Sunroom is a leasing only brokerage that helps property managers and investors get properties leased.
Leasing is one of the hardest aspects of property management. What if you had a way to offload some or all of your tasks related to leasing?
Sunroom CEO Ben Doherty and Doorgrow's Jason Hull discuss the importance of providing a positive renting experience for tenants and the ways in which technology can help property managers achieve this goal. Doherty explains how Sunroom uses a combination of people and tech to provide a streamlined leasing process for property managers, while also giving them the power to make key decisions. He also highlights the differences between Sunroom and other tools like ShowMojo and Tenant Turner. The post offers a step-by-step breakdown of how Sunroom's leasing process works and emphasizes the importance of having experienced professionals handle the various tasks involved.
In this podcast you’ll Learn
[01:26] Offloading Leasing: What is Sunroom?
[09:01] ShowMojo, Tenant Turner, vs. Sunroom, oh my!
[16:35] Better ways to do Property Showings
[20:23] How Sunroom Vets Tenants Better
[24:21] Integrating with Other PM Software
[31:30] Net Promoter Scores for Property Management and Leasing
[37:12] Learning to LET GO as a PM Entrepreneur
“Some of y’all entrepreneurs are control freaks. Let’s be real, and you need to let go of some of this stuff and let somebody else do it a little bit better.”
“We have a lot of egos as entrepreneurs. We think our way is the best way all the time, and we need to see that maybe somebody else could do this better.”
“Property managers tend to do best if they just convince owners to do pets. You’re going to get more tenants, you’re going to get more money.”
“One of the biggest time sucks for a property management company is dealing with prospective tenants.”
[00:00:22] Jason Hull: Welcome DoorGrow Hackers to the # DoorGrowShow. So if you are a property management entrepreneur that wants to add doors, make a difference, increase revenue, help others, impact lives, and you’re interested in growing in business and life, and you’re open to doing things a bit differently then you are a DoorGrow Hacker. DoorGrow Hackers love the opportunities, daily variety, unique challenges and freedom that property management brings. Many in real estate think you’re crazy for doing it. You think they’re crazy for not because you realize that property management is the ultimate, high trust gateway to real estate deals, relationships, and residual income. At DoorGrow, we are on a mission to transform property management business owners and their businesses. We want to transform the industry, eliminate the bs, build awareness, change perception, expand the market, and help the best property management entrepreneurs win. I’m your host property management growth expert, Jason Hull, the founder and CEO of DoorGrow. Now let’s get into the show.
[00:01:19] Jason Hull: All right. Ben, welcome to the #DoorGrowShow.
[00:01:24] Ben: Thanks for having me, Jason.
[00:01:26] Jason Hull: Good to have you. So Ben, why don’t we start by giving us a little bit of your background, qualify yourself. You’ve done some cool stuff and I’m in the market where you did some of this cool stuff. We just realized in the green room that we’re practically neighbors in Austin, market downtown, and I’m up in Round Rock. Ben, tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the technology space.
[00:01:49] Ben: Yeah, sure. Yeah, definitely. First of all, I mean we– me and my co-founder Zac, we started working on Sunroom around 2017. And, the way that we had originally had the idea was, just being a renter for a decade and having a lot of interesting experiences trying to look for a place to lease. But prior to starting Sunroom, Zac and I had started a company called Favor Delivery, which is a small little delivery company here in Texas that grew to become the market leader in delivery. And we sold to H-E-B in early 2018.
[00:02:27] Jason Hull: And for people that aren’t familiar with H-E-B, because I moved from California just before the pandemic because I wanted to get away from California and the taxes and its poor political culture. But anyway, so I moved here, Austin and H-E-B was all over the place. I’m like, what a weird name. What is this place? But it’s one of America's top grocery chains. It’s consistently rated as one of the biggest and the best. So for those that are not in Texas, they are probably not familiar with H-E-B, but H-E-B is the, like one of the leading grocery stores, and it dominates everything.
[00:03:05] Jason Hull: Yeah.
[00:03:06] Jason Hull: I’m sure in grocery sales, it beats out Walmart, like it beats out any of the stuff that I’d heard about before and I’d never heard of H-E-B. And they offer delivery service.
[00:03:15] Ben: Yeah. H-E-B is an impressive company. And the crazy thing is they’ve been around for 115 years.
[00:03:21] Ben: They are the top employer in Texas. And when they acquired us, it was the only acquisition they’ve ever had in their history as a company. And even crazier than that, when we combined workforces at the time, we had the largest workforce of independent contractors. Now they’re at a hundred thousand delivery drivers in Texas.
[00:03:44] Ben: And H-E-B had a similar amount of employees. So when we combined workforces, it just became this really massive workforce supporting grocery and delivery of all foods. So yeah, it was a cool marriage that we had there.
[00:04:00] Jason Hull: Very cool. Yeah. Very cool. That's an interesting history. So I’ve seen the Favor name when I’m doing delivery from H-E-B, so I was like what’s this relationship?
[00:04:11] Ben: Yeah. So I can elaborate a little bit more too about how we picked Sunroom. My co-founder Zac and I, we’re actually best friends from high school and so we go way back. I think what you were saying about wanting to support property manager entrepreneurs, I think that’s a good mission because I just tip my hat off to any entrepreneurs who get any businesses working because we definitely know how hard that is. But anyways, our journey towards Sunroom was just having a lot of interesting experiences as a renter. Once we were interested in the rental space we started making a lot of phone calls to different rental listings. And we started asking the agents and property managers, “Hey, why are you doing this?” “Why are you doing these leases?” And, we kept hearing the same thing, which was like, “oh, I don’t really want to be doing this lease. I’m just doing this lease. I’m helping this investor client buy more homes and so now I’m looped into renting this place.” And every once in a while you’d come across a property manager who really loved leasing, but a lot of the property managers we talked to too would be like, “yeah, I’m really focused on growing my door count. And these things are just something we have to do to get more properties in the door.” And Zach and I saw that as an opportunity. No wonder why the experience is not that great for renters. A lot of the folks who are doing these leases are not that excited about doing it. And so then that’s how we started working on Sunroom.
[00:05:29] Jason Hull: Cool. So let’s talk about what– you talked about the problem that you saw in the marketplace and the experience wasn’t super good, but a lot of owners and maybe even property managers aren’t even super excited about taking care of the tenant experience. So it’s not like their highest priority. Like, “I want to get more doors, I want to have more properties managed,” so they’re like, “what’s my competitive advantage?” So when they’re picking tools and software, they’re usually– they’re trying to figure out: “how do I get some sort of leg up on the competition,” so to speak, or “how can this lower my operational cost?” and these kinds of things. One of the biggest time sucks for a property management company is dealing with prospective tenants.
[00:06:14] Jason Hull: These are not people that are paying them and they call them the most, and this is like the “garbage of phone calls,” I’ve heard one of my guests call it.
[00:06:22] Jason Hull: So tell me about what Sunroom does and how it does it, and what’s the benefit.
[00:06:27] Ben: Yeah, sure. So what we do is we partner with property management companies and become their leasing arm. So if you’re a newer property management company, you’re focused on growing doors and you just mainly want to focus on that, right? One of the most important things is you have to get leasing. If you don’t get leasing, you’re not going to lease the doors quickly, which then your owner investors are not going to be happy about that. And also I would argue equally as important is that renter does have a great experience because, that is really the beginning of your relationship with them, and what we’ve noticed of working with a lot of different property managers is that, when the renter goes into the home and they’re really happy with their experience that led up to that point, they’re a lot more quiet when they get into the home, right? They’re just happy overall, which is going to reduce your maintenance requests and honestly going to make it more likely that they renew the next year, right? because that is just really first, and I would just say first impressions are, everything in life a lot of times.
[00:07:27] Ben: And so I think, leasing really is that first impression for that property manager. To come back around to what we do, yeah, we partner with the property management companies and make it so that they don’t even need to have any leasing agents on staff. And we can really do the entire process of getting the home leased. But at the same time, we give the property manager the power over key decisions, right? Things like actually approving the applications, that’s still going to be up to the property manager to make sure they choose the right applicant. And obviously if they want to use their lease that they prefer, there’s all different ways that we allow them to customize what they want their leasing experience to be like. But at the end of the day, we’re really doing the legwork for them and we have a combination of people and tech to do that.
[00:08:14] Jason Hull: this combination of people and tech… are you able to do this in every market or is this like a local thing that needs to be done locally?
[00:08:23] Ben: Yeah, great question.
[00:08:24] Ben: So we started out just doing this in Austin and have partnered with several different property managers here. In town. But now we’re expanding across the US. And I believe we’re up to seven different markets at the moment. But pretty rapidly expanding to cover more markets.
[00:08:41] Jason: Got it. What’s the biggest limitation in expansion for those that you don’t cover yet?
[00:08:46] Ben: We call ourselves a leasing only brokerage, so we’re actually a real estate brokerage in each of these states. And so a blocker to getting set up in a lot of these places is actually establishing our brokerage in each one of these states.
[00:09:00] Jason Hull: Okay. Cool. I think a lot of property managers, they’re aware of certain pools like ShowMojo and Tenant Turner and Rently and Knock Rentals and Turbo Tenant, so how does Sunroom differentiate from all these tools and these systems are already out there?
[00:09:20] Ben: Yeah, so some of those systems and tools you mentioned, I do think they do improve the renter experience and at the same time they do make it so that it’s a little less work for the property manager to lease those properties. But at the end of the day, if you’re a property management owner you’re still going to need a leasing agent on your team. Or you’re going to have to overextend the property manager that you have in order to use those, utilize those tools. Sunroom just takes it to the next step where we have similar tools and systems. Obviously I’m biased, but I would argue they’re better than those, but–
[00:09:55] Jason: You should argue that.
[00:09:57] Ben: We take it a step further. You don’t even really need to have a leasing agent on staff in order to really execute everything you need to do for leasing. Whereas all these other tools or systems they’re definitely completely reliant on still having somebody there behind the scenes catching the errors or all all the holes in those systems. And, if anybody has tried to integrate those different systems and tools, what they’ll find is that they were built in a way that they had a focused goal. And there’s a lot of different holes in that system. And I’m sure as operators see that, I think that’s a big difference with what we’re building, is that what we build, we actually use to operate. And so we’re able to see all the different gaps and holes that those systems leave. And really between our systems and our team, we’re able to fill in the gaps that those systems leave out.
[00:10:46] Jason Hull: All right. So I think people listening by now are like, “the wheels are turning a little bit,” and they’re like, “okay, how’s this actually playing out?” So could you walk us through step by step how this process works with the property manager and the tenant from beginning to finish?
[00:11:01] Ben: Yeah, sure. So it usually starts within one of the property managers, property management softwares, right? We see commonly property managers are using Appfolio or Buildium, so let’s use Appfolio for example. You have a property manager on your team that you have a home where the renter didn’t renew. And it’s a property that you’re going to need to get leased. At that moment, if you were partnered with us, you would open up the Sunroom portal. We would already essentially have that home synced within our system. Because we’re able to really pull data from Appfolio and the Buildiums of the world. From there, they just really submit the property to us and say, “Hey, this home’s coming up for lease.” We would normally already have all of their settings. As a part of our onboarding, we’re going to get them all set up in our system. So things like knowing what their tenant criteria is. Things like knowing when is this home actually available? When would you like us to touch the property? And then as soon as they submit the property to us, we actually will go out and touch the property. So we have boots on the ground. Those boots on the ground are going to get professional photography. They’re going to set up a self showing lock system if that’s what the property manager would like to. And then we’re going to actually install a yard sign as well. And, we take pictures to really document everything that we do there. And then, we’ll take it a step further, we’ll get the marketing description written and then we’ll get it listed online, and we do that entire process in an average of about 48 hours.
[00:12:29] Jason Hull: Awesome. Yeah, that’s very cool. So you actually have people come out and they get all this stuff done, right? In the description, getting it listed, doing all this stuff. Okay.
[00:12:40] Ben: and that’s where our background in Favor obviously comes into play is that, I think if you think about Favor, there’s a great consumer experience where the customer can order food, but then there’s all these boots on the ground that actually go get the food and make sure that all happens in a timely manner. Leasing is similar in the sense that you need to have a great consumer experience for the renter to be able to see what they’re shopping for and do the things they need to do to see if they want to lease that property. But then you’re going to need boots on the ground to actually handle the listing side of things.
[00:13:10] Jason Hull: So is this totally Uber-like in that you’re just pulling anybody in, or I’m sure you have criteria for the photographers and for all these different people that you’re bringing in to do these little pieces.
[00:13:23] Ben: Yeah. Yeah. We don’t just hire any random person. I’d say it’s definitely not Uber-like in that I think, we use– it’s technology enabled so that we can do those things quickly and can measure how fast we do them, right? I think just the fact that we know we get those properties set up in an average of 48 hours, I think is more than your average property manager would know, but we know that the tasks we’re doing are tech enabled, but we care a lot about those people that we choose and we try to find folks that have a lot of experience with real estate photography and then we teach them the other aspects of what we’re trying to get done at that property.
[00:14:00] Jason Hull: Awesome. Yeah. Very cool. When a property is going to become vacant, are they able to leverage a system or does it have to be totally empty and rent ready and everything else?
[00:14:12] Ben: No. So yeah, no, they’re able to use the system. It sounds like you’re asking about pre-leasing.
[00:14:20] Ben: Okay. Yes, pre-leasing can be really important I think in some markets. Yeah, that’s definitely something we support. And let’s say it’s tenant occupied and we need to act and do an escorted showing, we have different agents on the ground that we partner with that are some of the most active in the area touring homes and renters. And so we’ll tap into that network to do some.
[00:14:40] Jason Hull: Got it. Okay. Now what if they want to get the property listed, they want to get photos, but there’s a bunch of ugly furniture in there and ugly stuff. Do you guys let maybe– BoxBrownie I’ve had on the show before– digital editors and they’re like, removing all this stuff?
[00:14:55] Ben: Yeah.
[00:14:56] Ben: Yeah, we do have digital editing in that regard, but depending on the degree of how much that home is messed up. That’s also something that we do. If we go out to a home and we think it’s not show ready we’ll document that and share it back with the property manager. And we’ve seen property managers really love that aspect of what we do because oftentimes they have a tough time holding the make-ready folks accountable or let’s say they’re doing a renovation on the property. In particular, I can’t tell you how many times that a property manager said, “Oh yeah, this was supposed to be done. And then when we went out there we were able to collect evidence that it wasn’t right. That’s also part of our system is that if the home is not actually ready to be marketed, and then, we’re going to gather that information, share it back with the property manager, and then essentially remind them until that’s resolved and as soon as it’s resolved, then we can make the listing active. But it’s a pretty valuable system and checks and balances that we have in place there.
[00:15:55] Jason Hull: Got it. So you’ll communicate with them. Then the property manager can send out maintenance, get things taken care of, dealt with, and then report back to you and you’re checking in with them, “Hey, is this ready yet? Is this ready yet?” And then they’re like, “we got it ready.” And then… Proceed.
[00:16:10] Ben: Exactly.
[00:16:10] Jason Hull: So you’ve sent up the people, you’ve got the photos, you got like maybe a lockbox on, you got the yard sign, you’ve got the description. It’s posted online. It’s probably pushed out to multiple channels.
[00:16:19] Jason Hull: That’s right.
[00:16:20] Jason Hull: Then next comes the showings, right? And scheduling and all this. So how does that work and are you doing one-off showings? Are you doing an open house model? What would it be found to be the most efficient? What comes next?
[00:16:35] Ben: So what we do is we usually set these properties up with a self showing system, and then renters are able to go tour the properties seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and, we also have, a support team available those same hours, so 84 hours, we’re ready to quickly text back any renters or answer any phone calls if, folks are having a tough time actually, accessing the home for any particular reason. Our system is really good. I’d say renters have a really good experience touring homes. Like any system, we’re dealing with real world stuff. Sometimes maybe it could be a really humid day and maybe the door frame swells a bit or something, right? So maybe the door gets a little stuck. So the renter needs a little help to understand how to get in. Those are all things that I think of, having a support team there available to talk to them and actually pick up the phone is a really important thing. So that’s just one of the many ways that we support tours. But I’d say one of the most important pieces of tours is actually collecting that tour feedback and sharing it with the owner after the fact. And so we have a really great system in place for that as well where a lot of renters will leave feedback just right within the place that they tour. And then we’re actually able to take that feedback and then give it to display it on a webpage where then the property manager is able to share that webpage directly with their owner so they can actually watch the tours that are coming in and the tour feedback in real time. And we white label that for them. So you can imagine as a property manager, you just share this white label page with your logo and the owner’s able to get a bird’s eye view of how their home is performing on the market.
[00:18:21] Ben: Got it.
[00:18:22] Jason Hull: So could this be a scenario where the owner says, “I don’t need to do this,” and like the property manager says, “you need to do this. Like it’ll get you more rent. People will have an issue with this place if you don’t fix this or change this,” and the owner’s like, “no.” And then they say, “look at the page, here’s the white label page. It’s got our brand, our logo, XYZ property management, and it says like, consistently feedback. Like the floor is too gross, or whatever.”
[00:18:47] Ben: Yeah, “I would rent this home, but does it come with a fridge?” Just one way I’ve seen owners trying to cut some costs is like not putting refrigerators in the home. And then they see, three out of the five renters that tour the home mentioned “Hey, there’s no fridge.”
[00:19:00] Jason: “have to buy a fridge or I’ll go somewhere else.”
[00:19:03] Ben: Yeah, exactly. And that page really helps the property manager make their case to the owner and also show to them like, “Hey, we really are showing this property and this really is what the renters are saying.
[00:19:14] Ben: Cool.
[00:19:15] Jason Hull: Yeah, that’s really cool. I like the feedback loops. So then, what’s the next step? You’re doing showings, you’re doing tours. Then I guess people are being pushed to apply when they’re doing these tours by the system?
[00:19:27] Ben: Yeah, so we have a system, both to pre-qualify renters and to actually have them apply. As soon as they apply we’re able to display those applications to the property manager. And we use the same page that we use to display tour feedback and also tracking the tours and the leads and everything. We use that same page then to actually show the applications to the property managers and to their owners. Because I know every property manager seems to have a different deal with each owner, right? Some of ’em, they want to run the application past their owner beforehand, or sometimes they’re just the ones reviewing it. But either way, we display that information there so that both the property manager and the owner are able to review the application before they decide to approve or not.
[00:20:14] Jason Hull: So they can either show this white label page that has the list of all the applicants or could they just say, “here’s the one we recommend,” and show that person’s information?
[00:20:23] Ben: Yeah. It’s usually the latter. Because it’s trying to make it simpler. Yeah. It’s usually just showing the one that they recommend. And at that point, we would’ve already done all of the vetting for that application. Even the manual steps of doing a verification of rental history, for example or a verification of employment. We have a lot of tech to catch fraudulent renters. I’m sure you’ve probably heard about how fraud is on the rise especially with us entering recession. And I think it’s just more likely that renters are going to try to fake pay stubs. Even some go as far as trying to fake their identity in different ways to try to get approved for a home that really is beyond their means. And so we’ve really, we’ve invested a lot into our application processing system. Doing things like being able to get their pay stubs directly from their payroll provider instead of having a way for them to upload their pay stubs, which could be photoshopped or something like that.
[00:21:35] Ben: And then let’s say a renter doesn’t even have a job, or let’s say a renter is a self-employed or something, we have a way of actually pulling bank statements directly from their bank, instead of just receiving those bank statements and getting it uploaded. All that tech helps to really reduce the amount of fraud. And as for property managers as well, it’s less work to actually investigate all those documents.
[00:21:59] Jason Hull: That’s just technology and stuff a property manager can’t do directly. They don’t have the ability to pull directly from the bank with their pay stubs, and it’s not going to say, “here, let me give you my login to my bank account,” and to pull directly from the employer. They don’t usually have that ability really effectively either. There needs to be technology involved.
[00:22:53] Jason Hull: So one of the questions I think some people will be asking is, what about pets? It’s like a whole nother beast. Outside, inside pets and running pets and having pets, all this kind of stuff. Property managers tend to do best if they just convince owners to do pets. You’re going to get more tenants, you’re going to get more money. How do you deal with the pet side of things?
[00:23:12] Ben: Yeah, so at this point I’m sure most property managers have heard of pet screening.com. I think they’re a great company. And so we actually integrate their data into our system. So if you’re already signed up for pet screening.com. You can provide the pet screening.com login, and then we’re able to pull that information into the application packet. So it’s something that the owner and the property manager can consider as a part of the overall application. And, obviously pet screening.com does a really good job verifying things like our emotional support animal documentation. Is that legit? There’s fraud around ESA documents. And that’s just one of the pieces that they do. But yeah, that’s something that we recommend whenever anyone is accepting pets.
[00:23:58] Jason Hull: cool. I like pet screening.com because I’ve had them on the show. I had another company that may be interesting to integrate with too on the show called our pet policy.com and they take things a step further on the protection side of things after the screening. So they go a step beyond. So that might be interesting for you to take a look at integrating with as well.
[00:24:20] Jason Hull: Ourpetpolicy.com, they seem like a good group of people over there as well. So real quick, going back, you had mentioned AppFolio, Buildium, do you integrate with Rent Manager? Do you integrate with I don’t know, there’s some other things and some of these tools that people are using?
[00:24:37] Ben: Yeah. Great question. So it’s pretty easy for us to get key information plugged into these softwares. And the reason is when someone partners with us, if you think about it, we really need to touch that property management software right when the home is when the home’s coming up for lease, right? It needs to be listed. And then once the home gets leased, that’s when that information needs to get back in the property management software again. So usually the way that our structure is, it doesn’t really matter too much which property management software you’re. The system would be the same, where you would essentially create a user for us.
[00:25:15] Ben: So then once the home is getting leased, we know who’s signing the lease. We’re going to get their information set up within whatever property management software you use and make sure that it’s set up for ongoing rent payments and things like that. It essentially, if you’re using a property management software, but then you’re going to use someone for leasing. But then once the home gets leased, it’s going to be as if you had leased it through those other systems. And it’s seamless in that way.
[00:25:40] Jason Hull: Very cool. So you’re PM software agnostic.
[00:25:42] Ben: Exactly. Yes. That’s a much more succinct way of saying it. Thanks.
[00:25:47] Jason Hull: So that just means I’ve been doing this probably a long time. All right. So you’ve, you mentioned your solution. You’ve done the pre-qualification, you’ve got the applicant they can send over the white label thing to the owner. If the owner’s like, “I really need to see what info you got.” And you’ve tested out their pay stubs and their bank stuff, and you’ve maybe connected the pet screening.com. What happens next?
[00:26:18] Ben: Yes. Yeah, so the property manager, the owner accepts the application. And at that point, we’re going to reach out to the renter, say, “congrats, you’ve been accepted. Please now pay the security deposit.” And as soon as they pay a security deposit, then the owner or the property manager is able to connect their bank account, and that money will just automatically get deposited in whatever account that you specify. And then from a lease perspective, from really from the beginning of the process, we would’ve asked that you provide the preferred lease that you would like for us to use. We’re going to get that lease drafted up and we’re going to send it over to both the renter and the property manager. For some property managers, they like to review one last time before it gets sent to the renter. So we can fulfill that ask. And then the lease is going to get signed. And as soon as the lease gets signed, we will then dispatch our people back out to the property, do one final walkthrough, and also remove our yard sign and remove any other things that we had, any lock boxes or things like that we got set up. But we do one thing where we will leave a combo lockbox out at the property so that we can facilitate the renter actually moving in. So that’s really the final and last step for our system, is facilitating the renter actually getting the keys so that they have a smooth move in. And then the last step after all of that is we’re going to survey the renter and make sure they had a great experience through the whole leasing process.
[00:27:51] Jason Hull: And what’s– before we move on, because I’m curious as to what difference you’re noticing with these surveys, but let’s say they don’t accept somebody. What’s the process? What happens to the rejects, so to speak? The tenants that didn’t pass because a lot of times they’re following up and bugging the property manager, “Hey, did you accept me? What’s going on?” This sort of thing. What do you do?
[00:28:11] Ben: Yeah. So first of all, we shield the property manager from having to deal with all of that stuff. And I think for the position we’re in, I think the natural thing is I think we would do what any other good property manager would do. We’d see if there’s any other listings within that property manager that the renter would qualify for. First and foremost, we’re going to recommend that ” There are these other listings for the same property manager” or, ” do you like that?” And if the renter is not interested in any of those homes, then I think we would look broader to other listings that are amongst our partners and say, “Hey, renter, maybe it would be better if you lease this property.”
[00:28:48] Jason Hull: Yeah. That helps get the other properties filled. That’s great.
[00:28:53] Ben: Yeah.
[00:28:53] Ben: Okay.
[00:28:53] Ben: And the renter is really happy too, because they don’t have to pay an application fee again, so they’re able to reuse their application.
[00:29:00] Jason Hull: Nice. Now what if you have two property managers in the same market and you get an applicant for one, are they completely segregated from being able to apply to the other, or if they’re in the Sunroom system.
[00:29:14] Ben: Great question. Yeah. So we don’t want to restrict where renters can apply, right? because that just doesn’t make sense. But we have come across the scenario, it’s been rare where renters have applied to multiple properties. And so what’s really cool about our system is that we have a little disclaimer for the property manager where they can see, “hey, this renter’s actually applied for multiple properties,” and that way it’s clear to them of ” Hey, look, this renter is serious about your property, they are, they’re hedging their bets,” which, that’s a common scenario especially in a hot market is if property managers are collecting multiple applicants on a single property, you can bet that the renters– they know that. And so they’re also applying to multiple properties. So I think we do our best to try to mitigate those scenarios. And I think one of the best ways to mitigate those scenarios is really just processing applications quickly and then, and working to get the renter and answer quickly around if they’re accepted or denied. And, in most cases, I think renters are willing to tell you which one’s their first choice. And so if you’re able to process the application really quickly and drive it to a decision, it doesn’t happen too often where the owner comes back and wants to accept the renter and they’ve already decided to go somewhere else. It does occasionally, we try to mitigate that.
[00:30:28] Ben: Got it.
[00:30:28] Jason Hull: Okay, cool. So going back to the other path, I’m actually drawing this all out. I’ve got a flow chart going on here.
[00:30:38] Jason Hull: So you surveyed the renter at the end, like you’ve got somebody in the property.
[00:30:43] Jason Hull: They’ve got a lockbox there. I think that’s very cool. They can just go and “Can I move in on this day?” “Yep, here’s the lockbox. You’ve got a code or however it works.” And they can go get in.
[00:30:52] Jason Hull: And you don’t have to show up. They can be there with their new U-Haul when they need to be there. That’s super annoying, I think for property managers sometimes. And then afterwards you survey the renter. So I’m curious about the results of this. What’s been the shift that people have noticed in the experience? This is why you started this in the beginning. You weren’t having a great experience. Some people probably were like, “Drive to our office and you might get a key.” Some people are like, “we can meet you maybe on this day.” It was like a mess. So what sort of feedback are you seeing on these surveys and what sort of shift are property management companies that are working with you noticing with your process versus trying to do this on their own?
[00:31:30] Ben: Yeah, great question. We collect what I would consider a very important metric and I’m curious if it’s come up before in this podcast. It’s something called a net promoter score. Yeah. Have you discussed that before?
Jason Hull: We haven’t really focused on that. But yeah, I think a lot of people are familiar. So net promoter score is when it says “on a scale of maybe zero to 10 or one to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company?” So a lot of people see this, the quick survey on software, different things like this.
[00:32:00] Ben: Yeah, that’s right. And so when the net promoter score rank actually comes out, the scale is actually a minus a hundred to a plus 100. You could Google about how that works, but you’re right. As a renter, what we would be asking them is, “how likely are you to recommend leasing a property to a friend through Sunroom or through x property management company?” And what we found is we have a really good net promoter score. So if you could google this around, the average net promoter score amongst property managers is a seven. And that’s not on the zero to 10 scale. That’s on the minus a hundred to the plus 100 scale, and. For the renters who lease a property through us, we have a 52 net promoter score.
[00:32:42] Jason: Nice.
[00:32:43] Ben: Yeah. So it’s like what I said at the very beginning. These renters are just a lot happier when they get in the home. For the property managers, they’re seeing less really noisy renters when they first move in. I think that’s a common thing that property managers are used to is that when a renter first moves in, that can be when they’re talking the most or they’re the noisiest. And so I think just anecdotally, property managers have said that, “Hey, these renters are just happier. They’re just not causing as much commotion when they first move. And some of that has to do with our process too, right? Allowing renters to even self-tour homes, it’s a no pressure thing where they’re able to really understand what they’re buying before they move in. So I believe that helps as well.
[00:33:24] Jason Hull: This is the nerd in me coming out. So there’s this really book called Innovating Analytics. And they put out this idea, basically the idea of the next generation of net promoters. They have used a lot of data to showcase and it’s a little dry, but there’s a lot of data to showcase the fundamental flaws of net promoter score, which is, has advantages over doing nothing, right? But then they talk about a new sort of score, which is the word of mouth index. And so we’ve incorporated that a bit into our business. It basically asks a second question, “how likely are you to discourage others from utilizing that?” Because what they found, just because somebody is not a true promoter, as they categorize them on the high end, like they choose maybe a seven, eight, or nine or something, does not mean they’re actually going to hurt your business. And so a lot of big companies, they found, were spending a lot of money to try and mitigate the people and pay attention to people and help the people they thought were detractors or people that would hurt their business when most of them really wouldn’t. Just because it was a two or a three. They found that does not necessarily mean they’re actually going to actively try and destroy your business or hurt you. They just aren’t going to tell people about it, because some people just don’t want to talk about other businesses. Right? . So then asking a secondary question, how likely are you to tell others not to use this business or whatever. Then it gives you the true people to focus on mitigating or solving challenges for. Really interesting idea, but then they talk about the challenge of mainlining, where if they answer one question one way, first question, they’ll answer it the same way, but it’s backwards. Because they’re just in the mode of answering questions like a zombie and they’ll do it the wrong way or read it the wrong way. We’ve even seen this, so you have to put some questions in between and so it just complicates. But it’s a really interesting book. You and I can geek out sometime and show you how I built this out so that it would work effectively, but it helps us identify which people are actually detractors that we need to take care of and focus on, and which people, they never rate anything positively and they’re just, but they’re quiet, which is fine.
[00:35:25] Ben: Oh that’s fascinating. I’ll have to check that out.
[00:35:28] Jason Hull: I know, it’s pretty nerdy. So Innovating Analytics is by Larry Freed which is an interesting book. Cool. We’ve asked a lot of questions. You’ve explained the process. I think we’ve covered how it works unless we missed anything. But what else do people, property managers coming to you, what other concerns or things could we address here on the podcast before we wrap that they might have? Or what are the big FAQ questions that they ask before they’re willing to explore giving up the leasing arm of their business?
[00:36:00] Ben: Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of the questions just revolve around how they can still control the process. And so we’ve invested an incredible amount into giving them those controls, right? Like I think the key is, the way we look at it looks like we’re going to be the best at doing this leasing legwork. It’s all we do. And we’ve built technology to really hold ourselves accountable to really high standards. But at the end of the day, like we still want you to have control over who’s the right tenant for this property? Or, “how would you like the that application process to go?” For example, And I think we’ve worked hard to streamline the areas and that, we just realized, hey, this is the best way to do this. But also we recognize that hey, these property managers, they have pride to process for a reason, right, for their particular market that might be the right thing to do. And so we’ve invested a lot in creating different settings and things like that, that can make it so that they get to use it the way they would like.
[00:37:04] Jason Hull: Really a lot of the big concerns are just about flexibility. “Do I have to go all in and use everything that you offer?”
[00:37:11] Jason Hull: “Or can I do some of this and maybe I’ll give up pieces later” because some of y’all entrepreneurs are control freaks. Let’s be real.
[00:37:18] Jason Hull: And you need to let go of some of this stuff and let somebody else do it a little bit better. We have a lot of egos, entrepreneurs. We think our way is the best way all the time and we need to see that maybe somebody else could do this better.
[00:37:33] Jason Hull: I’m guessing you’re going to say that Sunroom probably does it better than what most property managers are doing.
[00:37:39] Ben: Better NPS scores?
[00:37:41] Ben: Yeah. I would just say that, some of the property managers that we’ve seen are the most excited to partner with us are definitely probably the ones listening to your podcast or it’s the ones that want to grow. And, we have some great examples of that, right? There’s one property manager that we started working with in Austin a couple years ago, and they started with 300 doors. And now I believe they’re up to 800 doors. And so by them being able to just focus on other things, they were able to grow pretty quickly. And because we recognize this and we’re starting to set up in these new markets, we actually just this week launched a new program specifically for trying to find these property management companies that are really focused on growth. And so we actually launched this new property manager growth program. That we just put on our website where property managers can apply for the program. And essentially this program, if we accept them, will actually give them– and they partner with us– we’ll give them $10,000 to grow their business. And they can, they could use that money for– or I’d say up to 10,000– they can use that money for helping them grow. And really the only terms of it is that you’re willing to partner with us on leasing to do that. And so we have different ideas of how to really use that money to grow. I know a lot of entrepreneurs already have those ideas and so that’s why we yeah, we set up this new program.
[00:39:02] Jason Hull: Awesome. We should chat because we’re really good at growing property management companies and yeah, I think there would be a good– there. We’ll chat later. We’ve also negotiated with most of the top vendors where we’ve got a hit list, but a lot of the top vendors we’re negotiating best in class discounts just for our mastermind members.
[00:39:28] Jason Hull: We’ve got some big players on board already for some of these things, but I think it’d be really cool to see this is something new and I think it’s innovative and it seems really exciting. So we'll chat afterwards, cool. Is there anything else you want people to know before we go and if The last thing maybe is how do they find you? And how do they get in touch and how do they start working with Sunroom?
[00:39:49] Ben: Yeah. Just go to our website, Sunroomleasing.com. Fill out a little form. Someone from our sales team will reach out and have a conversation and kind of explain more of these details about what we do. I’m an engineer at heart, so I think for some people, maybe I went into too much detail. But at the same time, knowing I’ve talked to a lot of property managers they love the details, if you want even more details, yeah, go to our website, sunroomleasing.com. Reach out to us and someone from our sales team would love to dig into those details with you.
[00:40:18] Jason Hull: Perfect. I think the last big question everybody would have is going to be, what does it cost? Is this affordable? Can we do this? That sort of question. So anything to say about that?
[00:40:31] Ben: Yeah, so we’re going to charge, similar to what I would say like other leasing agents would. So we’re going to charge a percentage of the first month’s rent. That percentage of the first month’s rent that we charge is going to be different depending on the market and depending on what kind of volume that you have. Normally, the way we are setting this up is that we usually make it so that the property manager can still make good money on leasing while still utilizing us for all of it. Property managers can charge a percentage of first month’s rent to their owners. That could be different by market. We’re usually going to charge, call it 10- 20% less than that so that they’re able to still make money on the leasing, but still know that they have a best-in-class service for that happening.
[00:42:01] Jason Hull: All right. Ben, it’s been great having you on the show. Check out Sunroomleasing.com and then if you come up with some major developments or big shifts or changes, we’d love to have you back on the show. So thanks for being here.
[00:42:13] Ben: Thanks so much, Jason. And yeah, we’ll have to meet up in Austin sometime.
[00:42:18] Jason Hull: All right. Cool. Thanks, Ben.
[00:42:20] Jason Hull: Alright. Everybody, if you’ve been listening to this, we appreciate you listening to our podcast. We would really appreciate it if you left us a review in exchange. If you got value from this, that would mean a lot to us at DoorGrow and my team. We have been innovating and creating a lot of new stuff at DoorGrow. We’ve got some really cool stuff coming out. So if you have not been familiar with DoorGrow for a while, we’ve got some really cool things coming down that we are working on. You should get connected to do a sales call. Check us out at doorgrow.com. Reach out to us. You can reach out to us on any social media. And we would love to connect with you and share with you. We just released the DoorGrow Code, which is the first roadmap that really showcases how to go from zero to a thousand doors in as short a time period as possible. It shows you which things you need to do at which stage, at which door levels, and what questions you have, what major problems you have at each stage, and what you need to do in order to do things in the right order to get to the next level.
[00:43:22] Jason Hull: So if you’ve been at a similar door count for the last year or maybe two years or three years, maybe even kind of feeling stuck or maybe even backsliding a little bit because of property selling off or whatever. We have clients that are adding a lot of doors. Andrew Rocha just chimed in on one of our mastermind calls. He’s one of our clients. He added like 50 doors in the last month. We’ve got clients. One of our clients added 310 doors in a year. We’ve got another client that added a hundred in gosh, they’ve doubled their doors. Like we’ve got clients that are growing really rapidly and they’re not spending any money on advertising. I want you to be clear, like our methods are not focused on SEO, pay per click, content marketing, pay-per-lead lead services, social media marketing. Our methods are what really work in the marketplace, and most of them are zero cost, like they cost nothing. It just costs time and effort, and it actually takes less time and less effort than doing cold lead marketing like seo, pay per click, content marketing, social media marketing, or pay per lead services that exist in the property management space. So I highly recommend you check this out if you’re wanting to grow. And we are now helping really significantly. We’ve built out the best systems and processes and we’ve been stacking the best coaches in the industry. If you’ve heard of certain coaches in the industry, we might have them on as experts in our program. We’ll be announcing more of that later, but we’ve got some of the best in the industry that we’ve brought on as coaches. So it’s not the Jason Show. I’ve got an amazing team of people coaching and we have systems for operations. We have systems for process. We have systems for sales, and our clients are crushing it. Nobody in the marketplace is doing all that DoorGrow’s doing or can compete with us. And so if you think you know DoorGrow and you’ve looked at us or judged us in the past, it might be time to take a new look because your competitors might be working with us or they might work with us, and you’re going to wish that it had been you.
[00:45:33] Jason Hull: So until next time, to our mutual growth. Bye everyone.
[00:45:37] Jason Hull: You just listened to the #DoorGrowShow. We are building a community of the savviest property management entrepreneurs on the planet in the DoorGrowClub. Join your fellow DoorGrow Hackers at doorgrowclub.com. Listen, everyone is doing the same stuff. SEO, PPC, pay-per-lead content, social direct mail, and they still struggle to grow!
[00:46:05] Jason Hull: At DoorGrow, we solve your biggest challenge: getting deals and growing your business. Find out more at doorgrow.com. Find any show notes or links from today’s episode on our blog doorgrow.com, and to get notified of future events and news subscribe to our newsletter at doorgrow.com/subscribe. Until next time, take what you learn and start DoorGrow Hacking your business and your life.