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Money Mondays are finally back. We kick this off, uh, what, like the week before everything’s shut down for COVID or
Around that same time that it was, it was shutting down or we were about to shut down and we’re doing our part these last few weeks to, you know, obviously do some social distancing. And you know, now that things are starting to kind of open up a little bit, we wanted to kick it back off and this will be a weekly thing, right? Yeah.
We will do this every Monday. So definitely look forward to it, everybody. And just, you know, the idea is really providing a platform for us to kind of share what we’re up to, what we’re doing, and also answer people’s questions. I know a lot of people are interested out there to learn about what we’re doing, what the world’s going on. You know, they have general questions about buying or investing. And so really we just figured, rather than a lot of people email us separately, it’d be great to put it on the show and really do that live to help answer questions for everyone else. And so, yeah, that’s really the big plan here. And so we’re, I think it’s yeah,
The educational, right. You know, we’re not going to be trying to sell you anything. This is just, you know, what we’re seeing in the market and how we can help people. Right? Yeah. Because there’s a lot of followers out there that want to kind of know how we’re reacting to, COVID how we’re managing our business through this crisis and over the, you know, the coming months, you know, cause we’re not out of the woods just yet. Right now. I think we did sell, we did sell what to Decatur.
Yeah. Fun property. Uh, it took a lot of work, but we are out of that property, thankfully.
Yeah. Yeah. That was five months ago. It’s been a long month. I know. Right. You know, it’s been a lot five weeks, I’m sure a lot of folks, you know, you’re staying at home, you’re, you know, the kids might be home too from school it’s, you know, but this is the time folks wouldn’t say get educated, you know, get caught up on your reading, get caught up on your podcast, educate yourself because there will be opportunities in the future. Right? Yeah, absolutely.
And so now we’re excited to be back and um, yeah. I mean, so for those of you out there, for those of you just starting, I mean, definitely feel free to ask questions. Right. We, we will read questions, we’ll help answer questions. We’ll do, whatever’s kind of needed. So I guess with that said, Ben, you know, so how have you been the past couple of weeks? You know, I mean, I would be,
I would be lying if I wouldn’t, if I said that it wasn’t stressful. Right. You know, I think everybody’s going through a lot of stress. Right. Let’s all just be truthful about that. Both on a, you know, a personal basis with having kids home and not being in school and all that stuff, but also, you know, professionally, there’s just a lot of disruption, no pun intended in our market and, you know, multifamily and just real estate and the economy in general. And uh, you know, but I’ve been a, I didn’t have any more hair to lose anyway, so it didn’t have that to worry about. But, uh, I’ve been trying to kind of keep it in perspective and it’s given us some time to get caught up on some initiatives and, you know, uh, we’re excited to maybe talk about those over the coming weeks.
And for this, to this session, we do want to focus more on, you know, kind of what we’ve been doing. What’s been going on with COVID and then also what are we seeing on the acquisition side, right? Yeah. So that’s, maybe that will be the focus for this one and we’ll definitely go through some of that.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, let’s, let’s kick it off, you know, maybe talk about some of the things that, that we were doing pre coven, because I think one thing that a lot of, at least our investors know is that we were set up as a remote company up until January, you know? And then we, we, we got some office space, we built out the studio and you know, so we were already using and leveraging technology because both me and Ferris come from a technology background. And so, you know, we were already set up as a remote business. So whenever this hit it, wasn’t a, it wasn’t a culture shock for him.
No, it was not. I mean, like for those of the people that do know me, my, you know, the idea is really how do we leverage the stuff that all the tech companies out there already know how to use and really bring that to kind of make us more efficient. So thankfully that worked out really well with, you know, us in our team and kind of having a lot of the tools in place. Right. And so maybe, you know, maybe to kind of kick it off, the first one really was Slack. That was one that took me.
Would you say that this is the, which one would you say? And we’re showing it, we’re sharing a screen here for everybody that’s following this. Which one of these three would you say is the most important? If you’re going to do any one today and we’ll go through each one of them
Or Slack, if you’re bigger, I mean, you can get by without Slack and do a sauna. A sauna helps you stay organized Slack for most people. They don’t really realize the power of Slack until you, until you use it, including
No, he had the hammered into me a little bit. A couple of times
I told Ben one day, I’m like, all right, you’re not allowed to text me anymore. After this point in time, still, not me only they know, but now he loves it. Right. You start saying, you know, and I tell people, your email and texts are a continuous infinite stream of data and information.
So what is it? And it’s, you know, one or two sentences. Yeah.
So there, so Slack is just another way to communicate for those who do use WhatsApp. You know, it’s another chat protocol, but what makes it powerful is two things, right? A you start to separate ideas out from the content, right? Again, your email is never ending, right? Infinite stream. It’s a river, but sometimes, you know, whenever we’re talking about marketing, you want to talk about it in the marketing channel, talking about sales. You want to talk about the sales channel, talking about maybe the specifics of a property, put it in the property.
So keeps your chats and what you’re trying to talk about in specific places. So you can keep an org, keep them warm. Yeah,
Exactly. So I tell people it’s, it’s just very much that it’s, it’s separating continuous information to concepts and, you know, spaces where you’re talking about just that thing. And so even if you’re like a three person company, it’s still very powerful, because guess what, if I need to remember what we talked about, about marketing, I can go search, my email might take forever. Right? First, I’m going to go to the marketing thing. And that’s just the stuff that are relevant to that. And so it’s, um, it’s definitely a very powerful tool for those of you that have not used it. I highly recommend that we had a friend that was in her office, you know, recently and same thing. I mean, he had not rolled it out. He rolled it out in Lily texted me the next day. I didn’t tell you this actually texted me the next day. He’s like, I freaked out
Who was, Oh, it was Greg Greg meets. Yeah.
Then he proceeded to say, I still haven’t figured out confidence.
Ah, you know, that’s, that’s probably a good, so Slack, you know, just to give me another example of how you can use it, right? Maybe you have two or three properties, you can have a Slack channel for a C property. So, and you can invite say your property manager or your regional right to that Slack channel. And you guys can message that way about what’s going on. And it’s, it’s quick. It’s not meant to be one of those things where you get a long book of an email and a lot of attachments. It’s more of a, just like, it’s just like a text message, but you can get the app on your phone. You can have it on your computer. And it’s been a game changer for me. So, but that’s a good, that’s a good segue into confluence. So talk to us. What is confluence
It’s really at its at its core. It’s a, it’s interesting. It’s a knowledge base, right? We have tons of different initiatives going on. This being one of them, each initiative has a bunch of different things associated with it and it might not be tasked. So maybe let’s talk about a sauna, we’ll come back to it. Right? So a sauna is what we use for task management, you know, and you can have different projects, different, you know, people can own different things and it very much as a way to put task management on steroids and you can make it as complex or not as complex as you want. And so for sauna, I mean, you know, we use one, we have different projects, tasks, Sydney project, and really it’s meant to be a place that people can know what needs to be worked on. You can go check on the status of things, communicate. And so we’ve rolled that out in that one, you know, there was definitely some growing pains, right? Once the team started to kind of work that into their system, it actually started to make a difference.
And, and, and to, to add what Ferris is saying, once again, folks, if you’ve got properties, you can have your onsite managers, your regional, you can assign them tasks. Maybe you have a weekly call with them, right. You know, and there’s maybe five takeaway action items from there. You can assign those or you can have your VA assign those to whoever is in charge of those action items. You can set due dates. So before the next week’s call, right, all that stuff should be done in a, you know, in an ideal world. Right. You know, that’s, that’s the point of it is to keep people accountable. And if they blow through those, those due dates, why what’s going on, you can see the due dates and who’s assigned to what thing. And you can just go down the task list and say, Hey, so-and-so why hasn’t this been done? And so it keeps everybody accountable and organized and organized. You know, when you’re in, in this kind of post COVID business environment, I think we’re going to find ourselves in, I think a lot of these things that we’re talking about, folks you might even see on your day jobs, you’re probably gonna, you’re probably gonna need to introduce them when your, your syndication or your investment business as well. So that’s the reason why we’re introducing some of the, the tools that, uh, you know, that we’ve used. So talk to us about confluence what’s conference
Confluence. So the problem is you start using a sauna and then you start to use a sauna to kind of keep an organization of things aren’t really tasked and you start to get lost. Okay. You know, we’ve done that cause really in a sauna yeah.
Related tasks like notes and processes and stuff like that. Yeah.
So confluence is really kind of the next, the next step that you need to grow into, which is really our knowledge base. There’s a lot of them out there. Right. And it’s really a way to stay organized and think of it as just a, it’s an internal Wikipedia, but it’s a different concepts, have a bunch of different dots. Cause you know, I think most people start to get lost, including us between the sauna and then Google docs. And not everyone has access to Google docs too. I was never lost. I mean, but you know, keep up with that all the time it was born loss. It wasn’t any different. And so, you know, it’s, um,
You know, with conflict, it’s really powerful. If you start to search it and start to keep everything really organized and you can have different tiered structure and stuff, I want to go back and look at the marketing. I can go to the marketing, I can go drill down and disrupt TV and I can go see, you know, what all the things that we have going on and you can continue to evolve it. That’s the powerful thing about it. Right? Keeping everyone, you know, reviewing, editing you go back and see all the reversion history and you know, it’s a resource to put together resources. Right. So, you know, to kind of dumb it down for the us folks that aren’t as smart as this guy. Right. So how I look at Confluence’s, you know, your employee handbooks, your processes and your procedures. Right. You know, and we’ll, we’ll get to an example here later on, but you know, during COVID it was extremely powerful. Right. We had a, we had one that was facing a resident facing one that they could hit. And these were all the resources that they could kind of tap into to, you know, for rental assistance or TWC or whatever it might be. And then we had one that was internal for our onsite managers. Right.