Get To Know Nexus’ GM and VP of Franchise Sales Greg Rice.
Gregory Rice has been with Nexus Property Management since its inception in 2013.
Looking For A Job On Craigslist.
“One of my fondest memories here is how my hiring process went. I first applied online for a Leasing Agent position, and within 2 seconds I received an emailed reply from Nexus’ owner Nick D’Agnillo. Nick said he thought I would be a good fit for the position. I thought it was funny because there was no way he could have read my resume in 2 seconds (chuckles). Second, when I went in for my interview it was a postage stamp sized office with just Nick in the back. I noticed that the desk in the front had a computer monitor with a wire hanging down to nothing. It wasn’t even plugged in! Later on, Nick told me it was to make it look like there was a secretary…but on lunch that day”
First "Postage Stamp" Nexus Office.
Greg started out renting the apartments and homes Nick became overloaded with. At this time Nick was handling leasing, management, maintenance directing, networking, advertising, and more. He had to offload something so leasing was it. Greg was given about 20 units that needed renting, but the problem was there were no systems in place for that.
Creating Standards And Setting Standards When Thrown To The Wolves.
“I pretty much had to start from scratch as far as systems go. Nick had some good ideas on what would work, but didn’t have the chance to implement them. So, one of the first things I had to consider was defining what ‘rent ready condition’ was. What I found was that many of the units we were advertising had debris in them, construction supplies, holes in the walls, etc. So, I went to each unit that wasn’t rent ready and performed a virtual tour. From there the property owner could view the video and decide if they wanted to fix it or have Nexus do it. This immediately got some units off my plate. Next, I then made advertising videos so that prospective tenants could do a virtual walk through from their mobile device or computer BEFORE they came and looked at the place.”
If you want a good laugh you should watch Greg’s first ever virtual tour. Check it out below
From Leasing To General Manager.
After Greg systemized his leasing process it quickly gave Nexus the edge it had been looking for. He was showing units less than 2 times before they got rented, and placing owner approved tenants within 10 days. This was a huge load off Nick’s back, and also created the opportunity for Greg to start cleaning up other parts of the business.
Greg then starting to take on general management tasks such as performing evictions, networking, prospecting, new client onboarding, accounting questions, and more.
“These tasks were certainly not my responsibility, but leasing was buttoned up so I then had time to start biting off other pieces of the pie. Nick appreciated that, and I believe he saw that I was motivated and did things without being told. Within 2 years my role had changed from Leasing Agent to General Manager. This included overseeing the new leasing agent, monitoring the maintenance department, and handling all networking/client management. Nowadays, I handle that plus franchise sales and still have time for an hour lunch break!”
After Greg elevated to the General Manager position this is when he started to grasp the concept of investing and property ownership.
General Manager To Investor.
“I never knew how profitable and satisfying owning rental property could be. After working the field for 2 years I got to see what properties work, what areas work, and what tenants really want. This is when I bought my first 4 family property. From there, I’ve been able to grow my portfolio and now own 30 units statewide.”
One of the intangible benefits Nexus clients receive from us is that our employees themselves own rental property, so we can relate and empathize with all situations. This is very important, as most property management companies are not investors themselves.
“When an owner has a question or an idea about their property, or a property they want to buy, I am able to quickly scroll back in my mind’s rolodex and think to a moment I had to go through. For example, recently, an owner asked me if he should put laundry in his rental property. To me, that’s a no brainer to do it, because being a leasing agent showed me how laundry in the building is one of the first things potential tenants ask for. So, when I responded to that owner I knew that the information I was giving him came from a true and real place. Not many people can say that, and that has a ton of value, but it’s not something we can really advertise or put a price tag on.”
Not only this, but Nexus prides itself on being available 24/7/365 when most management companies are open 40 hours a week and close on weekends and holidays.
“When I first started with Nexus we had no systems in place to manage communications. Now, we’ve learned how to take use of our live-answered phone line, and our constantly monitored portal feed. When owners or tenants have questions, comments, or emergencies, they get responded to instantly. That’s huge. Our competitors may get an emergency call on Friday night, and not respond to it until Monday morning. We knew that this type of approach would only lead us to disasters and inefficiency.”
Nick also wanted to hammer home the fact that you can certainly beat our pricing, but you can’t beat our value.
“Often times I hear from prospective owners… ‘I can get that done for cheaper.’ To that I always welcome them to go ahead and do it. Home owners realize, usually later on in their careers, that the lowest price is usually the lowest quality. We are a business, we have employees, we have expenses…and there’s no two ways around that. With that in consideration our pricing is still well below industry averages. My whole point to them though is that we are available and accountable; forever. Will your guy off Craigslist be there when the heater he fixed breaks? Probably not.”
Onward And Upward.
GM & Investor To VP of Franchise Sales.
“Nick’s vision was always to franchise the business. He said that day 1 in my job interview. It takes big, huge balls to say that, and that’s what I loved about him. He’s still got a big set..he’s not afraid of any challenge. So, together, along with our Maintenance Director Ken Bradley, and Director of Brand Operations Mick Lefort, we compiled hundreds and hundreds of pages of policies, procedures, and approaches that led to our successes. From there we were able to work with attorneys and consultants to finalize our franchise offering. It was ultimately approved by the Federal Government, and to this day we have 2 offices in operation; one in Massachusetts and one in Florida. That’s the real deal.”
So, not only does Nexus provide value to its owners, tenants, and employees, but it also gives entrepreneurs the advantage of a turn-key business model to do the same.
“That’s Nick in a nutshell for you. He wants to ensure that every person involved has the opportunity to succeed. From the guy cleaning the toilets to the new business owner with their own Nexus franchise, and everyone in between. It’s mind blowing to think about. Nick has created a model that EVERY person (who’s willing) can benefit from. In today’s business climate that’s almost unheard of. Most people are working dead end jobs just making ends meet. Not at Nexus, we all have the chance to grow professionally as well as increase our real estate holdings alongside. It’s a slam dunk, and it’s all because of Nick Swagnillo. That’s my nickname for him (laughs).”
In sum, Nexus has quickly rose through the ranks as a startup business with no idea how to manage property, to now, being a nationwide, household name that offers a career with unlimited upside to those willing to take on the challenge. To learn more about Nexus Property Management visit us on the web at www.nexuspropertymanagement.com
Mick Lefort is the Vice President of Operations for Nexus Property Management™. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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