Show Summary

Many real estate investors and entrepreneurs in all industries start with the intention of building a business that can ultimately run without the need for them to be involved in the day to day operations. Unfortunately, through a combination of fear of giving up control, inability to find the right employees, or just plain poor execution, most folks end up creating a life-long job for themselves…with minimal ability to scale. Brenton Hayden, Chairman of Renters Warehouse, is a prime example of how to do it right. Fortunately, he’s also sharing some lessons with us to help prevent the scenario above from happening to you. Don’t miss this great episode of the FlipNerd.com VIP Flip Show, to learn how Brenton Hayden retired at age 29, and his company is growing faster than ever.

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Brenton Hayden, and learn his amazing story.
  • Join out discussion about what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur…and how to build a business that can largely run without you.
  • Learn Brenton’s thoughts on where buy and hold real estate investing is going, as well as how the property management industry is undergoing massive change.

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike: Welcome to the FlipNerd.com podcast. This is your host, Mike Hambright. On this show I will introduce you to VIPs in the real estate investing industry as well as other interesting entrepreneurs whose stories and experiences can help you take your business to the next level. We have three new shows each week which are available in the iTunes store or by visiting FlipNerd.com. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Hey, it’s Mike Hambright. Welcome back to the FlipNerd VIP Interview show. Today I have with me Brenton Hayden, who is a serial entrepreneur successful in multiple businesses. He founded the franchise system, Renters Warehouse, which has become one of the largest property management companies in the country and has recently won a ton of awards I know he’s excited to talk about.
We’re going to discuss working hard and working smart to achieve great success, because Brenton is a very successful entrepreneur at a very young age, as well as we’re going to talk a little about the transformation of the property management industry in general. Before we get started though, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.

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Please note, the views and opinions expressed by the individuals in this program do not necessarily reflect those of FlipNerd.com or any of its partners, advertisers or affiliates. Please consult professionals before making any investment or tax decisions as real estate investing can be risky.

Hey, Brenton. Welcome to the show.

Brenton: Good morning, Mike. Real pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Happy to see you again. I know just before we started the show, you were telling me about a bunch of awards that you recently won. It sounds like a laundry list of some of the most coveted awards you could win as an entrepreneur and even as a company. Why don’t you share some of that with us?

Brenton: We’re in the process of letting the world know that we just got recognized for eight amazing awards in four days. We really had our hopes set on three of the awards. We were going to call it the Renters Warehouse triple crown, three awards in three days.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: But starting with one that’s really close to my heart, something I’ve really looked up to and covet, was the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award…

Mike: That’s awesome.

Brenton: …here in the Midwest. They call it the upper Midwest region. I along with nine other entrepreneurs will go to finals to become the nationwide entrepreneur of the year, but right now in my local market, that’s me, and I couldn’t be prouder.

Mike: Yeah, that’s fantastic.

Brenton: We actually won three awards for innovation, and I think that speaks a lot to the property management space. We got the Business Innovation of the Year with our introduction of the Rent Feeder Property Marketing software that we pioneered over the last two years. Spent $750,000 building and developing it.

Mike: Wow.

Brenton: We also got the Most Innovative Company of the Year by the American Business Association. Then locally, our newspaper, The Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul journal, recognized innovative companies here in Minnesota with the Eureka award. We were the most innovative company in Minnesota, winning the Eureka award.
Some others we won. Company of the Year for our second time in the real estate category by the American Business Association, and the Fastest Growing Company of the Year, which is our fifth fast growing company award. We’re a four-time, soon to be five-time hall of fame honoree.

Mike: Wow.

Brenton: The Inc. 5005,000 list.

Mike: That’s fantastic.

Brenton: We’re fast growing. We’re innovating. We’re getting recognized at being great as entrepreneurs. Not only that, we get an award every day from our customers as the most highly reviewed property manager in the entire country.

Mike: Oh, that’s fantastic. Brenton, we get a lot more podcast listens than video view, so for those that don’t know you, can you share your…I know you’re a fairly young guy.

Brenton: Yeah.

Mike: How old are you?

Brenton: I’m 29 now.

Mike: That’s awesome.

Brenton: I’m a retired 29-year-old.

Mike: Yeah, and that’s what I wanted to talk about. Of course many of those awards come from your team and everything like that.

Brenton: Absolutely.

Mike: But in terms of Entrepreneur of the Year, you’ve got to be proud that you’re 29 years old. I know that you only work a day or two a week. You’re largely kind of retired and handed the reigns over to a very competent team.

Brenton: Yep.

Mike: That’s why I wanted to talk so much about being a successful entrepreneur today, because by all measures I’m sure you’ve got some great knowledge to share.

Brenton: I hope so. I’ll share the secrets and the things I’ve learned along the way to build the business the hard way.

Mike: That’s great. That’s great. Yeah, I wanted to find out a little bit more, have you kind of share your thoughts on…There’s always an aspect of working hard, working smart. I think a lot of entrepreneurs, specifically in the real estate space, which are a lot of investors, a lot of smaller property managers for example, start to bump up against their capacity. They say they wanted to start a business, but largely they’ve created a job for themselves where they’re the key man.
In all honesty, I’m guilty of a lot of those things too. It’s hard to replicate yourself. I know you’ve largely done that. Let’s talk a little bit about the working hard versus working smart. Just how does an entrepreneur truly run and grow a business versus a job for yourself.

Brenton: We definitely hire people who have gumption, a self-starter mentality. In fact, we hire people on their core values, not their resumes. Their resumes get them an interview. Their core values, whether or not they fit into our team, is how we hire people, because in property management it’s a game of tasks. There’s a lot to do and you have to know your line of work and your industry in order to be successful.
But I believe if you’re just working and you’re working hard and the day you stop working, your company stops making money, you don’t have a company. You have a job.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: But if you can build something that lives beyond you, you can replicate and duplicate yourself, it’s something I learned later on and I’ve gotten good at it, then that’s something that’s built to sell, built to last. Many years I was that guy working 80 hours a week. I was the bottleneck of the company. Everything had to come through me. We did. We hit the top. We hit the ceiling. That’s as big as we could be in that model.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: The quicker I realized that I needed to delegate, duplicate, replicate, document processes, allow other people to fail and succeed was when we became a big company. We started to become rapid growth. That first year was the year we were first recognized on the Inc. 500 as the 132nd fastest growing business in the United States.
That was almost one year right after I decided that this isn’t a Brenton Hayden business. This is a business. I had to empower others. Working smart is that part. You have to be able to delegate. If you’re paying people to do a job, you have to let them do it. You can’t micromanage them. You have to let them fail and succeed. That, to me, is working smarter. I also embraced technology, and to me, that helped us become more efficient.

Mike: Sure.

Brenton: Then along the way I documented processes so that it made my training or my onboarding of new employees easy so that we didn’t have to go through this cumbersome process of every time we bring in a new person or somebody quits, it’s a big deal.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: Now if somebody quits or leaves us, we have a great process to onboard them and bring them back in the know. To me, that’s the working smart part here.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Share some of your insights on how you make that leap, because it’s easier said than done, or at least I believe, it’s easier said than done to go from a solo entrepreneur or a small business where you’re the key man to finding a right-hand man or woman, if you will, somebody to help take those reigns.
My guess is that most people, because I see myself in this situation, that I’m attracted to in terms of I could work with that person, they seem to be very entrepreneurial too. Therein lies the challenge that they don’t necessarily want to work for you. They want to be you or they want to achieve what you’ve done. There’s always this kind of feel of, “Well, I don’t need to work for you. I could do this myself.”

Brenton: Right.

Mike: How do you find somebody that’s the right fit and maybe incentivize them well enough to do the job that you need them to do?

Brenton: It starts with the people, as you just talked about. One, when I put out a job offer or position, I make them jump through some hoops. You can only fax it. Your cover letter needs to be no more than one page. Your resume can be no more than one page, and you have to follow the instructions. If you email it, I just delete it. You can’t even follow a simple fax instruction.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: If your cover letter is the same as you wrote to every other business, delete it. If your resume’s got a bunch of irrelevant experience that just doesn’t mean anything to me, delete it. I get hundreds of applicants. I’m going to pick the cream of the crop who followed the directions to the T and yet took time to present me a resume, a cover letter, and followed the instructions. Now you make the cut.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: Now you make the cut, you get an interview. Your interview is going to be based on core values. You talked about hiring people who are entrepreneurial and maybe not going to be here a while. Well, one of my core values is loyalty. I need to know that you have a happy, energetic…These are some of my values.

Mike: Sure.

Brenton: Happy, energetic, easygoing, positive attitude. You’re loyal. You have gumption. You’re a self-starter and you’re hardworking. You’re ethical and honest. You’re a great team player. These are things that I use on the scorecard. All the core values go across the top and the name of my applicants along the left. I ask you strange questions like, “Mike, tell me about a time you…”
This is the first question I’ll ask them. “Welcome to my office. I’d like to interview you today for a position.” First question I ask you is, “Mike, tell me about a time you really, really, your worst professional mistake. The biggest mistake you’ve ever made in business or on your own.” I don’t want to know how you fixed it. I just want to know what’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in business.
One, that sets you right on your heels right from the gate. You’re going to get unique questions from me, because what I’m trying to get at is, do you possess the core values that all my other team members do? If you do, then I’m going to share with you my mission, my vision, where I’m going, what I want to do. I want to know if you can embrace that, you can make that your own mission.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: As a result, I have a team of 133 people. I’ve been in business a little under eight years. I’ve gotten seven best places to work awards. Recently number one best place to work in Minnesota.

Mike: Wow.

Brenton: People love working for me because another thing. I provide them transparency. I let them in on my mission and values, and I show them the scorecard, which is another tool I use that lets them see the core metrics of the company. Profits, number of deals, amount of salaries paid, leads generated, what’s our average closing ratio, how many clients are we gaining and losing a month. These core metrics are things I look at as an absentee business owner. I share them with all my staff.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: They now know my business just as well as I do. Now they’re vested, they’re interested, and they’re loyal. I’m also a very consolidated leader. I don’t make decisions like a dictator would. I crowdsource my team. “Here’s the idea I’m thinking of. I need to hear your feedback.” Then we go around the room with what we call a level 10 team.
It all starts with your people. A lot of people, they spend time, they waste time, they kill time. I invest my time in hiring people. It’s all too often that hiring is a process people don’t like to do. “I’m too busy. I don’t have the time. Man, this is something I don’t want to do.” No, I am excited about doing this.

Mike: Yep.

Brenton: I’m going to welcome somebody to the family. They’re hopefully going to be here for the rest of their life. It all starts with the people. Then from there, that’s your purpose, your vision, and your values, and getting them all on the same track and keeping them focused and keeping them accountable through that use of a scorecard.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Talk about some of the transparency a little bit more, because I think a lot of entrepreneurs, and honestly me included, purposely don’t share information on profit and things like that. I’ve lost some people because they see how much money they’re making and they think that they’re not getting paid enough.
Of course they never look at the expense side of the business or the risk or anything like that in many cases, but I think that’s a general theme for a lot of entrepreneurs, is they don’t want to share some of that information, because they don’t want people to start thinking, “Well, I should be making more. You’re having a great year and I’ve only got a 5% raise this year,” or whatever it might be. Then sometimes folks start to think that, “You couldn’t have done that without me,” and start to have an entitlement mentality.

Brenton: Absolutely.

Mike: Talk a little bit about that.

Brenton: I do provide these core metrics to my team. I have had those issues, and that quickly helps me understand your values. You’re not the right player for this team.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: As a top place to work, a place that people want to work, that pays very well, that’s not above market, you’re free to go. But this is a business. I show you these things so you can see the successes we’re having. A lot of people have shortsighted memories. They forget about those months when you ran a negative EBITDA.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: Yet you still paid their salaries…

Mike: Right, right.

Brenton: …or their bonuses or whatnot. But I’ve changed some of the way I report things just to be a little smarter around this issue. Instead of reporting actual number profits, I report EBITDA percentages. Instead of top line, I compare it to top line last year’s growth. So I give them the growth percentage, not the actual number.

Mike: I see.

Brenton: Now, my top executives will know the real numbers, but…

Mike: Right.

Brenton: …the rest of the team has percentages instead of actuals.

Mike: Right, right.

Brenton: That’s helped offset that a little bit. But you can’t be a weak backboned business owner.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: There’s two types of leaders out there that are emerging. The bull and the teddy bear. The teddy bear wants to give you perks and Skittles and free juices, and I’m going to build out a video game room and places for you to watch movies and take a nap at work, because I want to be your buddy, not your boss.
Then there are bulls that say, “I’m the boss. I pay your salaries. Do whatever the hell I tell you to do.” Then there’s this guy in the middle that I believe I am, which is I want to give you the perks. I want to make this a rewarding place to work. I want to let you enjoy working here and feel a part of something instead of just a job, just like I want.
At the same time too, I’m the boss. I have everything invested in this. Keep in mind that I started this is $3,000 in my pocket and put 80 hours a week work in for three or four years. All of you made double or triple that I made, and now that I’m making more than you, you’ve got to remember I put my time in and I put all my risk and efforts in. In fact, as an entrepreneur myself, if you think you can do it, you should do it.

Mike: Yep.

Brenton: Because that’s one of the biggest things I preach, is if you’ve really got a great idea and you’re passionate enough right now to leave that salary behind and go create your own, go do it, because then at that point you’ve proven to me you have the gumption and the balls to do it.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: Most people do not.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. What are some of the lessons you think for folks that are listening early on that are in that situation where they probably need to bring somebody on if they’re going to grow, or if they want to get part of their life back, some things like that? Talk a little bit about maybe some tips the folks can use to make that transition.

Brenton: Well, you certainly have to have faith and trust in that person. You have to make sure they have the same vision. In my business, even though I’m retired, I’m considered Chief Visionary Officer, my job. It’s my mission that we’re running here today. My CEO is my integrator, the guy who takes my mission and gets it done and rallies the whole team around the mission, shares the mission, game plans the mission. That’s how it works.
He’s got to understand his role. I’m the visionary. He’s the integrator. I’ll give you the idea. You run with it. Now, that’s not every idea, but there’s a vision and a passion and a purpose for our business. CEO, here’s what it is. I need you to implement and integrate that into our business and make everybody else tied deeply into these things, starting with setting expectations.
I also like performance-based incomes. My CEO has a modest salary for a CEO, but he’s got vested interest in the company. Not equity, but vested interest. That means as long as he’s with the company, he gets a percentage of the profits. So do my employees. There’s also some vested profit sharing for my employees. It’s a small amount and it goes into a pool and it’s dispersed, but it’s nonetheless we’re all tied into the successes of the business. So I like performance based incentives.
Then you also need to know at any given time the health of your business and the health of your employees. I use two tools. I use a scorecard which has all my major score metrics on it. We already discussed this.

Mike: Yep.

Brenton: How many deals, transactions. The major things that I need to know to determine if my business is going up, down, or stable.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: Then the other thing I use is a software called 15Five.com. 15Five is a check-in software with all my employees. It asks five major questions that are designed to take them less than 15 minutes for them to answer. I send it to them on every Friday. It takes me five minutes, or their manager five minutes to understand. The questions are, “What challenge are you facing? What’s your biggest win this week? Got any great ideas? How’s your morale?”
“What’s your biggest challenge? What’s your biggest win? How’s your morale? Got any great ideas or innovation? Then how’s your capacity?” We call it GWC. You get it, want it, capable of doing it. How’s your GWC? Do you get your job? Do you still want it? Are you still capable of doing it? We’re asking these questions, and every Friday they answer them, and they roll up.

Mike: Yep.

Brenton: They roll up to the managers and the managers roll that up to me. Now I know the health of my business from its financial analytics and I know the health of my business from its people capital. I know if somebody’s got a down in morale, if he’s facing challenges, if he’s hitting a home run and he needs recognition for it, you name it, but now I have the health check.
To me, getting these tools to my executives to then run my business also helps me run it, helps them run it. Those are some things that consultants have taught me over the years to really keep an eye and keep my executives on the path that we’re trying to accomplish here.

Mike: Sure, sure. That’s great. Well, I want to talk a little bit about Renters Warehouse and just property management in general. Obviously there’s a major transformation going on in the sense that franchise businesses like yours that are leading the way in terms of property management are operating in multiple markets and you start to become the McDonalds of your industry in the sense that you know what to expect from a quality standpoint.

Brenton: Right.

Mike: Property management is notoriously a business where you’re so reliant upon that individual and maybe it’s a husband and wife team or whatever. You’re reliant upon whether they have the flu that day or anything. There’s very few kind of transparent systems or standards. You just assume they’re going to do the right thing, which isn’t always the case. But talk a little bit about the transformation that’s going on in terms of kind of a roll up or consolidation of property management in America.

Brenton: Your asset is only as good as your property manager. Buying the property is the easiest thing you’ll do in owning rental property. That’s the easiest, simplest. Anybody can do that. You just need to know a few core metrics and you can determine if a property will work. Now, managing it is the hardest part. Most investors will do it on their own, but big companies like this, here’s a great example.
Invitation Homes, a client of mine, biggest landlord in the country. They hired me for eight months on Minnesota. When they moved to Minnesota, they bought 6, 700 homes. When they were with me, they were like 95-98% occupied. They were breaking records inside Invitation Homes for occupancy rates, rent per square foot prices, and just overall success.
Then they came back and said, “Brenton, I need you to take a 50% haircut on your fees,” and I said, “You need to take a hit right out my door and get lost. I am not a discount property manager. The reason you are hitting home runs is because of us. If you don’t want to hit home runs anymore and want to hit doubles and singles, you can pay 50% less to some real estate agent who will maybe do this, but this is what I do.”
Now they’re getting reported to the Better Business Bureau. Their vacancy rate is about 50% in Minnesota and they’re failing because they can’t afford a successful property manager. So the value of your asset is only as good as the property manager. We have really created an opportunity where we’re not a mom and pop team, and most property management companies are what I call portfolio managers.
If I was a portfolio manager, which I’m not, and I hired a guy like you, Mike, I’d say, “Mike, you’re a bright guy. Here’s 75 properties. Here’s your portfolio. You do everything for them. You collect the rent. You coordinate the maintenance. You enforce the leas. You rent and manage it. You evict them. You do everything for those 75 properties.”
I don’t do it anywhere near that. When you come to Renters Warehouse, you get a dedicated leasing agent that only lives and works in your territory. If you’re in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you get my Minneapolis-based leasing agent who lives and works there. That’s all he does, is lease properties in Minneapolis, sometimes by property type. He’s the condo guy or he’s the single family guy. So you’re getting one of the best local property specific experts.
Now when you’re done leasing it, you turn it over to my team of 130 property managers who are departmentalized. Rent collection team, lease enforcement team, customer service, accounting, evictions, you name it. They’re all departmentalized.
I can hire a really competent great person from AT&T. He used to work on an account management or he used to collect accounts receivable for AT&T. I’m going to say, “Here’s your rent roll. You had $5 million of rent to collect this month with your four other teammates.

Mike: Yep.

Brenton: “These are your goals, my expectations. That’s all you do, and you do it to the best of your ability, and that’s your core and only focus.” You move it to the different departments. That’s how we do it. The one thing that’s lacking from this is you don’t get an account manager. Instead, you get 133 account managers which you can call directly at any time instead of a phone system and say, “I need to speak about an eviction.” You call the eviction team.
You need to speak about your rent collection, you call the eviction team. You know just who to go to and who’s working on what and constantly stay updated. My model is innovative, it’s new, and it’s what’s allowing this business to be scaled, replicatable so that you can manage more properties for less money yet make more money as the entrepreneur owning.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: That was my model. I had the opportunity to look at years and years of it being done by others.

Mike: Sure.

Brenton: As an investor myself, just like you, I designed a company that I would want, that I would want to manage my properties, and that’s what came out of it, was Renters Warehouse.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Franchises like yours, which there’s only really a couple of, and you’re leading the way…

Brenton: Yep.

Mike: …in many areas, I think one of the interesting things that’s going on is, we talked about at this conference where we last saw each other a couple months ago…

Brenton: Yep.

Mike: …is just the fact that residential real estate is turning into an asset class that people all over the country can invest in. Particularly people on the coast, like in California, are more comfortable investing all across America because they know they have a property manager like you…

Brenton: Yep.

Mike: …to deal with their properties. In fact, I believe you guys can even roll up reporting for properties in multiple markets, right?

Brenton: Or better yet, let’s say you’re a guy who can’t sell or lose too much if he did. You have an alternative to selling it in a down market. I’m going to rent it, hold it, and let somebody else do it, because I’m totally unprepared and not able to do it. I’m an IT guy and I need to work 80 hours a week. I don’t have time to rent my home, but that’s the best solution.
Well, now we allow worry-free access to probably the best solution. One battle I’m fighting right now is the markets coming back, right? In Minnesota, we’ve seen 11% appreciation since last year.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: That’s great. People are trying to sell. I tell them, I say, “Why in the world would you sell right now? Have you not listened to Warren Buffett and Invitation Homes and all the world’s wealthiest people who are trying to buy everything they can in real estate? Yet you’re the rookie here trying to sell your home today. You’re not getting it.
When I start showing them how to analyze their capitalization rate, their cash on cash rate, their internal rate of return, they’ve never before ever realized such significant returns. All they looked at it and said was, “I’m making $200 a month in cash flow, but I lost a night’s sleep once last year and I just don’t want to do it anymore.”

Mike: Right.

Brenton: But when they see the numbers and look at it I’m making 18% of my money a year…

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: …I’m making a 22% internal rate of return, good luck replacing that.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: Not only that. This is the time to buy. Now, whether you buy in a REIT on a publicly traded company, or you buy, you go into an investment group or you flip a house, or you just rent the house that you have in investment property, you’d be a fool to sell right now, unless you’re doing what you do, flipping properties.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Of course, we try to keep a lot of those rentals as well.

Brenton: Absolutely.

Mike: Yeah, yeah.

Brenton: I’m flipping a 3-plex right now. It’s the flip from hell. I was sure to make a bunch of money and I won’t make any money now, but my backup plan was always as good as my first plan: flip it for a bunch of cash or rent it for a bunch of cash flow. Ultimately, we wanted to flip it. Well, it was supposed to be a $50,000 remodel and now it’s a $150,000 remodel.
I’m not going to have the equity to make, but it’s still going to cash flow $800 a month when it’s rented. No-brainer. I’ll keep it. I’ll drive down my equity. I’ll refinance my cash out, and it’s a great long-term hold. When you buy a hold, your B plan should be as good as your A plan.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Talk a little bit about Renters Warehouse in the regard of folks that are listening, if they’re interested in finding a property manager, a Renters Warehouse property manager in their market. I know you’re blowing up all across the country and have franchise offices in many major markets. Or if they’re interested in possibly even the franchise opportunity in terms of purchasing a Renters Warehouse franchise.

Brenton: Yeah.

Mike: Talk a little bit about how they find more and maybe even some of the questions they should ask in terms of evaluating your service or your franchisee’s service versus other property managers.

Brenton: Well, I’m looking for real estate passion and entrepreneurs right now. We will have 25 offices open in about 20 states by the end of this year. We’re the second largest property management company in America and we’re the fastest growing. Catching up to number one in light speed. We’re also the most innovative, so we’ve really got something great here, but here’s the opportunity.
If you’re real estate passionate and you want to rent and manage residential management, which equates to about 40% of real estate in any major market, about four out of 10 homes are rentals, there’s this huge opportunity. If you think about the demographic, everybody’s a potential client. What other business is that? Cellphones, insurance, medical, right? Big, giant business. It’s a $65 billion a year industry, yet the biggest company in it is a $22 million company, and I’m right behind him.

Mike: Yep.

Brenton: Point is the smartphone industry is a $60 billion industry, but it has guys like Google, Samsung, Nokia…

Mike: Right.

Brenton: …LG, you name it. Billion dollar companies in a billion dollar industry. The point is property management is so fragmented and no national player that we’re trying to set the tone. The ChapStick of lip balm. The Renters Warehouse of property management is what we’re trying to accomplish, we need real estate passionate entrepreneurs to help you do it.
We have major markets available. We teach you everything you need to know. We provide you all of our innovative technology. What’s great about a franchise system is you have somebody else vested in your success.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: As a franchise, I get a royalty, and my royalties are on your profits, not your negative losses. In order for me to be a business owner and to be a good one, I need to make sure my franchisees are successful. Little caveat. Every one of my 14 offices open are all profitable, all profitable within their first year, and are all raving advocates of our brand. The point is I know how valuable it is to make sure you’re making money, because then I’m making money. That’s my business.

Mike: Right.

Brenton: I give you a turnkey business in a box so that you can have all the tools necessary to be a great innovative property management company without having to reinvent the wheel like I did for the last eight years. You tap right into that. You get my unlimited support and my team to make sure you’re successful, because I’m tied into it. At the same time too, we bring national clients like Invitation Homes and guys like you. That’s why I go to these networking functions where I met you, Mike.

Mike: Yep.

Brenton: I’m trying to meet major investors out there that don’t know that our property management program exists, and when they do, they love it.

Mike: Yep.

Brenton: If I’ve ever done one thing right, it’s that I promoted my business in a big way and let people know I exist, because most people don’t realize…When you tell people you’re in property management, they go like this, “Okay. Yeah, yeah.” “Do you know what property management is? Can you tell me a little bit about what I do?” “Ah, no.” They give you the quick nod.
But if you tell them this, “I’m a professional landlord,” now they get it. “Oh, so you rent homes out?” “Yep, you’ve got it.” We did a little study between property management and professional landlord. We found nobody knows what a property manager does. Everyone knows what a landlord is.

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: So we’re no longer a property management company. We’re a professional landlord service. That’s an example of how we changed Renters Warehouse from being more of the same, being a part of that fragmented group that nobody’s doing nothing well at, and said, “Let’s flip it on its head.”
What do investors want? They want accountability. We invented the tenant warranty. They want transparency. We invented the owner portals. They wanted larger marketing exposure and quicker marketing times. We invented RentFeeder, the most innovative product by the American Business Association, to market properties on 230 websites with an industry low average of 12 days on the market…

Mike: Wow.

Brenton: …before a property is rented. The point is we’ve taken our success, we’ve put it in a box, and it’s for sale to real estate passionate entrepreneurs for $35,000, and we’re looking to expand in major markets all across the country.

Mike: Wow, wow. If folks wants to learn more about either using your service as they have properties that need to be rented or are interested in the franchise opportunity, where do they go?

Brenton: There’s two websites. If you need a property manager, we’re in 14 markets. Check us out at renterswarehouse.com or just Google Renters Warehouse.
If you’re interested in maybe starting a Renters Warehouse of your own and becoming a professional landlord in your market or a new town to you, go to professionallandlords.com. There you can see everything about our opportunity. You can inquire about more information.
Even then, we don’t sell people on a franchise. You’ve got to sell us on you and you’ve got to better understand our product. If you do and you like it, then you can. So we put you in a self- learning environment. It’s a six-stage process where you learn at your own pace and you can ask questions along the way in a system that we call the Renters Warehouse Resource and Learning Library.
Then at that point, if you’re interested, you submit an application. We start to vet you out. But it’s an easy sell where you get to learn at your own pace and decide if this career, this entrepreneurial venture is the right move for you. That’s professionallandlords.com.

Mike: Awesome, awesome. We’ll add links down below the interview. Brenton, hey, thanks for your time today. Congrats again on all the awards and all the success.

Brenton: Thank you.

Mike: I hope you’re enjoying your time in retirement.

Brenton: It’s not bad. I get to be chief brand spokesperson and do fun things like this with you, Mike.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Folks don’t realize that retirement for guys like you and me doesn’t mean laying on the beach doing nothing. You’d be bored out of your mind.

Brenton: We define it. You know?

Mike: Yeah.

Brenton: We get to wake up each day and decide what we want to do that day, and that to me is retirement.

Mike: Yep. I agree. I agree. Well, Brenton. Hey, thanks so much for your time. I look forward to talking to you again soon, okay?

Brenton: Hey, let’s stay in touch, Mike. Thank you very much for having me on your show.

Mike: Sure. Take care.
Thanks for joining us on today’s FlipNerd.com podcast. To listen to more of our shows and hear from incredible guests, please access all of our podcasts in the iTunes store. You can also watch the video versions of our shows by visiting us at FlipNerd.com.