In this week’s episode, Podcast Host, Property Manager & Business Owner, Andrew Schultz, chats with RentPrep Founder, Stephen M. White.
In this exclusive interview, we celebrate the 400th edition of the RentPrep for Landlords podcast with none other than RentPrep’s driving force, Stephen M. White. White discusses how he got started in the industry, what it took to get RentPrep to where it is today and what the future looks like for the tenant screening company.
Don’t miss this special edition of the podcast today!
Andrew Schultz (00:00:03):
Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Rent Prep for Landlord’s podcast. This is episode number 400, and I’m your host, Andrew Schultz. On today’s show, we have c e o Stephen White joining us, but we’ll get to all that right after this.
Andrew Schultz (00:00:22):
Welcome back to the Rent Prep for Landlord’s podcast. I’m glad to have you all with us here today. And actually, it’s an extra special day for a couple reasons. First reason is number one, this is our 400th podcast episode. And for those of you who have been listening for a while or even any of you who have done content production in the past, do you understand just how big of a feat it is to get to 400 episodes? So, for that, we want to thank all of you, the people who have been listening for all these years. It’s because of you that we’re still here today and that we’re still producing this podcast. And the other reason that this is a very special episode is because it’s the 400th episode. We have C e o Stephen White with us today. Steve, how are you today?
Stephen M. White (00:01:00):
I am doing excellent, Andrew. Thank you.
Andrew Schultz (00:01:02):
Thank you for being here. I appreciate it. The last time you and I actually had an opportunity to speak on any of this stuff, I think was the, I think it was the November, 2022 AMA session, if I remember correctly.
Stephen M. White (00:01:13):
That sounds about right. Yeah. And and I just wanna say also, y i i, I don’t know the actual episode count yet, but it’s gotta be getting close to the point where you may have hosted more episodes than any single host. I’m, I’m positive you’ve hosted more than me. I think I was probably episode one through 100 or close two. And and it was Eric and I for a while. And, and it feels like you’ve been, you’ve been leading the charge for a while. I feel like you may have more, more episodes hosted racked up than, than anyone else.
Andrew Schultz (00:01:48):
So I actually just went to take a look. I’m not quite at a hundred episodes yet. I first appeared in episode three 18 of the podcast. And then we also had, prior to the podcast, before I started appearing on the podcast, Eric and I had asked a property manager on Facebook. I don’t know how many episodes of that we did, I wanna say something like 30, 40, 50 episodes of ASCA Property Manager we did before we decided to move on from that project as well. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And then obviously I carry that on for a little bit under, under my company’s name, under Own Buffalo. But yeah, I’m coming up on, coming up on a hundred podcasts. I started with three 18 and we’re, we’re recording number 400 right now, which is pretty crazy when you think about it.
Stephen M. White (00:02:26):
Yeah. And it’s been, it’s been quite a journey and to watch you grow as a, as a podcaster. Like, you got it down, man, you got the man, the intro. I mean, you’re a one-take professional at this point where you <laugh>, you’ve got the voice down, you’ve got all the right equipment. Like, it’s, it’s been pretty, it’s been pretty awesome to, to watch and to just see how polished you’ve become in this space. And like you are a, you are a real podcaster now. You are a legitimate host.
Andrew Schultz (00:02:59):
I can appreciate that. I really can. I mean, it’s well, as you know, we just moved into a new office here at, at Own Buffalo. So we, when we did that, we’ve been doing some studio upgrades looking and getting some new cameras and stuff. But the honestly, just having an a, a good studio to work out of and having proper lighting and stuff like that has made all the difference in the world. I think this is the second or third piece of content I’ve actually done out of this specific space. But yeah, it’s been going well. And honestly, the Rent Prep podcast and e even doing the videos and stuff like that on YouTube has been awesome for us. It’s a great way for us to help learn, or excuse me, us to help teach others who are just getting started in the industry and things of that nature. So I look forward to doing these all the time, and I always look forward to having you on because you’re number one, you’re one of the hardest guests to get <laugh>
Stephen M. White (00:03:46):
Well, which is ironic, right?
Andrew Schultz (00:03:48):
Right. Go figure. Yeah.
Stephen M. White (00:03:49):
Andrew Schultz (00:03:50):
But it’s always a good conversation as well, so yeah.
Stephen M. White (00:03:53):
I appreciate it. I think the concern is always, like, you and I, like I kind of chuckled before we jumped on and started recording. You’re like, oh, you know, we’re doing an hour. We gotta make sure we got an hour. I’m thinking we could do three hours if we just went totally unchecked. Like, you and I just sort of fall naturally into good conversation, so.
Andrew Schultz (00:04:11):
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, and it happens, like the last AMA we did, we answered four of the questions, maybe four or five of the questions that we were actually supposed to answer during the ama. We ended up having to cycle some into the next monthly the next monthly session, just because you and I, once we get going, like, who knows, I have a whole list of questions here for you today, but I don’t know if we’re even gonna hit half of ’em. Like, it’s just one of those things that we just start, we start going and getting Yeah. Off on tangents and stuff like that, but, well, let’s get things going here. I mean, obviously we do know that you’re the c e o of rent prep. Tell us a little bit about life before rent prep and, and how you kind of got to where you’re at now,
Stephen M. White (00:04:49):
Life before rent prep. Well, rent Prep obviously is a background check company tenant screening company. And I can tell you I had zero idea that this was going to be my profession or what I was going to be doing. Like there was, I couldn’t have taken a more winding path to get to to this point. So there was really no plan to, to do this necessarily. So my, you know, my beginnings were straight out of high school, went into the Marine Corps, spent eight years in the Marines got out, went to work for a bank, and was doing this really weird sort of obscure end of the banking business called Replevin Work. And a Replevin is a special writ that you have to get whenever you’re repossessing something that the bank owns. And, and in our case, we were doing repossessions for large pieces of construction equipment, so street pavers skid Steerers, you know
Andrew Schultz (00:06:01):
Kinda like the guy that goes and reposts airplanes,
Stephen M. White (00:06:03):
I’ll be honest with you. That’s what I thought. I was getting into <laugh>, <laugh>. And then it turned out to be like a horribly boring office desk job. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. But to be, if I’m being totally honest, like part of why I got into that was like, cool, I get to, I get to repossess, like cool stuff. And like, I, I was thinking James Bond level, like, you know, jump in a plane, get a boat, whatever. I don’t know that obviously never nothing like that ever happened. It was very much boring legal work. I, I was responsible for co coordinating all of these judgements that needed to be perfected wherever the equipment was. So we would have to make sure, you know, we would get a local attorney that could sign off on it, get a local judge so we could hand it to the local sheriff’s department.
Stephen M. White (00:06:51):
So it was more, more groundwork, legal work, that type of stuff. I unfortunately, never in my life got to jump into a possessed, a repossessed piece of equipment or machinery. Very boring. But yeah. And then we started doing that and I, I, I saw the need to, to be able to do it on, or I, I saw the opportunity to be able to do it on my own. I saw a need to work with a lot of smaller financial companies instead of large banks. And so I, I started a business that did exactly that in 2007. And and again, at this point, rent prep wasn’t even a, you know, a, a thought or, or even a possibility. And it wasn’t until really the Great Recession kind of killed that business. And we can get into that later. Cause I think that tees up another question that you had asked me, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Yeah, the Replevin business basically vanished almost overnight. And and it, you know, like any good entrepreneur pivoted and, and saw a good opportunity in in, in the space of doing background checks and tenant screening and, you know, kind of got into it from there. So it, it really was not anything planned. I, you know, wasn’t anything specific I went to school for. You know, I could have never imagined that this was what I was, was going to end up doing.
Andrew Schultz (00:08:20):
Yeah. It’s amazing how it kind of winds up that way because I was actually working a, before I got into real estate, I was working a dead end job as a bill collector, and I hated it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, like, I think I stayed in that position for three or four months before I found somebody who was looking for just an admin in their property management offices. And that was all she wrote. I’ve been in real estate ever since. But I guess that does kind of lead us into the first question, if you will, of the day before rent prep, you did own another semi-related business in the collections industry. Yeah. Which we were kind of just touching on. How did that business kind of get you prepared for the business that you’re running now at Rent Prep?
Stephen M. White (00:09:00):
Yeah, so it was, it was doing re Levin work and in order to stabilize the Replevin work, cuz at the time we were building a business and it was, you know, it was it would ebb and flow in some months we’d be busy. Others we wouldn’t. And so we kind of backfilled that with, with doing some third party collections. So it wasn’t like purchasing large portfolios of debt. We would actually work with mostly local clients on helping them recover debt. So it could have been anything from a dentist to a manufacturer or a distributor. And if, and for those who don’t know, Buffalo is known as the collection capital of the world, the collection agency capital of the world. So for us, it was, it, it just made kind of sense. Like we were in the area. I mean, you could walk outside, throw a stone and hit a bill collector in Buffalo.
Stephen M. White (00:09:58):
Like it wasn’t hard finding employees, finding people to hire mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And and so we were leveraging a lot of the same software across the different business lines. So we would’ve collections. And then on the Rele side, we’d use the same Skip Tracee software to locate people, locate equipment mm-hmm. <Affirmative> you know, find out what other assets they may have owned, maybe what houses they they owned so that we knew where to maybe go look for additional equipment or on the collection side, know where to call and, and and try to collect on a debt. And it was the <laugh>, I’ll never forget, it was right after the, the Great Recession, there was all this spotlight on subprime lending mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and we sort of had an inside view of this, because I remember very vividly, like we would get these files, which included the original credit reports that were pulled from the, from the bank to finance. Usually like a giant piece of equipment, like a street paper is over a million dollars. Yeah. You know, we’re not talking about low balances here. We’re talking about like
Andrew Schultz (00:11:09):
Yeah. People don’t understand how expensive that equipment actually is. Right. Like the last, my, my former life before I was in real estate was in it was a paramedic. The last ambulance I helped spec was over $200,000. Yeah. And that didn’t include any equipment. That was just the ambulance. Right. So for a paver to be over a million dollars, that doesn’t surprise me at all.
Stephen M. White (00:11:27):
Yeah. And, and so it was shocking to see you know, somebody with a credit score, maybe the low 500 s got approved for this massive loan. And it was like, you know, at the time we were kind of just like, well, that’s weird. Like, why would they do that? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, and then, you know, didn’t take long for us to figure out that there was sort of this whole subprime market and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, the interest rates were insane, these things were being defaulted on, which was partially what was holding our business up. And and so basically we found out by watching the news one day, that our largest client had been, like, had shut down and locked the doors. And so on the news, they were showing this news reel over and over of employees trying to get into the building, and the doors were locked. And we were like, well, I guess <laugh>, I guess that’s it. Like, and this client had owed us a ton of money in, in back billing and everything and mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and, you know, it really,
Andrew Schultz (00:12:26):
So, so a local client?
Stephen M. White (00:12:28):
Somewhat. Somewhat. It was in, it was in New York State, it was downstate.
Andrew Schultz (00:12:30):
Oh, okay. I was thinking it was that the place up in Amherst, but no different company.
Stephen M. White (00:12:35):
No. So, yeah, it, it was, you know, it was stressful but also kind of fortuitous because at the time, it really forced us to kind of go all in on this idea of screening tenants, which at the time was really not a very well known, talked about type of thing. We, I, I knew that a lot of landlords didn’t have access to it. I knew that a lot of the, you know, companies that were around or existing were, were taking and a lot of ’em still do take a very one size fits all approach, very, you know, scraping data, giving you junk data mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And we just saw an opportunity to do something really totally different and leverage our experience in gaining access to that data and knowing how to scrub through it and knowing how to determine if it’s the correct John Smith or a different John Smith or the Steve Whites, you know, common names, that sort of stuff that, that kind of plagues back the background check industry as a whole. We, we’ve mm-hmm. <Affirmative> figured out a lot of ways on how to combat that and, and to create a really quality product. And you know, those principles still stand today. That’s really what REM Prep is. It’s mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, to, to do it the right way.
Andrew Schultz (00:13:51):
Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, and for those that don’t know, I’ve actually been a rent prep client even long before I was doing work on the podcast or on the Ask Me Anything sessions or the ASCA Property Manager or anything like that. Steve and I actually met probably close to, let’s see, I’ve been in real estate and property management for 14 years now, so we’ve probably known each other. It’s gotta be more than a decade. It’s probably closer to 12 years. And we met at a Bigger Pockets meetup. Yep. And I was actually pretty new to the industry at that point, and I think we had just hung our shingle to do property management. And I was looking for a credit and background check solution, and that’s actually how you and I headed off. Was it a bigger Pockets meetup? So, yep. I mean, not for nothing. I’ve been in this business now for 14 years. You’ve been in this business now for at least that long, at least 12 years, cuz that’s when we met. Yep. What was the real point where you realized, okay, this is something that needs to be pushed, this is something that needs to be developed because there is a need, need for this service in the market?
Stephen M. White (00:14:53):
Well, when we first started, it was to, we had a client on the Replevin side, but they happened to also be sort of a, a large investor of properties. And they owned a bunch of multi-family. And so Rent Prep was really initially built to cater to the large property management companies that, that managed multiple units, usually in the hundreds or sometimes thousands. And that was really, that was really all we were doing for the first couple of years. And it wasn’t until I started going to these association meetings investor association meetings, bigger pockets, roundups meetings where I ended up running into you and hearing firsthand that there were all these landlords, these individual mom, pop, whatever you want to call them, but landlords that clearly needed something mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and, and better than what was available at the time.
Stephen M. White (00:16:00):
Yeah. And, and so we thought, well, we, we really didn’t build, we didn’t build this service for, for them, but there seems to be such an obvious need that, that maybe, maybe we can build something. And, and that’s really where the the brand rent Prep came from. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, initially it was Ellis screening solutions. Ellis being from my time in the Marine, Sempra Ellis was the moniker. And so Rent prep was built specifically for landlords did not have the intention or could have even predicted at the time that that would end up being the, the bulk of the business, the main driver, where all the growth came from. We were just trying to fill a need and, and didn’t expect it to grow at the pace and the, the size that it, in the scale that it did. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But it didn’t take very long for us to realize, like, oh, there’s something here with these landlords. Like this is, you know, at the time it was just a part of the market that that wasn’t really being accounted for and nobody was really giving it the, the proper attention. So landlords didn’t have a lot of, didn’t have any access to real good quality screening like we knew that we could provide
Andrew Schultz (00:17:09):
Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. That makes sense. Well, and since you’re kind of leaning in that direction anyway, why don’t we jump into our next question, which is, what has the growth been like inside of Rent prep? And I actually want to add a little bit onto this. Most people probably don’t know about Landlord U mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So if you could maybe touch base on landlord u a little bit and then talk a little bit more about the growth of rent prep from wherever you want to pick it up, basically.
Stephen M. White (00:17:35):
Yeah. So Landlord, you landlord university, I’m pretty proud of this failure. I feel like any good entrepreneur should own, own their failures. You know, be proud of the scars that you’ve earned along the way. And cause everyone knows right? Like entrepreneurship doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get backed up. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So, landlord University was a, a failure in every sense. <Laugh>, we, we dumped a <laugh>. It really was, we dumped a bunch of money into this idea that we were gonna build courses mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for landlords, and it was gonna be to support landlords and and support their professional growth. Right. Professional development. And so it was like these modular, modular courses they could take and, you know, I think it was like nine or $10 per course. And if you took a certain number of courses in a grouping, you’d get like a certificate of completion.
Stephen M. White (00:18:35):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, we tried to really literally tried to build like a, a good resource to, to train landlords. Cuz we had found in a lot of cases, landlords were sort of their own worst enemy, right? Like mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, we needed to keep sharp objects away from them. <Laugh>, it’s still that way to be honest with you, in a lot of events that way the industry is plagued, unfortunately, like we’ve, I say this a lot, like we’ve landlords as a whole have sort of earned the reputation, right? Like, it’s not baseless always. We, we Right. There’s definitely a few bad apples that have ruined the bunch. So we thought, well, this was our opportunity to have an impact on the industry and, and train landlords on some of the best practices that we saw working. We saw firsthand working with so many different landlords mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and and so we launched this landlord university.
Stephen M. White (00:19:27):
I dumped a ton of money into it branding all the marketing, building it, it was this whole online platform. And we had two pieces of it that were sort of looked at as the supporting pieces. One was the podcast mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, the other was a private online community mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And and again, I kind of take the approach of like, well, back in the day when you used to junk your car and take it to the junkyard, you didn’t want to give the junkyard your radio. That worked fine. Right, right. Well, you ripped the radio out, you pull out everything that’s still sale that you pull everything of value. Exactly. Yeah. <Laugh>. So three months with Landlord University, and I think we generated about a hundred and $160 in revenue. I was like, yep. We could chalk that you were crushing it, man. Yeah. Chalk it up as a failure.
Stephen M. White (00:20:16):
This one didn’t, didn’t work. <Laugh>, turns out landlords don’t wanna pay for, you know, an online course mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and and so we, we just literally scrapped it, but pulled all the pieces out that we knew were working. And so the online course, we bundled into a Udemy course that’s still available to this day. And I think it’s the highest rated Udemy course for landlords on screening tenants. Wow. Nice. Yep. And I mean, we use that for employee training now to this day still. So it was, there’s still some value like there. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, the podcast became the rent prep for landlord’s podcast mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and of course the, the private community became the rent prep for landlord’s community that it’s today. And I would say once we just sort of, and it was on me, right? Like I have sh as an entrepreneur, I’ve got shiny object syndrome.
Stephen M. White (00:21:08):
Like once, once I stayed focused just on one lane, it was like, okay, rent prep, this is it, it’s not landlord university, it’s not all these other pieces, it’s just rent prep. We’re gonna, we’re gonna stay laser focused on this. You know, we set a goal in 2016, I think to hit, to make it to the Inc 5,000 list mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and and to do it in three years. And we did it in two years, maybe two and a half years I think, and became ranked number one in our category for tenant screening. Maybe top 20 or something along those lines for our industry of just the broader real estate category, which was super impressive for mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, who we were competing against. So it was, you know, pretty, pretty steady growth from that period. Once we decided, throw away all the distractions, let’s, let’s just get really focused on doing one thing really, really well. And and that was, you know, just providing best in class screening and, and not paying as close attention to all these other opportunities to try to monetize this or make money here. It was like, no, no, no. We’re screening. That’s what we do. Really great. Let’s only, let’s only do that.
Andrew Schultz (00:22:25):
That makes sense. And then you had mentioned, I mean, obviously you guys have had pretty substantial growth, cuz I can remember, I can remember one of the first offices and, and obviously I’m in your office now pretty frequently mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, so I know where you guys have come from and where you’ve gone and things of that nature. But one of the most important things is you’re not doing it alone anymore. You have a staff behind you, not just screeners, but also admin staff and marketing teams and things of that nature, because you’ve gotten to that point in your business cycle mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. But I think my question here would be, as you’ve grown, how do you go about measuring success when it comes to your employees, to your staff?
Stephen M. White (00:23:03):
So again, kind of not taking the typical path, right? Or maybe it is for a lot of entrepreneurs who realize the value in the employees that you get when you’re not fully successful yet. And so as, as the business owner, I, I had to, I had to convince these, these employees, listen, this is gonna be something, it’s not it now. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, here’s the vision. And you have to get that, that buy-in. And and that’s critical, right? Because you’re, you want people who have sort of that long-term buy-in who, who can see that vision, who are going to, you know grow with you mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so because of that, we really got really good at pro on developing employees professionally mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so I’m pretty proud of the fact that some of the longest tenured employees that we have here, like I’ve got Lauren, who’s been with me for coming up on 14 years.
Andrew Schultz (00:24:05):
Stephen M. White (00:24:07):
Christie, who’s coming up on nine mm-hmm. <Affirmative> Joe, who’s, I think he’s gotta be at least at six years. And, and everyone started as a screener mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, every single employee that ends up going, you know, and, and, and rising up through the ranks and taking on new positions and, and new duties and responsibilities. It all, it all began from the sta same starting point of screening, understand what we’re doing, understand our clients, understand our industry, and and I’d rather build someone into a position that I needed versus going out and trying to hire for that position. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, we’ve, we’ve done it both ways. And in, in some cases it may be a longer road to develop, but you know, in the end you’re gonna get a longer, a longer tenured employee, somebody who’s gonna stick around longer. They’re not just gonna take the opportunity and, and leverage it to move somewhere else.
Stephen M. White (00:25:04):
Eventually you’ve got people who, who believe that’s important. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> people who believe in the same vision and, and believe you know, in, in what you’re doing. And you know, at that point, the core values become more than just these empty hollow words. Like are, I’m pretty proud of the fact that REM prep’s core values like resonate and are so meaningful because they were built by the employees who have been here, done it. And you know, there’s something to be said about it, about somebody who is developed versus just brought in. So for me, I would define, you know, and measures success by the, the, the journey that our employees take you know, their path to development mm-hmm. <Affirmative> what they’re able to learn, how they’re able to to make improvements or, you know, aim towards something and, and get a sense of what it’s like to get closer and closer to it until you achieve it. That has, that has honestly been the most rewarding thing for me, is to watch the people around me win. Like, I’d rather, in my mind, that’s what good leadership is, is I, I will let people, you know, I will let my employees step outta my head so that they can get ahead. To me that’s, that’s the true measure of a good leader, is putting everyone else in their needs before you and their development and and build the best team that you can possibly build.
Andrew Schultz (00:26:30):
Well, and I can remember you and I had a conversation, it was a behind the scenes conversation for lack of a better, but it was early or maybe just mid Covid. You and I were having a conversation and we were talking about how, you know, when you can’t go out and show apartments, that slows down screenings and sales volumes and this and that and the other thing because it was affecting your business and my business. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But as part of that whole process, I believe you guys kind of redesigned the entire screener position from the top or from the bottom up, essentially. Yeah. So now it’s a, a tiered thing where you kind of, you start out as a screener one or whatever you guys call it, and after you’ve learned X, Y, Z, you become screener two. Yeah. And it, you kind of move up the food chain, if you will, and it’s, it’s developed into more of a, it’s not just a job, it’s a career path sort of a situation now, which I don’t know of, I don’t know of a lot of other screening companies, if I’m being honest. I’m pretty happy with the service <laugh>, I get it. Run prep. Right. But realistically speaking, I don’t know if there are other screening companies that have kind of taken that approach the same way that you guys have.
Stephen M. White (00:27:29):
No, and I would say you’re, you’re not wrong. It began with Covid, but really what cemented it right, was this new age that we woke up to post Covid, where for a short time, like you can go work at Burger King for $20 an hour with a signing bonus,
Andrew Schultz (00:27:47):
Right? Yeah. <laugh>,
Stephen M. White (00:27:47):
Like, as an employer, that was a weird time. And mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, we realized like, okay, we can’t, can’t always pay top dollar. Right? Like we were a bootstrapped company. You know, you just can’t pay what you don’t, what you’re not bringing in. And so we had to be really thoughtful about how we were doing this. And so we wanted to make sure that people understood what we were doing, and we had a model for success, right? Like there were so many other employees that we can point to and say, look at, they started out entry level as a screener and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and look where they, look where they are now, look what they’ve grown into and what they’ve, you know what they’ve worked towards and, and achieved. And so we, we did build this, build this advancement structure that gave a sense of what your path looks like. And then we backed it up with a lot of third party certifications and training. And and man, we, we threw everything like, you know, every screener. This is interesting. I don’t even know if you knew this or not, Andrew. So every screener that we hire within their first 90 days, did you know that they have to read how to manage rental properties by Brandon Turner?
Andrew Schultz (00:28:55):
Really? I did not know that. <Laugh>,
Stephen M. White (00:28:57):
Yeah. So our training program, I, I believe is like second to none. Like we have thought through everything. And again, it’s kind of a mixture of professional development, what you’re gonna be seeing as a screener, but then also industry expertise. Like we have to know what our clients, what our landlord clients and property management clients deal with on a daily basis and what they better way
Andrew Schultz (00:29:20):
Stephen M. White (00:29:20):
Yeah. Yeah. What better way to know that than step into their shoes and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so yeah, we, we’ve sort of, we’ve put a lot of time into creating this, this this training program and advancement structure. So, and to be honest with you, it’s very much like the military. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, not surprisingly, right? Like, as I was going through and building this, and we were working with all the, the screeners on, on how it should be put together. And at some point I was kind of like, Hey guys, I think we, I think we’re reinventing the wheel. This feels a lot like the military <laugh>. There’s like a rank right. Structure, and then how do you get there and you back it up with education. And so we, I would say we, we definitely modeled it after that. So it’s very much like a ranking structure of, you know, as you, the more time and grades you have, the more time and service you have, the more training that you have you, you level up as a screener to, to different ranks and, and different abilities.
Andrew Schultz (00:30:16):
Well, and it’s nice because everybody’s on the same page. There’s a clear cut definition of what do you need to do to achieve, you know, the next step up or the step. I think you guys have three steps, if I remember correctly. So like there’s a clear cut path as to what you need to do and how to get there and, and things of that nature. And I think that that helps staff in a lot of ways to understand, okay, here’s the work that I’m doing, here’s why it’s relevant. You know when I move from here to here, this is the work I’ll be doing and here’s why it’s relevant and things of that nature. But without having that clear cut path, I think you’re right. I think that you get people that they’re taking your job because it’s at a desk versus at the fry later, or whatever the case may be.
Andrew Schultz (00:30:57):
So like, it’s creating that career path is actually been huge for your company. And honestly, as a client, I think that it reflects on the quality of the product as well. So obviously your role has changed pretty drastically over the course of the years. You used to be very much owner operator mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and now you have some people that are wearing some of the other hats so that you don’t necessarily have to, you can kind of step in when, when things break or when you have an opinion on something, basically. But how did you go about coping with the change in responsibilities as you went from, I have entrepreneur in here, but let’s change it to operator as you went from operator to executive, if you will.
Stephen M. White (00:31:36):
Yeah. So letting go is hard, right? <Laugh> and
Andrew Schultz (00:31:41):
The hardest thing I’ve, I’m still trying to learn how to do it in my business.
Stephen M. White (00:31:44):
Yeah. Yeah. It, it’s not easy. And what’s nice is we, we’ve kind of got a philosophy here at REM Prep, which is always be training your replacement mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and you know, it’s a, there’s value to that and, and not having the mindset that, well, if someone else knows how to do this, then where’s my job security. Right? Right. We, we wanna strengthen the team, build everybody, and then also for practical purposes, have some redundancy. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> you know, if you’re superstitious, you, you would not love working at REM Prep because I say crazy things like, Hey guys if I drive off a cliff one morning and there’s no more Steve, or if Lauren you know, falls off the edge of the earth and she’s just not here, what, how do we, right. What do we do? How do we move on?
Stephen M. White (00:32:36):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But, you know, that’s a, a realistic world that you have to live in when you’re running a business. So we, we’ve always sort of taken that point of view and for the past couple of years I’ve been sort of training my replacement mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and and it wasn’t always easy to let go. But I’ll tell you the, the what is valuable is when the person that you are training and and developing gets to the point where they recognize when you’re having a hard time letting go. And so mm-hmm. <Affirmative> Christie, who I’ve been training as my replacement is usually the first to tell me like, Hey Steve, you gotta let that go. Or, Hey, I’m protecting you from that. Don’t, don’t get into the weeds on that thing over there, or whatever. So, you know, she, she acts as sort of my guardrails a lot of times to keep me out of jumping into something. But
Andrew Schultz (00:33:29):
She’s been with you for how many years?
Stephen M. White (00:33:31):
Nine. Nine years.
Andrew Schultz (00:33:32):
Yeah, exactly. There’s a lot of trust that goes into that relationship. Yeah.
Stephen M. White (00:33:36):
Yeah. And I, but you know, we, we, we see it a lot and I, and I, I work with her on this and and right down to every, every leadership level within the company. Like the, I I just had this conversation last week with our screening manager. The same too is you’ve gotta let, you gotta let people figure it out. There’s value in that. Right. Reminds me of when I was a coach coaching hockey. And I remember one season was the first year that we let all these little kids tie their own skates mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And my hands appreciated cuz my, my fingers were just destroyed from pulling skate laces
Andrew Schultz (00:34:14):
Stephen M. White (00:34:15):
Yeah. Years prior. And what we learned from that is, all right, are the kids gonna do a good job tying their own ice skates? No. It’s gonna actually be terrible. And <laugh>, like their, their ankles would be wobbling all over the place, but the rule was you tie it yourself. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, you get out there. If you come to the bench and want a coach to tighten it, then we’ll do that. But we’re not, we’re not in the locker room tying skates anymore. You guys are too old mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for that. And, and, and by the end of the season, they learned how to tie the skates tight. Like, it, it takes, it takes some time, but you gotta let them figure it out and, and learn their own lessons and walk their own path. And I think it’s much the same way in learning to let go of certain things.
Stephen M. White (00:34:57):
You gotta give that person the opportunity to, to figure it out, fail sometimes. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, rack up some wins, however you wanna look at it. The things that I let go of is creating an opportunity for someone else usually to learn mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And and so that mindset usually keeps me away from handling or taking on too much too much of what I shouldn’t be touching. Yeah. yeah. So my, I think my role has definitely grown and especially as an executive now at, at, you know, working for a, a bigger company, a different company, I don’t, I literally can’t afford to be in the weeds on some things. And so you, I literally have to trust my team in a lot of, a lot of things.
Andrew Schultz (00:35:40):
I can’t, I think it was in extreme ownership by Jocko Willick where he talks about if your subordinates come to you we’re using the term subordinate cuz there was a military basically mm-hmm. <Affirmative> written by a military book military commander. He was basically something along the lines of if your subordinate or your team member comes to you and they have at least 75% of a solution, let them go without correction. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> let them go cuz they’re either A, gonna figure out that they don’t know what they need and they’ll come back to you with questions, or B, they’re gonna figure it out and they might be able to figure it out in a way that’s better or different in a positive way from how you were gonna figure it out. And it didn’t, you didn’t have to waste the, the brain energy or the physical energy. You didn’t have to exert yourself to get there. You’re letting somebody else carry that baton, if you will. Yes. I’m almost certain that’s where it came from.
Stephen M. White (00:36:28):
Well, I’ll, I’ll add to that, which is definitely a military precept, I’ll, I’ll say is a solution that somebody comes up with on their own, they’re far more likely to own it, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> versus if I come up with something and just prescribe it and say, go do this. So, you know, if I’ve got an employee that has a bad day and they’re just following the solution that I prescribed, it’s easy to say like, well, Steve was wrong on this one. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> he missed the mark. What, what a dumb idea he came up with. Right. But if it’s something like, to your point, like if they’re, if they’re even something approximating close to what I believe is going to be a good solution or a way to, a way to attack something a hundred percent, like, yeah, you go do it. Because then they own it.
Stephen M. White (00:37:13):
They go home that night. If they don’t have a great day thinking, man, how do I, you know, today just wasn’t it, but how do I make tomorrow better? How do I get this thing closer to working versus being able to just plop the blame onto me mm-hmm. <Affirmative> or someone else. It, you know, they, they take a little bit of ownership of that and that, and that will, you know, push them to, to want to make it work, to to follow, you know, whatever it is that they’re doing versus just following orders and Yeah. What to
Andrew Schultz (00:37:43):
Do. That makes sense. There’s a difference between following a checklist and, and following your thought process. And it does, yeah. It helps develop people when they actually have to put some thought into a project to, to get it from start to finish. There’s a certain level of buy-in there, like you had said, that I think really is critical for employees, especially when they’re working to develop themselves and things of that nature. Mm-Hmm.
Stephen M. White (00:38:04):
Andrew Schultz (00:38:05):
Hopefully we didn’t cover this already, but what would be the one lesson that you’ve picked up throughout your career? What is one lesson that your career has taught you that you think everybody should learn at some point in your life? And this isn’t limited to just your, your time at rent prep. Yeah. I mean, this could be rent prep your time at fis before that. I know you’ve had a couple of other enterprises outside of that mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you were in the military, so you’ve got a lot of experiences to draw from here. Yeah. What would you say is probably the one lesson that you’ve picked up that you think everybody should pick, pick up, entrepreneur or not? Just something that people really need to have in the back of their mind as they move forward.
Stephen M. White (00:38:41):
I, I got a great one. So as a kid, my dad used to clean chimneys on the side. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> he worked at Fisher Price. Everyone knows Fisher Price, and if you’re in Buffalo, you know that Fisher Price is headquartered, you know, in a suburb close to Buffalo. And a lot of people, you know, from the area work at work there, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, it’s a huge toy company. And my dad, just to make extra money on the weekends, very seasonal. We, he would go out and clean chimneys, like throw all the equipment into the back of his truck with a cap on the back. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, there wasn’t any signage. It wasn’t anything super official. It was just kind of a side side hustle that he was doing. And, you know, that was basically my job from, I don’t know, 10 years old until, until the day I left for the Marine Corps.
Stephen M. White (00:39:31):
Like, that was just something I always did with him. And he t you know, he taught me how to do it at a very young age. I remember there’s a part in a, in a chimney when you’re looking in a, in a fireplace and you’re looking up the chimney to see if it’s dirty, there’s a smoke shelf back there mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And that smoke shelf is impossible to see unless you literally climb inside of a chimney. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> put a mirror around it. In most cases, like you, you can’t see it with your naked eye. You, you’ve gotta, you know, you’ve gotta have equipment to look at this. And I remember my dad used to tell me, Hey, listen, clean the top of that smoke shell, and it was a pain, you know, get around it. And he used to tell me the person that were cleaning this house, they used to clean chimneys, they’ll know if you didn’t clean that smoke shelf properly.
Stephen M. White (00:40:23):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I think after a while I caught on like, there can’t be this many people who cl who do this <laugh>. They clean chimneys. Like I, I get what he was doing. Right. He mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, he wanted, he wanted there there to be an accountability of like, Hey, have good attention to detail. Do it because you, you know that somebody might look and you never want to be caught in a position where you didn’t do the right thing. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And then I got into the Marine Corps and and that same lesson popped up again. We used to, we used to go through these inspections and Marines wear a, a brass belt mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and and you gotta clean it with Brassel. And one of the first thing they teach you is to flip the belt over and clean the back of it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, well, nobody sees the back of it.
Stephen M. White (00:41:08):
Right. Like it was time spent polishing something that nobody will ever see. And that’s the whole point of attention to detail that if it’s worth doing, do it right. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you don’t know, maybe who knows? And the weird odd chance that somebody wanted to see the back of the belt, if I’m going through an inspection, man, am I gonna be confident going, go ahead, take a look. That thing is polished as good as the front. Same thing with, same thing with cleaning chimneys. Like, take a look, look at my work. I did it right. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I think that, that, that same mindset has always been with me, and I’ve carried that through of like having good attention to detail, doing something the right way, because that’s how you do it, that there’s a right way to do it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, sometimes it’s, sometimes it’s a longer road not taking any shortcuts, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative> but it’s definitely the right road. And I would say that’s been my biggest lesson learned is, is there really are no shortcuts. There’s, you know, you, you’re lucky if somebody doesn’t look at the back of the B Belt buckle to see if it’s polished, but you ought to spend time polishing it anyway, just in case, you know
Andrew Schultz (00:42:16):
Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> makes sense. It really does. Yeah. I wanna switch over to some more general industry questions, but before that, I had one more question about your time in the Marines mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, how many parking lots did you have to mop in the rain over the course of the time that you spent in the surface?
Stephen M. White (00:42:30):
No, no parking lot’s mopping, but we would I was in Paris Island, South Carolina for bootcamp mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and and we would routinely have hurricanes there, and these weren’t hurricanes that came in from, from the sea mm-hmm. <Affirmative> or, you know, a weather related hurricane, we’ll call it. We would just go to chow and come back and it would, I mean, everything was just destroyed and put into the middle of our, our squad bay and the drill structures would say like, oh, boys, the, you know, a hurricane hit, so find your gear and you’d have a, you know, <laugh> an unreasonable amount of time to sort everything out and clean it up. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. But I have heard the stories of mopping in the rain, like there’s a point to all of those things, right. Like to teach you in, at the very least, like, sometimes it’s just to teach you patience, like mm-hmm. <Affirmative>
Stephen M. White (00:43:21):
Control. Of course you of course it’s, you know, it’s fool’s errands. It’s, it’s crazy work. Sometimes you, you just, just do it. Just get through it and Right. And be patient and do what you’re told. And, you know, I think that’s the point of a lot of those type of ridiculous exercises that you hear of people having to do is, you know, just teaches you to be a little bit more resilient and get through stuff. So it’s, it’s tough to shake me because I have seen some of the most ridiculous things and have participated in some of the most ridiculous things mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that you know, it, it conditioned me to, to have the, the, the patience to get through something sometimes like a, like an audit or, you know, she’s go going through pages and pages of spreadsheets. That feels like torture sometimes to me.
Andrew Schultz (00:44:07):
Stephen M. White (00:44:07):
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I can get through this. I’ve gotten through worse mm-hmm. <Affirmative>.
Andrew Schultz (00:44:11):
No, that makes sense. Well, and the term hurry up and wait is very much from the military in some capacity. I don’t know what branch coined it or whatever, but more, you know, it’s, it’s very much an exercise in, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You know, be there five minutes early and then expect to stand around and wait, wait for 15 or 20 minutes past whatever time something is supposed to start. Yeah. Don’t ever expect all of the equipment and all of the people and all of the knowledge to be in the same place at the same time. Stuff like that, so.
Stephen M. White (00:44:41):
Andrew Schultz (00:44:42):
All right. Switching over to some more just general industry questions. What is something that you think is gonna bla blindside landlords in the next 12 months? Or what is something that you see new investors or business owners get blindsided by all the time that you think could be avoided?
Stephen M. White (00:44:57):
Well, I’m not sure how much you can avoid it because it’s an uncomfortable reality that our industry is constantly changing through regulations legislation at a pace that I’ve never seen in, in my experience doing this for a, for a very long time. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and maybe it was, you know, maybe they’re using the, the push of covid, right? Like, we’ve seen a lot of stuff happen post covid. But I think that states are making it very, very difficult for landlords to navigate a very highly regulated and compliant world. Right. of, of landlording, whether it’s fair housing, fair credit you know, whatever category you wanna throw it into. There are constant changes being made in New York State’s a good example, right? Like, you can’t look at eviction records mm-hmm. <Affirmative> you know, you, you make it more and more difficult to, to access certain records.
Stephen M. White (00:46:01):
So there’s just, there’s things that are constantly changing that feels like it’s it’s tying landlord, it’s tying at least a hand behind the landlord’s back sometimes too. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So I think what’s gonna blindside landlords over the next 12 months is just a, you know, a constant, a constant flow of change mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and, and it’s likely not gonna stop, you know, I’m plugged into the industry pretty tight. I, I, I can see where the banking and housing committee you know, the topics they’re touching on, who they’re pulling into their sessions where eventually that’s likely going to lead, which is just more feed, more and more change. And unfortunately mm-hmm. <Affirmative> our industry doesn’t seem to understand that, you know, for landlords providing what, 80, 90% of the, of the market, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> of who’s, who’s renting right out to, to rent two tenants.
Stephen M. White (00:47:08):
It is tough. It is tough to be in that position and not in the industry, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So I think that guys like you, Andrew, who, who have a property management company who, and especially who cater to landlords like me, who are very mom pop, I have my own professional life. It just so happens to be that I’m in this industry, but Right. I could be anything. I could be an accountant, I could be an attorney, I could, you know, whatever it is, my profession is mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I’m not a professional property manager. And so I, I think that there’s gonna, you know, landlords are going to need to lean more heavily on the professional side of things to stay plugged in, keep themselves away from, you know, dangerous, dangerous areas of regulation where they may not even realize what they’re doing is wrong.
Andrew Schultz (00:48:01):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, and it’s so simple just in asking the wrong question or phrasing a question in the wrong way, you can put yourself in a situation where you’ve violated fair housing law. Yeah. And not to say that a credit and background check is gonna be the be all, save all for a situation like that. But if you’re going to be in this industry as a landlord, I think that you need to understand that this is a constantly changing industry and that you have to stay on top of what the legislation is in your area, for instance. Good. Cause eviction is back on the menu here in the state of New York. Yep. I have a webinar to get caught up on that later this week. So it’s one of those situations where even as like an industry professional I know I try to send stuff over to you guys whenever I see it pop up and you guys do the same for me, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of everything. I only have to worry about one state. You guys have 50 states to worry about. Yeah. And I know, I don’t remember, we’d had a conversation a while back, and you had told me that like the number of states that have increasing or are increasing the legislation on like credit screening and background checks and things of that nature, it was one state, then it was three, then five mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, then eight. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. Where, where are we at currently? How many states currently have some sort of legislation revolving around credit and background checks?
Stephen M. White (00:49:16):
About 17 <laugh>, I think. Wow. That last count. Yeah.
Andrew Schultz (00:49:20):
I think the number was 11 the last time you and I spoke about that. Yeah. And it was probably eight months ago that we had that conversation.
Stephen M. White (00:49:27):
Yep. And, and so here’s what’s kind of scary, right? Is from our perspective, they’re, they’re lumping everyone into this consumer protection lens mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, because we’re using credit and background check information, but this is housing. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, we’re, we’re not getting credit cards. We’re not, we’re not getting a store credit card to buy clothes at Macy’s or something like that. We’re talking about housing. This is somebody’s property. And and so there’s, there’s certain elements of safety and, and due diligence that you want to take. And, and areas make it very difficult, increasingly difficult. And so where we start to get concerned is when it drills down even beyond the state level. So I’ll give you two prime examples. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> cook County which is in Illinois which is where Chicago happens to reside,
Andrew Schultz (00:50:24):
Stephen M. White (00:50:25):
New rules in Cook County is you can run the background check, credit, eviction, judgment, liens, all of that stuff, but you can’t touch criminal until you approve them first. Based on all those other elements, then you can run criminal after that. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s like a two phase, two step process. But again, what’s really scary about that is that it’s at the municipal level. It’s not the state level. Right. And then we also just saw the exact same thing with Miami Dave, Miami. Miami.
Andrew Schultz (00:50:56):
Stephen M. White (00:50:56):
Yep. And that’s relating to evictions. And so again, the, the idea that it’s happening at a municipal level and not just the state anymore, that’s the, you know, that’s a lot to, that’s a lot to track. It’s, you know what I mean? It’s like getting down to the, the granular level and it, and it’s becoming increasingly more and more difficult. And as you know, Andrew from your experience in New York state,
Andrew Schultz (00:51:24):
Stephen M. White (00:51:24):
This stuff has not always signaled that it’s gonna happen. Right? Like they drop it on you, like it, you know, lit in New York. It, it literally happened on a Friday and I think everybody woke up on Monday, like, to this new world. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, and I’m thinking of the Tenant Cares act of like,
Andrew Schultz (00:51:40):
What? Yeah. H S T P A.
Stephen M. White (00:51:41):
Yeah. Like what? What do you mean the <laugh>? This just passed. We didn’t even know it was being proposed.
Andrew Schultz (00:51:47):
No. Yeah. I feel like we found out about it. Cause I can remember having a conversation with you right after this happened. I wanna say I found out on like a Thursday. It was passed on Friday, and most of it went into effect like that same day. So like, I had to take my weekend and flip through 75 pages of legislation. Yeah. Just to figure out how to run my business come Monday.
Stephen M. White (00:52:10):
Well they also, at the same time, because of course, like most states, they pile everything into one bill to get it through mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So one of the things that they did was they increased their access fees for court records. And so we had all of these orders out that literally now the price increased. So we ate the cost on the difference. Right. Because of course, now you, you know, now the price is gonna change and it, you know, we’re going back to clients saying, Hey, we know that you paid this much, now it’s this much mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So it, yeah. It’s, it’s tough. It’s tough to read and react, especially if it’s just sort of dropped on you. So in my mind, you know, is if you are a mom and pop landlord investor on one hand, you know, maybe this pushes out more and more of the bad apples.
Stephen M. White (00:53:00):
Maybe this discourages people who think this is easy, it’s not. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, it’s not easy. You, you’ve gotta, you’ve gotta have at least a certain degree of interest to, to want to learn all the things that you ha that go into doing this. Like, this is not something, this is not passive investment anymore. This isn’t just, you know hey, I own a handful of properties and it’s great. It’s like printing money, money, this, these things just operate on their own. No, no, no. They don’t. They, it, it actually takes some effort and energy now to, to really have a, an operating or even profitable business with rental properties.
Andrew Schultz (00:53:38):
Yeah. I, I would agree. I think that the only real passive real estate investment at this point is probably something in a REIT or something along those lines. Something where you don’t have to actively manage it. Yep. Even if you own a portfolio and have a property manager in place, you still are going to spend some time managing your manager. And it shouldn’t be that much time. Your manager should be handling this stuff for you, but there is still a certain amount of interaction that your manager’s going to need to have with you on a, you know, weekly or monthly basis or whatever the case may be, so that they understand where you’re at, you understand where they’re at. And you guys can keep the ball rolling forward. I’d popped the question up on the screen a few minutes ago here, cause we were kind of talking about it. But I guess I would say other than legislative changes of which there are constant changes, I mean, just right now we currently have tenant bill of rights that’s been published by the White House that we need to look into. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> I just mentioned New York is talking about good cause eviction outside of the legislative landscape. How do you see the role of the landlord changing over the course of the next say, decade or so?
Stephen M. White (00:54:43):
I think, I think that landlords probably over the next decade are gonna have to be far more responsive. And they’re gonna be held accountable in ways that they have never been before. And, and partially due to social media. And you know, people, people love something to be outraged about, right? Like, we see this a lot of times mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I see it on Reddit, it drives me crazy.
Andrew Schultz (00:55:14):
Stephen M. White (00:55:15):
We’re, we’re, landlords are constantly fighting a bad image. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, and, you know, we talked about this through covid. Like nobody, you know, everybody wanted to paint the tenants out to be the victims through Covid, right? They’re mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, they’re not able to pay their rent and this and that, even though all the rights were going towards them, the eviction moratorium and, and that sort of stuff, landlords are never looked at as a victim, even though, right. They’ve got multiple mortgages, including their own kids to put through school. Like, not every landlord is just rolling in the dough and financially successful to the, to the, the, the degree that they don’t have to worry about collecting rent. Like the, the perception is just off. And it’s something that landlords are constantly combating. And even when you’re right, you’re wrong. You know? Right. When it comes to that.
Stephen M. White (00:56:10):
So it’s, it’s a difficult, it’s a difficult position to be in. So I think the role of the landlord over the next decade is going to be, you know, and I don’t wanna say white glove, and I don’t wanna say concierge, but certainly more responsive, certainly more you know, taking on more responsibility to, to communicate. And again, like a lot, we know a lot of landlords just don’t, don’t do that. Well, and typically landlords kind of fall into different categories, right? Like, they might be great at handyman stuff, but they’re terrible at communication. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, or they’re great at communication, but they’re terrible at the handyman stuff.
Andrew Schultz (00:56:48):
Stephen M. White (00:56:48):
Very, very rarely do you find like sort of this whole landlord that does it all. They’re out there, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, not everybody falls into that. I think landlords need to be aware of where they’re blind sides are, what they’re great at, what they’re not great at, fill in the gaps. And so over the next decade, I think landlords are gonna need out of necessity to have a really, a really good grip on what, what they’re good at, what they’re not. And if they’re not good at those little, those the softer side of landlord and communicating, right.
Stephen M. White (00:57:22):
Taking care of somebody’s needs, making like maybe even above and beyond of what we consider to be, you know, making something habitable for somebody. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you, you’re, you’re gonna have a giant target on your back yeah. As a landlord. So I think that’s the, that’s gonna be the struggle over the next decade is to not get canceled as a landlord.
Andrew Schultz (00:57:44):
<Laugh>, I think, well, it’s, it’s funny you say that because I think that the landlords that are gonna have the hardest time are gonna be the landlords that are operating class C properties. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> for lack of a better term, they tend to have a little bit more challenging tenant to manage and things of that nature. The needs tend to be a little bit higher, but the income is a little bit lower mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So being able to budget between, okay, this is what the tenant’s needs are, this is what my needs are as the property owner, and this is what the bank’s needs are as the person holding the mortgage on a monthly basis. I think that that entire process is gonna become a lot, lot more difficult over the course of time here.
Stephen M. White (00:58:19):
I agree. And I think I’ve seen a lot of landlords wake up to the reality that poverty is a mindset. Being broke is a circumstance, right? There’s a mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, there’s a difference between those two things. If you don’t have, if you don’t have money in the moment, something is usually driving you or you’re figuring out ways to make it work, you’re taking care of your stuff. And then on the other side of it, you’ve got, again, just a, a direct connection between like you had mentioned class C or not being able to, to pay for your stuff. But then also they don’t, they’re, a lot of those folks are not treating the property like it’s their own. They’re not taking care of it in that way. <Affirmative>, they don’t, you know, there seems to be a, a, there seems to be a real lack of respect, and I don’t think it’s generational. I mean, this has been going on for a while. Right. you know, this is nothing new necessarily, but I think landlords are sort of waking up and realizing it, and, you know, that makes screening really that much more important because, you know, you can be low income mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and still respect the property, still take care of the place. It doesn’t have to be a one-to-one, meaning like, while you’re low income, you’re gonna probably destroy this place.
Andrew Schultz (00:59:35):
Stephen M. White (00:59:36):
I, I, I think that, you know, landlords who have been around a while start to see that and understand that. And so, yeah, it’ll be interesting to watch how that goes over the next decade. The challenges that they’re gonna face and, you know what do you do in those situations?
Andrew Schultz (00:59:55):
And I think one of the things that we noticed when, specifically when Covid popped off from the property management side of the house, it was very much the job became part property management, part case worker, almost overnight. Yeah. And I, it’s, it’s reduced a lot. We don’t have nearly as much of that as what we did during the early covid days and stuff like that. Obviously, we’re pretty much through the worst of the pa Let’s pause that and say, I hope that we’re worth <laugh> through the worst of the pandemic at this point. But I would say like, that was a big change for us because that was, it actually changed the way that we operate on the long term. Yeah. We used to be very much the lease is the lease is the lease. You signed a one year agreement, we’re gonna hold you to that.
Andrew Schultz (01:00:35):
And now we’re more of the, okay, you signed a lease, but you lost your job, so we know you’re not gonna be able to pay rent in a month’s time. Do we let you go so that you can try to write your ship? Or do we just continue to stick it to you? And at the end of the day, what’s the point in trying to stick it to the tenant when at the end of the day what you want is control of the asset back so that you can re-rent it to someone who is able to pay the rent on a monthly basis, or whatever the case may be. So it’s, I think that we’re going to continue to see more changes as time goes on with how landlords operate and how leases operate and how legislation operates and things of that nature. I think all of that is coming down the pipeline, or it’s already starting to come out the end of the pipeline, but I think it’s just gonna continue to come. So,
Stephen M. White (01:01:19):
Yeah. Which I’m glad that you brought that up. I, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing either, right? Like, no, I
Andrew Schultz (01:01:26):
Stephen M. White (01:01:27):
And I, I’ll say it’s like if you want data to show the value there, your your, your metrics during covid were always super impressive to me. You know, your, your rent collection rate, I mean, everybody was panicking during that stretch and expecting their rent collection rates to just fall, you know, myself included. Like, what, what’s the future gonna be? Nobody knows. And everybody’s expecting the worst. But anybody who was able to maintain them and, and find a good balance, and of course, I think everybody, you know, went through that period of uncertainty and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, maybe the rent collection rate dipped a little bit, but the ones who really managed it well and like you said, took on that other responsibility and duty one part, ma property management, the other part’s, you know, social, the social working side of it.
Andrew Schultz (01:02:19):
Stephen M. White (01:02:21):
The, you know, the clear benefit was you retained, you retained the tenants you worked with them. And, and again, like the, the rent collection rate was, was good. It wasn’t anything, you know, that like we were seeing in some areas or, or even in our local areas, a lot of it was situational. But I feel like the ones who managed it well learned something from that and and, and saw the value in being able to do that and, and carried that on for their clients.
Andrew Schultz (01:02:53):
I would agree. I would agree. I mean, obviously I talked to a lot of different clients and other landlords and property managers and stuff like that. And so like, I guess I should probably mention that Steve and I do business together. Steve owns some rental property that I manage on his behalf. I guess I could probably come out and say that I don’t think we’re breaking any news here. No. So Steve and I do mutual business back and forth, and as a client, like I was keeping my clients updated pretty regularly, either via video or via email as to what was going on in the world. Whether it be something covid related, collections related, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But we were always trying to keep people informed as to what was going on so that they understood, hey, not only are we still here, we’re gonna be here for the long haul.
Andrew Schultz (01:03:38):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and we were doing the same thing with our tenants. Whenever we could, wherever we could, we would try to work with our tenants, help them find resources that maybe they hadn’t tapped into yet, or whatever the case may be, just to make sure that we could keep moving down the road. I can remember when Covid first popped off, I had a conversation with Denise, and I was like, you know what? I don’t know what the world is gonna look like three months down the road. I don’t know if tenants are all going to stop paying rent. I don’t know if we’re gonna be in for a real world of hurt here. Like, and it got to a point where we were basically watching the press conference on, on 9:00 AM on every morning, so that we knew how to run our business in the afternoon. So it was, yeah, definitely crazy times. But I guess that kind of leads into my next question here, which is, what is the biggest curve ball that you’ve faced to date? And how did you actually go up? Did you hit it out of the ballpark or did you strike out? We’ve talked about a couple things here, but what would you say your biggest curve ball is so far?
Stephen M. White (01:04:35):
I, man. Yeah. We’ve talked about a couple of them, right? Like my, my replevin business that was definitely a curve ball and, and just absolutely decimated by the, by the economic conditions at the time, the great recession. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I’ll go with, I’ll, I’ll go with Covid though. I mean, COVID was, covid was crazy. A, aside from the, the fears in our industry of like, what’s the future? Are people gonna pay the rent? Is there gonna be some mm-hmm. <Affirmative> freeze on mortgages, and how’s that gonna impact us? And you know, I just remember so many things kind of floating around back then. But as a business owner, one of the hardest things to do was maintain business operations go remote in a business that was never intended to go remote. Like, if you think about the concept, you know, like our, our industry’s so highly regulated and Andrew knows who’s been in our office. Like, we’ve got a facial recognition security layer system mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that logs everything. Like we’re in a secure environment. You cannot just wander in here and accidentally look at somebody’s screen. Like yeah,
Andrew Schultz (01:05:53):
There’s, there’s like with a stroke of a few fingertips, if you knew what you were doing, you could walk in and pull a credit, pull a background, start skip tracing someone like, yeah. Yeah. It’s a secured facility. Like I, I, I don’t even walk in like, I have to be buzzed into the building. <Laugh>, right? <Laugh>,
Stephen M. White (01:06:09):
Andrew Schultz (01:06:09):
Like it’s a secure facility. Like that’s a big deal because you guys are dealing with so much personal, I don’t know what you guys call it, I would just consider it personal, confidential data,
Stephen M. White (01:06:17):
But yeah. Personal identifying information, like we could, yeah. We’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle to, to do some pretty nefarious things if <laugh>, if they got into the wrong hands, right? Mm-Hmm. Like, we’ve got people’s credit information and banking and financial information, everything got the whole, you know, whole kit and caboodle as they would say. But our industry was never intended to be remote mm-hmm. <Affirmative> because of all of these security measures. So, you know, we, we, we had days to react, you know mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to, to going remote with Covid. And so that was that was quite a curve, you know mm-hmm. <Affirmative> waiting on the, the credit bureaus to basically say, yes, you can, you can still operate remotely and have access to our data. Same with the court systems, you know the dif the repositories that we have subscriptions to or, or work with, like everything had to, you know, be made into a special case use and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>
Stephen M. White (01:07:19):
And and then on top of that, right? Like those challenges. But then as a business owner, an operator, how do you keep people motivated who are scared to death, right. And scared for what the, not only the future, but future of our industry, the future in general, the whole world. Like, it was just a crazy, crazy time looking back on it. So I think I’d like to say we hit it out of the park. I mean, we, you know, we definitely strengthened our culture mm-hmm. <Affirmative> as a company, and it definitely made us resilient. We learned how to get through some pretty major, major things. And it was, you know, a lot of resistance that added weight to the, to the bar and made us stronger. So I, I would say we, we hit it out of the ballpark to answer your question, the curve ball, maybe we swung, maybe we swung on a couple of them, but on that third pitch, <laugh>, we, we got a piece of it on the third pitch, but I think everybody was swinging and missing for a little bit.
Andrew Schultz (01:08:19):
I think you’re exactly right. I think that everybody was just trying to figure out how to keep business operations afloat while operating in a completely, like, literally a completely new environment. Yeah. Because you’re operating in people’s homes now versus operating in an office where everybody can communicate and be on the same page and grab lunch together, or whatever the case may be. It’s a very, very different set of circumstances.
Stephen M. White (01:08:41):
I put, put it this way, I knew I was in for a long road when I was talking to our, our IT team, and they were like, Hey, we need to set up a vpn N And I was like, what’s the vpn? What are we, what are we talking about here,
Andrew Schultz (01:08:54):
Stephen M. White (01:08:54):
<Laugh>? And I was like, oh, no, this is a good, this is gonna be a whole new world. And I had no knowledge even existed. And you know, we all sort of became experts in things you didn’t think you’d be an expert in, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> yeah. I had no interest in any of that stuff, and it was forced, it was forced on me. <Laugh>, I know
Andrew Schultz (01:09:14):
Or not. Yeah.
Stephen M. White (01:09:15):
Right, right. Yeah. Now I know how all this stuff works, but at the time mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, had no reason to know what any of that stuff was mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, so yeah. It was definitely a curve ball for
Andrew Schultz (01:09:25):
Sure. No, absolutely. Well, and again, we talked earlier about the change in responsibilities as the company grew. Like if you were still a one or two man operation, most of those conversations would never even have had to have been a thing, because you could have figured out a way to make it work in office mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. But given the number of staff and the size of the operation now, the situation is completely different. So I think that, you know, it, it goes with growth and everything else. It’s all just part of the same part of the same ball of wax, if you will.
Stephen M. White (01:09:54):
Andrew Schultz (01:09:54):
If you were to leave rent prep altogether and start another business tomorrow, not in real estate, not in credit, not in finance, what would you do?
Stephen M. White (01:10:05):
I got two answers. One is gonna seem ridiculous, but it’s because I just got back from Miami. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, and I don’t know if you’ve been to Miami recently, <laugh>, it’s
Andrew Schultz (01:10:15):
Like a different, I dunno if I’ve ever been to Miami.
Stephen M. White (01:10:17):
It is like a different planet down there, <laugh>,
Stephen M. White (01:10:20):
There’s very few places in the world that don’t compare to anything. It’s like its own metaverse, right? Like it’s mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it’s Miami, it’s like it’s thing within a thing. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I remember talking to somebody and was like, what, what does everyone do down here? It seems crazy. And, and I think the answer was like, I think everybody’s just an influencer down in Miami. It felt like <laugh>. I was like, what a weird, strange world. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So as much as everyone’s gonna hate this answer, if I had to, you know, what, what would it, what would I do? Start another business. I, I would be an influencer. I don’t know what mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, maybe behind the scenes of it, the idea of, of that world, fa I hate it, which tells me like, I need to learn more about it. And, and Right. Maybe there’s something there. And then the other one, again, probably not the popular answer, I think about this all the time. Like the simplicity of something, obviously b basic and simple, like an ice cream stand.
Andrew Schultz (01:11:22):
I was just gonna say a hotdog cart.
Stephen M. White (01:11:24):
A hotdog cart, yeah. Like, I don’t know, being in this industry and it’s so competitive and, and, and compliance driven and, you know, just sometimes it can be exhausting, no question. So there is something mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, like I think back to my days as a dishwasher mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and how satisfying that was. You start with a pile of dirty plates, you finish with clean, you see the fruits of your labor, there’s a sense of accomplishment. You knew exactly what you did and what the value is. So there was part of me that just wants to go simple, you know, make it, make it simple, make it easy. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I probably wouldn’t be worried about you know, building a, a lifestyle business necessarily. It would just be something for fun, something that I, I genuinely enjoy doing and, and try to reduce or eliminate the the stress.
Stephen M. White (01:12:20):
So I know that people are, I, I know that, that, that question is, is, is asked for the purpose of giving, of inspiring somebody of like, oh, let, what else would Steve do? Listen, I got a lot of different ideas and tech driven and apps mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and stuff like that. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, am I gonna do it? No. No. Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I’ve, I’ve put about everything in, into REM prep. You know, all of me, I don’t know how much is gonna be left <laugh> at the end. <Laugh>, give me an ice cream stand. I’ll take a hotdog stand. I’ll, you know, just easy, simple. Keep it
Andrew Schultz (01:12:52):
Simple. No, I get it though. Like, there’s being a small business owner myself, I understand that at the end of the day, it’s not the end of the day. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, at the end of the day, you go home and worry about what happened at the office today, and what’s gonna happen tomorrow, and what do those projected numbers look like, and don’t forget to talk to the accountant and this and that and the other thing, and it stays on your mind until you eventually pass out. Yes. Yes. And there is something to be said for the Popsicle stand, the, you know, the ice cream stand, the, the hot dog cart. Yeah. Where you, when you’re done with your workday, like, my last job before I had a real responsibility was working at a bowling alley. I used to work on like the pin setters and stuff like that. If I ever hit the lotto or something like that, I would go back to a simple job like that. Yeah. Just something basic mechanical where I feel good at the end of the day and don’t have to worry about the next day when I go home that night. Yes. And I think that my answer would be pretty similar to yours.
Stephen M. White (01:13:52):
Yeah. There’s, there’s something freeing about that, right? Thinking about it, like, the pin setter broke, I fixed it. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> done. There’s, it’s not like the pin setter broke, and now the macroeconomic conditions are gonna cause it to <laugh>. Like, everything you did didn’t matter because the economy, you know, like there isn’t,
Andrew Schultz (01:14:10):
Stephen M. White (01:14:11):
No other third party unseen forces. It, it breaks you, fix it done, you know, like
Andrew Schultz (01:14:16):
Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> No, you’re right.
Stephen M. White (01:14:18):
Yeah. There, there’s something incredibly freeing to think, think about that.
Andrew Schultz (01:14:21):
No, you’re exactly right. You’re exactly right. So obviously you’re the c e o at Rent Prep. I don’t think that you’re planning on going anywhere anytime soon. So maybe this question is, should be rephrased as not necessarily what’s next for you. But what’s next for you and or Rent prep as a, as an organization?
Stephen M. White (01:14:40):
Well it’s no secret that Rent Prep was recently acquired by Roofstock. So technically my title is no longer c e o. It’s Oh I am the, I am the director, senior director.
Andrew Schultz (01:14:57):
I’m, I’m literally going to change your your headline right now. <Laugh>, did you say you were the Red Prep director? Senior
Stephen M. White (01:15:03):
Director. Senior director of Rent Prep. Yes. there you go.
Andrew Schultz (01:15:07):
I just updated you on screen. <Laugh>.
Stephen M. White (01:15:10):
Beautiful. Love it. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s next. I’m, you know, I’m enjoying the ride. Roofstock is, is fascinating. It’s been a fascinating journey so far. Tons, you know, tons to learn. I think that’s been probably the most rewarding thing. Like I’m a, I’m a lifelong learner mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, so if I’m not learning, I’m bored. Yeah. So, thi thi this has been an incredible opportunity to just learn all different aspects of the business and, and different new verticals that I had not had a ton of awareness. And then how to, you know, how to exist in this sort of new world that I’m in. And, and that’s all been really fascinating. Interesting. So, you know, what’s next? I would say more of this for a while. I, I’m very much engaged. I’m very much intrigued. I’m, you know, I’m, I’m still in it.
Stephen M. White (01:16:08):
I still wanna see everybody here at REM Prep win. You know, I, we, we’ve retained the, you know, the same team through the whole acquisition. I’m pretty proud of that. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So I, I still have the same sense of responsibility to the team to, to the company. Maybe now it’s just expanded a bit to, to Roofstock as well, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Yeah. And I don’t see, I don’t see that changing for a while. I’m, I’m kind of loving all the opportunities to learn, and, and so I don’t, I don’t think that’s gonna go away anytime soon.
Andrew Schultz (01:16:43):
Well, I mean, even on a personal level, like during the whole acquisition phase and everything else, like I could tell just in the conversations that I was having with you, which were surface level conversations in a lot of ways, but you have a certain care for every aspect of the company and every person that works there. And I could tell when you were going through this, that that was what was most important to you, was making sure that Rent Prep didn’t lose its sense of purpose, didn’t lose its core values, didn’t lose key staff members or really any staff members. Yeah. Yeah. Those were critical things for you during that entire process. So to see you guys come out the other side of it and everybody to still be in place, I think is, is a, is a huge thing. I mean, it’s definitely something that you don’t see in a lot of situations where there’s a, an acquisition similar to what you’ve gone through. And I think it’s really cool that you guys were able to keep everything together and keep everybody at the table.
Stephen M. White (01:17:39):
I, I appreciate that. Yeah. I, it is, it is my purpose. It sounds, you know, sound like a hippie, I’m sure, but <laugh> there is sort of the, I I’ve, I’ve, I’ve done a lot at this point, right? Like, I’ve hit levels of success personally through the business. You know, I, I, I’ve checked a lot of boxes and at some point realized my, my purpose is to be in service of others. And, and in that case, it’s you know, the team that I, that I’ve got around me, and it seems the more, the more that I’m willing to sacrifice to, to help them win, to get them ahead to push them further and worry less about myself, everything seems to fall into a place where it should be. So, you know, I, I don’t know how, I don’t know how it works. The, the universe seems to have a, a, a perfect accounting system, even though we don’t always, you know, see the, see the work on the back of the napkin, but Right. It, it’s, I, all I can tell you is it’s somehow seems to just always work out when I, when I think in those terms. And that’s my mindset. And so I try to be, try to stay in that zone, try to protect everybody around me, and and help, help them get better, be better, get them the things that they’re striving for. Anytime somebody here buys a new house, I don’t know if anyone’s more excited than I am usually you know,
Andrew Schultz (01:19:13):
It’s exciting seeing the people around you grow.
Stephen M. White (01:19:16):
Yeah. It’s like, yeah. Yeah. It’s just proud. I’m just proud of it. So it’s, you know, it’s like it, it’s like watching your kid grow and then they go off to college or go do the thing that they want to do, like mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, get a new employee here. It’s watching that same kind of journey, like who they came in as, how they started and, and watching them grow, you know, throughout their time and challenging them and, and seeing them rise to those challenges and, and continue to get better. Like I don’t, I don’t think there’s anything better than that. So so I appreciate you, you mentioning that. I would, I would say, yeah, like, that’s been true for the most part. As I, I try to put the team first, and maybe it’s selfish, cuz I do know that I’ll be fine as long as I continue to do that <laugh>. So, you know, if I’m looking at it selfishly, I trust the universe to take care of me as long as I’m taking care of any, everyone else. And, and
Andrew Schultz (01:20:12):
Stephen M. White (01:20:13):
Sense. That’s, yeah. That’s really my mindset.
Andrew Schultz (01:20:14):
No, that’s awesome. It’s a great mindset to have as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, as c e o, as senior director, whatever you want to call yourself, it’s, it’s critical to have that mindset. I think we’re pretty much at the end of the show here. If somebody was looking to get in contact with you, how would they go about doing that?
Stephen M. White (01:20:32):
Smoke signal’s about now? Man, I feel
Andrew Schultz (01:20:34):
Stephen M. White (01:20:35):
I’d be like, I’m still going through, I’m still going through all the transitions of like changing my email and all that. It is a nightmare. I would say probably LinkedIn is the best place now. Okay. Which I, I still only check once a week maybe. But yeah, LinkedIn connect with me over there. It’s Steven, Michael White, Steven with a pH and and yeah, probably the rent prep community moderators all have a, a, you know, the ability to, to ping me, get, get in touch with me quick if somebody needs something. But yeah, probably LinkedIn, run prep community. Other than that, yeah, everything is changing so, so fast here. There’s a good chance if I gave an email address, it’d be, it’d be different. It
Andrew Schultz (01:21:26):
Would be wrong by the time it publishes. Yeah,
Stephen M. White (01:21:29):
Exactly. <Laugh>. Exactly.
Andrew Schultz (01:21:30):
Gotta love it. Yeah. Very cool. Steve, thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate it. Every time you and I get a chance to sit down and talk, it’s always fun. This was targeted for an hour long episode, my recording clock as we’re at just over an hour and 20 minutes. So that’s not bad for us. We actually through, yeah, we got through the bulk of the questions and it only took us 20 minutes longer than what it was supposed to. So that’s, that’s a pretty good episode as far as I’m concerned.
Stephen M. White (01:21:53):
Sounds about right. But yeah, then listen, I, I set up in, in the beginning, I’ll say it again, I, I can’t say enough how how happy I am that you’re doing this that, that you’re hosting the podcast that you’re involved in REM Prep to the degree that you are and the community, and you know, anybody who’s listening I, I highly, if you’re not already a member of the, the REM prep community on Facebook, I’d definitely recommend that. See Andrew’s videos in there and a lot of his content and he’s, you know active in their, it’s a great way to connect with them. But just the level of, the level of expertise that you bring to REM Prep and the the voice that you add is something that we didn’t have. And so I appreciate that. I appreciate everything that you’ve given to REM prep for everyone, for the, the, the, the landlords out there. You know, I see it the same way, man. Very selfless. You are, you’re doing it for the industry, you’re doing it for the people, and and you can tell, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re putting out good
Andrew Schultz (01:23:04):
Stuff. I appreciate that. We don’t get a whole lot of compliments over here on the on the podcast team. So it’s, it’s good to hear stuff like that. I’m gonna go ahead and wrap things up here. Stick with me for just a second. I am gonna pull you off screen so I can do the outro.
Andrew Schultz (01:23:22):
So that will pretty much wrap up this episode of the Rent Prep for Landlord’s podcast. Thank you all so much for listening. We truly do appreciate it. Our goal with the podcast is to help as many people as possible make educated decisions when it comes to real estate. And you can always help us reach that goal by sharing something that you found useful. So if you found this episode with Steve Useful or any of our other episodes, do us a favor, share it with a friend, share it with a family member. Share it with anyone you know who will find this information useful. If you’re looking to get in contact with me, I can be reached over at what’s drew up to.com. From there, you’ll find links to everything going on with me over at Own Buffalo, as well as other projects that we’re working on.
Andrew Schultz (01:24:00):
Don’t forget to grab a free copy of our deal analysis tool. You can find that at what’s drew up to.com. And it also comes with a companion video showing you how to use it. Don’t let your next deal be a bad deal. Make sure that you grab a copy of that today. If you’re looking for top tier tenant screening services, head on over to rent prep.com. There are multiple products to choose from, including tenant paid options. And if you’re over 50 doors, you qualify for the enterprise level programs and pricing. That’s where things get interesting because you can really customize what it is that you’re looking to do when it comes to your credit and background checks. That’s the product that I use. I’ve been using that product for a long time now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Again, thank you all so much for listening. We truly do appreciate it. We’ll be back in a couple weeks with an all new episode of the podcast that you won’t wanna miss. Until then, I’m Andrew Schultz for Steve White and everybody firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for joining us and we’ll talk to you soon.