Insider Secrets Podcast Episode #57
Featuring Guest: Lisa Landry
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Lisa is a partner in 200+ units and is known as “The Interior Designer of Multifamily Investing”. In addition to being a multifamily investor, she’s the CEO of Landry Designs, an award-winning interior design firm in Texas that specializes in adding value to properties across the country, including B & C-Class properties.
Her team has won 35 International Design Awards and has been published nationally 28 times.
Her company has also been voted “Best Interior Designer” in their area for the past 8 years in a row.
Lisa is a previous franchise owner, ranked #1 out of 250 franchises five years running prior to exiting, and she comes from a family of real estate investors, remodelers and Realtors.
She is a resident of Fort Worth, Texas, and she loves working on multifamily properties.
“Sales is to be able to talk to different kinds of people and adapt and pull out parts of yourself that work with different kinds of people” – [Lisa]
“I love the idea of the scale, that you can do and saving time instead of doing a single family home at a time.” – [Lisa]
“Branding, I think is so important. Having a good reputation in the industry, having a nice logo, having a nice website, all of those things are important.” – [Lisa]
“I really learned a lot more about how important it is from an investor standpoint to get that NOI up, and get the value of the property up” – [Lisa]
“I love doing all the decorating that we’re doing” – [Lisa]
“I think that getting into the multifamily space from a design standpoint, was really intriguing to me and proved to be the defining moment of my life” – [Lisa]
- Lisa describes herself with one word ‘Adventurer’
- She always loved solo travel. It’s the space where she felt like she gets the most relaxed when out on her own somewhere
- Lisa was born in Texas. Her dad was in Air Force so they had to live internationally. They lived in England and Spain
- Lisa’s mom was working two jobs so Lisa had to help her take care of kids at home, so she ended up starting junior high in school
- Sales is to be able to talk to different kinds of people and adapt and pull out parts of yourself that work with different kinds of people
- Lisa thinks that getting into the multifamily space from a design standpoint, was really intriguing to her and proved to be the defining moment of her life.
- I loves the idea of the scale, that you can do and saving time instead of doing a single family home at a time
- I started listening to every single podcast I could, I spent hours and hours every day researching, learning, reading every book I could get my hand on really educating myself about the industry, and that’s what got me really educated in the industry. And then I started investing as a passive investor
- I love doing all the decorating that we’re doing. We’re doing projects around the country now
- my other goal is to take all this knowledge that I’ve gained and the skillset that I bring to the industry and syndicate this year
- I feel like our day-to-day lives are so hectic and we’re Inundated with noise
- If I own a multifamily complex, as an Interior designer, how are you going to help me change the curb appeal, change the interior?
- There’s several things that we focus on interior design. And typically the very first thing is two things at one time typically, one is, do we need to rebrand the property?
- And then at the same time, we’re typically looking at the leasing office because the leasing office is like the Jull of the property. It’s where you can make that look better than anything else
- I really learned a lot more about how important it is from an investor standpoint to get that NOI up, and get the value of the property up
- The website is extremely important in multifamily, people are checking there first before they go and look at properties typically
- How about a couple of secrets for the listeners?
- I would say, really think about a couple of things. One, really think about your branding as an individual, as a syndicator, or if you’re a passive investor or whatever. Branding, I think is so important.
- The other thing is if you’re trying to find a mentor of some sort, don’t expect the mentor to educate you. You really need to educate yourself on the industry and get all the basics in place
- I just think that a lot of times people don’t realize how important getting the upgraded kind of leasing office and the overall image of the property up can make a big difference at the beginning
[02:15] I’m excited today our guest is, Lisa Landry.
[03:13] One word that describes you personally and professionally.
[05:16] Lisa shares her backstory.
[12:21] What was the defining moment for you over the years?
[14:25] When you’re out in the woods by yourself, do you have a purpose behind that?
[17:51] If I own a multifamily complex, how are you going to help me change the interior?
[24:25] So if somebody wants to hire an interior designer to help them with their property, what are some things that they should look at about an interior design firm or individual, ways to choose ways to pick the right person?
[29:27] Lisa shares her Insider Secret.
[31:56] So where the best is place that you’ve ever been for one of those trips by yourself??
[34:12] What is your favorite book? “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow” by Marsha Sinetar
[35:03] How to contact Lisa: Send an email directly to email@example.com (landrydesigns.com).
[00:00:00] Mike: Hey everybody. It’s Tuesday, welcome back again. This is Mike with Insider Secrets, and I am joined today by my guest, Lisa Landry. Hey Lisa, would you please tell our guests what they can expect to hear today?
Lisa: Yes. If you would like to learn a little bit more about how to get into multi-family as an investor.
And then also if you’re already a multifamily syndicator, how to get the NOI up for your property, we’re going to talk about it from a design perspective and how we can change things around, rebrand upgrade the property and increase the value.
Mike: Yeah. You guys are going to find a lot ideas today, but you’re going to have to tune in. We’ll see you inside.
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 [00:01:00] Mike Morawski has more than 30 years of multifamily, real estate investing and property management experience.
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 cash flow and long-term wealth. Here’s your host, Mike.
Mike: Hey, welcome back everybody. It is Mike, your host of Insider Secrets, and that’s brought to you by My Core Intentions. I ask you all the time and I just really want you to think about it today is what are your intentions? What have you been thinking about, what is really your deep desire to get accomplished and to be creative about, I want to be able to help you walk through that?
I want to be able to help you discover some of those inner intention. You know at My Core Intentions, our goal is to work in our client’s future, to help provide you with education and training that will help you scale your business to the next [00:02:00] level and live a more balanced lifestyle.
Because really that’s what it’s about. I’m excited today about our guest. I know that I have a guest on today whose lifestyle is balanced, she does some creative things and she’s busy. And that’s what I think we’re going to be able to learn a lot from today. But I’m excited today our guest is Lisa Landry. Lisa, would you say hi.
Lisa: Hi everybody. Thanks for having me, Mike.
Mike: Yeah, I’m really glad that you’re here Lisa. But let me tell our listeners a little bit about you. Lisa is a partner in over 200 units, and she’s known in the industry as the interior designer of the multifamily investing space. In addition to being a multifamily investor herself, she’s the CEO of Landry designs, an award winning interior design firm in Texas that specializes in adding value to properties across the country.
Her team has won 35 in national award design awards, and has been published nationally 28 times. She’s also been [00:03:00] voted the best interior designer in the area for eight years. Lisa, that’s a pretty impressive background, a pretty impressive bio. And I’m really interested to dive in, and finding out a lot more about that and about you. One thing I always ask my guests and I like to ask this upfront is in one word, what best describes you personally and professionally?
Lisa: I would say that word for me is adventurer. I always love to learn. I like to be exposed to new things. I like to put myself in uncomfortable situations. Just always been that way where I like to live in that gray area of adventure, and always have something to look forward to. So that would be the word for me.
Mike: I liked that. And I think that one of the things that intrigued me about you was one of the first conversation we had, you had just gotten back from somewhere on some wild trip. And I was like, wow, by yourself, you went away, you did this whole adventure. And I thought that was really kind of neat. Talk about that a little bit.
Lisa: I have always loved solo [00:04:00] travel. It’s the space where I feel like I get the most relaxed when I’m out on my own somewhere. I do travel with other people frequently as well, but that solo travel is completely different. And that’s where you really see what you’re made of.
I’ve been doing some backpacking trips where I recently did one that was a 30 mile backpacking trip and, just staying out in the woods and have everything on your back. And it’s just very challenging I think, to learn something new during all this COVID time, I took up kayaking and hiking and camping and a lot of outdoor activities.
And just continuing to push myself. I just booked a through hike that’s only about a hundred miles coming up, but things like that, that just get outside your comfort zone, I think are always important to continue to grow as a person.
Mike: I think you said something really important just now. And that’s outside of your comfort zone.
I think so often we stay inside this space, right? In our blinders and in this little box that we build for ourselves. And until we get out of there or until we have somebody who helps us get out of there and go do something [00:05:00] different, or look at life and look at things differently. I think we tend to stay stuck, but I think that’s a very interesting space to be in.
So tell us about your backstory. Your bio talks about some really great highlights about who you are and your business, but how’d you get to where you’re at today?
Lisa: Starting off, I was born in Texas, but my dad was in the air force. So we lived internationally when I was small and we lived in England. We lived in Spain. And I remember when I was young, I had friends that didn’t even speak English, in Spain. And so that was I think part of what helped me develop this love for adventure and travel. When we came back, I had a British accent when I was small and then, living in Texas lost it pretty quickly. But my parents got divorced when I was about 12.
And I think one of the things that kind of framed my life was that happening, because we moved from upper middle-class neighborhood to a low income neighborhood. I was the oldest of several kids and I had to grow up pretty quickly. And my [00:06:00] mom was working two jobs and so I had to help take care of the kids in the house and mow the yard and all those kinds of things.
And I ended up starting junior high, not knowing one person in the school. And that was very challenging because the school I had been in previously. All of the years of schooling, if you made good grades, you were popular, that was highly respected. I was always a straight A student. When I moved to this school, if you made good grades, it was the opposite.
You were the least popular, you’d be bullied and things like that. And so this was a school where girls would meet behind the seven 11 after school to fight. There were drugs and alcohol and all kinds of things just that I was exposed to very quickly. So I learned to be a chameleon and adapt and try to figure out how to get along with different people.
And that was very helpful throughout the rest of my career actually, for sales and all kinds of things. To be able to talk to different kinds of people and adapt and pull out parts of yourself that work with different kinds of people. I worked hard to fit in [00:07:00] and had to smoke a cigarette occasionally or meet some girl behind the seven 11, occasionally, but got the respect of the school where my ninth grade year, which was my final year in junior high was elected cheerleader. And, I started in all kinds of sports. I played basketball, I played volleyball, I ran track, and I ran cross country. And so I really felt like that was an accomplishment for me to fit in that school.
And took that on to my high school year. That was a challenge that was not fun at the time, but it was very beneficial, I think for me. And then I ended up going into retail, like sales. I was a clothing buyer for a long time for a real high-end boutique. And then I went to a jewelry store job as a manager. And that’s what really taught me about business, how to run a business was running these stores as managers and with dealing with employees and hiring and firing and all those kinds of things. It helped me learn about clientele and how to deal with a higher end clientele. Since I didn’t grow up with money, I didn’t know that people could [00:08:00] afford to buy a hundred thousand dollars diamond ring, or a hundred thousand dollars watch, things like that.
It exposed me to a lot when I was working at that jewelry store. I’d only been there about six months and we had an armed robbery while I was there a rule, violent, armed robbery. So that was another pivotal point I think in my life. I started having dreams of flying, which this was this constant dream I kept having that I could physically just fly and in your psyche, that’s telling you that you probably need to make a change. I did stay there for a long time because I was doing very well. The store was great. I was making a lot of money, things I’d never really had before. And it took me a long time to realize that this was not really what I wanted to do with my life.
And I read this book actually, it was called, “Do What You Love”, The Money Will Follow”. And it talked about what’s the thing that when you do it, time just flies by, you don’t know how much time has passed or what is the thing that you would do for free. And for me, it was decorating. I’d always done decorating on the side for friends and family for free.
And so [00:09:00] it said, you need to figure out a way to do that for a living. So I ended up quitting that job and just go into zero and I had saved a little bit of money and started my design business. And this has been over 20 years ago now. And it just took off pretty quickly, had a good clientele from the jewelry industry and from my clothing background and all of that.
And it took off pretty quickly. And I joined a franchise actually, and grew to the number one franchise worldwide year after year. And I ended up leaving that franchise a few years ago because I felt like we’d outgrown that whole system. Team grew very large, we have 18,000 square feet studio and warehouse and 15 employees.
And so that was another pivotal point to just go out on my own and leave the franchise with that support, and the competition that was there, which was always fun and that kind of thing. But it’s been really good since then as well. Those were the major points of career changes in my life.
And the multifamily thing came into play about six or seven years ago when somebody reached out to me, a multi-family property manager. [00:10:00] That managed 45 apartment complexes. And he said, I found you on your website. I love your work. Could you take a look at these properties that have 10 properties that need major renovations this year that we have CapEx budget for?
And I said I’d never worked on multifamily. We’ve done a lot of residential. We do tons of commercial, but we’ve just never done multifamily, but I’ll take a look. And it ended up that it was very similar to what we were already doing in commercial. So we helped him with those 10 properties that year.
And I ended up photographing, I think five of those and entered them in an international design competition. And they were entered in the commercial category that didn’t have a multi-family category, just commercial in general. And they won first, second and third place in the commercial category, which was so surprising to me because these were all like B and C class properties, which we made them look like A properties and the leasing offices and things like that.
But that really got me intrigued about what we could do in this industry. And so that’s how I got started in multifamily.
Mike: Wow. That’s really a great story. I love that [00:11:00] whole multifamily story about how he called you and, said, hey, we have these properties that they had cap X money for to do what a great segue into how you got into business. Hey, I think what’s even a better story though. I want to hear about the girls, you were meeting behind seven.
Lisa: Yeah. I’m a thin, small boned person and you had to hold your own with these girls with these big girls too. And you couldn’t back down or it would be worse.
Mike: For you to go out of the 30 mile hike or spend the night in the woods by yourself, no big deal after.
Lisa: That’s where it all began.
Mike: That’s pretty funny. But yeah. So here’s the thing you talked about is the book and reading the book about your passion and follow your passion, and everything else just will fall into place as a result of that.
That’s why I love real estate. That’s why I love the multifamily space, because I get involved in things and before you know it, the time flies by, and you don’t even know where it went and.
Mike: So people say, how come you like real estate so much? Because I’m so passionate about, because there’s always something to learn, [00:12:00] who would have ever thought, hey, you know what?
Let’s interview an interior designer on a multifamily podcasts about multifamily. That’s really out of the box, but that’s learning something new. That’s following your passion and seeing what shows up. So a great story. So if you had to say, hey, this was a defining moment, what was the defining moment for you over the years?
Lisa: Yeah those few things that I’ve talked about, and then just getting into the multifamily space from a design standpoint, I think was really intriguing to me. And we started doing more and more, probably done 25 properties for that one property manager now.
And then we started doing more and more as people heard about us. Then a few years ago, a couple years ago, probably now my son is a single family home investor and my dad is a commercial realtor. And my son was saying, you really should be thinking about getting out of the stock market and getting some of your money into real estate.
And I started thinking that’s probably a good idea. I should at least consider that. So I started researching the asset classes [00:13:00] and found that multi-family was much more interesting to me because of my background with it. And I love the idea of the scale, that you can do and saving time instead of doing a single family home at a time.
And so I went down the rabbit hole. I started listening to every single podcast I could, I call it Podcast University. I spent hours and hours every day researching, learning, reading every book I could get my hand on really educating myself about the industry. And then ended up starting to go to some conferences and joined a mentor program.
And went to every single networking event that was available around me and flew to many conferences as well. So that’s what got me really educated in the industry. And then I started investing as a passive investor. And my goal actually this year is to syndicate, as to GP partner on a property that’s 150 units or more something like that to get started with.
So I love doing all the decorating that we’re doing. We’re doing projects around the country now. They’ve developed systems where we [00:14:00] can go outside of Texas and we’re doing lots outside of Texas now. In addition, my other goal is to take all this knowledge that I’ve gained and the skillset that I bring to the industry and syndicate this year.
Mike: Yeah. Very nice. So I want to back up for a minute and something struck me as you were talking, and I want to just touch on it. You go on these trips by yourself and you like to go with people, but you like to go by yourself. When you’re by yourself and you’re out in the woods or you’re traveling somewhere, doing something on your own. Do you have a purpose behind that?
Lisa: Yes. I feel like our day-to-day lives are so hectic and we’re inundated with noise. What I call the noise, and as an entrepreneur, which I’ve always been, for many years, there’s not really a break. You don’t really get a break.
That’s like your baby. You’re thinking about it all the time. And so what I find when I Slingshot myself across the world, I’ve done Barcelona and just all over the world solo trips takes about three [00:15:00] or four or five days to get really relaxed. And if you have no connection, that’s what I do when I take these trips, I don’t have any connection with my business.
I have a team that can run the business when I’m not there. That’s where I really get to know myself again. I really can think clearly, I can start thinking about my future and what my next steps are going to be and what the plan for the next year is, or the next few years. It’s where my brain gets quiet and I can actually think and plan and reconnect with my inner core self, whenever I’m doing these trips and I need it.
It’s like I can start telling when I needed to get one of these fixes where I need to get away and just be on my own and not be talking to anyone, not be planning anything. I’m one of those people that’s always a leader. When I do trips with groups Oh, we should do this and let’s go here and leave at this time and everybody, show up here and that kind of thing.
And it’s a lot. So it’s nice when I go on my own that I can eat when I want, and sleep when I want, and go where I want and wake up every day and [00:16:00] figure out what I want to do or do I just want to stay in a hostel or a hotel or whatever, and just read a book all day. It’s just very freeing.
Mike: Nice. I have to ask you, when you do that, do you give yourself a break from any social media.
Do you give yourself a break from technology, phones and laptops, and just leave off, turn all that off and just spend time with Lisa?
Lisa: Yes, I don’t turn my phone on. I will turn my phone on usually every two or three days to text my family to let them know that I’m okay. But I don’t check emails.
I don’t get on social media at all. I will read books like on my candle or something, but no outside stimulation from any kind of technology.
Mike: What’s interesting is Michael Gerber wrote a book called the E-Myth. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it.
Lisa: Oh yes, I have.
Mike: But he talks in that book about those types of things.
And he says that people don’t spend enough time thinking about or working on their business. They’re always in [00:17:00] the business, right? Working day to day and so I can relate to that feeling like, Ugh, God, I just can’t do this right now anymore and I need a break. And I think that I want my listeners to really clue in on that right now and just understand that sometimes part of life balance and part of getting rebalanced and recalibrated is that we need to take some time like that. Even if it’s a 24 hour fast from media, even if it’s a 24 hour, Hey, I’m going to go lock myself in a hotel room and journal or walk out in the woods and journal and not have to be obligated to anybody else.
I don’t think that we do that as people as individuals anymore. So I commend you for that, and I really wanted to focus in on that. So thanks. Let’s go back to multifamily. Here’s what I want to know. So as an interior designer, if I own a multifamily complex, and I say, Lisa, come on out here.
What are we going to look at? What are we going to talk about? How are you going to help [00:18:00] me change the curb appeal, change the interior. What are we going to do?
Lisa: Yeah. There’s several things that we focus on. And typically the very first thing is two things at one time typically, one is, do we need to rebrand the property?
Are you changing the name? Are you changing the logo? We can assist with all those sorts of things to make sure that you get a real cohesive brand going forward for the property. So that’s pretty important to do at the beginning when you’re getting started. So that it can be in development if you’re going to be changing monument signs and things like that.
So that is key. And then at the same time, we’re typically looking at the leasing office because the leasing office is like the Jull of the property. It’s where you can make that look better than anything else. That’s where potential residents come in. That’s where current residents come in. That’s where your staff works.
So we want to make that look literally like an A-class property, no matter what the class is. We don’t use real high-end products there typically if it’s not an A-class. But [00:19:00] we want it to look like an A-class property. So we’ll go in and completely revamp that space. We want it to look amazing when you walk in. You have about 15 seconds when someone walks into a property, for them to determine whether they want to live there or not. So that’s a very short period of time. They need to be seeing something amazing. They need to be feeling that’s a great space. They need to be greeted immediately, all those kinds of things are real important for the psyche as a potential resident walks in.
So what we do is we, go ahead.
Mike: I just want to say that’s a really interesting statistic you just said, that you have about 15 seconds from the time somebody walks in. We’ve heard for years that, you have 30 seconds to let people know who you are and for people to find out. But that’s really interesting, 15 seconds about the property. Go ahead. I’m sorry.
Lisa: It’s really true. And you think about, if you ever go to even look at a house that you were going to buy that within 15 seconds of walking in the front door, do I like this or do I not? It’s that feeling, you get that vibe that you get. When [00:20:00] we completely renovate and update these properties.
And sometimes it’s not a lot of construction or anything like that. It’s really just paint and furnishings and art and furniture and sometimes flooring and things like that. It’s not always knocking down walls, but when we get this looking really good, a) when potential residents come in, they’re going to remember this property. If they’re looking at several properties, they’re going to be like, Oh, remember that one that had the really cool orange lounge or whatever it is. So we make even the leasing desks and all that look amazing. We’re assessing everything about how the layout is, how the traffic paths are. How the desks are set up, all those kinds of things. So that’s important for the potential residents.
- b) The current residents when they come in to pay payments and get their laundry tickets or whatever. And it’s funny because I’ve been in so many properties lately, and I thought with COVID that there wouldn’t be much traffic through these properties, but that door is a swinging revolving door.
Current residents are coming in constantly. They’re coming in to [00:21:00] do maintenance tickets. They’re coming in to make payments. They’re coming in to get these laundry tickets. They’re coming in a lot, pick up packages, all those kinds of things. So when current residents come in and they see that it looks awesome now, then they’re proud of the place that they live. So that’s important.
And then the third thing is, c) is the staff, the onsite staff. When they come to work in a place that looks amazing and they’re proud of, they enjoy coming to work more. So you have better retention of your employees.
So what this does is when you can get potential residents in and up your occupancy, when you can retain your current residents to keep that occupancy up. And then when you have less retention, less turnover with your employees and you have better employee retention, all those things get the NOI up, the net operating income up, which is what increases the value of the property.
So as I went through learning about this industry and investing and that kind of thing. I really learned a lot more about how important it is from an investor [00:22:00] standpoint to get that NOI up, and get the value of the property up. So we typically start with the leasing office. We’re also looking at the outside of it.
Like we might decide that we want to paint the brick on just the leasing office, not all the buildings. We may do some things to the buildings too, but not paint all the brick on all the buildings. But we want that to look different, when you walk up. So I think that’s one of the things that we’re always thinking about.
We’re looking at the landscaping, we’re looking at the signage. We’re looking at the dumpsters. We’re looking at the amenities on the property. Once the leasing office is done, it’s a great way to, to go ahead and have that professionally photographed, and then you have those photos on the website.
So the website is extremely important in multifamily, people are checking their first before they go and look at properties typically. So we want that website to be amazing. We help with branding, like I mentioned, and that overall cohesive feel for the property itself. So the website is equally important and getting those right looking pictures on there [00:23:00] fast.
Mike: You do all that. You do the branding, the website, you have the painting done and the new furniture and all of that?
Lisa: It’s a great question. And we do parts in different ways. All of the furnishings, we actually sell all the furnishings and we install all the furnishings. For the construction related items, which would be like the installation of the flooring or painting the buildings.
We work with the property management company, that’s there on site and the maintenance teams. They typically want to handle all of that their selves. They have a contractor that’s overseeing the construction. That’s overseeing the renovations of the model of the unit interiors. So they have staff that does that.
We just assist with that from a consulting standpoint. And then for the branding we actually have graphic designers that can do logos and things like that. But for the website development, we just work with the website developer that they’re using. And make sure that the whole property has a cohesive feel then, because when you end [00:24:00] up with GP teams that have four or five or six people on them, and they’re all handling different things, it’s real easy for things to fall through the cracks and this person to think one thing and this person to think something else.
So we’re the person or the team that kind of brings everybody together, and we’re on all the zoom calls and we’re making sure that all of these elements come together quickly and without things falling through the cracks.
Mike: Interesting. So if somebody was going to go hire an interior designer to help them with their property, what are some things that they should look at about an interior design firm or individual, ways to choose ways to pick the right person?
Lisa: Yes. I think several things, 1) look at their website so that you can see images of their work. We want to make sure that the customers always know that we’re very like systems oriented, that we can handle a lot of jobs at one time. And that’s another thing I’ve found in this [00:25:00] industry is that a lot of times when I’m reaching out to companies that work in this industry, the response time is not great.
They’re not replying quickly. They’re not available, to maybe they just have too many jobs or they’re not able to juggle things great. So that’s one thing that we’re committed to is always responding quickly, always being available and tracking everything all the way through.
So that’s one thing is the customer service. And the design work is obviously important as well. And then you just have to click with whoever you choose as your interior designer, because we spend a lot of time together and we are overseeing kind of the overarching feel of how the property is going to look.
So personality wise, you need to click. We have a team of designers and we have about seven or eight designers that all work on multifamily and they’re all amazing. Clicking with your designer, I think is important as well.
Mike: Yeah. Interesting. I think that’s a big piece, right? If people don’t have that, some kind of synergy and it rubs wrong, doesn’t matter [00:26:00] what somebody is going to do or what the price is.
It just isn’t going to work.
Lisa: Yeah. When you bring up price too, let me just mention that because
Lisa: A lot of people think that they can’t afford an interior designer that it’s going to be really expensive. And the way that we work, we buy from manufacturers around the world at wholesale, and we sell at retail just like stores do.
It’s just that we’re one stop shopping. So for everything that we sell, it’s all free design services, customers don’t pay any more than if they went stopping at stores and things like that, but they might have to go to a rug store and then a sofa store and then a lighting store and all that extra time that they’re spending.
So customers love that we have free design services on everything we sell. And then we just charge hourly when we’re doing consulting work to help with things that we’re not selling. So like the branding things and things like that, that we mentioned. But we have a multifamily menu of services and I’d be happy to share that with you, that we send out whenever somebody contacts us that has budget ranges for all the properties.
And it’s really based on how many onsite staff they have. So how much space they have, how [00:27:00] many desks and all that kind of thing that they’re going to need. But it also depends on the quality range that they want. Because we have so many different budget ranges, we can do a real inexpensive makeover or a high-end make-over and everywhere in between.
And it really depends on how long they think they’re going to own the property. So maybe what kind of quality level they need and how much they’re trying to bring the property up. And again, that would determine the quality of the products that we use for it. So we call ourselves the every person’s decorator.
We feel like everybody should have access to great design. And we don’t have minimum project sizes. We don’t have maximum project sizes. We’re happy to help, however we can.
Mike: So do you work everywhere or just only in Texas?
Lisa: No, we started doing projects outside of Texas where we did one in in Alabama, a couple in Atlanta, we have three going in Memphis right now. We’ve done some in Arkansas. We’re looking at some in Missouri. So we’ve expanded and we’ve developed our systems where we can do these out-of-state projects and it’s gone extremely [00:28:00] well.
Mike: And is that do you physically need to go there or can you do a lot of it online or by just virtually?
Lisa: Yes. We try to go onsite and see the property at the very beginning so that we can get really good measurements and pictures and videos and those kinds of things. And then we do all the design work in our studio virtually, and then we present virtually via zoom to their team. A lot of times we’re designing with some options so that they can pick their favorite, for all the different spaces.
And then we do go and install and person. So once all the construction’s completed and the property is ready for us to come. Then we’re driving there or flying there depending on the case and installing everything that we’ve sold for the property. We like to make sure that every piece of art is hung exactly where we want, the cords are hidden on the lamps and that sofa is not two inches to the left if it needs to be two inches to the right. And we really oversee all of that ourselves.
Mike: Yeah, it’s interesting. A [00:29:00] lot of times the finished product is in the detail. I remember, just from being a carpenter, being a general contractor that finished work, you can have that trim work where it was nailed tight, but if that last little bit of cock wasn’t in there, or it wasn’t, painted, it just didn’t look right so.
Lisa: You’re so right.
Mike: It’s that finished that little detail stuff. So listen, this show is Insider Secrets. How about a couple of secrets for the listeners?
Lisa: I would say, really think about a couple of things. One, really think about your branding as an individual, as a syndicator, or if you’re a passive investor or whatever.
Branding, I think is so important. Having a good reputation in the industry, having a nice logo, having a nice website, all of those things are important. I think using your face on as much as you possibly can from a marketing standpoint is really key. That’s how I really grew my business from the beginning was putting my face on every single thing.
And people always told me, Lisa you’re like Elvis. We see you everywhere. [00:30:00] And that’s what you want is people to remember you that you’re out there and that you’re building this brand around yourself. So I think that’s really important. The other thing is if you’re trying to find a mentor of some sort, don’t expect the mentor to educate you.
You really need to educate yourself on the industry and get all the basics in place. Learn the terminology, learn the big picture, and learn who the players are. Really do your homework before you’re trying to just ask somebody to help you with something. And then try to see what value you can bring to them.
At least you’ll know how to talk in an educated way about the industry. So that was a big help to me when I first started in multi-family.
Mike: I like that. See what value you can bring to them. That’s why I always think it’s about just really, what can I do for you? What’s a good lead for you?
How do I bring value to your network, your business? I think that just makes a big difference in the relationship piece and with technology today, that whole relationship thing is just where’s [00:31:00] it really at any house. I really appreciate you being here today.
Any last thoughts before we kind of go to the second part of this.
Lisa: I just think that a lot of times people don’t realize how important getting the upgraded kind of leasing office and the overall image of the property up can make a big difference at the beginning. A lot of times they start on the unit interiors, which we help with those as well and model units and all of that.
Because that’s where they’re comfortable. I think just let’s get these unit interiors looking great. But if you don’t do that leasing office first that people see that’s the first impression space. It’s hard to get it all the way up. So we’ve had really great luck with the ones that we’ve done with the ownership team telling us afterwards.
Our occupancy rate just went up up after we had that leasing office done. So that would be a recommendation.
Mike: Yeah. Interesting. Thanks. Hey, on a lighter note, so I like to ask some fun questions. So where’s the best place that [00:32:00] you’ve ever been for one of those trips by yourself? Just Lisa time.
Lisa: Yeah. I went to a place in Mexico one time that was up on a cliff. That was amazing. I had to climb down this cliff to get to the beach and it was a beach that was a private, really quiet beach. And there was no one on it, so days I was just there by myself. So that was really interesting.
One of my rules is, induced rule is I don’t really ever go to the same place twice. I feel like there’s so many places in the world to go that it’s just so fun to try somewhere new. I did a three week Pacific Northwest solo trip one time that was a road trip.
I flew up to Seattle and went up to Vancouver and then drove all the way back down. It was in January, snow was like six feet tall, all the way down the coast and all the way back up and got stranded on a mountain with a bunch of 18 Wheeler drivers. And there’s just story after story, whenever you do these solo trips of people you meet and the fun adventures you have.
Mike: Yeah. That sounds awesome actually. Normally I ask [00:33:00] people these questions about where they live in their region, but I want to know cause you’ve been to so many places so, a favorite restaurant?
Lisa: I love so many different kinds of food. So I don’t really have one in particular.
I really like really fresh food, local food. And so wherever I go, that’s what I’m eating, whatever the locals eat. I’m always asking wherever I’m staying. Where do you like to eat? Not where do you recommend, like that you’re getting paid for, but. Where do the locals eat? So that’s what I do is I try to eat like the locals wherever I am.
Mike: Yeah. That’s a great idea, right? To eat like the locals do, because you feel fulfilled. A good friend of mine got married in Brazil and went to Brazil, went to real, hung out and real for a couple of days, took a bus trip up into the mountains. Seven hours on a Greyhound bus in a little town, but on the way back coming down the mountain, there was a little restaurant on the side of the road, right by the ocean where they caught [00:34:00] your fish right now, cook that right there in front of you. That was really an interesting afternoon and a time to eat. So I’d get that whole local local’s thing, that’s pretty cool.
How about a favorite book you’ve ever read?
Lisa: That one, “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow” had a big impact on me. And multifamily, I really love the Joe Fairless and Theo Hicks book, the “Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book”, man, for anybody who’s looking to get into multi-family that is a great education type book. You can only absorb a little bit at a time because there’s so much information in there. It’s a broad overview. So that’s the one I would recommend for multi-family.
Mike: Yeah. Good. Lisa, people want to get ahold of you. And one thing that you said was to share a menu of your services.
If people want to grab a hold of that, how do they get that? How do they touch base with you? If they have questions or would want to pursue your service in any way?
Lisa: They can just email me directly. It’s Lisa Landry, L [00:35:00] A N D R Y at Landry designs with an S on it, (firstname.lastname@example.org) Landry designs.com and our website is landrydesigns.com.
So they can always go there and look at some of our multi-family work and our residential work and everything there. But emailing me directly is the quickest way, and I can send them the multifamily menu of services right there.
Mike: Yeah, excellent. I can’t believe how fast this time one today. Because it was just like sped by, but that happens whenever I do one of these podcasts that happens when I talk to somebody who’s got a different perspective on things and that’s what I found with you.
So I appreciate you being here. Any last comments or thoughts?
Lisa: I have just enjoyed it so much. I love learning from these podcasts and I appreciate all that you do for the community. That’s how we all get better and share with each other. So I’m excited to be here.
Mike: Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate that. And I appreciate you and appreciate you being here.
And actually when we get off, I’m going to pick your brain a little bit about something in my life that I need some decorating help with. Hey everybody. Thanks for being here. It’s [00:36:00] been another great episode of Insider Secrets, and I would ask you please, to subscribe on YouTube and go to our website and write a review and follow us on Instagram and follow us on clubhouse.
If you’re on clubhouse, if you haven’t been there yet, it’s a place to be. And there’s some really great resources out there, but Insider Secrets like us, love us and help our ratings please. And we’ll look forward to seeing you all next Tuesday.
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 my mycoreintentions.com where you can get expert coaching on all things, multifamily investing and property management.
We’re looking forward to having you back again next week for more Insider Secrets.