In this episode, we hear from Justin Bajema, a property management company owner from Michigan who recently moved to Texas. In this powerful interview, he talks not only about property management, but also his experiences in the Marine Corps.
In 2003, Justin was coming back from Iraq and got a care package from his aunt and uncle. Inside was a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. From that book, he got the real estate bug, and got involved in the industry when he got out of the army in 2005.
In the process of learning about the industry, Justin’s wife actually went to work for a competitor (where she was open about their interest in getting into property management). From there, they transitioned into owning single-family homes. After finding out about the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), they set up their own chapter.
After learning about Justin’s background in property management, we’ll explore how his experiences in the Marine Corps contributed to what he’s doing today. He’s deeply involved with an organization called Warriors Heart, which helps members of the “military class” (including law enforcement and first responders as well) heal. We talk an important way in which property managers can contribute to this vital and life-changing program.
[02:09] - Justin talks about how he got into property management.
[04:00] - We hear more about Justin’s choice to start a property management company. He also talks about conferences in general, and the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) specifically.
[07:19] - Justin discusses owning their company from a distance. He talks about Michael Gerber’s book The E Myth. He then explains that he hated managing people, so he had to clarify what he did (and didn’t) want from a company.
[10:52] - What were some of the keys that allowed Justin to break away from being in the office on a regular basis? He and Brad then discuss employees in terms of hiring decisions and necessary roles, and talk about outsourcing bookkeeping.
[15:22] - Justin recently got rid of his in-house accounting, he reveals, in response to Brad’s advice about outsourcing certain services.
[18:35] - Justin talks about going completely electronic with all of their accounts payable. This is both more convenient and less of a security risk.
[20:11] - We hear about Justin’s choices in software and banking.
[22:32] - Brad takes a moment to tell the story of how he and Justin met.
[23:33] - Justin went into the Marine Corps in May of 2001. 9/11 happened during his training. He served two tours in Iraq, and shares some of his experiences there.
[29:22] - We learn why Justin offered this information about his time in the military. He explains that a deep part of him still feels the need to take care of the guys in the military.
[32:03] - Justin talks about charities for veterans, and recommends going to an organization like Charity Navigator to assess a charity’s financials before donating to it.
[35:15] - We hear more about Justin’s move to Texas and his partnership with Warriors Heart. He then talks more about the program, what it does, and why it’s so vital.
[27:47] - There are two requirements for applicants to get into the program: PTSD and a chemical dependency. After discussing this, Justin explains in more depth why this program in particular was necessary, related to the story of what he saw happening to one of his close friends.
[40:26] - Justin touches on the possibility of the program expanding into more locations.
[40:55] - Brad and Justin came up with an idea for supporting the program through a referral system, which they discuss here.
[43:11] - Justin offers an invitation to visit the Warriors Heart property and program in San Antonio.
[45:32] - The program isn’t just for military, but rather for the “military class,” as Justin puts it. In addition to military, this also includes law enforcement and first responders.
[47:35] - What are Justin’s long-term goals for his involvement with Warriors Heart? In his answer, Justin explains the cost of the program, and where financial contributions go.
[49:14] - Justin lists ways to get in touch with him and learn more about the foundation. He also expresses that his biggest goal is awareness. He then invites listeners to email him directly at Justin@warriorsheart.com.
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