Sean Printz is the Founder and President of Elect Technologies, which distributes networking, server, storage, and support hardware to value-added resellers (VARS), integrators, and managed service providers. He has supported hundreds of IT resellers and integrator clients by increasing their profits and business sales. With a decade of experience leading sales organizations, Sean is skilled in account management, direct sales, and lead generation.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Sean Printz reveals how he entered the IT space and founded Elect Technologies
- What Sean learned about entrepreneurship from his career in sales
- Tips for entrepreneurs to manage setbacks
- Sean’s practical approach to business success
- Why Sean invested in real estate and how he overcame its challenges
- Advice for first-time real estate investors
In this episode…
Entrepreneurship is often accompanied by complications and losses. As a business owner, it’s critical to maintain flexibility and composure. So, how can you effectively tackle obstacles to preserve your clients’ trust?
Accomplished entrepreneur Sean Printz recommends establishing an initial framework that includes the values you intend to display in your business. Putting standards in place ensures that your business doesn’t fall apart when things go awry. The next step is to cold call clients and offer them quality services that embody those values. By demonstrating transparency and taking ownership of failures that may occur on behalf of the client, you can maintain an impeccable reputation and achieve long-term success.
Join Mat Zalk in today’s episode of The Same Day Podcast as he talks with Sean Printz, Founder and President of Elect Technologies, about strategic approaches to entrepreneurship. Sean reveals what he learned about entrepreneurship from being in sales, tips for entrepreneurs to manage challenges, and his practical approach to achieving business success.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Sean Printz on LinkedIn
- Elect Technologies
- The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness by Morgan Housel
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink
- The Brave: Becoming men of honor, integrity, strength, and grace by Michael Bowen
- Mat Zalk on LinkedIn
- Keyrenter Property Management
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Keyrenter Property Management.
Keyrenter Property Management is a full-service property management company who helps their clients buy, renovate, and operate real estate assets.
They help clients build wealth while taking the headache out of property management.
That’s why, no matter what rental you have — single-family homes, condos, townhomes, or apartments — they can give you the management solutions you need.
Welcome to The Same Day Podcast where we discuss driving incremental business growth and other topics related to real estate, property management and entrepreneurship now to the show at hand.
Mat Zalk 0:30
Mat Zalk here host of The Same Day Podcast where I connect with top business experts, real estate leaders. Some past guests that I’d love to mention are Scott Reeves and Chickasaw Community Bank Lee Easton AeroVision Mike Basch Atento Capital. Today’s message is brought to you sorry, today’s episode is brought to you by Keyrenter Property Management at Keyrenter Property Management. We’re a full service property management company, helping our clients buy, renovate and operate real estate assets. We help our clients build wealth, we’ll take the headache out of real estate ownership. want them to own it but not have the headache? Listen, Sean, you know, as well as anybody what Keyrenter does, we’ve helped you with a couple of renovations? No, they have not been perfect by any means we’ve improved our process with your help. So I’m grateful to you for that we’ve taken some very, I’d say some ugly properties and we’ve done some renovation work and gotten them leased and you haven’t had to lift a finger except to fund the account through our online portal. You are a perfect example. Honestly an owner that has a full time job that doesn’t want to handle the day to day management who wants to benefit from the long term property ownership and the wealth building wealth building effects of that ownership, especially since you’re 700 miles away in Colorado. That’s why it doesn’t matter what kind of rental you have a single family home or condo, townhome and apartment we’ve got the management solution for you go to keyrenterpmc.com, or [email protected] for more information. Before we start this, I do want to give a huge shout out to Joe Cadillac because he is the one that actually introduced us originally, he referred you to us. He’s got a great website at home soldfast.com And he’s got the company fixed properties. They focus on buying and selling houses quickly for cash. So if you need to get a quick injection of cash in exchange for your home contact fixed properties. Today on the Sean Printz. Sean’s the founder and CEO of Elect Technologies Elect Technologies provide provides it VARs that’s value added resellers, resellers, I just learned that very important. It VARs, integrators and managed service providers with mission critical IT hardware for less than their competition. By doing that, by providing unique and competitive sourcing strategies Elect Technologies increases their clients profit and new business sales. Sean was formerly at a competitor, which is why I want to talk about his leap and entrepreneurship. And he realized he was better off rocking it on his own. He’s the proud father of three girls. It makes you a girl Dad, just like me. I also have three girls twins, and a young baby living in Castle Rock, Colorado. And he did is fun. It’s a fun fact for everybody did half a semester at Colorado Mountain College, realized he was best doing sales and he’s been crushing ever since college is not for everybody. There’s a huge push in the especially in the technology world that on the west coast to say look around, learn to trade, do something else start a career in entrepreneurship and you don’t need to go to college. Sean, welcome. I’m so happy that you’re here. I’m glad we made the time to do this. I wanted to ask you quickly about getting started in the IT world we’ll get to real estate later because you’re an entrepreneur and multiple funds but getting started in the IT world. How did you how did you find yourself in the position of owning a business?
Sean Printz 3:41
Selling tech? Now, thanks for having me, um, life circumstances really. Prior to that, you know, this was really early 20s I was selling door to door real car care programs. You know, I was managing teams teaching people how to do door to door sales, and I ended up getting my girlfriend pregnant, who’s now my YT right door thing out the door to door to thing was not, you know, it was all kind of under the table. There was not not a career in it. But I learned a tremendous amount of just communication dealing with people, managing people learning how to sell overcoming objections. And so the co founder of Elect Technologies, Jared Stapleton, used to work with me selling oil changes, he decided to leave that he got into it because he knocked on this guy’s door selling oil changes who then ended up offering him a job for it, selling it wholesale switches, stuff like that. So he took it. Obviously, being a friend recognized that I was kind of in a tough situation and I needed to change and so he said, Hey, man, if you’d like I can get you this job at my competitors. Would you like to try selling technology? And so I did, man and I knew nothing, absolutely nothing about technology. Technology doesn’t really excite me, you know? I like building relationships. I like providing value. You know, I don’t really care exactly how a computer works. You know, I leave that to the expert. So I did that for six years, started with nothing, you know, $12 1295 was minimum wage is what they paid us, you know, and it was just a grind, man, and you had to develop accounts. And I did that for four years. And after the first year, I was the top sales rep for the Denver office for four years, and I was I was, I was killing it, man. I was, I was lucky God definitely redeemed it, we were able to get a house and do things like that. And came to a situation where I was given a compensation agreement that I wasn’t content with. I didn’t like it, I thought I wanted, I thought it deserved a bigger piece of the pie. And they ended up firing me because I didn’t execute the compensation if you’re going to. Yeah, so it was February 6 2018. And that exact same day, there was Elect Technologies being founded by myself and the co founder, Jared stable to
Mat Zalk 6:04
wait, so he decided to leave with you at the same time
Sean Printz 6:06
he had left prior to I getting fired. You know, there were things within management there, you know, they weren’t a great company, but there was just, you know, you’re not always happy with where you are. And so he actually went and started marketing for some other company doing I forget who some sort of services company, but obviously, he knew this market very well, because he had done that for five, six years as well.
Mat Zalk 6:29
So your boss could have kept you. You’d have been crushing it and sales for him this whole time, if he had just kind of opened up to loosen up the purse strings a little bit, or what did you want a little bit more copper a little more at some equity in the business? What was your preference at the time? And then, you know, now that I look back, I mean, I wanted I wanted a bigger rate. So you know, we got paid on percentages. I wanted another one and another five 10% on my commissions. And, you know, they said that they had compensated their sales guys what they thought was fair, and they weren’t gonna go higher than that. Which is fine. You know, I mean, I knew the business enough to know that what I what I was asking for was certainly aggressive. But you know, I think in business and certainly in sales, if you get a player’s, you know, they’re going to want more, they’re going to produce more, it’s not like we were paid on things that were given to us to manage, we had to develop, we had to hunt, you know. And so if I’m able to bring in more business than the next guy by a significant amount, I know I’m more valuable to that company, just from a revenue perspective. It’s not always dollars and cents by any means. But yeah, um, I ended up reading soccer, I was reading Reed Hastings book, The no rules, rules on the founding of Netflix and the culture of Netflix, a little while back, and we made some significant changes in our business, we got rid of variable comp for the vast majority of people just paid everybody more we upped our salaries for everybody basically said, We want a player’s, if you’re a B player, or C player, we’re going to help you get out and find somebody else to do. So expectations are higher, pays higher. But one of the things he says in this whole compensation structure is, in the coding world, a coder that is like top top notch is 100 times more valuable than a coder. That’s not I don’t think that’s true in sales. I don’t think it’s true property management. But I do think, you know, the, the idea is, a coder that has better logic can solve problems can, you know, run the maze and get to a blocking point and then find, you know, a solution, in spite of, in spite of that blocking point, just saves a tremendous amount of time, has better solutions, cleaner code, everything else is worth 100 times what a normal coder is. So he pays me Netflix pays top of market me encourages people to go out and find their market worth by talking to recruiters and then saying, Hey, I got an offer at 15% Higher, Netflix goes cool, I’ll match it, let’s do it. But that’s, I mean, it’s so true that your top your top players provide so much more value than you know your middle attack player. So I you know, he could have he could have saved you maybe by offering a little bit more and you would have spent a career, you know, building his business. But you you left you started your own company. Tell us a little bit about what you know, what did you find what’s what are the keys to entrepreneurship that you learned in those early days, but anybody watching that’s thinking about jumping on their own out on their own or is out on their own? can learn from some early mistakes that you made or some key lessons that you learned?
Sean Printz 9:23
Yeah, the first I mean, immediately, you know, I remember mile mile the owner saying to me, yeah, that he says if you learn how to work with you, if you learn how to work with others better, I think you’d grow from that. And you know me young and killing it, you know, I’m in my late 20s Now, I’m like, do whatever like I know I can I can do this. And what I learned immediately was that my position as a sales professional as a sales advisor was was very important, but not having the logistics. See an operations team in place doesn’t help the sales guy, you can be a great sales guy. And if you have poor delivery, but your brand is not going to shine, it’s not affected. And so there is value in a company having a great operation set up to support the sales guy. Immediately what I found, the mistake that I had just, it was really just a surprise to me was that I was still getting the sales, sales didn’t stop, and I’m just getting sales. But now I’m like, Well, wait a minute, I have all of this equipment coming in that I have to ship across the country to a client, who’s going to box that up, who’s going to do the quality control who’s going to ensure that everything is sealed, that we’re able to get contracts on products, who’s going to invoice the client, you know, who’s going to who’s going to deal with all of the accounting related matters. So what I did is I took eight hours a day of sales, and all of a sudden, I saw that shrinking and then went down to four hours a day, then or three hours a day, then is two hours a day. And then we started looking at hiring people bringing people on, and all of a sudden, you know, a sales guy who’s most effective in that role is also now sending out invoices, and being the CEO, and he’s being the CTO and he’s doing all of these other positions. And you know, now you kind of become ineffective for the company, because you’re doing too many things, you spread way too thin. And so that was the first thing that I have learned
Mat Zalk 11:23
for do you think that do you think then the lesson is higher earlier? Much higher, higher logistics support operations? People earlier said that? The CEO often is the I guess the founder, who often is the best at sales, your most passionate, your most incentivized your most credible all these things. I mean, would you say to people try just muster up the courage and the finances, get some money, however, and hire operations people so that the founder can go out and do what they do best?
Sean Printz 11:48
Yeah, you know, I was on borrowed money. And I didn’t know, I mean, I mean, to be the first to admit, coming into owning a business, I didn’t know anything, you know, I knew how to sell. That’s what I knew. And I knew that I could just get by, by knowing that so I could bring in the revenue. But yeah, I didn’t want to spend 6070 $80,000, bringing in an accountant who could be my controller, who can, you know, manage all of our bank accounts, you know, can do all the invoicing, the AR AP, I mean, I didn’t I didn’t want to do that. I figured I could just do that while I’m laying in bed at night, you know. And as time went on, like, it’s relaxing, it’s like, for whatever reason, our minds are so great at saying that the end of the world is happening right now, situations are always worse than it really hot. It’s like, dude, take a breath, day by day, you know, look at the micro tasks that need to be tackled, and handle those things. So even now, I mean, Jesus, what, four years later, I’m still finding myself not spending as much time on the sales aspect of it, than I am in the rest enough, I’m being honest with myself, the sales part of it is what I enjoy the most Sure, you’re interacting, you’re providing value, you’re creating relationships. That is the fun part, looking at invoices, man and numbers all day is like, it’s just not
Mat Zalk 13:00
that fun. To me. It has to be done. But it’s not. It’s not what a founder generally, who often is a salesperson or a technical expert is going to be so what did you I mean, moving into the later stages of the business, you know, who was your first hire? Was it another salesperson? So you could you know, manage the business, like be the CEO, or was it somebody else?
Sean Printz 13:20
No, the first hire was an accountant. And I had to get the paperwork off the desk.
Mat Zalk 13:25
Yeah, I think that person also do I mean, did they help with he or she helped with boxing stuff up, or you were still on that
Sean Printz 13:32
note, she was she was remote. So she was remote when she came in, and we met her and did an interview. And she was she was great. I went through a couple of book keepers prior to this, and it was just a nightmare. And finally, Jerry actually had found this gal Bridget Geiger, she is she is amazing. And she is she’s she’s so versatile man. She can do so many things. And so we started off very easily, like, hey, just manage condition sheets, and make sure that when invoices are coming in that they’re processed, and that they’re paid, just start there, you know, that was easy for so it was like great. Well, hey, if I paid you more, would you want a little bit more of a responsibility? And the answer was yes. And so we grew to that where she was creating the commission sheets right and she was able to send those to the sales guys. She was communicating with vendors. She’s managing all of our trade insurance so we invoice all of our invoices are insured, she ensures that their invoice or that they’re that they’re under our policy and then also just handles all of this you know Secretary of State she’s all the tax stuff.
Mat Zalk 14:31
Now tell me about a time when you ship something and you didn’t get paid. You gotta lean a business in a Gemini early stories where it’s just like you are, I don’t want to say necessarily facing bankruptcy from a from a shipment or something. But where you went, this did not go according to plan. What do you do? How do you handle it?
Sean Printz 14:47
You know, we’ve been lucky most of our clients have paid I think the biggest concern in the beginning was we just didn’t have a ton of capital. And so I remember we have $150,000 cash that we started with and we get a deal where the cost of goods was 100 20,000 bucks, wow. And you’re not getting paid for 30 days. And that’s if everybody pays on time, which we all know doesn’t really happen, you know, in the business world. So
Mat Zalk 15:09
you have to pay your suppliers, like, is it cod? Or is it you have turned to them also,
Sean Printz 15:13
when you start out, man, I’m cash cash up front. And then you know, they may be on a 30 day lead times. And so it’s 30 days until I get the product and then I have to ship it to a client, and they’re on net 30. In order for me to get their business, I have to extend the term. So we’re looking at, you know, holding hundreds of 1000s of dollars for 6090 days. God forbid, something’s lost in transit, or there’s a defective unit or something goes wrong. I mean, yeah,
Mat Zalk 15:39
cash is king and fatty, maintain composure in those in those events, when you’re 60 or 70, or 80, or 90 days out working capital.
Sean Printz 15:45
You know, it’s like it is what it is, right? I can’t change it. Would I rather not have the business? No, I’ll take the risk. I want the business. This is what I signed up for. That’s entrepreneurship. Yeah, of course, it’s scary. It’s terrifying. It’s like, I’ve had many nights, especially in the beginning, where I’m on my knees praying that this will fall apart, and I lose the house. And kids are homeless,
Mat Zalk 16:07
to get the feeling as an entrepreneur that it’s all a house of cards. And like, you know, you get further and further down, you get a little bit more comfortable revenue maybe is a little bit more constant. But like anything, could that the base of the house, the foundation, one card could get pulled out, the whole thing comes crumbling down.
Sean Printz 16:22
That’s right, exactly. You know, and it’s always changing to your expectations are always changing. And so it’s the personal development side of managing your own thoughts and emotions is so key for an entrepreneur, you have to be the study person, because if you come off as a basket case, and you’re transmitting that energy into your team, I mean, why would anybody want to work for your company, and this is a terrible place,
Mat Zalk 16:46
you got to maintain the cool, calm and collected persona, even though you’re like, down below, you’re going, Oh, I hope this all comes together. But tell me a little bit. So resilience, then I mean, to all these to the fear, maintaining composure, tell me about resilience in your business and how you’ve how you’ve been able to maintain I think that’s a critical component to being an entrepreneur, is the ability to bounce back when things don’t go right. When you’ve got, you know, when you’re overextended, you’re trying to pull it all together, you’re requesting that a vendor, sorry, that a client pay. How has resilience in your ability to be resilient impacted your business?
Sean Printz 17:18
No, um, I think for one there, we have lots of competitors that try this. And they feel because they are they are shaking, you know, it’s too much emotion listening site, I feel like things are going wrong, things are gonna fall apart. So they do fall apart. But you have to, you have to put up the framework. In the beginning, it’s like, you know, what you need to do in order for the company to be successful for Elect Technologies, the way we are successful, is to make sure that we’re saving our clients money, and we’re able to procure the product they need, and we’re able to deliver what we say we’re going to deliver. And then we have to offer that it’s cold calling it’s constant risk relationship building, it’s maintaining clients. So yeah, if you’re not calling your clients, if you’re not calling new prospects, because you’re scared of what’s going on in the background, and you are going to fail, it’s like you have to fill the pipeline. And so, for me, I had an old boss, and he will will change days, Jonathan Douglas, he always said this to me. And most people, I tell us, like, That’s so dumb, but I’m like, it’s just like one of these things that I live by, and it’s like, don’t think do, right, you’ve already done the thinking you already know what you have to do. And if you think about what you have to do, you’re going to think your way out of doing now, we’re so good at justifying to ourselves why we shouldn’t do something or why it’s not worth it. It’s cold calling hard. Yes. It’s like, you know, how can I get somebody who’s never met me to send me a purchase order for $50,000, knowing that this stuff is also making their business succeed or fail, that’s a tough thing to do. But, you know, through just determination, offering value, being personable, being real with people, you gain their business, you earn their business, and those relationships last a long time. And so, the big thing was always for Jared, and I was like, okay, things are scary, feels like it’s gonna fall apart. What should we do? Call a client, call a new customer find, find reasons to keep on going. And so that’s what we did for us was simple, cold call. Cool.
Mat Zalk 19:14
So you’re also a client of Keyrenter, you’ve helped us improve dramatically in our process. Historically, I was doing all the contracting work when it became overwhelming to me, as you know, similar to your story, I was the CEO of the company, I was managing properties, I was managing construction. I also have a family girl, Dad shout out to grow that. And you’ve really helped us our first project together was great in many senses, and also wasn’t great in many senses. And you handed us our ass, one phone call. I mean, I remember you call me in being like, this is not this is not good. And getting on with with Seth, and we improved our process dramatically. And it hasn’t happened since and I’m grateful for that. So in a sense, you, you saved us a lot of a lot of long term pain by providing us a little bit of short term pain. So I appreciate that. Thank you very much for helping us be better at processing systems knowledge is critical to what we do, because there’s so many moving parts and property management. But tell us a little bit about how you got into real estate, why you got into real estate, what’s appealing to the asset class in general to you.
Sean Printz 20:11
You know, as I Elect Technologies and successful, you know, cash is rolling in and you’re looking at it, you’re like, What do I do with my cars and boats and stuff? And I did that, you know, and it’s like, well, what are you doing? Like, this is really young. This isn’t, this isn’t how you build wealth. It’s like, wow, you have cash coming in? What happens if that if that stops, you know, and I was just on Facebook one day, and in my, my friend, Joel, Joel Kadlec, came up with fixed properties. And he was just doing a minor add in there. And I had been thinking about getting into real estate, I had bought a house in Regent North Dakota for 22,000 bucks to help out some family, friends and stuff. And it was the worst financial real estate investment ever, because nobody wants to live in a town population. 150. You know, it’s just absurd. Anyways,
Mat Zalk 21:03
push hard to push rent increases when nobody wants to be there. And there’s
Sean Printz 21:08
no property managers in that town because there’s not enough home. So it’s like, what am I going to do? Anyway, anyways, I called Joe and I said, Hey, man, I’ve really been thinking about going to real estate. And then he explained what he did another wholesale real estate company, we got involved, he had found a deal and broken arrow, and, you know, the purchase price was 80,000 bucks, and we got a loan from the bank, Mr. Reeves, and we just went, you know, and we just started and it started turning into one, you know, and then you guys did the renovations. And then another deal came up, and they were like, Hey, want to get involved with this one. So my journey was crazy. I went from one and broken arrow to working on a on a package of another 29 units just like that. We had the capital, we wanted to invest in it. You know, I certainly have made mistakes in the real estate market. I mean, it’s like, how many horror stories do you hear about small mom and dad want to get into a house, so they buy one unit, and then they never do it again? Because an AC unit cost them an extra 8000 bucks. It’s like, Well, imagine that times 30 units, you know, it’s like, it’s been, it’s been an absolute mess. But I’ve learned so much through it. And I wouldn’t take it back. I mean, putting money in real estate, where else are you gonna put it? Yeah, great investment, you know, it’s just sometimes you gotta, you gotta gotta sit on it.
Mat Zalk 22:29
I also think that I also think that, you know, you purchased it at a prime period where things were going up and up and up. So what you paid for that portfolio is probably is probably increased quite a bit. Reminds me your comments remind me of a couple things. Number one is, there’s a great book that I’ve been reading called the psychology of money, Morgan Housel. And he he talks about a number of things, one of which is that it’s easy to make money, and it’s hard to keep money. So it’s easy cash comes in, cash comes out cash comes in cash from a business, but in essence, over over a long period of time to maintain that money is a really difficult thing. There plenty of people that make money, not so many people that keep it over time. And he tells a great story about Rihanna the I guess the singer, I think it’s Rihanna. if I’m remembering correctly, going bankrupt. And she Sue’s her money manager, her money manager testifies that he didn’t know it was necessary to inform her that when you have the cash and you buy something, you have the thing and no longer have the money. Right? So it’s a pretty, pretty basic concept. But when you buy a boat, you now have a boat, you don’t have any more cash with real estate, you trade cash for an asset, but the asset still holds value, and hopefully it produces income over time. So it’s a critical component of, of building wealth over time for sure. So you’ve been renovating these properties, you actually we have we manage a couple properties for you don’t manage the full portfolio, but we we’ve done a couple of renovations for you. You’re now kind of overseeing some of the some of the renovations yourself, what are the what have you found out in the renovation process of doing these 29 units? Like what are some of your biggest lessons?
Sean Printz 24:02
You know, I have for me, I immediately just trust people off the mat. You know, it’s like, hey, you know, you tell you say that you’re going to do X and then I just I expected to believe it. And you know, you always find out later, being 700 miles away is tough, because someone can say they’re going to do something, they’re going to rip out a floor and I don’t know if it’s done or not, but I can see an invoice. You know, easy fix. People say, Well, how about just sending pictures? Well, yeah, you can do that. But imagine work orders on 30 properties that all need extensive renovations. I mean, it’s impossible to keep up with that. You know, we were just talking about how much time it takes for a company to deal with other things. I have I still have to spend my time and Elect Technologies and so this is a full on gig finding a finding a property management was was key. I knew that I didn’t want to just go from sales selling it to becoming just Mr. Property Manager. I’m not a professional at that. I wanted to use technology to feed In this baby, so, the contracting side, I didn’t know what things cost, you know, I’m really starting to learn, like, how much does foreign cost? How much does a remove Roof Cost? I mean, whether it’s 10,000 or $5,000, it’s like, that’s a big difference. Really, especially when you’re, like expanding that over 30 properties, you know, you could have charged me 10, you can charge me five, I have no idea. I really want my non fixed properties, Justin, and Joel, to kind of guide me in that regard. And they did a good job in terms of letting us know, like, how much what costs
Mat Zalk 25:35
went up so high? I mean, they’ve gone up so significantly in the last two years. Yeah,
Sean Printz 25:40
exactly. And I was kind of in the middle of that, right, this was all through COVID. So everything had kind of gotten shaken up a bit. So it’s been hard to find consistency in contracting quality. Basically, what I was hoping for the contractor is almost a partnership saying hey, imagine these are your investments? How would you want to renovate these properties? And what is the type of clientele what type of customer or tenant Are you trying to attract in my, my compensation to that person would have been steady business. I have 30. Now I want to do significantly more. You know, my goal is to have 100 By the end of next year. That’s a lot of business for a contractor they’re all going to be make readies and if you can handle handle that and manage it, you know might get swindled then you mean you’re gonna get that business. Yeah. So
Mat Zalk 26:35
you’ve you’ve been working with Tim Hopton, who’s the owner of hops and contracting to what? You’ve been happy with him? He’s been delivering consistent quality at a fair price and on time.
Sean Printz 26:46
Yeah. One is communication is excellent. You know, and I didn’t have good communication with my prior contractor. His communication has been excellent. He did it five to you know, North Columbia and Tulsa. And he killed it, man. It was like a five day turnaround on a property just needed, you know, new H back, new flooring, new paint, certainly needed to be cleaned. Fixed countertops, new appliances, he managed it well, no, I didn’t get tons and tons of phone calls. But every two days or so. He called me give me an update. send me pictures. You know, we’re still kind of dating, if you will, in this relationship. He did a great job. So after he had completed that I gave him another. So he’s got another one he’s working on right now. And so far, it has been
Mat Zalk 27:29
excellent. And so you’re just gonna roll through all the renovations. What’s going on, you’re actually taking as leases are month to month or as leases expire. You’re just moving the people out. You’re doing the renovation, and you’re hoping that we get significant rent increases over the next 12 months or 18 months this happens.
Sean Printz 27:45
That’s right. The first move was just raise raise rents come to find out what the portfolio everything was month to month. I wasn’t interested in maintaining that. So that’s exactly we did we raised rent, some weren’t happy. So moved out. Those were then isolated to be the focus and those boards we renovated first. And the ones who stayed were being nice, say, hey, we’ll give you a year lease if you want to execute it. And they’re coming back or saying, hey, some of these properties are a little bit distressed. And you’re asking too much. And I understand that. And so the counteroffer to them was Well, great. Would you sign a lease? If we fix a, b and c and they would give us a list, we would execute that list and then they were happy to sign a lease. So we had some tenants say some moved out, honestly, someone who’s not paying rent than they were Yeah, that happens. And it’s just difficult. Exactly. Sure.
Mat Zalk 28:31
And how’s the property management company that you’re using? Are they communicative? And are they are they maintaining? Are they just maintaining communication as these conversations are happening with the residents saying, Hey, I’m willing to exchange your lease for a couple of things? And if not move out? Or they’ve been good?
Sean Printz 28:45
Yes, they have been good. I mean, I think in the beginning, it was a big surprise, I don’t think they realized how to stress these properties. And these were severely distressed properties. And, you know, with territory with tenants that were incredibly difficult. And, you know, rightly so they had been living someone, we had some tenants in this one lane and living in this house for over 28 years. Right. It’s a long time. It’s been generational, that they’ve been living in this house. And so the owners prior to us had a lot of sweetheart deals going on. And so it’s tough for a tenant who’s lived a certain way for, you know, 1015 20 years. All of a sudden seed has changed. Sure.
Mat Zalk 29:23
Especially if rent hasn’t gone up in a bunch of years. They’ve had this over the last 20 years, 10 years ago. Any advice that you’d give to somebody who’s looking at a larger portfolio, they think that you should have done in your due diligence period or or otherwise, you know, start in the transition take over anything that you advise people to do
Sean Printz 29:40
find out for yourself, you know, if it’s going to be a bad investment, do due diligence, right. Joe and Justin I trust entirely I will continue to work with them on it was a big deal. I was naive. I didn’t know anything about real estate investment. I didn’t know anything about renovations. You know, I’m thinking a distressed property. I’m like, dude, slap some paint on Don’t don’t come out for the weekend and easy. It’s like, no, that’s not what it takes. There’s a lot that goes into it. And so really understanding what things cost, especially if you’re budgeting money for renovations, whether you’re borrowing it or you’re using cash, and you know what things cost, and you’re obviously not going to be perfect every time. But when you’re five or 10%, off, fine. When you’re 100 200% off. Yeah, there’s a series of operations. Yeah, that can be made.
Mat Zalk 30:29
We also recommend that our buyers when they have big portfolios sign estoppel agreement. So you go to each house and have the have the tenant sign that they agree that they’re either on month to month paying a certain amount or in a lease paying a certain amount, because you know, what, what is what you believe to be the case, it’s not always the case. And we were just in court, actually on an eviction. And the tenant came to us and said, My lease document which we received from the previous owner, through our current owner was forged. And we said, well, we don’t forge them, all of our documents are signed electronically with electronic records of IP addresses and everything else. But this was a hand signed document. And the tenant is saying no, this was forged. This is not my signature on the lease, we are having to deal with that now. So getting an estoppel certificate when you do a transaction is a really important thing, just to make sure that we’re all on the same page prior to the transaction actually closing the deed changing hands.
Sean Printz 31:20
Yeah, and I actually fixed it provide that we got those days of closing, I was so excited to do this man. It was like the biggest acquisition I’ve ever had. Right? That was like the first big deal that I’ve ever done. You know, and some people may look at it as peanuts, you know, but for me, it was exciting. It was a new thing. I was investing into something new that I was excited to learn something work with different people, right? It’s like you’re almost creating a new network meeting, you was exciting, because it’s like, hey, this guy’s a rockstar, he’s gonna manage my properties, I’m going to be able to lay off on the IT thing, and I’m just going to collect rent money, and I’m going to just be vacationing the rest of my life. And it’s not, that wasn’t reality, right? No,
Mat Zalk 31:57
I do think that real estate is forgiving. In the long run, right, we had a property the first property that I ever purchased, I bought with my sister in Boulder, Colorado, just steps from the University of Colorado campus. And we paid for 65, we owned it for like two months or three months before the back of the house fell off, it was like a two bedroom, one bath component of the house that was added probably illegally just popped off the back and cracked. And we were like, oh my god, it cost us 80 or $90,000 to fix that up. And truth be told, you know, we’re in it for a little more cash than we want to be. But we’re getting $4,700 a month in rent. And even though that 90,000 came out in cash, we you know, we cashflow $2,500 a month in our $2,700 a month now. Because you know, our mortgage payments still pretty low and so on 30 year fixed note and so if you hold on to real estate in the long term, it rarely goes fully sour, it still feels kind of you still get to get to taste the sweetness. So I’m hoping that that happens with this portfolio. Also, once you get it all up and running. Yeah, go ahead. Sorry.
Sean Printz 32:54
I was gonna say that that whole resilience thing with like, technology is the same thing in real estate, right? It’s like things are gonna happen, and how are you going to react to it,
Mat Zalk 33:01
and you’ve got to have enough cash so that you don’t get you know, you don’t get totally upside down, right? If you need to inject a little bit more cash, you’ve luckily got Elect Technologies, and you can, you know, fund it a little more than you initially anticipated. Maybe your return is a little bit different. But between depreciation, interest expense, the cash on cash return that you should get, you know, the fact that you bought it at a certain price and you’re you’re inflating, you know away some of the debt, all that stuff is really positive. And then the appreciation that you actually get from the assets should make it a sweet deal over time. Let me ask you, what are you listening to podcast wise? What are you reading? What conferences are you attending? Tell me a little bit about stuff that you do, both for your business for real estate and maybe in your spare time that you’re that you’re enjoying that other of our viewers or listeners can can latch on to and gain from?
Sean Printz 33:44
Totally Yeah, I mean, first and foremost for me is, you know the Bible. I’m a Christian. I’m an advocate for that. I think, especially in Proverbs, there’s so many truths and seeking wisdom and understanding, being diligent and patient, you know, having faith knowing that it’s not all on you, you know, some of the books that I’m reading right now actually just started Extreme Ownership. Jocko. Well, Nick, yeah, yeah. And leaf and those are, that’s great. I mean, he offers obviously perspective for more of a combat but team oriented building, and I love the idea of not passing blame to others, right, even in situations that seems like it would be easy to do it. We always have something that we can do to change the circumstance.
Mat Zalk 34:26
I think it’s 100% Right? I mean, I took ownership when we when we had that mishap with your property, which was we just didn’t introduce you to the cost of materials upfront I thought Well, it’s because I didn’t tell Seth that in the spreadsheet we use we got to have the material cost in there of course we know it right but not everybody does. And that’s that’s a miss training and anytime something goes wrong in our business I think how could we have trained that better? How could we have introduced that concept better? How could we have conveyed the philosophy better because it’s not somebody in the businesses fault? It’s your fault as the leader for not making that happen?
Sean Printz 34:55
That’s right. If I’m if I’m if I’m looking for a company to solve a problem for me Last thing I want to do is here that’s not their fault. No, it’s like it has to be or else, I don’t really want to trust that company to do more business with them. Because it’s like, if anything goes wrong, it’s my fault. I didn’t do so it’s like, well, no, what am I paying you for? Exactly. That book has been been great. I recently just got done reading a book, a great brother in Christ, from Michael bow and called the brave, he wrote a book. He’s, he actually went through some SEAL training, but he wrote a book too, that just talks about a lot of good, godly, manly principles, being courageous, being faithful, being in prayer, things like that. And really, it’s like, comes down to the resilient thing. It’s like, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of content out there now, like with any for salary dispersed form, he does, like an MF CEO project. He’s a little older, but I do like to listen to some of his stuff. Um, it’s like, you know, man up, you know, things are hard. It’s supposed to be, you know, you want to be reward, things are gonna be difficult. And that’s the way that’s the way you get what you want. I mean, it was easy, everybody would have everything that we’ve ever wanted. And that’s not the way it works, you know, and you can’t plan for everything. It’s difficult to take ownership, you know, just
Mat Zalk 36:15
just one that’s, that’s so funny. And in the movie, old school, I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I do remember old school, they go on a road trip, and they take a shortcut, and it’s just this disaster. And somebody says, I thought this was the way or something and one of the characters says, this is the shortcut. If it were if it were the road, it would have just been the way right. It’s hard because it’s the shortcut. Same thing in business. I mean, there are no shortcuts, a but also, this is the path you’re on. It’s difficult, it’s going to be difficult, but that’s the way to great reward is through great, great parallel and great trials and tribulations. I fully agree.
Sean Printz 36:47
You learn so much about yourself. You got to you got to know that you are not you are not that cool, man, you got to be humble. And you got to be willing to learn from everybody from your employees or mentors or pastors or your wife or your kids,
Mat Zalk 37:03
or anybody. Right? I’m a huge proponent of EO Entrepreneurs’ Organization in the forum experience, right? Talking to other people that have businesses that are of some size and you know, the result of their experience being shared with you. And you go through something you can lean on all these people that are in your forum to share experience and maybe have have a couple of different perspectives that you can draw on so you can make your own decision. Right. I appreciate that. We’ve been talking to Sean Printz hon Elect Technologies, he’s a real estate investor and he’s doing the renovation work himself to some degree, leaning on great people in the Tulsa market to add value and hopefully end up with a portfolio is worth a lot more than he then he purchased it for. Sean, we really appreciate. Really appreciate you being here. Anything else you want to say before you go?
Sean Printz 37:47
Oh, man, thank you.
Mat Zalk 37:50
I love it. Thank you so much.
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