Okay, everybody welcome back to another episode of 300 to 3,000. How to grow your property management company to scale. Matthew and I want to take the time today to really dive into our meeting cycle, kind of the daily and weekly rhythms of Evernest and what we’ve done so far has walked you through Traction, the EOS Model. Then we’ve discussed our VTO, which paints the vision for the company and we just thought it was real important to… okay. How does that really play out in everyday life?
I mean, Matthew, first thing I noticed when I came to Evernest even though I was reading Traction, the book. I just noticed that the meetings were very, very structured and it wasn’t like we were just getting in there and just kind of willy-nilly talking about things. That was very impressive to me. Let’s open it up and where do you want to start when you talk about all of these meetings that we have?
Yeah. If you’ll recall from Phil’s episode, he said the exact same thing. When he got here, he was surprised at how well run the meetings were and I don’t think that’s a product of me, but it’s just our commitment, our discipline, the following a system that makes sense and the team kind of understands the cadence and understands the rhythm of the meeting and understands the rhythm of the week. [Trey 00:01:35], our new COO just started and actually said almost the exact same thing that he really felt like the meeting cadence, the way the rhythm works that it’s interesting.
He noticed that no matter who was running it, it was running very similarly because we had kind of set the bar in terms of what we wanted done and now we have a ton of meetings and a lot of people hate meetings, but we really feel like meetings are the backbone of our business and how else to get communicating to a bigger and bigger and ever-growing team. Make sure there’s a lot of clarity on what the plan is, then to have meetings.
Yeah, of course.
We do that. We do three different types of meetings at Evernest. The first one is a daily huddle. The second one is a weekly level 10, and everybody is in a level 10. We’ll explain what level 10 means, and the last one is kind of unique to us. It’s not part of the Traction model, but it is called the 25K Club. If you recall, our core focus is to develop people. This is one avenue that we do that. The 25K Club is a weekly club that we’ll jump into and talk about how that helps us grow.
I think the first thing to talk about is this, talk about the huddle. This is something we do every morning, so Evernest wide [inaudible 00:02:57] at 8:30 Central. Now we’re in Eastern Time Zone and Mountain Time Zone so we’ve kind of had to figure this thing out. At 8:30 Central, we have what are basically departmental huddles and we created, if you’re watching on video, this [rock 00:03:12] book that every person completes before they come to huddle and the whole idea of the rock book is to create a cadence of being intentional with your day.
I shot a video for our team. The rock book takes everybody through in the morning, what am I grateful for? The first thing we talk about, we want to make sure that people start off the day with a positive attitude and one of the things we talk about being grateful for things is, don’t always say the same thing. Like I am grateful for my wife and I do put her on a regular basis, but you can’t use her every single time.
Well, my wife picked up the book not long ago and she said, “I’m only in here like two times.” I’m like-
You could say, that’s Mathew’s fault.
I did. I said… Totally threw you under the bus.
Mathew, tells us not to do that.
I said, we’re supposed to think of new things. Just to let you know that didn’t turn out well, but go ahead.
Well, it’s kind of interesting though, if you have to think of something new, it really makes you strain and you are appreciative of things. Ironically, things like your shirt, like wow, I live in America where I can go and wear a different shirt every day. I mean, just things that kind of will blow your mind if you start to think about it. Every day we ask people to tell us what they’re grateful for.
The next thing we have, and we talked about rocks, which are our 60 day Traction, talks about 90 day kind of goals on the business goals. We make… everybody has a rock, then we make them write down what that rock is every single day. So it’s top of their mind, this is the most important thing you have to accomplish over the next… we do 60 Traction talks about 90 days that’ll get us to our goal and then the next thing we talk about is what is our sprint goal and how many days do we have left in that? And our sprint goal is our weekly goal.
If you think about it, our cadence is what do I have to do this week? Get done to meet my rock, which is my 60 day goal, to meet my yearly goal, to meet my three year goal, to meet my 25K goal. It’s pretty easy. We break it down and then guess what? We break it down to today. I know this is very elementary, but you’d be surprised at how well it works.
Matthew’s talking about this rock book. Just want to make it very clear. This is something that we developed in house, right? This is not something that anybody provided for us, but [crosstalk 00:05:44]-
This is true, but we’ll share it.
Yeah, I was about to say we’d be happy to share the kind of the plot, whatever.
The book. Yeah, no, the PDF or the word document so you can get these printed. It’s a bound book and it’s very simple. Getting back to it, what do I have to do today to meet my weekly sprint goal, to meet my 60 day rock, to meet my annual goal, to meet my three year goal, to meet my 25,000 house goal? I mean, this is not rocket science people. It is basically like running a marathon. If you’ve seen those marathon trainer schedules, it says the same thing. It basically says, what do I need to do today? How many miles do I need to run this week? How many miles do I need to run next week to reach my ultimate goal of running a marathon?
Well, we’re running a marathon, the 25K marathon and what do we need to get accomplished to do that? One of the things I think is important is a lot of people set rocks, they’ll set goals, and then they don’t think about them for a long time. We literally make our team think about them every day with this huddle and this rock book. The point of the huddle is we’re bringing this rock book completely filled out and we’ll talk about that in a second but-
What I think is interesting is just like you’re saying, it’s a marathon but that fits so well with property management because property management is a marathon. It is not like just a short sprint and you have this huge deal that you do and every everybody wins. It is a grind every single day. Fits perfectly for we’re doing.
It is a grind, and that’s one of the things. I mean, people can come and get lost in their email. They can come and get lost in communication, but the truth is we want them working on being intentional and working on the most important thing every single day. The next thing we want to do… that’s all on the business. Rocks are typically on the business type basically making the business better. Your rock isn’t to get back with an owner for an email, the rock is basically, how am I improving my position? How am I improving the business? [crosstalk 00:07:47].
They’re pushing you towards your one year goals.
Yeah, they’re typically project based goals. The next thing we want to talk about is what is the most important thing I need to accomplish today in the business to make sure that I get it done, right? And maybe that is an email back to an owner, or maybe that’s making sure I fill out a certain form to get financing for such and so, and I fill one of these out too myself every single day. What’s the most important thing I need to do in the business today and then the next part is… I’d say, today I will work on me by, and so this gets back to our core focus.
We want everybody thinking daily about making themselves better. Things people put on here are, today I’ll work on me by working out today. I’ll work on me by reading for 30 minutes. Today I’ll work on me by being patient when I get angry. Whatever you’re working on to make yourself better, if you think about it and I’ll put the same thing over and over and over again, because I want that rhythm in my mind to start to take hold.
What is that thing? What is it you keep putting down.
Well, for a long time it was like prayer and meditation. That was a habit I was trying to form. Right now I haven’t been reading as much as I used to, and so right now I’m saying, look, just read 15 minutes a day. Just read 15, and I finished a book today in about three days and I didn’t read just 15 minutes.
But you know what’s interesting is, when you force yourself to read 15 minutes, then before you know you’ve read 30 or 45 minutes and then all of a sudden you’ve just consumed a book and now you’re that much smarter. The other thing I’ve worked on is doing deeper work. I think we can get caught up in the daily habits of reading the Wall Street Journal where you’re reading certain articles or perusing Facebook, or even LinkedIn and finding really short bursts of things versus kind of deep thinking on your own, like pulling yourself back and actually thinking about items, thinking about how you’ll approach certain things.
I’ll tell you, I’ve really had some kind of breakthroughs as I do independent thinking independent of everybody else. I think in the past, I’ve made a lot of decisions based on what other people would think and now I’m starting to think, well, darn I can make this… If I’ll step back and zoom out, is what we call it. If I’ll zoom out then these decisions start to become pretty obvious because a lot of people are just stuck in their own biases, but we’re getting off the subject.
All right. Today I’ll work on me by whatever, and then the next thing is, what do I need to communicate in the department huddle? One of the things about a huddle is, it ought to increase the communication during the huddle to decrease the communication for the rest of the day. If you think about it, I want to come get as much solved in that five minutes, maybe 10 minute huddle so that I can go forth and crush the rest of the day without disrupting people.
We have Slack and other things for those types of disruptions, but truly in the morning a lot of deep work it’s done and I need some things from people to do that deep work and the huddle’s a great time to communicate that, so that’s on the rock book. The last thing is we have basically a all team leader in corporate huddle which happens at 8:45 Central. Everybody is in their own kind of departmental huddles at 8:30. 15 minutes later, there’s a call that everybody logs on from all over the country and now the team leaders are communicating with corporate kind of across functions and making sure everybody’s on the same page from a corporate level.
Now, if you’re running a remote team, this makes you feel good. If you have people that are running a one person or a two person office, it makes them feel good because it makes them feel connected on a daily basis. You’d be surprised, if you don’t talk to people for certain periods of time or hear their voice, you start to think, are they working? What are they doing? Have they been off all week? Just kind of weird negative thoughts and it’s kind of fun to all to get together and show up and say, man, they’re crushing it today in Denver or wow, they’re out really working hard today in Chattanooga.
One of the things we share during that team leader huddle is, what is the most important thing I need to get accomplished today. We want to create the feeling of everybody is focused on accomplishing the most important thing in their life that day.
Highest return item.
Yeah. It goes back to Gary Keller, who is the founder of Keller Williams. He wrote a book called The ONE Thing and what his one thing is, basically, what can I do today that basically makes everything else easier or makes me not even have to do everything else. It’s kind of like the lever, right? It’s the idea that what’s the highest leverage activity that I can do, and so the rock book gets people thinking like that. It’s kind of funny because when people leave here, people have gone on to do some really cool things. A lot of them take the rock book with them. They want to continue that habit of the rock book because they know that it kind of sets the day for them.
Yeah. Especially if they’ve been doing it for two, three years. It’s kind of a part of their morning routine.
Yeah, maybe one of the only habits they have in the morning. It may be a very important habit to them.
Well, I mean, if you think about it, spending a little bit of time planning your day and teaching your team to spend a little bit of time to plan your day, isn’t that like well worth the five or 10 minutes to them to do it? I mean, they could spend a whole day doing nothing.
Now, this book is really designed to… one part is to be filled out in the morning, right? And one part later in the afternoon.
Yeah. There’s no huddle in the afternoon, but what I do want people to do too, is reflect. We’re going to go a little off script and talk about the backend of the rock book and I’ll just take them through what is written in the backend so that at the end of the day, I want people to take another five minutes to reflect because John Maxwell says basically making mistakes is not learning because people don’t learn from mistakes and they may end up making mistakes over and over again. These are my words, not his.
It is reflection on mistakes that teaches you to learn, and if you’re thinking about it… again, our core focus is develop people. Don’t we want them reflecting on the mistakes they made that day so that they don’t make those mistakes in the future. To me, some of this is so basic and elementary, but they don’t know to do that. They don’t come out of college teaching you to reflect on the mistakes that you made. We’re having to teach these habits in our team members so that we can get a return for their time so they’re not continuously making the same mistakes.
Let’s talk. First thing is two great things that happen today. Listen, no matter how bad the day is, I can always come up with two things.
And there’s been some pretty crappy days around here, but I can always come up with two good things that happened. The next thing is, we want to get really real with ourselves because at the beginning of the day we said, we needed to accomplish three things. The first one is our daily rock like event. Did we accomplish that? And it literally says yes or no and I have to circle yes or no. It’s either accomplished or it’s not. Either you did it or you didn’t. We want to get really real with ourselves. If we said this is the most important thing for me to do today and then I didn’t do it. Either it wasn’t the most important thing or I’ll let something else basically take its place and if you consistently do that, then you’re kind of fooling yourself.
The next thing is the number one item in the business. We say did you, yes or no, accomplish the number one item in the business? It’s either you did, or you didn’t. I mean, this is not rocket science, but it is interesting to note that there are times where people say no, no and then you’re like, what did you do all day? You didn’t accomplish your most important on the business. You didn’t accomplish the most important in the business. It sounds to me like a wasted day.
What I’ve learned to do is if I start hearing that several times from my group that I lead a huddle, if I continue to hear no, no, no, no. Then I stop and I’ll say, okay, let’s go back and think about the things you wrote down. Why did you say this was the most important? And then why didn’t you accomplish it?
Yeah, because you address it in your huddle. You basically make people say in front of everybody, did I or did I not accomplish?
That’s right. If it seems like it’s happening more than it should because… I’ll say I don’t get everything done all the time. Like sometimes I’ll say yes, no, yes. If I see a pattern with people, I’ll definitely stop them and ask them about it.
Which is, you’re trying to create a culture of accountability where everybody’s accountable to each other. One of the things you don’t want is for the boss always to be the one that’s like disciplining people or saying, you need to do better. What you want is your whole team to essentially be holding each other to higher standards and willing to hold each other accountable.
The third thing, again, yes or no question. Did I accomplish my work on me? Did I work out or did I not work out? Whatever your work on me was, and then we have a place for reflections on the day. Just reflect. Think about your day for a minute. Did you get mad at something you shouldn’t have gotten mad at? Did you have some victories that you didn’t know were going to… just think about your day. The next thing is, I call it a mind dump, M-I-N-D dump. Meaning, one of the things that’s hard to do is to go home with a bunch of stuff in your head, and so the question is what are the three things tomorrow that I need to accomplish?
I want to basically take what I know right now. What’s basically occupying my mind right now and pull it out, put it down on paper so that I don’t wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. If I know it’s on the page, then my mind doesn’t have to worry about that and I can go home and be present with my family. What are the three most important things I need to accomplish tomorrow? And then the last thing is, how can I improve? This is another reflection question. What do I need to do to become a better Matthew or what do I need to do to become a better Spencer? Just getting really real with yourself.
A lot of times what I’ll put here as the leader of the organization is… This is something I’m focused on this year so I write it down a lot, is communication. I am constantly having to communicate down within the organization, clear vision, what the goal is, 25K, how we’re going to get there. We just crossed 50 people so we’re offering health insurance and there’s just all these things that you’d be surprised, the bigger the organization gets, you realize that almost everybody’s new so you find yourself repeating yourself over and over and over again. Communication is the thing that I’m focused on getting better at as a leader.
Now let’s move into… so this is the huddle. This is something we do every single day. It is definitely just built into who we are, at Evernest kind of kicks our day off, but we have another meeting that is called… Matthew has mentioned it before, the level 10 meeting. It comes directly from Traction and this is all about solving problems, holding people accountable, and moving the company forward. Let’s dive in to that, but before we do, I do want to say, we’ll put the PDF to this rock book in the show notes so people can download it if they want to. Let’s go ahead and dive in to the level 10, Matthew.
Yeah. The level 10, one of the interesting things about the level 10 is, as I started growing the business, I struggled to put things in the pockets where they belong. In other words, I would have a great idea and I would want to go tell Spencer about it or go tell somebody about it and then I would disrupt their concentration, or I would have an issue that I’m dealing with. It’s not the most major thing for somebody else but is my biggest issue and now I want to solve it. I didn’t really have a cubbyhole for those [inaudible 00:20:53]. One of the cool things about the level 10 is that it is a cubbyhole for all your ideas and all your issues.
Right now we run… I mean, did I dare to say seven, no. Probably more about 10… different level 10. As you grow, the whole thing just like a huddle, everybody needs to be in a level 10. Okay. This is the backbone meeting of the organization and it happens on a weekly basis. It is an hour and a half long meeting. It starts on time and ends on time. No matter how many issues you don’t want to get to, it’s going to start on time and in on time. The first step in the meeting is a five minute segue. One of the things that Gino Wickman who founded the EOS Model found is that it’s very good to go around and remember that everybody is human.
He calls it a segue where we go around the room and we basically say, what did you do this weekend? What personally is going on in your life so we can just remember that. At the end of the day, we may be arguing about issues or ideas but we’re still people and we still have a life outside of Evernest and for five minutes we go around and update people on our personal lives.
It’s connection. Little bit of personal connection.
Yep. Absolutely. Next thing is the scorecard. We’ll go through five minutes. We have about 10 things that we think are important metrics and as you grow and I’m going to get into the different types of level 10, but when you’re a three person team, you only have one level 10 and everybody’s in it. What are the 10 metrics that if you are stuck on a desert island, you could look at these 10 metrics and know whether your business was healthy or not and then we go through those during the scorecard section.
The next thing we do is we make sure that people are on track with the rocks, and we say basically on track or off track. We literally go around the room and we say on track, off track. If you’re off track, we will generally do what we call, drop it down to the issues list and I’ll get to that in a minute. To me, if you’re off track on your rock, which we set and said this is important for us to reach our goals and that’s probably something we need to talk about because if you don’t finish your rock, there’s a good chance we’re not going to meet our annual goals and that’s obviously a big problem, and then we have what we call owner, tenant, employee headlines.
We changed the name of it. That’s for us in the property management business. Basically, what are some headlines of things going on, maybe some wins that we’ve had, some frustrated owners, whatever employees that have started working with us. Just kind of give a company update and then the next piece is the to-do list. The to-do list is pretty interesting. These are the action items that you will create with your issues list. When you have an issue and you solve it, there’s generally an action that needs to be done and to-do list is that action. What we do is we assign that to-do to somebody to solve it.
If we talking about something in marketing and we say, “Hey, we need to change something on the website to reflect some new program that we’re running.” Well, we need to assign it to somebody and put a date on it that they’re going to be completed with it. Generally it’s a week and say when we show up here next week, we want to make sure that that’s done and you’re responsible for getting it done. We roll through last week’s to-dos and people either say it’s done or it’s not done. What we want to do is complete 80% of those to-dos. Meaning four out of every five to-dos, then the next thing… We go through and we come up with the percentage and then it’s all about the issues list.
This is the list. I’m going to start first in the three person model. Let’s say you’re at 300 homes and some people are probably north of this, so you may have multiple level 10 meetings. When we first got started, we just had A level 10 meeting. There was no leadership team. Everybody was a leader. There are no leadership team. There was no department. Everybody was every department and so we would drop all the issues and ideas down on this list. We actually keep ours in a Sauna, which is like a project management software so everybody has access to adding to the list. You can obviously do it on paper. You can do it however you want, but these are all the issues that you’re dealing with. The drop balls that happened during the week. The idea you had to make a process way more efficient.
What we do is we take that whole list and then we prioritize it in groups of three. The top three, we say, what are the three highest leverage issues or ideas that we need to talk about in this meeting? If you’re at a three person company, you’re going to basically know probably all the issues by heart, but you still want to put them down to remind yourself and then you’re going to prioritize and put the top three issues that you have or ideas that you have and then you’re going to talk about them. An IDs is what solving is called. It’s called identify, discuss, solve.
Identify as all about finding the root cause of the issue. Sometimes issues are just very surface level things. If you solve the root of the issue, and the thing that we found is a lot of times that’s either process or people. If you solve the root of the issue, it actually clears up the issues less. You may have 10 issues on your issues list. Five of them may be because you have the wrong person on the team or five of them may be because there’s a process that keeps screwing up and you need to fix it. If you really… instead of solving kind of the level one issue, you want to dig down into the deep part of the issue.
A lot of people talk about asking why five times, that’s one thing you could do to kind of dig to the root of the issue, but it’s identify, so getting really granular on what the real issue is, and then the next one is…
Discuss. Yes. We’re going to discuss the issue. Yeah, see, for all of you listening at home, you can grow a business at 3000 homes because you can tell that we barely even know what we’re doing.
Then we discuss the issue. Sometimes discussion looks more like a all husband and wife fighting. The whole idea is that we want to separate ourselves from the issues, from the ideas and come up with truth. What is the best answer to this question? If Spencer comes up with an idea, it’s not his idea. It is something that is separate from him, so if it’s a dumb idea, Spencer doesn’t get mad, but if it’s a great idea then Spencer knows that the team’s going to make it better. Same thing with issues.
We try not to place blame with issue because what we want to do is find out, well, what is the real issue and solve for that issue? And that’s what the S means, is solve. How are we going to solve it? We’re going to create a to-do that basically fixes that issue and then assign it to somebody to solve. That’s IDS, identify, discuss, solve.
It’s solve. That’s right. I would also add that when you’re first starting out or even today, I guess for us. We’ve been doing it for six years. You will have people drop-down issues that may never make it to a discussion, right? They may identify an issue and put it up there, but it’s not the most important issue. It’s not the most pressing issue, and so what will happen is it’ll get pushed down the line. I think when we first started, we were just using Excel as the drop-downs.
Some people may get their feelings hurt, but you just really need to help them understand that, hey, you want to identify and solve these major issues that are going to make everything else better but what you’ll realize is eventually these things will either solve themselves or they’ll just go away. They weren’t really an issue to begin with, is kind of the way I’ve seen it.
Yeah. New people that join our organization want to just like sit there for hours and hours and solve all of the issues and what I will tell you is solving… especially in growth, there’s a Reid Hoffman podcast out there called Masters of Scale and he talks about the days of PayPal when fires were burning. If you’re going to grow a business from 300 to 3000, you’re going to have fires that are burning all the time. We have issues to our issues. It’s like amazing how many issues and problems that we have.
One of the things you’ve got to do is prioritize the biggest fire and then put that out. The one that either is a business killer or even high leverage where you think you’re going to get the most return for it, and so we’ll put that Reid Hoffman podcast in the show notes because I think it really was freeing to me to know that other people allow fires to burn that aren’t as important as the biggest fire, and so that’s what we’re doing with IDs.
We’re literally disciplined to this time that we’re going to spend on this hour and a half and once we’re done with hour and a half, like we are not going any further. Like we end on time every time. If we leave an issue undone, then we’ll settle it next week and a lot of people have problems with that. They just can’t bear to have issues outstanding. Then we get into kind of the meeting wrap up. First thing we’re going to do is we’re going to read through all of the to-dos we created and make sure there’s no confusion on what we’re asking people to do.
This is the time for you to make sure that there’s plenty of clarity on what the goal is and that there’s specific measurable clarity on what they’re supposed to do, and then when you’re first starting out and you have a three person team, I didn’t even understand what cascading messages was, because everybody’s in the organization is sitting in that room but as you grow the organization, this cascading messages becomes more and more important. Because you’re going to have to make sure that things that get decided in that meeting are communicated clearly to your team.
Our team right now is like 75 or 80 people and it’s amazing again, how hard it is to communicate down within the organization. Things that I said four or five months ago, we’ve probably got 10 or 15 new people that never heard that, and so you’ve got to constantly make sure that you’re cascading messages that come out of these meetings down within the organization to the people that need to know it. Then the last thing, which is one of my favorite parts is rate the meeting. What you want to do is you basically takes… it’s a one to 10 rating and 10 is the best meeting I’ve ever been to. One is the worst meeting I’ve ever been to. Everybody goes around the room and rates the meeting.
Now, couple of points I would say on this. Number one is, you might want to use some sort of technology and force everybody to rate the meeting independently of each other, because there does become the some group think, especially with new people as you go around the room. For instance, with our leadership team, there’s a high level of trust. Three people could say 10 and then one person would say five and not feel bad about saying that because one of the things that happens with a lot of new people is they just basically rate it what everybody else rates it.
Also, they don’t want to… if they drop it below an eight, they have to give a reason like what could make it better? Why was it bad? And then how can we make it better? A lot of times new people don’t want to talk and so they’ll just stick with the nines and tens.
Yeah. Spencer brings up a good point. We want to constantly be making these meetings better. We don’t want to waste an hour and a half of our time on a weekly basis. What are things we can do to make it better? Did we get in the weeds? Which means we just drug on an issue ad nauseam and never even solved it and it’s like, we are way out in left field. That’s what we call getting in the weeds. One of the things we have the responsibility of is calling in the weeds. The team has to take responsibility to say, “Hey, we’re in the weeds. Let’s get back focused on what the issue is.”
Another thing would be that maybe we didn’t solve any issues. We felt like that we just left them undone. There weren’t really any good to-dos. Some people have rated the meeting low because the to-do percentage was so bad. There’s a million different reasons you can rate the meeting, but if you rate it eight or below, you need to make sure that you are giving a reason to make it better and the person that’s running the meeting does not really need to feel like there is somebody judging them. What they need to feel like is we’re judging the team. The level 10 meeting is a team meeting and it absolutely needs to be done by, this is a rating of the whole team not the leader of the meeting.
Another little thing I would add and we haven’t been great at this but I think it’s super helpful is, the person that’s running the meeting, whatever system you’re running it out, whether you’re on a chalkboard or a marker board or running out of a Sauna on a screen or running it out of Excel on a screen, there needs to be essentially a secretary. I wouldn’t call them that because nobody likes to be called that these days, but there needs to be somebody that’s physically doing the work in the system. Creating the to-dos creating the new ideas, taking notes, and then the person running the meeting really needs to be clear from that because it’s very hard to do both. It’s very hard to run a great meeting because you want to keep it moving, keep the energy up, so just a little feedback.
Let’s talk about where you start with the level 10, and then where you end with the level 10, and then of course, we’re going to end with 25K. If you’re a one to three person team, maybe even up to a five person team, you’re probably only going to have one level 10 meeting. All the issues are going to get dropped into this and you’re just going to run with that one level 10 one time a week for an hour and a half. As you grow and… I don’t know what number that is, but at some point you’re going to grow where you’re going to have to split it into two meetings, probably an operations level 10 and then a leadership level 10. You’ll probably have three, maybe four leaders and then everybody will be a part of the operation. It’s okay to be a part of two level tens, especially if you’re on the leadership team.
Then as it grows, the operation’s probably going to split into departments. Today, let me tell you what our level tens are. We have a leadership level 10. We have an operations level 10. We have a sales and marketing level 10 led by Spencer. We have an accounting and finance level 10. Now, those are the top four level 10s. Below the operations level 10, we have basically market level 10s. Birmingham has its own level 10. Atlanta has his own level 10, and Denver has its own level 10, and then we have a small market level 10 which is markets that are below 300 homes. Chattanooga, Little Rock and Nashville are currently in that.
When they exceed 300 homes, which is pretty interesting because that’s what we’re talking about here is getting past that. Then they’ll start to have their own level 10 because their team’s going to start growing and it’s not kind of a solopreneur type business. We also have a leasing level 10, and then we also have maintenance level 10s in each market. I mean, it’s like… it may be more than 10. I said 10 originally. It may be more than 10. There’s probably always a level 10. Back in Rome the sun never set on the Roman Empire and Evernest, the sun never sets on a level 10 meeting because somebody is always in the middle of a level 10 meeting.
That’s right. As one is ending, another is beginning.
Yeah. We spent our time on Zoom almost full-time now. It’s crazy. That’s the level 10 story. Happy to answer any questions people may have when they… When they listened to that I’m pretty sure I covered most of it. Let’s talk about the third meeting, which is 25K We’ve gone from huddle, which is the daily thing. Our level 10 meeting, which is a weekly thing towards 25K meeting. This is not an EOS, but it’s something that we came up with about four or five years ago and we said we really need to be training people because… and this really applies to the 300 to 3000 group. The people that are trying to grow, is what I realized is at 300 houses, it was really all about how good a property manager I was.
Part of my biggest problem was I was a great technician using the word from [E Myth 00:38:32]. I was a great property manager, so it was hard for me to grow the business past 300 because nobody was as good of a property manager as me, but what I realized is once the business passed 300, I had to start growing an organization and then it was more about leadership and management of people. Well, our team we realized, we had to figure out how to lead and manage these people that we were hiring because we needed them to lead and manage other people. A lot of people were coming into our organization really smart, really sharp and we knew that we wanted them to go run markets for us and this was pre us even starting a second market, but we knew we needed to train them in leadership and we knew we needed to train them in management.
We started what was called the 25K Club and basically at first it was a leadership training group that met an hour, an hour and a half. It changed, and we were reading books together and it was simply people we thought were going to go run markets for us. I led it for a while. Spencer led it for a while and we started kind of leaking in other people because they heard about it and they wanted to be a part of it. Even people that weren’t maybe down in Mexico that weren’t going to go run a market for us anytime soon here in the States.
That went on like that for probably three and a half or four years, right?
Yeah. It was at least three years.
One day, I don’t know who had the idea, but one day we were like, we really ought to be training everybody to be a leader. Like if we want massive growth and if you look at our core focus is to develop people, why are we limiting this within our organization? Probably nine or 10 months ago, we basically just broke up the whole organization into eight or nine groups. These groups are five to six. People put a team leader, not a… well, I shouldn’t say a team leader because people get that confused, but a leader of that group, in charge of their four or five, six people, and we are creating content at the corporate level but most of this is my responsibility weekly to create a content through a platform called [Lessonly 00:40:54] that allows me to create content, put it on YouTube, put it in a lesson for people to learn and-
… with questions for people to reflect and think on and then… What they do is, they’re responsible for going through the content on a weekly basis and then meeting with their team for 30 to 45 minutes during the week and discussing the questions. Anything you want to add to that?
Yeah, no. I think what I’ve… Going back to the genesis of this and I’ve told Matthew this, but when he first came up with the idea of this 25K I thought, well, it was kind of a book club. We’re just going to sit around and talk about a book that we read, but it really did have us… I think that first book we read was the John Maxwell book, Today Matters.
I mean, we just… It was really, really good I think because it opened up discussions we would not have had in the regular course of business here at Evernest. We really kind of started to form bonds in that group. We were discussing leadership ideas. I was growing, everybody was growing and then I think we got to a point and then I kind of took over probably for a year or so, but we got to a point where we wanted everybody to have the opportunity to even lead some of these pods or these groups and so I think that was not only to have everybody in a group but we were developing people so that they could go and lead a group themselves, and I think probably that’s one of the things that I’ve enjoyed watching is seeing people who were in those original meetings kind of going out and now leading their own 25K group separately.
Which was the whole point of the thing, is we wanted to develop leaders and so now we’re allowing leaders to lead other people even ahead of them going to a new market to lead other people. It really creates a pretty awesome environment and when people come in, we assign them a group. We talked about Trey, our new COO starting and he’s in a 25K Club with people from all over the country and some people down in Mexico-
Whose group is he in?
… and he’s learning right along with them.
Whose group is he in? Do you know?
I think he may be in David Soul’s group.
Okay, good. That’s a good group.
Not sure. Not sure.
I mean, you’ve actually been… You’re in Tim’s group and you said that they’ve been great.
Yeah. They have been great. Now, I’ll tell you… If Tim’s listening to this, he would tell you that I dropped out two or three weeks ago because I was having to run a group because we had somebody leave and so I had to step over and run that group, but yes.
Tim was doing an amazing job. I’ll tell you, you can find out who can lead people by who can keep a group going, asking good questions for 30 or 45 minutes. Huddle, level 10, 25K. To me, people hate meetings. If you come from the corporate world, you’re used to being in really bad meetings, but if you’re going to build an organization to 3000 homes, you are absolutely going to have to be a great meeting leader. One of the things… I just read a new book by Patrick Lencioni. I actually have it right here and he wrote the book, The Motive. There you go, Patrick Lencioni.
We force everybody who starts with us to read one of his books called, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Again, we’ll put that in show notes. We’ll also put The Motive. Patrick Lencioni talks about that a leader, a true leader and if you’re going to grow your organization to 3000 homes needs to be great at meetings. That is their time to communicate and perform. People think meetings are so crappy. That’s like saying, well, he’s a great baseball player but he doesn’t play well in games. Well, to me the meeting is the game for the leader. It’s not necessarily a strategy or accounting or whatever. It is literally being able to communicate and lead effective meetings where decisions are made, where strategy is made, where people are buying into the vision and so meetings are absolutely something you’re going to have to nail if you’re going to get to 3000 homes.
We hope that this has been really beneficial for you because this was done when it was just… we were here in Birmingham and it really created the framework so that when… I mean, I remember when we moved to Nashville in 2016. Like we kept the level 10s and Nashville is still a part of our level 10 and so it’s given us this framework to really build and grow so that when we’re scaling our company, we don’t have to wonder, oh, how are we going to do this? How are we going to do this? We already have the framework. Like it’s already there and has helped tremendously.
We hope this has been a value to you. That’s it for this week’s episode. Go ahead. If you haven’t subscribed, go ahead and subscribe to the podcast. If you found any kind of value, please give it a rating, give us a review and we will catch you on the next episode.