Property Management

Episode 5: Property Management with Matt Hunter

In this episode of the Right Choice Podcast, we sit down with Matt Hunter from Dooryard Property Management, who also holds a real estate license and has been deeply involved in the real estate world for nearly 17 years. Matt shares his journey into property management, detailing the evolution of his company, which now manages around 200 doors primarily in Central New Brunswick. He discusses the unique aspects of managing properties for clients both locally and internationally, including handling Canadian tax filings for owners living abroad. The conversation also touches on the challenges and changes brought about by COVID-19 regulations, Matt’s approach to providing a comprehensive, hassle-free property management experience, and his personal journey from landlord to property manager. Matt offers valuable advice for first-time real estate investors and highlights the importance of understanding investment fundamentals, cash flow, property condition, and future development potential.

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Part 1: Matt Hunter & Dooryard Properties

In this engaging opening segment, hosts Chris Turner and Dave Watt warmly welcome Berni Williams from Berni Williams Insurance for an insightful discussion on her personal journey within the insurance sector and the rich legacy her family has established in this field. Berni shares a captivating narrative about the origins of her family’s deep involvement in the insurance industry, which began with her grandfather back in 1969.

He embarked on his insurance career by selling policies directly from the back of his car in the bustling community of Fredericton, New Brunswick. This segment beautifully illustrates the Williams family’s enduring commitment and evolution from modest beginnings to creating a significant and respected agency presence within the local region, highlighting the foundational role of family in shaping Berni’s career path.

Part 2: Navigating Changes and Challenges in Property Management

Matt Hunter delves into the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the property management sector, discussing the various rent freezes, legislative changes, and new regulations introduced to address the crisis. He emphasizes the importance of adaptability and strict compliance with the evolving laws and guidelines set forth by Service New Brunswick, ensuring that all security deposits, leases, and related paperwork are meticulously handled according to the current legal framework.

Matt also shares insights into how his company goes above and beyond standard lease agreements by adding specific schedules that clarify the responsibilities and expectations of tenants, such as property maintenance and snow removal. This approach not only enhances the clarity and enforceability of lease agreements but also fosters a positive and cooperative landlord-tenant relationship. Through these challenges, Matt illustrates the critical role of property managers in navigating the legal and operational complexities of the real estate industry, ensuring both property owners and tenants are well-supported and informed.

Part 3: The Evolution from Landlord to Property Manager

This segment offers a personal look into Matt Hunter’s evolution from experiencing the trials and tribulations of being a landlord to establishing himself as a knowledgeable and effective property manager. Matt candidly shares the early mistakes he made in real estate investment, such as purchasing properties without thorough inspections and navigating a down market. These experiences, while challenging, provided invaluable lessons that shaped his approach to property management.

By understanding firsthand the pitfalls and pressures landlords face, Matt was inspired to create Dooryard Property Management with the goal of offering a service that addresses these challenges head-on. He discusses the process of refining his business model, smoothing out operational processes, and ultimately deciding to extend his services to help other property owners achieve a hassle-free investment experience. Matt’s journey underscores the importance of learning from mistakes, the value of firsthand experience in the real estate market, and the transformative power of turning challenges into opportunities for growth and service improvement.

Part 4: Advice for First-Time Real Estate Investors

In the concluding segment, Matt Hunter imparts valuable advice to first-time real estate investors, drawing on his extensive experience in the field. He emphasizes the critical importance of education and understanding the fundamentals of real estate investment, including cash flow analysis, property condition assessments, and the potential for future development. Matt encourages prospective investors to seek out educational resources, such as online courses or workshops, and to consult with financial planners or seasoned professionals to gain a comprehensive understanding of the investment landscape.

He also discusses the significance of considering the property’s condition and location, as well as the investor’s personal investment goals and risk tolerance. By sharing practical tips and highlighting the need for thorough research and preparation, Matt aims to equip first-time investors with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of the real estate market successfully.

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