The Property Management Mastermind Show

The Property Management Mastermind Show and Property Management Productions was formed to provide information and products BY Property Managers FOR Property Managers looking to grow and run their business. The podcast show is an interview discussion conducted by Brad Larsen – a Property Manager in San Antonio, TX. In this Podcast show, Brad will interview some of the biggest and brightest stars in the Property Management industry to include National Association of Residential Property Management (NARPM) members, Leading Property Managers of Australia (LPMA) members, and key vendors in the property management industry with the goal of being able to gain insight for best practices, new trends, and exciting information to help you grow and run your business more successfully.
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Now displaying: May, 2017
May 31, 2017

Today’s Guest: 

Today’s show is sponsored by the National Property Management Network, which provides insurance products and services such as tenant liability insurance to property managers. 

I’m excited to share this interview with Marc Cunningham, who will talk about some of his incredible systems and products. I’ve been very impressed with what he’s putting together, and can’t wait for you to hear all about it and decide whether his products might be right for you. 

Before digging into his products, though, you’ll get some background and insight into Marc himself (which will help explain why he’s so highly qualified to create these works). As he explains in the interview, he grew up in the world of property and real estate, and was dealing with various business aspects while still a child. This all came about because his father started Grace Management & Investment, so Marc had deep exposure from a young age. 

Marc also reveals “the big secret in the property management world,” which is that ”everybody thinks they’re the only ones that don’t get it.” Wow! Just take a moment to let that sink in. If you’re feeling like you’re a little bit lost or unsure of the best ways to do things, it’s not because you’re somehow the least-knowledgeable person around… but rather because we all feel that way sometimes.

Of course, that isn’t to say that you should be content with where you are and stop striving to be better. There’s always room for improvement, and this is where Marc’s products come into play. I’ll let him describe them for you himself in this conversation, but take it from me that these incredible tools are a direct investment in your business that can help you achieve your goals.

Best of all, Marc is offering a generous discount for listeners: 10% off any of his products when you use the promo code “Brad”!

Here’s where you can find Marc:

Marc Cunningham on LinkedIn

Grace Management & Investment

Grace Management & Investment Products


Show Notes

[02:08] - Marc grew up in the property management and real estate world, he explains, because his father started Grace Management. He then explains the progression of the company, and what they do today.

[03:43] - Brad points out that Marc, being in Colorado, has a seasonal leasing market. Marc then clarifies that other factors steady out the overall flow.

[04:26] - We learn about Marc’s degree in real estate.

[05:13] - The main reason Brad wanted Marc on the show was to talk about his educational products (specifically systems manuals) and how they can benefit companies. Marc then explains some of the background of why he and his father shifted the style of the business.

[07:49] - Marc explains that the products were originally made for Grace Management rather than to sell.

[09:14] - Marc mentions a survey he heard recently about employee engagement, in which employees rated this comment most highly: “I know what is expected of me at the office.” Brad then dives into how personalities play into this.

[11:09] - Brad has his MPM candidacy with NARPM completed (FIND AND LINK THESE). This allows one to test for the CRMC designation (FIND AND LINK THIS), for which the outline is near what Marc’s products are. Marc and Brad then discuss this.

[13:27] - Marc goes back a step, explaining how he and his father started sharing their creations and that people started asking to buy the full versions long before it occurred to them to sell them.

[15:36] - The products come in Word format. Marc talks about how people usually use them.

[17:37] - Brad offers an example: a medium-sized company comes to Marc wanting to put all his systems in place. Marc then walks us through how this situation plays out, generally in one of two ways.

[19:58] - Did Marc go to a pro or consultant to get the systems manuals set up, or did he do them himself?

[21:44] - Marc talks us through the cost of the various packages that Grace Management offers, which range from $497 to over $3,000. The larger packages, he explains, offer one-on-one time with him.

[25:31] - Marc is still a property management company owner, he explains, and the systems manuals are a side note.

[25:28] - Does Marc have any success stories he can share?

[26:32] - Brad brings up another product of Marc’s addressing ways to make money. In response, Marc explains how he identified the need for that other product.

[28:54] - We hear about how effective this product was for one user, who was able to go on a trip to Vegas after implementing the first idea.

[30:14] - How did Marc decide how to price his various products?

[32:34] - Marc tells us where to find the products he’s been discussing. They’re available at He then talks a bit more about these products.

[34:08] - Marc makes a special offer for Property Management Mastermind Show listeners. Enter the promo code “Brad” to get 10% off Marc’s products!

[36:29] - We learn one of the reasons that Marc believes that systems are so important: they “dramastically” (a word he coins here) increase the value of your business.


Links and Resources:

Marc Cunningham on LinkedIn

Grace Management & Investment

Grace Management & Investment Products

National Property Management Network

National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)

DISC profile

CRMC Designation Candidacy Checklist

May 17, 2017

Amy Karns, who is intimately familiar with various aspects of property management thanks to having bought, sold, and started property management companies.

She got her introduction to property management in San Antonio, where she bought a company over the course of five years by purchasing 20% a year (while the previous owners played less and less of a role each year). Amy built that company up from 90 doors to 225 doors over the 10 years that she ran it.

Eventually, an offer from another company interested in buying hers got her interested in the possibility of selling. While the original offer wasn’t one that would work for her, she soon found the right buyer and sold her company, as she describes in some detail here.

After that, Amy did what we all dream about: moved to a new market and started from scratch using all the lessons she had learned and her vast, valuable previous experience. As she explains in our conversation, her goal is to manage 50 properties from home and make the same income as she did from 250 properties.

You’ll hear how she plans to do this, as well as how she has turned unaccompanied showing systems into a giant revenue generator. She talks about the incredible value in doing everything online, and how her current business lets her work from Punta Cana.

Here’s where you can find Amy:

Amy Karns on

Amy Karns on Facebook

Amy Karns on LinkedIn


Show Notes

[02:08] - Amy offers us a look into her background and history in property management. She explains how she acquired a company over a five-year period.

[03:43] - We hear in more detail how Amy found this five-year opportunity to take over the company.

[05:55] - Were there any control issues between the previous owners of the company and Amy during the transition period?

[07:24] - Amy ran that company for 10 years, growing the company from 90 doors to 225 doors over that period. She also discusses the company’s leanness.

[08:53] - What caused Amy to look at selling that company? She reveals that she hadn’t considered selling it until an offer came in. She then discusses the move from renting to buying her office space.

[13:05] - Amy explains the problem with the first offer she received, which was that the buying company wanted her to teach them to do property management. She then talks about the pricing strategy she used to set up the sale once she found the right buyer.

[16:08] - Once Amy had the right buyer lined up, how did they move forward? She and Brad then touch on non-compete agreements and exclusivity clauses.

[18:26] - Amy walks us through some of the terms of the purchase agreement she made when selling the company.

[21:33] - How did the closing work during Amy’s sale?

[24:03] - After the sale, Amy picked up and moved to a whole new market. She then reveals that if she could go anywhere, she would pick Phoenix or Colorado. She then talks us through how her move to Dallas worked out, and explains why she chose to stay in Texas.

[27:50] - Getting leads in a new market is very difficult, Amy reveals.

[28:53] - Amy discusses the difficulty of competing in Dallas as a new property management company.

[30:30] - We hear about Amy’s experience in going from having a team to being the one to do everything herself. She then shares her impressive goal.

[32:17] - Being small allows Amy to be selective about the properties and owners she takes on. She and Brad then discuss some of the factors involved in staying small.

[35:01] - It’s important to set up the expectation with clients that you’re going to do everything online, Amy explains.

{37:41] - Amy talks us through how she’s doing unassisted showings with two types of lock boxes. Brad then reiterates her point that you don’t need to meet every tenant any longer, and discusses the problems with doing showings 30 days before the current lease ends, as is currently standard practice.

[42:01] - Does Amy think she’s getting more for the homes based on the self-assisted showings?

[43:20] - Amy offers a last-minute suggestion: become a member of NARPM if you aren’t one already!


Links and Resources:

Amy Karns on

Amy Karns on Facebook

Amy Karns on LinkedIn

Punta Cana

National Property Management Network

National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)


Tenant Turner


May 3, 2017

Joining me for this episode is Jason Waggoner, the Vice President of Marketing at ACUTRAQ. In case you aren’t familiar with it, ACUTRAQ is an application screening company that covers various types of screening.

As a result of this work, Jason is full of deep and detailed knowledge on just about every aspect of the application and screening process, dealing with HUD, dealing with fair housing, and all other related aspects of the application cycle. In this conversation, he shares that knowledge and offers great insight into these topics and more.

An example of what Jason has to offer is his balanced perspective on how to handle negative factors on an application, such as a low credit score or a criminal history. In both cases, he advises a personal rather than a kneejerk approach. For example, a potentially ideal tenant may have a low credit score simply due to medical bills, and have a perfect track record with every other bill and rent. Similarly, someone may have a criminal history for a minor crime such as marijuana possession a decade ago, in which case that alone may not indicate anything about how they would be as a tenant today.

With that said, he’s well aware of the risk factors involved for landlords. He suggests being very detailed and open with your screening criteria for reasons that he explains in the episode. When it comes to adverse action letters, he offers great advice such as denying for credit delinquencies instead of credit score.

Many of these subjects have been touchy hot-topics in the NARPM community lately, so let’s take a listen and hear what Jason has to say!

Show Notes

[02:01] - Jason gives us an introduction to who he is and the company he works for, as well as the types of screenings the company is able to cover.

[04:22] - When you’re qualifying tenants, many people want to go by their gut feeling without understanding what they’re doing.

[05:05] - Brad offers a story related to what Jason has been saying. He explains that his director of leasing encountered a “property manager” who approves applicants depending on how they feel about them. Jason then explains when it really set in for him that your gut feeling isn’t a reliable standard.

[07:52] - Jason discusses the intricacies of the screening side of the application process. Hot topics include animals, felons, and decisions based on credit scores. He also emphasizes the importance of posting your screening criteria publicly so that unqualified applicants won’t waste their (or your) time.

[10:54] - Brad and Jason discuss the difficult process of declining applicants. Jason emphasizes the importance of making sure you’re doing everything by the book, because tenants know their rights and you can get in trouble if you don’t do things properly. He gives an example involving a service dog.

[14:59] - Brad points out that some DIY or home-based landlords forget why they hire management companies.

[15:33] - Jason goes into more detail about the adverse action letter.

[17:50] Brad brings up the topic of risk mitigation. Jason responds by discussing the necessity of digging deeper into a low credit score and giving people an opportunity. He and Brad then discuss how to do this.

[21:21] - We return to the topic of owners, who could be missing out on a great tenant because they denied someone based on a low credit score when they’re ideal in other ways.

[22:36] - Brad and Jason talk about another hot topic: felons. HUD is now saying that it’s important to look at the criminal history in more depth rather than just immediately reacting to it.

[25:15] - HUD is not trying to make criminals a protected class, Jason clarifies.

[26:16] - Jason returns from the pain point to the solution, which goes back to being clear about your intention to screen criminal history and saying “your criminal history may be cause for denial” upfront.

[28:15] - Brad brings up the business side of this, explaining briefly what ACUTRAQ is. Jason then talks about the popularity and benefits of outsourcing.

[31:58] - Is the application process integrated into a client’s potential website? After answering, Jason explains one of the things that sets ACUTRAQ apart from other companies, which is their personal touch.

[34:49] - Jason talks us through the services he goes through once an application comes in.

[38:09] - Jason offers an example of trying to establish someone’s criminal history when he or she may have had different names (due to marriages, nicknames, and so on).

[40:12] - We hear about some of what Jason is doing, including his involvement in the music scene and how the knowledge he got from that industry led to his creation of his music video, the Bad Tenant Blues.

[42:52] - Where can people find Jason? At or by going to the ACUTRAQ website.


Links and Resources:

National Property Management Network

Jason Waggoner on LinkedIn

@ACUTRAQ on Twitter

Jason Waggoner at ACUTRAQ


Bad Tenant Blues

First Class Realty on YouTube