20 Questions with Real Property Management (2024)

Written by: Patrick Findaro
Last Updated by Rocio Somoza: January 20, 2023
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This article is based on a video originally recorded on Vetted Biz Youtube Channel

Patrick:— Hey. Patrick Findaro here, co-founder at Vetted Biz. Today, I’m very excited to have on two executives at Real Property Management, a firm that we’ve had clients with Visa Franchise since 2016, and we’ve had a lot of Vetted Biz users I see inquiring about Real Property Management, visiting their page.

It’s well overdue to interview with Dan Glaser, who’s the VP of franchise development, as well as the President of Real Property Management, Jeff Pepperney. It’s a pleasure to have both of you guys on.

Jeff: Thanks for having us. Great to be here.

Dan: Yeah. Thanks, Patrick. Appreciate it.

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Franchise Industry News

P: I’d be curious, just for the listeners, how you two got into the franchise industry. Maybe, Jeff, you could start. You had a long career at Sears, I’m sure developed a lot of their franchise capabilities in the organization. Would love to just hear a bit more of your background, and what got you into this industry?

J: Absolutely. Patrick, early career for me, I started in financial services at Deutsche Bank and progressed my career in financial services. Then I met a mentor of mine in Will Powell, I think mentorship is fantastic and pulled me into Sears Holding Corporation. And worked in-home services, right? So went from financial services into the home and consumer services, and within Sears, Sears had an arm in franchising, right? 

Most people think about Sears as the retail store, consumer services, home services was enormous, franchising capabilities. I really thoroughly blossomed and enjoyed the power of franchising and started early in there. And grew up through franchising in terms of operating a brand to then leading five different brands, which helped me arrive at what I think is the best franchising company in the world is Neighborly, and then becoming president of Real Property Management.

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P: Well said. Dan, I’ve interviewed you in the past with another Neighborly brand, but it’d be good for those that didn’t listen to our prior interview if you could chat a little background.

D: Yeah. My way of getting here is a little different than Jeff’s. I didn’t really choose franchising as much as franchising kind of chose me. I came to Waco, Texas, which is the corporate headquarters for Neighborly, this June will be 15 years ago. And I came to Neighborly back when we had 6 or 7 brands back in ’07. We’re up to 17 domestic brands today, over 30 if you include all of our international companies. 

I’ve really seen Neighborly just exploding growth in the last 15 years. It’s been amazing to be part of that growth. My mentor early on was a gentleman named Doug Dwyer, who is the son of Don Dwyer, who’s the founder of the Dwyer Group, now Neighborly. I got the opportunity to learn franchising from one of the greats in our industry, in my opinion.

I spent about eight and a half years with our flood and fire insurance restoration business, Rainbow International Restoration, spent about four and a half years with our window cleaning company, Window Genie. And I now work with our two real estate brands, HouseMaster Home Inspection, which we talked about before, and Real Property Management. 

I love Neighborly, and I love what we do in a deep way because it's really all about changing people's lives, and entrepreneurship, is just an amazing place to be.

Property Management Industry

P: For those that aren’t as familiar with the property management industry, it’d be great if you could just break it down a bit. I understand there are vacation rentals, long-term renters, and just love to see how the industry is, if you could explain it. And also how RPM fits into that industry.

J: Absolutely. I think, Patrick, when we think about property management, our value proposition is we take care of the hassle, you own the home, right? And as we continue to grow at Real Property Management, our target client is the intentional investor.

About 70% of our portfolio, we manage over 63,000 properties, largely that is specific to single-family residents. We do multifamily as well. We do some HOA, we do some vacation, we do some commercials. But single-family residential and investors continue to pour extreme capital into the market as a way for them to build wealth. 

We become their trusted advisor to manage their property. And we see that really changing the landscape from the used-to-be the DIYer to early-2000s, mid-2000s, during the housing crisis where some people accidentally became a landlord or an investor, to now in today’s environment, which is our centerpiece, which is the bullseye of everything we focus on is the intentional investor where we’re managing their property.

Three Key Phases

J: When we think about managing the property, I think about three key phases, right? Managing the property, leasing the property, and maintaining the property. The entire components of everything from getting the home ready and making it presentable to rent, to making sure that we got the right screened and qualified tenants, to make sure that we have the right rental rates depending on where they’re at geographically.

For us, in the last 2 years, when you think about the power of property management with Real Property Management, we’ve awarded 72 new locations just in the last two years. When we think about the explosion of capital coming into the marketplace in terms of real estate investing, they know intentional investors, they know the power of having a property management company. We see that in terms of our ability to award, as well as our other franchise locations. Now that’s 368 in the U.S. in terms of their explosive growth.

Competitive Position

P: Focusing on the professional asset managers that have a portfolio of 100 single-family homes up to 2,000-plus single-family homes, how are you guys competitively positioned? Who are you competing with? Are they going to a mom-and-pop or are they going to a publicly-traded company that would be competing with RPM to manage their portfolio of single-family, long-term residential properties?

J: Yeah. I think it’s all of the above, right? I mean, largely the mom and pops, I think, are focused on those where I consider that the DIY or the accidental landlord kind of that owns maybe one property, and doesn’t really either want to get out of doing that and really looks at from a local mom and pop. We position ourselves as a trusted advisor, we’re in the business of helping investors create wealth through managing their property. From a competitive landscape, we believe we compete on all those fronts and continue to take market share from the mom and pops, as well as some of the national companies that are out there today.

As I said, we see that for the number of locations that we have, as well as the properties that we continue to pick up through adding new market share.

Return on Investment

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Patrick: What are some ways that can really hurt the investor’s return on investment where you guys can help out? I imagine one is pricing the rentals at the appropriate rate, filling it really quick so it’s not sitting idle for two or three months. What is kind of the biggest value where it’s like “Okay, your expected return is 9%. We’re going to try to keep it there, and we’re not going to have it dip down to 5% or 4%.”

Jeff: Absolutely. I think it starts with two things, right? It’s positioning the property, right? Making sure that the property can get the best rental rates in a competitive marketplace, right? By doing that in terms of our consultation. That may be coming in and placing new flooring, or upgrading fixtures, so that you can position the home to make sure that you get the best possible rental rates. I think, Patrick, the second component is qualifying and screening the tenants. We want to have the right tenant fit into the right property.

And that continues to flourish for the homeowner who's helping position that for appreciating the property value, as well as that positive passive cash flow month to month.

Patrick: Yeah. Because if there’s tenant churn and the property’s vacant for two months, I mean, that’s going to kill their return. Where if someone’s staying in three, four, or five years. I imagine it’s nice as a property manager, less work for you and more return for the investor, less for them to worry about.

Two types of clients

J: Absolutely. I think you hit on something else, Patrick. I think that’s very important in the space of property management, right? We have two clients. Those that own the property, the investor of the property, and then the resident or tenant of the property. Doing a really good job in terms of screening investors and residents of the property, and making sure that it’s a good match, and they’re comfortable. We’re helping grow wealth for the investor. We’re providing a safe, inhabitable location for the resident to live in.

P: And if both are happy, they’re going to renew the lease. They’re going to keep renewing your property management contract to keep managing the property.

J: Absolutely. I think that sets back into the client experience, right

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