Mike Brewer Multifamily Space

The Mission to Tease Out Human Potential in the Multifamily Space

Episode 8- JuvoHub Podcast

Our Special Guest: Mike Brewer

Mike Brewer is passionate about people, technology, and real estate. He is the COO at The Radco Companies. Mike’s investment in technological advances and education improves the team member experience and elevates customer engagement. He challenges the standard and persists towards the goal of excellence. An avid reader and lifelong learner, Mike has been “out to put a dent in the multifamily universe” for more than 25 years.

Check out this website – Apartment Hacker, and be sure to follow his Facebook page.

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Show Highlights

Notes from the host:

Property management communication strategies have pivoted many times over the last few years. There are those who resisted communication change and those that embraced it. Mike Brewer has more done more than simply embrace it. He has teased it. He has pushed it. He has dissected its potential. It is his mission to tease out the human potential in the multifamily space. Enjoy ~~ Jonathan Saar Market Me Social

Communication, Social Media, and Employee Education – The RADCO Companies Approach

Some questions we discussed:

  • How has RADCO leadership pivoted or adjusted to the major change in how we do business?
  • With a fairly spread out portfolio, how have you seen communication strategies evolve over the years?
  • Your company is very involved in using social media to communicate the RADCO brand. What did it take for the team to embrace that program?
  • You and I have spoken about employee education as an investment rather than an expense. Can we dive into that? Have you reviewed metrics that reflect that statement?

Any actionable tips could you share that has served you well as an educator?

Surround yourself with people who have a passion for education. If you really desire to be great in your life, excellent in your work, be intentional about your education.

Mike Brewer – COO The RADCO Companies

If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out:

Jonathan: hello everyone and welcome to episode eight of Juvo Hub Juvo hub is your self education helping hand in property management I am your host and my name is Jonathan Saar with Market Me Social and with me today is a very good friend of mine and colleague Mr Mike Brewer Mike welcome to the show
Mike: How are you doing Jonathan thanks for having me
Jonathan: yeah I know it's great to have you as good to catch up and you and I we've had a lot of conversations over the years and just to give everyone a little bit of background on my friend he is the chief operating officer at the Radco companies Mike has his own video podcast over on Facebook called the apartment hacker he also has his own website so he brings a wealth of information and experience to the table and so I'm really excited about our conversation today and and specially thinking about where property management has been having to pivot especially in the last couple of months and perhaps many months in the future would be wonderful to hear your take on what's what's been working and some great tips that we can share with our audience today
Mike: yeah yeah
Jonathan: yeah yeah oh and by the way excuse me I have to pause for a minute because I have been wanting to say this for a long time after listening to so many of your shows so it is my mission to tease out human potential in the multi family space
Mike: thumbs up two thumbs up I love it
Jonathan: yeah you say it way way way better I love how you open up your show and it's such a wonderful branding of who you are your personality so that's what we're gonna do again today we're gonna see how we can tease out some human potential in the multi family space and for all other housing genres that may be listening in property management that's our goal today all right let's dive in my friend so thinking of Covid and just in general a lot of shifts and changes within property management how how would you describe Radco its leadership in what it's had to do how it's had to pivot in the way that we do business as of today and any thoughts on that
Mike: yeah I think the thing that I would lead with specific to Radco is how wonderful despite the negative nature of this circumstance how wonderful it was to work for an ownership group we're wholly owned company so we own all of our assets and we self manage all of our assets but from top to bottom the organization was very supportive of being very nimble and very quick to make decisions so there was not this decision by committee in the midst of this crisis we're able to just sit down and understand the data that was in front of us and make very swift decisions as it related to things that we needed to do a whether it be you know keeping our team members a hundred percent employed and a hundred percent paid throughout the week for the crisis or things as simple as how and when we were going to shut down amenities or close the doors to the general public as it related to our business offices for the big wonderful beautiful thing was that our we were in total alignment in I really attribute that to the fact that our our core values are deeply imbued in the minds of our owners and also our team members so we were just able to not think but rather just act based on the data that was put in front of us related to Covid
Jonathan: that's awesome yeah so values that are embedded in culture really help facilitate action is that a good assessment
Mike: yeah it's a it's a much more succinct way to put it in it's when you're in that type of environment your ability to pivot and be nimble and get the end user the information that they need
to make their own decisions decisions it's just a wonderful place to be in the and I can't say enough about the Radco leadership structure from the owner right down to the to the people who are executing things on the ground is it was awesome to see it happen
Jonathan: yeah yeah and you guys have a fairly big portfolio so I you know I can only imagine already you know when you think of how spread out your properties are and in numerous states
and now we're talking about communication with there there may have been at an office team environment and now a lot more people having to work from home at this time and maybe for for the foreseeable future overall just a lot of changes so use the word pivot so thinking of your years in in the industry how have you seen like communication strategies evolve and how has that kind of served you in this time frame that we're in now
Mike: yeah great question and I I would pull on communication evolving over a long bit of time has really been I think underpins not underpins but it's been exaggerated by the introduction of social media and other types of media into the equation right and so in my mind it's almost become harder to communicate because there is so much noise and so much distraction in the marketplace so even if you're trying to do internal communications I I know audio can't see this but I'm holding up a phone even though you're doing internal communications you're competing with someone's phone it sits on the desk you're competing with the words that come up on the computer and and so I think that the thing that I've seen evolve is that introduction of noise but I think the thing that I've learned over that bit of time is that repetition it's an old skill right it's an old saying an old axiom repetition is really the mother of the skill in terms of communicating and so we what I've done personally is gotten used to the
saying something so many times that I get sick of hearing myself say it and then knowing that that is the beginning of people actually hearing you when you when you get tired of hearing yourself talk about the same thing over and over and over that's finally the moment in time when people start to hear your message so that Radco introduced daily huddle see about a year ago we tried to do it two years ago but we weren't quite ready for the introduction of this but the daily huddle in the primary purpose of the daily huddle is to bubble up issues and concerns in the organization so that we can solve them very quickly and that's supplemented by a weekly meeting and a monthly meeting and quarterly meeting and it sounds like a lot of meetings but going back to that premise of repetition it's the right frequency to get business done and we've treated our meetings as the work and work as the meeting so you're getting things done in the meeting you're not just sitting in a room taking information you're actually doing stuff with the information real card
Jonathan: that's that's amazing and it's interesting how you how you reference repetition it made me think of just you know personally for my own business where
it's taken a minute or more and we read about these things because of the pandemic where that mental frame of mind has had to change and it was forced I mean this was definitely forced you can no longer do this and you need to do this but the body the brain was slow to adopt and so there is that that time period of being able to you know embrace what was changing so you know I can definitely see that from from a company perspective everybody has their own unique you know communication style but now they're trying to
become kind of symbiotic I guess so to speak where it's like everything is cohesive and and working well together so that's that's cool and it's kudos to to you and to Radco for having that patience and understanding there's a difference between here's our policy today boom you know
and understanding as leaders the time it would take to to make sure everybody is on board understands and has gotten used to it so that that's really really awesome you you mentioned a moment ago social media too and that is part of your strategy now you and I go we can go back in the day to Mark Juleen and Mike Whaling Eric brown you know Bill Szczytko and others so many others Lisa Trosien
we can go on and on about all the conversations that we had online and offline as marketing from a marketing perspective where social media was going and here we are today and it's no longer the social media program it's just it's just the communication tool it's no different than you know we we may have had a telephone department or a fax department I don't know I I have heard of that before and have personally experienced people who had a fax department but that was because of the challenging you know challenge of adopting that communication as a tool so anyway we know that you and I we won't get into social media is just communication so yeah and you guys are very very very transparent you know you share regularly on social media tools so was there any challenges in your team embracing that as part of the Radco culture any any thoughts on that
Mike: the short answer to that question is no the primary reason for that being a no is that we were very intentional about hiring team members that were already adept or they were practitioners is probably a better way to put that they were already practitioners from an individual perspective outside of the work world right so
when they showed up at Radco when we we
onboarded them into the to the culture into the ecosystem it was just natural for them to share now business platform or business brand because they were already practicing it from a from a personal perspective so I think it's just been a we've been intentional about it as an organization and I think we'll certainly continue to be intentional about it as we sort of shift here I think I think there is this there's a moment in time now where we're shifting the data piece of marketing in social media and all the channels away from what I consider the creative side of of marketing as that happens we're going to be intentional about hiring those people who are more analytical in nature but with a marketing pants so they can become an informant so to speak to the creative side of our marketing team so we're kind of separating those two things into two separate silos but we'll definitely continue to be intentional about the people that we hire into those roles
Jonathan: yeah that's that's awesome yeah and so again just another part of the process that changes as you see things change and culture change and and how consumers change we have to be adaptable to all of those all those changes and and for our listener's you know you definitely need to check out Radco's various communities and their social channels so a link to the website will be there but definitely kind of filter your way out and you'll see some amazing examples of what they're doing as a team and even through this pandemic some different things that they've been involved in to still keep engaged with their community so virtual communication has become even more important than than maybe it did even just a few months ago so that's awesome that you guys have embraced that and continue to use that is a great way to communicate internally and with your residents so that kind of leads me into all right so you know from
from our listeners perspective you know they may be thinking okay well how do I do this you know what do I begin to have good communication or a good social program and to me that always it always spills over into what's the education component you know what's the training component and training beyond you know okay we've given our team their fair housing training we've given them their harassment prevention training and you know we go past that we don't look at as an expense it's an investment you and I've had gazillions of conversations about that so what's what's Radco's perspective as you think of making sure that your team is educated and
how do you go about it do you have metrics that you guys review to understand its its overall impact
Mike: yeah this is
Jonathan: yes you implied there it's it's been near and dear to my heart just as it is near and dear to your heart over a very long bit of time in this business I mean you can you can look behind me it's education in my mind is it goes beyond the threshold and
for our listeners that aren't watching this on YouTube he has about two thousand books okay go ahead Mike carry on
Mike: yes
so I think that it's definitely something that I'm inspired by in I have this working theory and I haven't quite flush this out but I believe it will
it will make its way into the workplace at some point you and I've had conversations about this I think in a utopian world the work is the learning and learning is the work and those two things are one in the same
such that your organizational design is designed around the learning so that you don't have this traditional sit the classroom and learn how to do stuff it's rather baked right into the work flows and so to speak to what Radco was up to we are right now trying to figure out how to imbed the learning into the work flow so that it's just a natural part of your day it's not something you have to peel away and go into a classroom for you don't have to sit down and interact over video to get it done and I'm not saying those two things aren't important they are
but we're trying to design it such that you don't have to do that if if you're a company that doesn't have a ton of resource to invest in that kind of thing you can design your your work flow such that you're still getting that type of education
and to speak to the metrics piece of it we're we're constantly looking the one that comes to mind most readily is we we saw a problem with our closing percentages from recent perspective then were able to design some education around those areas of opportunity in the in the sales process where you know got right down to asking for the money and we had some innate fear to ask for the money so we designed some things to speak to that fear and we saw our shop scores increase twenty percent so paying attention to shop scores we're paying attention to
pretest post test kind of retention metrics certainly engagement as the coursework is going along you can embed things into into your educational learning where you're serving along the way to make sure that people are picking things up so we have a broad range of things that we look at we're also looking at the ultimate outcome in the way of business happening like the shop score increasing so now we know our our closing percentages are are following closely behind that
Jonathan: yeah yeah that's awesome so that's cool that you kind of pull pull them all together the and I like the the word used a few times how it's embed you know I I totally resonate with that and agree with you on there is a there is a time and a place for overall okay here is our training session and we love that because at that moment we we we want to disconnect from the devices and from everything we want to focus on the education that is being presented to us
but even with that goal it's it's still very very challenging and so when it's embedded then it's like we're we're always looking for ways as educators to increase retention in some way and how can we go about doing that and
so it'll be interesting to see and you know what the future holds with education as a whole and as we try to adopt some best practices from a retention let me ask you that Mike is that is that been a something that you thought about or as as leaders in your company
have you had that discussion what what has contributed to it when it comes to a training and then retention of that perspective any thoughts on that
Mike: really help me understand your question I don't know that I understand your question specifically
Jonathan: yeah that's okay it's okay so it's like sometimes
and again this goes back to some conversations that you and I have had it's like okay we can give someone I'll give you an example we'll give someone a fair housing class and we reference a harassment class but then then a companies dealing with a fair housing violation well how effective was that class
we know the training was there and they got an eighty eight percent on their on their exam or quiz if that was associated to it but now the legal department is still dealing with a a fair housing challenge so that's what I mean from a retention standpoint you know you talked about your shop scores in training okay you saw obviously they retained it so the shop scores went up so
besides the metrics I guess is more the question like what are your any thoughts or tips that you could share with the audience that would help their teams make sure they retain what they are trained on
Mike: yeah okay yes thank you thanks for the clarification so this goes back to
in my mind to the repetition of information and in it
what we've talked about is lead into that conversation is the fact there's a stat out there that
people have the attention of a goldfish anymore like six seven seconds I think
and so knowing that it is is a basis for trying to imbue information in people's minds knowing that
their attention span is very short nature we're we're moving towards sort of a sound bite model of education as opposed to a very lengthy dialogue and or
kind of a dial up service of education so to speak so we we actually have a calendar you can go in and you can sign up for a real life one on one just short coaching session on a specific thing that you might be struggling with that ladders up into that theory of repetition in the sense that you've got that avenue you got the in person avenue you've got we use Yardi is a platform so their E. learning platforms is there we supplement that with other pieces of education we have a pinoptive site we use where we can create our own video a type training and so
there are all these all these opportunities to impart that information on people such that when it comes to actually applying the information now you've got it in your head you're actually making application of it it's a product of being exposed to it so many times that it just becomes sort of a natural part of your
your work flow and your effort
yeah repetition I think is the key to all of it in doing it in ways that people like to learn so not everybody likes to learn it it's that the whole some people are kinesthetic some people are visuals some people are some people are Snapchat some people are Facebook's some people are all right right
Jonathan: and that's cool so I mean it's it sounds very
very dynamic overall and in and in some ways yielding to the different types of learners so that's a that's a huge huge takeaway you know we can't just have a you know one kind of training we have so many different types of learners that are out there and I love that
that thought of repetition kind of go back to the fair housing it's like you know the standard property management procedure is annual fair housing training okay well we deal with fair housing every single day it's three hundred sixty five days a year so one day out of the year even though it's very very important you need to have that it's good to have that solid it's it's as important to have that regular repetition not just on fair housing but on any any topic so that's that is awesome a lot that our audience really really can take away with what they can put into play and and technology is a great tool like you mentioned some technology solutions that may help facilitate that so does always fall on on a person who's having to communicate that
so this was fantastic man a lot of take aways you know communication
how you that's evolved how you have worked with your team to give them and be patient with them and help them adopt to changes in policy and how Radco mission statement and culture what it is and help them be part of it feel part of that family so really really really really appreciate having you look forward to having you on on future episodes that is for sure but before we go I always love to ask this of my guest what one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator
Mike: couple things I'd say I'd say first and foremost surround yourself with people like Jonathan
and I mean that I I mean that in the sense that you have such a passion about education in it sort of exudes from you right so I think anyone who wants to understand the deeper meaning of learning and how to impart that others should surround themselves with people that are passionate about it and I mean that about you you're just you just exude education
and the delivery of that really in service of of people
I think I'd say second and this is really based on something that just it just baffles me and I say this in the kindest respects I read a lot of exit surveys from team members that that exit an organization
and they site training as the one area that they didn't get enough of right and it's interesting to me in a world of Google in a world of for twenty Bucks you can learn anything you want to learn that
education or training wasn't there for you I
I would really encourage your listeners and your and your audience members to think about
training and education as
something that you do for yourself it's not it is the company's obligation to give your training but if you really desire to be great in your life excellent in your life excellent in your work world really is on you to be intentional about your education
buy up the books read and surround yourself with great people like Jonathan and go for it it's a it's a self process not a not an outside process that you need to rely on somebody else to force upon you yeah do it yourself it's all out there
Jonathan: that's awesome well number one thank you for that and I feel the exact same way about you it's just a very passionate you and I when we met I don't know how many years ago we just clicked I think we both have the same this very similar scope of what will it take to help other people and help them to learn about the industry and help them to learn about themselves and and really you know make themselves happy within the industry and make a career out of it and for your number two yeah so I mean that's like you and I were talking before the show I mean that's what Juvo Hub is all about you know self education and opportunity for people to really not rely so much on what corporate does you know take advantage of it but yeah like what you do I see on on your post your what is you call it your weekend reading or is that the phrase you use Mike: Night table reading Jonathan: Night Table Reading that's it night table reading yes so whatever book that you're reading and
and I know you get a lot of take aways from that so yeah awesome great tips appreciate both of those so those will definitely be in the show notes and highlights we really appreciate that Mike so
you know people always love to connect with our with our guests so any preferred places that people can connect with you one
Mike: you mentioned the Facebook page apartment hacker I'm @MBrewer on Twitter I I look at every now and then still okay
those are probably the two best places
or you can find my email at Radco on the Radco website I'm happy to answer any questions you might have
Jonathan: okay beautiful yeah so everyone will be in the show notes the link to his his Facebook page where you can get those daily leadership and just thoughts for the day that are just awesome where he's trying to tease out human potential in the multi family space that's what he does Mr Mike brewer so huge round of applause for our guest today Mike we really appreciate you being with us so make sure everyone who's listening to connect with him my name is Jonathan Saar thank you for joining us for episode eight of the Juvo Hub podcast we'll see you next time

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