Best Core Value Property Home Management Company, Houses for Rent, Military by Owner Housing Program Near Crofton, Maryland Anne Arundel County | Google Reviews
Shaun Leway Interview 2022-06-28
[00:00:00] Joey Myers: Hello and welcome to the Lead Generation Strategies podcast. I'm your host here, Joey Myers, over at leadgenerationseoservices.com.
[00:00:14] Today I have Shaun Leway from CVPM or Core Value Property Management, and we're going to be talking about a lot of cool stuff, but first, let me welcome you to the show, Shaun.
[00:00:25] Shaun Leway: Thanks Joey. It's great to meet you.
[00:00:27] Joey Myers: It looks like you've done the zoom thing quite a few times. You got a good, cool branding background back there and I love that
[00:00:33] Shaun Leway: Yeah, I did some local virtual networking through COVID and got used to this media.
[00:00:39] Joey Myers: Yeah, very cool.
[00:00:40] I want to start with a little bit of what's in the news right now, and I'm sure you probably talked a lot with your colleagues and others on the rate hikes in the mortgage interest rate hikes. Now I know you're in the property management field. Can you just explain how that affects you guys or just your thoughts?
How have mortgage rate hikes affected the property management field?
[00:00:54] Shaun Leway: I would say, I think it's affecting us. It's affecting rent prices. I think I'm starting to see a little bit of resistance to rent price increases. Now that the rates have started to go up just as like a balancing as property value surged, I saw rent prices go up, not quite the same amount.
[00:01:12] Pretty parallel, and then now that that downward pressure's starting to come around, I'm seeing that on the rent prices too.
[00:01:18] Joey Myers: Interesting. So is that just something that's been like gradual or because it's happened within what the last month or, so things have been starting to hike. Has it been gradual? Has it been more like immediate?
[00:01:27] Shaun Leway: It's been pretty like over the last two months, I've started to see a property on a little bit longer. I've started to even see a couple of properties just in while I'm doing research that have been reduced in rent price.
[00:01:40] I have one that I'll likely be reducing here soon. $50 or so on a, 28, 28, 50 properties. It's like I'm seeing some of that.
[00:01:48] Joey Myers: It's also interesting though, for those that are listening, that Shaun's out in Maryland.
[00:01:52] For those out there, out that way, this is where the context's going to come in. I'm sure it's different in California, Texas, that kind of thing.
[00:01:58] Some of the things I'm hearing from real [00:02:00] estate people from all spectrums, from the buy sell to the property management to commercial, is that it's affecting everybody, similar where the increase or decrease might be a little bit different, but it seems to be an industry wide thing.
[00:02:12] Is that what you're seeing?
[00:02:14] Shaun Leway: I can only speak for the property management side, but yeah, I'm feeling it more and more.
[00:02:19] Joey Myers: What's one of the biggest problems that you guys solve over there at core value property management?
What's one of the biggest problems that you guys solve over there at core value property management?
[00:02:23] Shaun Leway: I think one of the biggest is we have a primarily first-time landlord client.
[00:02:29] A lot of my clients are military in the area, so we sit in right inside the DC Annapolis and Baltimore triangle, and so we're in the middle of that. A lot of my owners are military veteran, federal, or somehow affiliated they move to this area, they buy a home few years down the road, they get told they need to go somewhere else for work and then they have the home and it's a good area.
[00:02:52] It's a good market. It's a little expensive, coming in as an investor, you're going to get a better value in, maybe a cheaper market, but once you already have a home and you lived in it, turning it into a rental is usually a pretty good investment in this area because you have a solid market for renters.
[00:03:09] Our biggest challenge is helping new landlords understand everything that goes into that, like when you're setting up a property to be a rental property, you're almost starting a small business and you need to have cash for repairs and the upfront to get everything situated and get it on the market and rented.
[00:03:27] You'll have maintenance costs and like helping people understand Hey, if you're going to go into this, go into it with eyes wide open. But I think that's one of the biggest challenges we have is helping people understand that.
[00:03:36] Joey Myers: You guys have a unique situation and Shaun, are you a member of the military
[00:03:40] or former member?
[00:03:41] Shaun Leway: I'm a retired air force. I did 20 years in the air force, retired in 2020. It's how I got started in property management. I was stationed here in 2013. We bought a home, couple years later we got orders to move, and I was in that same situation. I was trying to find A property manager and we didn't quite find one we felt like we could [00:04:00] trust, or we agreed with all their fees.
[00:04:01] I was like might as well do it myself. We did that with some help. We had some, I had a friend who was a landlord, and he has a couple resources, you can figure it out for yourself, pushed me in the right direction.
[00:04:10] When we came back to the area. We ended up buying another home, because this one was still rented. I was like, but I liked the process. I liked the idea, the management of it. I liked the long-term relationship aspect of it. I was like why don't I do property management as a service when I retire?
[00:04:24] The more I thought about it kicked the ball around with couple friends and then a buddy of mine was like, hey, I just got orders to Korea, are you going to do that property management thing? I was like, yeah, hold on, let me start my business quick, and that's literally, that's how I got started in 2019.
[00:04:38] I'm still managing his property. Now, I only had one property for six months. I wasn't like day one let's go. It was like kind of a bootstrap, like just starting a small business out of a need and grew from there.
[00:04:51] Joey Myers: I love that, and thank you for your service, Shaun.
[00:04:53] My dad was air force. He served over in Vietnam and then I think he was a lifer. He was there for probably 40 years, and then when he retired, he worked as a civilian for the army guard for 10 years.
[00:05:04] Especially back in the day, it was such a process that they had, and everything was organized. And we had lot of good memories with that.
[00:05:10] Appreciate your service, especially with the 4th of July coming up here.
[00:05:13] Shaun Leway: Thanks.
[00:05:13] Joey Myers: On the COVID side, so you came into this two, 2019, at least officially.
[00:05:18] Then you had about a year and then you had the 2020 hits. What kind of challenges did you face trying to start a company, property management company that year?
What kind of challenges did you face trying to start a company, property management company in 2020?
[00:05:25] Shaun Leway: Small enough and it was my side hustle still at the time. That it wasn't like, what do I do?
[00:05:31] I lost all my income. But we saw an immediate stop to any new business, right? We were getting a few leads a month and maybe signing a contractor too and by that time like each month and when COVID hit and everything shut down, it was like three or four months, until people started moving again that nobody needed a property manager because nobody was leaving anywhere.
[00:05:53] Once things started to open back up, I started to see, more new business come in. Initially, I was trying [00:06:00] to see if I could get people to apply before coming to see a home. That way I knew who I was going to meet, and I already had them pre-qualified and, it was just a matter of is the property right for them.
[00:06:10] That didn't last very long. A lot of people, there was pushback on it. We settled for some like pre-qualification way of vetting people interested in the property. That way, we weren't wasting anybody's time, making sure they hit our rental requirements and just making sure people knew what those were coming in.
[00:06:26] The thing that I've kept though, since COVID started was we don't do open houses anymore. We do 15-minute appointments, and it's one on one I walk through with that person. I schedule 'them out and, usually I'll do a two-hour block of time and I'll do eight appointments for a property that we have available, and I'll get through everybody and then, if they want to apply, we go from there.
[00:06:48] Joey Myers: A little bit more of a unique touch. So almost sounds like that like I'm seeing with other companies around the nature of the real estate companies, is that the 2020 thing forced us all to think a little bit more creatively.
[00:06:59] Do you feel like that little one-on-one that even though it's 15 minutes, that one-on-one is much better than the just the blast from the furnace?
[00:07:05] The open house type of scenario?
[00:07:07] Shaun Leway: I think they each have their value. I think for property management, I like it because when a realtor sells a house and I'm not a realtor, so I'm not licensed to do that. But when they sell a house, it's like the transactions complete and the relationship is over, unless they need new services and they're there.
[00:07:28] Of course, they'll take care of people, but my transaction is a yearlong typically. Part of that is building and maintaining a good relationship. You get a chance to meet people and make sure that the person that you're going into it with, one is qualified, but if you have multiple qualified people, you still must pick the best candidate for the owner.
“If I set a 15-minute appointment and somebody shows up late, that's a potential indication that something else might be late, right?”
[00:07:47] I think part of that goes a little way into how people do. When I say work together, If I set a 15-minute appointment and somebody shows up late, that's a potential indication that something else might be late, right? If you're [00:08:00] faithful in something small, more than likely you can be faithful in something large.
[00:08:03] Personality things that I queue in on. This is the stuff that they're telling me, honest and, I'll marry that up with what kind of applications I get, and I try to approach things as the best way I can and make sure that, I'm going to find a good tenant for my owners.
[00:08:18] Joey Myers: I think that's a great thing that came out of it. I agree with you. I think that's a much better way, especially when it comes to the property management side of things.
[00:08:25] First say, like you said, with an agent in open house and one of the things, one of the pieces of advice I got a while back when I was in real estate, 2008 or 2006 to 2008, 9, 10 somewhere in there, is there was a broker investor in town that we were doing like an investor networking group.
[00:08:41] We were meeting once a week or whatever. He said that, when he rents out his best renters and he would do this on for everybody, so you obviously can't discriminate based on gender sex, whatever.
[00:08:52] He would say in the property management agreement, when they apply that they were subject to them visiting their house, the house, the current house, or apartment that they're living in within 24 hours or 12 hours or whatever. I think it's 24 hours.
[00:09:04] They're subject to that and that's everybody. They're not saying only these kinds of people and these kinds of people.
[00:09:08] It's everybody, and he told me, he said, hey, if I go to that house and they got roaches, most likely we're going to have roaches so it's the same. I think it was him or maybe it was somebody else, same thing with the car. Like you go out to their car, or you see their car and it's a mess inside their car.
[00:09:23] People are granted obviously on the outside. Maybe they got a car wash or rain, it's bad, but the inside of the car is a different thing. Like I keep the inside of my car super clean. I rarely have trash in there, and so when you see that, that's some of the stuff that you're picking up on too, with these 15 minutes.
[00:09:38] Shaun Leway: Yep. Everything plays a part, so, it's the total, like I said, it's a relationship, my job is to make sure that the property is safe and secure and taken care of on behalf of the owner. Maintenance wise and other, but it's also to make sure that our tenants have a good place to live.
[00:09:52] If you've ever had to deal with landlord tenant relations, and I'm sure you've read stories and some of your audience has, [00:10:00] there's a lot of stuff that goes on. I think a lot of it is sometimes it's miscommunication, sometimes it's poor or no communication.
[00:10:10] Sometimes it's, oh, that wasn't stipulated at least I see so many people coming into this industry or investors and whatnot, and they're like, so I have this situation and what do I do?
[00:10:20] Like invariably, all the seasoned people are, what does your lease say? What did you guys agree on when you went into this? That's a very important thing is making sure you have a good strong lease that's enforceable, working with a lawyer is a great idea.
[00:10:35] When I started, I hobbled together something, and it was okay getting started for one or two properties and or myself for my own property. I quickly realized no, let's get somebody, pay a lawyer to go through and put this together well and make sure it's enforceable make sure everything's clear as possible.
[00:10:53] To have a good, strong agreement that protects both sides and that's what we try to do.
[00:10:59] Joey Myers: Very cool. You don't want to pretend to be a lawyer. You want to let the lawyers do their lawyering as they say. Now this wouldn't be the lead generation strategies podcast without going into lead generation strategies.
[00:11:08] How do your clients typically connect with you? How do you market lead generation wise? Is it more referral based?
How do your clients typically connect with you? How do you market lead generation wise? Is it more referral based?
[00:11:13] Shaun Leway: We don't do any traditional marketing currently. I've done a couple of Facebook kind of things early on when I was getting started.
[00:11:20] I did a Google pay per click that was very like $50 of advertise. Wasn't much, it lasted maybe a week or two. I didn't see any results, but it was early on. Looking at that, I was like One, I'm starting this as a side hustle. I don't want to grow too fast, so let's not go down that road.
[00:11:35] How I built my online presence was a lot of just, like I said, making sure I'm doing a good job, making sure I'm serving my clients. Then I'll ask them like, hey, if I've done a great job for you, please, throw up a review for us on Google. That would be helpful.
[00:11:51] Because a lot of people look for, services and whatnot via Google, so having a good Google presence has helped. I probably see [00:12:00] anywhere from 40 to 50% of my new clients come in from through my online web portal and it's a growing portion of my new leads.
[00:12:10] I hear a lot of people who reach out to me either via my website or calling say oh, I looked up your company. I looked up the reviews that you guys have and, like I saw some of the videos that you've posted. Because when I was doing my networking, if I was doing a presentation, I'd record that and that's online.
[00:12:26] People are smart, they do research. They look at who they're hiring, especially in a position like property management, where again, you're trusting somebody, if you're a new investor with one of your largest investments, for a lot of the homeowners, it's their only home that they own.
[00:12:41] That's a big investment and then making sure that their home is taken care of and then the money is managed appropriately, and the work gets done. It's a lot for some people to take on.
[00:12:51] Finding somebody you can trust is a big part of that. That's why when I was getting started and trying to think of our name for the company core value property management that pulls in some of my military experience in every branch of service has core values.
[00:13:04] The air force is integrity first, service for self and excellence in all you do. I was thinking about that. I had a situation at work that I was dealing with, and I wanted to make sure that got handled appropriately. I was thinking about okay, so core values, like it's a big part of the military and whatnot.
[00:13:19] I wanted to bring that with me to property management, because I wanted somebody to have a property manager that they could trust. That's going to do the best job for them and that's going to serve them well.
[00:13:29] Why don't I do like core value property management, and I kicked that around a little bit, talked to my wife and partner and she's yeah, I like that. Core value property management. It's funny, whenever I get a military client or new military client, they're like, hey, did you get that from core values? I was like, yes, I did.
[00:13:43] It already speaks to my primary client, the people that I want to be there to serve is like those military who get stationed here who are looking for a property manager to take care of their home while they're away, that they may or may not be able to come back to at some point in the future, if they come back here I want them to have [00:14:00] that option and like I said, that's why I got started and it all built out of that.
[00:14:03] Sorry, I got sidetracked, back to your original question of lead generation. Google's been a big part of that networking, local networking with industry adjacent like insurance or real estate or even like lawyers in estate law, they'll have somebody will inherit a home and then they got to figure out what to do with it.
[00:14:20] So networking and just making sure that I create a good presence online where, if somebody needs something, I come up.
[00:14:27] Joey Myers: Now, when you talk about networking with real estate or attorneys, are you going and just going down the line calling them, how's that going?
[00:14:34] How's that look?
When you talk about networking with real estate or attorneys, are you going and just going down the line calling them, how does that look?
[00:14:35] Shaun Leway: I am getting too much new business to, to go through that. I'm like a serendipity kind of guy, right? If I get introduced at, I'm a part of the local chamber of commerce, right? Greater Crofton Chamber of Commerce, I'll go to networking events with them.
[00:14:46] I met my lawyer through there. I've met some real estate agents through there, met other business owners through there. If you're in the local community and you meet good people, you get in touch with them and you talk to them more, but I don't actively go through and I'm not the traditional, grind out new business.
[00:15:00] I'm the let me do a good job. Let my customers speak for me and then other customers will come. As I'm growing, if I get to the point where I need to, if I want to, or need to grow faster and I have the bandwidth to do it then I would go do the next level, but I'm averaging two to three new contracts a month.
[00:15:19] Over the course of the year, which for me is a small business guy. That's plenty of growth for me. If I can maintain net positive, 25 to 30 properties over the course of a year, that's good, solid growth.
[00:15:31] Joey Myers: I agree. What would you say right now with what you have your infrastructure?
[00:15:35] What would be where your wheels are starting to come off, like business wise, how much business in a perfect world?
[00:15:40] Shaun Leway: If I was not taking on any new business and I just said, okay, I've reached this plateau. We could probably handle on our own about a hundred-ish, maybe 125 for between me and my wife.
[00:15:53] That would be like working 40, 50-hour, 60-hour weeks. New business is always more [00:16:00] work, right? Because you have the initial contract, the going to visit the property, then you have all the turnover between the owner or the current tenant and the new tenant, getting all the marketing done, leasing, showing the property, screening, it's a lot of new work every time.
[00:16:16] Every time you turn over a property, but if you add new business in there too then it's a lot of extra work. If we're just maintaining, probably a hundred, 125. In this market, that would probably be about, I average about three to $3,500 per year per contract.
[00:16:36] You can do your simple math off that. It's enough to not going to be balling out, whatnot, but it's enough to make a good living. Like I said, that's good job. Fair price.
[00:16:46] Joey Myers: Also too, if you decide you wanted to scale that and you started hiring on people to take care of that first part, you can always scale that.
[00:16:53] You're just talking about you and your wife and your partner, basically running how much, it would be. Very cool. Before we get to where people can find you, website and all that stuff. I have one last question. If someone were getting into your industry, what advice would you give 'them, maybe the top one or two tips.
If someone were getting into your industry, what advice would you give them, maybe the top one or two tips?
[00:17:07] Shaun Leway: Soft skills are extremely important in this industry, communication, showing up on time, calling somebody back, organization. I think I was talking with another property manager, systems. Property management is all about systems. If you can stay organized, keep track of your data, that's going to be what you need to figure out.
[00:17:26] I put this in one of my other ones. I liked it. Flexibility is the key to air power and property management. If you can be flexible, right? Know what you're worth but be flexible within that space of working with your customer to make sure that they get taken care of.
[00:17:41] Joey Myers: Love that. Shaun, where can people find you? Website, social media, all that kind of stuff.
Where can people find you? Website, social media, all that kind of stuff?
[00:17:45] Shaun Leway: The website you can see is on my part right over here. Corevaluepm.com. We're on Facebook core value property management. I don't do as much on there as I used to because I don't have time.
[00:17:56] I'd rather take care of people than keep up my social media postings. But [00:18:00] we do have a presence there. We're in Crofton, Maryland based in Crofton, Maryland, but we serve Anne Arundel County so if somebody's in the Anne Arundel County area of Maryland and needs a property manager, I'd love to be able to chat with them.
[00:18:12] Joey Myers: That's really the target people, like you said were first time landlords, so you got military, obviously. Investors.
[00:18:18] Shaun Leway: I do have a few investors. Like I said, people who've either inherited a property or bought a property. I have a couple of investors. I have one that has four properties.
[00:18:27] I've talked to a few other investors. I don't know if it's the way I do business or they haven't signed up with, or if it was because I was too small and I didn't have some of the adjacent services, like maybe they wanted a realtor that could help them buy as well. Like I'm a smaller guy, so then I recognize that.
[00:18:41] Joey Myers: Very cool. That may come with time. That might be part of your core values, where you decide you want to add that on, or maybe you just want to be very nichey based. It all comes with growing the company.
[00:18:49] I love everything that you shared today, Shaun and I'm sure there's a lot of good advice for those that maybe thinking about getting into the industry, the property management industry or even for realtors out there, whether they're brokers or agents that they can talk to their clients a little bit more intelligently, possibly their investors or things like that on property management.
[00:19:08] So I appreciate your time here today.
[00:19:10] Shaun Leway: Thanks Joey. Thanks for having me on.