The Employees We Can Live Without (Rants) (LA 1515)

The Employees We Can Live Without (Rants) (LA 1515)

Transcript:

Steven Butala:
Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:
Hi.

Steven Butala:
Welcome to The Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:
And I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from pretty Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Steven Butala:
Today, Jill and I talk about the employees we can live without.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, I’ve got one.

Steven Butala:
This is our rant.

Jill DeWit:
Oh.

Steven Butala:
It’s hiring week all week today, all this week.

Jill DeWit:
This is going to be good. I’ll tell you one employee I could do without, the kind that wants to replace me.

Steven Butala:
Who would ever replace you?

Jill DeWit:
Oh, wait, I’ll fill you in.

Steven Butala:
Let’s take a question before Jill’s rant. It was posted by one of our members on the landinvestors.com online community. It’s free. If you’re already a member, please join us on Discord.

Jill DeWit:
Martin wrote, “A potential buyer reached out to me following my first mailer interested in selling their 0.5 acre vacant lot for $14,682. They informed me that they were selling not only the lot from my mailer offer, but the neighboring 0.5 acre lot. This is cool. I was informed that the additional lot has their deceased mother’s hundred year old home on it and it was quoted as being uninhabitable. This is my first mailer and I’m diving into some unknown territory with potentially buying a lot with a home on it and I’d like to get some perspective from the group. The sellers informed me that both lots are off of primary roads and a three minute walk to a lake and both lots are in the seller’s name.”

Jill DeWit:
This is all good information.

Steven Butala:
This is really good.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah. So here are the questions.

Steven Butala:
This is a beautiful story.

Jill DeWit:
“Number one, pending I can get the home for a low price, is it worth it? I don’t want to do a home flip as one of my first buys and would plan to list as is. Two, can I take the home straight title myself or do I need to hire a realtor once I get the purchase agreement back? Thank you to match your health, Martin.”

Jill DeWit:
This is great. Do you want to go first or do you want me to go first?

Steven Butala:
Yeah. 99% of all cases with vacant land, if there’s something on it, it’s more valuable, not less value. I don’t care if it’s a blown out mobile home, it’s better. The 1% where you don’t want this to be the case is where there’s something that would fall under EPA guidelines as toxic and it would require a cleanup. So if there’s an old house that’s fallen down on a piece of property that’s a few blocks from a lake, you can tell that’s a beautiful, beautiful story. It’s a fantastic. With a vacant lot next to it?

Jill DeWit:
Yeah. Now you have an acre.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
By the way, now you have a full acre. One of them has a house on it. So whoever buys it can keep one, sell the other, keep them both, whatever.

Steven Butala:
Can you imagine a situation where a vacant piece of property would be more value than one with an old house on it?

Jill DeWit:
Nope.

Steven Butala:
Neither can I.

Jill DeWit:
Nope.

Steven Butala:
All the utilities are hooked up. There’s probably a slab there.

Jill DeWit:
That’s great.

Steven Butala:
There’s all kinds of positive things that go with that. And people know that. This world, people who go on Craigslist or anywhere are DIY type people. They would love to get a really inexpensive old house and spent five years fixing it up.

Jill DeWit:
Someone’s going to want that. The hundred year old home that’s been there and the loving story that goes with it. That mom lived there for how many years. Maybe dad built it. Maybe grandpa built it. That would be so cool and someone will love that.

Jill DeWit:
Another thing is, too, by the way, you can do this whole transaction yourself. Just because there’s a house on it does not mean you need an agent.

Steven Butala:
It’s exactly the same type of transaction. Exactly as a piece of vacant land. Buying a house and buying a piece of dirt is the same thing. As long as you don’t have a lender, they’re exactly the same type of deal.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly. Yep. You can do it all yourself. Excited to hear how it goes. I hope you pick up both and get a good price. You know what? Here’s the thing, too. Because the seller thinks the house is, well, they know the house is uninhabitable, they already don’t see it as being worth very much. So I bet you can get them both for a sweet deal.

Steven Butala:
Exactly, Jill.

Jill DeWit:
What I want you to do, by the way, Martin, I want you to ask them, look, all right, have the conversation with the seller what will be a version of this. Yeah, I’ll take it off your hands. It’s uninhabitable, I’ll figure it out. What’s your bottom number?

Steven Butala:
You’re solving a problem for them.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah. What would you want for both of them and I’ll just see if I can make that work. He’ll probably come out with make it 14,000 times two. 30,000 and you’ve got a deal. I’d be like, deal, done.

Steven Butala:
To which you would say I’ve got to do a bunch of stuff with this house before I can sell it. Maybe 20 to 25, I can work with that.

Jill DeWit:
See what his number is.

Steven Butala:
I want to drive this point home. Jill and I have been doing this show for a lot of years now and I need to make this point and I can’t say it strongly enough. You do not need a real estate agent to sell a house. That’s something that-

Jill DeWit:
We’re brainwashed.

Steven Butala:
We’ve been brainwashed and poisoned. I swear it’s in the water. It gets worse with time, not better, this perception.

Jill DeWit:
It’s like saying, Martin, you can’t sell a car across Craigslist, you’d have to be a dealer. No, you don’t. We all know that one. But for some reason, the National Real Estate Association has trained us that, nope, you’ve got to be licensed for have a house. Nope. Not true.

Steven Butala:
If you want to get it on the MLS, you don’t need a real estate agent. Just go type in fixed price listing near me and Google and there will be places that for $100, $200 you can get it in the MLS, just like a realtor.

Jill DeWit:
You can go on Zillow right now, too, by the way, Martin, and when you go to like the other listings, you’ll probably see. Put in houses, go to Zillow, put in your zip code and look at houses and click to the other listings and watch like five or 10 for sale by owners pop right up there that it’s someone that’s just selling their house on their own. The whole point is title will take care of the paperwork and everything that you need. You don’t need that agent in the middle of it taking a piece of it.

Jill DeWit:
Because they don’t do any of the work, by the way. When you throw an agent in there in a transaction like this, title’s still dictating all the forms and everything that’s going to get that needs to happen, if any, and you don’t need an agent in there throwing in 25 more forms and taking out three or six percent.

Steven Butala:
Real estate agents are in the business of getting in the middle of your transaction and making money getting in the way of your real estate deal. You’ve done every single thing right here. You’ve taken control of these two real estate deals. You located them. You’re talking to the seller. You got there first. You’re doing every single thing right, why would you call a real estate agent and pay them 6% just to get in the way? You don’t have to. There’s no laws that say you need to use a real estate agent. It’s a huge misconception out there.

Jill DeWit:
Totally.

Steven Butala:
Great work. This is an excellent question. I’m happy for your success. This is why we have Land Academy.

Steven Butala:
Today’s topic, the employees we can live without. This is why you’re listening.

Jill DeWit:
Hey, by the way, there’s your new pool cleaner.

Steven Butala:
We’re getting deliveries with this new office. We can see what’s going on in front of us. Like anyone cares.

Jill DeWit:
It’s kind of funny. I’m excited.

Steven Butala:
Do you want to go first?

Jill DeWit:
I’ve got to do a little personal timeout. In case you’re wondering, like we talked about it last Friday about this house and the renovations and things that we’re doing, this is tough when it’s your primary residence. In our business when you’re doing a flip, I don’t really care. I’m appealing to the masses. All I’m doing is picking the products and the things that the masses are going to love and that. But when it’s your primary residence, you’re like what do I love? I haven’t done it in so long, I kind of forgot. I’m like, oh.

Jill DeWit:
There’s so many things about this house. You can see the ballroom behind us. I want to keep the integrity of the house because it’s pretty flipping cool. I want to remember why we fell in love with the house. I’m not going to make it some cookie cutter or whatever. That’s not the point here and it’s not this kind of a house.

Jill DeWit:
So anyway, there’s little things that are happening. It’s going to take some time, but it’s going to be good. It’s funny because the things you get excited about, like I am now excited about a clean pool with my new pool filter, my new pool cleaner. It’s funny. Just like I’m excited about the new washer and dryer that we got.

Steven Butala:
It’s our latest adventure, that’s what this is.

Jill DeWit:
Totally.

Jill DeWit:
All right, so back to the show. Did you do the opening, employees we can live without?

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
Okay. Employees, oh my gosh. So what I alluded to in the beginning was we have had one or two employees that have said I bet I could do this better than Jill. You know? They want to be his partner. They want to see me, uh-huh (affirmative).

Steven Butala:
Oh, yeah. I remember that.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah. They want to see me out of the picture, almost even like psycho out of the picture. Seriously.

Steven Butala:
Like boiling rabbits?

Jill DeWit:
Like if they bring me coffee, I’m not sure I would drink it out of the picture. Seriously. So that’s one type of employee that I could absolutely live without. If you have any inkling. Maybe it’s just a woman thing. You don’t think it could be a guy thing?

Steven Butala:
No, it’s a woman thing.

Jill DeWit:
Okay. That women do this, guys wouldn’t do this?

Steven Butala:
I don’t think so.

Jill DeWit:
All right. Well, if you ever hire-

Steven Butala:
If I had that feeling, I would say you leave today.

Jill DeWit:
That’s the thing. That’s my point.

Steven Butala:
I think with the women, it lingers on.

Jill DeWit:
Do you know why? Truth time. I don’t think I could convince you. I think there was a part, and I’m not saying you did anything wrong, I want to say that you were like, “Are you sure it’s not just you? Are you picking up on something like…?” No, no, I’m pretty sure my gut is right. Pretty sure this is what’s going on. Then finally you caught along and said, “Oh, I see it now. I think she’s asking me out to dinner.” I’m like, right? You know, that kind of thing? She’s almost sitting on my lap in the office. I’m like, that’s what I’m trying to tell you.

Steven Butala:
I didn’t know where this topic was going here.

Jill DeWit:
Well, it’s employees I can live with that, and that’s one of them. You don’t want that. So my whole big picture in all of this here is fire faster.

Steven Butala:
That’s true. That could be a show this week, fire faster.

Jill DeWit:
You know what? You need to trust each other. We have a lot of husband and wife teams and this comes up. I don’t know if it’s because of us or just the nature of this business.

Steven Butala:
It’s because of us.

Jill DeWit:
Okay.

Steven Butala:
I’m sure of it.

Jill DeWit:
We have a lot of people that are like, “We want to be like you guys. Everybody can quit their jobs.”

Steven Butala:
Which is good.

Jill DeWit:
“We can take turns taking care of the kids.”

Steven Butala:
Yeah, we did that for years.

Jill DeWit:
“Now we can [crosstalk 00:11:04] and tag team our work.” So yeah, all of that’s correct, but there’s different things that go along with it when it comes to employees because it’s a whole different dynamic. It’s really, you’re a strong couple and whoever you hire has really, there’s two owners and two bosses, even if they don’t directly report to them. It’s a really interesting dynamic. So you’ve got to, A, be really alert to some things. For women it’s easy, we just trust our gut. Then the second thing is for men, please let us trust our gut and please don’t try to talk us out of anything.

Steven Butala:
This is a Jack roast today.

Jill DeWit:
Oh no, no, no. It’s okay.

Steven Butala:
I can handle it. It’s okay.

Jill DeWit:
I know. It comes up, because I had just the other day on one of our Land Academy ladies’ calls, at the end of the call someone asked a really good question. “Hey, can you give me some tips real quick of working with your spouse?” I’m like, ho ho.

Steven Butala:
Not real quick, but I can give you tips.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly. I’m like, totally. You know? I rattled off my top five things. Like let me save you right now. It can totally work and be awesome, but here’s some things that we learned and you’ve got to do them right away.

Jill DeWit:
So give me some employees you can live without.

Steven Butala:
There’s two components to this. There’s skillset, which you can test for pretty quickly. I know what I look for in a skill set. Then there’s the secondary point is personality and whether or not it’s going to work within the group that you’ve already created. Or if it’s just you and your first hire, whether or not you guys can stand each other.

Steven Butala:
The first-

Jill DeWit:
Give us some dirt. Come on, everybody wants the dirt here.

Steven Butala:
The first employee that I had, this is years and years and years ago, I fired her with a vengeance by the time it got to that point.

Jill DeWit:
Was it the toner?

Steven Butala:
Yeah, it was a toner. I look back later and after it was all over I had talked to other employees and they all said what you were talking about.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, thank God.

Steven Butala:
I was totally single and they wanted a piece of me.

Jill DeWit:
Yep. Who would not want a piece of this?

Steven Butala:
Oh, please. The way it manifested itself was just ridiculous. She just wanted to talk to me all day. She wanted-

Jill DeWit:
Sit on your desk.

Steven Butala:
She would create problems to get my attention. So this is an extreme. This is not something that the vast majority of you guys, our listening audience, is going to have to deal with, but that was an extreme situation.

Steven Butala:
More recently, I had a person that was responsible for, I don’t care if she’s listening or not, responsible for our IT, and that ended up being an absolute disaster.

Jill DeWit:
She knew she was smarter than me.

Steven Butala:
You think it had to do with you? Is this becoming a relationship thing now?

Jill DeWit:
Oh, I’m sure. She, I think, had a thing in her upper something that she was smarter than me, and I was like, hmm, not going to work.

Steven Butala:
So it was the same situation. Her personality type, she was very capable, unlike the first one. This most recent one was incredibly capable from a technical standpoint. Her personality was just an outrage.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
The way that she was just loud and everything was wrong constantly. She couldn’t make decisions on her own and when she did, it wasn’t, you know. But from a tech standpoint, so you have to test for both of those things. I’m going to say it all week this week. You can test out the personality types and you can test out technical stuff.

Jill DeWit:
Skill set. Exactly.

Jill DeWit:
I have one I’ve got to say. Here’s employees we can live without. I had one just recently. You know, it’s funny, because I just talked to somebody who dealing with the same thing too. It’s like they hire this employee, they’re kind of more in an assistant role. It was a personal assistant for me and I’m dumping stuff on her and the more I dump, the more overwhelmed she got. I’m like, uh-oh. Then I found myself backing off like, oh, I can’t give her that because she can’t handle that and I can’t give her this because she can’t handle that. This is, she’s not smart enough to do this one. Then I realized, wait a minute, now I’m kind of doing her job.

Steven Butala:
She’s just tragic. She’s a tragic person.

Jill DeWit:
I’m like, that’s not going work.

Steven Butala:
She showed up one day all gothed out with a bunch of eyeliner. I don’t know what she was trying to prove. That was really recent, too. I don’t care where you are in your career, you’re going to get some duds.

Jill DeWit:
It’s hard. Well, I feel bad because I have to say most of the employees that we’ve had and let go were not malicious, they just got in over their heads.

Steven Butala:
I agree with that.

Jill DeWit:
That’s kind of on them. They should have been more honest upfront what they can handle. Because I’m going to tell you here’s what’s coming at you, you need to be ready for it. You need to honestly say to me, so when you’re hiring, have these conversations. Some days are going to be nutty. You have to be able to change gears. Things are going to happen. It’s not going to flow great. Escrows fall apart. You’re going to have to jump in and tell title agents where to stick it and then go find another title agent because stuff happens. If you can’t handle it, I need to know now. That’s the thing.

Steven Butala:
In all cases where I’ve had to let somebody go, that’s my job in all these companies, by the way. These people won’t do it unless they’re so mad and then they just do it on the spot, which in certain states you can’t do anymore. That’s really recently changed. But in all cases where I’ve had to let somebody go, I look back at the interview process and the resume and they extremely lied. Grossly misrepresented what they were capable of. Then they come in and we ask them to do what they said that they could do and then they lie more and draw it out. [crosstalk 00:17:06].

Steven Butala:
In some cases, in the case of Jill and I hired my former partner, I had a partner-

Jill DeWit:
That’s a good one.

Steven Butala:
In the real estate companies all through the late ’90s and early 2000s. During the downturn, he couldn’t handle it and he moved back to his home state. So the companies got big again because of Jill and neither one of us were interested in doing day-to-day operations.

Jill DeWit:
So you brought in your old office guy.

Steven Butala:
I went and found him and we met and against-

Jill DeWit:
He asked for an insane amount of money.

Steven Butala:
Against Jill’s advice, against Jill’s extremely loud advice, it turns out she was right, I hired him and it was a disaster. Here’s why. He believed that he knew our customers, both on the education side and on the real estate side, better than we did. So he was going behind our backs and creating forms and doing stuff from a tech standpoint. There’s a lot of tech piece to that. It was his forte. He just believed that he was right and he had no idea.

Steven Butala:
It was so foreign to me that someone would be like, you just don’t do things because… When you work for people, I’m from Michigan, so I grew up with a different… It doesn’t matter. I mean, but I grew up with a different sense of respect and hierarchy. If it’s your boss, it’s your boss. If your boss is stupid and treating you poorly, pull them aside. If it doesn’t work, leave, go do something about it.

Jill DeWit:
That’s true.

Steven Butala:
But otherwise, you were there to do what you’re supposed to do.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly.

Steven Butala:
If you’re an employee anywhere, all you’ve got to do is what you’re supposed to do. People get in a lot of trouble as employees trying to do extra stuff. Don’t go do anything extra, just do what you’re supposed to do. Then if you want a raise, ask for it. If you want to work on a new project, ask for it. Don’t go off and do it.

Jill DeWit:
No. It’s so funny. I haven’t had this in a long time, but-

Steven Butala:
That was tragic. I screamed at him and forced him to leave.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, it was bad. Back in the day, I remember working side by side people, this was when I was in my twenties, and other people in their twenties. You brought this up, so I thought this is a good point, how we were raised. Because I was raised with a Midwest Michigan work ethic also and I was taught that it’s your boss and whatever your boss asks you to do, if it’s within reason, you do it. If they say go get my car washed, you go get their car washed.

Steven Butala:
Yep. Can’t do that now.

Jill DeWit:
There’s no such thing as it’s not my job, kind of thing.

Steven Butala:
Right.

Jill DeWit:
I remember working with people, they go, “Oh, no, I don’t do that. That’s not my job.” I’m like, your boss kind of asked you to do that. No, hey, that’s okay. You could have employees that are personal employees that their job is to maintain a household and have cars get washed.

Steven Butala:
Jill has a person like that right now and she does great. She was hired for that and, actually, I had a heart to heart conversation with her that said-

Jill DeWit:
This is how Jill rolls.

Steven Butala:
I’m telling you this is what you can expect. I mean, no one’s going to expect you to scrub floors, personally, but you need to hire somebody to do that if that’s what we need. So she’s working out great.

Jill DeWit:
She is.

Steven Butala:
She’s fantastic.

Jill DeWit:
I am so happy. Not the first time in this position, but now we got the one.

Steven Butala:
I will tell you a story. I know this is going long. One of the best employees I’ve ever had was a transaction coordinator a lot of years ago. She’s a former escrow agent. I asked her to take an Excel test because the person before her lied their ass off and represented that they could do all this stuff and they couldn’t. In two weeks, I had to let them go. So this person comes in and I really liked her. I really liked her voice. She had the basic stuff that Jill had. So I asked her to take an Excel test and she got up and started to walk out the door and said, “I’ve never been in Excel in my life. I’m sorry, this isn’t going to work out.” I said, “You know what? I really like your personality and your whole thing, so please stay.”

Jill DeWit:
I didn’t know that part.

Steven Butala:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:
Wow.

Steven Butala:
So she learned Excel. She learned Excel in like two days. Then she showed up for work and she ended up doing, I don’t know, thousands and thousands of deals with us. A lot of this is gut, which is, I’m not that good. I’m a data person. I need to see empirical evidence and everything.

Jill DeWit:
No, that’s a girl thing and not a guy thing. Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Employees are, again, I’m going to quote Steve Jobs. I’ve said this probably 50 times on the show. Steve Jobs said at the end, “If you do everything right in your career, at some point you will just become a recruiter.” That’s so true. We’re very, very lucky, Jill and I, that we have people now below us. Especially the person who is running all of the whole thing. She’s very capable at hiring and she’s kind of-

Jill DeWit:
Better than us.

Steven Butala:
She’s kind of a bulldog. She doesn’t put up with anything. She puts up with, I think there’s… My nephew’s in town doing an internship. He was talking about my sister, his mother, about this inept assistant she’s had for years and years and she doesn’t have the heart to fire her.

Jill DeWit:
Because it’s her friend. You can’t do that.

Steven Butala:
Please don’t be that person.

Jill DeWit:
Don’t hire your friend. Let me save you.

Steven Butala:
It’s a day, it’s a sad whole day, when you have to let somebody go for me. It wrecks my day. I usually save it for when I don’t have anything else in the calendar and you do it right in the morning.

Jill DeWit:
Are you sure?

Steven Butala:
It’s a terrible, terrible. Well, unless you wait too long and then you’re just angry. Then it’s kind of fun.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly. Come on, we had a few where we… Let’s end it on this. Truth time. Come on, the last couple of ones that we fired we’re always like, oh, thank God that’s over.

Steven Butala:
Have you ever let somebody go [crosstalk 00:23:03] where they were surprised?

Jill DeWit:
Nope.

Steven Butala:
Neither have I.

Jill DeWit:
No.

Steven Butala:
Every single time I say this isn’t working out-

Jill DeWit:
They’re like, “Yeah.”

Steven Butala:
They’re like, “Yeah, it’s not working out.”

Jill DeWit:
Exactly.

Jill DeWit:
Happy you could join us today. Five days a week, you can find us right here on The Land Academy Show.

Steven Butala:
Tomorrow, the episode of The Land Academy Show is called Who Should I Hire First in 2021? It’s hiring week all week this week.

Steven Butala:
You are not alone in your real estate ambition. This is what we should be talking about.

Jill DeWit:
Employees and hiring and mistakes?

Steven Butala:
Here’s why. Because on Monday and Tuesday, today, there’s the vast majority of people who are listening or watching this are sitting there saying, “That’s great, Jack. Congratulations, you guys have 16 people under you and that’s great. But I’m a one man show, I’m doing 10 deals a month, I really need to hire that first employee. That’s what the show tomorrow is about.

Jill DeWit:
We’ll talk about that. If you are interested in learning more about us and what we do, please check out landacademy.com and houseacademy.com. We provide the education, tools, and support you need to be flipping property like the pros.

Both:
We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:
Information-

Jill DeWit:
And inspiration-

Steven Butala:
To buy undervalued property.

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