Meet Brenton Hayden, one of the nation’s largest landlords who “retired” at 28. Founder and Chairman of Renters Warehouse, Brenton saw a need for a more sophisticated professional landlord service that helps everyday homeowners and real estate investors manage their properties. To date, it’s the second largest professional landlord service in the country. Brenton is also an angel investor in software companies and started franchising his Professional Landlord services and has amassed around $20 million form his various ventures.
Takeaways: Stepping Into An Old Market With New Needs
After the real estate market crashed, Brenton tapped into the needs of a growing renter’s market in 2007. Renter’s Warehouse helps investors and property owners who need tenants by figuring out much they should rent for, answer any questions about the market, talk about the involved risks and markets it on 230 websites.
He found the average marketing time to find a tenant only runs about 14-days, and the company also prepares leases and does background checks and even evictions on tenants. Because Renter’s Warehouse relies on technology and proven processes Brenton honed himself, they can manage more properties for less.
Renter’s Warehouse has proven profitable every year they’ve been in business, and Brenton only works in the office once a week while spending the rest of the time being its grand spokesperson. But Brenton does more than bet on the real estate market, he also invests in businesses like 15Five with David Hassell and Onside Sports. Renter’s Warehouse is targeted to open up 25 franchises by the end of the year.
Retiring at 28
Brenton’s public goal of retiring at 28 was met with laughs and skepticism. But as he sat in St. John’s on a 2-week vacation, his wife caught him sneaking away to work on the patio and answer emails. She called him out on not following through with his goal, and Brenton realized the only thing that was stopping him was fear. He wanted to step away from the day to day operations he was no longer passionate about and decided to redefine retirement.
Brenton embraces retirement as the privilege to design each day as he sees fit. Sometimes that means going to the office, other times it means playing golf or meeting with an business he wants to invest in. He also credits his atheism as a motivator to go out with no regrets.
Brenton leveraged the success of Renter’s Warehouse and launched the Professional Landlord franchise. He gives business owners his entire strategies in a box for a $35,000 franchise fee with the commitment to help with national branding, developing new marketing strategies and offering advice.
With an aim to open 175 offices within the next 5 years, Brenton sunk $225,000 in advertising in the last month alone and recruited a Coca-Cola executive as his franchise manager. He estimates potential franchise owners needing $50,000 for smaller markets and about $85,000 for larger ones.
Money is made in the doldrums
Brenton looks to entrepreneurs like Warren Buffet for inspiration on making money in the doldrums. He credits Renter’s Warehouse rapid growth with the intense demand for property management yet surprisingly low industry competition. Brenton knew if he could do it in Minnesota (where there are only about 28% rentals on the market), then his franchisees could do it in a prime market.
The long hard work behind franchising
Despite his confidence Renter’s Warehouse franchises would be successful, Brenton has undertaken a tremendous amount of work to get there. The Security Exchange Commissions requires a lengthy process for registering in 40 states before selling a franchise, and California collects a hefty franchise tax. There’s also a lengthy 166-page franchise agreement so his new Renter’s Warehouse owners know where they stand.
Brenton admits it takes a long time to recoup the investment, and estimates he sells to 1% of the incoming leads he receives. But it’s more than just closing a deal. Once a new business owner is on board, Renter’s Warehouse has to train them in the span of two weeks and offer ongoing support systems.
But he sees the hard work to make a deal as a small sacrifice for the long-term revenues and profit-sharing received. Franchising has also proven a success for the business owners who all see profitability in the first year.
Marketing across the airwaves
Brenton discovered radio performed best by educating an audience in :60 seconds, 15 times a day for $100 to $200 a spot. He estimates he gets 175 new clients a month and spends about $18,000 a month to take over the station with 2 spots an hour. He now has his sights set on digital radio and is ready to expand his advertising to Pandora.
He warns entrepreneurs need to figure out lifetime value of a client and net margins or risk losing their business. Without knowing these key stats, you can’t determine what type of marketing and advertising budget you have to work with.
The time he almost gave up
In 2005, Brenton started a real estate company that was riddled with clients who had committed mortgage fraud and weren’t on the level. When the market crashed hard, Brenton was eyed as someone who needed to be held accountable and indicted. It worked out in his favor and his name was cleared, but he was humiliated and ready to leave the country or join the Army.
Taking a step back, Brenton realized all of these troubled clients and real estate owners would need help. He already knew there was a demand for property management services and relaunched his business with new goals in mind.
Why your ideas annoy Brenton
Good ideas are worthless and have no value, says Brenton. You need the ability to execute them before they bring any value. He points out that there’s no right time to start a business and it’s a huge risk. But if you truly believe in it, take the risk and dive in.
“Rework”: Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hansson’s book on reworking your career for a faster and easier way to succeed in business.
Robert Greene’s books:
“Remote: Office Not Required“: Get a thorough look at the work from home movement from the 37signals founders including its challenges and benefits.
Dropbox – Brenton’s go-to storage space solution for storing contracts and passwords in one place.
Snapinspect – The property management app Brenton praises to help inspect properties, create reports and deliver them via mobile or tablet.
Eric: Hi everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Growth Everywhere where we interview entrepreneurs and bring you business and personal growth tips. I’m your host Eric Siu and today we have Brenton Hayden, founder and CEO of Renter’s Warehouse. Brenton how’re you doing today?
Brenton: I’m doing good Eric. Thanks for having me on your podcast. I really appreciate it.
Eric: Thanks for being on the show. So Brenton, why don’t you start off by giving us a little information on your background.
Brenton: Sure, you mentioned I’m a founder of a company called Renter’s Warehouse. Now, I have several other businesses, but this is the main one for me. It’s a professional landlord service. We help everyday homeowners and real estate investors to rent and manage their residential real estates. It’s really that simple. However we flipped property management on TED. It’s always been a mom and pop style business. It’s been a spread sheet and kind of an accountant’s line of work and we brought in technology, we brought in marketing no-how, we brought in proven processes to really make it more efficient so that we could manage more properties for less money which helps everyone. And so we’ve grown into quite a large professional landlord in the country.
In fact we’re the second largest professional landlord for another for a fee in the country. And we have about two and a half billion dollars’ worth of residential rental real estate under our management, just in Minnesota alone. So, and that’s where our headquarters is, that’s where we’ve started. We started out as a property manager there and we’ve begun franchising and we’ve made some acquisitions in the software space. We’ve opened up real estate brokerages. I’m also an Angel investor in three software companies myself. So, while much is related to real estate, not all of it is. But we’ve been doing this now since 2007. Along the way I picked up a partner and a best friend. His name is Ryan Marvin, who is kind of a minority shareholder, but my right hand man and we’ve been doing most of this together.
Eric: Okay. Cool. So, walk me through what your Renter’s Warehouse. Let’s say I’m trying to rent out a place. How does that work for me?
Brenton: Well, typically our clients are property owners, not a property renter. However, the renter’s quite a bit and I’ll talk to that in a second. You have a house you want to rent or maybe a house you can’t sell, you’d lose too much if you did. Maybe you inherited a house from mom or dad, or grandma or grandpa. Maybe you’ve been re-located to take that dream job at Google or something. Point is you have a house to rent and you call a guy like me. My job is to tell you how much it should rent for, how long we think it’ll take, answer any questions you might have, talk about your risks, overcome any objections you have, and talk to you about how easy and worry free we can make renting your property out and how profitable that can be. And then you just basically sign an agreement that says “Brenton you’re my landlord” and we take it from there.
We’ll market that property on two-hundred and thirty websites. Our average market time is fourteen days. We do all the showings. We do all the background checks. We prepare the leases. We don’t approve tenants. The client approves clients so you have accountability in the sense that only you get to approve the tenant and then we warranty that tenant for nine full months. So, any tenant we place in a property, it’s like we warranty people. That homeowner knows that we placed a good tenant and if it goes bad or goes south we’ll get them a new one. They can hire us just to find a tenant and then take over themselves. Or they can hire us to be the landlord as well, where we’ll manage the property. We’ll collect the rent. We coordinate the maintenance. We enforce the lease provisions. We’ll handle evictions as well.
So we’re a landlord for hire whether you have a tiny condo or you’re a big real estate investor like say Invitation Home with forty-eight thousand homes. We can help any type of real estate investor. However we focus mainly on the everyday Joe. Ninety percent of our business has five or less properties in ownership. In fact most are two or less. And so we catered to blue collar working stiffs, entrepreneurs, people just like you and I that have one or two pieces of real estate. And frankly here’s an interesting fact. If you own five or more properties you’re in the top one percent of all real estate investors in America.
Brenton: Lot of people don’t realize that, that to acquire that many properties is very hard to do. In fact there are federal limits that limit you to only allow you to have four loans on investment properties because they’re federally insured.
Eric: I didn’t know that.
Brenton: So, it’s very challenging to get a lot of properties. So, we come in and we help people outsource being a landlord.
Eric: Got it. Okay. That’s cool. So, are you able to talk about the number of revenues or number of customers today.
Brenton: Yeah. Absolutely. I’ll try to be as open as I can. We want to talk revenue? So, this year we’ll do fifteen point five million ($15.5M) out of our Minneapolis office. We’ve been profitable every year we’ve been in business. In fact, I’m a retired twenty-nine year old now. I work but one day a week and I’m kind of a brand spokes-person. I get to talk with guys like you and promote and pump the tires of this great company we’ve built and to me that’s not a job anymore. So it’s a lot of fun. The other companies, the franchise company, we have eleven franchises, we hope to have twenty-five by the end of the year. My software company, it’s a small company of frankly it’s got three employees that just cater to my franchisees because we’re trying to make this software proprietary and not let public have it, and we’re trying to monetize it through our franchise network and also other streams like affiliate marketing. I have a traditional real estate brokerage, got about six employees. That’ll do a million dollars ($1M) this year and then I have a couple Angel Investment opportunities that I’ve invested in, a software company in San Francisco called Fifteen Five.
Eric: Ahh. They’re on the show.
Brenton: Yeah, they’ve been on the show? Dave [Hassel]? That’s wonderful. Obviously you can understand why I invested with him. He’s a wonderful entrepreneur and I had the opportunity, I didn’t even…I spent about fifteen minutes with him on the phone and I solved his debt and said, “How much do you need? I’m ready to invest in you, you’ve got a great idea and you’re a great business owner.” I invested in another one called On Side Sports. If you haven’t talked to them we should connect you. They’re a fantasy sports betting application in the Android and iPhone market. So, they’re poised to legalize when sports betting is legalized across the nation they’re poised to be the first app to do it. However, right now its fantasy betting. You bet with stars and coins instead of real money. But you’ve got live games, live Vegas odds. You can bet on a number of things, mostly sports and that’s called On Side Sports. And then my software company Rent Feeder I share with you, those are my businesses. Now collectively we’re about a twenty million dollar ($20M) business or the Brenton Hayden business is about twenty million dollars.
Eric: Okay. Good. Cool. Refresh my memory. When did Renter’s Warehouse start again?
Brenton: September of 2007.
Eric: Got it. Okay. Cool. So, very small amount of time to get where you’re at right now. So very impressive.
Brenton: Six and a half, seven years.
Eric: Cool. So, I saw an article on Entrepreneur, what it says, you wrote about retiring at twenty-seven. Can you tell us about that article?
Brenton: Yeah, um. From the time I started in business I’d always told people that I was going to retire very early, age twenty-seven. People laughed, they said no way, how you going to do that, you can never retire, I got that, you work too hard in your line of work. And over the years I heard all that and I didn’t really know what to say, but that was my goal and I was hell bent on it. Now I was about seven months past my twenty-seventh birthday when I retired in October of last year. It was, I was sitting down in Saint John’s, Virgin Islands; our United States Virgin Islands down there. And I was on a two week vacation with my wife and I was sneaking away to work at the patio on email. And she came out and busted me, said, “What are you doing out here? We’re supposed to be on vacation?” I said, “I got work to do.” She said, [?]“What do you got work to do? What work do you have to do?” and “It has to be done today.” I didn’t really answer too well. I was very attached to my business. And then she gave me the grill, “You’ve been telling people you’re going to retire at twenty-seven. You’re twenty-eight. Why aren’t you retiring?” And I couldn’t answer that either.
And I got to thinking I have all the right people in place. I don’t need to be there anymore. I’m not passionate about this line of work or staying in a CEO anymore. And I found out I was just scared. And then I also started to think, “Well, what if people are right? What if I can’t retire or find something else to do?” Or, “What does retirement mean to me? If I just don’t go into work today what will I do?” And I thought about it and I wanted to re-define retirement. To me retirement is having the privilege to design each day as I see fit. So my biggest problem every day, I work on Tuesdays, is to wake up each day and say, “What am I going to do today?” And I love that. That’s retirement for me. I don’t go out and play golf. Sometimes I go to work. Sometimes I’m out there investing in real estate or buying a restaurant franchise or working with an Angel Investor. Or at least that’s what I wanted to do that day and nothing made me or required me to do that day. If I want to go a month long vacation I can do that.
It also stems from the fact that I’m an atheist. I believe when you die you turn to dirt and you’ve got one life to live and I want to go out, you know, going in broadside, banged up and used up and the last hour spent in looking back and saying, “Man that was great. That was a hell of a ride. I spent every last penny I had and it was great. I did everything I wanted to do. No regrets.” And the last thing I wanted to do was to be in that position when I’m fifty, sixty, or seventy. And so now I’m twenty-eight. I get to sit back and design each day. And to me that was what I wrote for Entrepreneur and I don’t know if you know this, Yahoo.com picked it up the next day and we had a million and a half views, they put it on their home page, and the support and the outcry, and the people that wanted to do exactly what I did was awesome.
People really resonated with what I was trying to accomplish and I felt, finally for once, I’m not alone in that dream of retiring very, very, early and there are lot of people who are trying or want to do it or have done it. So, the point there is there are many people who have done what I’ve done. And I thought I was alone. I thought I was crazy that I was an outside thinker, but there’re plenty of people who’ve done what I’ve done. And you don’t need a hundred million dollars. In fact, I thought I needed seven million dollars to retire.
I was able to be fortunate enough to create that for myself, but frankly you can live a great life-style on several $100,000 a year and do about anything you’ve ever wanted to do off that. You don’t need that hundred foot yacht and the helicopter and a ten-million dollar penthouse. You just don’t. You can have a beautiful life with several million for the rest of your life. And I’m banking on that, while I’m putting in some investments too to perpetuate those investments and make better. But, that’s what that article was about and I later wrote another one, “Round Two”; how I got that far and how quickly it can happen for you, or it happened for me and for others. I think it’s still up on Entrepreneur.com and I encourage people to go check it out.
Eric: Cool. We’ll have to put that up in the resources for sure. Cool. I really like that definition. I never really thought of it that way, but I think that’s exactly what most people are trying to do. So, thanks for clarifying it for people. So, let’s talk about…Let’s step back and talk about franchising for Renter’s Warehouse. So, why franchising?
Brenton: As a younger business it’s capital efficient. It allows other people to tap into most of the potential. You know, for example, I get a four and a half percent royalty and I get $35,000 up front and I basically give my business plan, my trademarks, my proven processes, my technology, my customer acquisition strategy; a business in a box. Everything you can imagine if you want to start your own property management company I put in this fictitious management box. And here you go, its $35,000 dollars. And I’ll forever be with you as a partner in your business through royalties, 4.5% revenue share.
And then my job is to make sure that you grow and your healthy and that you go to work and do what you do best. I’ll innovate, maybe I’ll come up with the new ideas called work on a National Branding platform, I’ll keep us relevant, and then they just get to go to work and focus on what they do best which is be a great landlord. So, we’ve been doing, we’ve been doing franchising now for three years. We’ll have twenty-five offices at the end of the year. We hope to have a hundred-seventy-five in the next five years, so we’ve just taken the gloves off and we’ve invested a quarter of a million dollars into advertising in this month alone.
Brenton: We’re taking our franchise model to the next level. You’ll find us on the Blaze with Glen Beck’s TV program, he’s been a long-time proponent and spokes-person for our business. We’re hitting CNN and FOX business news. We’re hitting the real-estate conventions. We’re letting people know we’re open for business and we need real estate passion and entrepreneurs to help us expand nation-wide. I just sold an office in Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Tamp Bay, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada. The Tampa Bay, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada were still available is amazing. I mean, think about if you could have got a Dunkin’ Donuts and bought the Las Vegas rights or a Star Bucks in Los Angeles. Like these things are opportunities.
We still have markets like all of New York, all of Louisiana, all of California is available. We still have top prime markets for our franchising opportunity where somebody could come out and start a professional landlord business. We’ll teach ‘em all about it. So, that’s what we’re doing now. We just doubled down on our staff. We just recruited a guy from Coca-Cola, who was one of the franchise managers there and he’s now our president. We’ve aligned with some celebrity spokes-people; Mike Golic from the Mike and Mike show on ESPN; Glen Beck who’s got his own television network; to local celebrities; athletes, we’ve really gotten a lot of clients that are getting behind our brand, buying into our brand.
We’ve people from X magazine import exporters to Chinese novelties items to real estate attorneys, to real estate brokers, that have bought a franchise and are now very successful all across the nation, in our brand, and we’re trying to get further along with that way. Why buy a franchise in my opinion? As an entrepreneur I start businesses, but I also buy franchises. I’m trying to bring a restaurant chain to Minnesota, my home town, that…because they have it all worked out. They have a proven process, a proven concept, you have support from the founder, you have a collective hive all working together to make a bigger brand. I really believe in franchising and for what? To get a tiny royalty? I do that all day and shape my learning curve down by five years or to not go through the trials and tribulations of figuring everything out on my own.
So, I’m a big believer in franchising. We’re opening corporate offices as well, but we’re investing more in our franchise side then anything and if I could leave you with one thing, Eric, I really need more passionate entrepreneurs that like real estate so we can get it going. It’s hard work, but it requires some pre-requisites in our line of work. You’ve got to be licensed in thirty-eight states. The other twelve states you don’t need licensing in. So, a lot of times we have to run into somebody who’s got a real estate license. And then you need to have two-hundred to fifty-thousand dollars ($200,000 – $250,000) in available capital to get a business like this going. And if you have that and you’re passionate about it, you’re willing to be a hands on business owner, that’s the ideal candidate for us and that’s who we’re seeking out with that advertising that we’re talking about.
Eric: Wow. Okay. Cool. So you have my interest because my mom’s a real estate agent, but ah…
Brenton: Okay. Where’s she located?
Eric: She’s in L.A. and the thing is, here’s the thing, the area we grew up in it’s like all Asian people and that’s where all the Asian people just blow in.
Brenton: Sounds like it would be great. Great community.
Eric: We can talk about it after the show [crosstalk]. My understanding is fifty to a hundred K all in, that’s what it takes to start something like that, that’s right?
Brenton: And that includes the thirty-five ($35,000) to me, so frankly, depending on, if you were an L.A. franchise I’d want to see you have about seventy-five to a hundred K ($75,000 – $100,000) because that’s a big market and it’s going to be more expensive to do business. Now, for Des Moines, Iowa, now this candidate was very well qualified, but I require less money to be qualified there because things are cheaper, the cost of doing business will be cheaper, you market is smaller. So, about fifty-thousand ($50,000) for smaller markets is, a hundred-thousand ($100,000) for larger markets, when I say a hundred, it’s more like eighty-five.
Brenton: And that includes the thirty-five K you’re going to pay to me, the rest is like business startup capital, rent, security deposits, you pre-pay some advertising, some salary money, and you can start this with one to two people. That’s what I did. We’re going to show you how to do it from a bootstrap capacity or if you’re a millionaire and you want to start with ten employees, before you’ve got a client, we can show you how to do that as well. And that’s what’s great about being with a franchise. We show you how to scale it and when you have questions, you say, “Now what do I do here?” Instead of having to be on your own or going to find a networking group that can try to give you perspective; instead you’ve got to remember the family who invested in your business who’s going to give you the proper advise.
Eric: Got it. Okay. Cool. And how much does the biggest franchise today make?
Brenton: Right now I have a franchise that’s three years old in Phoenix, Arizona. They’ll do two and a half million dollars ($2.5M) in revenue this year. They started, like me, with three thousand bucks ($3,000). And he was an absentee pilot. He’s now the owner of four franchises. He owns Denver. He owns Rochester. And he owns Tucson, Arizona, and Phoenix, Arizona. So, he bought one and he loved it so much and it’s growing so well for him that’s he’s bought three more since then and has diversified himself into major markets.
Eric: Wow. Okay. Cool. It sounds like this is a golden opportunity that people need to be getting in on.
Brenton: Frankly it’s tiny. I think property management, it’s a great time to be in it right now. Huge institutions are getting into the business. For example Blackstone Capitol has a hedge fund invested in Invitation Homes, gave them eight billion dollars ($8G) to buy properties in two years. They bought forty-eight thousand (48,000) homes and guess who they’re using? They’re using Property Management companies. Colony, American Homes, all these multi-million dollar organizations are organized and boxed several hundred-thousand homes. Banks, Investment banks, big time high net-worth families are getting into significant real estate holdings because of the recession.
As Warren Buffet says the money’s made in the doldrums. It’s; when you buy it nobody wants it, that’s when you can make the real money. If you look at Warren Buffet’s purchases of the railroad companies when they were least valued he buys them up at the bottom of their market value and takes them up again. Now, this is a great time to be a property manager because there’s so much demand for us at the moment and there’s not a lot of competitors. And two, it’s a great time with my company because I have all these top markets available and we’re the fastest growing property management in the United States of America for four consecutive years. So you not only get to team up with the rapid growth player we also still have really primed territories available where you can get established in top markets that would not be available.
Eric: Got it. So when someone claims L.A. for example, is that just gone?
Brenton: Yeah. We’ll give you a million population actually, so there might be a couple franchisees potentially in L.A., but that’s kind of anti the way we want to do business. My competitors will sell you a one mile radius and say that’s your territory. That’s nothing. We give you a one million population. We have a software that shows you how far that goes out from your location. Now, L.A.’s highly dense, but we can shape a territory, you can buy additional territory.
But I work, for example, in seven counties of Minneapolis/Saint Paul and that’s only 1.4 million population and out of that small market in a market like Minnesota that’s not exactly known for real estate investing, I’m one of the biggest property managers in the country in six and a half years’ time. If I can do that in Minnesota imagine what somebody can do in a prime market like L.A., Las Vegas, Miami, high density, lots of rental property, in fact the rental saturation rate in Minnesota is twenty-eight percent, that means that twenty-eight percent of homes are rental properties. L.A.? Forty-four percent. Miami? Forty-eight percent.
That means almost one in two people rent in Miami or California. As a result property managers are in significant demand and your only competition are real estate agents that are moonlighting it, frankly.
Eric: Mmhmm. Wow! Okay, so let’s starting this whole franchising thing, I mean it’s a whole set of new struggles verses starting up a new business right? What is the one big struggle you had to face starting this franchise thing?
Brenton: There’s a reason why franchising is not done by every business. It’s cost prohibitive. It cost me three-hundred-fifty thousand dollars ($350,000) to become a franchisable business. It’s also highly scrutinized and governed by the security exchange commission, in fact you have to register in about forty states in the United States to even be able to sell franchises there. There are things like franchise taxes in California that I have to pay tax on my royalties just because they come from California. So, it’s very expensive additionally to become a franchiser and then it takes a long time to recoup the money, through thirty-thousand dollar ($30,000) investments, things like that. So, it’s cost prohibitive. I had to create a hundred sixty-six page franchise agreement and cover…You know I had to think about what all could go wrong and what all I am I going to do and what do I expect everybody to do for me and put it all in a contract because when somebody goes into business and gives me thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) we need to have everything worked out on paper, right? So, there’s a very lengthy contract between us all. You know exactly where you stand, where I stand, what we owe each other, and what the rules are. Because without a protected brand is what? I mean, I need to makes sure we don’t have a rogue operator ruining it for everybody.
So, it’s cost prohibitive and then every year you have to register in the states, I mean fifty-thousand to twenty-thousand dollars ($15,000-$20,000) a year to continue registering in states and sometimes each state wants to modify your agreements to match their laws. That’s a ton of legal fees every year and then marketing a franchise. Right now, to be a great sales person as a franchiser you’ll sell one percent (1%) of the leads you get. One percent. So, for every one hundred phone calls you make, one guy is going to buy a franchise. And these are people who call you or email you and say, if you had a hundred people off your podcast tomorrow email me about a franchise opportunities very likely only one will buy one. So, it’s a lot of work to get a deal.
But it’s a long term play and if it was easy everybody’d be doing it. That’s why it’s not easy. It’s hard to do, it takes money, but now that we’re here we’re really, we’re three years into it now, we’re getting established as a franchise org and frankly I wouldn’t of been so excited about people investing in us year one, but now that we have three years of practice and we’ve really mastered it before we went to market in an aggressive way like we are now. We’re really ready. This is the right time, we’re taking the gloves off and so…backing it up, franchising is very costly upfront and ongoing, that’s been very prohibitive.
And then now you have to support your offices so you need to have support specialists. You need to have training people that show you how to train in; about how to become a property manager and we have to train you in about two weeks. So we have to tell you everything you need to know in a business in two weeks. So we have to have a robust training program. And then you’re going to have questions for a long time after that and we’re going to support you. So you have staff that are going to help you support those franchisees, including myself. So, it’s a lot of money to get into that space, however it’s a lot more to expand, you know, opening a corporate office each time. That’s going to cost you significantly more than say setting up a franchise model and then selling franchises as a business owner.
Furthermore I really like the idea, I’m and Angel Investor. I want to have people invest in things. I want them to invest in my business, I know it could be a good investment and so I kind of get to do the best of both worlds. Often times a franchisee will come to me and say, “You know, I’m ready to do this, but I only have fifty-thousand ($50,000), I’d like to be able to have more money in the coffers.” Well as an Angel Investor I’ll finance that. I’ll say, “Why don’t you, I’ll waive half the franchise fee and you can pay me back later.” Or I’ll find some of their operation costs. So, I’m investing in my own businesses as well. You need to get prepared as a franchiser be financially viable because if you don’t have enough money going into franchising you’re not going to make it because it’s a long-term play.
Eric: Got it. Cool. So, would it be fair to say, out of that hundred K, if you wanted to be perfectly safe would you move that up a little and if you were to move that number up a little what would it be? I think you can get started as low as thirty-eight thousand dollars ($38,000) with me and I think at the most I really, you need is eighty-five thousand ($85,000). So frankly if you came to me and said, “I have ten million to put in this thing.” See, all that’s going to do is you’re going to have a bigger marketing budget and you’re going to have a little more employees and you’re going to have a little more cushion. But every one of my franchisees, and I can say this because it’s a fact, has been profitable inside the first year, meaning net positive. And every one of my franchisees in my network is willing to talk to prospective franchisees about how great it’s going to work.
As a franchisor I can’t give you projections, because that would induce you into buying a franchise. So, I’m not allowed…and that’s another thing. When you sell a franchise, you can’t really say sell. They take selling out of it. You can only talk strictly factual because the government says it’s too easy to say, “Eric I’m a millionaire in seven years, I did it, you can do it too. Buy a franchise right now, you’ll become a millionaire.” And you might get, “Oh, that’s great I’m ready.” Well they want to prevent that from happening. People being persuaded and make an impulse buy, being told things that aren’t necessarily factually realistic, so they really take away the ability to sell. The best thing I have in my sales approach is having really happy franchisees and so when they say, “Well how are people doing? When can I make my money back?” I can’t answer that, but I’d encourage you to call every one of my franchisees and ask them that question. They can answer that. And they’ll tell you from real life experience. Some of these people have been in business a year. Some of them have been in the business three years, they’ll tell you they’ve got a different spectrum of success and I encourage you to talk to them.
Eric: Got it. Alright. Cool. So, very impressive. Let’s talk a little bit about customer acquisition. So, what’s working for you guys today?
Brenton: Radio. Radio is an old medium a lot of people forget about, but it’s really affordable, I’m getting great results from a cost per lead and a cost per sale standpoint. What I didn’t realize at first is the amount of branding radio does for you as well. I separate things: advertising and branding. Advertising, lead generation, direct response, you know, people are coming to you, they’re responding to an ad. Branding is like what big companies do when they just put their logo up on a bill board and it does nothing. You know, Target, McDonalds, they do a lot of branding just trying to keep you thinking about them. You already know they exist. But people don’t know I exist necessarily. At least in Minnesota they do, but not all across the nation.
So, radio helps you educate the audience in sixty seconds or thirty seconds. You can hit ‘em fifteen times a day. You can do that for as low as twenty-five to a hundred dollars a spot and frankly it’s been really great for my business and we’re going to continue using that. The quicker you can get to T.V. as well and afford that I think that is working very well for us as well. And then you’ve definitely got to be astute with respect to pay per click and search engine optimization. You’ve got to have a great website, you got to have great SEO, and you got to have a great pay for click campaign because people, now-a-days, they’ll be thinking about something, “Well I wanna rent my house” they go to Google; RENT MY HOUSE CALIFORNIA and they’re going to look for a property management company or somebody that caters to them there. You need to be popping up there. If you’re not you’re losing out on a significant amount of business. Those three things; digital media, radio, and television are working for me and I would put them in this order: radio, number one; digital, number two; and T.V., number three.
Eric: Yup. I think the key takeaway here’s, there’s a lot of tech people that watch this, people are saying “This medium is dead. This medium is dead.” I think the key thing is you’ve got to be willing to…you’ve got to have an open mind and be willing to test these other old mediums because you never know what’s going to happen.
Brenton: It takes money to make money too, Eric. If the ad’s expensive there’s probably a reason why it’s expensive. It works. There’s a huge audience. In advertising they charge per impression. If a magazine has a hundred- thousand subscribers they’re charging you that ad…when you flip the page a hundred-thousand people are going to look at that add. That’s what you’re being charged for. So, when the ad is very high, assuming…you can safely assume that’s probably a pretty successful ad at least for most people. It may not be for your business depending on the line of work, but…So, you’ve got to spend a little money, but if you spend it and you know how to track it you know what you’re getting as a return.
So, I’d like to take a minute to talk about tracking advertising. So, you have the cost of advertising. Let’s talk about a radio ad for example. My number one source is a sports talk radio station in Minneapolis. It’s called KFAM. All the guys and the blockheads go there to talk about sports. It’s great. It’s one of my favorite stations. We’ve got great local hosts. We get a hundred and seventy-five (175) new clients a month from this radio station. I spend eighteen-thousand dollars ($18,000) a month to take over that station. I have studio naming rights. I have at least to sixty second spots per hour. I really got a great campaign because that’s a great source for us. So I have the cost of the ad, eighteen-thousand dollars ($18,000) and I have the number of leads I get, a hundred-seventy-five (175), I’m going to divide those two, eighteen-thousand (18,000) divided by a one-seventy-five (175). I know that my cost per lead is one hundred and two dollars and eight cents ($102.08). What does that mean to me? Well, now I know how much I’m paying for a phone call.
Now some people say that’s a lot. Now if you’re selling dog food on pets.com and you’re only getting a twenty-eight dollar ($28) sale you can’t pay that. We just learned there, right there, that’s not a good advertisement for pets.com. It’s too expensive. However I’m in the real estate game and the life-time value of my client, meaning the commissions all in all over the time spent with me is eight-thousand-two-hundred-four dollars ($18,204). So, I’ll pay a hundred and two ($102) all day. In fact I’ll pay quadruple that all day to get a new client because my life time value is worth $18,204. Now that’s just the napkin test.
Now let’s take it down a notch. Now you need to factor in your closing ratio; cost per sale. The first thing was cost per lead; CPL I call that. Then there’s cost per sale; CPS. What is your closing ratio? So I paid $102.85 a lead but I closed at eighty-five percent (85%). So, now I’ve got to go back out and say a hundred-seventy-five (175) times eighty percent (80%). That means I got a hundred and forty clients (140) actually. Now I know I take eighteen-thousand (18,000) and if I divide that by hundred-forty (140), now I know my cost per sale is a hundred twenty-nine dollars ($129). Okay that still works.
Now the last thing you want to do is figure out your cost of costumer acquisition overall. What did the ad cost, what did you sales person cost you, factor in the cost per sale, now you know exactly what each lead, out the door, as a client on the books cost you. Now you know your life time value of a client. Now you know your net margins. Now you know if that advertisement’s working for you or not. I didn’t learn this on my own.
I read about this on-line site called…It was a pet store company that went out of business. They were backed by a hundred-million dollars ($100 M) of BC money. They spent an average of forty-two dollars ($42) for cost per lead, but there average customer sales was twenty-eight dollars ($28) a year and they went out of business. They couldn’t acquire a customer cheap enough and get them to buy enough. You have to know these metrics on every source on every advertisement you do to determine if it’s working well or not. Otherwise it’s just blind money. And so, not only does it take money to make money, you have to strategically analyze it through analytics.
I do that through tracking phone numbers, landing pages for domains, asking people, “Where did you hear about us.” Ask them through a self-selected source. I won’t let them get off the phone until you tell me, “Where did you hear about it? How did you call me? What prompted you to give me a call?” And then they say, “I heard you on three radio stations, but what prompted me to call, I forgot about all those radio spots. I went on line and typed in ‘RENT MY HOUSE MINNESOTA’ and you popped up and I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah I heard them on the radio’” So, now that’s kind of convoluted, but I look at what prompted the action. Online did.
Now, to put this in perspective my cost per lead for T.V. is about four-hundred dollars ($400). Radio is about two-hundred dollars ($200). And on the internet pay per click sixty dollars ($60). So as you can imagine I’m trying to maximize and throw as much money as I can at the internet and I’m maxing out all my clicks and opportunities there. Then I’m maxing it out on radio. I’m maxing it out on T.V. and now that I know they all work I’ll find my next medium. Guess what that is? Digital radio. I’m going to Pandora and iHeart radio and Spotify are buying ads now because people want radio on demand and you can buy advertisements in those. So, I’ll find out soon enough, I just started this month on what that metrics looks like. But it’s very important that you analyze your advertising so you know on a granular level how well it’s performing or not performing.
Eric: Jesus, you are printing money with those numbers.
Brenton: Yeah it’s not bad, right? You can see why I retired. It’s got good margins and why I can pay a lot per customer. Now first off, there was a source, and I’ll tell you how I paid a price for this at one point, not knowing the data. There was a woman’s radio station in Minnesota. It was a gossip station, kind of like a TMZ of the radio, and it produced a lot of leads. I get a hundred clients out of a hundred leads a month and by all perspective that was a good source, but what I didn’t have on any of my metrics was the cost per sale; what was the closing ratio?
What I found is it had low quality leads. While I was getting lots of leads only eighteen percent (18%) were converting while everybody else was at eighty, seventy-five percent (80, 75%). I didn’t know that so I kept putting more money, “Ah look at all these leads I’m getting. Keep going.” None of them were converting so I was throwing a lot of bad money after it. If you don’t know your numbers you might be fooled to think it’s working when it’s not.
Eric: Really, really strong. I mean, a lot of people talk about cost per lead, cost per acquisition, all these numbers, but nobody really talked about, on the show, how to calculate it. I definitely appreciate that. That’s something that’s a make or break for a business.
Brenton: No problem.
Eric: Cool. Starting out…going back to Renter’s Warehouse, before you had the franchises, so what’s one big struggle you face while going into business?
Brenton: Capital. You know, when I started it capital wasn’t so easy to come by as I think it is now because a lot of people take intention to investing in businesses as a great investment and I believe it to be true, but when you’re twenty-one, you’ve got no experience and you’re going around trying to get…bank that for a loan, or a private equity guy to invest in you; good luck with that. It’s tough unless you’re in the software game you’ve got a very specific skillset, like you’re a programmer, it’s very tough out there.
And so, that’s why I started Angel Investing. I want to invest in those kids that are in positions such as me by giving their first hundred-thousand and get them going. But capital was tough for me and so I lived off very little for a long time and I took…I could have made more, but I retained those profits and put them back into marketing advertising, so I was getting a great return because I knew that because of my metrics now. I can pay myself a hundred grand ($100 G) a year, I could pay myself thirty grand ($30 G) a year and take seventy ($70 G) and put it into advertising and turn it back into two-ten ($210). I’m going to take seventy in advertising and get ($210 K) back. I’m going to do that instead. And that’s what I did.
So, stay small, stay agile, be smart, those are some of the things that I did well, looking back on, but I had to learn that the hard way. So, those are some of the struggles I learned. I found out that… I’m not much of a book reader, and I thought…and now I’m a book reader because I read a book, not long ago called “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Hanson, they own Basecamp and Highrise. Those guys are awesome. But, I read their book and it’s an amazing book. It gave me a modern days’ rework mentality of what it’s like to be a business owner. They have chapters in there like “Pick a fight with your biggest competitor”, “Planning is Guessing”, “Inspiration is Perishable”, “Underdo the Competition”, “ASAP is poison”, and my favorite one, “Be More like a Drug Dealer”. Okay, what the hell does that mean? But they break it down and it’s now my business mantra. In fact you saw me keep looking up. I have a poster on my wall that has all these phrases on it.
Eric: Let’s see it.
Brenton: It’s my mantra. So, read books. Don’t take on investors if you don’t have to. And boot strap as long as you can because that’s the best thing that happened to me was the hard work up front turned out to be the best thing ever because I don’t have debt and I don’t have investors in my business and there’s a lot for me left over at the end. And all I had to do was work a little harder up front. You’re going to work your ass off up front anyway. Might as well work you ass off and keep all of your business. So, as long as you can do that. So, while money was my biggest problem it was also the best thing that ever happened to me to not take it. That’s where I was going with that.
Other than that, the life of an entrepreneur, man, you’re going to work day and night. If you are really passionate about this business and you want it to go places really fast you’ve got to be dedicated to it. You absolutely have to be passionate and dedicated and you’ll find there’s a lot of people with good ideas and you ask them, “Well, why don’t you start it?” They’ll give you some excuse and the excuse is they’re not passionate or dedicated to it. If you believe it’s that great, you’ll do it. And if you’re that dedicated to the good idea, you’ll do it. But if you won’t, there’s something there in the back of your head telling you it’s not that great yet, or you’re not capable of taking it to the next level.
While you don’t have to have everything figured out you just have to be dedicated and passionate to figure it out and you will. I didn’t face a lot of struggles other than just hard work and lack of money. But I think that’s every entrepreneur. And you should expect that.
Eric: Got it. Couldn’t agree more. So, was there any point in time where the company was on the brink of failure or…?
Brenton: Yeah. Actually it wasn’t Renter’s Warehouse, it was before Renter’s Warehouse. In 2005, remember I started Renter’s Warehouse in 2007. In 2005 I started a real estate company and it was prime market, 2005 was awesome for real estate, 2006, even half of 2006 was awesome, some of the best we’ll ever see. I got into real estate and a lot of people were…properties were appreciating at ten percent, fifteen percent (10%, 15%) a year. So even novice investors were buying properties, getting straw buyers, and anybody they can to buy properties. At the time you could do a no doc loan, you could lie about your income, and not prove anything and get a million dollar loan. That was what lending was like at the time.
So, everybody was doing that. Well, I found myself with a bunch of bad guys on my books. People who had manipulated mortgages, who had bought properties that shouldn’t own properties, that don’t qualify to own properties and so I found myself with properties with owners who couldn’t afford to maintain the property. I property owners who had violated law, committed mortgage fraud. I had all kinds of wrong clients on my books. And in my hunt to find and grow as fast as I can I didn’t really take too close of a look at that stuff.
Well, when the market came crashing down people had to be held accountable for what happened. Some of these investors and some of these people who bought properties and then couldn’t afford to maintain them put my company in a bad way. At one point I was indicted because I had all these people on my books and they said, “How can you be the manager, but not have nothing to do with it?” We later sorted that out. We had nothing to do with it. But it was embarrassing. It was hard on the business losing clients. It was hard on the business because we had bad clients who weren’t taking care of properties.
And at the time that was not what I set out to do and I was thoroughly embarrassed, I was a young business owner, the market was collapsing, I was mainly doing real estate sales, not property management, and I thought about moving. I didn’t want to show my face in town. I was embarrassed by my failure. I was embarrassed that the market was changing and I didn’t know what to do next. And then it hit me. Every one of these people that are affected and hurting my business today are going to need help. They’re distressed, they can’t sell too much that they did, they’re going to need an alternative to selling in a down market otherwise they’ll go into foreclosure. There’s [inaudible 0:41:12.4]. Why don’t I strictly do property management? I’ve been talking about it, nobody does it, I can bring a value proposition to it, nobody’s going to think that I failed because the market collapsed. I had these bad clients and I’m emerging to help them out now.
And so, there was a time when I was so embarrassed I wanted to even leave the country I was…I failed, my first go round. I was going to go get a job, even thought about joining the army. I didn’t know what to do. I failed. But then I tried again and it was my best hit yet. So, that was my stru[ggle]. I remember having the time 2005, 2006 the company, we had six Mercedes’s company cars, some of our top performers, big SUVs at $80,000 apiece. We were rolling in it. We were giving out great perks at the company. CRASH! All ends. And I got all these things I personally guaranteed. And I was not about to ruin my credit.
So, for the next couple years starting a business I was carrying all these company vehicles, all this massive overhead from another former business and burying myself in debt. Well, not necessarily burying myself in debt. I had no income left over. I’d make thirty grand a year…I was making two-fifty, but I had thirty K to spend. Everything else is in expenses. So, I fought through it. I maintained my credit. I kept my vendor relationships and I formed a new company through the trials and tribulations and it was my best hit yet. So, when faced with adversity, yeah I think I responded pretty good. But I definitely almost went another direction, that’s for sure.
Eric: Wow. Okay. Persistence is key, huh?
Brenton: Indeed. No question about it.
Eric: Cool. So, last few questions from my end. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your not so far away twenty-five year old self?
Brenton: I get annoyed by all the people who have great ideas. Great ideas are worthless. They have no value until you execute on them. And so as an Angel Investor I get a lot of people come to me with ideas, but no real plan to execute. It’s not even worth the paper you wrote it on. Everybody’s got a hundred of good ideas, but the ability to execute and take the next level is another thing. But here’s the thing; if you do have a good idea and you really do think it’s worthy, worthy of your own money, even if it’s only a thousand dollars you got, go to market. Give it a shot. If you’re dedicated, passionate about it and you really believe in it you’ve got to go.
Too many people wait until they have it all worked out. They have everything, the website’s done, they have the right amount of money, the timing in my life is appropriate. Everything has to be in perfect order. That’s never going to happen. It’s not. You’re never going to find the right time to start a business. It’s a risk. You’re risking everything to start a business. You’re quitting your job, you’re putting your family at risk, your money at risk. You’re putting all your time into this. It’s a risk and you have to take it. And so, if you believe in it, take the risk. If you don’t, if you’re not capable of taking the risk, throw the idea away, or put it in folder later and come back to it when you think it’s appropriate. Get up and do. Go. Get started.
The way I start that with is; imagine if you had a hotdog stand. You don’t need to have the condiments and the freshest cart, you don’t have to have fresh hotdogs flown in from wherever. Just start with a great hotdog. That’s all you need, a hotdog and bun, some ketchup and mustard and go to market. If you believe you have the best hotdog just go out there and start with that. [?]Somewhere your best sale before you get out and diversify, and add condiments, sell a pretzel, and some soda with that too. Forget all that. Go and sell some shit out of a hotdogs. Prove your concept. Make some money. Be sure your passionate about it and then come back and say, “Alright, now, can I sell pretzels and maybe some soda too?” That’s an analogy from the “Rework” book. And it really gave me some perspective.
That I didn’t need to go out and create all these programs. I did invent some programs last year, but six years into the business before I created my secondary programs. I’ve been selling more of my best seller, tenant placement and property management, before I came up with these other products. So, don’t be too quick to diversify, go to market, and just start…and you don’t have to have it all figured out. But what you do have to have is dedication and passion.
Eric: Got it. Okay. What’s one productivity hack you could share with the audience?
Brenton: Productivity hack that goes to the audience. Let me pick up my iPhone here. I’ve got too many. Let’s narrow it down to one here. Let’s see which one I love the most. Easy. DropBox. As an absentee business owner and the owner of multiple businesses a guy who works from kind of anywhere every file I have for every business is stored in the Cloud and is made accessible by my iPhone, my iPad, and my laptop, my desktop, people can interact with it, I can share things from it, I can share large files from it, I don’t need paper. I love it. I absolutely love it. It’s so affordable. You can link it into your desktop. I’m at home and I’m trying to blog into something last night, a password to one of our banks. I don’t know it. I didn’t have it. I just went on my Dropbox on my iPhone and looked up this little password spreadsheet we have there, there it is, BAM! Got in two seconds. That would have made me require to go to the office the next day, ask my CFO what’s the password and he’s got to look? No, I can help myself. I love Cloud based storage. I think it’s just revolutionized my business.
In another facet we do inspections; move in and move out. We have an app that actually takes video so if…You know there’s a common dispute in rental housing, who damaged what and who’s responsible for the damage. So, when we move in at 10am and say, “Hey, I’m with Eric and there’s a stain on the carpet and there’s Eric and there’s a stain.” Now we know…we identified there was a stain when you moved in, you were there and that’s not your stain. Otherwise we can show a video of where, “Hey, previously there was a stain, now there’s not, and now there is, there’s video proof.” What’s neat about that is store all that in the Cloud, where my agent, a different agent can go to the move out inspection and grab it from the Cloud, look at it and compare it and create a new one at the same time. Cloud storage is revolutionizing my business.
Eric: Wow. Okay. Cool. What’s that app called?
Brenton: That’s called Snap Inspect.
Eric: Snap Inspect. Got it.
Brenton: t’s not mine, but we have a private license that we customized. I think the company is out of…I think they’re local. Bunch of young entrepreneurs started a great app for the property management space. We love it so much we asked to license a variation of it.
Eric: Got it. Cool. I’ll have to show my mom that one. So, final question. I know you just started reading again and you recommended “Rework”, but what’s another must read book you’d recommend to the audience.
Brenton: I got a few. “Remote”, by Jason Fried and David Hanson. They show you how to become a great remote worker and how to be a remote business owner, how you can have remote in place. It’s great about this new age of people working from home, working from anywhere. I think it’s a great book. Both “Rework” and “Remote” will take you less than two hours to read. There’s not a chapter in there over two or three pages. It’s an awesome way to write a book. The book that taught me how to organize my business from a small business to running it like a high, like a Fortune Five Hundred business is a book called “Traction” by Gene O’Wickman. “Traction”, how to create things like this (holds up a spread sheet).
As you can see this is called my score card. All the things here are the key metrics I need to know in my business and these are all the metrics that go along with it. As an absentee business owner I can say I need to know if my business is going well or bad and I need to know…there’s sixty different metrics here that I need to know on a weekly basis to determine if my business is going well or not. This was taught to me by “Traction”. So, one of the things is, there is a; how many evictions do we have and Renter’s Warehouse? How many listings do we have? What’s our average market time? What’s our closing ratio? These are numbers I have to have and I can tell if my business is going good or bad.
“Traction” shows you how to organize your business firm, how to conduct good meetings, how to have goals, how to hold people accountable, how to have all these key metrics plucked out of your business so the key players know if the business is going good or bad. So, gotta read “Traction”. That’s more of a text book kind of read, but nonetheless, a great book. And then there’s three books I want to recommend after that, all by the same author, Robert Greene, G-R-E-E-N-E; “The Forty-eight Laws of Power”, “The Art of Seduction”, and “The Thirty-three Laws of War”. You’ve got to know these books and it’s all kind of business focused.
You know, how do you gain power in business? There’s the forty-eight laws to live by. How do you seduce everyone you meet and make them become fans and advocates, of you, your business and friends of you forever? “Art of Seduction”. And then “The Art of War” [I think he means “Thirty-three Laws of War”], you’re going to create enemies, you’re going to have people attack you, you’re going to have people who take you head on in your business and you need to know how to, you know, have a business war against them and the art of war is understanding principles of war. It’s good for business.
For example, I practice something that is kind of aggressive management style. When somebody wages war against me or tries to attack me or my business, you’re attacking my business, my livelihood, a hundred and thirty-three employees and their livelihood, and everything I’ve ever built. So you wage war on me…there’s a guy waging war on me in Minnesota and he’s not going to come out well at the end of this. Because when you wage war with me I’m going to end the war and I’m going to end it in a way you never want to wage war with me again. And so, there’s a law in the “Thirty-three Laws of War” that says, if you must go to war never go to war again. Meaning, if you are induced into war make sure that when you end the war, you’ve ended it so strongly that there’s no chance they’ll ever come back from it. Look at World War I at Germany, lost to the United Nations, and the Treaty of Versailles, and how that treaty was so one-sided and basically just spanked Germany of all their rights. You can’t build a military, you owe us eighty billion dollars, and the hell with you and you’re country’s going to go into turmoil because you waged war against the world. That’s a practice of saying, “Hey, you waged war, you started this war, and you’re never going to go to war again.”
In fact that treaty was so powerful that Adolf Hitler, when he came to power, the only reason he was so upset with the world is because of the Treaty of Versailles because it impoverished his country, and made Germany week and so he couldn’t stand it. So, I believe in this principle, you start a war with me I’m going to end it and I’m going to end it in a way that you never want to wage war with me again. So, win the battle and win it big. So, if somebody goes against you, like this companies doing against me, I’m doubling down, I’m tripling down, I’m throwing out the propaganda, and I’m taking him head on, like “Rework” says, pick a fight with your biggest player. They’re saying wage a war. If you have a player in your space, pick a fight get going. If you’re better than him, get going and prove it to the market place. Those books, they’re good life principles, business principles in general and I’ve read…there’s about ten books I’ve read and I just highly recommend five of them.
Eric: Got it. Alright. Brenton this is super inspirational stuff. I think this is one of the best interviews we’ve had on our show so.
Brenton: Oh, thanks.
Eric: Definitely want to have you on the show sometime soon yet again. Breton Hayden from Renter’s Warehouse and if you’re an entrepreneur watching this, fricking go check out one of his, buy one of his franchises.
Brenton: Can I give a couple shameless plugs?
Brenton: If you’re interested in our franchise model check out Professional Landlords.com. That’s where we talk about all our opportunities and the markets that are available. If you’re interested in property management services, I do have a number of offices across the nation, you can go to RentersWarehouse.com and just click on the markets we’re in. And I’d love for everybody to follow me on Twitter. My handle is @BrentonHayden, B-R-E-T-O-N-H-A-Y-D-E-N, I’m most social on my LinkedIn page so seek me out, if you’ve got an investment you want me to look at, I don’t respond to everybody, but I do read everything. So, if you’ve got something, send me a message, let’s connect on LinkedIn or Twitter and we can stay in touch with everybody.
Eric: There you have it. Brenton, thanks so much for being on the show.
Brenton: Real pleasure Eric. I’d love to come back again.
Eric Siu (@ericosiu) is the CEO at Single Grain, a digital marketing agency that focuses on paid advertising and content marketing. He contributes regularly to Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes and more.