I loved the job. On Day 1, I was working with the bookkeeper who was on her way out. I was cashing rent checks, reconciling bank accounts, answering the door for angry tenants (I hated that part), and riding around sketchy neighborhoods to learn what property management was all about. It was humbling, intimidating, and exciting.
I set up their accounting system from scratch. My experience with much larger organizations made this job easy. I knew exactly what we needed and how to do it. One of the first things we exposed from Accounting was that our Maintenance business was losing tens of thousands of dollars per month. Without the new accounting clarity, we would not have been able to fix that problem so quickly.
I started building financial models on how we were going to get to 25,000 houses. We did several acquisitions and grew to over 2,000 houses and more than doubled our revenue annually. The company owner and I were meeting with family offices and private equity contacts in hopes of raising capital. The problem was that we had a great plan in our heads, but a short track record to that point. We were building something great and doing it the right way. However, the success wasn’t showing on our balance sheet or our P&L. Since I help people understand numbers, I’ll say what this really meant: We were losing money and running out of cash!