Trusted property management in Ventura County, California.
Peter McKenzie is the Owner of Rincon Property Management.
With local experience, personalized support, and a 24/7 online portal access system, Rincon Property Management easily delivers safe, clean, and properly maintained rental properties. For property owners, Rincon Management offers a money-back guarantee on management fees if you aren't completely satisfied with their management services.
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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
And with us right now we've got Peter McKenzie. Peter, you are the Owner and you are a broker with Rincon Property Management in beautiful Ventura, California. And you are also a fire captain. You've been a fire captain for 16 years. You're also the President, Founding Member of Ventura Fire Foundation. And so you are a busy man. Yes,
yes. Very busy, especially now. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be on your show.
Yeah, you know, for sure. So as of when we're recording this, you know, we're, you know, handful of days and everyone kind of hunkering down and, you know, social distancing. And Peter, you and I have been in business for quite some time. You know, we were in business, you know, during the recession, we expect experienced, you know, what it was like to go through 911. And you kind of have this, you know, pre 911, world post 911, world recession, world post recession world, and I believe, very similarly, I think is particularly if we look at the economic impact of what's going on right now. I think, in retrospect in the future, we'll be looking back and we'll look at a pre coronavirus world and a post coronavirus world and we're going to learn a lot of things. And I believe that both consumers and business are going to make a lot of adjustments based on what we're experiencing right now. And so that's I'd really love to have this conversation with you about it. You know, number one kind of talk about, you know, your observations of what's going on. And most importantly, for the person who's listening, you know, you know, and I know that you know, to be to be successful in business, you have to build for winter. You have to build for the inevitable. What's in your your SWOT analysis, what's in that threat box? What could possibly go wrong? And think in advance of when that thing goes wrong? Here's what I'm going to do. So Peter, I'm sorry, you're the guest. I'm just on my soapbox right now. No worries, no worries. Let's start off by having you share a little bit more about your background. And you know how Rincon came to be because you guys do amazing business there. You are a fixture in Ventura. And you've done you do phenomenal business, and you've really filled out a niche very, very well. I can say that because not only have we worked together we're friends and so I know your business.
Every perfect no I like the feedback. So
yeah, I started out as a real estate investor, and ultimately, property management's a huge part of being a real estate investor. And I, there wasn't the service that I wanted as an investor wasn't available to me. So ultimately, it prompted me to start rent on property manager. So that's kind of how it started. That was a little while ago, and now it's, you know, I'm here in Ventura managing properties. And I also have this alter life, which is as a fire captain, I work for the city of Ventura Fire Department. I've done that for 16 or 17 years. So that gives me a unique perspective. Like right now. This Corona virus thing is in full swing, I don't see any indication that it's getting better. It's probably going to get worse before it gets better. And we are in crisis mode in our in the business at the fire department as well. I mean, it is constantly changing and evolving and people are nervous. People are scared. They don't know what's going on what to expect? What's gonna come next. I mean, you see it, people are making runs on food and all kinds of things. So I think what's important to keep in mind, though, is that you have to keep a level head, like you said, you have to plan for the winter in business when I lived through the last great recession. And, you know, I was involved as a real estate investor during that time, like, people got beat up. And that fundamentally changed my mindset on how I operate my business, like savings is important. You need a rainy day fund. Like, we're coming up right now. We don't know. I mean, I hope for everybody's sake. This event is not as bad as the recession we went through in a way. But it could be and you got to be prepared. And I think this is going to be a real bellwether moment for businesses and people in general, like how they how they weather this, are they prepared to live through some some tough times and how do you come out on the other end, but what's important for us is that we are are leading in showing away for our for my clients and residents who live in our properties because we're dealing with their house where they live, it doesn't get more personal, more emotional than that. That is what you know, that's where everybody's hunkered down. We're all there's all these orders that you know, quarantine at your house. Well, we're in the housing business. And if something's not right in your house, and you're stuck in it for a month, that's a problem. So we're just trying to juggle and coordinate and really show people that it's going to be okay, we're going to get through this in my position at the fire department. I mean, we operate in crisis mode, as a normal working condition so frequently, when people call us, that's the worst day of their life. And those are our normal operating conditions. So I think we're positioned well to,
to get through it.
Yeah, you know, in this time, and in times of crisis and need, I mean, the reality I mean, there are just going to be some businesses. It sucks. It really does. There's not a whole lot you could do if the government is effectively just shut you down. It is what it is or the you know, the pandemic is, I mean, just it would be irresponsible for you to operate. Yeah, it's very, very unfortunate. So hopefully, you know, aid is available through, you know, again, the SBA, they've already been making great announcements there. And I'm optimistic that both state funds and SBA will be there to assist those companies. But aside from that, what the what the business economy needs are leaders. And so how Peter Have you committed to leading during this crisis as opposed to retreating so your partner's I'm sure you have a lot of partners, obviously have a lot of clients. This is again, you know, use the term bellwether, this is your bellwether moment and this is all of our bellwether moments, to say what I do over the next 30 6090 days, when asked myself this question, this is a very powerful question. How is how are my actions today? a reflection of who I am and reflection of my life? Do I cower in these moments? Or do I say, Doggone it, I'm going to take care of my company, I'm going to take care of my employees, I'm going to take care of my clients, if they can't, you know, some comes up. And whatever that I like, I'm going to find a way to move forward with them and let them know. I've got their back, you know, in whatever way I can. I gotta be real. We have to be realistic about stuff. We don't want to be pie in the sky. But you know, we're also going to take care of ourselves and our families.
Yeah. So that's, you know, Peter, I'd love to hear your take on that.
So I've given this a lot of thought because this is the time for entrepreneurs to shine. To, like you said take care of your people, your partners, your stakeholders, and really show what you're made of. So I've given that a lot of thought in fact, yet last night, I just put out a YouTube video on how Rincon is weathering this storm and what we're going to do about it and how we're going to deal with the biggest issues related to it. Because let's be honest, people's fear. So we have residents on one side and we have our clients on the other side that everybody is affected equally by this pandemic, right? It's not like the stock market, the you know, the evil Wall Street bankers created this mess, or, you know, some other group over here, it is equally affecting everybody. And the biggest concern is, Hey, I cannot work. I can't get paid. I can't pay the rent, or On the flip side, I can't work. You know, I'm on a fixed income. This rental property is part of my fixed income. Yeah, if I don't collect the rent, I'm gonna starve so both Yeah. are in a really bad spot. And my message to our clients and our residents is there's no cookie cutter solution. What I tell you today is more than likely inaccurate tomorrow. So what I'm trying to convey is just everybody take some deep breaths, sit back a few feet and give it time to play out. Nothing's going to be solved on this phone call or this email that you're sending. The government's involved there. Yeah,
no kidding. Who knows what they're gonna say tomorrow?
Yeah, the local governments, the cities are putting their own. I mean, just the city in our town said absolutely no evictions. So that's, that's a done deal, right. So there's so much in flux that what's important is that we stay calm. And we handle each situation as it comes up. There's been people in my shoes and colleagues of mine who have taken different lines on these types of things and just got annihilated because this is not the time to be hard and fast and stick to your guns right and save This is how it's gonna be you will do XYZ. That's not the time for this we're in. We are in uncharted territory for like, yeah. And we're gonna have to react accordingly. Now, so there's laws in place and contract law and all this stuff that everybody abides by. But I mean, from what I can tell a lot of those bets are off, you got the federal government getting involved in how you stay at whether you can walk around the city or not. I mean, there's changes coming, so we have to be flexible, reasonable, and be that leader for the organization. So people feel like okay, they got it handled, I'm not gonna stress or worry as much about what's going on with my rental properties.
Yeah, I suspect. I mean, and I'd love your perspective on this. I suspect that ultimately the lenders are probably going to have to step up and say, Listen, you know, if you're on the hook with a mortgage here and you got to, you know, whether it's rented or not myself suspicion is that the banks are probably going to have to work with the government and say, Listen, you know, we're going to grant, you know, 90 day, you know, if you, you know, if you can apply for and you can demonstrate that, you know, you're under a hardship, you know, you can go ahead and bump things out for 90 days, with no damage to your credit sort of thing. That's my guess, what are you thinking?
So my speculation is very similar that there one, there's already quite a few things that are going in place on the renter's side, so stays in evictions, you know, not allowing late fees, that kind of things. But I'm also seeing just as much on the lender side, that's going to help provide relief. So ideally, because like I said, it's affecting all parties. It's not just one side that's getting affected. So I think in the end, when it all shakes out, it's going to be okay, yeah. Oh, yeah.
yeah, maybe everybody won't be made 100% whole, but it's going to be enough to where we can get through this and we can move on because the only thing People want right now is to go back to the way it was normalcy certainty and what life was like before this. So ultimately, I think it's going to work out what what the the companies that are going to stand up and survive this, I think are really going to prosper. Because,
you know, people care about how you make them feel and what you do to take care of them. And if you have a company who's progressive and like leading the way, that is noticed people understand that or if you have a company that doesn't do anything, or you haven't heard from them, that's not good. That's not going to make people happy. I mean, we, from the start, we have the four or five things that we're doing operationally to, you know, help with this, flattening the curve, if you will. And that's important how you act and how you how you conduct yourself in times of crisis, like you were saying earlier, it matters. people notice, you know, Peter, another thing too, and I really appreciate your perspective in you know, working With the fire department as long as you have, can you talk to me about the importance of drills and you know, developing that muscle memory and how to respond to emergency or crisis situations in a way where you practice it over and over and over again, so you don't freeze or make big mistakes when bad stuff happens, because I see a lot of that right now. Because if you've already thought through, and this we talked about this in PR a lot with you know, crisis communications is Christ comes one on one, you, you have to think about every possible scenario, and you in your very rational brain, come up with some, some guidelines and you're going to be some deviations generally, but some general guidelines in thinking If this happens, what is the best response? How do we handle this situation, and then you go through drills where you practice it, and so that when it happens Listen, I've already been, it's like, Who's the, you know, like athletes to talk about, you know, I've already making that shot 1000 times in my head. So it's kind of like so right.
So yeah, so the fire service is really good at preparing for emergencies. Like I don't want to say their routine emergencies. But there are only so many emergencies that happen, right? Like your house is on fire your family member sick, there's an earthquake, there's a wildland fire, like there's only so many things that happen now, there's none of them. None of no two emergencies are the same. But in general, there's only a handful that we deal with. And here's how we the fire department is great at this they train, train train. I mean, if you're a good fire fighter or good, you know, supervisor in the fire department, you make sure your crew is ready for anything. And the way we do that is we go out and pretend we run drills like that. There's no secret like in our fire department. We're pretty aggressive on how we handle certain emergencies. You can ask any member Hey, This is the emergency What's your job? And they know, to a tee what their role is. It's it's one role in a big picture, you know, you take, for example, a house fire. There's no question on how we're going to attack that fire because everybody has trained hundreds of time on how to do it. But that's but there's not only one way to do something, we have a plan a, a plan B, and, you know, the chief, the guy that's in charge of everybody, he's working on a plan seen a D, because things happen. And, you know, these situations are dynamic, but what's important is that you're prepared. And in the fire service, you prepare almost on a daily basis. And that's what allows us to operate in crisis mode all the time. So when people call us, it's a bad day for them. They're having the worst day of their life. We have to perform. We can't get there and go, Oh, man, I've never seen this before. What are we going to do? Hey, what do you think we should do? That doesn't happen? Yeah, yeah, we fix the problem, which is a unique perspective for property management because problems in property management seems so small compared to the problems we deal with at the fire service. Yeah, that it's easy to overcome the the proper mass, because I'm used to dealing with the bigger problems, the houses burning to the ground or your grandmother is in cardiac arrest or something along those lines. So I think that does you have to train and be prepared for this that, for example, with this coronavirus, there's only so many outcomes that are going to happen to your business, right? Hmm. We have a financial debt, you know, some something negative financial is happening. You can't work, you can't do conduct business. There's no money. There's only so many things that that's going to do to you. So it's on the entrepreneur to go Okay, let's just assume the worst case scenario happens. Nobody pays rent for two months. What am I going to do? What's my plan of attack to deal with that? Or let's assume it's not as bad and only a few people can't pay the rent, what do I do or How do I prepare and get creative, to help the people that are having trouble? Like, there's no rule against us not being creative and coming up with a solution that works for all parties. Like that's the way I see it. That's my job. It's my company. I'm here to make this work. And if it takes creativity and collaboration, and that's what we're going to do, and I hope that most people take the same mindset in dealing with it, but gone I mean, for this, Gone are the days that you can just take a hard line in the sand and it's not my problem, we have a contract and you're gonna buy it like you're gonna go right out of business with that. Yes.
Yeah, for sure. You know, there is an advantage, Peter to doing business with someone like yourself, because here's, it's like, you know, David Goggins will talk about this frequently. It's like, you know, if you do are you are able to do hard things in your life and you succeed or you get through those things. You have a gift now, and that gift is next challenge that you're faced with, you're like, yeah, if I can jump out of an airplane, you know, if I can, you know, I've got a few things that I've done, you know, I remember, you know, making, you know, I had a back into, or this was, this was a sucky job. But, you know, I was I had to do sales for a while. And, you know, I did 30 sales in one month, which was just off the charts. But I set a really high goal for myself. And I accomplished it like just under the deadline. And so, in that was like, a long time ago. But I still harken back to those things when I did those hard things. You know, getting myself out of bankruptcy, getting myself out of, you know, other bad situations. And when I have something like, shoot, how am I going to solve this? I say, you know what, like, I don't have to know the answer right here right now. But I know that I can do it because I have the will. And I know that you know if I pull in my friends, ask for advice, lean on my resources. horses and together we will map out something that Doggone it I'm going to do because if I could do that thing back then I can do this. This is nothing ladies who have had a baby it's like if you could push out a human out of your you know out of your
little girls at home and I don't know how my wife did it like it scares me to death to think of that actually happening so yeah, yeah, no
I was listen by my poor mom I you know both my brother and I were We were 10 pound babies man.
Oh, wow. Yeah.
I would just get it I would stick you jog my memory. So when you get hired on you talking about hard things that you did in your life in sales and getting hired at the fire department is no easy feat. Like they say it takes four to six years when you from when you say hey, I think I want to be a firefighter of preparation to make yourself marketable to where you actually get a job. But we perform at such a high level on these emergencies that we have to make sure that people we hire are able to do So literally, for four months, they are just inundated and stressed to the max probably very similar to how boot camp is like, yeah, yeah, that was another thing. We operate in the worst possible scenario. That's how the fire services as well, like, we put people to their limit. Yeah, and see how they react. And that's, I mean, that may happen during this virus to companies that are going to be stretched to the limit. And it's their time, it's their chance to show leadership and, yeah,
yeah, you know, that's why, you know, if you know, as an employer, I speak very highly of, you know, if you can hire you know, former first responders, if you can hire military folks, you know, anyone who's worked in law enforcement, you know, in their other areas of life, certainly where, you know, you were in the sock before, you know, you were made unpaid, you were, you know, you kind of grinded through a very, very painful experience and you got through that thing. You know, you learn a level of grit that I think, you know, is helpful both as you know, as to be as successful employee, and to be a business owner, I see a lot of great military entrepreneurs that, you know, they, they will do whatever it takes mission wise to get the job done. And so, you know, similarly again, you learn that same thing and the fire department said same thing.
Yep, same exact principle applies, it's way harder to get hired by the fire department than it is to run a business in my mind, in my opinion, it takes more from you to do that and be successful than it does to run a business now running a business not easy. It's it's difficult in its own way, but it's not that difficult. You're not like on the ground thinking you're gonna die and, you know, trying to just keep your head on straight, but there is a lot of correlation. I totally agree. I think you know, people in that in the military first responders, like you said, they they've, they've proven that they can do something very difficult and come out on the other side. And then if you just apply those principles to the business world, you're unstoppable.
Yeah. Peter, you know, we've talked so much about, you know, you know, contingency planning and and, you know, surviving, you know, bad situations. You know, can you share a, you know a little bit more about Rincon? What you do? And we touched on that a little bit at the beginning. But, you know, how has Rincon been able to thrive in a way that other property management companies have not because you have a, you have a great book of business, your reviews are stellar, people love you. Thank you. Thank you.
Well, so it's really simple. So I was a consumer of property management services in the area that I live, so I knew what I did not like about it. And that's what I built rank on on so we couple we have two core values. One is be nice. and treat people with respect and two is do the right thing.
Now, I'm blanking on this which is really embarrassing. No No, those are our core values. But what I
started, what I started the business on was, we're going to communicate. If thought that was the core values communicate all the time or something along those lines, communication and property management is horrific. People just want to be in the loop. So we communicate well, you In fact, we've been accused of over communicating, which is I don't know if that's even possible. And then two, we're going to be 100% transparent. So we're not going to nickel and dime our clients to death. And they're not going to have there's not going to be this mystery about how this works, which is the practice in the industry. That is how the industry is set up. And the good companies that are coming to the top, realize that and they're changing their ways. They're being transparent. They're communicating. Well, that's it. There's no secret formula, pick up the phone when it rings, get back to people and do the right thing. And that the market is responding to that because in our market that wasn't really happening. So it was I don't think Like I came up with some revolutionary idea, yeah, figured this out. It's really quite simple. You just have to do what you say you're gonna do, communicate and do the right thing. It's not
rocket science. So. So Peter McKenzie, I want to thank you so much for joining us your website is Rincon Management, do property management in the Ventura area. You I'll just say you own the market, rightfully so I would say I wouldn't say, Well, you know, you've developed a great relationship with your, you know, what did you refer to as accidental landlords? And, you know, you're just a very, very trusted name in that community. I know, again, just from the work that
I appreciate that, I appreciate that. Yeah. If I'd like people to go to our YouTube page, I'm just starting to put out content on our YouTube page. If people could go there and subscribe and see what we're doing. In fact, I just put our coronavirus response video up.
Oh, that was great. And other business owners can kind of take a page from that again, go to Rincon Management and you'll see see a link for Peter's YouTube channel where you can click through Is that right? I think there is a YouTube but it better be linked.
It's just Rincon Property Management on YouTube but yeah either way I'll throw a link up there as well. Okay.
And Rincon is RINCON. Peter McKenzie, the founder of Rincon Management. You're a fire captain. And you again you also are the President, Founding Member of the Ventura Fire Foundation, too, which is a nice thing again, kind of giveback thing. So thank you so much for for your time. Thanks, Josh. Really appreciate it hanging in there.
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