Episode 163 – Tom Dunkel – A Purposeful Leader in World-Class Value Creation

“We’re really in business to help people reach their growth goals; their wealth goals.” – Tom Dunkel

  • [0:42] Patrick introduces his next TEDM guest, Tom Dunkel.
  • [1:51] Tom and Patrick gear up their conversation and Tom explains what he is up to in the world of self storage property investment.
  • [03:33] Tom shares the background of his team, how they came together, and why he’s so excited and proud to work together with them. After a few rounds with trial and error in other businesses, Tom and his partner evolved their team building process to become more intentional, and with an abundance mindset.
  • [08:56] More stuff, more storage. Patrick first shares an anecdote on his observation of consumerism and storage, then Tom talks about the increasing need for self storage particularly with the work from home movement, and the ongoing reality of a consumer-centric society.
  • [14:20] Tom talks about their value-add strategy when acquiring new facilities which often involves private owners with under market rental rates.
  • [17:28] The concept post-acquisition is to phase in rate increases for existing clients, increase rates for new clients, and create a lot of value quickly. Tom discusses the barrier to re-financing and reinvesting, what they have found to be far more beneficial for their investors, and the typical timeframe for their investment.
  • [20:45] Tom shares his background in the corporate world, and the exact turning point moment that led to his entrepreneurial adventure.
  • [25:39] So why did Tom get fired from his corporate job?
  • [28:51] Failure. Tom talks about his lessons and insights from failures along the way which serve as fuel to grow, learn, and continue forward.
  • [33:18] Although a comfortable upbringing with loving parents may not have generated the grit many entrepreneurs rise from; Tom was nonetheless inspired and driven to do his own thing and developed a thick skin quickly!
  • [36:25] A purpose-driven company from its foundation, Tom paraphrases the principles and objectives he and his team operate from to be of contribution. They are in business to help people reach their growth goals and wealth goals and they do that with transparency and accountability.
  • [40:20] Tom explains how and why their investment opportunity evolved from friends and family to accredited investors.
  • [42:18] Tom takes his leadership role to heart and talks about his continual pursuit of education and peer learning to improve his skills and show up effectively.
  • [46:18] Patrick and Tom discuss the power of accountability partnerships, and specifically Tom talks about the process he and his accountability partner of nine years work through every week.
  • [49:57] Mentorship, whether it’s been on purpose or its unfolded organically played an essential role in Tom’s own knowledge building, and now serves as a way to be of service and help to others.
  • [53:31] The circumstances of the past few years have played an unexpected role for investment opportunities and staffing for Tom’s business that requires him to shift and expand his way of thinking.
  • [56:39] Patrick and Tom riff on the culture and economics of remote work, quiet quitting, geographically distant teams, and how technology creates and supports those opportunities. Tom notes an interesting insight on differentiating workers vs. leaders in an organization.
  • [63:37] Tom offers valuable insights for investors to consider when entering the space of self storage investments.
  • [66:44] Let’s ramble over to the rapid fire: inspirational quote; favourite book and the lessons Tom learned from it; room-desk-car; favourite swear word; broad musical influences; Android or Apple; message at the pearly gates.
  • [73:36] Tom’s gratitude.

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