Episode 8 | ApartmentHacker | Cut Off Both Ends of the Ham

Get relentless about questioning the status quo!

In this episode of ApartmentHacker, I discuss cutting off both ends of the ham.

Or, better said – just because you’ve always done it one way doesn’t mean you can’t do it another way!

Get relentless about questioning the status quo!

Your, always challenging the status quo ApartmentHacker,


P.S. Check out the ApartmentHacker Facebook Page for my latest in my ongoing video series.


Episode 5 | Apartment Hacker | Occupancy Permits

In this episode I opine on the topic of occupancy permits and the lack of consistency germane to the inspection process. I 100% appreciate and support the need for cities and municipalities to govern building and living quality in their respective housing stocks. It’s the lack of a consistent interpretation and application of the occupancy codes by inspectors that frustrates me. And, trust me; there is a second side of this coin falls squarely on the shoulders of operators. We need  solid deliverables in our turnover quality so as not to waste the time and limited city resource.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Episode 4 | Apartment Hacker | Servant Leadership

I believe leaders are made with the right amount of love, care and respect.

In Episode 4 I give you my thoughts related to Servant Leadership.

Leadership is something I’ve held front and center in my career.

I believe leaders are made with the right amount of love, care and respect.

There is no SOP for leadership but there are principles to live by and I think it all starts with a servant’s mind.

You consistently searching for chances to serve the people who serve our space multifamily maniac,


Elite Soccer Teams

Right Now leaves companies ten years behind their field at any given time.

“The elite soccer teams in the world emphasize pace over perfection. They recognize keeping the ball moving quickly is better than waiting and trying to make the ideal pass.” – Fast Company (December Issue, Page 16)

It is striking to me; one’s unwillingness or massive hesitation to ‘pass’ product, service or a story to the masses. People get in their way thinking quality, brilliance, superiority, excellence, perfection or even good enough has to exist before you can set caution to the wind and move the ball quickly. They prefer the safety of waiting in perpetuity for the perfect moment.

I see too many people set under the rule of reaction, fire chasing, got-a-minutes and the latest leadership impulse. I see too many people lead by whimsical, zero vision, mindless mission, vitriolic values and too small to see or nonexistent strategies. I see the proverbial 50/50 loss, intercepted pass, or consistent offside call because we think the ‘right now’ work matters most.

The problem with that type of thinking is that something always pulls our attention away from the things that move the ball quickly.

Right Now

Right Now moves paper from the left side of your desk to the right side. Right Now turns email into a conversational platform instead of moving a business forward platform. Right Now leaves mission to those socially well-attuned companies that are making a difference in the world. Right Now leaves vision to those who want to grow the human capital that will Scale a business Up. Right Now leaves defining values to those who give a damn about the people who CARE. Right Now leaves strategy to the élite masters of building cultures of thriving people. Right Now leaves companies ten years behind their field at any given time. Right Now leaves everyone sick and tired of being sick and tired (a dangerous spot). Lastly, Right Now leaves you to wonder why the team never gets the ball across centerfield.


Employee Survey

Don’t reduce employee survey results to one more item on your “to-do” list.

Survey results are not worth the paper unless used to make meaningful change.

Don’t reduce results to one more item on your “to-do” list.

Do pick two or three meaningful things to act on.

Don’t pick the low-hanging fruit.

Do act quickly.

Your digging through employee survey results presently multifamily maniac,


Multifamily Innovation

Create a free maintenance training school using your community as the learning lab.

Read about a Paraguayan newspaper launching a free journalism school.

Made me think about some multifamily angles:

1. free maintenance training school using your community as the learning lab

2. free property management training school using your community as the learning lab

3. free leadership training school using your property management company as the learning lab

Maybe the pupil comes to work for you; maybe they don’t.

In the process – you have taken a step to enrich the world.

Your thinking about enriching the world Multifamily Maniac,



When you wake in the morning and stand in front of the mirror – ask yourself “Am I better person today than I was yesterday based on my experiences.

I am often struck by a person’s need for validation/recognition by people of authority.

In my head – the best measure of success and validation is the mirror test.

When you wake in the morning and stand in front of the mirror – ask yourself “Am I better person today than I was yesterday based on my experiences.

If the answer is yes – boom! If not, acknowledge it, make a new plan, execute it and check in the following morning.

Don’t look for your inspiration out there because the world has a funny way of letting you down.

Look for inspiration in there (inside your heart, mind, body and soul). This world has a funny way of kicking ass and taking names.

Your challenging you to look inside not outside Multifamily Maniac,



In the Absence of Rules

Amazing culture allows for Insanely Great people to do Insanely Great Stuff.

In the absence of rules – there is Culture.

It allows for moment of truth conversation.

It allows for courageous conversation.

It allows for blunt truth.

It allows for in-your-face awesomeness.

It allows for character building.

It allows for sharpening the saw.

It allows for vision.

It allows for mission.

It allows for Insanely Great people doing Insanely Great Stuff.

Your Culture is where it’s at Multifamily Maniac,



And One – Idea

Take this as an opportunity to respond +1.

It happens from time to time.

A customer arrives to take occupancy of their apartment and it’s not ready.

Take this as an opportunity to respond +1.

Tell the resident they are in luck!

Tell them the apartment is receiving a little extra time and attention.

That means they get a free lunch/dinner on us.

They also get a free hour of move-in help (pre-arrange with a local moving company).

Your And One is the differentiator Multifamily Maniac,


Don’t Bring Me a Problem

A leader’s job is to teach.

How do you treat people who highlight problems in your apartment management business? Yes – the squeaky wheels.

Do not Bring me a Problem Without a Solution

Is your natural response to those who bring gifts of unrest and disrepair – “don’t bring me a problem without a solution?” Alternatively, do you quietly clench your fists out of aggravation and offer your own set of solutions? On the other hand, do you blow a gasket and start in with the wit and prose of an aggravated leader?

The problem with – “don’t bring me a problem without a solution” – is that people stop bringing you problems. They even let the most catastrophic of all go unannounced, as they would rather eat razor blades than incur the verbal or nonverbal shaming.

Everything that Happens in the World is an Education

I am a firm believer that everything that happens in the world be it to you or another is a chance to learn or lead. In addition, if you embrace it as such, you will be all the richer for it.

Want to Scale?

If the intent is to scale up your apartment management business – pay absolute loving attention to problems and don’t discriminate between the large-scale and small-scale. Big problems need laser-focused action and small problems – well they become big problems with alarming speed and if not addressed can undermine even the best in breed.

As Mills Properties goes all out to scale the business – we will undoubtedly start the hard work of looking at each behavior that can/will hold us back. Giving attention and education to squeaky wheels is one of those areas. Not to suggest that all the answers will be front and center but tools such as resourcefulness and wherewithal will be. Teaching people to use the tools will be in part – a key to Scaling Up.

From the top down, we must learn to invite problems – no matter the nature – with open hearts and minds. Not as a chance to vilify and shame those that work with and for us. We will look at each as an education in progress, greatness and excellence.


Taking time to teach today pays big dividends down the road. More times than not people bring you problems not because they want to displace work. Not because they are lazy. Not because fear paralyzes them. No – it’s because they simply have little to no aptitude for solving them. Moreover, the size of the problem doesn’t matter.

A leader’s job is to teach. So next time someone drops a bomb in your lap. Stop. Breathe and Teach. And do so understanding that dividends pay handsomely over time.

Your looking forward to every problem as an education that will pay dividends Multifamily Maniac,