The FORT Podcast: Brandon Laughridge
Today Chris chats with Brandon Laughridge, President of North Terrace Property Management (NTPM) located in Kansas City. Brandon is accountable for doubling the business’ units since acquiring the business in 2017. On this episode, he and Chris discuss Brandon’s background working in SEO, starting a digital marketing firm, his process of acquiring NTPM, the explosive growth of Kansas City, and some property management horror stories. Enjoy!
(02:39) – Brandon’s Background
(05:27) – Did you have any SEO experience walking into that first job?
(06:00) – When you left in 2009, did you start your own company or move into another job?
(08:03) – How did you come to the decision that it was right to walk away from the business at such a young age?
(09:00) – What was Spread Effect?
(10:25) – How long after you stepped away from the business did you decide to sell?
(11:16) – What did you learn from that experience?
(13:21) – Why did you decide to buy a property management company?
(20:32) – How big was the business at the time you bought it? How did you value it when deciding what to pay?
(22:32) – What was the first day like after you purchased the business and stepped in as the operator?
(25:06) – What was it like surprising everyone as the true undercover boss? How were you able to smooth things over with folks who might’ve been resentful?
(26:40) – Did the owner have an earn-out of any kind?
(26:56) – Was the previous owner engaged for those last 9 months? How did that relationship pan out?
(28:18) – What is the size of the business today?
(28:25) – Why is managing a single-family home harder than managing multi-family units?
(29:37) – Has it been organic growth or was there a strategy in place?
(31:15) – Are most of your clients professional investors or would they be ‘mom and pop’ style?
(32:02) – Do you take a long-term approach when buying?
(34:30) – Is there any technology you’ve implemented that is making the business more profitable?
(37:28) – Is there anything that COVID has presented that forced you to either temporarily or permanently shift?
(40:38) – How do you think about the business for the next ten years?
(42:34) – Do you have a property management horror story?
(45:11) – Are you on the Kansas or Missouri side of KC?
(45:54) – Why do people choose to live on one side or the other?
(46:37) – Why is Kansas City experiencing the success that it has lately?
(50:00) – Is there a main industry that is the draw to that city?
(51:23) – Do you have a morning routine?
(53:10) – What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
(55:38) – Do you have a book you’d recommend?
(56:33) – What’s the best way to contact you?
The dialogue commences with a dive into the initial experiences of Laughridge in property management, where he adopted a covert approach to observe operations and staff behaviors. This undercover methodology facilitated the acquisition of unfiltered insights into operational dynamics and personnel attitudes, providing Laughridge with a realistic glimpse into the daily operations, challenges, and informal practices prevalent within the property management realm. His early days were marked by a hands-on approach, ensuring a robust understanding of operational realities and challenges, laying a sturdy foundation for his subsequent journey within the sector.
Transitioning into the intricacies of tenant relationships and property leasing, the dialogue underscores the strategic imperatives of managing tenant relationships and occupancy rates. Laughridge emphasizes the criticality of offering long-term occupancy assurances to developers and underscores the importance of nurturing symbiotic relationships with tenants. He brings to the forefront the significant influence of tenant relationships on project success and longevity, providing insights into the strategies and approaches employed to ensure optimal tenant satisfaction and adherence to operational standards.
The conversation also ventures into the operational and financial dimensions of property management and investment, with Laughridge elucidating the financial management strategies and structures paramount within the sector. The dialogue explores the implications of financial management strategies on investment viability and returns, highlighting the importance of strategic financial management, planning, and oversight in safeguarding investments against financial vulnerabilities and enhancing their financial health and sustainability.
Within the dialogue, technological integrations and innovations emerge as a focal point, with Laughridge exploring the myriad ways through which technology is reshaping operational and investment paradigms within the industry. He underscores the pivotal role of technology in enhancing operational efficiencies, fostering innovation, and facilitating adaptive problem-solving within the sector. The discussion offers a detailed exploration into the technological trends and applications within the industry, providing insights into their implications on operational and investment paradigms.
Data analytics and its applications within the sector are also brought to the forefront, with Laughridge exploring the myriad ways through which data can inform and drive strategic decision-making within the industry. He underscores the criticality of data analytics in enhancing strategic planning and decision-making, highlighting its pivotal role in navigating through the complexities and dynamism of the real estate market. The dialogue provides a detailed exploration into the application of data analytics within the sector, offering insights into the ways through which data informs and drives strategic decision-making and planning.
In the concluding segments of the dialogue, Laughridge and Powers explore the future trajectories of the property management sector, providing a forward-looking perspective into the emerging trends and evolving paradigms that are poised to shape the future landscape of the industry. From technological advancements to shifting investment paradigms, the dialogue traverses a multitude of topics, providing a comprehensive and future-oriented perspective of the sector.