Who Needs A Corporate Culture – Everyone
Jack Butala: Who Needs A Corporate Culture – Everyone. 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.
Jack Butala: Jack Butala with Jill DeWitt.
Jill DeWit: Hi.
Jack Butala: Welcome to our show, in this episode Jill and I talk about who needs corporate culture. Everybody needs it, even if you’re a one person show. Great show today Jill. Before we get into it let’s take a question posted by one of our members on successplant.com, our free online community.
Jill DeWit: Eric wrote and asked, hello, I came across some subdivision land. Are they any good to invest in? I know the property taxes are higher and also there is an HOA. Most of the lots are less than point two five acres. Less than a quarter of an acre. I guess the real question is, if it’s good for flipping? My short term goal is to build up more investment capital. Thanks in advance. Eric.
Jack Butala: Awesome question, Eric. Get it all the time and heck yes, they’re great for flipping. These kinds of deals are awesome, or they’re fantastic for people who are super ambitious but don’t have a ton of access to capital. A lot of our members are like that. When you hear people starting out with not a lot of money, quite frankly. You can buy these rural properties for less than five hundred dollars and sell them for a thousand all day long, which is a great way to build up a good bank balance so that you can do some serious acquisitions like forty twenty acre properties. You hear us talk about vacation lots east of the Mississippi all the time. You buy them for a thousand bucks. You sell them on terms or your sell them on cash for five, six, seven, eight, ten thousand dollars. If you don’t have that kind of money to start out with, yeah, these little tiny properties are great.
Jill and I have done thousands and thousands of deals of these tiny little lots and people love them. It’s real easy for people to come up with eight or nine hundred dollars or a thousand bucks to buy one of these little properties and get in the real estate business. Our customers, we buy them in bulk for as little as twenty-five dollars, but typically we buy them for five hundred bucks and sell them for a thousand or fifteen hundred. People are their owners now. The answer is yes. Just to apply the four a rule to these properties as well as any other acquisition you do, what are the four a’s? Does it have a good attribute? Is it close to something? Mountain views? Does it have lakes?
Jill DeWit: Golf course?
Jack Butala: Is it in the city? Is it close to the city? Golf course is good. Acreage. The more the better. Does this have that a of the four a’s? No, not really. That’s okay, it’s not valueless. I’ve heard people say that. These properties are worth nothing. That bugs me. All property’s worth something.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. I agree.
Jack Butala: Make sure you turn your cellphone off during our podcast. That’s the next one.
Jill DeWit: It’s a repeat from the last show.
Jack Butala: Last two a’s are affordable. It sounds like you’ve got that worked out. The cheaper the better, and the fourth a is access. These subdivision way more often than not, you cannot create a subdivision unless it’s got access to all the properties. Make sure you check. Some subdivisions are called paper subdivisions. They just exist on paper. They were created in the fifties before a lot of the rules that we have in place were in place, but heck, they’re good. It’s a good deal most of the time. Go ahead, Jill.
Jill DeWit: A couple good things to point out too is, one, when there is an HOA I like that. Somebody’s doing something. There’s something out there. Someone’s keeping an eye on the property. Things are being maintained. I like that there’s an HOA and number two, get several of these. Buy and sell, buy and sell. It’s nice because you’ll get into a routine and you know everybody. It’s going to be an easy transaction for you. If you do twenty of these in this next year you’re going to know everybody. You know how they like it done, and you know the recording fees and what needs to be done off the top of your head. It’s really easy to flip them.
Jack Butala: Knock yourself out.
Jill DeWit: Totally. Every property we want you to get into a system and advertise it everywhere but gosh, these little ones they often can get a lot of attention because they’re priced so low. Like Jack said, we’ll buy them for under a hundred dollars and sell them for under a thousand dollars. You’re going to get a lot of people viewing your properties, so make sure too that your posting is really clear. Put everything about it in there, including the HOA and everything that you know. Save yourself some phone calls and questions and make sure your postings really good too. Thank you.
Jack Butala: Today’s topic, who needs corporate culture anyway? Everybody does. Even if you’re a one person operation. This is the meat of the show. This has come up recently in our company. Specifically in Land Academy. Not so much LandStay because that’s been around for a while and it’s been established in a machine like manor. Corporate culture is so important. What do want your company to be like? Do you want everybody to horse around all day or do you want everybody to be like, Gestapo serious or everything in between? What do you do? Are you horsing around most of the time? Or are you pretty serious for two hours and then you go take a walk? What’s the deal? Do you play Foosball in the middle of the day? These are all good questions.
Here’s the takeaway from this whole show. Whatever it is, and nobody’s judging you. People have all different crazy times or work habits. We have a member who works only in the middle of the night. Luke does. Whatever it is, make sure it’s with intent. Don’t just say, this is who I am and this is what I like the most. I love to sleep while I work and have it be acceptable. This is more complicated than it sounds. If you do have people working for you they’re going to learn from you. They’re going to come in with their own idea about how they want things. Maybe it’s a heater under their desk and maybe it’s messing with everybody world in the whole office. You’ve got to get control of that as the leader. It starts by leading, the corporate culture that you want is what you need to, from the top down, lead by example and show everybody, this is how it’s going to go.
Jill DeWit: No matter how big your company is it’s important. You could be a staff of five or a staff of fifty. The sooner you set that culture and even write it down, we have a version of that. We actually an new employee manual that our senior manager put together a while back.
Jack Butala: We do. We have an employee manual? Oh my gosh, I forgot about that.
Jill DeWit: You forgot about that?
Jack Butala: Yeah. It’s like a book.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: That’s awesome actually. She did that. We didn’t even ask her to do it.
Jill DeWit: As we were growing …
Jack Butala: We have some really good people working for us.
Jill DeWit: Part of it was to save her some time too. She saw a need and as new employees come in they would first report to her, get through a lot of the admin, business part of things, and then get set up and then they would be transitioned to their role or whoever they’re going to report to and all that good stuff. She created that and one of the things that’s in there is our corporate culture, how we roll, what we expect, and including things like honesty and not opening a Coke can in a meeting. Things like that.
Jack Butala: Turning your cell phone off during a podcast.
Jill DeWit: I’m sorry. Jack, what’s going on here today? Jack’s got his phone ringing and he’s got to open his Coke right now. You know what? There’s going to be a big belch coming in a minute.
Jack Butala: No. You really want me to answer that, what’s going on?
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: I’m happy as well. We’ve got this whole California thing figured out. Our sales rock.
Jill DeWit: Jack has clearly embraced the California mentality of like, yeah, whatever.
Jack Butala: That’s really not true. We’re going to talk that, what my corporate culture is in a minute, and talk about Jill’s.
Jill DeWit: I like that. Anyway, no matter what size your staff is, writing it down and having it in a manual and things that someone can refer to is also helpful. Thank you. Jack.
Jack Butala: Well said. What’s your corporate culture like, Jill? What’s your natural state? How do you work best? Most efficient, let’s say? Let’s say everybody has the same goal of efficiency, productivity, and making a lot of money and doing the least amount of work. Let’s say that’s everyone’s goal and we all have that in common. Or is that even your goal?
Jill DeWit: Wait a minute. No. I don’t think the least amount of work is a culture for me. My goal is happy, relaxed, open, yet a respectful environment where everyone is working aggressively towards the same goals. Does that clarify? You want more?
Jack Butala: Yeah, I do, in a second though, but let me clarify this. When I say, work the least amount what I mean is work incredibly efficiently eight to ten hours a day, because when everything’s really efficient then it just gives you more time. I don’t mean cut out at two o’clock everyday and go surfing. I mean, if your stuff’s done at two, great. Now you’ve three or four more hours to work on the new stuff, like new business models or whatever else. I just mean efficient. Let’s just say our whole goal, and I’ll leave it right there, is to be maximally efficient.
Jill DeWit: Got it. I also want an environment where people can feel free to come up with ideas of things that they see that need to be done better and more efficient. That’s a huge thing for me. I don’t want anyone that can’t say, I’ve been here six months and I’ve got to tell you guys, I tried this, this, and this, and at my last company we did it this way and I really think this would work better. I love that stuff.
Jack Butala: Me too.
Jill DeWit: It’s funny because some environments are not that way.
Jack Butala: I know.
Jill DeWit: I’ve worked in those places where it doesn’t really matter how great your idea is, they really don’t want it.
Jack Butala: Most places are like that.
Jill DeWit: I think that’s also important. I want to inspire people. I love when employees create their own jobs. For example, our senior manager, who came up with the whole, we need to have a formal employee manual and it was awesome and it was actually creative on her part for parts of it and I think she enjoyed it and that was really good.
Jack Butala: She said, here’s the manual you never asked for and didn’t know that i was working on and I’d like a raise because of it. Which she promptly got.
Jill DeWit: It’s like twenty-five or thirty pages.
Jack Butala: She got a raise for that.
Jill DeWit: You know what’s so great? It’s very thorough. You know what? You might laugh at this, but I think it’s important. One thing, because it’s important to me, is dress code. I actually have a thing about that and it’s funny because when I first got my first office job it was a business causal and then I got a job in downtown L.A. where we had to wear hose. I don’t know if you knew this.
Jack Butala: Yeah, I do.
Jill DeWit: It was only on weekends and then maybe Friday. There were some days when people weren’t around but we’re talking if you’re wearing a skirt, you’re wearing hose. You know what, I used to think this is the silliest thing. I’m never going to do this. I think this is dumb. Then, come full circle now I’m an owner and I have a dress code. Not hose.
Jack Butala: What is it?
Jill DeWit: Can you believe I know what that is? What?
Jack Butala: What’s our dress code?
Jill DeWit: Our dress code? It’s a business casual. In our office, you and I can do other things. You can wear shorts but our people can’t wear shorts.
Jack Butala: That’s not right. Is it?
Jill DeWit: Yes, it is. I firmly believe that there’s a little something in your head when you show up physically prepared to meet people in person should you need to and not in flip flops and board shorts.
Jack Butala: No, I mean, it’s not right that I can do whatever I want and everybody else has to follow simple rules. Like, what if I smoke a cigar in the office?
Jill DeWit: You’re an owner. You’re [crosstalk 00:12:52].
Jack Butala: You approved it. I obviously never read this document. You approved it. You really think that’s okay?
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Jack Butala: The owner can do whatever the hell he wants?
Jill DeWit: I’m not going to tell you no.
Jack Butala: Good answer.
Jill DeWit: Sheez. What would happen to me? Could you imagine? Let’s back up. You know what, Jack, I like where you’re going with this. Jack, I would like to tell you I need you to initial this here. This is your first written warning, based on our employee manual, because you are not meeting the dress code today. Can you imagine? That would be hilarious.
Jack Butala: That’s not going to go over well. You know what I would do? Give me that. Give me that dress code. You can wear shorts now. No, you know what? This is a perfect example of exactly what this show’s about. You need a corporate culture and I’m not the person to do it. I’m totally the person to lead by example, obviously, with the exception of this shorts thing, but I think there’s a little psychological thing where the boss comes in and maybe he’s out of compliance with what everybody else has to do, because he’s the owner and he calls the shots and I think there’s something to that. I don’t think that you can smoke a cigar in someone’s face. That’s ridiculous.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Changing a little bit of the dress code is not such a bad thing.
Jill DeWit: No. Part of our corporate culture is everybody works really hard and we mean everybody. It’s us included. Our staff sees us and they’re up and they’re early. They leave and they see us still at our desk.
Jack Butala: We work harder than anybody that works for us, I think.
Jill DeWit: They know we don’t take days off. They know. That’s a perfect example and you know what? Part of it is, maybe that’s part of our corporate culture because here is my thoughts on this. I really do enjoy what I do. I enjoy talking to people and I don’t mind talking to someone on a Saturday, if that’s when they’re available. I don’t have to have Saturday off. My culture is, this is a seven day a week operation. Period, and I know some of our staff will work on the weekends, depending projects and what’s going on and all that.
Jack Butala: If you have an internet company, you’re open twenty-four seven. Does that mean you stare at the screen twenty-four seven? No, but it needs to be managed that way and a lot of times it involves weekend stuff, but people are buying unnecessary products, stuff that’s not food or toiletries, like we sell. It’s not necessary to buy the products we sell. They’re buying it on the weekend. We have crazy Mondays. Our Mondays are nuts because there’s stuff goes on on the weekends that hasn’t, and it’s fine. Everybody knows that and they come in Monday ready to work. It’s a twenty-four seven deal.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Tell me more about your corporate culture.
Jack Butala: That’s great because my natural state, having an accounting background, and a type a personality, I’m very military Gestapo like. If I operated this company or these companies that we have the way that I wanted to, just me, with no checks and balances, no one would work here. I would be just with no patience, one strike you’re out. The whole thing. That’s actually going to lead to my technical two here. Keep yourself in check. In fact, I’m going to do it real quick, all right?
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: This is a technical two. Two minutes of property investment advice, I already just told you from fifteen years of ….
Jill DeWit: Got it.
Jack Butala: That’s how I want to do the technical two. If I didn’t keep myself in check that’s how I would do it. This is the technical two. Two minutes of property investment advice from our fifteen year, fifteen thousand, transaction experience. Have some checks and balances in place about your corporate culture and everything for that matter. Don’t let your regular old personality hang out all over the place for everybody to see. Have some professionalism and walk around like you won the place if you own it. Be a nice person. Jill’s just like …
Jill DeWit: What the heck?
Jack Butala: She’s looking at me like I just …
Jill DeWit: I threw up in my mouth a little bit there. What the heck?
Jack Butala: Keep yourself in check. That’s all I’m saying. When you go home at night and you’re done working and you turn on the tv or whatever you do at night, that’s you. Be you then.
Jill DeWit: Be your ADD or whatever yourself then. Save it for your home and your family. Do not bring that stuff to work.
Jack Butala: We tell our kids this all the time. Don’t be crazy in school like you are right here. Okay, dad, I won’t do that.
Jill DeWit: Then don’t do it at the dinner table too, then don’t do it here.
Jack Butala: Close your door on your room when you’re doing it.
Jill DeWit: Please not in public.
Jack Butala: To answer your question, I mixed it all up. The show and the technical two is all mixed up, but that’s fine. No, I keep myself in check all the time. If it was just a one person company and it was for a really long time and there were timers. I’m not joking. I used to have a timer on my desk. I did [crosstalk 00:17:59].
Jill DeWit: What was the timer for? I can be mad for five more minutes?
Jack Butala: No. Whatever I’m doing right now is going to take eighteen minutes. The timer goes off. Done. It’s done. I don’t care if it’s not done or done but it’s getting published.
Jill DeWit: If it’s okay I would like to take over because this is going to bleed into my part.
Jack Butala: You have a question or you want to be on the show, call 800-725-8816. We’re all over the map today in this show, Jill, inspire us.
Jill DeWit: It’s flowing and it’s funny, because we didn’t plan this. My inspiration ties into what you just said about your timer which is good or bad whatever you think it is, embrace your uniqueness, slash, however. Not everyone’s like that you’ve got to embrace theirs too. I know that about you Jack and I know that about your timer and there is some times that I think it’s appropriate and I have done that a few times but that’s not usually how I role. It’s funny because it’s hard because sometimes I look at you and I’m like, I can’t do that, and I know you look at me and go, I can’t do that. Nobody’s right or wrong. We’re just different. That’s how you get your tasks done or whatever. That’s what helps you be the most productive or the most whatever.
Jack Butala: Embrace what?
Jill DeWit: embrace your uniqueness, good or bad. It doesn’t matter.
Jack Butala: I guess that’s a round about way of saying, you should never ever cross the disrespect line for your employees or yourself even or your partners or any of that. You shouldn’t cross that and if your natural order of things, and quite frankly mine is, could cross that disrespect line often, you’ve got to approach it another way or it’s not going to work.
Jill DeWit: I’m thinking, for me another thought is you can’t try to impose your ways on, you can at some point. You know who your business are. You have a checklist. There’s a certain way you need things done. Got it. That’s okay, but you don’t want to impose that your desk should look exactly like my desk and you need to put your drink on the right side because …
Jack Butala: That’s micromanaging [crosstalk 00:20:21].
Jill DeWit: You know what I mean? I’m just saying.
Jack Butala: Yeah, you’re absolutely right.
Jill DeWit: You can go too far. You don’t want to impose that kind of stuff and you have to sit back and realize you are unique and it’s all good and so is everybody else. Everybody brings something to the table.
Jack Butala: I have run these companies under this philosophy since day one. Get your stuff done. I don’t care how you do it. I don’t care what hours you work. I truly don’t care. Just get your stuff done and I will only ever have an issue when the stuff’s not getting done properly, and truth be told, this show was inspired by the fact that there’s some stuff that’s not getting done in one of these companies right now. The people who are not getting it done, they don’t report to me. They report to other people, but I know what’s going on for a lot of reasons and if it were just me, the hatchet would come out, but that’s not the right thing to do, and that’s not the corporate culture I want. I always want to be fair and I want it to be funny. I want to have fun at work, but I don’t want stuff to not get done and that’s happening in one area. I’ll address it later, and I will not bring hatchet out.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: Join us on another episode, probably a more happy episode and more about real estate where Jack and Jill discuss how to use information. That’s me.
Jill DeWit: And inspiration. That’s me.
Jack Butala: So you get just about anything you want.
Jill DeWit: We use it every day to buy property for half of what it’s worth and sell it immediately.
Jack Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition. We got a little off topic there.
Jill DeWit: That was deep. That was some deep stuff don’t you think?
Jack Butala: I just think corporate cultures they have to come from the top down. I’m going to tell you a real quick story about Detroit. I grew up in Detroit and every single person I knew, including my parents, was connected somehow in the auto industry and this was before Toyota. All cars back then were coming out of that city and all I ever heard was people, really, out loud complaining about their job. How to get out of work. How they hated the unions, hated working there. I was a little kid and I’m like, something’s not right. What is wrong? This is their living. This is what they spend all this time doing. Maybe that a was degree of going off on my own. I don’t know. Who knows? It has to be top down corporate leadership and corporate culture. That was long before the internet.
Now, more than ever you have the opportunity, even if your company’s huge and you’re the leader or some level of leadership to get on the internet and do training videos and give the support that people need and show them how to behave. I don’t have a lot of patience, especially in huge companies, people really complaining. If you don’t like your job please go get a different one. I’m speaking on behalf of your employer. If you don’t like to work there please go work somewhere else. It’s like a disease. It just spreads. Wow, this show just gets worse and worse doesn’t it?
Jill DeWit: Let’s call it.
Jack Butala: Information and inspiration to buy under valued property. That’s what this is really about.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steve@LandAcademy.com.
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