In this episode of Real Investor Radio, hosts Craig Fuhr and Jack BeVier continue their discussion on behavioral assessment tools like the Culture Index and Predictive Index for effective hiring and team management. Jack shares his experiences and insights on building efficient sales teams and the necessity of aligning team members’ roles with their natural abilities.
The episode also covers the critical role of maintaining strong relationships with vendors and leveraging technology and data analytics in real estate.
*The following transcript is auto-generated.
craig fuhr (00:25.026)
Welcome everybody to episode 28 of Real Investor Radio. We’re back. It’s Craig Fuhr and Jack BeVier We were talking on episode 27, Jack about planning for 2024. I think it’s a great time of year for investors at every level to really be planning out what they want their businesses to look like in 24. We’re obviously up against some headwinds. We’ve talked about that on previous
craig fuhr (00:54.262)
By all accounts, it’s going to be sort of a sideways economy, Jack. If we’re lucky, if we’re not, we might hit a little bit of a recession. But now is the time to really take a look at your business and sort of the rocks in the business, as they say, in traction and how you can get better. Have having those difficult conversations, hiring the right people for the right roles. And we were talking, Jack, on the previous episode when we took a break about
cultural index, predictive index, and these behavioral assessment tools and how important they become at Dominion in your growth as a company. You were admittedly not a believer in these types of assessment tools until you went and took a two-day seminar on the cultural index and you became a real evangelist, as you said. So one of the questions I had, folks can go back and listen to the previous episode, but one of the
One of the questions I had, Jack, was, so in both the predictive index and cultural index, you sort of have these brackets or buckets that people sort of land in. I think in the predictive index, I’m what’s known as a maverick extrovert with sort of introvert tendencies as well. You know, I’m a big visionary high flyer guy, but I don’t really pay attention to great detail all the time.
you know, sort of typical of that bucket of people. When you’re out there now and you’re looking at a person for a position within the company, Jack.
Let’s let’s I’ll ask you to take any position. What were you most surprised about when you were like, oh, that is the when they’re taking the cultural index and the cultural index says, no, that would be a great HR manager. Like this is the type of person that you’re looking for. What were you most surprised about Jack when you were like, we’re going to adopt this and we’re going to place people into, into roles based on their cultural index. Was there anything that really stood out to you in terms of
craig fuhr (02:54.126)
placing folks in the right position.
Jack BeVier (02:58.697)
Yeah, I had a, um, the, where, where we had misfits, like folks we had hired for their resume, for their experience, because they interviewed well, because you know, they just, you know, because they interviewed well, um, but that their, their personality survey was not the right fit. One of the things that really surprised me was that it exposed how much behavior modification people were doing, right? They were playing a part.
craig fuhr (03:27.926)
becoming chameleons for that time to fit into the role, essentially.
Jack BeVier (03:32.217)
Yeah, that wasn’t them. That wasn’t their default. That wasn’t actually their personality survey. So when I engaged with them, they were who I wanted. But then when I walked out of the room, they were not they went back to being themselves. And there was a lot of that going on, where they understood what they what the what the role required. And so they played that part. But when like I said in the previous episode, but when they’re alone, and when they’re stressed,
they revert back to their, you know, their personal selves, like, you know, who their true selves. And in a moment of stress, if that’s not who I wanted, well, then that’s not who I got. And there was a lot of that kind of behavior modification going on and it immediately exposed it, right? Like I immediately saw past all of the, you know, the meeting presentations that went really well, you know, cause I had this hard time reconciling, like how did you do that?
Like, I just don’t understand how you did that thing. And then through the lens of, of culture index, I was like, oh, that, of course, like it was, you know, the, the world made sense again, right? Like all these situations all of a sudden had like, that, you know, were exposed for what had really happened there. Um, so that was, I would say probably like the biggest, the biggest surprise. And it, and also it helped us to realize that we had some of the right people.
but just in the wrong chairs. So we just, we played some chess and moved some folks around. They had tons of institutional knowledge, but we were asking them to do something that, that they weren’t designed to do, right? Something that I’ve evolved, this is like a truism that I’ve heard in, you rise to your level of incompetence. Like, you know, you get promoted, you know, you get promoted and promoted and promoted and promoted. And then when you stop getting promoted,
you know, that’s like, it’s because you’re not very good at that job. So like you see a lot of like folks who like, it’s, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a dig on government often, right? Like that, like, you know, someone at this level is like incompetent. Well, like, you know, they, they’re vice president of whatever, like they were. Right. Yeah. So they get, they get promoted based on seniority and institutional knowledge, not based off of they’re the right person designed for that chair. And so this is, by the way, this is like,
craig fuhr (05:34.207)
craig fuhr (05:45.042)
Yeah, they’ve been here for 15 years, man. Come on.
Jack BeVier (05:57.981)
endemic in sales organizations as well. Right. The sale, the best sales guy wants to be the sales manager because he’s a hard, hard driving, you know, wants to win, you know, person. And so like, you know, and gets, gets something from being the guy in charge. Right. But, you know, but the, this is not a dominion comment, but, but the, but it’s, this is a thing in sales, just broadly speaking, but the, so you have to be careful about.
your sales guy wanting to be the sales manager because he wants that for the status of it, because he wants it for the outside validation that it gives him. But he was a phenomenal salesperson. But being a salesperson and a sales manager are completely different job descriptions. Those things are totally different. They don’t even look alike, frankly.
craig fuhr (06:52.802)
Jack BeVier (06:53.365)
but you often have the top sales guy wants to be, wants to get promoted to the sales management position. And then you have a, you know, not the right fit there, right? Those things shouldn’t even be on the same track, frankly, like the same, you know, promotional track.
craig fuhr (07:09.09)
Can you think of any time, Jack, where you were looking at a potential applicant thought, yeah, everything works out here on paper, look great from an experiential standpoint, and then they took the cultural index and you were like, no, not going to go down that road? Can you think of a time where the cultural index literally took you in a completely different direction and caused you not to hire a person?
Jack BeVier (07:26.526)
Uh, yeah, that-
Jack BeVier (07:35.289)
Yes, absolutely. And actually, the way that they recommend the way that culture index recommends that you approach it is that don’t look at the resume, if it’s not a fit, because you’ll try and start you’ll start telling yourself stories. So we actually, we’ve probably had some extraordinarily qualified applicants who like never even got an interview from us. And they’re probably like, what the hell is going on over there? Like, I’m perfect for this job.
but their personality survey is something that is very different than what we’ve, but then what we think we’re looking for that position. And so they, we don’t even, we literally don’t even open up. We don’t even click on the attachment. Like it’s, we’re only looking at the attachments that are the right fit from a person from a human point of view. Right? So we’re starting with the human and then seeing, do they have enough experience that this learning curve is going to be not so painful, right? Like, but we’re much more interested in hiring the right human than we are hiring.
craig fuhr (08:37.282)
Yeah. So just staying on this topic here, what in 24, what, what roles are you guys looking at right now that you’re looking to fill Jack that you know the cultural index is going to come into play? Do you have anything specifically you like to talk about?
Jack BeVier (08:55.233)
Well, we use it universally. So we literally use it for every single position. We are doing less hiring right now. I mean, we’re still hiring on the sales side of things because we wanna grow volumes and it requires more bandwidth right now. It requires more, yeah, it requires more bandwidth, it requires more talent on the sales side of things right now than it has, than frankly it has in the past, right? In 2021, when you were selling, when you were selling 4% mortgages,
you know, we could take orders. Today, you actually, you know, really need to be a consultant to the folks that you’re providing capital to. They’re looking for not just money, but advice and counsel and the right, you know, advice on matchups, you know, what’s the right game plan for their business. And so they’re looking for, frankly, a higher level of advice than they were in the past, because when you’re borrowing at 4% money, the answer is simple, yeah, borrow it.
Um, but, uh, so that, that’s something that we’re continuing to hire for. And we’re doing some, like, I guess, filling in the, um, uh, you know, really, I think a lot of the positions that we’re hiring for right now are doing it to, to increase and improve the customer experience. Um, I just think that’s, I think that’s where the market’s gone, right? Like that’s, that’s where, you know, I think companies in general need to be on a going forward basis. So that’s where our focus is.
craig fuhr (10:20.494)
I think after spending time out at IMN, it felt as I walked around to all of the nationwide lenders, like Dominion Financial, I kind of saw table stakes. It’s like, hey, we do bridge loans, we do this, and we, you know. All the terms seem very similar. And so I think the differentiating factor moving forward is that sort of advocacy role for the borrower.
being someone who’s been on the other side of the table is not a bad thing. And so yeah, I love the idea of not just being sort of, you know, the low cost provider, right? Nothing ever good comes from that, sort of a commodity based business, right? So, speak, last part of the bullet point on sort of cultural indexing and finding the right fit for people. So if we take…
you know, there’s a lot of folks listening, Jack, who are hiring acquisitions, guys, and disposition guys, and they may not be lenders, but they’re hiring people in sales positions. As someone who has hired quite a few salespeople over the years, Jack, what is the cultural index that you all look for in a sales person?
Jack BeVier (11:38.453)
The, I think it’s probably it’s typified for a persuader. Um, so high, high a, like someone who’s driven, um, they use ABC and D. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t gone through the training, won’t mean anything to you, I’ll just describe it. But so someone who’s driven, willful, uh, who’s also outgoing, personable can connect with people very easily. Uh, someone who’s a multitasker. They can handle shifting gears very quickly because you have to go from talking.
on the phone to, you know, taking an inbound call and immediately trying to, you know, meet this person and get them to like you. Uh, but at the same time, understand, uh, you know, and, and then, and then in the next gear, like shift gears to reviewing, to reviewing an appraisal to then dealing with a closing issue. Um, and so, you know, being able to switch gears quickly and get a lot of stuff done multitask is we think something that’s important. And then having enough detail to, uh,
having enough detail to make sure that the product has been explained completely, that the process has been explained completely, that the documents get collected that are necessary. There’s a classic salesperson role of just like who has very low detail orientation, right? Like just very low. And they’re killers in terms of lead gen, but then…
they, the handoff to ops is horrible, right? And then the customer experience suffers for that. So we’re looking for someone with just enough detail orientation to do a handoff to processing so that the loan can get closed smoothly and the borrower doesn’t get surprised because something wasn’t said. So, you know, aggressive, outgoing, multitasker, just enough details to keep the train on the tracks, but not so many details that they get bogged down and they’re not able to ask for the sale, you know?
craig fuhr (13:30.519)
Jack BeVier (13:30.978)
That’s kind of the classic outside or inside salesperson.
craig fuhr (13:34.53)
What type is absolutely not going to make a salesperson, Jack? If I take the cultural index and I come up as this personality trait, again, don’t know the exact term there that I should be using, but which one would be the complete opposite run in the other direction?
Jack BeVier (13:55.861)
Like you’re an accountant, like the one that would be typified as an accountant, like, you know, someone who wants to, who wants to help, but they’re kind of quiet, um, and introverted. They, you can give them a great to-do list and they’ll execute on the to-do list, number one and then number two and then number three and then number four that, and with a very high details orientation where they’re super focused on it, being perfect the first time that combination, phenomenal accountant, phenomenal inspector.
Like we have many of those people in our, in our organization, but not in a, but not in a sales role. Um, and then there’s, you know, there’s lots of stuff in between and the difference between like practitioners and managers is a material difference. Um, yeah. And, and as the organization changes and there’s also, you know, it’s, it ends up being a very like, um, uh, custom to the company, uh, decision because.
depending on who that person’s working with, you design it with that in mind, right? Like, hey, I need you to manage a team of these three people and here’s what they do. Well, who you typify, what you typify the manager as depends on who they’re managing and what those folks are doing. So it’s not a, it’s not, you know, that management, and that may be different at a different company depending on the particular job description. So.
It ends up being a custom kind of thing, which is why Culture Index offers these, you know, this consulting as a business model. And we use it all the time. We’ve actually made it, so we’ve made it standard. It’s standard practice that a new manager after 90 days goes through Culture Index training so that they can use it. They can understand, right? Like how they were hired so that they can incorporate it into their hiring practices so that they can incorporate it.
more importantly, so they can incorporate it into their management style and their management practices, right? Like you want to talk to different people, different way. Don’t talk to them how you want to be talked to talk to them, how, you know, don’t, don’t communicate with them the way you want to be communicated with them with communicate with them the way they need to need to be communicated with so that they, their personality understands. And that’s like an important skill to have. And this is, I think, uh, a tool that, that informs that ability.
craig fuhr (16:05.15)
Jack BeVier (16:14.437)
Um, materially, and then we have, um, and then it’s, you know, we have it required that every year, um, we do a refresh and a consultation, the managers do a consultation to talk with, uh, the con the consultant, um, the culture index guys to about their team and the, the inter departmental intra departmental dynamic.
and also on a specific basis about each person and how, you know, just to try to, to frankly, to improve the employee experience, right? Like if you’ve, if your manager knows how to talk to you, they’ll be happier because they get more out of you and you’ll be happier because you’re being spoken to, you know, the way you prefer to be.
craig fuhr (16:57.386)
Yeah, not only talk but incentivize as well. So, you know, certainly people are incentivized in many different ways. Yeah, I think that’s where a lot of early practitioners of predictive and cultural index sort of don’t get the bigger picture. It’s not just about putting the right person in the right role. That’s very important. However, where it really blossoms in an organization is where you start to put the right teams together, where you have, you know, the right
Jack BeVier (17:00.245)
craig fuhr (17:27.65)
cultural fit for a team. And I think that’s what you’re starting to see here at Dominion as well, because you guys have sort of taken it now to the next level and not just right person, but how do we put the right teams together to really flourish?
Jack BeVier (17:42.849)
Do so give you an example. We went from in 2021 at the beginning of 2021, we had 25 people in the lending company in October. We had 90 because the market opportunity was so significant because rates were so low that we added DSCR out of the DSCR product, you know, a month or two prior to that. And we were like, this thing is taking off. Like it would be a shame to miss this.
we need to like hire, frankly, hire as many people as we can and build this train while it’s running down the tracks as fast as possible. So we went from 25 to 90 people in like seven months.
craig fuhr (18:20.5)
Jack BeVier (18:22.569)
By the way, and it wasn’t perfect. It was far from perfect, but it would have been absolutely impossible. That it would have been an absolute travesty had we not had this tool. And it was a, you know, as it was a major, I would say a major part of our ability to scale as quickly as we did.
because we were able to get the right person in the right seats on a higher percentage basis, right? Like not perfect every time, still not perfect every time, but a higher percentage of the time, we were able to get that right on the first go. And so that was a huge part of that. I wouldn’t have even, but frankly, I wouldn’t have even attempted it had we not had this tool in our bag already. I would have thought this is an impossible task.
craig fuhr (19:08.126)
I don’t need.
Jack BeVier (19:18.249)
And I’m just setting myself up for abject failure. So, um, there was the reason that we grew that the reason we grew as much as we did.
craig fuhr (19:26.094)
For listeners who want to learn more about both, you can just go look up Google Predictive Index or Cultural Index. They are two different assessment tools by two different companies. Pardon me. But Jack, without getting too far down in the weeds, can you speak to the cost of it? Do you have any, are you that close to it?
Jack BeVier (19:46.301)
Yeah, culture indexes, they charge based off a head count. So it’s like an annual consulting fee based off of your head count for them basically just to be like on retainer. It’s in like the mid to high four figures, thousands of dollars on an annual basis. No, it’s not crazy. Yeah, it’s not crazy. Yeah.
craig fuhr (20:07.966)
So not crazy, not crazy, but yeah.
Jack BeVier (20:11.465)
Um, and then they, they also, where they’re probably making more of their money is on the training. So they charge two grand a head for this two day training thing. So even if you’re coming, if you’re, even if you’re sending like eight people to them and it’s all your people, they’re still charging two grand a head. So that gets a little pricey on an hourly basis. Um, but you know, I think, but it’s been, I think it’s been by far worth it. I think, you know, the, the impact that it’s had to our company versus the dollar, it’s probably the most.
value add. It’s the best value I think that we’ve like other than reading a $25 traction book. Yeah, it’s one of the best values that we’ve gotten in terms of how it’s changed our business. And then predictive index doesn’t have the same kind of one-on-one support. And they I can’t, I can’t, I actually don’t know that the pricing structure for that. I know that it’s, it’s less though, it’s less of an upfront monetary investment to work with them, but you get less support. So, you know, it depends on if you, you know,
If you have the gumption to take this on yourself, and if you wanna have someone to call when you have questions, or do you just wanna like dig through more videos to try to figure it out in yourself, people go different directions.
craig fuhr (21:20.514)
Sure. All right. So we’re talking about tools today on that. Jack and Fred here at Dominion have used as well as many investors across the United States that to be better. We’ve talked about traction, uh, and, uh, the cultural and predictive index. Jack, what else? You, you said there was a few other tools and maybe a couple of vendors that, um, have been important for you that you’re, that you’re going to lean on even harder maybe in 2024.
Jack BeVier (21:45.437)
Yeah. Um, just as a kind of a catch all we’ve, we started, we took on, uh, started using podio, uh, 10 years ago, and it was very, it became very popular right at that time, 10 years ago. And we have, uh, we found it to be a very flexible, um, found it to be a very flexible tool. It’s kind of, you know, and there you can set up automations in it. Um, it’s somewhere between like a whiteboard and a Google sheets.
craig fuhr (21:58.734)
Jack BeVier (22:15.333)
Um, but with, I guess, you know, you can dig in more in terms of like setting up different buttons and also setting up automations. Some folks have built, you know, big, uh, wholesaling companies around just podio automations and frankly, other companies have built full tools, you know, sophisticated tools based off of the podio backbone. Um, what I like about it is that it’s real. The learning curve is really not steep.
Like you can get folks using Podio in like an hour. And it’s flexible enough that we continue to use it as kind of like the, for where our other softwares and other tools fall short. Like you buy a piece of software out of the box. And one of the things that I, you know, really a pet peeve of mine and that I rage against is that I don’t wanna change my business processes based off of your software’s limitations.
but it’s also impractical to get a significant software provider to add custom solutions for you. So like, you end up like, where do we track this thing that our software doesn’t track? And for me, the answer has been Podio. Like we use Podio as kind of like our catch all for where, our property management software, which we happen to use AppFolio doesn’t incorporate.
craig fuhr (23:20.222)
Jack BeVier (23:38.549)
the concept of lead certificates and rental registrations that we have to deal with in Baltimore city. So we track that stuff in Podio. Um, we track our inventory, our pipeline, all of the houses that we buy and sell, uh, in Podio. Um, we use builder trend for construction management itself, but for pipeline management, I am using Podio. So I know that the house is in drywall in Podio, but that’s all I know.
But that’s fine when I’m looking at my pipeline of, you know, 95 houses and trying to figure out, you know, manage cashflow and all that jazz. I just want somewhere where I can go to get a sense of that, that stuff is moving. Um, and so we’ll use Podio for stuff like that. The learning curve is very low. It’s very cheap. Um, so I still, I still find it to be a very like cost effective, um, flexible tool to, to fill in the holes where other stuff falls down.
craig fuhr (24:22.174)
It is very cheap.
craig fuhr (24:31.278)
I it’s been a long time since I’ve looked at Podio. It’s you know, it’s basically 10 years ago, it’s just a and I’m sure it’s still similar. It’s just a shell. It’s a shell. It’s a platform that you can basically design your functionality into. There’s a lot of apps that come pre packaged that you can also bolt on to it. So in terms of Podio Jack, are you using it at all in the lending company?
Jack BeVier (24:59.509)
No, no, we’ve gone everything in the lending company. We’ve, we actually want the other direction and we embraced, we, I got frustrated by the lack of, by the same idea that all the loan origination softwares that I found required me to change my processes, required me to change the way that I did business. And in, in private lending, you know, we can create as many, you know, you can create whatever custom terms that you want. And
And every lender thinks that, you know, every lender designs their own program and works a particular way and has a little nuance. So there’s zero industry standard. There’s just, there is no industry standard. Um, there’s companies that are doing securitizations that, that advance rehab money and there’s other companies that will lend a hundred percent or, um, you know, some charge interest in advance, some charge interest in arrears, uh, you know, there’s, there’s the, there’s just tremendous heterogeneity in, in private lending.
And the loan origination software, and as a software developer, it’s extraordinarily difficult to build us a piece of software that can handle all that flexibility. And I haven’t seen anyone that’s been able to do it. But at the same time, I’m not a startup, so I didn’t want to conform my business practices to the software’s limitations. So we ended up going into using
Jack BeVier (26:27.605)
piece of software for ourselves. I would not recommend it for a company that does, less than 20 or 30, $20 million a month of originations because it’s one, it’s extremely expensive. You have to have, it’s not particularly user friendly to your average lender or real estate investor. And so as a result, you really have to have kind of sophisticated on staff, Salesforce administration that can now,
it’s what’s great about it is that you can kind of do anything like anything you want you can do. And it’s in that regard, cheaper than having a software developer on staff actually writing code. Um, and the Salesforce environment ecosystem is so large that whatever the best in class business practice is someone’s created an app for that.
craig fuhr (27:11.397)
Jack BeVier (27:26.005)
that you can bolt on that you can find in the Salesforce ecosystem. And now, so you end up charging, you end up building a big, beautiful machine that’s expensive as hell, but it was cheaper than writing custom code. Um, so we like, you know, for us, it was like a little bit of a middle, it was the middle ground between writing something completely custom for ourselves. Um, and taking somebody else’s out of the box, loan origination software and having to conform our processes to that.
So, but it’s, you know, but, but Salesforce is a whole, it’s a whole thing though. Like that’s, that’s where that’s for an organization that’s with, with like intentions to scale or it’s not worth it.
craig fuhr (27:59.947)
craig fuhr (28:08.574)
I’ve often said that Salesforce is the Photoshop of CRMs. Like if you know anything about Photoshop, it’s got two million features, about a thousand of which anybody ever uses. Salesforce is exactly that, right? Unless you really dive into it and customize it to your business. Anything else on Podio Jack?
Jack BeVier (28:12.329)
Jack BeVier (28:21.365)
Jack BeVier (28:30.377)
No, no, I think that that’s a great one to start with that. Easy lower low barriers to entry there. And then we, so just, uh, just cause we’re naming stuff off. So we use, um, so I use Podio for, uh, we use Podio for, um, pipeline management. Uh, we use, we actually use a dumb down version, not dumb down, but we use a very basic Salesforce platform for acquisitions, our acquisition CRM.
Since we were doing it on the lending side, I just adopted it on the acquisition side. And.
craig fuhr (29:03.082)
Is that just basically you’re keeping track of different follow up? Yeah, sure. Got it.
Jack BeVier (29:06.741)
Leads and campaigns, yeah, follow up. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Appointments. So all of our acquisitions, KPIs happen to be in Salesforce. You could do it in something simpler, but since we were already in Salesforce, we decided to go ahead and do that. Um, the, uh, so yeah, so technically we’re in Salesforce on the acquisition side, though it’s overkill, frankly, for that, um, the, uh, yeah, podiums pipeline management builder trend is our construction management, which is excellent. We’ve, we’ve loved using that software.
craig fuhr (29:37.427)
Is that off the shelf or did that require a lot of customization as well?
Jack BeVier (29:40.877)
We’re pretty much an off-the-shelf user. Yeah. Appfolio for property management, we’re pretty much an off-the-shelf user for that.
craig fuhr (29:49.346)
How long have you been using Appfolio, Jack? Cause I recall that, yeah.
Jack BeVier (29:52.449)
Five years. Yeah. Five years in that range. Five, six years. We were on, uh, well, we were on kind of a no name, uh, property management software before that, which required tenant pro, which we needed to upgrade. It was kind of between, I, um, I would like to do a podcast episode on this, like app folio versus building versus property where in, from my perspective, those are the three names that come up the most frequent. Um,
So if you’re like starting from scratch or if you’re on something that you know, it’s not quite working for you, those seem to be the, I call them the three leaders in, um, in single family property management, you might add yardy to that as well. Um, but yardies are much more expensive, a bit more geared towards multifamily. Oh, actually we were on yardy and we switched from yardy to portfolio yardy was for us yardy. It was
we were on yardy because at the decision-making time, it was the accountants versus the ops people and the accountants won. So they got yardy. And then four years later, five years later, we revisited everything and the ops people won. And so we switched to app folio and the accountants are fine. Yeah, they’re living with it. So.
craig fuhr (31:07.476)
Right. You mentioned that there were a couple key vendors. Is there anyone that you’re thinking about working with in 24 that maybe you haven’t worked with previously or maybe casting some off?
Jack BeVier (31:17.617)
actually, yeah, actually, when I was when I was mentioned that to you, what I had in mind was really kind of
What I had in mind was to emphasize the importance of asking your vendors what their goals are for 2024. So like, you know, we always do internal goal setting, right? We start with ourselves and then it’s a good practice, I think, to do it with your employees and have your employees do it with their direct reports. If you have, you know, two layers. But then I think vendors are often, you know, take it for granted. Right. Like.
And they shouldn’t be right there just as just as integral to your successes as your direct employees. So like, you know, call up, call up your vendors and one, give them a personal one, give them the culture index personality survey. So, you know who you’re talking to and then ask them what they’re, um, ask them what their 2024 goals are. And, you know, both personally and as, as a, the company that they work for, what they’re looking to do and that, you know, I, we have found that insight has been, um, really interesting.
and useful information for us, both in terms of seeing a problem coming down the road, but also understanding, just understanding motivation, right? It’s someone you’re doing business with. Why wouldn’t you want to understand what their motivations are and where their heads at? So I think it’s worth taking a couple hours and going through the folks that you, the vendors that you most often are, go through your QuickBooks, figure out who you’re spending the most money with and have a conversation with them. You paid them 80 grand last year in fees.
you don’t think they’re worth a conversation, I think they are. So I would just encourage folks to do that at this point in the year.
craig fuhr (33:00.45)
Couldn’t agree more. Can you think of anyone in particular, Jack, that you’re looking to have a discussion with?
Jack BeVier (33:05.929)
I mean, title companies on the lending side, we have a lot of outside vendors as well that we work with AMC, you know, appraisal management companies, inspection companies internally on the real estate side on the title side. Certainly, we use a company that does rent court filings on a kind of a mass basis, right? Because it’s
You got a ton of just administrative paperwork so we can outsource that for a pretty cheap rate. So there’s someone who we spend a bunch of money with. I’ve probably got like three different attorneys because we try to use specialists in their field. So the attorneys are, we work with a lot of like sole practitioners and small firms. It’s probably five or six of those actually that I think they’re all worth like checking in with. You know, they’re people that we really extensions of our own team. So it’s worthwhile.
craig fuhr (33:57.578)
Yeah, especially if the company is growing at a rapid rate, you want to absolutely make sure that your vendors are growing with you and hopefully not going in a different direction. You want to be able to see the problems that they’re having internally as you’re growing as well. So I couldn’t agree more to have those discussions now.
Jack BeVier (34:06.153)
Jack BeVier (34:19.037)
Yeah. And in these low transaction environments, I don’t think it’s something that should be taken for granted right now. Right. Like it’s been a twenty three was not a was not an easy year. That was a very difficult year. And so to. Hey, even on the lender side, right, like call your lender up and ask them what their goals are. Right. Like, how are things going? Like, you guys still going to be around, you know, like, you know, interest rates have ticked down a little bit, but you guys making money right now. I feel like that’s like I’m not sure if that’s an uncouth thing to ask. I think it’s fine.
craig fuhr (34:44.279)
Jack BeVier (34:48.669)
Right? Like I’ve had, I’ve had a, we had a technology vendor that I was negotiating with like four months ago and their venture capital funded. I, you know, I was, so I was in, you know, the venture capital stuff was like blowing up a couple of months prior to that. We’re like becoming very difficult a couple of months prior to that. And, you know, I was like, so how are you guys funded? Oh, we did a series a series B. I was like, what was the valuation? Like, ah, we can’t disclose that. And I was like, yes, you guys burning capital still like you guys, you guys in the black yet. Like, will you be, we’re signing, you want us, you want me to sign a three year contract?
craig fuhr (35:12.866)
Jack BeVier (35:17.845)
Will you be here? Um, you know, is what I’m really asking, you know, I think, you know, if you can figure out a, uh, not offensive way to ask those questions, like, you know, they’re relevant to your business.
craig fuhr (35:28.938)
I, as my rehabbing business was really blowing up in the best sort of way back in that 2009, 10, 11 period, I really felt like I had a much greater need for a better accountant. And I thought that the person who I was using was decent and certainly understood the business because they had other real estate investor clients. But I wasn’t getting the sort of service level that I wanted from them. And I wasn’t really getting any.
forward looking advice. It was more, hey, send me over your bookkeeping, you know, we’ll prepare the returns, it’s going to be 800 bucks, thank you. And so really had to have a very serious discussion with this person, a difficult discussion and find out like, what, what are you trying to do with your business? Because I’m I need more of an advocate, someone who can give me better advice rather than just prepare returns. And it was clear that this person was not cut out to do that didn’t want to do it.
and was taking the business in a different direction. And so a great conversation to have at this time of year with your account, I think, in terms of where they are, where they’re heading, and whether or not you’ve got a good fit or not. So yeah, perfect example.
Jack BeVier (36:38.805)
craig fuhr (36:40.758)
So Jack, we’ve got a lot of exciting stuff coming up. Jack, for those of you who are listening, has got a lot of great contacts around the country in all different asset classes and really all different walks of life in terms of real estate investing. And we’ve reached out to, Jack’s starting to reach out to quite a few of those people to schedule them for upcoming episodes.
Lord knows I’ve had my I’ve met my share of contacts over the years as well that I’ve started reaching out to folks and we’re really going to present a wide array of folks we have jacked Can you speak to the attorney that we have coming up on I think an episode in early January if I’m not mistaken.
Jack BeVier (37:23.133)
Yeah, yeah. Doug Stein is going to be joining us I think next week. Doug is an attorney out of Atlanta, solopreneur, a gentleman that runs a small firm, mostly his own work. I met Doug because we in 2016 put together a captive insurance company, an A31B captive insurance company, which is a whole multiple episode conversation.
that we use as a risk management tool for our business. We write ourselves insurance for which there is not commercially available coverages. So we write ourselves mortgage insurance, we write ourselves lead paint insurance, property and casualty deductible coverage. This is not like doing a self pool for workers comp or G&L.
those are, there’s commercially available coverages for that. That’s not what captive insurance in this, the way I’m talking about it right now is for, this is for like coverages that, uh, you can’t get commercial coverage for. Um, and so Doug helped us set up that captive insurance company back in 2016. And then I’ve just found him to be an, like just a, uh, an incredibly bright, uh, you know, thoughtful, uh, mind. He’s also,
I think he also has an extremely dry wit and humor that I just think is hilarious. Um, so as tax account, sorry, as tax attorneys go, he’s, uh, I think he’s a riot. Um, and anyway, so we’ve kept in touch with Doug over the years and invited him to the, the real investor round table mastermind a number of times. He’ll give a, uh, an update, probably at least on an annual basis as to what’s going on the IRS side and he changes to tax code. So he’s
craig fuhr (38:49.609)
Jack BeVier (39:11.681)
kept us apprised of the changes in bonus depreciation and the inflation reduction act and all the stuff that happened with the Trump tax code, whatever it was four years ago. So anyway, we’re going to have Doug on to talk about 2024 tax planning. And he’s that kind of guy that you were just talking about where he’s not going to prepare your return, but he’ll help you think thoughtfully about where your business is and
uh, the changes to the landscape and make sure that you’re not, you know, missing some strategy that you should be taking advantage of. Uh, so he’s not going to then go like, do your tax return for you, but someone who we talk to all the time to make sure that we are, uh, availing ourselves of all of the opportunities, you know, that we can in the code. Yeah.
craig fuhr (39:57.594)
in the code. Gonna be a great guest really looking forward to that one. A couple other guests that I know that you’re working on that I’m actually excited about is, you know, look, man, everyone gets into real estate investing, Jack, because they think they’re going to have that freedom that they’re searching for that they wouldn’t have otherwise in a nine to five job. But I think it’s a very elusive thing for most. I don’t think that the solopreneur ever really
that they might be looking for by and large. And so we’re gonna bring some folks onto the show to talk about how they’ve designed really great operations, yet they still have a life at the same time, and frankly, even a better life than most. And not just monetarily speaking, I’m talking about in terms of, you know, just their overall happiness and freedom. So I’m really looking forward to talking to a couple of those guests that I know you’re thinking about and I’m thinking about as well. But anyone else in particular, Jack, that you’re thinking of right now that was on the list that I can’t wait to have them on?
Jack BeVier (40:57.213)
Yeah, there’s a bunch of like, I think really interesting stuff on the technology side happening right now. Some incumbents being displaced and some really interesting new ideas. I’m sure some I’m sure you know everyone’s going to want to drop AI because that’s the buzzword these days. But I guess I think some their real estate data we started to use real estate data I think pretty early back in like 2014 2015. And I’ve, I’m just I just nerd out on that stuff.
try to keep tabs on like who’s the latest and greatest, who the, you know, kind of the, who is the latest and greatest in thinking on the, on the real estate technology side. And as public record information has become more widely available and companies have now become formed that are really digging into the analytics that are possible from crunching that data, not only on the Legion side, but from a business intelligence and market intelligence point of view, I think that there have been huge strides made in the past couple of years.
So maybe some technology vendors that you haven’t heard of, or at least some new products that they’ve been working on as the level of sophistication on the real estate data side continues to go up. Some young minds out there that are really thinking about it in some new and innovative ways are bringing some data products to market that I think are going to be, that are going to become table stakes and have the potential to…
to be disruptive because, because frankly, if you’re, if you’re, if you were, you know, real estate’s got a lot of old guys, right? Got a lot of, a lot of older folks who are not that excited about a new set of login credentials. And if they’re not going to adopt these new tech tools, they’re going to get smoked by a bunch of young guns who are, because it’s a material difference to your cost of acquisition material difference to understanding the market landscape.
I get fired up about that stuff because I think that they’re the tools are now getting good enough that they actually are going to be differentiators. And so we’re going to try to bring in some of what we think are the best minds and the real estate data side of things to talk about new products as well as new ways of thinking about the data and what can be done with it.
craig fuhr (43:13.174)
Yeah, I have to be honest with you. I’m most excited about the where we’re heading with the guests in 2024. So folks, I would urge you to stay with us. Subscribe, please leave comments when you can. Jack, it’s been a pleasure talking with you again today. I wish you a happy new year, my friend. For those of you who are listening, happy new year to you. Hope everybody had a great Christmas and holiday season. We’ll see you in the new year in 2024. Make it a good one.
Jack BeVier (43:32.042)
Likewise, Happy New Year.
craig fuhr (43:42.446)
Craig Fuhr, Jack BeVier, Real Estate Investor Radio. We’ll talk to you soon.