Property managers handle it all: tenant screening, lease management, maintenance requests, accounting, and more.
It’s a tough job that requires a lot of dedication, knowledge, and proactivity.
Bryan Demuro has demonstrated these characteristics over the years in his own role as a property manager. For this reason, we’re proud to highlight him as DoorLoop’s property manager of the month.
Every month, we like to take the time to highlight a property manager that embodies DoorLoop’s values and, more importantly, someone who has great advice and can teach our readers to become better in the field.
In this post, we will discuss Bryan’s upbringing in property management and share some of his advice to reach success within the industry.
Bryan jumped into property management at the early age of 22.
He initially raced motocross but got injured during a national event. At that point, he reevaluated his career options. Inspired by his friend’s lucrative success with managing self-storage units, Bryan determined that he wanted to pursue property management next.
With just $1,000 in his own bank account, Bryan partnered with that friend and obtained a loan from him to purchase and flip a house. He made $12,500 in profits from the endeavor and decided to continue riding on that momentum, which eventually led to him managing self-storage units and learning more about real estate.
Bryan continued studying and saving, ultimately buying his first property at the age of 26. He started with single-family homes and has since grown his portfolio to multi-family properties and duplexes.
He originally planned on using these investments as leverage for purchasing larger-scale properties, but he now uses them to give back to the community. For example, for the past 11 years, Bryan and his friend have been running a free indoor skate park in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
With each of his projects, Bryan now keeps the following goals in mind:
- Be the person he needed when he was a teenager
- Teach others to have fun but still keep themselves together so they can enjoy all parts of their lives and identities
- Expand his business by buying and managing more properties with his friend’s company
Although the “why” behind Bryan’s property management business ventures has changed over the years, a simple principle remains: Bryan wants to be himself and give back, and owning property is how he has been able to obtain the time and resources he needs to achieve that.
Experience with DoorLoop
Bryan uses DoorLoop for his residential real estate properties.
He was drawn to the software and the company as a whole due to its customer service and support. Bryan says, “Anytime I need assistance or help with anything, I always have someone who’s friendly and ready to talk to me.”
When searching for a property management software, Bryan found other options to be unresponsive and not personable. He immediately found DoorLoop’s onboarding team to be quite the opposite.
Additionally, he found all the tools he needed in DoorLoop, from maintenance requests to all the necessary reports for his business. He also loves DoorLoop’s ease of use for not only himself but also his tenants.
Advice for Property Managers
Bryan has a wealth of knowledge and experience that he imparts to other property managers. We asked him a few questions to hear more about his insights.
You’re a landlord with a few dozen properties. You’re bogged down with managing everything yourself. What would you do to fix the problem?
Bryan suggests evaluating your particular situation and needs by asking yourself the following questions:
- What exactly is bogging you down?
- What can you take off your plate and hire out?
- Does the value of taking a task off your hands outweigh the cost of paying someone else (e.g., a property manager or contractor) to do it for you?
- Is the task big enough to hire a contractor, or can you get a part-time handyman to take care of it?
He emphasizes that there are scenarios where giving yourself a pay cut to hire something out and “buy your time back” is worthwhile. However, it all depends on what’s bogging you down, how you can offload it, and what you and your business’s needs are.
Bryan also explains how much DoorLoop has taken a burden off his shoulders on the management side of things. Its maintenance management tools allow tenants to post photos, which he uses to decide whether he can fix the issue himself or would prefer hiring another professional.
What advice would you give to a seasoned rental property investor who wants to grow and expand?
To this, Bryan insightfully reminds investors to stick to their “why.”
He asserts that investors should remember why they initially got into property management and should not get greedy or compare themselves to others, or else they might lose themselves.
Bryan says, “If you stick to your ‘why,’ bad days become good days, and good days become great days.”
What property management advice would you give to new landlords who are just starting out?
Simply partner with Bryan on a deal. Duh!
In all seriousness, Bryan offers new landlords and property managers the following advice:
- Network with people in the field to learn from them and partner with them
- Get your feet wet with smaller-scale investments
- Ignore people saying how much money you “should” be making
- Make sure you have the funds for expenses like repairs, then build from there
- Attend local investor gatherings and meet-ups to learn from others
Bryan also reminds newcomers that their first deal isn’t going to be a home run. You aren’t going to start with a 20-unit complex. Just get your first deal, and network and learn from others.
Bryan notes that young investors in particular have a leg up, since older people in the industry will recognize their ambition and want to teach them. This is a great opportunity for newcomers to take advantage of.
What is something you feel landlords get wrong about property management?
Bryan points out a number of property management mistakes that landlords should look out for and suggests remedying them:
- Not sticking to their guns
- Listening to sob stories instead of maintaining the business
- Not adhering to tenant screening criteria
- Being disorganized
On the note of organization, Bryan also offers some suggestions for staying on top of things:
- Utilize computer folders and section them by time of year (e.g., quarter)
- Enter information for all relevant receipts, such as for repairs
- Put in receipt information right away; the sooner you get it done, the easier it is
- Use DoorLoop
Bryan stresses the importance of addressing bookkeeping immediately, especially if you have multiple properties. For example, if you have a plumber come out to two of your units at once, they might send you a single bill for both work orders. That can get confusing three months down the line, so it’s best to just enter all the information right away while all the information is still fresh.
DoorLoop has helped him stay on top of this all and keep his bookkeeping organized.
What is your #1 most important tip for landlords, whether new or seasoned?
Regardless of whether you’ve been in the industry for two days or two decades, Bryan reminds all property investors that, above the real estate, their tenants are actually their #1 asset.
Your investment is your tenants; they’re the ones who can take care of or destroy your property. By treating them fairly and with respect, you’ll usually get that good treatment back (though bad apples do exist too, of course).
Bryan has achieved great success in the world of property management by working hard, being determined, and staying true to himself every step of the way.
The theme of his career has stayed consistent over the years and aligns with his general advice to others in the field: march to the beat of your own drum, keep organized, stay focused, be fair and personable, and remember that tenants are your #1 asset.
There’s no such thing as getting overnight success, so if you were thinking about getting started in real estate investments like Bryan, start today!
DoorLoop has tons of content to help you get started on building your portfolio, so don’t be a stranger and check out more reading material, like this beginner’s guide!