Adding Staff to Buy More Land
Jack Butala: Adding Staff to Buy More Land. Every Single month we give away a property for free. It’s super simple to qualify. Two simple steps. Leave us your feedback for this podcast on iTunes and number two, get the free ebook at landacademy.com, you don’t even have to read it. Thanks for listening.
Steve: Jack Butala here for Land Academy. Welcome to our Cash Flow From Land Show. In this episode Jo and I talk about adding staff to buy more land, when should you do it and when should you say not yet? Jo, this is a fun show.
Jo: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Steve: We have this meeting every week.
Jo: Yes, we do.
Steve: Before we get into it, let’s take a question from a caller.
Jo: Okay. If this is a typo, if I’m screwing up somebody’s name, I apologize. It got passed on to me from this caller. It says Mert, it could be Myrtle, it could be Bert, I’m not sure. But whoever you are from Oregon says, “All the land by us that is cheap is really flat.”
Steve: Is that a question?
Jo: That’s what I’m wondering. That’s what made it to me from our staff, so I’m guessing that you don’t want flat land, or you do want flat land? I’m thinking they-
Steve: I have so many satirical … I have so much to say about that.
Jo: “All the land that is out by us is really flat.” Congratulations, because some people really want that. Or then look somewhere else if that’s not what you want.
Steve: There’s a thousand different things I could say about this. Here’s just a couple. Ready?
Steve: All the girls in my dorm are fat.
Jo: What the heck?
Steve: All the land by us is flat.
Jo: Oh, my gosh.
Steve: What kind of sentence is that? Try harder, son. What is Mert anyway? Is that a man or a woman?
Jo: I’m not sure. I’m hoping it’s Bert. I don’t know how that’s even spelled. I don’t know.
Steve: Look, can I just have a little philosophical moment here?
Steve: Make your future. Make it. I’m quoting Danny Noonan in Caddyshack. Make your future. Make it. You don’t sit around and … Don’t sit around with your feet up and watch the world go by and pass judgment on it. Get in there. If you don’t like the cheap land that’s posed on the internet or on the MLS, go send some mailers out. Find some cheap land that’s awesome.
Jo: There you go.
Steve: It’s not how flat or the attributes of land, it’s where … You got to go out there and find it, man. If you want cheap land with huge pine trees, send a mailer out where there’s a bunch of pine trees.
Jo: Uh-huh (affirmative). Point taken.
Steve: Am I wrong here?
Jo: I love it. I don’t know what to do with that one. Is that okay?
Steve: I think we answered it, didn’t we?
Jo: Okay. Good.
Steve: We didn’t answer it because it’s not a question. Hey, if you want to call 888-735-5045 and ask a question, we will happily discuss it on the air. Or if you’re funny and you really want to be on the air, say that right in your message and we’ll get you on the air.
Jo: You know what’s funny? I was just thinking like if you have a real, legitimate question, you stand a better chance.
Steve: Yeah, we’re running low on [crosstalk 00:03:07].
Jo: Somebody typed this up and then handed it to me for this show, so I’m laughing, going all right, what if his name was Bob and they actually mistyped it and it says Blob.
Steve: Blob in Oregon.
Jo: Blob from DC says … I don’t know.
Steve: Blob from Steve’s dorm.
Jo: Blob. All right, we’re going to talk to some people about this one. It might not have made it for the show next time, but hey, well, we did that. Anyway-
Steve: Can I wrap up my last philosophical part of this?
Jo: Is this going to be the last one today or the last one this show?
Steve: If you’re listening to this show and you’re unhappy with any part of your life, you can change it.
Jo: What? That’s crazy talk.
Steve: Yeah. Instead of sitting there with your feet up, you can change it.
Jo: No, no, no, no.
Steve: If you don’t like the person that you’re sleeping next to, if you don’t like the size of your paycheck, all of that can very easily be-
Jo: If you don’t like your commute.
Steve: I was watching the X-Files and I was talking to one of our kids, because the whole X-File thing is “The truth is out there.”
Steve: The season finale was recently … They kind of changed their phrase to “The truth is out there” to “This is the end.” I said, “Look, kid, the truth is in here.” It’s not out there. It’s-
Jo: It’s within you.
Steve: It’s inside. It ended up being the show that was the show too that after years of being on the air it was … It’s all inside of us.
Jo: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Steve: It’s all in there, like the zombie virus is inside of you already.
Jo: Just waiting for the ingredient to activate it?
Steve: We all have the success gene.
Steve: We just have to activate it.
Jo: That’s true. What makes one person different? Nothing.
Steve: Hard work. That’s it. And a commitment, and a little bit of self-confidence helps.
Jo: What did you do … How did you get on this topic?
Steve: I don’t know. You know what? It’s not even a question. It’s a sentence, all the land by us is flat and cheap.
Jo: If you call in and leave a philosophical statement, be ready for Steven to take it to the moon.
Steve: Or say something like this. I’d really rather talk to Jo about this because she’s a nice person.
Jo: That would be funny. That would be really good. Hi, this question is for Jo, not Steven.
Steve: Exactly. That’s fine too. It’s less work for me.
Jo: Very good.
Steve: Adding staff to buy more land.
Jo: Uh-huh (affirmative). I have a couple things that I wrote down that I wanted to share with-
Steve: The most qualified person I’ve ever known to talk about this.
Jo: Thank you, because it happens lot. Sometimes there’s an ebb and a flow to staff and job descriptions and how your business is running and where you want to go.
Steve: Let’s say you’re really busy, the phone is ringing off the hook for like three months, you add somebody and then it stops ringing?
Jo: Well, maybe you should make your phone ring again.
Steve: Not that that’s ever happened to us, but-
Jo: You should get your phone ringing again. That’s what you should do. That’s easy nowadays. You just send out another mailer and buy some more land and sell some more land.
Steve: You have control.
Jo: We do have control. You know what’s funny and I wanted to say real quick? I was looking at my notes, but you asked me a little while ago why are you so happy right now-
Jo: -which is normal, but I’m like here’s why, and it’s perfect for this call. I am, right now, today … Our senior manager, the person who runs everybody else, is really getting in a good groove and I’m finally … There’s things that I can … I’m unloading more important items off of my plate and onto hers, and it’s such a nice feeling.
Steve: She’s really shaping up too. There’s two types of employees that any of us can hire. You can hire somebody who has a tremendous amount of experience for a lot of money and you’re pretty much guaranteed that it’s going to get done the way it needs to. This is true of consulting or virtual assistants or in-house, or you can choose to season somebody. You can get them in at a lesser rate and kind of promise them that if everything goes well they can rise up through the ranks pretty quickly. She’s doing everything she’s supposed to do. You know what my test is for a lot of people … Go ahead. I’ve interrupted you like three times.
Jo: No, no. It’s okay.
Steve: My test is to … I set them up to fail just to see how they handle it. It’s not brutal or anything, but … I mean the result isn’t brutal. They’re probably crying at home and stuff.
Jo: Yeah, probably.
Steve: But if they handle it right … If they handle a couple of tragedies really well, then they’re on their way.
Steve: Is that awful to actually set out to-
Jo: I don’t really agree with setting them up, but I do … Here’s what I agree with. I agree with the best employees are the ones that solve their own problems and you don’t even know about it. Like something could go drastically wrong and they fixed it and then they-
Steve: We’re saying the exact same thing, but I call it setting them up to fail and you call it … What did you just call it like in a nice Jo way?
Jo: Solving their own problems-
Steve: Solving your own problems. Right.
Jo: -and not bringing me into it.
Steve: Again, that’s why we’re partners.
Jo: It’s funny you talked about two … The two people that are closest with us right now are one … They’re exactly one of each of those examples that you just gave. Our senior manager has managerial experience under her belt. She’s had all kinds of things that she’s done for other companies before she came to us. She’s got that experience, didn’t really know our … We hired her for I guess the attitude and the mindset and that kind of thing, not so much she’s done deeds her whole life or anything like that.
Steve: She’s so seasonable.
Jo: Right. The other extreme we have is this one … The one that works most closely with you right now is not really sure about office environments, not really sure how to deal with the hierarchy, and he needs some of that, but his core skills are awesome. It’s a whole different thing over here. What we’re teaching them both is different things to get them where we want them to be.
Steve: Yeah. I would rather teach somebody what … Season them to have appropriate let’s say corporate culture behavior than teach them how to add.
Steve: Bring some technical skills. I can work with the other stuff. I think a lot of people are the other way.
Jo: I think it depends on the job. We’ve had that discussion with my friend, Kelly, and other people. She says, “I hire pretty much for personality. I can teach them the job, but they’ve got to be able to work with me and have the right attitude,” and some other traits that she looks for, not so much the job.
Steve: Yeah, it’s all specific.
Jo: It is.
Steve: Actually, this is what we’re supposed to be talking about.
Steve: I just looked up and I’m like this is the title of the show. Usually we’re talking about something completely different.
Jo: On tangent. Here’s some of the things I wanted to kind of bring up for folks to be thinking about. Costs. It’s not crazy to have permanent employees and temporary employees. As you’re growing and you’re adding staff, sure, it costs more, but sometimes … Like you talked about my phone ringing steady for thirty days and then it dropped, whatever. That would have been a great thing to test with a temp employee and then decide after that. Even though you’re going to spend a little more money up front, you can have them for that time and if it doesn’t work it’s an easy out.
Steve: Yeah. Temp agencies are like HOAs. Everybody complains about them, they’re expensive, I don’t get anything for my money. But I’ll tell you what, I would much rather pay more for three or four employees and not deal with any lawsuit, headaches, or any real risk. Our track record is literally this. After about the third or fourth person you find one that’s just a gem and you hire them full time.
So they did all the work for you, instead of interviews and all that stuff. It’s the same thing with the HOA. Why am I paying all this? They’re telling me to paint my house. So somebody parks an RV in the middle of the street for four months and then they say come on-
Jo: Right. That’s a really good example, because then you’re glad you have an HOA, because they’ll have it towed away.
Steve: That’s right.
Jo: That’s perfect. That is good. Another thing I was thinking about as you’re adding staff and you’re growing and you’re going through these growing phases and deciding what to do like we do, you want to be sure you have a good job description. When I say this, I mean you want to be a real company or getting close to a real company, so you’re not just hiring people just to hire. You want to have a real good need for them and clear role for them, and they need that too.
Jo: They need to know I’m here to answer the phone, I’m here to do all the email, I’m here to get the mail, I’m here to call back these people and do this. You don’t want them staring at you every day going, “Now what?”
Steve: Oh, my gosh, yes.
Jo: Right? You need to have a clear, like I said job description.
Steve: Yeah. What I do is I deconstruct … I’ve always done this. I take a piece of paper, I draw a line down the middle and I say on the left side this is all the stuff that I really don’t think is replaceable at this point, like the stuff that I really need to do myself. On the right side it’s like all the stuff that an assistant would probably be even better at than I would. They’re going slower, their job is on the line, the whole thing.
Again, I think we’re saying kind of a different version of the same thing. What you don’t want to do is hire somebody and then go through what we’re talking about. You want to have it all lined up with examples and instructional … We do-
Jo: SLP, your standard operating procedures, ready to go.
Steve: I love doing short little videos on how to do tasks. Usually the people that work under me, are with me, like those too. Some people don’t, and they don’t work here.
Jo: Some people don’t. I’ve yet to watch one.
Steve: I know you don’t.
Jo: I’ll tell you why. We had this discussion.
Steve: Everybody loves those videos except you.
Jo: Steven, I learn differently. You go to YouTube, I Google. I read it. Other people write and type and I go through their instructional. I want the instructions, I don’t want the video. That’s just the way I learn it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Steve: All right.
Jo: Thank you.
Steve: I want to see somebody do it.
Jo: I know. I know that’s you. Me, I like to read it and then do it myself. I figure it out and I’m like okay, I got this. I’m really good just playing around with things too. I’m good at taking something out of the box, putting the instructions in the corner, and then playing with it and figuring it out. Then I might go back and look at the instructions and go what did I miss? Is there something good in there? I’ll go, oh, that’s good, like my car. You know my car? I’m just going to sit and play with it until I figure it out.
Jo: You’re going to be on YouTube figuring out Bluetooth and all that. I go I’ll figure it out. If I push enough buttons it’s going to happen. That’s kind of the way I roll.
Steve: I think it’s really super, super … This is a takeaway from hiring people. You don not want to hire people to do stuff that is imperative to your business at least on the front end anyway. For us it’s data. I have never, ever since I’ve owned this company in the nineties even thought about or considered farming that out.
Steve: I sit there, I choose the counties, I choose the data, I manipulate the data and I work with whatever printer or mail company we’re working with to make sure it gets in the mail properly and it’s all coordinated. I just think that’s imperative to our success.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steve@LandAcademy.com.
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