Doing One Thing Super Duper Well: Insights from Zach Beck

William Bailey | May 30, 2024

Doing One Thing Super Duper Well Insights from Zach Beck

Meet
Zach Beck

Zach Beck

“Fundamentally, I want everyone I work with to feel like they’re in a better spot after meeting me.”

Experience is a key that unlocks every door, and when it comes to property management, he’s had first-hand experience on both sides of the table. He started his career working onsite and at the regional level. He cut his teeth collecting rent and managing property damage, and it’s given him a “practical-first” approach to bridging the gap between his client’s portfolios and Conservice’s managed utilities services.

You’ve been living and breathing property management for most of your life. 
HOW DID YOU END UP SPECIALIZING IN UTILITIES MANAGEMENT AT CONSERVICE?

“Anyone in property management knows it’s a Jenga tower. There are so many moving pieces. But right out of college, working on the property management side, I quickly realized how many gaps there were in the utility process. Utilities were one of the most fragmented businesses nationally. Tiers. Cycle periods. Rate structures. It was a mess. It’s still a mess. From the ground floor, I helped grow a company dedicated to helping property managers and portfolio owners handle their utilities. Did that for a few years. It was a great company, our hearts were in the right place, but we quickly realized when we’d grown to a certain point it would’ve taken too much investment to build what already existed in the industry. And when there was an opportunity to tuck that business up under the Conservice logo—and join forces with the tech and infrastructure they’d built up all over the United States—I didn’t think twice. It was the best way to deliver the experience I wanted to deliver to the clients who trusted me.”

Every vendor in the single-family and manufactured housing industries promises a “tailored service.”
WHAT SEPARATES YOUR APPROACH? HOW IS CONSERVICE DIFFERENT?

“Well, first off, understand that utilities are our main focus. It’s all we do. It’s all we’ve done for twenty years. And in all that time, we’ve had as many different kinds of clients as we’ve had clients. I’ve been on that side of the industry. I know that there are a million different things that can be going on at the site level. So I don’t pitch people a ‘comprehensive, customizable, la de da’ solution. I figure out what my clients are trying to accomplish in the long term and teach them how their utilities can future-proof their business. I find out what’s slowing them down right now, what processes, what tech, etc.—and I build a practical, results-driven approach to utility management that time after time ends up saving my clients way more money than our fee costs. It’s incredibly satisfying for me.”

Why? You’re selling utilities management. It’s a powerful service, but not the most exciting arena in the industry.
WHAT’S SO SATISFYING?

“Have you ever heard that saying? ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel?’ That’s always been my vibe, and it’s always been Conservice’s vibe. I get to introduce a service that’s not just measurably impactful—it leaves clients feeling heard and cared for. Fundamentally, I want everyone I work with to feel like they’re in a better spot after meeting me.”

Give some examples of that tailored approach. You have an admirably high conversion rate when pitching Conservice to new clients.
WHAT’S YOUR SECRET SAUCE?

“First of all, it’s a service that in many ways sells itself. I don’t have to overhype it or be grandiose. ‘We’ll handle your utilities for you. We’ll save you way more money than we’ll charge. We’ll future-proof your business and lower the burden on your staff’ isn’t that tough a sell. But in regards to tailoring, there are just SO many arenas I can help with. If a client comes to me needing help with their environmental, social, and governance (ESG), I can help them. I can help them lower their carbon footprint. Deal with BPS. Find out how they rank against their peers. If they’re struggling with the market right now, with stiff interest rates, and they’re worried about P&L, I’ve got them there too. We can talk about ways to leverage ancillary services to protect their margins. We can help them make space by dramatically lowering the cost of their utilities management.”

This is good. 
HELPING PEOPLE IS GOOD.

“You’re telling me! I recently pitched our program to a CEO with sixty-thousand units. He told me his Fridays were almost entirely dedicated to signing checks to pay out utility invoices. I showed him that he could find a better use for his time. The realization of the amount of brainless, unskilled work we could take off his plate was like a light bulb going off.”

Anything else? Some insights for the two verticals you service—
SINGLE FAMILY AND MANUFACTURED HOUSING?

“Yeah. Definitely. There’s a lot to be excited about right now in terms of policy and innovation. Manufactured housing used to be this stereotype, but the affordable housing crisis has shown a lot of people that it’s a legitimate option. Zoning is more lenient, and the product quality is better than ever. And on the single family side, we’re seeing some spectacularly creative tech coming out to help offset the rising costs of utilities. I think the impact of modern solar tech is going to be huge.

Altogether though, I’m excited about the future of utilities tech. Utilities management is a hard industry to learn. We manage millions of invoices and deal with fragmented utility providers across the U.S. It’s forced us to be clever. To invest in technology. To build relationships with providers. We were leveraging AI and workflow automation before it was cool, and we have the most experienced utility specialists on earth. In the next few years, we’re going to be unveiling some pretty exciting enhancements.”

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William Bailey

William Bailey

William Bailey is a veteran writer in the real estate industry and the Content Manager at Conservice. He’s obsessed with utility technology, tarantulas, and the ways that language and stories can bring industries together.

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