As an investor, your ability to create cash flow is going to determine whether or not you make it. The best way to control your cash flow potential is to build your own funnel of deals and one of those ways is to start up a wholesale operation with a mindset to scale backed by a team of A-players who are just as incentivized as you.
2:00: Starting out, you’re the one doing everything. Marketing, meeting with sellers, analyzing deals, etc. It’s easy to get stuck in that phase.
4:45: How comfortable are you going to be IF you’re not doing everything?
6:44: It’s a lot easier to delegate things if you have a process and system of monitoring the results.
10:00: At a certain point you have to ask yourself if you’re the bottleneck? Does everything have to run through you? If so, you need to put yourself in a position to leverage others expertise.
The Critical Hires:
13:55: We’re really focused on one kind of person we want, an acquisition’s specialist. Someone who can leverage our time and efforts to find great deals.
17:40: I would expect a bare minimum when you're starting out. You need to be able to guarantee somebody about $2,000 a month minimum.
20:00: you just want to make sure that your people are incentivized in the same way that you are.
23:15: With a disposition hire, they need to be good on the phone and with investor-centric relationships. Their job is to phrase deals in a way where it’s attractive.
27:17: When Ryan started, he had a buyer’s made up of two people. You don’t have to have a huge list to get started.
29:00: For admin hires, they need to be able to pay attention to the details and make sure all the pieces are in place.
33:14: The right people on your team are people that you want to make feel good about working for you.
36:43: If you're having success and you're growing, you also want to be cognizant that you don't hire too many people too fast, too quickly.
Ryan: [00:00] You're going to have to audit and look at your staff. And the amount of successful wholesale operations that I've watched almost implode due to somebody not wanting to rehire is way too high.
Intro: [00:21] Welcome to The Good Stewards podcast, the only podcast dedicated to seasoned real estate investors who want to maximize the cashflow potential in their business. We are “buy and hold” investors with a thousand plus properties and markets across the U.S. who bring an insider's view into the nitty gritty details of real estate investing. If you're looking to develop the mindset teams and systems that can dramatically build your real estate business and network, you're in the right place.
Ryan: [00:48] Welcome to this episode of The Good Stewards podcast. I'm Ryan Dossey.
Amanda: [00:51] I’m Amanda Perkins.
Bill: [00:53] I'm Bill Syrios.
Andrew: [00:54] And I'm Andrew Syrios.
Ryan: [00:56] In today’s episode, we're going to talk to you about how to take the kind of practice of wholesaling, the solopreneurship of doing everything yourself and walk you through building out a team to automate that process. As an investor, your ability to create cash flow is going to determine quite frankly, whether or not you make it or not. But before we dive in, make sure to visit us over at thegoodstewards.com. Subscribe to the podcast. Obviously tell your friends and grab our free eBook. If you like the podcast, we really appreciate you taking the time to leave us a review. We're here putting out this content for you and that lets us know that we should keep going, right? So, we do want to field any questions you have, so feel free to send any of those over.
[01:44] A lot of people stumble into wholesaling as kind of the “How to invest in real estate with no money?”. And what it ends up becoming as you kind of get better in or doing more deals, it's kind of a necessary evil of buy and hold investing, flipping. Basically, if you want to be in real estate at all, you're going to come up with leads and you're going to come into deals that just don't make sense for you. For instance, we had one we just sold actually last week and it was like $5,000 shell, 55 miles out of our farm area. We knew somebody who bought there. We were able to turn the house over to them. We made a $10,700 assignment fee. I don't know about you guys, but I'm good with making $10,000 to get rid of something that I never would have kept as an investment property. The problem when you're just starting out is you are doing everything, right? So, you are the one determining where marketing is going. You are the one that is meeting with sellers. You're the one analyzing the deals. You're the one making the offers, filling out the contracts and then needing to find someone to buy that deal.
[03:07] I don't know that we normally get super personal on these, but I do just want to kind of touch on real quick the danger of getting stuck in the solopreneur mindset. And this was always my dad's issue. So, my dad ran a pretty successful, pretty high-end home theater and access control company. His problem was nobody could ever do it as good as he could or “he could never afford to hire somebody else”, which he's now in his late 40s. His back is shot, needs surgeries in both arms and can't take off work because well, he needs to keep working but he got that way by never really growing or kind of turning this into a business. So, it can be very easy to get kind of stuck on that hamster wheel of you're doing everything, everything goes through you. I don't think I'm the only one on this podcast that's been in that spot or that's maybe taken on more than they should have. So, I'll let you guys chime in.
Bill: [04:13] I never had that problem. So I'll defer to somebody else.
Ryan: [04:17] I know for a fact that is a lie straight from the pit of hell from your own staff.
Bill: [04:23] Well, I think one thing you need to know is your personality type and some people are pretty good delegators and some people are really poor delegators or they feel like they have to do it all themselves. And there are definitely different personality types out there. So, one question I would ask yourself, and this is kind of looking inside is how comfortable am I giving away things that are important in this business to do? So how comfortable am I not doing everything all the time? And I think some of us are going to come up short and say, gosh, I don't know if I'm very comfortable at all with that because…
Ryan: [05:05] Nobody can do it like I can.
Bill: [05:07] Yeah. And maybe they can't and it's a big risk. You can never find good help. I heard that once, I've heard it many, many times. So, there's always a justification of why we should stay at this job that we've created for ourselves. We're working for ourselves and we're our own worst tyrant. But I think that takes some inside work. And just looking within and saying, okay, where am I at, personally? If you're not doing that inside work, then you're probably going to stay stuck.
Amanda: [05:41] Well, and I would add to that a little bit. I hear it said all the time, like, Oh, I have this amazing staff. And so, like you can take it to the extreme of like everyone's taking care of everything for me. But I think the point to that is you have to develop a very trusted system. And I used to be a terrible delegator and frankly, I'm too busy right now to not delegate but what I've developed is a really good system of tracking all of the things that I've signed to other people. I can look at what needs to be done from a bird's eye view and set myself up to make sure that everything is working as it should or else I can step into it because I'm keeping my eyes on it and send out some tweaks or send out some information or reach out and say, hey, I noticed you didn't get this taken care of but I asked you to do it. And so, I think a huge part of that is not taking your eye off the ball. You don't have to do it, but you have to make sure that you set up a great system.
Ryan: [06:41] You have to audit it.
Amanda: [06:42] Yes, absolutely.
Andrew: [06:44] It's a lot easier to actually delegate stuff if you have a way of monitoring the results. I think one of the things that people are most scared of is just like, well, how do I even know anything is being done? How do I know it's been done right? And so, if you set up that system and it could be a process, it's not something you need to set up beforehand completely because there's going to be some give and take and changes. But setting up that system to monitor results makes sure things are happening. It'll take a little bit of time, but a lot less time than doing it all yourself and it'll be a lot more comfortable actually delegating when you actually have a way to monitor those results.
Ryan: [07:18] I would say also as you start to hire, unfortunately, this isn't like, I would say this isn't like one of those boxes you check off and you don't have to do it again. This isn't like, oh, I flipped off the light switch. This is more like changing the oil on your car, right? Every three months or 3000 miles, you're going to have to audit and look at your staff. And the amount of successful wholesale operations that I've watched almost implode due to somebody not wanting to rehire is way too high. I had one of the guys in my mastermind reach out to me yesterday. He said, hey, I've got a person I think I need to let go. Here's what's going on. I said, okay, awesome. When are you going to do it? And he said, well, check in with me next Friday. I said, you're really going to drag this out another two weeks? So, I would say that is one of the challenges when you do delegate is just be aware that you may have somebody that starts out and is doing really, really, really well and then they get complacent or start to charge you too much money or so on and so forth. Which I think kind of leads in nicely to our next point.
[08:34] And that is what would happen if you had to step out of your business for 30 days? Real life happens. I was just talking to a friend of mine who's based out of the Northeast and for all of January, he was literally in a hospital bed, bedridden. He had bronchitis that turned into an ammonia or ammonia that turned to bronchitis, whichever way that goes. And like physically, he couldn’t do nothing for 30 days. And his business actually had their best month they've ever had. So, he said he kind of got what he wished for which was kind of a business that runs without him so much, but then realized he's now bored. But I think that's a really, really, really good question to ask because health isn't guaranteed. You could get in a car accident on your way home tomorrow and what happens with your business? If it's on the wholesaling side, if you're the only person able to run appointments, you don't run any appointments. If you're the only person that can go to a closing or follow up with a seller, all of a sudden everything is totally dead in the water. And I think that's really a pretty, pretty dangerous place to be.
[09:48] My big thing with wholesaling in general is I know a lot of people that have pretty realistic financial freedom goals. Okay, I want to make $3,000 to $5,000 a month. And I'll hear them be like, okay, cool. I just need to go out and buy 20 houses. When it's like, honestly, you could build a pretty good system that does that for you and more in a lot shorter time and then work on the long-term wealth of buy and hold in the background. So, I think that's just a good thing to audit of are you the bottleneck? Does every decision, every interaction have to go through you or not? And we're going to kind of talk about hiring and what some of those roles look like. But Bill, I know you had a period where you actually had a similar bedridden issue that kind of gave you some time to think about some stuff.
Bill: [10:41] Well, it was a transition. I had hepatitis, the one you get at a restaurant that put me on my back for two weeks straight. That can kind of make you or break you. And, for me it was an excellent opportunity to kind of consider my life at that point and consider the direction of my business and I made some significant changes as a result of that. I think what you're talking about is trying to move from being a solopreneur and not get stuck into that gear and really become an entrepreneur, which is to harness every way you can to leverage things. You want to leverage other people's money. When I leverage other people's time, you want to leverage other people's expertise. You want to leverage other people's experience. So, every way possible. Being in business first of all and being in real estate secondly. It's all about leverage. And so how can you most effectively do that? I think that's kind of what we're talking about here.
Ryan: [11:47] Robert Kiyosaki has like the quadrants, right? And I think there is an employee, small business owner, business owner and investor. Is that correct?
Bill: [12:01] Something like that. Yeah.
Ryan: [12:02] I would say most wholesalers never make it from small business owner or even employee. All the time you are honestly an employee of your own small business to getting to the business owner to then be able to really end up in the investor piece. And this kind of question we posed with this topic point of “What happens if you couldn't work for 30 days?” really is that litmus test. Would stuff continue to run? It may not go great. There may still be fires and problems or does everything come to a screeching halt? And I think that's really how you figure out are you an employee or are you a business owner? And what do you want to be?
Amanda: [12:39] Right. I was forced into this when I had to have my son prematurely and I was in denial about my medical issues. What I had done beforehand, which was ended up being really smart. I have an assistant who has my email information and password and she took over and had to be me and feet to the fire, she just had to take over because we were in the hospital for a couple of weeks. And then I had a newborn baby who I had to take care of. And so, nothing fell apart. It was a tough re-entry. But I was very thankful that I had forced myself to bring somebody in because it is really hard to let go sometimes. A lot of us come from a place of real control. And sometimes you're just not in control and some things more important than the job that you're doing. And so, actually since then delegation's gotten much easier because I realize, okay, well, I had enough systems in place that I could make this work. And I did. I do trust the people that work with me and for me. So, it was a time that worked out for me.
Bill: [13:52] I think it might be helpful to, there's a lot of jobs that we delegate, property management and construction oversight and all kinds of jobs, but we're really focused on one kind of person we want here, right? An acquisition specialist, somebody who can come alongside us as we get more and more involved in finding motivated sellers, finding undervalued properties and then leveraging our time and efforts to make those really good deals.
Ryan: [14:25] That takes us nicely into our next point, which is kind of what are the different roles that you have here? So, Bill actually hit the first one on the head, which, the first role you need to help start to transition out of the day to day or the in the field work is an acquisitions manager. This is somebody who is going to go on your appointments, build relationships with your sellers, take pictures of the properties. They're the ones whose gas bill you're going to be paying, but it's way better than you sitting in the car for six hours a day. Right. So, the acquisitions manager is, I would say probably going to be your first hire. It's also going to be one of your most important hires. Given that this all hinges on…
Amanda: [15:13] If you are doing...caveat there. If you're doing just a wholesale business, it’s going to be…
Ryan: [15:17] Correct. On a wholesaling business, acquisition is the most important part. Do you have somebody that can negotiate and get a good deal or not? We're going to talk a little bit about, what kind of pay looks like, what kind of job structure and responsibilities look like for a few of these. But I do just want to kind of give a brief overview. After acquisitions, your next hire is typically going to be somebody to do dispositions. So, acquisitions is getting the deal under contract. Dispositions is selling the deal to an end buyer. And this is really a job that's going to exist in, well, I mean it could be wholesaling, wholetailing, which is when you buy a house, don't really do anything to it other than maybe clean it up and list it on the MLS or retailing like a full on flip.
[16:08] The dispositions person could do all three if they're licensed. So, that's kind of something to potentially keep in mind. And then the kind of other thing you can have dispositions guys do, when you're first starting out, if you're doing three or four deals a month, it's not a full-time job for that person to sell a deal a week. Right? That should be pretty, pretty easy. So, we have ours do some ISA work or Insights Sales Agent work. So, they're going through following up with sellers for our acquisition’s managers, people that you know, no call, no showed on an appointment. They're tracking down to try to get to a reappointment for the acquisition’s guys. That's kind of a good way to have them do some double duty.
[16:50] And then the last piece that you're going to need, which really comes when you're doing 5 to 10 deals a month, and this could actually be a virtual assistant or it could be somebody locally. You're going to need somebody to really oversee your admin side of things. This is going to be like making sure contracts are signed, making sure documents are sent over to the title company, making sure earnest money is sent over. If you are wholetailing, making sure insurance is in place, making sure utilities are on. All that kind of stuff.
[17:23] So just quick recap. Acquisitions, dispositions that can also do some ISA work. Then lastly, kind of an admin or an assistant. And ideally, you're running all of this through a bookkeeper as well. But that's probably not somebody you have on payroll if you're doing three or four deals a year.
[17:40] So, let's go to acquisitions first and I will kind of talk about just what our pay structure is, what it's been, kind of what I know is typical and what this is probably going to cost you. So, I would expect bare minimum when you're starting out. You need to be able to guarantee somebody about $2,000 a month minimum. It's going to be pretty hard for you to get anybody who's even halfway worth their salt. If it's like, hey, it's commission only and you've done one deal. Like, I want to come work for you for free for 30 days. Like, get out of here. So, what we've always done initially is set it up as a draw. So, draw is a pay scale that comes from kind of the insurance agency. We're basically giving them fronted commissions. So, after they've done a couple of deals, which we’ll kind of talk about what that looks like. But let's say for instance, you're paying somebody 20% of the gross profit on a deal. So, they would need to make you $10,000 before they get paid anything above and beyond that. So, they're reimbursing kind of their initial draw. Now that being said, this isn't something that stacks month over month. So, it's not like month three, they owe you $6,000 if they haven't done a deal. But also, to be blunt, if they're not hitting draw, either you don't have enough leads or they're awful. It just shouldn't be working for you.
[19:08] That's initially how we started and we ran with that structure for a while and had kind of a sliding pay scale that ran from 8% to 15% depending on the profit on the deal. The problem that we ran into with that model is it made getting a deal done, almost like an event as opposed to a regular occurrence. Like, oh my gosh, yes, I got 15% on that one instead of like, yeah, I did 4 this week. So, we transitioned from like commission equity split to kind of a flat fee per deal that they actually make more money the more deals they get. So, it's kind of the more they're performing, the more they're getting paid. There is a couple checks and levers in there, like if the average profit dips below a certain amount, they don't get some bonuses. Whereas if it's over a certain amount they do. So, you just want to make sure that your people are incentivized in the same way that you are. But you also don't want an acquisitions person getting a deal for that to feel like, they hit the lottery. It should be just kind of a normal thing.
[20:12] I'm always looking to hire somebody based off of character and likability and train the skillset. So, we're looking for things like clean cut, presentable, well-spoken, personable, hardworking and kind of diligent if you want to take that.
Bill: [20:30] Yeah, I think building rapport is one of the critical factors of an acquisition person. Are they comfortable in their own skin? And you probably will find that out when you meet them. Can they roll with the punches? Do they feel comfortable with you? Are you comfortable with them?
Andrew: [20:50] Can they handle rejection?
Ryan: [20:52] And lots of it.
Bill: [20:56] So, do they understand it's not personal? It's only business. That anything said or done by a seller or potential seller, it's not about them, it's not about feeling bad about something they did, but it's just about where they're at and where they might or might not be in terms of selling that property.
Ryan: [21:15] It's typically somebody who's an extrovert in my experience. Like I've hired one introvert and it went horribly. You've got to have somebody that's like cool with being seen, being the life of the party, getting people laughing and on their page. I mean, my thing with this, I'm always hiring for character traits and then I'm trying to train the skillset, which touch on there, you're not going to throw out a job posting for acquisitions manager. That really means nothing outside of this small bubble. What you're putting out is like business development specialist. B2C – Business-to-Consumer development specialist, something along that nature. But really what you're looking for is somebody who can show up, good looking, clean cut, personable, well-spoken. I'm really good at blending with people in kind of different cultures, different asset classes. Somebody that honestly just kind of treats people like people, right? It doesn't feel like they're schmoozing or anything like that. It is really, I think what you're looking for.
Bill: [22:23] That's being comfortable in your own skin. I think that you're not salesy even though you do know how to close. And that is another really important aspect is that the person, I've seen somebody, one person in particular who was really great at building rapport and kind of went on and on and on. And I actually, when I was with them going out on, on visits, I got kind of bored to be honest with you because so much rapport building, but he didn't know how to close. It couldn't come to the point of kind of…
Amanda: [22:57] Moving to that next step. Like I'm just… I'm never going to get to this place where I'm asking for what I want because I'm trying to make a conversation with you…
Ryan: [23:07] Where did you get your doilies from?
Bill: [23:10] Yeah, I like doilies.
Ryan: [23:15] And Bill just aged himself. So, let's move into dispositions. This is really somebody you're looking for is going to be somebody who's pretty good on the phone or good at kind of the investor relationship piece. So, they need to understand some of the basics. Things like return on investment, repairs, profit and loss. They have to be able to phrase the deal in a way where it's attractive. And then, I mean, really, it's just a matter of being able to do things like go out and show a property. They do need to know how to put out some fires because occasionally you're going to run into something where like, maybe a buyer tries to go around your back to the seller to try to catch you out. Right? It’s not a fun situation. It's not somebody you ever want to send another deal to again, but it happens. So, you want to have somebody who's still good at I would say the “people” part of it, but it’s less, there is much less of a focus on them. And do people like them? Are they personable? Are they comfortable in their own skin? And it's much more of a “Can they sell the deal?” Can they present it in a way that's attractive, answer questions intelligently and then follow up?
[24:29] We typically honestly hire for them in the same way. We are basically just looking for somebody to help us sell our own properties is kind of the job description. And this is typically going to be somebody who makes less money than your acquisitions guy. So, how we've done this in the past, it was a sliding scale as well. We realized the same thing. They feel like they really win on some deals and really lose on others. So, we ended up bumping up their pay. It's like at $36,000 a year base and they get a couple of hundred bucks when they sell a deal. So, they're really there for the consistency and the volume as opposed to like, yes, I got a deal, I made 8% on. I would say dispositions is probably the last thing you'll hire for just because it's not normally that much work. I mean, even if you have 5 to do a month, as long as you're getting good deals, they're pretty easy to sell.
Bill: [25:20] Do you ever have your disposition people help you build a buyers list, Ryan? Or is that something altogether different?
Ryan: [25:30] I think it's absolutely something that you want them to be involved with because they're going to be the point of contact, right? So, it's kind of weird to have somebody else go out and create a relationship and then hand it off. It makes a lot more sense to have the guy who is in charge of selling the deals be the one that's kind of striking up those relationships. That being said, one thing I will mention just quickly on kind of building the buyer's list piece, I'm not a big fan of the approach of calling investors, running them through a 50-point script of like, what's your buying criteria? What's the typical ROI you're looking to achieve? Any preferred zip codes? Like I can't tell you how many phone calls I've gotten like that, that I've then never heard from that person because they've never gotten a deal. So, my recommendation and approach is get a deal and then call people who've bought deals near it and you're going to go a lot further being like, hey, I've got a deal, five doors down from the one you just bought at $10,000 less. Are you interested? than like, hello, Mr. Syrios, what's your buying criteria? You'd be like, what market? What asset class? Like that's a way, way larger discussion. So, that being said, if you have a good deal, it should sell itself. If it's not selling, you probably don't have a good deal.
Bill: [26:45] But also I think building a buyers list is such an important part of the team's action. And you've talked about that a lot, Ryan. Just getting, and sometimes your buyer list might be just five guys who are gals who are just in the market to buy virtually everything you can find. But having a consistent buyers list and having somebody in charge of that of building it, expanding it, I think is going to help you get these things through the gauntlet more quickly these deals.
Ryan: [27:17] Yeah, I mean, ultimately it's kind of like whoever has the best buyers list wins. But in the beginning your goal isn't to try to get a hundred people on your buyers list. When I started out, I had two. And one of those guys bought 70 deals from me, right? Now, I then started to like, wait a minute, he's just going and selling these to other people and I went and found better people to sell to, right? But in the beginning the important thing is just getting deals done and kind of having the machine turning where you can then kind of optimize and build and kind of develop on top of it.
[27:54] Last but not least on that piece of kind of structures and folks is the admin piece. This is something that I would really expect to pay for hourly. This is somebody who is, transaction coordinators, typically the job title we'd give them. They're just kind of making sure documents are at title, money is where it needs to be, insurance has lined up. A lot of my friends have like part time stay at home mom that helps them with this kind of staff or maybe their spouse that kind of helps them with that kind of stuff, but just kind of gets some of the details out of their head so they're not trying to remember, did I insure that property? Again, it's something I'd expect to pay $15 bucks an hour or something like that…
Bill: [28:35] Amanda, what do you think are the critical characteristics of an admin person?
Amanda: [28:42] Well, clearly female because I was just spelled out if we’ll go that way.
Ryan: [28:47] I mean…
Bill: [28:50] Ouch, I’m sorry Ryan.
Ryan: [28:51] I was thinking of everyone that I know.
Amanda: [28:56] Yeah, you can look at it as not that important, but the details are as important as a lot of the other things. So, I'm looking for somebody that pays attention to all the details and makes sure all the pieces are in place. So, I don't necessarily think of that as like the bottom of the barrel staff.
Bill: [29:13] Well, I think it had just one situation where we had a property in St. Louis that caught on fire and it was a total loss. And in the back of my mind was, oh, my gosh, did we get that property insured? Because oftentimes we use private lenders up front. And this wasn't necessarily a flip, but it ended up being a flip as a result of this. We did flip it as a wholesale to another investor who wanted to deal with the consequences of the fire cause…
Ryan: [29:45] Good luck.
Bill: [29:13] Yeah. Anyway, I had a little bit of a sleepless night wondering, but then I called in the morning to our person who's an admin who is in charge of that and oh, yes, like everything else, she had that on her list sheet. She had had that insured, no problem. And so, just that one little detail having been missed by an admin could have been a hundred-thousand-dollar loss for us or something.
Ryan: [30:12] I would clarify that it's not a matter of that it's not important. It's just a matter of there's not that much work in a small wholesaling business. You're typically, if you're doing 5 deals a month, that's 10 contracts to oversee, 5 earnest money transactions to look at. A couple of things to schedule. So, it's absolutely key. Amanda's totally right. Like you can't have somebody who's a space cadet in that role, guy or girl. You do want somebody who's detail oriented, but in my experience that tends to be almost like one of the convenience things investors hire for is they get tired of keeping track of all of the details themselves. Ultimately, it does allow you to scale.
Amanda: [30:56] Or they are not good at keeping track of the details, right?
Ryan: [30:59] No, they're horrible at it. Which is more of an issue if you're flipping. But anyway, that's typically kind of what we see on the transaction coordinator piece. So, kind of our last point here, I want to talk about the mindset of becoming a paying employer. It's really, really weird to go from kind of yeah, I think I'm going to try this real estate thing to okay, I've started to make some money and I want to treat this like a business to hiring somebody and everything that that entails from setting up payroll, benefits if you're going to offer them or not.
[31:39] You have to become a leader. I think a lot of us as entrepreneurs, that's a piece we don't develop super well. Yeah, here's your job. Go do it. And you have to be able to inspire and champion and pull people through and realize that unfortunately people are people, right? They're going to have days where they bring the weight of stuff at home or family stuff in with them and being able to help them get into the right headspace. But then on top of that, there's also a lot of responsibility that comes with this. I would not recommend hiring somebody lightly. The reason why we have that draw structure, and I won't pretend like my first acquisition was manager. I was like, I just have so much money. I think my sales pitch was what's the least amount of money I can pay you? And then I was like, okay, I've got four months that I can afford to do that before they need to start paying for themselves. And we had that conversation kind of upfront. It isn't something that like, you don't really have any business convincing somebody to quit a job that they've been at to come work for you, if you don't really know how you're going to pay them. Or if you're not really realizing the weight of that. Any time we hire somebody, we're very cognizant of the fact that we now have a family that's counting on us right now. That doesn't mean that hire always works out. I've hired somebody and then fired them a week later because they were just awful or immoral or whatever. But you never want to kind of treat this cavalier.
Amanda: [33:14] The right people on your team are people that you want to make feel good about working for you. And Bill and I have discussions all the time recently. The costs of living here in Oregon went up a lot and what we used to consider as an entry level wage, we were like that couldn't even pay a rent. So, we have to think about the people that we're bringing into the fold. Like, can they feed their families on what we're offering to pay them? And if we can't afford it, then we have to figure out a way to afford it because we want people to want to come and work for us because they feel valued and compensated for what their contribution to the team is.
Ryan: [33:53] It's huge. Yeah. I mean we try to set up our staff where they can have moments of, I'm making a lot of money or like, wow, this is pretty nuts. Where it's, they're still paying for themselves. It's definitely mutually beneficial. But hiring an acquisitions manager and expecting them to come work for you full time and you're doing a deal a month, you'd better get them to the point that they can do four or five or six a month. Otherwise, they're just not going to make enough. They're not going to be inspired. Whether I think we like it or not, whether it's correct or not, I think for a lot of people in the U.S. their self-worth is tied to their income and their liquidity and what that looks like. So, if you have somebody who's just barely scraping by on the wages that you're paying and they're not really excelling, it's a conversation I had with the gentleman who called me earlier this week. I was like, dude, this isn’t working out. Like you've got to go a different direction even if you don't want to have that kind of conversation. So, it's definitely the direction you need to go. But on a personal development level, you've got to make sure that you're prepared for it. You understand the laws, right? You can't like $10.99 somebody and expect them to work 08:00 A.M. to 04:00 P.M. and be like… You need to make sure that you understand things like payroll and taxes and what your responsibilities are as an employer. Workman's comp, if you're deducting stuff out of checks, we got all kinds of lessons and stories on that. But you really have to look at this of “What is expected of me in this role?” And it's going to be a lot more than you initially think because you're effectively employer, life coach, motivator and trainer when it was just like, yeah, I go out and get properties under contracts. That's a pretty large gym.
Bill: [35:48] But that's also the great and enduring challenge of building a business, which, I like Jim Collins challenge in “Good to Great”. Actually, it's in “Built to Last” an earlier book from “Good to Great” and that is what does it take to build an enduringly great company? And even if this is on a small scale, it starts on a small scale that that's a wonderful challenge for a business person and I think a tremendous opportunity to affect the lives of many, many people who hopefully this business is going to support over time. And so, I think, moving from a solopreneur to a full blown business owner who knows what he or she is doing as they hire people to multiply their efforts and touch a lot of people's lives - That's a pretty cool goal in life.
Ryan: [36:43] Absolutely. Yeah. One last kind of thing I'd mentioned in closing, especially if you're having success and you're growing, you also want to be cognizant that you don't hire too many people too fast, too quickly. I had a buddy of mine called me and he was like, hey, I've got a problem. I was like, cool, what's up? He's like, I have to make $70,000 to pay my staff a month. And I was like, yeah, I think you need to downsize a little bit. So, other kind of just last thing I'll mention here is as your business is growing, you may end up having more than one acquisitions manager. You may have a full-time admin. You may need more than one dispositions people. So, it's not like these are kind of one and done. We actually prefer to have two acquisitions guys. That way they're competing with each other. It's hard for them to be like, hey, the leads suck. If one guy's killing it and he's not, it's like, well, no, I don't think the leads are the problem, right? So, be cognizant. These aren't one-and-dones. You may end up hiring multiple people or you may even have a position that you're just always looking for good talent for like something in the acquisitions angle.
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