Ryan Coon | How the Avail.co Founder is Pivoting to Accommodating Customers Who Have Been Impacted by the Coronavirus

Show Notes

Ryan Coon, the co-founder of Avail.co shares how his company is pivoting, adjusting, and changing to better accommodate his customers that have been impacted by the coronavirus economy. 

NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “I went to Google, typed in San Francisco chauffeur or San Francisco limousine, I just filled out an excel sheet and I just started dialing for dollars, right? First ten guys I called, three of them hung up before I got a few words out, a few of them would listen for like 45 seconds and then hung up, and three of them said ‘I’m interested, let’s meet.’. And if you’re cold calling and three out of ten say ‘let’s meet’, you’ve got something.” – Travis Kalanick (Founder of Uber)

  1. Yes, yes, yes and YES! Thrive Nation, on today’s show we are interviewing Ryan Coon, who is the co-founder and the CEO of Avail, an all-in-one software solution designed for do-it-yourself (DIY) landlords that is used by more than 600,000 landlords and tenants across the United States. Ryan, welcome onto the show, how are you sir?!
  2. Ryan Coon, I know you are now off and to the races with Avail, but when did you first figure out that you wanted to start Avail?
    1. The idea for Avail was first 12-15 years ago in 2007-2008
    2. I had just finished college
    3. I was living in an apartment near Wrigley Field in Chicago
    4. That was when I first realized the pain points in renting
      1. Giving out all of your personal information
      2. Sliding checks to landlords
      3. Etc.
    5. Later on I became a landlord and saw the perspective from that side.
    6. I’ve always leaned towards real estate as a way to create passive income
  3. What was the first property you bought?
    1. In college my partner and I learned about how you can invest in liens to own a piece of a property
  4. How does someone make money when you buy a real estate lien?
    1. Property taxes are needed by the city, county and state
    2. For people who don’t pay their property taxes on time they will sell the receivables to investors
    3. They auction off the receivables and bid down the interest rate
    4. When the county collects the money, they pay back the receivables with interest
    5. If someone owes $1,000, you are buying that liability at an interest rate and when they collect you are paid the $1,000 plus interest.
  5. How did you start your first company? 
  6. Ryan, from your experience, what does it take to leave a high-paying job and build a business from nothing?
  7. How did you develop the platform and how did you build your web team?
  8. What advice would you have for some of our listeners out there that own a software as a service (SAAS) company or are looking to start a software as a service company?
  9. How did you go about funding your first company?
  10. Ryan Coon, what role does persistence playing in running a venture capitalist (VC) backed start-up?
  11. How did you go about getting your first 10 customers?
    1. We launched the business about 5 years ago
    2. We wanted to create a better experience for the landlords
    3. We made a mistake and started out trying to invest in the tools that fixed our pain points
    4. We started meeting with landlords and finding their pain points
    5. We found that they were starved for information like how to collect rent on time, etc.
    6. We started investing in content marketing – providing information for landlords to learn how to manage their property(s)
      1. It takes a lot of effort and it requires consistency, but in the long game it’s worth it.
      2. It is critical that you do it the right way
      3. Google makes money when people search and find what they’re looking for
      4. If you are providing answers to searchers’ questions then Google will rank you higher
    7. We were also hustling, pounding the pavement, cold calling looking for customers
  12. What was your craziest marketing or cold calling moment?
    1. I’ve been a big believer in cold calling.
    2. Some of these older generation people who aren’t as familiar with technology, we have crazy stories about having to guide clients to get to a website or search on Google
    3. You really don’t need a lot of shots to go to make it happen
  1. When did you first feel like you were truly beginning to gain traction with your career?
    1. We still don’t feel like we’ve “made it”
    2. We are still out there fighting every day like it’s day one
    3. We are happy with where things are and where we’re going, but we want to stay hungry
  2. Ryan Coon, What are a few of your daily habits that you believe have allowed you to achieve success?
  3. What mentor has made the biggest impact on your career thus far?
  4. What has been the biggest adversity that you’ve had to fight through during your career?
  5. What is your favorite old school jam?
    1. Jock Jams
  6. What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
  7. We find that most successful entrepreneurs tend to have idiosyncrasies that are actually their super powers…what idiosyncrasy do you have?
    1. I keep a 32oz nalgene bottle of water on my desk and drink about 3 gallons of water a day
  8. Ryan Coon, What message or principle that you wish you could teach everyone?
  9. What are a couple of books that you believe that all of our listeners should read?
    1. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh – https://www.amazon.com/Delivering-Happiness-Profits-Passion-Purpose/dp/1610660242/ref=sr_1_3?crid=44LW6PO9FQN4&dchild=1&keywords=delivering+happiness+by+tony+hsieh&qid=1588026785&s=audible&sprefix=delivering+%2Caudible%2C195&sr=1-3-catcorr
  10. You’ve got the mic, what is one thing that you want to share with the Thrive Nation before you drop the mic?
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