The Slow Season – Episode 2
Adam: This is AM Property Management, episode 2. As we discussed last week, Mike and I are going to talk about things that we’re going through with our business each week. And right now, it’s the slow season.
Mike: So, as you guys know in property management, summer is brutal. It’s just non-stop. We’ve twice as many work orders in the Summer months as we do during any other time of the year. We’ve got more move-outs and more leasing. It’s just constant. So the tendency when you’re going through the summer is it say “I can’t wait for the slow season. I can’t wait to get through this, so we can just take a breather and come up for air.” The key really is, not doing that, not slowing down once you get through the Summer.
Adam: That was the same thing that I was going through, which is why we’re having this conversation. I was telling Mike that for the first time, I unplugged during Thanksgiving. I took a few days to not check my email as intently, by the hour, as I normally do. I was actually watching college football because there were so many different things going on in that landscape right now. And Tom Herman, who recently got hired as the new Texas head coach. And as I’m sitting there taking my vacation, and thinking about how great it is to unplug, I realized that Tom Herman and he was no longer on vacation at all for the rest of this holiday season. He had an opportunity of a lifetime and had the chance of a lifetime for his career, to make something really special happen. So, from the moment he was hired, within 12 hours, he immediately started putting his plan in place of what he was going to do. This brought me back to last year, when you and I were in the first year of this business. We’re hustling, there was no Christmas, there was no Thanksgiving, there wasn’t any holidays, right? At that time, all we were thinking about is being successful. It made me realize that while it was nice to take a couple minutes or a couple days off to think, this is the absolute worst time of year to do that. Right now is the time when we can make up the most ground on any of your competition, because their doing the same thing that I just wanted to do.
Mike: Yep, the tendency is to slow down, to take a breather, to take some time off. And I’m not saying you don’t spend time with your family, of course you do. And when you’re taking time to spend with your family, unplug, turn off your phone, enjoy yourself. But this is the time to make up ground on your competition, who really is slowing down and “mailing them in” for the Winter.
Adam: You have an opportunity, especially any new business, you have a very short window to actually be successful. And yes, you should spend time with your families, but you just have such a huge opportunity. And that’s why with Tom Herman, it really touched me, because this guy is on 150% right now because he only gets one shot. I think in business, we think about it as “oh, we have a lifetime to be successful, and we’ll get through this day, we’ll get through that”, when really, if you’re looking at it like Tom Herman’s looking at it, you can accomplish some really awesome things.
Mike: So, honestly, you do have more time because you’re not dealing with as many leases. But, last year in December, for example, we signed more leases than in any other month, including August. So, Winter slowed down a little bit, but it didn’t get too slow. We kept the pedal to the metal the whole time.
Adam: You’re almost playing scared. You’re like “I gotta make it, I gotta make it.” So you push and push. And there was that hesitancy in the second year for me to say “Whew, ok, it’s not as bad as last year, let’s take our foot off the pedal a little bit.” And that’s what we want to go with. We need to not take the foot off the gas right now because this is the best time of year to make up the most ground.
Mike: One of the things that we focus on during this time of the year is relationship building. Just going out and nurturing those relationships that are important for you and whatever your business is. For us, we have relationships with realtors and mortgage brokers, and this is a great time for us to buy them a special bottle of wine or a gift so that they remember us and it shows that we care. Honestly, we try to think of things that people actually like. For example, you would get Adam something that’s Ohio State. Someone might love deep sea fishing that we do business with, so maybe we get them a gift card for a fishing trip. It’s about keeping those relationships and this is an opportunity to keep and really nurture those.
Adam: Mike brings up a really great point that reminds me of a gift I received from a referral source back when I was in banking. It almost had me in tears. I was getting the typical gifts that people give, and this one person in particular that knew I loved Ohio State got me an Archie Griffin signed football in a case. When I pulled the ball out of the case, I was just in shock and I was just thinking “this is the greatest gift I’ve ever received”. From that point forward, I sent him every one of my deals. It would be hard for me not to send him a deal, knowing that he put that much time to actually care about me.
Mike: And obviously, you can’t do that with all of your relationships, but the most important ones you can. Just putting thought into it is the most important thing. Put your heart into it, take some time and think about that person and it’s going to make a big difference.
Adam: In closing, right now is the greatest time to make up the most ground. When everybody is working hard, everybody is working hard. But when everybody is relaxing, this is the time to make your move. This is AM Property Management, episode 2.