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Bob Whitten is one of the home building industry’s most respected financial & business management consultants. With over 70 recurring clients in over 40 states and 4 Canadian provinces, his firm’s sweet spot is privately held builders doing 20-250 homes per year; although many have grown larger. Join us for a conversation with one of the industry’s most respected financial business management consultants. A lot of people know how to build houses but very few people know how to build good companies.

Show highlights include:

  • The “5 Disciplines” that make building a good business easier than building a home (5:42) 
  • How your business can go belly up even if you have the best systems, fanciest software, and best trucks (7:48) 
  • How the “pre-construction period” helps you build homes more efficiently and more profitably (9:15) 
  • The single most important metric for long-term success that has nothing to do with how many houses you build each year (16:59) 
  • Building or remodeling fewer houses may actually make you more money (17:28)
  • One of the biggest risks for custom builders and remodelers is spending too much on overhead and not making enough margin on the jobs we do (14:44)

To get the most out of this podcast, head over to https://buildernuggets.com  and join our active community of like-minded builders and remodelers.

If you’d like to learn how Bob’s consulting can help grow your business, send him an email at BWhitten@smaops.com.

Read Full Transcript

You know, a lot of people know how to build houses. Very few people know how to build good companies.

Welcome to another episode of Builder Nuggets, the show where builders and remodelers discover how to build thriving businesses while working less. I'm Duane Johns and together with Dave Young, we share the elements of success that have helped hundreds of contractors like you build better lives.

(00:22): Our guest today is one of the home building industries, most respected financial and business management consultants with over 70 recurring clients in over 40 States and four Canadian provinces. His firm's sweet spot is privately held builders doing 20 to 250 homes per year. Although many have grown larger.

(00:39): This gentleman is a frequent speaker to industry groups. In fact, he's conducted over 750 workshops and seminars over the years and is the best-selling author of the national association of home builders book, building partnerships, how to work with trade contractors. since 1989, our guest has taken a stage at the international builders show to share his wisdom on business management for home builders today, he takes the builder nuggets stage and shares his wisdom with all of us. So I'd like to welcome Bob [inaudible] of SMA consulting.

(01:10): Bob, glad to have you on the show. Thank you very much. Great to be here. We talked briefly earlier this week, and one of the things that I found quite interesting about your team and, and everybody there at SMA consulting is that they've been successful home builders or, or worked for a successful home builder in the past. Is that something like from day one, you just want it to be a requirement or

(01:29): It kind of happened that way. It was pretty much a by design. When we first started, it was, we wanted to be builders that were helping builders, you know, after, after a successful career in home building off times and privately held companies, you end up being absorbed, sold to a public company or to another large regional privately held company. And then it's either start another home building company and redo it. Or what else are you going to do? Because most of us were too young to retire. So we, we thought the consulting and helping other builders kind of avoid some of the mistakes that we made along the way was probably the best thing to do. How did you, how did you learn those mistakes? As my old mentor used to say the pioneers, the guy with the arrow in his back, and we had a lot of variables to take out kind of the purpose of our, of our show here too.

(02:20): As builders, helping builders, we want to, we know the power of collaborating on these things. You've led this. We heard in the kickoff hundreds of seminars, and you've really been dedicating your life to this. How did it all get started? I originally started in the industry after a career in financial management for some developers in the Washington DC market, really starting in the humbling specific industry happened when somebody suggested there was a job at the national association of home builders back in the early eighties, that would be ideal for me. And this is so long ago that laptops and PCs were just becoming PCs and there were no, there was no software to help build or specifically that ran on those, that hardware. And so what we did for a long time at NHB was we ran a software review program that would help software developers develop software to assist residential contractors, you know, until that everything ran on, you know, larger scale machines and most small builders couldn't afford to do them.

(03:22): We'll use what we used to call an old pegboard system to do AP and stuff like that was always interested in, in that. So I actually kind of started in the home building side of it as a consultant, if you will, because that's kinda what I did at NHB. My title was director of business management, but I was there for the better part of the Reagan administration and the eighties, you know, and then we became, I came, I became a builder from that and I, a lot of people who work in SMA were builders already or shortly thereafter and kind of came into it directly that way. But I kind of made the full 360 degree loop. I kind of started as a consultant, probably would have been happy doing that from day one. And one, if I couldn't have made enough money at it to live, I didn't have to commute into downtown Washington, DC every day from one of the Virginia suburbs.

(04:11): And those about the two plus hours in my life every day, I probably would have enjoyed just doing that. But I found that I enjoyed developing the systems and developing that. I really didn't even consider myself a home builder during my tenure building homes. I always referred to myself as an organization, organizational development specialist. You know, a lot of people know how to build houses. Very few people know how to build good companies. I think that's what kind of separates us. We know how to build houses and, but now we know how to build companies. We know how to develop people, you know, how to help builders go through all this pain and agony that we go through sometimes as a home builder. Not that it's not fun, but it's still awfully hard work and what we want to make sure we make some money at the end of the day, we want to make sure it's worth our effort. And after I always say after the first dozen or so houses, we don't need any more practice. We'd better be good at this.

(05:11): It's nice to get into a routine where you're starting to get compensated well for you for your time and effort. Cause it is, it's a, it's a difficult industry. We know that from your perspective, when they hear business consulting or business coaching or what, sometimes they didn't, they're not quite sure what to even make of that. What, what, what kind of,

(05:29): Yeah, absolutely. You're right. When somebody says, Hey, I'm a business management consultant that could mean a whole bunch of different things and none of the necessarily bad, it's just, that's a hard animal to get your arms around. So you have to look, I look at about five different disciplines that are in business management side of home building. The first is financial management. I told the one of my clients yesterday, this was a fellow that I've worked with for at least five or six years. Now. He said, I feel like I'm becoming an accountant, are working with you because you keep being, you know, going back into the software and looking up trial balances and general ledgers and looking at all this stuff. And I said, you know, something, if every CEO, the home owner of the home building company actually started in the financial management arena and graduated to it.

(06:14): We wouldn't have to be doing this. You would just do this automatically because you know, if you're going to manage a company by the numbers, you better know what the numbers are coming from. And you better know that the numbers are accurate and I'd hate for you to be dependent upon a bookkeeper to say, well, I thought my books were accurate because I've seen that a few times. I thought my books are accurate. They working really hard at them and then find out that guy thought he was making X profit and he was making an X minus 5% profit. And instead of growing his company and running new office space and hiring, you know, 10 new employees that year, he probably should have been contracting his company, working hard on improving his margins. And, and it was all because of, you know, trailing job costs.

(06:57): It ended up costing the builder, like I say, about 5% margin and a $6 million construction line of credit for reaching. I probably shouldn't say which bank, but from a bank from Alabama pulled this $6 million line of credit immediately. Not anymore. You know, after these construction loans are done, you're not going to get any more. It was, you're not getting more draws on these loans. Outstanding. So we had to go find him investor money, FNF financing, as we call it family and friends financing. And sometimes that's their family and friends. And sometimes that's outsiders, family, friends who were willing to make 10% loan, have enough money to finish building out of this house till we could get it straightened out just as a great example. The other things that business management means to us, financial management is kind of like the foundation of a home.

(07:44): I mean, without it, nothing's going to work, right? And from there, we talk about operational management and personnel. You know, you can have the best systems. You can have the fanciest software, you can have the best trucks, you can have everything just right. But if you don't have the right people in the right seats on the buses, they say, then that's a problem. And so a big part of business management is personnel management, knowing how to recruit, knowing how to screen the right employees for the right job, the right job for everybody. There is a job for everyone committed to that concept that there's the right job for everybody may not be in our industry. You may not be in our company and it may certainly not be the position this person is trying to get within our company, but there's a right job for everyone.

(08:30): We just want to make sure that when we put somebody in a position, whatever position that is for us, that it's, they have a fighting chance of success. The average turnover in our business runs between 25 and 30%. That's the average. So for everyone, that's running 10%, there's somebody else that's wrong. With 50% turnover, you can have 25 years of practice at something. Or you can have 25 individual years of doing the same thing over and over again with different environments. And they're not the same. A lot of our stuff has to do with businesses. A business management stuff has to do with personnel management. The next one is, is truly operations management. It's the construction side of the business and the pre-construction side. And we consider the pre-construction side to be equally important. And perhaps if you've got me alone, I'd probably say more important than the construction side.

(09:27): We have a lot of people that know how to build houses, but a lot of good shade contractors out there who will force us to kind of like if I'm your plumber and I see your house is getting close to being ready for a plumber and you haven't called me yet, I might call you up and go, Hey, am I going to plumb that house or not? So if you don't do it, somebody else has got to force it. The customer lives, you know, the bank. And when somebody is going to force your, your house to move forward. But if you don't do the pre-construction yourself, nobody's going to force you to do it. And back in my day, we built our average house was probably 18 to 22,000 square feet of full basement underneath it because we built an Ohio, a two car garage, probably about 440 square feet. Cause we built oversize garages in Ohio because everybody had a 20 foot long pickup truck. Of course all that good stuff. And we would build those houses in 70 days, but to build them in 70 days, we had a 90 day pre-construction cycle,

(10:24): Wayne and I joke around often that it's, it's a lot less expensive to fix something with an eraser than it is with a, with a wrecking bar.

(10:33): Oh baby, you, you, you, yeah, you were saying in our tune right now, you're preaching to the choir. We believe, we believe fully in that concept of, it's easier to fix it here in the air conditioned office, looking at it. And so we say it this way. We say, we want you to build the house seven or eight or 10. If you're a custom builder production builder, we say seven or eight times, but for a custom builder, 10 times in your head before we turn a shovel of dirt on the job site. And if you can do that with smart people, a variety of people on your team, looking at that job, analyzing it, figuring out what could go wrong with it and to deliver the very best job start packages. We call it to construction. Then you're going to be able to build a house faster. You're going to be able to build a house will increase profitability. You've got to be able to build it in a better time of construction, regardless of what type of project it is. And and most importantly with better customer satisfaction and equally important, better trade and employee satisfaction.

(11:34): Everybody wins in that scenario. And it, from a business standpoint, you have predictability. You're going into, you're digging the hole, actually starting the project with a known profit level, with a known outcome. Your clients have a degree of certainty that they can afford it. And we're dealing mainly in the in the customer owns here. But your clients know a bunch of things too. They know they know that they're going to love it because it's been well thought out and they can visualize it. They know that they can afford it. They know when it's going to be done. And he was a builder, you know, which trades and sometimes not is which trade partner, but right down to which crew is doing it because all of the proper specs and plans are, are there. So we are so onboard with what you are talking about here. Absolutely. And I'm going to do, I'm going to dive into the pre-construction a little bit later. I know you were, I think you would talk about maybe five disciplines here. So I'm going to let you finish on those and then we might go back to the

(12:28): Yeah. The so would that be in the kind of the pre-construction part of it, then everything in the system, most people consider it to be the construction part of the business, but I consider it the entire overview part of the business and that's what we call even flow. It doesn't matter if you're a custom builder and you're going to build six homes a year. I want to build those houses. I'm going to start those houses every two months for 12 months, assuming we're in Charlotte or Orlando or someplace like that. If I have, if I'm back up in Northern Ohio where I built, you know, I might have to start those 6,000 in nine months. Right? And so instead of doing every two, two months, I might have to be every six weeks to start one, but I don't want to start. As I had a client just recently, a new client.

(13:10): Fortunately, I looked at just way, we haven't built everything in this little database. We used to call it a critical management reporting systems, CMRs. And now I actually gave the software to a programmer and it, and he's a Madeira soft. And so it's mid ever see him now, but what it does is it measures sales starts closing and start projections, closing projections, gross margins, those types of things, all the things that technical accounting software just doesn't do a good job of either reporting on or gathering the data or both. And he put everything in and he looked like he was going to build on the next six months, he was going to start like 25 houses, but it was like one a month for like six months and then five in one month. And I said, well, if you can do five and then you legitimately think you can, why aren't you doing five every month?

(14:02): Because obviously if you can do that, you've got five framers. You've got five drywall guys. You've got five foundation crews. Those are my biggest duration trades. And those are usually the ones that hold you up the most. And then you must have superintendents capable or construction managers, project managers call them what you will capable of handling five starts in a month. So why keep it? And if that's, well, that's not really true. It just, we, we have to get them done by the end of the year. And I said, well, you know, you get it. You'll want to get it done in a yearly period. And if you're going to do 25 it's two a month, no, that gets you to 24. And okay. During the dead of the summer, when the weather is best and everything, we'll squeeze one more start in and you'll get your 25 starts.

(14:45): And if you can even flow those. So you, you mentioned a word earlier when we were talking here and that was predictability. You know, you're predictable, you're consistent. Those are my two most important words, consistent predictability of walking you're going to do. And, and again, it doesn't matter if you're a custom builder, a lot of people think, well, that's a production builder builds the same houses over and over again. He's consistent. Predictable. Yeah. And I certainly a little easier in that environment, but if you're a custom builder, I want you to be somewhat consistent too. I thought the custom guys, I tell them, first thing I tell them is, look, I know enough about custom building to know I can screw you up real fast. So let me, let me preface on that. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, same thing with remodel, but I'll tell you this much.

(15:28): If you're a custom builder, you should still be predictable. Or are you going to build everything from a $600,000 house on somebody slot and a $6 million house on somebody's slot? That's not very predictable. That's not very consistent. You know, that that takes different trade contractors. That takes a different superintendent to hold somebody's hand $6 million. You know, it's gonna be more of those people that just like, whatever you say, sir, you know, we're infant takes us 22 months to build your house. So be it, by the time we get that, it might be closer to 7 million, but so be it we'll have it done

(16:03): A quick reminder that the best way to get the most out of this podcast is to engage with the builder nuggets community, visit our website@buildernuggets.com and follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Yeah. It's such a stress on everything. If you, like you said, if you were going to house a month, two hours a month and then suddenly six or eight. Yeah. Everything is stressed. Your businesses, stress, your systems, your trades, people, everything. That's when the wheels come off the cart, I've never heard it. I've never heard it called even flow before. But like that sounds like, it sounds like as a builder, you have to face, you can either control the flow or the flow will control you. And there's no question about it. I mean, I just, after I told this concept, it's a lot of people there, the most difficult guy, he was in North Carolina over in Wilmington to convince her. This was a guy who he'd been in business for 20 years. He just wanted to be beggar. He just wanted to be, he was already built in 300 houses.

(17:06): They wanted to be bigger annual. You want to be bigger. And I kept telling him, I said, you know, some, the problem is, is you got high turnover. He had customer mediocre, customer satisfaction. And most importantly to me, because it's the key metric for success longterm for a home builder is he hadn't mediocre to two week gross profit margins. I said, I can guarantee you will make more money if we lower the volume and get it under control and become predictable and consistent. And he just fought it, he fought it for years. He would call me up every couple of years and go, Hey, look, I need you to help me do something. And all that. Sometimes it was, I need you to help me to interview these people who I'm thinking about hiring you know, in that, yes, I sure. You know, to be perfectly honest with you, I'd probably be charged them more than I would have charged him if he was being more cooperative on the other things.

(17:55): But I, I didn't work with them. Like I do a lot of my clients where I'm literally at distant member of their manager because he just wouldn't accept my basic core principles. And then he called, he did this three or four, five times had me come out and facilitate planning sessions with them on an almost annual basis for a couple of years. And finally, I didn't hear from him for about 24 months phone rang one day. And I looked, I saw who it was. I said, Oh, do I want to answer this phone? You know, and go through this again. How much time do you wasting your life telling people the same thing over and over again, children in front of talking about,

(18:28): Yeah, I'm stuck on even flow again because we started talking about this in terms of the predictability and being able to structure your business for your starts and your closes. And I'm sure it transcends right through resource management, capital management, trade management, availability, all those sorts of things. But the story you just told us that's even flow in terms of mindset. Self-Improvement like, you can't just go on and turn on. I need this as a fix, you need to be working on this stuff constantly. Your innovation needs to be any even flow. Your education needs to be an even flow. Otherwise you're going to be coming back and being responsive. Instead of the things that you're talking about right now, which is being proactive, working on these things from day one, analyzing the numbers, and now you've got somebody who's not only firefighting in the market. They're firefighting internally to figure out what do I do next? What do I do next? And they're constantly chasing instead of working on it a bit at a time that even flow applies in a lot of different places

(19:22): It does. And that gentleman finally got humbled and said, you know, Hey, no, I'm, I'm assuming it's this time. I want you to come in and tell us one more time. And the reason I want you to tell us one more time. As I got three people here that are key to my organization, they told me that they're going to quit. If they don't, if we don't fix this, what's going on and everything they tell me that I should be doing to fix it kind of sounds like stuff you've told me before. So I need you to come back in. So I did. And the, the year before they had built, you'd been in business for 21 years. The year before they had built 340 houses, we're trying to do five, 400, but then never get there. We moved in back. The following year to three starts a month or three starts a week, 150 houses figuring 50 weeks in a year.

(20:03): I take the Christmas week off and hunting seat the first week of hunting season. And you got 50 weeks building. So we took them back to 50. The first year he had a bunch of bad lots, and because he was trying to grow so big, he had a bunch of bad deals floating out there, and we had to clean that up. But the second full year that he was on this 50 houses, or excuse me, 150 houses a year, three, three of everything, three every week in pre-construction, we took the pre-construction cycle broken into eight weeks. So he's 60 day pre-con cycle, eight weeks with something to be done, three of everything every week. And then three starts. Construction starts being the key startling. We call it the slot system. That's the key slot is the construction star. We can't bury that one. We can't close it until we start it. Sales doesn't matter as much. I can sell 10 houses in a week. I just can't tell them all. They're going to start at the same time, right? If I can only do three a week, I say the first three you're going to get this week. The next three are going to get the next week, The flow of the slots, and then same in the custom business too. Like we've talked about

(21:10): If you're only going to do four and then do one every quarter, don't try to do four and one quarter. And somehow you miraculously going to build eight or 10 if you've never done it before. But the fifth one is just the wrap up the whole, you know, what's involved in business management for home builders, from our perspective is business planning and the specific part of business planning, we call strategic planning. Okay. Strategic planning is different than the business plan. Oftentimes is that thing that we do when we first get in business, we're trying to attract investors from China, you know, show the bank what we're going to do. So that loan us some money or give us some construction loans, et cetera. And the strategic plan takes that. And the big, hairy, audacious goal, it says associated with that. And what is your final vision?

(21:55): What do you want to do with this company? And I'll never forget this. And then a meeting shortly after I joined the humbling company in Ohio, probably 1988 or so. And we were in a what's it called, what was called then a coaching group. And that coaching group had David weekly homes. I remember David weekly, the coach, the consultant that we had, who was the coach of the group. He had to challenged us to come to this meeting out in Utah. We met twice a year at various places, and he challenged us to come to the meeting with a big, hairy, audacious goal for our company. David weekly stood up or actually had his second command. John Johnson stand up and said, our goal is to be the largest privately held home builder as measured by number of closed units in the country. Now, the one thing that the consultant didn't do, he didn't get us to put a date on it, to kind of tie it all together and really make it measurable.

(22:47): That was 1988. David Weekley accomplished that goal in 2015. At the time in 1988, he was a one market builder, Houston, Texas building in between 200 and 250 houses in that one market. So when he stood up or had this guy stand up and say, we want to be the largest privately held building in the country, that was a pretty challenging goal. And it took him 27 years to accomplish. And the only reason he accomplished that in 15 was because Shea Holmes, who had been the largest and weekly was the number two privately held builder for five or six years, got bought in 2014 by a public company. And so it was no longer a privately held building. So those are the five disciplines planning being the first and the last, if you've always used it, the last thing we think about, but it's the first thing we should be doing.

(23:35): Risk averse standpoint. What are some specific things that you, you teach you coach on around risk? Maybe it's in planning, maybe it's in pre-construction, but what, what is it you try to do to keep that Neil

(23:46): Keep that in the big risk word? I think the key risk is, you know, less let's look at it for a minute. We don't have land. And it w if we're doing things all on the, the Nicholas, they say, or the construction loan of our customer, like most custom builders, like I used to do, you know, I I'm a very risk adverse person. I was an accountant originally. I go back far enough that I was working in the late sixties and the early, early seventies, I was a school teacher and a bunch of other stuff. And I wasn't terribly, I wasn't the deal maker kind of person that showed up in the home building business and, you know, throwing money around that. I was not a developer. I wasn't, I ended up being a builder if you will. And the biggest thing is, you know, so we're kind of protected from what the normal big production builder has.

(24:33): The biggest liability they have is just debt in the form of land and a form of construction loans. It's just constantly carrying debt is usually three times in a good company is three times their equity in their firm. Okay. And it could be a lot higher than that. So we as custom build nerves is on your lot builders as remodelers. We do eliminate that part. So where's the next big thing. The next big thing is overspending in overhead and not making enough margin on the jobs that we do. Those are the two biggest risks that we have. If we're not stockpiling cash, when the market's good and the only way to stockpile cash, if they have overhead under control, we're going to be making the correct margins. Then we can survive the down charge if we're not stockpiling cash from the time's good because this is all billing and this is construction and there are cycles in the business.

(25:24): You know, I miss the love, the marketing, the humbling market, because it was very predictable from 1946, after the second world war through 1996, you know, we had every six to eight years, we had a cycle. We had a, maybe a year or 18 months in the bar. We had a, you know, nine or 15 months going up. We had two years at the top. We had a year going down and, you know, sometimes that was a five-year cycle. Sometimes that was a seven year cycle, but it worked that way, that in the difference between the top and the bottom was usually only about 20, 25%, right. Marketing, you know, the market would go down that much, but that would make it a buyer's market as opposed to a sellers market. Then in 96, you know, we went on this extended almost 10 year uptick in residential.

(26:10): And then of course coming out of it, neither 2006 to 2008, depending upon what part of the country, you are only one on this extended five year downward spiral, and then started coming back much more gradually. So I kind of yearned for those days where I kind of knew that the goods were going to be good. And we knew we had to stockpile money because the bads were coming, but they weren't going to be so bad. You know, here in Orlando is a great example. In 2005, we pulled 21,000 building permits, new construction, building permits residential in 2009, four years later, we pulled 1900 permits. If the math, I mean, that's, you know, companies and it goes to everybody's livelihood, you know, just terrible. But you know, it came back and it will always come back. So like answering your question though, the areas are, I always tell all my builders, look, the first thing you need to do is build up a cash reserve to protect yourself.

(27:11): One from income tax two, from operating expenses and three from capital expenditures. Now for production builder, capital expenditures is terrible because it's a land. Okay. But for custom builders, capital expenditures might be equipment might be, vehicles might be, you know, a new office, you know, et cetera. So whatever it is, I just had a, a builder who's on your lot builder. So he doesn't have to worry about land. You had one month, one market Mid-Atlantic States. He had one market. He served for a number of years doing quite well, 60 houses a year, he's got to open up a second market. That was part of our strategic plan. He's very risk adverse. So what do we do? And I said, look, I know how risk adverse you are. I don't want you to have to worry about the loan. I don't want you to have to worry about this.

(27:58): I said, we're not going to open up the second office until you haven't cash in a separate account to pay for it. We figured out it was going to cost $1.2 million. So it took us a couple of years to set aside at $1.2 million and literally in an interest bearing account. And now we've got enough money and he never had to go. So he just finished. He just, this August opened up is a second model home location right down on the, almost on the beach. And he is going to his office, the design center remodel, and it was on altogether cost like 1.2 million. By the time we got it all finished, but now it's paid for it. Totally. So when you got, you just have to set aside money from those expenditures and fewer, Hey, next year, I'm going to buy two trucks. Well, you know, it used to be two trucks, cost us 30,000 bucks.

(28:43): Today, two trucks can pass us 80,000 bucks, 90,000 bucks, a hundred thousand bucks. Then once you consider the truck, so you set that money aside and pay don't, you know, just don't borrow money, long story short, when you don't need money, the bank will give you money. And I always suggest another way to protect yourself is when the bank is willing, you know, they call you up and say, Hey, I haven't heard from you for a while. You need anything. That's a good time to send me your books look good. That's a good time for you to say, yeah, you know, wouldn't hurt for me to have a quarter million dollar line of credit, an operating line of credit. Well, what are you going to, you know you know, here we can, you know, build up a good enough balance sheet financially that you can get a 250 or a hundred.

(29:25): You know, if you're a small female and maybe it's a hundred thousand that protects you. If you need that money, because, Hey, I got closings. They're going to happen next week. Or I got draws are going to happen next week, but I got some bills that have to be paid this week. Where do I going to get that money? Well, you know, the last thing you want to do in today's marketplace is stretch your shady contractors and stretch your, your suppliers out. Because as soon as you do that, you no longer get the best price. I can talk about this stuff all day, as you could tell, but it's, again, it's all in line with the theme of what we talk about here on the show is sharing what you know, you've obviously you've learned through the years, there's been some experiences that probably haven't gone great.

(30:04): That puts you in a position to say, Hey, you know what? Because of that, we're got to make sure that we keep our powder dry, you know, a risk averse model, something we push for all the time, without a doubt. This is good stuff. Give the listeners just a little bit, maybe just real quickly, some of the services you offer from a consulting standpoint and then how they can, how they can find you and get in touch with you. That's a way to get in touch with me is through email. I'm always on email and most of the time I'm on the phone doing my consulting. So really good way to get me. And my email address is B as in Bob, w H I T T E n@snaps.com. That's SMA like Steve Mossman and associates. Steve Mossman is who SMA is named after my late partner passed away about 11 years ago now.

(30:51): And ops sharp for operations sent me an email. And, and let's talk about anything you're interested in. I'll usually try to answer all the questions that come through in 24 hours and the big thing that for most builders, regardless of what side of the industry that you're in, the one service that we offer, it probably has the most opportunity you can find it on our website is our personality profiling as part of the screening process for hiring people. Yeah. Thanks. We appreciate having you on here today. It was great. I'm sure we'll be speaking again. Thanks. Yeah, let me know if I can do anything far yet. It's nice to be with you. Nice to meet you. And I look forward to helping in any way I can. It sounds good. And Bob, just to reiterate you and I talked about this prior, but the whole concept of what we're doing here with the, with the podcast and the community building and our guest community is, you know, it's just another Avenue for folks out there to realize that there are tons of things, whether it's builder 20 groups or modelers, advantage consulting, things like you offer, it's a way to connect.

(31:51): So if we can help connect somebody with you or same thing, if you think there's something that folks might be able to do get out of the community here. That's what it's all about. Very good.

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