The Secret To Finding Great Tenants With Tina Johnson
Updated: Apr 14
If your goal is to succeed in your business, then this episode is for you! Today, Tina Johnson, the Manager at Done Deal Katy, dives into accomplishing and moving forward with your goals and your business. She shares how mental support makes a difference in dealing with the challenges she faces in the business. Meanwhile, Camille highlights the importance of pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones to grow because being in uncomfortable spots differentiates successful individuals from everyone else. Dive into this episode, and let’s become successful together!
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The Secret To Finding Great Tenants With Tina Johnson
We are here with Tina Johnson with Done Deal Katy. Welcome, Tina.
Renee, it's such a pleasure to be here with you guys, you and Cammie. I'm so excited to be on this show with you, guys.
Camille Davis, as always, meets the greatest people ever.
We happened to see her. I went to the Grove Summit, which is a nice office. It was a conference that we did in the Woodlands. I didn't do it. I went to it and loved that event.
Tina was there, so you got meet her twice.
We kept saying, “We need to get you on the show,” but then we didn't schedule it until now. We've got it all scheduled.
Tina, now you get to tell us your side of it. When you met Camille, what were your thoughts about how you two could work together, and what exactly is it that you do?
Done Deal Cosigners is a business that's been around for over eight years. A lot of people don't know about what we do or what we are. They see it and they're like, “What is this Done Deal?” They're always like One Deal instead of Done Deal because I don't know what it's about taking the D off, but we help people get a second chance at leasing an apartment.
Done Deal Katy helps people get a second chance at leasing an apartment.
I’ve been networking for a long time with this. I’ve been with the company for years. I'm an affiliate owner. I have my own office. Pete is the Owner of Done Deal. We are basically able to help people through our second chance co-signing program that we have available. Through that program, we have partnered with over 100 properties.
Is it just apartments that you guys do or do you also do approvals if someone wants to rent a home and they’re declined?
I think Cammie and I had originally started talking about she has a lot of investors, obviously, that she works with, and they have these properties. On the owner side of things, we help the property owners take the risk of the leasing process.
What I thought was amazing, as the landlord, when she was telling me about this, I was so impressed because I have to go evict my tenants if they're not paying, and that's a huge ordeal. Their company will guarantee that rent and pay for it. They back up these people. If they don't pay, they handle the whole process.
It's a Done Deal.
As a landlord, that's amazing because why hire a rental company if you can get someone like you to then get a tenant in there that you don't have to evict? You don't have to go to a management company is what I meant. I'm sure they're helping single moms who got a divorce. Real life happens, and there are so many single moms that have to take their kids.
About 80% of my clientele are single moms. I'm putting together a non-profit organization to help people get a second chance leasing an apartment. After they get into the apartment, they don't have the essentials that are needed. Furniture, pots and pans, sheets, towels, the little things that you never think about to place a home. I just started that. It's a nice little project I'm super excited about.
Tina, if you would, I have a question about being a woman entrepreneur who is trying to find her way or build a business in real estate. How did you pick this particular niche because that's hard for people to decide? “Am I going to be an investor? Am I going to be a flipper? Am I going to be a title person, a real estate agent? How did you pick this, of all things?
It just literally fell in my lap. I’ve always been in sales. I would say I’ve sold all kinds of makeup. Pretty much, you name it, I’ve done. Roofing sales, even. I was in marketing for a roofing company. I’ve never been on top of a roof before that. I would say the thing that caught me with the whole process, I was in property management and I could have gone back out and got another job and continued my career with that. I got tired of the politics and I wanted something new, and it just literally fell in my lap.
It was not easy at the beginning. Anything that you do that's worth anything, sometimes it takes hard work. Being a fresh real estate agent, you are building your clientele with Done Deal. We are hiring, by the way. You're building your clientele. You're picking up the phone. The phones are constantly ringing, obviously. The phone has been ringing and people come to us because they've exhausted all of the other opportunities that they thought they might have. Living on someone's couch is definitely not an option for most people. They call us up. I hope I have answered your question.
You absolutely did. The question was, “How did you start?” and you said it fell in your lap. I totally get that. Camille was saying that what she liked about it was the way that the program works and how beneficial it is to landlords. From your perspective, what is that thing that you're offering to landlords that will help us to increase our return on investment by allowing tenants who've had some challenges? How do you help us? Specifically, what is it that your program does?
I would say it's a big risk being a landlord. I was the person that filed the eviction. A lot of times, I was the person who had to kick the people out. I had to show up in court. I know the process and it's tedious. In comparison to what we offer on the flip side is we have the client, whoever moves in, sign a contract. If they don't pay, we pay.
A lot of our apartments love us because they don't have to worry about a Done Deal client. If a person moved in and they're not a Done Deal client, then they have to go through the whole eviction process, the three-day notice, the whole thing. With Done Deal, we come in. That first time they're late, we pay the rent, and then that second time they don't pay us back because they have to pay us and that's something they sign in a contract. If not, then we move them out.
The burden is on Done Deal and not necessarily on the landlord. Cammie, I can see why that is highly appealing.
I’ve never heard anything about this before now, and I’ve been doing this for many years. I thought this is a great program. I love the name of it too, Done Deal. I think it’s a great name. It's a win-win. It helps the people.
Tina, how do you connect with investors to provide them with information about your program? Is there a website? How do investors sign up with you if they're interested?
If they're interested, they can give me a call. I can point them in the right direction. I have an email, TinaJ@Here2HelpCosign.com or they can give a call, (713) 575-0319. I’d be happy to help.
As far as your program is concerned, the way that you help landlords primarily is that you are able to get the tenants, you go through all of the screening, the background check. I'm trying to figure it out.
We pre-screen all of our clients. We have a form and documents that they sign. The pre-screen process is we do a lot of that over the phone. The landlord still needs to do their due diligence. The legality of it, you still have to do a lease, and you still have to have factual information and verify the information. We don't do that.
Tell me about your business. You're a woman, you're an entrepreneur, you're building this empire. What are the challenges that you're finding as a woman who's a business owner?
Hiring people. I'm in a lot of different networking groups and one, for that mental support, which helps me realize I'm not the only one that's going through things. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I feel like I'm a nice boss. My people have it easy compared to the way when I first started. It's like hiring good people. I never have to fire anybody. They usually fall off. It's a commission-based job. That's my biggest challenge.
Sometimes it's that doubt, “Can I continue to do this?” It's with anything you do. If you're a dancer, and I danced for many years, “Can I do this again? Is my body capable of doing this routine?” It’s the doubts.
I think, Cammie, every entrepreneur goes through the, “What am I doing? Why am I doing this?” The challenges. Camille, I know in your business, you can speak to some of the challenges that you've had as a business owner too.
We're never going to get away from that. I think we're always going to be pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone because to grow, you always have to be getting to an uncomfortable spot. The biggest thing about successful people and people that aren't successful is we are consistent. It's the ones that keep doing and doing something. Not just doing the same thing every day, but doing something actionable. Even if it's little, it doesn't even have to be big. Something that changes or gets results more than what you did the day before.
I agree with that. I can definitely say that, honestly, I think what made me successful with Done Deal is I always think outside of the box. In the beginning, I was like, “How do you produce more leads for me?” I was going to networking events. I was letting everybody know what I was doing, and that's how I was able to break records. I literally broke a record of move-ins during COVID. Always thinking outside of the box is one of the things that made me successful.
No surprise there because that's what it takes. Talk about somebody that thinks outside of the box and doesn't take no for an answer. That's Cammie. I think, Tina, that entrepreneurial women or maybe entrepreneurs have that in common. Cammie said consistency is hugely important in your business, and you have to every day be proactively working toward something or some goal or achieving some small action that will improve your business or maybe get the next sale, even if it's that small.
I would totally agree. Every year, I try to do a vision board. We're making it a company thing, and I'm hosting the event for Done Deal.
Let me ask, can you tell me two things that are on your vision board?
I would say back to being an entrepreneur woman, one of the things that have been a challenge for me, and my word of the year is balance. That's going to be big on my vision board. I need to create balance in my life 100% all the way around.
Cammie, are you doing a vision board?
Crazy for me, my husband is definitely a goal-setter, “What are our goals? Let's write them down.” I always thought I wasn't a goal-setter, but I think I am that one person that challenges myself for that next day. For some reason, I'm better if I look at the, “I do have the end goal.” I have the vision, I am a visionary, but I have these big dreams like a mastermind, a Spanish investment group. Until I met Laurie, I always wanted to do the owner finance thing that she was doing, but I knew that would be way too much time for me at the time. She's speaking, by the way.
I do have these big dreams and these big goals, but then when it comes down to it, it's that every day that I focus on. I don't get overwhelmed with the big goals. For some reason, my mind thinks what's the next step. I can't write it down. If I write it down, then I get frustrated because then if I don't meet the goal, then I'm frustrated. For some reason, if I can leave it out, there's this big beautiful dream, and then I do little steps every day for some reason that works better with me.
To piggyback on what you were saying, Oprah doesn't look at her goals every day. She says she writes them down and she puts them away, and then they basically come true. I know it sounds crazy, but she manifests her goals in that light,. “I'm going to put this over here. I'm not going to think about it anymore. This is what I want, this is what I'm going to do, it's going to happen,” and then she leaves it alone.
Oprah doesn't look at her goals every day. She says she writes them down, she puts them away, and then they come true.
I guess I can do that.
I was going to say, I think that there are two takes on it. Writing the goal down so that you have it. You give it life by putting things on paper. As a side note, whenever I have something that I keep mulling over in my mind, I'm worried about it, or stressful things that are going on, if I write them down, I almost feel like I'm giving them life. They can live somewhere so they can get out of my head. Live somewhere else. You live on this piece of paper, not in my head, drowning me with bad vibes. On the same token that something good can be that way as well. If you have a dream or something that you want to achieve and you write it down, you're giving it life by putting it on that piece of paper.
What Cammie said is key. You take action toward the goal every day. Keeping the goal in the back of your mind. Some people put their goals up in front of them. They have affirmations, goals, vision boards that they put in front of them. That to me is overwhelming because, like Cammie said, if I don't achieve it, then I'm down on myself, “This was on my vision board for this year or this month, and I didn't accomplish it.” There's a negative energy that goes with that for me.
I would rather do what you're saying that Oprah suggests or does or whatever is write down the goal, put it away, and then do what Cammie said. Take small action toward it every single day until I accomplish, and then pull that piece of paper out and say, “I accomplished a goal or I'm this much closer to it.” I think what would help us too, as entrepreneurial women, is writing down what you have accomplished. Cammie, if you're not writing down what you're going to do or putting the goal on a piece of paper, put down what you did yesterday, “At the meetup, we had Dr. Bonnie Hubert. It was successful.” Those meetups are fantastic here in Houston.
I can't wait for the next one.
Here in Houston, we do them on the third Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM. Check out the Wealth BuildHers page and the Women's Wealth Collective Facebook pages, and you get all the information there. What I was saying was that if you write down what you have accomplished in the last week, “What did I finish?” Even if it's two things, “I was able to cook dinner twice this week and I got a new client. That's what I did this week. I finished something.”
I absolutely love that. I think that's pointing out the things that you did accomplish, and then knowing the things that you didn't accomplish the day before. That's what I usually do. I write a to-do list and I pass it to the next day. I try to knock out the things that I can that day, and then I push into the next day. I'm going to start saying, “I did do this, I did that.”
Write down what you did do. You can always keep a separate list of things like a to-do list somewhere. I'm an app user so I use Trello. You can use Asana. Those are great ways. If people want to have a way to track things on their phones, they can. Put a gold star next to the things that you did accomplish. Even if you physically write a gold star on a piece of paper or in your app, put a big green smiley face next to what you got done. For the things that you didn't do, you don't need to put a red X or whatever. You don't want things that give you negative energy. You want something that is going to continue to motivate you so that you can say, “I did that, and I can do the next thing on my list,” and keep moving forward. I think that will help us, as women and as entrepreneurs, to get more things done.
I know I bring that up all the time, but she asks the perfect questions. She reminds me of Oprah.
It's the hugest compliment ever. Thank you.
Yes, she does remind me of Oprah.
Thank you so much. You are so sweet. I'm receiving it. I'm receiving all the good vibes. Thank you. Tina, what's the plan for your business? Do you have a short-term goal of what you want to accomplish? Do you have an idea of where you want your business to go this year 2023?
My goal this year 2023 is I want to promote some other people in the position that I'm in with Done Deal and have them have their own office. My goal was to promote two people into their own offices. Also, I want to hire more people because I got to replace those people. I'm creating a website right now and maybe pull some leads in so I can share them.
That sounds fun. That sounds good. When you say subject to, doing actual deals the way that Cammie's doing them.
When I met her, they booked me to speak at one of their events. When I spoke, afterwards she was like, “I'm so pumped up. I'm going to put it online. I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that.” I saw the fire coming out and I was like, “That's amazing. I love it.”
Camille is always inspiring people to go and do what she does. It's not easy, but it's so doable. You can absolutely get deals.
I used to do wholesaling back in the day. I had a bad client, but I stopped doing that. I was like, “Maybe this isn't for me.”
I remember your story too. That was a bad client.
I was like, “How can I do this without having to do all of this and what’s the best way to do this?” I’ve always wanted to invest in real estate. I’ve always wanted to do something. When I met her the first time, my ear was tuned in to what she was saying. I was like, “This is so cool, and she’s a woman. This is awesome.”
Cammie can make you feel like you can do it.
I felt bad because they ended up all sitting around a table and I was in the middle. I felt like I'm in a seminar. We were talking. I felt guilty because I don't like to be center of attention anyway.
We made you the center of attention. You had no choice. We were asking her questions and we were like, “What about this?”
What you have to share is so valuable. Readers, you need to tune in to what Cammie is doing with Women's Wealth Collective. You share all of your goodies there, right, Cammie?
You've got some freebies in addition to some paid stuff. Is that right?
There are a lot of people that think I give too much information, especially my staff. They're like, “You don't need to give away the farm.” This information, they're like, "You need to wait until they get into the program, then we can share all this.” Honestly, they're going to need to hear it again and again. To me, it's easy and I love it and it flows. One thing comes next to the next thing. I’ve also been doing this for many years, and it was a passion.
It was like this book that I couldn't put down when I started learning it. I would dream it and I'm reading about it. Every free moment, I'm looking for new information. I can spill and give all this information and people are going to still need help doing it. It's not like they're going to turn around and start doing it themselves. It does take time.
This is subject-to that we're discussing. The way that you do your deals, the way that you structure your deals and get your real estate properties.
It's funny, Tina, I don't know if you noticed. The sponsor of that event was a title company. It's Sabi’s title company. It’s Trinity Title. She's the owner of that title company. Before the event, Sabi said to the attorney, “Would you like to say anything?” He's a sponsor. He's like, “No, I don’t have anything to say.” At the end of the event, “I'm so excited. Everything that she has said is true and I have never heard it talked like this. I’ve never seen it done like this, but it's all true.” He was so excited that he got up and then he was talking at the end of the thing.
He was so impressed. He's an attorney.
You could tell it opened his mind a little bit. He was excited. That was fun to see that happen.
You are blowing minds with what you're doing, Cammie, that you're able to do that.
Everyone's like, “We need a whole other event so we can learn about trusts.” I was like, “I don’t know.” I'm acting like an attorney maybe if I'm teaching about trust.
You're not qualified to teach that. You do have to give that disclaimer, and I love that you do that now in each meeting for Women's Wealth Collective. You do have the slide that says, “I'm not an attorney, I'm not a CPA. I'm just speaking from my personal experience and how I’ve done deals. You have to do your own due diligence if you're going to do this.” That's truly important. That's very true. Tina, I want to bring it back to you to ask on that note, the legality of what you're doing. Is it legal in the states that you're in? I guess you're in Texas, obviously, Nevada, South Carolina. Is the lease between you and the tenant, or is it between the landlord and the tenant? How is the landlord protected legally?
The landlord does the lease. That's why I said you still have to have a lease with the actual tenant. The only difference is we're co-signing. We sign the lease with the tenant, so it also puts us liable.
I heard you say co-signing. It didn't register for me how that comes into play. That's how it works, that you're co-signing. Do you have an agreement at all with the landlord or is your only agreement with the tenant?
It's with the landlord. We have a contract with the landlord. It allows us to have one access to the unit if we need to remove them. Also, payment-wise, how that's structured. Having that in writing, how all of that works in property management companies that we work with, we work with a lot.
Are there any additional fees for the landlord to pay you? Can I ask how do you get paid?
Initially, it’s the $199 that starts the process with the client. The second fee is the risk assessment fee. It’s 110% of whatever the rent is. We're attached to the lease. We charge a monthly fee. Those are all of the fees. The client loves it because it is a guaranteed approval because we do have that contract saying with the property, they will accept X, Y, and Z. The property management part of it loves it because there are many benefits.
You're guaranteeing that I'm going to get paid, and it's a done deal. I love that.
You're taking out the property manager's job in my mind because, as a landlord, I would think, “Why would I need a property manager if I had your lease?”
It depends on the size of the property. As a multifamily investor, a person that is working with property management companies that have over 200 units, there's no way I can take out the property manager. I have to have management on site. What Tina does is for maintenance and everything, for day-to-day operations.
I get what Cammie is saying also, but single-family home, you probably don't necessarily need management to come for a single-family home. Even if you have multiple ones, I understand 110% what you meant by that.
I don't have multifamily yet. The big thing is yet.
You're developing. You're building some multifamily. You've got units coming.
That's what I might be like. My printer’s in here.
Just for readers, we're not suggesting at all that you get rid of your property management company, but what we are suggesting is that there is a better way to screen those tenants or to guarantee that you get paid. You reduce the number of evictions that you have on your property, particularly for single-family assets or small multifamily like your duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes. Sounds like, Tina, the services that you provide would be hugely beneficial to the smaller landlord and to the larger landlords as well. You can help both.
I love management when I did it for over ten years. The only thing that I didn't like is the structure. Sometimes, it's not always the best the way things are handled. I was like, “I need to do my own thing.”
There are a lot of people reading who are entrepreneurs who are doing their own thing. For whatever reason, they're doing their own thing. This is a great resource for landlords. Before we go, I want to make sure that we've got all of the things for people to connect with you. Are you on social media?
I am. Please like me on @DoneDealKaty on Instagram. I'm on Facebook, Tina Johnson. I know they have weird restrictions on Facebook. I don't know if you can find me if you're not a friend, but on Instagram, you can definitely follow me. Follow my page.
Tell us what the email address is one more time, so that we make sure that we have it.
Tina, we have so enjoyed our time with you. Camille, is there anything else that we wanted to share or ask or find out about Tina or what she's doing before we go?
I can't think of anything. We're going to help her get some subject-tos. That's what we're going to do.