my journey starts in this field.

Lana Bryndina:                  00:37:00               So before I join the NCPG, I work as an accountant, mostly in commercial real estate and in different roles and for different companies. But real estate is my area of expertise.

Bob Preston:                      00:37:43               Right. Yeah. We're not talking about a necessarily gap account in here. We're talking about more individual property accounting. And one of the things that you and I talk about a lot is we're regulated and we're watched by the California bureau of real estate called the BRE. And in particular they're always, you know, concerned about our trust accounting. So maybe you can take a couple of minutes. I, I, you know, most of our owners know what a trust account is. Some of the listeners who are thinking about renting their property may not. So what is the trust account and why is that so important?

Lana Bryndina:                  00:38:14               Yes. So you're right, the trust accounting is a big, huge part of property management or real estate overall basically the handling funds that don't belong to us. They belong to our clients or tenants. Sure. So at any particular time, those funds, like our company's funds and our client's funds cannot mix together. So this is where the trust accounts. And all those trusts came in play that we set up those accounts to handle our clients money.

Bob Preston:                      00:38:53               Give us an example of a deposit made into the trust account that would be considered trust funds.

Lana Bryndina:                  00:38:58               So receiving the rent, right, or paying the vendor bills, distribute the owner's funds. Paying taxes on behalf of the security deposits. Deposits. Yes, of course. The big one. All those transactions hitting only the trust accountants and here we're talking about like hundreds and hundreds of transactions per months. Yeah. So it's put a lot of regulations of course on us, how to handle it. Like how often we need to reconcile, be aware what balance belongs to each of our clients. Right there.

Bob Preston:                      00:39:40               Right, and we have good software for this. Our, our property management software is excellent. We use AppFolio and the accounting module. You've come a professional now. Yeah. Trust accounting.

Bob Preston:                      00:41:26               Yeah. Because one thing that is relatively predictable each month is that the rent should be paid on the first. That's the expectation. Sometimes we have tenants who pay on the second or the third and if there's a holiday involved. But in California there's typically considered to be kind of a five-day grace period.

Lana Bryndina:                  00:42:46               Sure, yes, of course. So as this statement is approved and you usually the one who is approving and then review them, the first step is going to be to process all the payments. That is not done up to these days. Usually it's owners distributions like our management fees. So first of all we send those payments out, just 99.9% of our owners receive their funds directly into their accounts.

Lana Bryndina:                  00:43:44               Then it's like where's my statement? So I want to know how this amount was calculated. So the next step was going to be after all the payments issued the issue final, this statement, which means that we run those statements to be review them one more time and just by pressing the button it's automatically send the email to the owners saying your statement is right there. And it's also posted automatically to their owners portal so they can access this statement at any given time after it.

Lana Bryndina:                  00:44:49               Usually yes, it just explanation and let know how it's organized because the statement is a really straightforward process and we really cannot change it as we wish to or adjust it for every owner. So, but this is some kind of basics and we just need to follow up.

Bob Preston:                      00:45:13               One of our core cultural aspects of the company is to make sure we're always doing things by the book, doing things under proper processes from a regulatory and being fully transparent. And so we, and you share this philosophy like look, this has to be tight, it has to be accurate and we have to stay on top of this. And so I really respect you for bringing that cultural match with me and the company and kind of living up to it and doing a great job on a monthly basis with our, with our owners. And obviously I'm going to come time when other aspects, like sometimes we have to submit tax returns for owners or with our vacation rentals we have to pay transient occupancy tax and Lana is very efficient in all these aspects so you also handle our corporate accounting. We haven't really talked about that. We won't spend much time talking about that today, but as you mentioned out of the trust account, we pay ourselves a monthly fee that's agreed with each owner. Those funds then go into our operation account or what we sometimes call our corporate account where we pay our staff, we pay our electric bill, our rant, those kinds of things and and that's when we generate our P & L and that's more typical accounting at that point.

Lana Bryndina:                  00:46:23               It is the typical accounting, but I would say the handling the corporate book is probably the most challenging part of the job and most complicated because even if we take trust accounts from the equation, the corporate structure is still very complicated. It's a lot of moving parts there. That should be recorded on time and tracked appropriately and it should be with high accuracy. So, and a most importantly, it should be kept in the real time. So you know exactly what is happening right now. Yeah. And that looking back and saying, okay, I wish I know it like two weeks ago or something. 

Bob Preston:                      00:47:13               Right. And this is all really important because obviously our clients and our tenants want us to be managing our own affairs very efficiently and properly and in a profitable fashion. So the company is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Property Management or known as NARPM. And one of the things I laid on you recently was to convert our books to what's known as the NARPM standard. Right. And so you've just gone through that process. How is that process for you of kind of converting our books?

Lana Bryndina:                  00:48:54               Well, I, you really like the variety of like changes and functions and, um, assignments that I personally do at the company. Yes. We do change a lot and we do invest a lot of time trying new things and see if they are going to work for us and this is very interesting in part of the job because my job, some people might say it's boring or it's just brings different prospective. It's a lot of things to learn before we even start implementing something new at the company.

Bob Preston:                      00:50:02               That's a really good point. And sometimes when we recognize that we need to make a change or need to grow or maybe bring in a new way of doing things that can be painful to the team. Yeah, yeah and but it's all part of being at the top of our game in this particular business. And I hear from new prospective clients all the time that, oh my gosh, my old property manager were still using excel spreadsheets and sticky notes and paper pads and we do not, I can assure everybody listening that stay, we stay on top of the top technology available. Well, hey, this has been great, Lana. I couldn't do it without you here at NCPG. Lana is kind of my right hand person in terms of being a financial confidant and keeping track of our books and thanks for being on the show. That was really good stuff. 

Bob Preston:                      00:50:51               Our last guest on the show today is Brett Preston, our Business Development Manager. And thanks for being here Brett. 

Brett Preston:                   00:51:20               So far it's been fantastic. As you know, I have a background in customer service in the hospitality industry and a huge part of that was just relationship building, establishing trust, establishing rapport with people. And it's been really fantastic bringing my skills that I've learned from that industry and you know, using them in a completely different profession. Sure. And it still is absolutely related. I mean just exactly that. Communicating with people, building trust. 

Bob Preston:                      00:52:06               So the people that you interface with are typically going to be new perspective clients and that's exactly the audience that this podcast is targeting, right. Writer is oriented towards is people who want to learn about property investing, perhaps property management, whether they're going to do it themselves or hire a property manager or even maybe might be considering hiring us. So what words of advice do you have, I guess for somebody who's considering doing that? Maybe getting into real estate investing and maybe hiring a property manager? 

Brett Preston:                   00:53:00               Absolutely. But it is a new business that you're venturing into and you know when running a business what's important. It's important to fully understand everything that's involved in operating that business successfully. And when you hire a property manager, it's like hiring a partner for your business, someone that you can really trust to take their fiduciary responsibility in regards to your property seriously and have the same alignments in, you know, their priorities, ethical standards, communication and transparency and really make sure that whoever you hire you have that trusted relationship. I think trust is a key part. 

Brett Preston:                   00:53:41               Absolutely. And not to say that this is maybe the most important question or something that you should ask first, but almost exclusively the money financial aspects come up. All right. Right. And that's, people need to understand whether it's a financially responsible decision for them, even when hiring a property manager, but you know, how much can my property rent for? What is the potential for my property charge? How much do you charge? And you know, there's a lot of property management companies out there. So, you know, helping individuals kind of walk through that process and, and look through the financials responsibly and see if it's right fit is almost something that is done with every perspective owner of ours. And then that's where I'd say that it's really how our company cares for our property. Make sure that the investment is protected, tenant placement, leasing services. And, uh, you know, the protections both financially and, you know, physical protections that we have for their properties so that they can feel comfortable going into business in this space.

Bob Preston:                      00:54:37               Yeah, we have a segment of our website that's dedicated to answering questions than you might get during these meetings, face to face meetings. It's called frequently asked questions. So that might be a really good place for people to go if they're curious about, okay, what should I be asking a property manager or what should I expect from a property manager? Because, you know, I'm always surprised sometimes these things come up the way we do things and they may have had experience and they're like, oh, my previous property manager never did it that way. This is so great, you know?

Brett Preston:                   00:55:06               Yeah. I field questions like that all the time where, um, you know, you know, I've, I've had this property manager but everyone, every company's unique and so, you know, making sure that you are asking the appropriate questions and seeing how they operate is hugely important because you know, there's a lot of companies out there to choose from. So just make sure that you're doing due diligence, asking the right questions.

Bob Preston:                      00:55:28               Yeah, and we do and we kind of target the higher end of the market, right? So a lot of single family homes, we tend to do things very much by the book, very conservatively, both in terms of treating tenants the right way, treating properties the right way and being under California state law. Some owners want maybe to get a little more aggressive and I don't want to use the word careless, but they might have had that kind of attitude coming into it and you know, that's not the way we do things here. So it's really good to find the right match. So this is a good segue into the next kind of topic I wanted to ask you about is you're out there networking, you're, you're a part of a couple of different networking groups. You meet a lot of our friendly competitors along the way. So, so you know a lot about some of the other people that are in this business. And look, there's room for all of us. We want to grow the business, but what do you think is really different from your perspective between North County Property Group and maybe some of our competitors?

Brett Preston:                   00:56:17               Absolutely. There's a few key kind of segments that we have a really established yourself in that is unique. Our company, one of those things is we are really well known as you mentioned previously of being the high end single family home specialist, right? So if you took an average of all the homes that we manage, the average value of those homes would be about 1.25 million. Right. And you know, I'll say that that's probably about double our nearest competitor. We just are well known for being the property manager for these really high end single family rental homes, both in the long term market and in the vacation rental short term market. 

Bob Preston:                      00:56:54               Yeah, we'd like to refer to that statistic a lot. And that's out of the San Diego Business Journal. So they're the ones that are telling us, hey, your average is this and your nearest competitor, as you know, much, much lower. So for someone

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