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Anthony Lamacchia: Hiring, hiring, hiring. That is the ticket to consistent growth in activities being done in your company consistently. Anthony Lamacchia here with Crush It in Real Estate and happy to be here with a dear friend of mine, Mr. Willie Miranda. Hello, Willie.
Willie Miranda: How are you doing, everyone? This is a great spot here. Beautiful weather down here in Florida and happens to be that you and I are both here today, so it’s awesome.
Anthony: We’re here. We’re talking business. We’re going to have dinner later. Willie’s got a great company out in Albany, New York, and him and I talk all the time about his business, my business, and all different things. One of the things that him and I understand 100% is, when you want something done in an organization, you want something done in a company, it has to be done by employees. That’s how you get it done consistently.
Too many real estate companies, too many teams, I hear them say, “I got this agent who’s selling, and then they’re also doing marketing for me, and I got this person who’s doing this and also doing that,” and then it falls apart. Then that person ends up getting another job, or they don’t have enough sales. Why don’t you expand on that?
Willie: Every time I’ve hired someone, we’ve always grown our business. It got to a point where, when you start losing business is when you really realize, “I got to hire someone to help me do this.” I always say, if you don’t hire an assistant, then you are the assistant. Right? We’ve heard that so many different times. It’s so true. Now, as our company has grown, every time we’ve hired someone, we’ve always expanded our business. We’ve always grown. It’s one of those things, Anthony, I think, that a lot of broker owners, even team leaders that I see, they’re afraid to invest the money. They’re afraid to put it out there, but once they do, they’re like, “How did I do without it?”
Anthony: What you just said actually reminds me of a conversation I had two hours ago at lunch with someone. Brokers, realtors, team leaders, they have a tendency to only focus on the expense, as opposed to, “Wait a second, this expense, yes, the first couple months, I’m going to eat it, but then up here on the top line is going to go like that.”
Anthony: That’s the first thing they do. They say, “What’s this new employee going to cost me? $4,000 a month, 5,” whatever the number is, “that’s right out of my pocket.” It’s out of your pocket initially, originally. It’s not out of your pocket forever. Right?
Willie: You’ve got to think of it as an investment. A lot of times, a lot of people will say, “Why don’t you have all these rental properties and everything else?” I invested so much back in my business, and a lot of it was with employees, and as we’ve done that, we’ve grown our business.
Anthony: Absolutely. 100%. Let me tell y’all a story, and then we’ll part with this. 2008, as the market changed, I was still selling. It was myself, Sarah. You know Sarah. She was our everything at that point. Now she’s our VP of finance, but it was her and I and my ex business partner, and we hit a point that winter– If you remember, the economy was crashing and things were changing, and we said, “Forget it. We’re getting rid of our sign–” At the time, it was our sign guy. I started working into my schedule, I’m going to hang the signs. I’m going to do the pictures. I’m going to–“
Anthony: He’s laughing at me.
Willie: I thought the same thing.
Anthony: “Look at this. I’m going to save this much a month.” I started that in January ’08. I’ll never forget. Initially, January and February, and at that time, saving a grand or two on our P&L made a lot of difference. Now, obviously, we’re running a bigger business. By the time we got to March, I said, “Wow, I saved some money,” but all of a sudden I realized, on Mondays, I was calling my leads instead of calling leads that came in on the weekend Monday morning, I was calling them Monday night. I was showing up for listing appointments late. One time, I showed up at a listing appointment, completely wet shoes because I’m tramping through the snow to put the sign in. I said, “Now, this is taking away from my dollar productive money-making activities so I can go bang signs in.” Nothing wrong with banging signs in. We have guys that do it. We love them, but they have their job, realtors have theirs. It’s two different things. That, I ended up undoing it. We went back to hiring and bringing people in. Now, we have a whole army of people, vans, Kias, a whole 65 employees. Anything else you want to add, or is that it?
Willie: I was just going to say, a lot of times, when you get to that point, you get to a point where you feel if you’re slow or, let’s say, back then the economy changed a little bit, don’t just go make hasty decisions like that. Right? Wait 90 days. We’re in a three to four-month cycle with homes. By the time we sell them and close them, things change. Especially, in January, February, March are slower times.
Anthony: The freak-out time in the winter. I remember my first five years, I used to freak out then. Now I’m like, “It’ll end. Spring will be here.”
Willie: Yes. It always does. It always works its way out. It’s an investment, and if you get the right people, you can really take your business to the next level.
Anthony: There’s no better way to do it, no more consistent way to do it than that. Look at when COVID hit last year. I remember, you and I talked almost daily sometimes. I had to be the only company that waited a month to furlough anybody. We ended up furloughing 11 people for- I think it was four weeks. Most companies did it the day it started. Now, some of them might hear me and say, “Idiot, look how much money I saved.” No. In the long run, you didn’t. You give people a bad feeling. We did it easily. We did it gently. We planned it. We actually did it with some people that said, “Furlough me. I’m fine.”
We got through it and everybody’s still with us. We’ve hired substantially since then. I’ll end with what I started with. When you want things to consistently happen in your organization, you must hire employees. That’s how you’ll get them done. Thanks for being with me, my friend.
Willie: Thank you for having me.
Anthony: Happy home selling, my friends.
Willie: Take care.