Peter Lohmann's Mailing List - Issue #40

Webinar Recordings, Operations Week, Automation Tips

Process Webinar Recordings Now Available - Free

This week I hosted 2 live webinars — we went deep into property management processes & automation!

3 Zaps in 30 Minutes - watch the recording here. Learn how to use ChatGPT to automatically generate rental listing descriptions! Wolf outdid himself.

Live Process Teardown - watch the recording here. Learn how to think about building or rebuilding a process in LeadSimple if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck.

Operations Week Results & Takeaways

As our company regroups from a few large client losses (read more about that here in case you missed it a couple weeks ago), I decided to do something I’m calling “Operations Week”.

The idea was to block off an entire week and spend it out “on the floor” with the team, instead of holed up in my corner office. I wanted to do a deep dive and see what I could uncover in terms of efficiency improvements, process updates, duplicate or unnecessary work, unclear roles… nothing was off limits. I dug through employee email inboxes to find out where their time was going. I completed audits of the software that we use to look for lingering open work orders, shared inbox problems, accounting issues and more. Just absolutely tearing into the meat of the work we do as a property management company.

I also took time to speak with each team member individually and find out how they were doing, what was taking up their time, what they liked or didn’t like about their work or work environment, and basically just reconnected. My goal was to clear away any obstacles that might be slowing them down, frustrating them, or preventing them from getting stuff done.

To accomplish this, I grabbed my laptop and went around to everyone’s office or cubicle and sat right next to them. When I wasn’t doing that, I set up in an unused central cube right in the middle of the office so I could overhear the phone calls, walk-ins, and general chatter.


  • There is an incredible amount of important contextual information that flows organically between team members when they are in-person (in an office). It’s literally insane. Just all kinds of little chit-chat, 2-second questions, and overhearing of conversations. There no question in my mind that remote team members within our company are missing out on critical information (and we’re also missing it from them). I have always preferred in-office for a property management company setup, and now I’m 110% sure of it. That doesn’t mean there is no role for global talent - far from it. But you’re fooling yourself if you think there are no tradeoffs.

  • I love ops. It was so much fun to get “close to the metal” again and dig around to make improvements large and small.

  • We have an outstanding and highly-engaged team. Everyone is committed to doing the right thing for our property owners, residents, and other employees.

  • Process depreciation is very real. You can set up the world’s greatest process, but within a few months reality will start drifting out from underneath your ideal. It’s important to regularly revisit and check with your team, all the way down to the level of “OK, and then you do this? And this? And then you go here, is that right?” It’s tedious but important.

  • It’s really fun to be out in the thick of it. I’ve decided to spend about half my work week (in an ongoing basis) in the cube that I had temporarily set up for this.

  • Back to basics is always worthwhile. I uncovered some pretty simple problems and opportunities. For example:

    • Phones ringing to the wrong people

    • Late fees not getting set up correctly on new leases

    • We were texting tenants from 3 locations (consolidated to LeadSimple)

    • Decided to create an Application Processing process

    • Rebuilt & fixed the Lease Renewal process

    • Updated several outdated forms

    • Found & closed out a bunch of old “tasks” and work orders in Buildium

    • Reinforced some company policies that had started to slip - “No, we don’t accept checks on a regular basis, not even for [special circumstance.]”

To summarize, I highly recommend this activity if you’ve been working “on your business” and not in your business for a few years. You’ll be surprised at what you find!

Automation Tip of the Week

If you're not going to act upon data, don't collect it.

Wolfgang Croskey

Shoutout to Wolf for this great phrase he turned me onto. When I first came to understand the power of automation, custom fields, and zaps I started fanatically collecting data from clients, properties and tenants at various stages, conjuring up grand plans for all the amazing things I was sure to do with it.

Flash forward a few months and my processes were becoming bogged down with all kinds of irrelevant data that was not being used. Just entering all the fields required to start a process was becoming a 10 minute ordeal.

Heed his wise words - only collect data that you absolutely need to use. I would add to this by suggesting to only use a custom field within a process if it’s used in more than one location. Otherwise just collect this info directly where and when it’s needed.

Property Management Business Coaching

New: If you manage between 50 and 500 doors and want to work with me one-on-one, let’s chat. Three-month minimum engagement.

Looking for a longer-term partnership, private community, my full Notion package and more? You may be a good candidate for our Property Management Business-in-a-Box program. Apply here.

Industry News & Events

  • LeadSimple has a major product announcement coming up. I’ve been participating in the beta and I can confirm this is a big deal. You can register for the launch event on March 15th right here!

  • The NARPM Broker/Owner conference is in April. You can register here. I’ll see you there!

  • Evernest is hosting a webinar about growing your property management company called “How We Signed Up 500 Doors in January”. You can register for that here.

  • Rhino (security deposit alternative - read my thoughts on them & other similar products here) is trying to raise more money.

Closing Thought

Thanks for reading! -Peter