In this episode David Interviews Cliff Hayden from “Show Me The Rental”. Cliff is a fellow investor Landlord. In this episode, Cliff and David talk about being landlords as well as how to use the MAO formula. To learn more about Cliff go to ShowMeTheRental.com
David: Alright guys, we are back! This is the Discount Property Investor podcast. I am your host David Dodge. Today we are going to talk to Mr Cliff Hayden. Cliff has an awesome service, and awesome product. 'Show me the rental' is the name of his company. Cliff, welcome to the show, how are you today, sir?
Cliff: David, I am honored, I appreciate you having me on.
David: Happy to have you on, thank you for coming on. I am grateful for your time today, Cliff. So Cliff and I were talking before the show about his service. It is pretty cool, guys. I am intrigued. I am going to introduce Cliff here. Cliff, before we start talking about that though, can you give me a little bit of background on you, what you have been doing in terms of investing?
Cliff: Great question. I am married, a father of five kids. My real estate business, I am a full time real estate investor. I specialize in single family houses. Kind of like you too, David, I do rehabs, I am big [00:01:51.18 - inaudible], I just do real estate full time.
David: Okay, very cool. So how long have you been investing?
Cliff: I have been investing since 2004, I just learned what I was doing in 2008. I just say about 15 years or so.
David: 15 years, that's a long time. [00:02:14.12 - inaudible]
Cliff: I do, I am somewhere at about twenty something houses.
David: Twenty something houses. Do you do any wholesaling, Cliff?
Cliff: I do do wholesaling, yes I do.
David: Very cool. How about fix and flip? Are you in that business as well?
Cliff: I do a lot of those also. That's what our main kind of business is right now, because in our market the little 150'000 or less or going like-- they are flying off the shelves. That's kind of what we are focusing on right now to pay off debt. My whole goal now is to pay off debt. That's what we are doing now.
David: Pay off the debt, man. I love it. That's where you go to get really wealthy when you don't have it going out the door everyday. So let's talk about the service, 'Show me the rental'. You were telling me a little bit about it before the call. I am intrigued. Now I want to learn more about the service. What is the service? Let's start there, so the people that don't know what we already talked about can be filled in. Why did you put this service together?
Cliff: Okay, a great question again, David. So the service is basically-- the best way to explain it is, it takes all the crap out of property management business. The biggest headache in property management is pre-screening leads, and getting leads into your rental properties to fill an application. So we had a big problem in our business. There was a time when we had 80 something houses. We always had turnovers, the phone calls and e-mails we got were just too much. We were missing half of them, we were just throwing people in the houses just to get them in there. So this system was generated. It's a one-stop shop, it advertises on all the major websites. It generates leads, then it pre-screens those leads with a list of questions that you get to pick from, then we set up automatic showings. It is all automated, so all the phone calls and e-mails you normally get on your rental houses, this system automates all that. So you just sit back and watch. We don't even talk to potential tenants anymore until we get a paid application. So it takes all that crap out of the business.
The second part to that question was how did I get started. I got started because my wife was going to kill me. You are a full time guy, you've got energy I can tell. This business can be a 24 hour a day business if you let it run you. There was a time about seven or eight years ago, my whole life was revolved around money, building my portfolio up and all this shit. I would come home, I would eat dinner with my family, I would still be on my phone texting, e-mails, all this shit going on. My wife would just be pissed off, mad at me.
David: So most of this work you are talking about is work that was created from being a landlord?
David: So you're doing this other stuff, you are doing lots of things, you might even have multiple businesses, that's common these days. So what you're saying though is that the rental business was just pulling on you from all directions to where you were not-- it was getting in the way of you having the work life balance. It was all-- it was work life versus work life, right?
Cliff: My world life was the big bubble and my family was the small bubble, I had it ass backwards.
David: So your wife was bitching at you, she's like, come on, let's--.
Cliff: She's a good bitcher too.
David: Let's get it together, Cliff! Come on! Then you're like, well shit! So then what happened? You started thinking about how you could make this more efficient and optimize it?
Cliff: It's a great question. The last five or six years, the big thing is-- I call them old priorities, my old priorities were money. Money was the goal. So if I had a million bucks, if I had all this cash and all this money then life would be easier, I would be happy, all your dreams come true and all that crazy shit that I bought into when I was younger. Then my new priorities were, the point of the money is to have a lifestyle that I want. I just worked all the time, you have heard the saying, 'I was busy but not being real productive'. I was just always doing shit, but I wasn't doing the right shit. I just kind of stopped and spent the last several years kind of getting my lifestyle, but I wanted it in order which was the purpose of this business anyway. I kind of changed my priorities around and made life the priority and money the goal, if that makes sense to you.
Cliff: So now my goal is-- I have kids, but if the kids are screwed up who gives a shit about the money? I have five of them, so that's a lot of chaos going on.
David: That's so true!
Cliff: You know what--.
David: I was listening to an audio book last night, and they were saying that the richest people in the world, when they were on their death bed, what do they wish they could buy? They have all the money, right? They could buy anything they want, and every one of them says time. You can't get it back.
Cliff: Speaking of, that's a great point.
David: Money and wealth is awesome, man. But, there is a point to where you get to where-- how much do you need, right?
Cliff: Exactly. If you don't have a lot of debt, you don't need a lot of money. That's what I've been working on the past several years is just paying off houses. So flipping and paying off debt, flipping paying off debt. Just paying off, paying off. We travel a lot more now, my wife works for a local hospital. So all Summer long, me and the kids, we get the RV and we go. We went out West, last year we went to Colorado, this year we went to Colorado, next year we are going out East. So that is kind of what I live for now. Those are fun and-- just kind of develop my kids and make sure they are good kids. That's the whole point of all this shit.
David: Right. So true.
Cliff: Kind of what I do now.
David: I love it, so you got-- you got a bunch of houses, that's great right there. I compliment you on that. Then you were managing all the houses. It was eating up all your time. You said, I'm going to be able to do this better, I am going to figure out a system and figure out a solution. That's when you decided to create 'Show me the rental'. So what does 'Show me the rental' do? How-- let's put myself in your shoes, and I am managing 20 plus houses, my wife is not happy with me, right? This is the situation, this is something that could essentially happen to me tomorrow, right? It's happened to me in the past, I wish I would have known about this prior. But anyway, you approached me and you are like, hey we can help you solve so many problems. Where do you start? How does it work?
Cliff: Very simple, David, very good question too. You go to ShowMeTheRental.com, very self explanatory. Kind of set up like Kayak.com if anyone is familiar with that, where it just tells you what to do every step of the way so you don't have a lot of shit everywhere and stuff you can't understand because I'm not that smart at it. So I want it very basic and very simple. So basically you put your house on 'Show me the rental'. It has different sections. You fill in information which they ask, pictures, audio recording, bedrooms, bathrooms, rent amounts. You have a list of around 30 questions to chose from. We recommend you do five questions. These are the questions that when a lead wants to look at your house, instead of contacting you they contact our system. We are going to ask them the same questions you did. Our questions are very simple, are you on Section 8? We don't take that anymore. That takes 40% of our leads right there. No Section 8. How much money do you have in your bank accounts? How long you been on your job? How much do you make every month? We just kind of screen these leads so they can get into the house, and they are qualified to go see the house. From there, once they pass the pre-screening questions, the system sends them showing instructions that you pick. There are five different ways to show your property. Lock box code, appear at your office, open house, an appointment, however you want to show it. They go look at the house, from there it sends them a link for an application. Fill out the application, and you don't talk to them at all. You never talk to them, you never hear from them, you don't do anything. You just sit back and we collect all their information. It goes into the system so you can see the whole process of where they are in the stage of looking at your house. That's it, it's very simple. So that's the property management side. The cool side we developed too is the tenant side. There is also a tenant side. We get a tenant profile, so we advertise on Facebook for you. We get all their information. We are trying to get it now as we are building up in our town. All their information on all their pre-screening questions filled out prior, then we match them up with your house as soon as you put it on the site. You put it on our site and we have the profiles for tenants already collected. They go in, tenants love it because they are only going to get to see houses they are pre-qualified to go see. They are not going to waste their time which they hate, wasting their time to go to a house that they are not even qualified to go see.
Cliff: We kind of did it from both angles, so try to make everybody happy, and save everybody time. Like you just said on your death bed, everybody wants more time. It will go by fast if you get caught up in the hustle of everyday non stop being busy. That's the jist of it.
David: Man, I love it. How hard is it to set up your properties-- so my properties for example into your system? What does that process look like?
Cliff: I am going to say-- I am not very computer savvy, it takes me around five minutes, so a new person say ten minutes. Once it's in there, it's in there forever. There is an on off switch, so you turn it on, it's a one time fee of $49 until the property is rented. No monthly fees, no subscriptions, none of that crap. One time fee, when a property is rented you turn it off. Then it sits there. Hopefully six or seven years down the road you need it again, go back in there, everything is-- all your information is in there, you turn it back on, get it rented, turn it back off. It's about as simple as I thought we could make it.
David: Wow that is very, very simple. Holy cow! Very cool! Not only are you guys building a platform that gets-- helps get it rented, saves it, so in the future you can do it again and make it an even easier marketing cycle. You are also marketing elsewhere to find people that are looking for houses and put them into a database. You are matching them up with some of the listings that come through-- I love it, this is a very cool service.
Cliff: We love it too, thank you.
David: Your prices are very cheap, you said 50 bucks essentially?
Cliff: 50 bucks, that is about a cheap as we can make it.
David: I get it, you guys got costs, and you are marketing for tenants already, very cool.
Cliff: We are marketing for-- go ahead, I'm sorry.
David: Are you guys-- is this nation wide at this point?
Cliff: It can be. Right now we are just in our town then regional, Tennessee, Indiana, our region, then we are kind of getting that built up and going nationwide from there.
David: As a new person joins anywhere though--. You just turn on the adds in their market essentially to start building a little database for them too.
Cliff: Yeah, the only thing we don't have nationwide yet is the tenant profiles. The houses will be on there but we don't have that cross reference--.
David: Right, right, but that's fine. You build it though?
David: It's rare just to have it all of a sudden anyway, the market changes day to day, anyway too. Wow, that is really cool, Cliff. I am super happy that you came on and were able to explain this to us. So this will take the [00:13:01.29 - inaudible] away from managing the property in terms of managing the leasing stage, guys, okay? Your software doesn't do anything other than the leasing, correct? This is just a very simple niche for the leasing, but it eliminates a lot of headache, time, and running around town to meet people that are unqualified. We are going to qualify these people in advance. Basically not waste time talking to them on the phone, or driving across town to meet them. You meet someone across town for a 20 minute appointment, that is a two and a half hour time out of your day, two and a half hours. I am doing a seminar right now, or a course called 'Insane productivity', Darren Hardy. It is amazing. He is zeroing in on the ability to focus, and the ability to say no. Those are the two take aways I have gotten for a $2'000 course; the ability to say no, and the ability to-- what was the first one? I forgot it.
David: Focus, see I can't even focus on my thoughts. That's why I am paying this guy to teach me, man, I'm telling ya. That's it. If you are able to eliminate the phone calls, the e-mails, the back and forth with people in advance, 9 times out of 10 those people anyway that are a pain in your ass are not going to be good tenants, they are not going to pay on time, they are going to end up getting evicted anyway. So you are screening all that crap out. Then you are basically saying, okay now I need to see the financial information on you on that application process. Then if they want to be able to show the property, you have some different options there. I know their service is not like Rently, there is another one I think called Tutor or something along those lines--.
Cliff: There are several out there now. They are expensive too.
David: They are, they are like a dollar a day. The thing is though, you might only need one or two of these for 30 properties, because how often do you have 15 vacants?
David: You might only have one or two at a time. Hopefully you have none, right? That's the goal. 20 properties, you are going to have a vacant every month or two typically. This service is going to be great to help get that rented. If you have a property manager, this would also imagine would well with managers. Maybe they take on the service, use it to help them with their business. I pay my property manager three quarters of one month's rent.
David: Three quarters.
Cliff: For each property?
David: Every time we get it rented.
Cliff: Okay I gotcha, like a renter finder fee.
David: You sign a lease, you are going to get three-quarters of a thousand bucks, assuming that's a thousand dollars. They make 750. So you could basically-- what you're doing is you are narrowing this down to only a few options versus a ton. You are going to essentially pay 50 versus 750 like I would.
Cliff: Yes. What else is cool too, while--.
David: I am paying for convenience. In your scenario, you are doing the exact same thing. You are providing a ton of convenience. You are going to narrow the list down to a few individuals versus having to weed through a bunch of crap.
Cliff: Correct. You log onto the site, you see 160 something people have viewed the property, it funnels it down to maybe 27 or 30 viewed the property, then you have about six or seven that have submitted an application. I didn't talk to one of them. I didn't have to listen to their stories, you know how that goes. A 15 minute conversation-- I don't have to do any of that no more.
David: A lot of times too, man, when I'm out at properties. It's not even so much the conversation, that's time consuming, absolutely, right? It's also like, well are you guys going to fix the fence over there? If I'm going to sign a lease here. Do you mind if we paint this room here? Most of the time I don't give a shit, right? Or I don't want to spend the extra money to do some little nick nack stuff, that is really not a big deal. Whenever you are with them there in person, typically you are going to do what you can to get the lease. If you go and spend $500 to sign a lease in terms of little things in it to appease them. It seems to me that you somewhat eliminated that.
Cliff: One of the questions we ask is funny, do you own tools? Can you do small repairs? That is one of our pre-screening question. I do-- in our houses-- I spent the last several years updating my portfolio, getting nicer houses in nicer areas. High quality tenants so I can travel more. They have to be able to do small repairs, snake their toilet, plunger, changer the batteries in their thermostat, furnace filters, smoke detectors, all that stuff. We want to make sure-- I don't want to get a call because you can't change your batteries, because your toilet is clogged up. Now if you plunge it, get a snake in, and you still can't get it then we will come out. We have higher end people, so I built my whole business around my lifestyle now, that's what I've been doing, so I can travel. I don't get phone calls much at all anymore. It's rare to get more than one phone call a month, which I like a lot. Very nice.
David: You can't beat that, that's awesome.
Cliff: As you said before, you can let this business run you. I know you said you have several dozen houses, I was up to that much too, I had turn overs, it was a non stop cycle. I just kind of wanted to get out of that cycle, I tried to figure out ways to do that. Nothing is wrong with that at all. Just for my lifestyle, my kids, I want to be home.
David: For sure.
Cliff: So I was like, I want to change this. So I sold off a bunch of houses, paid off a bunch of houses and just kind of-- just a lot less stress right now which is nice.
David: Yeah, you can't beat that, man. You can't buy time. Time is what is valuable these days, I love it. Cliff, thank you so much for coming on the show, buddy. Your product 'Show me the rental' is amazing. It's super cheap, it takes the hassle of the phone call, the time suck out of leasing a property. It just makes it very efficient for you. I highly recommend you guys go check it out. Go to DiscountPropertyInvestorPodcast.com/Cliff. Or, DiscountPropertyInvestor.com/Cliff. We are going to send you right over there as well if you can't remember to domains, no problem. Cliff, thank you so much for your time today. I am grateful for your time. I appreciate you. Any parting words for us today?
Cliff: David, no, I just hope people listening to this kind of like it and give us a try, and hopefully it does the same for them as it has for us, which is get your time back. That is kind of the whole plan anyway.
David: I am interested to introduce this to my property manager to negotiate my own leasing rates now. This is going to be great. Absolutely. Very cool. Alright, guys, we are signing off. Until next time, see you soon.