Why Companies Exist with Ryan Coon

“By 2030, no one will be managing properties with spreadsheets.”

In today’s episode, you’ll hear how Ryan Coon, co-founder and CEO of Avail, got inspired by his own experience in managing single-family rental properties as a side-hustle to come up with an app that makes everything easier for DIY landlords and their tenants. From use of listings syndication, to tenant applications, lease agreements, and rent collection—Avail simplifies and automates it all! But what probably a lot of people don’t know yet about Avail is that behind it is a company culture built on strong core values of customer-centricity, and team members who are constantly being empowered to grow and develop—even if that means that they’ll eventually out grow the company.  

So if you’re ready to hear about how pursuing your happiness and passion can lead you to success and how to build a business that stays true to its core values, let’s dive into Ryan’s story!

[00:01 – 05:45] Opening Segment

Coming from a family with lots of small businesses, there are truly lots of valuable advice we can get from Ryan’s journey as an entrepreneur—from his first business venture buying and selling baseball cards, to graduating from college and working eighty to hundred-hour work weeks in a large investment bank, to starting to invest in properties as a source of passive income. In this segment, Ryan tells us how all these lead to him choosing his passion over his 6-figure paycheck and thus, leaving his job at the investment bank to co-found and run his own tech company–Avail.    

[05:56 – 11:25] Starting Your Journey in Real Estate Investing

Ryan’s journey in real estate investing started around ten to twelve years ago when the country was experiencing a great recession. Fortunately for him, he stayed with his full-time job and was able to save capital to get started investing in passive income-producing properties. During this time, he was also working full-time for an investment bank while trying to manage his rental properties manually with spreadsheets, pen and paper, text messages, and what not’s.

It is this manual way of doing things that inspired him to look for ways to automate and simplify things. To be able to pursue this passion, he then left his full-time job and started learning to write code to run his company and develop the app.

[11:26 – 23:26] The Story behind Avail

You’re probably wondering what made Ryan decide to resign from his job. He recalls that moment to have happened one Thursday afternoon when he was wearing a suit while taking a bus down a street in Chicago. That time, he was looking forward to the weekend because he has a trip with his buddies planned. Unfortunately however, he received a call from their director telling him that they need him to stay and work that weekend because some clients need some work done. It was then at this moment that he realized, he values his freedom and this is not how he wants to live his life.

Fast forward to the time when this podcast was recorded, Ryan now has 23 people on their team in Avail and tries his best to provide them with what he felt was missing when he was with the bank. He helps his team learn, grow, and develop as individuals. And even though he knows that his could lead to them eventually outgrowing working in the company, Ryan thinks it’s still beneficial for the company and its customers in the long run. “I’d rather have a team full of people with a bunch of options career-wise than the alternative. Having a team full of all-stars is fantastic,” he says.

[23:27 – 31:13] Why Companies Exist

All companies exist because they have a mission. In Avail’s case, it was created with the mission of helping DIY landlords in mind. These DIY landlords are busy full time professionals (doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, or absolutely anyone) who also own rental properties. What the app does is give them all the tools and processes they need as a landlord so they no longer have a need for the archaic, offline ways of managing a rental property. But what exactly do they do to stay true to their mission versus just making money? Ryan shares with us a very important core value they have: customer-centricity. They make sure to keep their customers at the center of everything they do.

Ryan’s message to entrepreneurs who are planning to build their own companies in the future? You really have to spend a lot of time upfront thinking about why you exist. Not just the surface-level goal of making money, but also the answer to why your company truly truly exists and what you value as an organization.

[31:14 – 37:16] Facing the COVID-19 Era

Since this episode was recorded during the Coronavirus pandemic, I asked Ryan how it affects their business and what do they do to keep their wheels moving. He shares with us that the very first thing they did is to take care of their team, to make sure that everyone was working safe from their homes. After that, they then tried to find out next how to best help their customers by conducting a survey. Lastly, he shares an important message for landlords who are wondering what to tell their tenants who are currently not receiving paychecks so if you own a rental property yourself, make sure not to miss this!

[37:17 – 43:51] The FOCUS FIVE Segment

The FOCUS FIVE are five questions I ask every guest on my show. Keep on listening to find out what book  Ryan gifts most often; who would he talk to if he can get an hour of any person living or dead and why; that one thing he believes but most people will disagree with; his morning routine; and lastly, where are the best places we can connect with him online. (See the links below for Ryan’s social media links!)

Tweetable Quotes:

“Uncertainty breeds fear, anything that we could do to help remove that uncertainty to make people a little more calm is gonna be one of the major ways to help us get through this.” – Ryan Coon

Resources mentioned in the episode:

You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn and Twitter or connect with their company @helloavail on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also visit their website Avail.co

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A few last words

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