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A business developer shares how she took a top Salt Lake City Custom Home Builder to new levels by practicing, understanding her team’s value, and telling the right stories.

Show highlights include:

  • I really believe in what we do. That’s the most important part (9:15)
  • The weird way the crisis made buyers okay with investing more for their home (17:14) 
  • The 3 critical ingredients for keeping sales coming in as you grow and scale your custom homes business (19:13) 
  • How simply saying your wildest goals out loud can magically help you manifest them (21:04) 
  • How to receive referrals like clockwork (35:42) 
  • In this kind of environment we are selective about what types of projects we do. We simply don’t have the capacity to work with everybody (45:01)

If you’d like check out the amazing homes Karen builds, follow Alair Homes Salt Lake on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/alairhomessaltlake 

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

Read Full Transcript

So I sat there and I thought to myself, wow, what an impact, not smiling had

Welcome to builder nuggets hosted by Dwayne Johns and Dave young. Hey, our mission is simple, build freedom. We are a couple of entrepreneurs turned business coaches who have dedicated ourselves to helping our builder remodeler clients create the most rewarding businesses in the industry. My co-host Dwayne has been a successful builder and remodeler for over 30 years. He's seen the highs and the lows. From the beginning though, Dwayne has been on a quest to find a better way to run a contracting business. In 2016, he found that better way. That's how I met Dave, a lifelong entrepreneur and visionary who measures his success by the success of those around him. He reached out one day with a formula on how to transform my business and the rest is history. Since then, we've teamed up to help hundreds of contractors like you build better businesses and better lives. Now we've decided to open up our network and share our secrets so we can start moving the needle with you. It's collaboration over competition. Each week, we bring together industry peers and experts who share their stories so that we can all build freedom together. .

(01:09): Our show is big on elevating our community of businesses and creating real value for them. Today. We're digging into the finer points of how to do that with someone who has recently had major success, breakthroughs, the breakthroughs came as a result of a plan and lots of, of practice. She is the business development leader of one of salt lake city's most decorated custom builders. She comes from multiple generations of builders, but didn't originally follow that path with her team. She has created programs that allow her organization to understand their value and amplify their story. It's resonating with influencers, clients and the law local community. And we're pretty sure it's going to have impact with you two. We welcome Karen Tiberius, vice president, client development with the layer homes, salt lake city. Welcome Karen.

(01:54): Thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here. Yeah, we're excited to have you on. So I hear it's is it, is it true, I guess that you were once a speech writer that was my original plan. I was really active in con competitive speaking in high school and college paid for all my schooling. I majored in political science and communications, and that was my life plan was I, I wanted to be, you know, Peggy Newan. I wanted to be a speech writer for politicians. And after graduating from Weber state university got involved in some campaigns in Washington state. I hated it it was not a good fit for me. not a good fit for you. So there must have been a change of gears somewhere. I mean, so how did all of this lead to the construction industry?

(02:46): So my dad and my granddad were both builders. I grew up around job sites, grew up in the industry. My mother ran their construction office and I have tons of memories of, you know, getting in the backhoe with my uncle major when he was digging for a foundation, sitting at a drafting table with my dad, as he drew out house plans, he did a lot of his own drafting and design. And my dad was really great at every aspect of building. He could do everything in house himself. He could wire, he could plum everything. And so just remembered, you know, growing up on those, those job sites. And then later when I was a young adult, my mother finally decided that she'd go get her real estate license, became a realtor. And I always function focused on new construction and land development.

(03:44): And after my kids got a little bit older and they were in school, she said, Hey, why don't you go get your license can be my assistant. So I did. And I just found that I had a knack for it. I understood it. So with my mom for many years, one of my other sisters ended up joining us at one point. And we were a successful real estate team for several years. But then the market had a major shift. As you know, about 2008 through 11, you just had this major shift. And my, my mom decided to retire. My sister. We'd always had a lot of builders that we'd worked with and my sister decided she didn't like new construction, but I did. So I stayed in that field and, and have been pretty exclusively focused just on new construction. Since about 2013, Was that with Jeremy and Jesse at that time with true Haven homes,

(04:42): It was not, it was actually with semi production builder that is here local in the salt lake valley and worked for them from 2007, till about 2013 or no, I guess it was about 2011. And at that time, the, the market here was stuff, the ring pretty bad. And they had two, you know, sales agents that were working for them. One was the O one of the owner's sons and myself, and they didn't the son and the dad didn't get along very well. So it was kind of interesting to see how that dynamic was gonna work out, but they pulled me into the one day and said, Hey, we, we have to lay off one of you. We don't have enough for both. And Craig kept telling me, Karen, I really don't wanna let you go, cuz Doug and I do not get along.

(05:31): And Doug was there and he's like, ain't that the truth? But he said, I think my wife will divorce me if I fire my son. So I'm really sorry. And I didn't have a builder anymore. So I went and I found another one again, it was a semi production builder worked for them till about 2013. They were at that time, bought out by a, a national name brand at least a more national, not just exclusive to Utah, mostly Western United States name. And it just wasn't a fit for me anymore to do just this mass production. And I've always been involved in at least semi custom if not full custom. So at that time I had a decision to make and I almost got out the industry altogether. I applied to a master's program in psychology. I had this idea that I wanted to be a special master and got accepted to the master's program.

(06:30): And at that same time, I had had a friend of mine, tell me about this great builder. He knew Jeremy and Jesse IO and build team, and they needed a new sales agent. They had decided that they needed to let their current agent go and you really should come interview. So I went ahead and I went and interviewed. And ironically at that same time, this was about 2015. The builder that I had previously worked for, where they let me go in lieu of letting their son go called me back and said, Hey, you wanna come back to work? And it was a really hard decision cuz I loved those people. I worked for them for years, we got along great. We were had great energy and great team effort, but I knew that what the icons were doing was what I wanted to truly do.

(07:24): And they were focused on custom homes, specific homes, designed for families versus a speculation home and specific homes are just more fun than spec homes. So I'm a spiritual person. I got down on my knees and prayed about it and I felt like I was supposed to go with the I, I Econo company tree Haven homes and they offered it to me a couple days after my interview and I've never looked back and didn't go into the master program. And I really felt like I was led there. So it's been a great experience working for them. We have a great team. And that was again, when was that? Just time wise. It was in 2015, January of 20 15, 15 Been quite a bit of excitement and has challenge and fun and no looking back there, you've had you know, a lot going on with that team over the last six years or so, correct? Yeah.

(08:20): We went from, you know, about 5 million a year and I think we're gonna probably complete in construction about 26 million this year and we've set goals with each other. I remember the first time we set the goal of doing 10 million and then a couple years ago we had the goal of doing 20 million. We flew that one out of the water. We've got about 46 million in some place in our pipeline right now with 20, about 26 in active construction right now. Wow. That's pretty strong that that's amazing. And, and clearly your role has evolved from being, you know, it started out as a sales agent, but you know, now as the vice president of, you know, client development and ultimately you're a business, you have a business development, leadership role that you're working on. How did you see your own role grow? And, and what are the things that you focus on focus on now? And then, then we'll, we we've spoken before about some of the plans and some of the key things it takes in order to create an amazing business development or client development experience. So, but I, I think it starts with that transition from being just a sales agent or what was seen as, I, I shouldn't say just a sales agent because a lot of people think of the role of a realtor coming over to join a builder is you're just representing the homes. You're not, you're representing the whole company. You're, you're teaching people about the relationship at all, all different levels. And you guys are highly involved with your community. You've gone through a whole transition from, to a layer during this, this process. Like you've managed a lot, learned a lot of things and are, have come up the other, their side with a plan and some great success stories. So let's dive into some of that. Yeah.

(10:00): Well I think the first thing that is the most important about how my role was able to grow in the company is that I really believe in what we do even before we made a transition in our business model. I believed in the people that I worked for, I got to know them on a pretty deep level and we just have a consistent culture we believe, and we want the same things. And so that was part of it. But I also had to believe in the bus business model and how we were different. And I had to commit myself to, yes, this is the way to give our clients a one of a kind experience. So they end up with a home that is specific for them. It's not just S home it's, it's the place where they go to rejuvenate, regenerate their respite from the world, which has become more important now than ever and how we deliver or this experience.

(10:58): So I think the first part was understanding what our business model is and how I can be part of that. I think the other thing that helped me grow out to become more than a sales agent with them is Jerem. Thankfully included me in experiencing what it was like to project manage a home. So I I've done project management in our company. I have done it from project planning all the way through the final in construction. So it helped me grow my understanding of building so that I can convey that to the client better. They know that I know how to build a house. And so the credibility, I think that creates with the client is really important. And it's important for trust with the client that I don't have to stop and say, well, wait, I don't know. I need to go talk to the builder. It keeps me from being viewed as a junior role and it helps them, I think, trust me more in this role of client development that I'm there, there for them to nurture them through the whole process, not just to sign the paperwork on the first day,

(12:11): Do you think they even feel like gets a sales role that you're in? Do the clients even know? I don't think so. well, that, that's pretty, I, I don't think they're, they think I am. Yeah. That that's pretty amazing that they don't even realize it is. And that, that you're out doing that type of you're developing that relationship with them. You're becoming a trusted guide. You're looking out for their best interests and they don't even realize that previously this was something that was seen as a sales experience. So that's pretty awesome to be able to do that. Yeah. And I think too, you really embraced, and I'm not sure it, it sounds like I'm sure it probably wasn't, you know, spelled right out as soon as you came on board, but as you, as you all work together and started to really collaborate together on what this is, is probably when this really moved from a sales to type role to more of that true business development role. And I think you've definitely without a doubt, you've embraced the, the, the business development role.

(13:01): And I'd like it, if you go into that a little bit, cuz sometimes that even that term or title business developer I think it gets used loosely, but I think your idea of really understanding where the company wants to go, all those things that are needed for, from a culture standpoint, belief standpoint, that's huge. And I think it's, it's definitely been, you see that, well, you see the results from, from what you guys have done there. So if you could maybe just touch a little bit on it when you started to embrace that role and what you thought that role really looked like. They made a transition a few years ago from being, you know, a local company to being part of a national brand. And when they did that, it changed the business model. And so we went from doing some speculative building to only doing specific building. And when you do that, it really does cut out the need for a sales agent or realtor role, right? Because there's not necessarily going to be as much listing on the MLS or, or listings period, as far as real estate transactions go, we don't do traditional real estate transactions. 90% of the time. We never owned a lot that we're building on. If we're doing a new home, they came to us with that land or we're doing a renovation. So there's no land transaction transaction going on anywhere. There's no title changing hands. And so because of that, we had to understand what was my role going to be if I made this transition with me and when they first came to me with this business model and showed it to me, I thought, oh man, man, this is amazing.

(14:32): Ya oughta do it. I recognized that there's probably, I might be talking myself out of a job. There might not be a role for me here anymore. And thankfully we had developed such a, a great relationship and I had insured my value with them enough that they said, there's no way we're doing this without you. We're gonna figure out where you fit in. And so we've, we've had to go through and develop that. And part of how we have done that is through our client development operational plan. So since there wasn't a role spelled out for a sales agent inside this new company that they had joined, we, we to really work together and figure out where I would be beneficial to them in, in the company going forward. And instead of dead weight, you don't want dead weight staff on, on your payroll. We need to have that person contributing.

(15:26): And so we had to look at where, where were my strengths and how we could use those in the new business model. And so we created a really detailed client development, operational plan, and that helped carve out what part of the workload for those clients. I was gonna take on my plate so that we could all, you know, work to our strengths and, and work as a cohesive team. So we, we outlined that, I mean, down to the nitty gritty detail of where am I uploading we paperwork here and you know, her responsibility are these things. And one of the major responsibilities that I've had is I I'm the contracts expert in our office and I'm, I'm delivering contracts, making sure clients understand those, but I'm also viewed as their personal concierge through this whole planning process for, for the build and then continuing that on through construction.

(16:26): So we've wanted to tailor it more towards me being that concierge through the process. And I, I, I think that role has worked out well in our particular office in terms of distributing workload and making sure that there's balance in the office and then also giving the clients a third party that they can go to as kind of a buffer maybe between a PM and an owner. I, if that need arises, arises as well. So there's conflict resolution that I have to handle from time to time, not very often, but I mean, there's little areas up to big areas of conflict, obviously in a build people, this is their most serious investment that they make for most people in their lifetime in terms of both finances and definitely emotion. And, and I think one of the really interesting things that COVID has done is it's changed buying criteria for buyers. They consider a new home a lot differently than they did two, three years ago because they've spent more time in their homes, locked down. A lot of times they've picked apart what they don't like. They have, have decided what they need going forward and they're willing to invest more money and emotion because they know that they might be spending a lot of time here in the future. And because there's a level of uncertainty now in the world that we didn't have three years ago,

(17:49): It, it must have been exciting and liberating and freeing for you to, to be able to come in and to be given so much leeway within this, you know, new structure to be able to go and put your own stamp on it and to develop your own, you know, client development plan. You always fun when you get to be the, the master of your own destiny and, and work, collaborate on that with with your team. So congratulations because before you were, you know, you were searching for, you know, you thought you were gonna be a speech writer and you were searching for psychology. And now here you get an opportunity where you think you're coming on as a sales rep and you get the freedom and the leeway to go out and create something meaningful backed by a, by a team and an organization that are, that are all working on elevating you, and you start to have some impact. So you shared with us before that part of your role is not just client development, but it's also other relationships within the building community with designers, architects, the that's really a big part of, of what you do as well. Walk us through some of the, some of your, the work that you get to do there and the community as well. Because I, we know that you've been very involved in different community things too. So it's not just the client that you're developing. It's, it's the, the relationship with the community, the relationship with market partners, the relationship with architects goes way beyond just the client,

(19:11): Right? So one of the things that we also decided that we needed to do was create a firm foundation for ourselves and, and keeping the, the company growing. And so we, we had to collaborate and decide, how are we gonna support that foundational platform of our sales? And we decided as a team that really we needed, you know, three legs to that, that platform and what would those three legs be? So the first leg that, that we decided was really important is developing a really symbiotic relationship with a structural design firm or multiple good structural design firms. And we made a list and we wanted it to be an ambitious list of who do we think are the best structural designers in our salt lake area. And there was a particular designer that we had seen a lot of his homes be built. And they're just cool. I mean, there's, there's no way it's really difficult to, to describe they are, they are beyond homes. They are works of art.

(20:26): Karen, just, just to be clear, when you say structural designer, it's almost like the architectural design on, on the, on the big, your picture. Not, not a structural engineer more. Yeah, right, Right. A structural designer. Yeah. We in Utah, most people who most people would think are architects are actually designers, structural designers. They don't have the full architecture license. And so thank you for giving that clarification, Dwayne. Yes. Most of the time, it's what most people would think of as an architect. And we wanna delineate them from interior designers who are not necessarily, you know, physically developing the structural sticks and bricks elements of the home. So there was a particular design firm that we just had our eye on and we set it out loud. Finally, we, we wanna build an up wall design and it seems like, you know, once you say something out loud, it somehow, it, your belief in that it leads you to the manifestation of that. And pretty quickly after that happened, we have had a client come to us that we had been working with for a while, who they had picked a, an architectural design team and didn't really get what they needed.

(21:37): And so without us, they just went to this, this designer up while design and got their plans off on the right track and low and behold, while I had been working on one of our other legs of our strategy, which I'll talk about later, a market partnership with development. And I had secured a developer agreement, and these lots are really challenging, lots to build on. They are up on the mountain side, overlooking the salt lake valley at, by the university of Utah. And they had some challenging building envelopes. So you really had to have, it could not just be any structural design team. It really needed an artist. And then somebody who could understand unique building envelopes. And so we had the opportunity to market those properties with our name on it. And we took them to this design firm and created a really great relationship where now we're receiving referrals from that design team.

(22:40): And they're kind of, I mean, they're up all design is one of the premier architectural firms in, in the state of Utah. They are, you've made it if you're building it up while design. So we are really excited that we've got three of their homes in construction right now. And we've got a fourth that's in the works and pretty excited about that and how that has just changed the, the dynamic in our office, because we made a goal set out on a path of how we were gonna make that happen and we made it happen. And so we really think it's important in our office to say things out loud. So they become goals and then set forth the strategy of how you're gonna accomplish that goal. And when we initially said it out loud, it may have seemed like it was far away, but then we made a w we created a path of how we were gonna get there. And I think that was really pivotal that we believed that we could do it. And we did it

(23:52): Wanna level up, connect with us to share your stories, ideas, challenges, and successes. The builder nuggets community is built on your experiences. It takes less than a minute to connect with us@buildernuggets.com, Facebook or Instagram. Want access to the resources that can take you and your team to the next level. One call could change everything. So what were some of those steps? Like, it sounds like you got the right team, you got the right belief system, your mindset is go, we're going to, this is who we wanted to attract. What, what were some of the specific steps that you took to make sure that you were successful?

(24:27): Well, part of it was, you have to find the right, I mean, location, location, location in real estate. Right. And part of it is, and up, up well design or some of these higher end designs don't belong in every neighborhood. Right? And so the challenge is you gotta find in the spot where that would be appropriately located. And so we identified that location and then went after that development with the idea that we would become the preferred builder for that neighborhood, but we didn't wanna have to purchase land in order to do that. Because one of the things that is part of our business model is it's risk averse. And it, these lots were a million dollars, which means you're not just gonna go stick, you know, an average million dollar house on a million dollar lot. That's that wouldn't be proportional. And so understanding that, okay, these lots are $1 million. Understanding that land is typically about 25% of what the, the build is going to be on the final cost. Okay. Now we have to find a project that will support a $5 million build, right. And that is where we're looking at, okay. At this design firm would be appropriate for this neighborhood. And those will be consistent elements. It'll be a cohesive design for the neighborhood. And it, it just makes sense. And so that took about six months to convince that developer that we were the team. And

(26:03): That's a story we wanna hear as, as well, cause that you can't just say, you know, we walked in and we had this vision for the plan and the developer said, yeah, you're gonna be the exclusive representative of our 14 million lot portfolio. That's really hard to, yeah. You don't just say beetle juice, peel juice, Pele juice. And it happens. Yeah, Of course his first, you know, that one, I don't know. Do you want me to go ahead and get into that now? How Sure. I mean, as a business developer, I mean, that's, that's sort of a, like, that's a home run for any business developer who can bring together this marriage of what you're talking about of, okay. The build team, the architectural design team, and then the, the, the developer bringing that all together. When you didn't really have that much of a preexisting relationship with either one, you just had it in your mindset that this will work. We're gonna put it all together. And now you have to convince them. It's one thing for you to believe it and have the team and know that everybody is the right fit. But how do you communicate that to all the parties in a way that, you know, right. Helps 'em to overcome the traditional thing, where they want you to buy a bunch of lots and, you know, we'll give you three. And you know, all the things that everybody listening has, has tried to overcome before. So how'd you do it,

(27:19): It did not happen overnight. This was six months of working with this particular developer and talking back and forth and helping him understand that this really was the best strategy for your subdivision. His subdivision sat complete for about two years, no sales. And so I had one client where that would've been an appropriate location for took them up there, looked around, develop, sees me up there and wants to have some more information. So they requested a meeting and we sat down and discussed the neighborhood. And of course his first thing is, okay, I want you to buy one lot or two lots. I want you to buy two lots. I want you to put a spec home on one and you can advertise the other. I, I just had to explain to him, you know, it doesn't really work that way with us, and it really wouldn't be a service to you with this development.

(28:12): If we did it that way. When you think about spec homes versus specific home building, where do you think you're gonna get a better product in the builders spec home or a home that's being specifically for a family to meet their specific needs? And of course the answer is the specific home is always gonna be the more financially invested in home. It it's going to have nicer finishes. It's just gonna be a better product overall. And how is that gonna affect neighborhood and creating the atmosphere for, for your neighborhood? Versus if I just put up, you know, what I'm willing to risk on my basic spec home and keeping in mind that this is a million dollar lot. So we're remembering the law of force. That means the overall project value should be least 5 million. How many people do you know out there that are willing to spend 5 million on a home that are willing to accept the builder spec?

(29:16): Or do they want something specific? Which do you think it is? And they do not want builder spec. I, I promise you, they do not want the builder spec. They have a very, very specific things that they want in there. And so he asked me what, you know, to give him some examples of what I foresaw being something that people would specifically want up there. And we shared with them, one of our client's homes that was being developed by that particular architectural design firm at the ti that time. And as soon as he saw that, he's like, yep, you're right. That's exactly what it should be. And I said, why don't you just give us one lot? Let's just try it out. Let's just see, see what's happens. I don't know what's gonna happen. You know, we, we, haven't done a, an agreement like this on million dollar, lots before, and I don't know what's gonna happen, but why don't we just try it and see what happens?

(30:09): And so he subordinated a lot to us, allowed us to advertise it as if it was our own lot. We put up, you know, gorgeous pictures over various, you know, social media. We, we did utilize our local, multiple listing service, as well as any other internet medium that you could use for advertising a home for sale. We advertised it as a, to be built home, making sure that everybody understood this, this could be built. It doesn't have to be built. We can build whatever you want on here. We had our first contract within 30 days, and the whole subdivision was sold out in about nine months. After that, it created the momentum that was necessary. The first person that we got there in that neighborhood, we did take into up wall design. Again, these lot building op envelopes were really challenge. In some areas. We literally had 26 feet to work with on the building envelope.

(31:08): And what he produced for this lot was absolutely breathtaking. Amazing, wow, everybody who looked at it, I shared it with the developer because there's our architectural review committee and that he was the head of and got the design approved. And of course, you know, he's showing that to every other person that called him on a lot afterwards. But we, we started out with just an agreement on one lot, and it was the worst lot in the whole subdivision, but that generated a sell on a different lot, a whole, a project. It sold the project out, and then he started referring all the builds to us. Right. And so the thing that was interesting for him is he started out wanting us to come to an agreement where we'd buy a couple lots. He'd give us a little bit of a discount. And what I was able to demonstrate to him is not only did you not have to discount your law, lots to us, we paid market price for those lots, but you ended up with a referral fee at the end. So you got a premium for your lots by agreeing to this with us, as opposed to having me agree to a lot, take down schedule where you had to discount.

(32:20): It's an amazing story. And, and then for anybody out there, it's like to learn this stuff. I mean, it took you practice, like you said, it was many, many months doing this, collaborating with your peers around the message, massaging it, spending the time with the developer, but it's doable. I mean, if you just stick to your guns, you don't, you can get away from the, the whole speculative thing, your proof of that. So, congratulations. Yeah. Thank you. It's been a fun ride and you know, we're in the middle of building those homes right now just pulled, permits and have the dig scheduled for next week on, on two of those homes. So we're like right in the middle of it. So is that developer out looking for land for another project? Because if I'm that developer, I'm gonna be like calling Karen up and saying, Hey, I'm looking at this land over here. What do you guys think? You know, would you, you know, would you be interested in working on that? Has it led to any of that, of that yet

(33:24): He is working on that right now. He does development also in the state of Arizona. And so he is pretty engrossed in a fairly large commercial project out there, do doing a surf park, but he has called me a few times about different properties here in Utah as well. Yeah. And he actually had a Airbnb home that he was in the process of building when we first met and he ended up flooding his builder go and we're, we took over that project as well. And then couple weeks ago he said, Hey, I'm thinking about doing another Airbnb. What are your, what are your thoughts? So I think, well up doing a couple of those for him, but it's been a pretty fun relationship. He's a really energetic guy. I don't know how he does everything that he does, but I'm sure this is not the end of our relationship. I, I know we're gonna have a lengthy relationship moving forward with Cole and, and his partners on projects similar to this.

(34:21): And so over the last, you know, five to, to six years, you've, you've gone from 5 million to 20 plus million to a 40 plus million dollar pipeline with these, you know, a lot of these things that you practiced and the beliefs and saying things out loud. One thing you said earlier was building the foundation for all this, which you, you obviously have. And that I think that where it led to your, I think you call it your foundational sales plan or program or, and what you did with that developer, the relationship you have with some of these other market partners just maybe go into that just a little bit more and your, your, that concept, what's your, you know, what what's you're doing with that foundational sales program, you know, and how all those things tie together.

(35:01): Our goal is we wanna create stability for our company. And so some of it was, you know, making lists of, okay, if we need, we, we decided as a company, we wanna have at least 10 projects per year that are coming through our architectural line, right? Our structural design team line, or that could also encompass your interior designers as well. So if we want 10 projects per year, coming from that stream, how many architects, how many contacts do we need to make in order to keep that self sufficient and, and flowing through? And so we started out, we identified, you know, five structural designers, five interior designers, you know five realtors, five lenders, cause those are all places where we've gotten referrals in the past. And so and then once we got the, that consistency of receiving referrals to, to where we met our goal of, okay, we want to get 10 per year from this.

(36:07): Then, then we also looked at the, the land, the new home development arm. So we, most of what we do is new custom home, but we also have some other streams of projects as well. So, but when we're looking at new custom homes, how do we generate how many we need from new custom homes and how many of those do we want? So we want 10 projects was the goal that we made and new custom homes coming from development opportunities. And so then again, it's like, okay, how many developers do we need to have a relationship? Are we gonna do one of our own developments? Maybe we should, should consider that if it's the right development and thinking about maintaining our ground in the new home realm, if you don't have, I mean, land is kind of key in that new home development realm. And if you're not maintaining your ground, your control of some ground, you're gonna lose ground in that market.

(37:06): So how do we maintain focus and keeping that pipeline area full? And so then we identified, you know, what are the areas where we want those developments? We do well as a company and then targeting in on those land developers and creating market partnerships with those developers like we did in the other subdivision, that's more downtown salt lake. So we, we focused on that as well, and that has included some limited development of our own, but it's pretty limited. It's a, like, you know, we'll do like five to 10 locks maybe that will take from raw ground through completely improved, ready to build a new home. So we've done some of that as well. And then kind of the third stable leg of our foundational platform for ourselves is renovation. Renovation is important because in our area we are about 85% built out. There's not very much land that's left for development anymore.

(38:06): And so then you have to look at either we're tearing down or we're renovating. And if we're gonna do that, how do we generate those leads as well? And so our focus in that area has been upon building market partnerships with realtors who sell the types of homes that we're interested in renovating. And so we developed the same thing. You know, you identified there's these 10 realtors that are selling homes and the price range that we, we are comfortable renovating and in the neighborhoods where we want to be in. And so developing those relationships. And what I do a lot of times is if I see, you know, a new listing come up on the MLS, maybe it's a $3 million home that was built in 1990. Well, my brain's telling me that one's ready to be renovated. If it hasn't been already, it should be now.

(39:01): And so I'm gonna be proactive and contact that realtor and say, Hey, we are a home renovation team. And would you be interested in me coming through the home and, and giving you what would be a feasible at, for bringing this home up to date in today's market and helping them understand how that becomes a tool to them as a realtor in marketing their home. So that's given us kind of the third stability leg of our foundational plan is strengthening that renovation leg. And the other reason why it's really important to the strength in that renovation leg is renovations are kind of a re there are more recession, proof building model, people still renovate and recessions because they, they still have to live in that space. Maybe they don't have the ability to move up, but they can at least expand or, or enhance their space that they are in at the

(39:57): Yeah. And the land, the land issue is happening everywhere. I mean, I, you know, all over in all kinds of markets, so, you know, it's gonna be more and more difficult as, as prices increase, I think, and, and clients get challenged with either finding land renovating is just gonna continue to grow and grow. So certainly something that's, you know, a good, a good to have in your portfolio. So one of the things that I think is important to touch on now too, is, you know, you just talked about a heck of a lot of growth and very quickly, and we're in an, a marketplace or an environment where access to resources, access to trades access to project managers is. But when we spoke earlier, you shared with me one of the secrets or one of the, one of the, one of the powerful things that really helped with getting some of this stuff done and built was how you communicated, how sales or business development and the project management team communicated. And it strikes me that we've had guests on this show before that come in and say, Hey, well, one of the worst things you can do is out out outpace your capabilities. How do you guys manage that internally?

(41:04): So that, that is probably our biggest challenge is maintaining solid project managers who can take the volume that I'm selling right now to beat, be honest, that's one of our challenges. But I think one of the thing that has helped me on this client development side in terms of understanding what a PM needs is, I've PM to job. I project managed a job from start to finish and understanding where they need support. And so we wanna have weekly meetings at a minimum, if not daily, with each of the project managers and understand what we need to do to support them, understanding how we can help them with conflict resolution, if there is any conflict that they have with either a trade or, or the client themselves and helping them manage the expectations with the client that I think that's one of the most challenging things in this climate right now is managing client expectations, because we have so many strains on our supply chain right now that are completely out of our control as well as tremendous strain on the labor market everywhere.

(42:10): And every trade is kind of too bad, but I think somewhere, you know, around the time that I was graduating from high school and going to college, everybody decided that their kids needed to go to college, that the trades weren't as important. And I think that was a really huge disservice to where we are right now, especially. I mean, they, they are really suffering in the trades and I've had had two of my sons go to work for trades that we use in our local salt lake business. I had, both of them have framed. I have one of them also work for an electrician for a time and he decided it wasn't for him. But I, I think that if there was something that we could do to really help the industry right now, it would be to help people understand that college is not for everybody.

(43:00): Trades are really great for a lot of people and are a better fit in many instances. And what we can do to elevate the way people think about trades and how important they are to the way that they live every day in their home trades are really important to helping you live better. We need to respect and honor the trades for what they do to bring us to, to that space where we are living in this beautiful home at the end of the day and, and how much that, that was contributed to, by individuals working with our hands. Absolutely. You know, obviously you've, you've, you've grown, you've put the things in place. You've got the belief building a great foundation. I, I just love, again, I go back to that. I love that you've been talking about the foundation, it's the foundation of the types of projects you want to be working on. That's, you know, that's huge and you're setting yourself up for some future success for you. Maybe even more specific on, you know, the business there and what's in front of you guys. What, what excites you about where you're gonna go? What's next? I mean is it, is it continued growth? Is it optimization? Is it branching into some other things? What, what excites you

(44:09): Every day for me is super exciting because every day is different. We've never built this same. It's not that we wouldn't, we just haven't. And it, it feels like every day I am exposed to people who want to do new and innovative things. and so, yes, it's exciting to be able to expand in our market in ways that we haven't previously. But I think one of the things that ex excites me most is we've decided who we are as a company. We've decided what we believe in, and we've decided the type of client that we want to build for. And we are in a position right now where we can really choose our projects. There's a lot of demand right now. We have a lot of people that come to us on a daily basis, and we simply don't have the capacity to build for everybody.

(45:06): And we wouldn't even necessarily want to, there's something freeing about knowing who you are, knowing the types of projects that you want to do and understanding that you can do those things that excite you the most and integrate, you know, building products that you think you never thought that you would use trying new techniques that you, you didn't think that you were ever going to use. We've done some really fun homes in the past. We've won the international smart home of the year award a few times and had a home on the cover of CPRO I think five times now. So we've done some fun and exciting things, but probably what excites me most is that the people that we are working with right now, we really wanted to work with them. And they really wanted to work with us, understanding that you're gonna have a good relationship with this client throughout the build.

(46:05): And they're still gonna be your friends a year from now or two years from now. We had some clients that we built for. They invited me to come over and eat pie and swim in their full of them. They're always asking me to come over partially because I make really good pie. I didn't mention up front that they did want me to bring the pie, but it's really fun. When you are able to have a relationship with your client where the living better started the first day of your project, and it has continued, you know, on, into the future. It hasn't stopped yet. And what excites me is being able to say that, that the living better starts here when we decide to work together on your project. That's exciting to me because we know that we're gonna provide a better environment for that, that family and perpetuity, you know, it just, it goes on and on. And so there's not an into it. So I guess, yeah, in terms of excitement, I, the excitement is that it's not gonna end Well, that that's pretty cool. And it it's clear that you're living better too, through the, these choices that you've made, the transition that you've been through, the business model, that you're using, all that the, the, I know that you've been involved in different sales mastermind groups, and you've put a lot of time energy focus into working on your skill and collaborating with other people who are using the same business model too, have these kinds of results. And that gives you the confidence that you can keep doing it for anybody who wants to see what some of these exciting things you're working on look like, or what's the best way for them to follow along on Instagram or, or see your work online.

(47:50): Probably Instagram is a LA salt lake. That's our Instagram handle. And you'll see all our current work on there. We also have a secondary in Instagram page called behind the builts. And that's where you see kind of the nitty gritty dirt work that we do. Jerem is pretty easy to Coke in front of a camera. And one of the things that's really fun about him is he's there to educate, and he'll teach you a lot about building along the way. So I I'd encourage people to follow us on those two channels. Well, it's a great team you guys have, have built out there. It's it's a lot of fun being around, being around all of you and look forward to continuing to collaborate it together. And thanks for your time here. This's been some great stuff. No problem. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Hey, thanks for listening, Dwayne and I love hearing from you. Your stories are inspiring and your challenges can be overcome. Got a cool tip idea for a show problem that you haven't been able to solve, or maybe just struggling to figure out what you need next and where to get it. We can help hit us up@buildernuggets.com and start building freedom.

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