Business Q & A

A conversation with Tyson Bean

Tyson Bean is overseeing J.P. Weigand & Sons’ expansion into residential rentals and management.

He’s doing so by bringing the expertise he developed and some of the rental inventory and management he acquired as a co-founder of Wichita Rentals, a residential property management company.

It turns out the 32-year-old Wichita State University graduate has a bit of experience renting everything from canoes to homes.

Bean, who was born in Ponca City, Okla., grew up in Arkansas City and graduated from high school in Derby, said he’s long had an entrepreneurial streak. It’s a streak that he formalized when he graduated from WSU in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and marketing.

Bean is getting ready to celebrate his one-year anniversary with his wife, Tara.

What did your parents do for a living?

My dad was in sales and Mom was a dental assistant. He worked for McKee Foods, Little Debbie snack cakes. He was district sales manager.

Did you start any other businesses prior to Wichita Rentals?

I actually had a canoe rental business called River Outfitters, and it was just canoe rentals on the Little Arkansas River, for about three years, probably. It was by appointment only. I did that after college, simultaneous with another job.

When did you start Wichita Rentals?

It started about three years ago but I started investing in real estate right after college, in 2003. It was mostly residential duplexes.

What compelled you to do investment properties?

Back in high school I used to flip cars: buy them, drive them for a while and sell them (for more) than I bought them. I rented them, too.

What kind of cars?

BMWs, Expeditions and Explorers.

So how did that turn into rental properties?

I thought there would be a lot less liability in renting homes because that home is not going to leave the state. Just the exposure to how lending worked with cars … exposed me to how it worked with real estate.

So did you fix up these cars that you bought, rented and sold?

I didn’t do any restoration. It was just really finding the cars at a discount, driving them six months to a year and selling them better than I bought them for. By the time I was 20 years old I had probably bought, sold, leased 20 to 25 cars.

Why did you start Wichita Rentals?

Wichita Rentals was more a byproduct of my real estate investments. Acquiring properties, you kind of acquire property management skills.

What’s different between this new Weigand division and Wichita Rentals?

Just the resources that J.P. Weigand provides. It will be similar services, just under one umbrella. So we’re looking to increase inventory levels. Just in the last couple of weeks we’ve had a lot of interest from people wanting to rent their higher-end homes … so now it’s just piecing those two together. We do represent some investors.

How did this deal with Weigand come about? Did you approach them or they approach you?

Dawn (Truman, J.P. Weigand president) had approached me back in May. She wanted to know if I had any interest or what my thoughts were about helping them develop a division with their company. It was really just role-playing different scenarios (to get the deal done), just some back and forth. It took about two months to come to terms.

What are your one-year and five-year goals for the new division?

The one-year goal is to implement what we’ve done with Wichita Rentals into J.P. Weigand and increase inventory levels. Five-year is probably just the same, continuing being the best property management and rental service provider in Wichita.

How has your education in entrepreneurship helped you?

Just preparing, by developing business plans, seeing how overall business structures are developed and implementing those. Entrepreneurship highlights all points of a business as opposed to focusing just on accounting or marketing. You kind of get a little bit of everything.

I see that the calendar on your wall has pictures of classic cars. Are you a car guy?

My dad gave me this. We’ve kind of always had a passion for cars within my family.

What do you drive?

I drive a 2007 Lexus ES 350.

What car would you like to have?

Ferrari, any model. I’m not picky.