Insider Secrets Podcast Episode #51
Featuring Guest: Todd Thorpe
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Todd is a well-respected multifamily and telecom expert with over 30 years of industry experience.
For 14 years, he held various executive leadership positions with Charter Communications where he grew multifamily sales in the Midwest and Southeast markets by 30%
In early 2020, Todd left Charter and became Vice President with MDU Consulting Group, a national firm representing property owners, management companies, real estate developers, and home owners’ associations.
As a telecom advisor to the multifamily industry, Todd teaches operators how to negotiate lucrative cable and Wi-Fi contracts that generate ancillary revenue streams for their properties.
“Wires are kind of going away, the traditional cable is going away” – [Todd]
“You don’t know if you don’t ask” – [Todd]
“Try to keep up on technology because it changes so much” – [Todd]
“Be active on the front end, it really helps on the backend” – [Mike]
“Stay on top of your contracts know what’s out there because it can come back to bite you” – [Todd]
“The two biggest things I see right now are Wi-Fi and streaming services, and you want to make sure you’re leveraging technology as much as you can” – [Todd]
- Todd describes himself in one word, “Authentic”.
- Todd shares he has always been interested in investing in Real Estate.
- Change happens in this business so fast, and the need for connectivity is going to grow, because of this, communities are making changes to encourage people to connect online especially with Wi-Fi
- Todd notes the importance of staying ahead and being informed about the technology space to meet the rising needs of customers in this period.
- There are 4 ways by which an owner can generate revenue to increase the NOI of their properties by working with a cable or internet provider.
- The first is ‘Door Fees’ or ‘one-time payments’. This involves signing a 10-year agreement with the cable company on an amount they will pay you as the owner upfront per door in that property, as they provide internet services to each unit in the property.
- The second method is by ‘Revenue Shares’. The property owner receives a revenue share payment from the provider which is a percentage of the gross revenue of the provider from the customers they have on the property, usually quarterly. This can be gotten alongside the Door Fees.
- Another method is via Courtesy or Complimentary Services, which usually applies outside the home, preferably to areas like the common room, poolsides, or fitness areas, and includes negotiating free internet services as part of the benefits for the people managing such areas, which helps to cut cost.
- The last method involves buying cable or internet services in bulk, at a drastically reduced rate, and offering these services to the residents at a higher cost.
- The two biggest things I see right now are Wi-Fi and streaming services, and you want to make sure you’re leveraging technology as much as you can.
[00:53] Introducing our guest today, Todd Thorpe, a telecommunications expert with over 30 years of industry experience.
[02:30] In one word, what best describes you?
[03:09] Todd’s personal and professional background.
[07:20] Todd shares knowledge he has gained recently.
[13:21] How is your industry (telecoms) looking at the effects of the pandemic down the road?
[18:40] 4 ways by which a property owner can increase their revenue by working with a cable company.
[36:32] What advice would you give a multi-family owner in today’s environment?
[40:46] Todd’s Favorite book: “High-Performance Habits” by Brendon Burchard.
[42:13] How to contact Todd (email- email@example.com)
[00:00:07]Mike: Hey everybody. It’s Mike with Insider Secrets. Thanks for being here today. And I am joined by my guest Todd Thorpe from the telecom industry. Todd, can you tell our guests what they can expect today?
[00:00:20] Todd Thorpe: Thanks, Mike. They can get four key ways to generate Ancillary revenue with telecom contracts. One of them being upfront door fees and buying cable in bulk, but they have to tune in to get the other two.
[00:00:37] Mike: Absolutely. Thanks for saying that. We’ll see you guys inside pretty soon.
[00:00:41] Kristen: Welcome to this week’s edition of Insider Secrets. The show that turns multifamily investing into reality. Each show we interview guests who are seasoned professionals, actively closing and managing real estate deals. Your host Mike Morawski has more than 30 years of [00:01:00] multifamily, real estate investing and property management experience.
[00:01:03] Mike is the founder of my core intentions. And he’s been involved in over $285 million of transactions. Focuses on helping you create short term cashflow and long-term wealth. Here’s your host, Mike.
[00:01:20]Mike: Hey, good afternoon everybody. It’s Mike, your host of Insider Secrets, and we are brought to you by My Core Intentions. And I always ask, have you been thinking about your intentions? And where you’re planning to go and really what you’re wanting is, and are you extremely clear on that? You know what, my core intentions we invest in our client’s future through an educational and training platform, teaching you how to create short-term cashflow and long-term wealth. Empowering you to use sound real estate principles in your ownership and operations of your multifamily properties. So what I want to do [00:02:00] is really help you develop a strong foundation of these practical principles.
[00:02:05] So you are looking for guidance, direction, accountability, reach out, go to my website and sign up for a time that we can spend together. Hey, I’m excited about our guest today. Todd, do you want to say hi to everybody?
[00:02:20] Todd Thorpe: Hi there everyone. How are we doing today? Happy Monday.
[00:02:24] Mike: Glad you’re here. Hey, listen, Todd is well-respected in the multifamily industry and in the telecom space. He’s a telecom expert with over 30 years of industry experience.
[00:02:38] For the last 14 years, he’s held various executive leadership positions with charter communication, where he grew multi-family sales in the Midwest and Southeast region by 30%. That’s a big number, Todd. Hey, in early 2020, Todd left charter and became vice president of MDU consulting group, a [00:03:00] national firm representing property owners, management companies, and real estate developers, and home ownership Oregon association in the telecom industry. As a telecom advisor to the multifamily industry, todd teaches operators how to negotiate lucrative cable and wifi contracts that generate ancillary revenue streams for their properties. One thing I always say Todd is when I was only my multifamily properties, it was always good and always could look outside the box and how to create more cashflow, more revenue.
[00:03:38] There’s always that line item that says other income, and this is one of those areas that fits right into that other income. I’m glad you’re here today. And I’m really looking forward to drilling down into this. But before we get started, here’s one question I always like to ask my guests, is in one word, what best describes you personally and [00:04:00] professionally?
[00:04:02] Todd Thorpe: I think the word that comes to mind is authentic. I am what I am. You get it. I don’t pretend. And that kind of fits in with your core intentions being intentional, but I don’t pull any punches.
[00:04:17] Mike: That’s great. That’s great. So we’re going to get along fine then.
[00:04:24] That’s pretty funny. Hey, how about going into a little bit more depth on your backstory, tell us who you are and how you wound up in this space.
[00:04:34] Todd Thorpe: Sure. Yeah, it’s been a pretty crazy journey. But again, thank you Mike, for having me on you’re a very well-respected veteran yourself in the multifamily space and I appreciate you giving me some opportunity to come on and hopefully provide your listeners with some value and some key things that they can take away.
[00:04:56] I started my journey about 30 years ago [00:05:00] in the cable business. And worked my way up in sales and some executive leadership positions. Most of my career was with charter communications. And I spent about 20 years there and started out in direct sales and advertising sales, and then eventually went into multifamily.
[00:05:22] And this was back when the whole multifamily business in the telecom space and getting telecom contracts was really in its infancy. And I started out helping to grow the department. They weren’t really doing anything. And back then there was about six of us company-wide, and we put some structure around it and work together and then it slowly started to evolve.
[00:05:55] And then I went into leadership and just [00:06:00] really spent again most of about 20 years in the multifamily space with charter. And then like you had said, I left my corporate job and started consulting and it was the best move I ever made.
[00:06:17] Mike: Yeah. Good for you. So what do you like about multifamily? You know what I mean? There’s a lot of options in the commercial business you could be an office or retail, but what do you like about multi-family?
[00:06:31] Todd Thorpe: I always loved real estate. My dad was an architect and he also had his real estate license. So he worked with builders a lot, and I just love that kind of space and construction.
[00:06:44] And I don’t know, for some reason I gravitated to it, but the one thing I never really delved into a lot. Which I’m starting to explore and speaking with you, and some of your peers is [00:07:00] investing in multifamily investing. Because it really is a fantastic vehicle for people to create wealth. Passive income for them. So it just is something that I just always was very interested in, and as my career started to develop, the industry, as Mike and your listeners know it’s one of those small, large industries, everybody knows each other. You start to go to trade shows and events and you start to network and you get to know people and you start to create these relationships that can not only be a business relationship, but a personal relationship as well. So yeah, it just has always fascinated me and just once you’re in you, you can’t get out of it, right?
[00:07:57] Mike: Yeah. And what you said is pretty [00:08:00] interesting, right? Because it is a really small space and you run in this circle where you bump into the same people a lot. Here’s the thing, so you and I might’ve talked six months ago, but you’ve learned a lot since then. And so I was like to tap into that new knowledge. A question that I like to ask people and you know me, I’m the question here.
[00:08:21]The question I like to ask people is, Hey, what have you learned since the last time we talked?
[00:08:28] Todd Thorpe: The only thing that it stays the same, change happens in this business so fast and technology changes so fast. And the appetite for wifi for managed wifi is something that even just in the last six months, last 12 months, especially with what happened in 2020 and a lot of the work from home, I don’t think that’s going to change. I think our world changed [00:09:00] significantly for better or worse. And the people’s need for connectivity is only going to grow and in the multifamily space, especially we just moved my daughter into her first apartment recently.
[00:09:16] And when we were out apartment shopping, some of the complexes that we went to were so amenity rich with wifi, everywhere community wifi, everywhere the Valet and they’re creating almost like a resort atmosphere for the residents and these were some pretty high end communities.
[00:09:40] But I would say within the last six to eight months Mike, that’s something that I’ve really seen just explode. And I think it’s just going to continue.
[00:09:52] Mike: Yeah. Boy that’s interesting. Isn’t it? We’re almost into this pandemic now a year, or 11 [00:10:00] months in almost 11 months in. And you said it, you know things have changed in the world, right?
[00:10:08] So I’ll do four events this year. I’ll do three, one day events and a three day event that typically we would do live, but now we’re doing them virtually. So when you talk about things changing in the shift in the marketplace, talk about that a little bit. You think that this is going to become the norm, even if people, this is interesting, right?
[00:10:29] So I saw a commercial on TV the other day Todd, where I almost want to say it was like an AT&T commercial, cause it was a touchy feely. Hey this is almost over. Pretty soon we’ll be shedding the masks, and people in the commercial are hugging.
[00:10:46] And I had to say, wow, I hope we go back to that. Cause I’m a hugger, but what do you see happening or coming down the road?
[00:10:54] Todd Thorpe: Yeah I’m the same way, Mike. You miss that intimate kind of touch [00:11:00] and being able to sit down and have a cup of coffee with people without having to be 10 feet apart or have a mask on or make sure you’re sitting outside. And what I see and what I’ve seen on LinkedIn, I’m pretty active on LinkedIn. I know you are on social media and what I’m seeing in this industry and the multifamily industry is how the pandemic out of tragedy, a lot of good happens sometimes when 9/11 happened, I think having airport screening and things like that, tighter security was a very tragic event.
[00:11:40] But there was a lot of good that came out of it. And the same with this, I always try to look at the silver lining in everything. And even though it was an extremely tragic year for people, fortunately I didn’t lose anybody, but I do know of people who did. And in the [00:12:00] multi-family space what I saw and will continue to evolve is things being more virtual. Just talking about my daughter, when we went apartment shopping touring is so different now and you can tour apartments virtually. You don’t even need to go onsite anymore. It’s nice to be able to physically see the facility and the property and the community, but you’re going to see more virtual. Good or bad, you’re going to see more virtual technology take over. Signing leases and things like that all done through technology and not even having to do it in person. And I know it takes a lot of that personality and that human element out of it. But I think it is also creating some efficiency as well. So that’s where I think this is headed and that’s [00:13:00] what I’ve really seen happen. And it will only continue.
[00:13:05] Mike: Yeah. There’s still that element though of, Hey, let’s go grab lunch or a cup of coffee that we miss, right?
[00:13:12] Todd Thorpe: Oh yeah.
[00:13:13] Mike: I was ordering a cup of coffee yesterday, looking at the plexiglass in front of me thinking. It wasn’t long ago, that wasn’t there.
[00:13:22] Todd Thorpe: Your event that you talked about, the big one that you’re going to do on October, the three-day that will be virtual most likely, right?
[00:13:32] Todd Thorpe: You can’t do events really in person anymore. And I miss that at least for the short term anyway, and I think a lot of events will be online anyway. They’ll just switch over to that format.
[00:13:49] Mike: So how is your industry keeping up with this though? Cause you’re talking lots of bandwidth and I don’t even know the intricacies that are in that [00:14:00] space. But how does your industry, how’s your industry forecasting or looking at this down the road?
[00:14:07] Todd Thorpe: From a consulting standpoint, you want to make sure that you’re staying in touch with what’s going on. You’re up on the latest technology. You’re always reading and making sure you’re informed. Our company makes sure that we understand what is coming in the future. So you want to make sure that you have somewhat of a crystal ball. It’s hard to predict and forecast, but managed wifi is the game changer for multifamily properties from a technology standpoint.
[00:14:46] And again, good, bad or indifferent, it’s here to stay. And apartment communities will continue to add that because what it’s [00:15:00] going to do is it will allow you to create literally a smart community. So if you have wifi on your property, or even just internet for that matter, just a bulk internet package that will allow people to stream.
[00:15:20] Because streaming services are everywhere now and they’re exploding. There are so many streaming services coming online, whether it’s live streaming, which is mimics a more of a cable TV experience where you get your live programming or your scheduled streaming services, like your Netflix and your Amazon, where you’re just streaming program that’s not live, that technology will replace traditional cable really soon. For us, it’s really making sure that you’re staying on top of the technology so we can [00:16:00] advise our clients properly and give them the best advice.
[00:16:06] Mike: Okay, interesting. So your, projections are, cables going to go away
[00:16:11] it’s all going to become streaming, and I guess anything else, right? That those companies need to be in front of this and be making switches and changes themselves. If you go back and you look at a company like Motorola. Look at how big they were at one time and where they are today.
[00:16:29] And it’s because they didn’t stay in front of it. So when you look at a spectrum or you would think watching a company like that and are looking forward saying, this is we should probably be doing something different. Are you seeing that happen in the industry?
[00:16:47] Todd Thorpe: Yes. Yes. We’re starting to see the larger companies adopt that type of technology. When you say cable TV, it’s a catch all [00:17:00] word that just the traditional model is changing significantly. Even rolling out trucks to apartments. Again, going back to my daughter, when she moved into our apartment over the weekend, it’s all self-install now. Companies aren’t really rolling out trucks.
[00:17:18] Remember the days where you would call the cable company, you would call the provider and they would come out to your Palmer or your apartment and install your cable, install your internet or your phone. And now it’s all just done, it’s self-install. So you either go pick up your equipment at the local cable office, or you call and order it and have it shipped to you.
[00:17:43] And then you just install it. Think about Roku and those devices, you just would go pick them up at the retail and go to Walmart or target or whatever, buy it, take it home, hook it up. Now TV’s actually have the Roku built right into them. They’re smart. [00:18:00] You don’t even hook up the devices anymore.
[00:18:02]Again, it takes some of the human element out. But at the same time, it does create a lot of efficiency as well.
[00:18:12] Mike: Yeah.
[00:18:13] Todd Thorpe: Cause it’s literally all over the air it’s with 5g. And so you have cell and data. Wires are going away, traditional cable is going away.
[00:18:27] Mike: Here’s what I remember are those big dishes in somebody’s backyard. It looked like a spaceship landed, right?
[00:18:34] That’s right. Six, eight, 10 feet in diameter.
[00:18:38] Yeah. And it’s funny today, if you go to somebody’s house and they still have one. It’s crazy. But, Hey, what exactly do you help the multifamily owner operator do Todd?
[00:18:56] Todd Thorpe: Really help them [00:19:00] generate ancillary revenue and increase their property NOI.
[00:19:05] So there’s essentially four ways that an owner can generate revenue. By entering into a telecom agreement with a cable, internet, or phone provider. So the first thing you want to do is make sure you explore or do your due diligence. If you currently have an agreement or not. Or if you’re getting ready to purchase a property as an investor, and you’re doing your due diligence, see if there is a contract that exists.
[00:19:44] If you’re going to assume that agreement when you purchase the property, because if one does exist, you most likely will end up assuming it. Just like you would assume any type of agreement that’s on that property. Laundry contracts, snowplow contracts, [00:20:00] garbage contracts, you as the purchaser of that property, will assume those agreements.
[00:20:10] Let’s assume that there isn’t one, or maybe there is one and it expired or it’s getting ready to expire. So there’s essentially four ways that the owner or legal entity of that property could generate revenue and thereby increase the NOI of their property. So the first way is through door fees and those are one time cash payments that are made to the owner from the provider.
[00:20:41] Mike: And let me just interrupt you real quick. Cause I want my listeners to make sure that they have a pen and paper in hand right now. I’m a huge note taker and a journaler. And I want you to be writing down what these four things that Todd’s going to talk about now, because there’s a lot of impact behind what [00:21:00] he’s going to say. So I didn’t mean to cut you off, but I want to be clear on that.
[00:21:04] Todd Thorpe: Nope. That’s good. And I’m glad that you mentioned that because these are four big takeaways. If you take nothing else from this, you want to take these four key takeaways. The very first thing that you could expect to do in generate revenue is through door fees or one time payments.
[00:21:25] And what that means is you would sign, say a ten year agreement with the cable or internet provider. In exchange for them, paying you a per door upfront payment. And those fees can range anywhere from on the low side maybe $50 a door and we’ve negotiated them for some of our clients that are over $400 a door.
[00:21:56] So you can see if you own several hundred units or [00:22:00] several thousand units, how much money that you can literally start to make. And if you’re not doing this, how much money you’re leaving on the table, right? So a hundred unit property at $200 a door that’s $20,000 that you would receive from the cable provider. So you do a ten-year agreement with them, they’re going to pay you $20,000. I’m just using that as an example, might be less, might be more and it’s going to vary depending on how many units you may have in your portfolio, the class of the property, the size of the property, those things might have some variations in it.
[00:22:41] Some providers pay more door fees than others. So there’s some variables there, but use that $200 as a rule of thumb, as a place to start.
[00:22:52] Mike: Is there a deal that’s too small Todd?
[00:22:55] Todd Thorpe: Yeah, I would say anything that’s probably under 50 [00:23:00] units is probably not going to be looked at, unless it is part of a portfolio.
[00:23:08] And if it’s like 40, maybe 45 you still might be able to walk away with a deal. But I would say in that 50 range is the sweet spot and then it goes up from there.
[00:23:23] Mike: Okay.
[00:23:25] Todd Thorpe: Once you negotiate that contract and let’s say it’s a $200 door fee, you have a hundred unit property.
[00:23:31] So that’s a $20,000 cheque. After you enter into that agreement, the provider will send you a cheque, made out to your legal entity depending on the provider might be within 60, 90 days, you would receive your cheque and that’s it. That’s your money. Do whatever you want with it. Put it in escrow, use it for improvements on the property, disperse it to your investors, whatever you want to do. Your money.
[00:23:58] Mike: Okay, perfect.
[00:24:00] [00:23:59] Todd Thorpe: And then the second way is similar to that, but this is on an ongoing basis and that’s called revenue share. So you would receive a revenue share payment from the provider and the revenue share is a percentage of the gross revenue that the provider gets. And that’s usually based upon the number of customers they have in the property. So using our hundred unit property, for example, the provider may pay you say 5% of the gross revenue for every video, internet, and phone customer they have on the property. So not as lucrative as the door fees. But it can add up and those cheques would be made out to you, the owner on a quarterly basis.
[00:24:58] Typically quarterly [00:25:00] for the duration of the contract. So you have a ten-year agreement, you’d receive a quarterly revenue share cheque, much like your investors would receive a disbursement, back to them a passive investment kind of look at it the same way. It’s almost like an investment, a cheque back to you.
[00:25:21] Again, can be very lucrative and another way for you to make money. You can get door fees and revenue share both. These are not independent of each other. So want to make sure that your listeners understand that as well. All of these things can be taken together collectively and you can take advantage of all of them.
[00:25:44] So the third way, which is not a direct cash payment, but it’s another way for them to generate revenue is through courtesy or complimentary services. So what that means is the provider would give you let’s and these are used for onsite [00:26:00] only. These wouldn’t be used for say the owner at their home. Let’s say you have a leasing manager that lives on site or a maintenance person.
[00:26:09] You have a common room, you have a clubhouse pool, fitness area, try to negotiate free or complimentary cable and internet service accounts for some of those areas. And what that does is say maybe you were covering the maintenance persons cable and internet bill as part of their benefits package.
[00:26:35] We know that cable and internet that can get expensive, right? 200, 300 bucks a month, maybe. So get it for free. And now you save on that expense every single month. That’s going to add up after a while, right? So that’s an expense you can eliminate.
[00:26:52] Mike: And isn’t that an interesting, right?
[00:26:54] Because a lot of times as a business owner, if you’re not really paying [00:27:00] attention to those types of details, it’ll fall between the cracks. So here, you know what? I had a maintenance guy that we paid his housing. He lived on a property, it was a smaller unit, he lived on the property, but we paid his cable bill and we paid his phone bill.
[00:27:18] And so it becomes interesting because it’s like, huh, I wonder what movies he was watching or so anywhere where that type of thing would make a lot of sense now.
[00:27:32] Todd Thorpe: Exactly. Exactly. You don’t know if you don’t ask too, right? It’s like anything, when you negotiate a deal, negotiating salary purchase of a property, a car, a house, whatever. Get the best deal you can.
[00:27:47] Mike: Yeah. I always talk about the famous book with the famous quote that says knock, and it shall be opened unto you, ask and you shall receive.
[00:27:54] Todd Thorpe: That’s absolutely correct.
[00:28:00] [00:28:00] Mike: And go ahead. Number four.
[00:28:02] Todd Thorpe: So number four is buying bulk cable and internet or wifi service from the provider, and then offering it as an amenity on your property and then charging an amenity fee or adding it in your rent to recoup your costs.
[00:28:20] So same concept. You go to Costco, you go to Sam’s club, you buy product in bulk. Buy toilet paper, which was something we rubbed everybody really needed to do for a while. There a coffee or whatever it is, you buy it bulk at a really cheap rate. So cable, same thing or internet, same thing. You buy it from the provider at a drastically reduced rate.
[00:28:47] So you might get internet for $40 a unit. And so a hundred unit property, you’re going to pay $4,000 a month. You get to write [00:29:00] the cable company, a cheque for four grand, $40 a unit. You’re going to turn around then and this is perfectly legal. There’s nothing wrong with doing this.
[00:29:12] You would then turn around and maybe charge the resident $60. But you’re going to add that as an amenity fee or a technology fee, or maybe you raise the rent by $60. There’s several different ways. That’s up to you on how you would recoup that cost or maybe you don’t and you just use it as a marketing expense to advertise free wifi.
[00:29:39] So the property across the street you’re competing with, and you’re trying to attract residents and now you have free wifi, something that they don’t have, right? Like the hotels that used to have the sign out front free HBO. So you pull into that hotel to stay.
[00:29:58] Mike: Yeah. [00:30:00] Interesting. Are those kind of average numbers that you’ve talked about where you’re paying out 40 and collecting 60?
[00:30:08] Todd Thorpe: Yeah. Yeah. Your internet might be 40 50. Again, depending on the provider, depending on if you’re going to do just like what’s called bulk internet, which you’re going to put a modem in every unit versus putting in a managed wifi system, which is putting access points all over more like a hotel setup that might cost you a little bit more, but it’s more reliable and it’s a better system as well. Again, it just depends on what you want, so we can advise you, we advise our clients on the best approach.
[00:30:41] What’s the best solution for them. Help them find a provider. So we have a knowledge of who the really good providers are out there, but we can help them secure proposals and put those out for bid, collect those and review them for them. But [00:31:00] yeah that’s average might be $50 a unit.
[00:31:03] It’s a place to start, and then it could be less, could be more. And you could, if you did bulk internet again, you could also get Door fees, revenue share, and courtesy accounts on top of that as well. So those four ways are all key ways for the owner to generate revenue. But if they don’t ask and they’re not aware of it, then they’re missing out.
[00:31:34] And most of our clients Mike are property management companies and ownership companies, investment companies who either they don’t have the time to do this. And they’re aware of it, but they’re really just overwhelmed. They don’t have the staff or they don’t have the time to do it, or they just don’t have the knowledge.
[00:31:58]I have calls [00:32:00] every week. And I kid you not with owners, people who reach out to me, especially because it’s stuff I post on LinkedIn. They’re like, really? So I can do this. I can get paid for having the provider on my property. I didn’t know that. So then I walk them through it and help give them a little bit more detail on what we’re discovering here, and just opens up their world for them.
[00:32:26] Mike: So are these deals transferable time. So if I sell my property, can I stand for this? And will it create enough value where I can actually charge more for my property?
[00:32:37] Todd Thorpe: Yes.
[00:32:38] Mike: And this is a two-part question. And what do I need to watch for as a buyer going in and buying a property. What should I watch for?
[00:32:47]Todd Thorpe: So very good question. So the first question the answer is yes, virtually all agreements. I’ve never seen one that did not have an [00:33:00] assignment clause in it. So when you purchase a property, you’re going to purchase all of the agreements that come with that property. Any easements, any encumbrances, any loans you get it all, good or bad that comes with you.
[00:33:16] A lot of your telecom agreements are recorded. So when you do your due diligence, you should be able that shouldn’t surface because they’re recorded with the register of deeds office. The easement would be recorded. So the seller can’t hide the fact that a contract exists cause maybe they want to try to bury that somehow or for some reason.
[00:33:39] And a lot of owners, there’s a misconception out there where they think that I don’t want to do a contract cause it might hurt me down the road when I go to sell my property. And I’ve been in this a long time, like I’ve been doing it 20 years and I’ve never come across a situation where [00:34:00] the existence of a telecom agreement held up a sale. Now, one thing, and we’ve done this for a lot of our clients is you can, and we’ve been able to successfully do this is you can have language added to the agreement. And I’ll just paraphrase here, but it says something like, if the existence of this agreement were to hold up or prevent the owner from selling, then the agreement would be void or terminated, so you can do that. And we’ve been successful in having providers add language like that in. And I can work with you on what that language would really look like.
[00:34:50]I wouldn’t be afraid or turned off and here’s the other thing too. The lack of a contract can be just as bad as having a contract. If [00:35:00] you don’t have a contract with the provider or any provider, a) you’re missing out on revenue, the four key ways we just talked about. But also you’re just allowing the provider to just come onto your property without really any permission. You own the property and the telecom agreement at a minimum is a written permission slip for the provider to be there.
[00:35:30] Mike: Yeah. I’m laughing because we’ve talked about the big dish before and now you’re talking about him coming on the property. And now I’m thinking about all the little dishes hanging off the balconies and the wires everywhere and all that.
[00:35:44] And those days are going away, which is really nice because it cleans it up. But boy, I can remember buying some stuff and you go, who did that? It just doesn’t look appealing.
[00:35:56]Todd Thorpe: Dish farm, they call it a dish farm there’s dishes [00:36:00] everywhere. And the absence of an agreement can hurt you in those instances as well.
[00:36:06] Mike: I can see how it would. What advice would you give a multifamily owner today in today’s environment, knowing that more things are virtual, more people are online more people are taking advantage of communications that are more internet based today, more data-driven, what advice would you give an owner today?
[00:36:32] Todd Thorpe: I would say, try to keep up on technology because it changes so much. And the two biggest things I see right now are wifi, because everybody needs to stay connected and streaming services. Those are the two biggest, maybe if you call it entertainment. But especially from a connectivity [00:37:00] standpoint, you want to make sure that you’re leveraging technology as much as you can exploited it even if you will to your advantage, to create an environment for your residents that they enjoy.
[00:37:19] And you’re going to keep them. Because it’s extremely expensive to turn that apartment. And if you’re constantly having residents move out because they’re unhappy because of lack of amenities or poor service from the provider, if you’re proactive on the front end, you can avoid a lot of that. It takes effort. But it’s better to put in a little effort on the front end because it goes a long way and will save you an enormous amount of headache on the backend.
[00:37:57] Mike: That’s one of those little [00:38:00] things that really works for you in life and in business, be active on the front end and really helps the back end.
[00:38:09] And it’s that planning piece, just know what you’re doing. Hey Todd, this has been great. Couple of things let’s hit, let’s go to a little bit lighter side right now. Where do you live? Where are you calling from?
[00:38:23] Todd Thorpe: I am in Greenville, South Carolina.
[00:38:26] Mike: Perfect. On the East coast, todd, what’s your most favorite tourist attraction out there?
[00:38:33]Todd Thorpe: Disney, we are big Disney people. People look at me and they’re like Disney really? But I know we’ve been going to Disney for I don’t know, 20 years when our kids were real little and we’re just big fans of it. And right now it’s been one of those things that you really can’t travel as much. But yeah, they just cater to you. And we’re not even big on the theme parks necessarily [00:39:00] just the restaurants and the whole atmosphere.
[00:39:03] Mike: Wow. Nice.
[00:39:05]Todd Thorpe: I know.
[00:39:05] Mike: Yeah. And I’ve taken my kids there over the years too, and it’s just that whole different atmosphere. That’s pretty cool.
[00:39:13] Hey, do you have a favorite restaurant?
[00:39:15] Todd Thorpe: The kitchen sink and here in Greenville, big shout out to them. The food is fantastic. And then one of these restaurants, I think they’re like top in the nation, in the country for sustainability. So like the actual restaurant itself, the construction of that, they used like resource material and things like that to build the restaurant.
[00:39:40] And then of course, all of their food is it’s real farm to table, organic, locally sourced, b stroke cafe type atmosphere, but the food is just off the hook.
[00:39:53] Mike: Yeah. Hey and isn’t it funny right now, like I live in Chicago, and the [00:40:00] restaurants are closed.
[00:40:00] You can’t eat inside. But you can build a building outside that you can eat inside that building. It’s just interesting how the world is flipping. So that’s good to hear that about that but.
[00:40:13] Todd Thorpe: I miss Chicago.
[00:40:15] Mike: Yeah. Hey, a favorite book?
[00:40:19] Todd Thorpe: My favorite book. One, I just actually finished reading and I’m using is “High Performance Habits” by Brendon Burchard.
[00:40:28] I encourage your listeners, highly effective book. Pick it up. It’s a really quick read. It’s 300 pages, but you go through it really fast. And then there is a planner that you can buy and use in conjunction with the book. So high performance habits by Brendon Burchard.
[00:40:49] Mike: Interesting. Very cool. And do you have a most memorable moment in the last six months?
[00:40:58] Todd Thorpe: Yeah, my son [00:41:00] he graduated in June, but then he finally got to go through the ceremony. Just was it was it October? Yeah. October. So that was great because we felt so bad for him because here he actually graduates from college because one of your biggest events in your life, and then the ceremony was put on hold.
[00:41:24] Mike: Wow.
[00:41:25] Todd Thorpe: Yeah. So we’ve we got to see him literally cross the stage, get his diploma, had his mask on, COVID mask, but.
[00:41:35] Mike: Yeah, at least they got to have the ceremony. That’s pretty cool. Good. Hey, if people want to get ahold of you Todd, how do they do that? Go ahead.
[00:41:43] Todd Thorpe: Yeah, best way is email, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:41:53] Mike: Excellent. And we’ll have that information in the show notes. Any last thoughts or closing comments todd?
[00:41:59] Todd Thorpe: Just [00:42:00] stay on top of your contracts. Know what’s out there because it can come back to bite you. So be careful and reach out to me. If you’ve got any questions, free advice, we’re here to help.
[00:42:11] Mike: Perfect. Todd, thanks for being here today. Again, it’s been so enlightening and informative and people, I want you to make sure that you take those four facts into consideration. So if you didn’t write them down, go back and listen to this again, but good luck. And we’ll see everybody next week.
[00:42:28] Kristen: Thank you, Mike, and thank you for joining us for another great episode of Insider Secrets. As always, Insider Secrets is brought to you by My Core Intentions. Join us on social media and visit mycoreintentions.com where you can get expert coaching on all things, multifamily investing in property management.
[00:42:46] We’re looking forward to having you back again next week for more Insider Secrets.