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People don’t have a great impression about property management for a reason – being that it is an industry known for unsatisfactory service. Angie McDaniel – a military spouse who is an owner-landlord since 1998 and an associate broker with Keller Williams – dives deep into breaking the bad reputation of property management. Angie tells us why she employs other military spouses in her workforce and the importance of providing valuable service to people who are leaving their properties and personal homes. Moreover, she adds how social media are useful for networking and building your team. Learn how to excel in this “poor service industry” as Angie shares her passion, persistence, and right mindset in this episode.
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Angie McDaniel on Property Management Business
Our guest is Angie McDaniel. Thanks for being on the show, Angie.
Thanks for having me.
I’m pleased to have you as a guest. You and I talked and I was impressed with your story. I’m excited to share it with the audience. Angie has been an owner-landlord since 1998 and was trained professionally by a leading property management company in Southern California. After years of moving around with her husband’s military career, she eventually landed in Northern Virginia, starting a property management company that she built to six figures in only a few short years. In her sixth year of business, Angie is an associate broker with Keller Williams Realty in Old Town, Alexandria and employs other military spouses on her property management team. I liked how you found this niche of ladies who need jobs. They’re qualified. You provide a service by helping them have a job and good employees for yourself. Angie, I’m looking forward to hearing more about your story. Tell the audience who you are and let’s get into how you started this business.
I’ve been a military spouse for 27 years. We have five children. For most of those years, I was at home with the kids. I’m college educated like many military spouses are. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate among military spouses is about 25%. I found that when I was ready to not be a full-time stay-at-home mom and enter the workforce, it was a big challenge. I’m very entrepreneurial-minded and going through the process of knowing what I bring to the table for another company but being denied because they saw that I was a military spouse or maybe I didn’t have the same résumé on paper because we would move around every eighteen months, plus being at home with the kids. That was a huge challenge. I fell into this niche of property management. It had been our lifestyle, being long-distance landlords. We’ve moved eighteen times. We’ve owned homes and had to rent them out. Through that personal experience and also to experience with other property management companies around the country, I thought, “This is a big need.” I feel as an owner and with my experience as a military family moving around, I had something I can bring to that industry to make it better. That’s what I started to do.
You found a problem and you found a way to build your team but provide an answer to this problem as well.
It’s an industry that’s known for poor service. Typically, when you hear property management, people don’t have a great impression of those companies. Even myself as an owner, I didn’t think it was worth paying someone to let my property deteriorate. Moving to Northern Virginia, this is such a unique market because it’s so transient with military and government personnel who get stationed overseas. I had a real opportunity to provide a valuable service to people who are leaving the area but coming back, and their properties are their personal homes. They’re not investment properties. It’s a personal thing. It’s an emotional thing. People are attached to their homes, so they have to be well-cared for. It takes a higher level of fiduciary responsibility that you’ve got to stay on top of it. The challenge that I faced coming here is that no one knew me. Starting something from scratch and to do it following the law, I had to find a broker who would support me in that endeavor, and I didn’t know anyone. I have a lot of work to do. I had a lot of people to meet. That’s what I spent a good portion of my time doing, initially, until I found the right opportunity.
I want to get into how you started this business a little bit. Being in a new area, not knowing anyone, having to find a broker that would allow you to work with them and hang your business under their license. Tell us about that process a little bit. I could see where a lot of people are then going to say, “It’s not meant to be,” or “This is too difficult. I’m going to go try to invest in something else,” or “I’m going to go start a different business.” What gave you the drive there to keep pushing even though you faced these challenges?
I did have some moments where I felt like giving up. I did a few other things in the first year. I had transferred my license to Virginia. I didn’t know how long we would be here initially. At first, I didn’t know if it made sense to start something and have to pick up and leave it again as I did in California. I was rocking and rolling in Southern California. I got my foot in the door and I was doing well, then we had to leave. For a while, I worked for a government contractor for a little bit. I got my foot in the door there and found out very quickly that was not for me. It took a lot of persistence. We tend to limit ourselves by what we think. We put self-imposed limitations and therefore, we give up too soon.
I came to a point where I decided that, “I have to go for it. This is what I want to do. I know how I want to do the job. I know I’ll be good at this and make a difference.” I took the plunge. I had to think outside the box. I had to figure it out. I had to brainstorm, “How am I going to meet people? Whom can I talk to?” I started networking lots of different organizations, some property management organizations. Initially, I thought, “I may have to go to work for another property management company here,” which is what I did temporarily. I was faced with, “I wouldn’t do business like this.”
When you’re in it and you’re working for another company, it’s frustrating because you see that, “This is the same old. I don’t want to be part of this. This is what I’ve got right now so I’m going to have to work it until I get to where I want to be.” Finally, after about almost a year of meeting people and allowing people to get to know me and that was one of the key pieces. People had to get to know me. They had to know that they could trust me, that I was reliable. That I did what I said I was going to do. By building relationships with people, I was able to build that trust. Through that trust, I had some people who introduced me to my broker here at Keller Williams, which is where I’ve been. He got my vision and supported me. That’s eventually where I landed and I was able to start my own thing.
I liked how you talked about building those relationships. You started networking. You jumped right in. You built relationships. I hear it so often in success stories like yours. It’s key. It’s critical. If you’re not building relationships, if you’re not networking, I don’t know where you expect to go.
You have to come from a place of contribution too. It can’t be networking for selfish reasons. You have to genuinely want to get to know people, support people and also serve. That’s one of the biggest keys to being successful in business is having that heart where you want to serve other people instead of what you’re going to get out of it for yourself. That doesn’t work. That doesn’t last. That’s not a good long-term game plan. You have to be the right person in order to give the right service. It starts inside and you have to stick with it.
[bctt tweet=”You have to step out of the boat into the crashing waves and get going with it. If you just stand still, you’re never going to go anywhere.” username=””]
You genuinely have to want to help others. I’m sure when you decided to jump into this business, people probably thought, “She’s crazy. Why is she doing that?” Did you hear that?
I tend to shut people out. I did have a little bit of a challenge before I was able to launch my own thing with a company that I had started working with. We had arranged an initial business deal and that fell apart. Sadly for them in the long run because I’ve been successful, thankfully. They could’ve benefited from that. There were some bumps in the road. There were definitely some people who may have been threatened. My biggest cheerleader is my husband. He has always encouraged me to push ahead. That’s the way we operate as a couple and as parents. We’re hard chargers. We make things happen. You have to know what you want to do. You have to methodically go about it. Let all the negativity fall by the wayside.
I can relate to the military mindset and how that’s probably affected your business. You being in that military family for this long and the training your husband’s had. I know that affected me a lot from being in the military, having the mindset of making it happen. Let’s push forward. There’s no turning back. Let’s make it happen.
I’ve had to learn this over a lot of years. Difficult circumstances are what mold you into the person that you’re going to be. We tell our kids. We’ve got college-age kids, young adults. When they get stressed out, we tell them, “You need to lean into that. Lean into the challenges and welcome them. Be excited about them because those challenges are going to make you who you are.” When you talk moving all over the country for 27 years, raising five children and my husband is on deployment all the time and not having support almost all of that period of time, it is hard. You want to get out of it, when you’re in it. You want to get out of the difficult situations, but looking back, those challenges are what strengthen you. I would tell anybody who’s reading that if you’re struggling in your business to move things forward, you got to press into that and welcome the challenge. Tell yourself, “I love challenges. I’m a conqueror of challenges,” and go get it done. Push through it.
If you see a challenge, lean into that. I’ve had to learn that. It’s a tall mindset. Initially, it’s out of your comfort zone. You want to stay away from those challenges initially. It’s a mindset change of knowing that there’s growth potential there.
You have to focus on what you want. You don’t focus on the challenge. You focus on the solution. That’s important because what you focus on expands.
Help the reader who is starting a business or is in those shoes and they’re facing some of those challenges. Maybe you have some advice since you’ve experienced success. You’ve done it quickly. Tell them some keys to making it happen.
You have to have a plan. Don’t get overwhelmed with the whole plan, but look at the thing that you have to do next. Be very methodical and focus on one step at a time. Don’t go on to the next step until you’ve perfected the first step. At the same time that you’re doing that, you do need to feed your mind. It’s important that you’re listening to things that are positive, that you’re not exposing yourself to a lot of negative influences. You need to read. Reading is important. Read good books that help you develop your mindset. It’s challenging the world that we live in. We’re constantly bombarded with negativity with the 24/7 news cycles and social media. It never stops. You do have to put that stuff aside, push it away and put good, positive, productive things into your mind.
You mentioned, “Don’t expose yourself to negative influences.” What I find is, there are people that are in your life, whether it’s family or friends that care about you, but they don’t understand the entrepreneurial mindset and where you’re headed. They mean well but they are discouraging you in this venture. Did you experience that?
Not too much because I’m very confident and very strong. I’m a strong personality. I don’t get too much negativity from too many people close by because they know I’ll push back. I would say, “If you struggle, if other people struggle with that or you’ve got people in your family that is a little nuts with negativity, you just have to be confident. That’s a bit more of a challenge that you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, but be confident with what you know you’re setting out to do. It’s reading good books, listening to good podcasts and listening to motivational things that compensate for some of the maybe negative relationships that are around you.
What are some other ways that made you successful in starting your business? It might be ways that you found that were good for networking or even in building your team.
I utilize social media quite a bit as far as building my team. That has been key. You get to a point where you become so busy when you’re by yourself that you have to let go of some responsibilities. That means bringing people on. If you’re a control freak, that might be difficult to do. I reached a point where I couldn’t handle it anymore. It was so stressful to do by myself that I had to reach out and start looking for some other like-minded people or hard-charging people. The first place I turned was to other military spouses because there are predominantly women who have been home with kids and they want to work. They’re very intelligent. They’ve been brought up in that military system and with that mindset for a lot of years as well. That’s the first place I turned.
[bctt tweet=”Difficult circumstances are what mold you into the person that you’re going to be.” username=””]
I utilize social media in the area that we’re in. There’s a vast network of military spouses. I immediately had some women send me their résumés. They were phenomenal. I brought them on the team. They’ve been rock stars ever since. It’s been great. We’re looking to continue to grow in that. It’s been key to delegate some responsibilities so I can focus on the main thing, the business growth, the business building and also maintain quality service. That’s a core value of ours is providing high-level quality service. I don’t ever want to sacrifice that. That means I’ve got to bring on other high-quality people who understand that in order to maintain that reputation. That’s critical for continued growth. That’s been the next step for me in my business growth is, “I’ve started this thing. I’ve got to keep going because it’s getting bigger and bigger and I can’t handle all of it.”
What are some things that you found hard to delegate that you finally did delegate?
For me, it’s hard to slow down, stop and teach someone. I do love to teach. I love to speak. I love to motivate people. I love to teach classes, which I do here at Keller Williams. That’s the biggest thing. I go so fast. It’s stopping, slowing down and taking the time to show someone how to do something the right way. Once I do it, it’s the greatest thing ever. I’m thankful that I have these other military spouses to come alongside me.
How do you lay out the tasks to know, “This is something that I should give to somebody else?” I hear that often. I hear people say, “I don’t need an assistant yet,” or “I don’t need a VA yet.” I found that I wanted one as soon as I could get one so I can focus on the higher-dollar tasks.
I give them the things that I don’t like to do, the things that I don’t need to be working on either. They’re a lot of the day-to-day operational detailed tasks that I don’t need to be doing. I was happy to take that off my plate and put it on somebody else’s. It’s taking the step to do that especially my personality type which is, “Go, go, go. I’ll do everything. I’ll do it all.” That type of personality has to grow too and let go. That’s what I’ve had to focus on.
What’s been the hardest part of either starting this business or operating the management company? How did you overcome that?
The hardest part was getting started. You have to move the dial. A lot of people talk about doing something, but they never do it. They talk about doing it when X, Y, Z is perfect. It’s never going to be perfect. You have to step out of the boat into the crashing waves and get going with it. If you stand still, you’re never going to go anywhere. You have to take steps. That’s the hardest part was not knowing how it was going to work out and not having any connections. For me, that was the most difficult part. One of the challenges is being able to push pause and catch a breath because when you’re in business, the business does not stop. It keeps on going and you can’t push pause.
I feel the same struggle. I’m ready to work all these hours, but you’ve got to make time for the family. I have to time block it so I can be there mentally, like leave the phone in the office, so I’m away from it completely. What’s a way that you’ve improved your business so that we could all apply to ours?
I’m working on that. I’m working on my systems. I’m working on my scheduling and making sure we have very clear and measurable goals. With what I do, we have a high volume of constant activity in a lot of different areas. We’re doing property management. We’re doing sales. I have another aspect of the business, a service that we provide to other real estate agents. There are a lot of moving parts. We meet regularly as a team. We’re constantly going over our schedule, who’s doing what and making sure that we’re all on the same page. That’s where we’re at especially this busy season that we’re into. That’s been the focus.
What’s the number one thing that’s contributed to your success?
It’s persistence and having the right mindset. I’ve been talking about that a lot. It’s absolutely critical. You have to work on how you think. You have to work on yourself, probably more than anything else because you are going to make or break yourself. You are going to make or break your success. Nobody else is going to do it. It’s you. You’ve got to work on you. That’s what I would tell people to focus on. That’s what’s been the main factor for me.
Any other tips on starting or operating a business that you’d like to give to our audience?
[bctt tweet=”You have to focus on what you want because what you focus on expands.” username=””]
Find what you are passionate about. Find what you bring to the table. Don’t try to copy anybody else. A lot of times we look at all these other people. We feel like we’ve got to duplicate exactly what they do in order to be successful. Think about what’s been put on your heart, what is attractive to you, what you’re passionate about and develop that. Don’t try to imitate somebody else or feel like you’re not successful because you’re not doing what somebody else is doing. You do you. You were created for a purpose. You’re created on purpose for a purpose. Work on that. Do that and figure out what that is.
How do you like to give back?
We give back here in our office. We’ve got Red Day coming up in Alexandria. We work with a group called The Hope House. It’s a day where everyone stops working. We go out into the community and serve our neighborhood in Alexandria. That’s one way. Something else that I’m passionate about is kids in inner city schools. I spent a year investing in a classroom in Norfolk, Virginia. I mentored kids in that class. It was an awesome experience. It changed me probably more than it changed them. It’s important that whatever you do in life that you take some time to give your community. Not look at the problems but be a solution to the problems that are around you.
Thank you so much, Angie. I appreciate you sharing that. I appreciate your time being on the show, the process of starting a business and how important mindset is. Tell the audience how they can learn more about you and your business. I also wanted to thank your husband and you for your military service.
It’s not just him that’s serving. It’s a whole family service. Tell the audience how they can get in touch with you.
Angie, thank you again. I appreciate the audience being with us. I hope you also go to Life Bridge Capital and connect with me. Go to our Facebook group, The Real Estate Syndication Show, so we can all learn and grow our businesses together with experts like Angie. Also, don’t forget the group. We will appreciate you sharing the show. We will talk to you soon.
- Angie McDaniel
- Keller Williams Realty
- Red Day
- The Real Estate Syndication Show – Facebook Group
About Angie McDaniel
Property management comes second nature to Angie McDaniel. As a Navy wife for over 26 years, Angie has moved around the country 18 times with her husband and 5 children. She has been an owner/landlord since 1998 and was trained professionally by a leading property management company in Southern California.
After years of moving around with her husband’s military career, she eventually landed in Northern Virginia. Starting a property management company from scratch and without knowing a soul, she was able to build a substantial 6-figure income in only a few short years.
If there is one thing Angie is committed and passionate about, it is bringing the highest level of service to the property management industry and her clients. She takes her client fiduciary responsibility seriously, not only because she manages high-value assets, but they are her clients’ personal homes.
Now in her 6th year in business, Angie is an Associate Broker with Keller Williams Realty in Old Town Alexandria and employs other military spouses on her property management team. Command Property Management also sells and provides a tenant screening service to other agents in the region. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors and has a B.A. from San Diego State University in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a specialization in Communication.