This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Bob Schultz of The International New Home Sales Specialists joins Greg and Kevin to discuss how home builders can have successful home sales regardless of market conditions.
When the home buying market is hot, sales and marketing teams can sometimes ease efforts. Bob explains, “…when markets are good, there's a whole lot of stuff you don't have to do and there's a whole lot of things you can do incorrectly and still look good by making sales.”
Even though the market is cooling, there are still many sales to be made. Bob says, “No market ever goes to zero. Never. It never goes to zero. There are always sales being made. No market goes to zero. The bottom line is it's not what the market does that matters. What matters is what you do within the market conditions in which you find yourselves. What you do to capture a large majority of the sales that could be made.”
Sales results are not the only indicator of whether a home builder has a thriving sales strategy. Bob says, “Your success in sales if it's ever judged solely on the results you get, you have no idea what you're talking about. You have no frame of reference. The sales results are only a matter of, in any market, whether you're great or not so good, what the market has been willing to give to you or allow you to take. Sales skills and sales performance should be judged against objectives and judged against the process. The process. Selling is about a process.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about securing home sales despite the market environment.
About the Guest:
Throughout North America, India, Australia, and New Zealand, Bob Schultz is globally acclaimed as the preeminent provider of new home sales, marketing, and profit management expertise, strategies, and resources. He was named by Builder magazine to its Power On 50 List as one of The 50 Most Influential People in Home Building.
The National Association of Home Builders designated him a “Legend of Residential Marketing”, and awarded him its Life Time Achievement Award for Excellence in Education. He is the author of The Official Handbook for New Home Salespeople and Smart Selling Techniques.
Bob’s Official New Home Sales Development System® is available worldwide, and The New Home Sales Specialist team provides its expertise through on-site programs, live interactive video conferences, and online learning systems.
Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello everybody and welcome to today's episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse.
Greg Bray: And we are excited today to welcome to the show, Bob Schultz. Bob is the CEO of the International New Home Sales Specialists. Welcome, Bob. Thanks for joining us today.
Bob Schultz: Thank you very much. I'm excited to be here with you.
Greg Bray: So, Bob, you've been in the home building industry for a long time, but there may be some of those newer folks who aren't familiar with you. So, why don't we start out with introducing yourself and tell us a little bit about you?
Bob Schultz: Okay, great. Well, actually, [00:01:00] prior to getting into new home sales, which was in the early 1970s, but I'll get back to that. Prior to that, while I was in the university level, a few years after that, I toured the United States as a professional jazz musician. I was a bass player and extraordinarily good at it, I might say, and worked with some phenomenally great jazz musicians and singers. People like Frank Sinatra Jr. and also I was doing for about, an eight-year period of time, during early college and even a lot of part high school.
Now, you know how moms and dads are when one of their kids say, Well, I want to go to art school. I want to be a musician. There's always that, but you need to have something to fall back on. So, my dad was an architect at that time, and my older brother was very successful in the real estate brokerage business in the late fifties and early sixties in Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Leidos Point, Florida. And he had a real estate office. And so I used to go to the real estate office. My dad's like just hang out when I was around and my brother said to me, Bob, why don't you get yourself a real estate license, but back then you had to be 21 in Florida and now [00:02:00] it's 18.
But anyways, he said, Why don't you get a license? Just have it, and you know what? When you're here at the office, I'll bet you could pick up a few sales. I got my license in a way sort of like, Hey dad, I got something to fall back on. So, while I was out traveling until I was 21 or 22, then I got my license and I was still going to college in the daytime and working as a musician weekends at night in Miami.
And anyway, I started making some money selling resales. I didn't know what I was doing. I had no idea what I was doing. This would've been in the mid-sixties when the market was pretty good, but there were a lot of foreclosures on the market. And anyway, I got really good at taking people who didn't have good credit and didn't have much money down and getting them qualified and making sales. And back then maybe the commissions were three hundred bucks. And I got good at it and I thought, Wow, this is like better than traveling around the country. So, I started looking for something to do in real estate. Although I knew I didn't wanna be in a general real estate office for a lot of reasons. Although I wound up creating a real estate company later.
But anyway, I'm reading the entertainment section of the Fort Lauderdale news one night because we [00:03:00] were always in that. Real estate people read the real estate section and I happen to see an ad, of all places, in the entertainment section that said the Behring Corporation, B E H R I N G. Now, that might not mean much to anybody today, but Ken Behring, you can look him up. He made the largest private contribution to the Smithsonian Institution of a hundred million dollars.
This was Ken Behring when he was first starting out in home building in Tamarack Florida, and he had begun the idea of modular home building. Built a 200,000-square-foot factory to build modular homes. So, he runs this ad and says, Ken Behring Corporation, expanding, blah, blah, blah, expanding its sales team.
What caught my eye was it said management training. So, I responded to the ad and it turns out that there were about 500 people that also responded to the ad. But nonetheless, I went through all the interviews, got the job, and now that was in Tamarack, Florida in 1971 and the market was pretty darn good.
And I started out in sales and my first year I sold 103 homes. That sounds like a lot, and back then it [00:04:00] was a lot. But you know what? Back then it was order-taking. Back then it was the people came in. If I could get them qualified and if we could scrape up the down payment, we made sales. And then all of a sudden, some of you may remember, many of you that are listening to this probably weren't even born then, but something called the Arab Oil Embargo.
Nineteen, late 72, 73, the Arabs got together, created a consortium, and they basically said, Guess what? Oil is going from 23 bucks a barrel to 75, and if we think the gas spike increases today. Then it was what? Sixty cents a gallon. It went to a buck and a quarter. The economy went to hell in a handbasket and in particular the real estate and in particular new home sales. And one of the reasons was people couldn't get gas in their car to go to work.
When I was in the Broward County Division, we went from 1800 down to 800 in about a six-month period of time, and all of a sudden management and everybody said, We better figure this thing out. So, that was my first wake-up call. Back in those days, I was like many salespeople when the market's good. I was grossly confusing the size of my paycheck with [00:05:00] my skill level. Now, they didn't use the term rock stars back then. They just said, Boy, you are a super salesperson.
The company said We're gonna go from a sales staff of 23 people down to seven. I was one of the seven that they kept only because I showed promise and I showed I was coachable. So, we had some sales training. Bottom line is we learned a lot. I learned a lot during that period of time. Mistakes that I made prior to that, we learned how to fix and mistakes that we continued to make, I learned about it.
But then guess what? The market got good again. You know, markets go up and markets go down. Like the weather. No market stays bad forever. No market stays good forever. The only thing is it's not absolutely predictable when a market goes up when it's gonna go down, but it's cyclical. But anyway, the market came back. So, that would've been 1976 or 77 or so. The market came back. Everybody got adjusted to the price of gas. People started buying homes again.
Now we're rocking and rolling again, and now we're back to selling 15, 16, 1800 homes [00:06:00], and all of a sudden the market was good. And then guess what happened? If anybody remembers Jimmy Carter. Not a political statement, a historical statement. Jimmy Carter was president. We had what was called the Misery Index, triple-digit inflation, triple-digit interest rates, and triple-digit unemployment. Kevin, you remember what the interest rates were in that period of time, mortgage interest rates?
Kevin Weitzel: 15, 16%.
Bob Schultz: You got it. 18% it got to, and it was 18% if you were lucky enough to get one. So once again, the market tanked. Now at this time, I was senior vice president of a condominium development company based in Broward County, but all over the state of Florida, and we were doing about 800 sales a year. We dropped down to about 200 because now all of a sudden what was easy to sell became very difficult to sell.
The lesson from that was number one, you've gotta have your act together with certain things. Fortunately, we had all the economic things, but what we had to learn that we never had to learn before is how do we explain financing to people. How do you explain to people that if you really wanna buy this today, [00:07:00] interest rates like the market go up and they go down?
And so we had to learn how to explain that interest rates might be 16 or 17 today, but more than likely, when they come down, you can do what, Greg? You can refinance. I did it myself. I built a house that year and paid 18 and a half percent, and I refinanced about four years later. So, those are the things we learned that we had to do that we never had to do before. 'Cause, when markets are good, there's a whole lot of stuff you don't have to do and there's a whole lot of things you can do incorrectly and still look good by making sales.
So, then the market got good again and then we had another kind of slowdown in the nineties. And I think, Greg, you probably remember some of that. Not as bad as the rest, but there was a slowdown, particularly in the oil-producing states like Texas, Colorado. I was working with builders in Calgary, Alberta then. Why? Because what happened was the price of oil became so low that they were not able to make any money. So, we had housing recessions in those markets. Then it got good again. And all [00:08:00] of a sudden, it was good in the late nineties and roll up to the good old days of 2003, 4, 5, and I think somewhere around six or seven what happened, Greg?
Greg Bray: Oh yeah. That one I remember very vividly,
Bob Schultz: Here we go again. What we learned is people make the same mistakes over and over and over again. The same mistakes that the banks made in the seventies and eighties and the nineties they had made then. As a matter of fact, they did something worse. Remember, the government got involved and said, You know what? Banks, you need to make loans to people that can't qualify for them, but don't worry about it. You get the loans written, we'll buy the loans from you. We'll sell them to Freddie Mac and they'll sell them to a bunch of Chinese investors, and what happened? We had an economic collapse of the financing market.
So, we went through, what was that? 2006, 7, 8, maybe even into nine. It came back again and gosh, golly, what happened in about 2016 or 17 or 18 or 19? What did we have? The longest extended period of low-interest rates? The longest continued extended period of time of low interest rates. So low, if you had [00:09:00] reasonable credit, you could get a mortgage of three, three and a half, 2.5. There's the joke. It was called the Foggy Mirror mortgage. You ever hear of this one, Kevin? The foggy mirror mortgage. You wanna buy a house? I bring you in. The mortgage guy puts a mirror under your nose. If you fog it up, hey, you're breathing. I can get you a mortgage.
So, we went through that up until about the early part of this year, we went through grand times. Anybody that showed up on a builder's site and didn't screw up too badly, and I don't mean that facetiously, could make sales. People were doing lotteries, people were taking numbers, and then if you snooze, you lose, you better buy today cause the prices are going up and on and on and on and on and on until it stopped. And by the way gentlemen, how quickly did it stop?
Greg Bray: Shockingly quickly.
Bob Schultz: That should have been no surprise to anybody. That should have been no surprise to anybody who would've been tracking the important metrics. So, what I'm saying is it should have been no surprise, but for those that it is a surprise or was a surprise,[00:10:00] it should be a serious wake-up call to look at what they've been doing.
You know, I have a phrase that says, Doing what we're doing or doing what we've been doing, the way we're doing it or been doing it, looking at it really, really critically, how many sales and how much revenue are we missing? Why are we missing it and what do we need to do to fix it? So, that's kind of my lead-up to where we are today.
Greg Bray: Well, Bob, it's pretty amazing for you to still be in touch with all this. It's not just a history book to you. I'm not trying to say you're old. Okay. I wanna be clear. Your experience is valuable and fantastic to hear some of the details that some of us have just not lived through or just even heard about. Some of our listeners have only been in the industry for the last few years. They don't even remember some of these other things. But I think one of the things I heard as you went through that while there were downturns, the causes of those downturns weren't always the same thing.
Sometimes the expectations of, Here we go again. Because it's a different cause [00:11:00] maybe it will be a different length or the things we need to react to are different. Let's just look back at 2007, 8, 9. How does right now, in your opinion, compare from a cause-and-effect standpoint to that time period?
Bob Schultz: Okay. Well, first your comment about the people in it today, many of them have not been through that is exactly right. And I think in the article I indicated how through a, an anecdotal survey that we did, in the uh, Best Home Building Practices Summit Programs, this is an approximate, approximately 10 to 15% of all the people in the home building sales and marketing side of the business today, or even other parts of it, have not been in business for more than 10 to 12 years. So, this is quite new to them.
The answer to your second question. Is that many of the things that caused the previous housing downturns are exactly the same today, but the genesis of them more different. For example, every one of the previous housing downturns involved increased interest rates. Every one of them. Every single one of them involved increased interest rates for similar but different reasons. [00:12:00] Every single one of them involved overbuilding or oversupply.
Now, that's different for this one. The difference in this one is we don't have an oversupply. As a matter of fact, we have an undersupply. That part's different. The other thing that makes this one different than any of the components of the other ones. The 2006, 2007 was definitely interest rates, wasn't it? That was an increase in interest rates, and there was some overbuilding there. Some, but not a lot.
The conditions that are different today, I believe, and if we just look around and watch what we read and hear from the people who you think you can believe, is that today we have a global economic crisis. It can't be denied. It's global. It's all over the place. We've never had that at the same time that we have two or three countries that are threatening to waving their hands and saying, We might want to go to war with you. We got North Korea and we got Russia that's saying I might deploy, uh, you know, whatever. We got China going, we want to take you over. We never had that before, all three at the same [00:13:00] time as an economic crisis.
We never had before political, if you will, unrest. I don't wanna mean unrest in a bad way, but we've never had a point where our country's been divided politically right or wrong or indifferent. And not only that, we have people today that cannot afford to buy food, let alone buy a house. So, those conditions create what we call the psychological impact of bad economic conditions of recession.
I'm sure you've all heard the joke. A recession is when my neighbor loses his job. A depression is when I lose mine. Recessions can be psychologically extended. They can be psychologically extended because people buy into the idea, Well, maybe I shouldn't spend my money today.
Well, that is more profound today than ever because the people that do have money, I'm talking about you know, middle-class people that could buy a home. They could even buy a home with 18% interest rates if they wanted to. They could if it made sense, and for many people, it does make sense when salespeople know how to explain that, but they're [00:14:00] not. They're not. I'm just watching surveys of people that are pretty darn wealthy are cutting back on how they spend their money. They're cutting back.
There was some comedian or something that made a comment. It might have been Johnny Carson. He said, I've heard rumors that there's a recession, but I refuse to participate, and I remember in past recessions, I was one of those people. Yeah, there's a recession. We're gonna get over it, but you know what? There's a good deal on this. There's a good deal on that. I'm gonna buy it. I'm gonna go out to eat once in a while. I'm not gonna pull out of the economy.
Today, people are afraid. I really believe people are afraid because they don't know what's gonna happen next. That is the way I observe why this one is so much different than all the rest. And interest rates are probably gonna continue to go up a little bit. Who knows? If we had that crystal ball, Kevin and Greg, if we knew when the interest rates were gonna do, in this podcast, we'd be saying, Everybody wire transfer me a hundred thousand dollars. I'm going to give you the answer. We don't know. But there's more uncertainty today.
So, let's assume for a moment that interest rates did come down. They could, and maybe they will, but what about if inflation kept [00:15:00] going on, or what about if we do get into a war with somebody? There's a lot of what abouts that are people that are saying, You know what? I think I'm gonna step out of the market and I'm gonna wait. However, a significant point that I made in the article and that I learned, as you said, I call it through the battles or a football team that's been to the playoffs before has a little bit better chance to win than the people that haven't been 'cause they've been there before.
No market ever goes to zero. Never. It never goes to zero. There are always sales being made. No market goes to zero. The bottom line is it's not what the market does that matters. What matters is what you do within the market conditions in which you find yourselves. What you do to capture a large majority of the sales that could be made. Oh my gosh, the market is down. What am I gonna do? Kevin? Yes.
Kevin Weitzel: So, I've been to tons and tons of seminars, both in the automobile industry, the bicycle industry, now in the home building industry, and one of the things that you said that was so profound to me, [00:16:00] and that is very true today, especially with what you've already commented on, is your quote was, If you're still doing business today like you did it yesterday, you're not gonna be around or even in business tomorrow. Salespeople and they've been order takers for the last three, four years solid. Literally, order takers because of the market conditions. So, now they have to shed those order-taker garments and put on their sales suit, and get to work.
Bob Schultz: Yeah Kevin, you're right. And you know the term order takers, it could be that or it could be facilitators. I've heard people use that term. It's not meant in a demeaning way, 'cause you know what? It's not their fault. It is not their fault because think about it. In this last great market we had, and statistically, it was the greatest market we've ever had for the longest extended period of time.
Look, you know, people have said that the road to gold is paved with good intentions. And so, Kevin, to your point, that they could show up in a good market and I used the phrase show up and not screw up and make sales. So, they start two things. Believing the size of their paycheck with their skill levels, which I did in the early days, and [00:17:00] secondly, they start believing their press clippings and all of a sudden sales manager, My salespeople are great. They're rock stars. First of all, I say, Excuse me, what does that mean? I've got a salesperson that's a rockstar. I don't know what that even means.
I know what it means. Hey, let's praise you for the sales you're making and Kevin, you made an extraordinarily good point there. Your success in sales, if it's ever judged solely on the results you get, you have no idea what you're talking about. You have no frame of reference. The sales results are only a matter of, in any market whether you're great or not so good, what the market has been willing to give to you or allow you to take. Sales skills and sales performance should be judged against objectives and judged against the process. The process. Selling is about a process.
So, the first thing I say when a sales manager says to me, My salespeople are great. I'll say, That's fantastic. How do you make that? Oh, because they sold this. I say, Great. Well, when was the last time you had them, now I'm gonna use an industry term that I [00:18:00] don't like to use, when was the last time you had the mystery video shop? You're all familiar with mystery video shops? I've created a different name for that. I've created it, the See Me With the Customer Evaluation.
Because most salespeople, Greg will say, Don't make me role play. It makes me nervous, but you ought to see me with a customer. Boy am I good? So, I take them at their word. So, we simply call it a See Me With the Customer Evaluation and nine times out of 10 when I ask that of a sales manager or a builder, Oh, I would never shop my salespeople. They're too good. And automatically I know I've got somebody who's been riding the crest of the wave and I love a quote from Warren Buffet. He said this every recession cycle. When the tide goes out, you see where all the naked people have been swimming.
And it's not the salespeople's fault because you see, you could make a sale with somebody walking through the front door and saying, Hi, can it help you? Good. You're here to buy a house today, blah, blah. What brings you out here today, blah, blah, blah, all that stuff? And the people would buy a home, and that is the worst possible process.
It's no different than [00:19:00] a college or a high school or professional football coach saying, I'm not gonna hire you. I'm not gonna give you a scholarship based upon what you did. I want to give you a scholarship or evaluate whether we're gonna hire you in the NFL or whether you're gonna play high school football by what you can show me you can do within the skill set needs that we need, that you either have or you can be trained to have or coached.
And that's why I say in recruiting salespeople today, among the top four things I look for, they've gotta be highly coachable. If they're not highly coachable, if they want to come in and talk about Kevin, Well this is the way I did it. Oh, this is what I used to do. I'm really not interested in how you did it. So what the biggest challenge we have is what you suggested, Kevin is the breaking of the status quo or the acceptance of status quo.
Whether you follow football or not, you know, Alabama has had a pretty good record. You know, and I'm not saying I'm a fan of that. I'm a fan of Saban 'cause he's a great coach. They've had a great record, and what happened? In an interview, he said one of the best things that happened to us was losing last week. [00:20:00] Why? 'Cause, we're gonna fix it.
And what I'm saying, and this is a psychological shift, a mindset shift. This is about having skin in the game. The builders, particularly the small, you know, two, 300. You know, the big national builders, they'll get through all of these. They do. You know why. They got bankrolls. They can weather a two or three-year downturn. They can cut their prices. It's not gonna affect them long-term. So, Kevin and Greg, think about the builders that are doing 2, 300, 50, 60. Their neck is on the line.
I talked to a builder the other day. If his sales next year are down by 20% or more than what he did this year, he'll be outta business. He can't sustain it. And so what I'm saying is, until you have skin in the game or until you have something to lose, there's a saying, Greg, I know you know this 'cause we talked about it together in one of The Home Builder Summits, that it's not a good idea to be taking advice from anybody that doesn't have any consequences if the advice they give you doesn't turn out to [00:21:00] be good.
Greg Bray: Love it.
Kevin Weitzel: I wish we were on camera 'cause I pointed my finger right at you. Exactly true.
Bob Schultz: Lately I've been having fingers pointed at me and it's from salespeople and managers that don't want to hear what I have to say, but that's on them, not on me.
Greg Bray: Well, Bob, a couple of things just to follow up. You made a comment about your experience where you went from 800 to 200 in a year during one of those downturns or something like that.
Bob Schultz: The one was 3000 to about 800. The other was 800 or 600 down to 300. Yes.
Greg Bray: That idea of it doesn't go to zero. At 200 or 300, that's still a pretty useful company, you know, if it's structured properly and run well, could be a great company. But Kevin shared one of the quotes he's heard from you. One of the ones I've heard that's kind of stuck with me, but that I've heard you say before is, hope is not a strategy. Tell us a little bit more about what you mean when you say hope is not a strategy.
Bob Schultz: Okay. Well, actually this is really about life. I mean, so much of what we all learn and know about business really are lessons in life. And so the idea that hope is not a strategy, and wishing is not an [00:22:00] action plan. That comment came from a book. I forget who the author was, but then I added to it, and success does not come by accident. You hear people saying it all the time. Well, I hope I'm gonna make 15 sales this week. Well, okay, good. You hope. Where's your action plan? Where's your strategy? Hoping gets you nowhere. As a matter of fact, hoping is an exercise in futility if you think about it. So, hope is not a strategy. Wishing is not an action plan. Oh gosh, I wish I could get more traffic. Well, who doesn't? And that's where you two gentlemen come in. And success does not come by accident. Part of that is very predominant today.
It goes back to the people that have been, you know, many of them that are in business today. And God bless them, that they're young and they got all the energy to do this, but the problem is they only know what they know. And I know that Greg, you're an expert in this, and Kevin's so are you. It's why I'm excited to have this conversation with the two of you because you are both extraordinarily dialed into, to use that term, into technology at higher [00:23:00] level of knowledge about it than I have. I know enough about it to know how to use it.
I believe one of the biggest challenges today, in builders and builders in marketing, is that way too much emphasis is based upon technology. Now, do we want technology? Absolutely. But unless you know how to use the technology or the purpose of the technology. What it is, it's another one of those exercises in futility, but you don't know about it.
So, here's what I mean by that. There are a lot of people in today that are putting all their eggs in one basket. Social media, that's fine. We want to get traffic from that. Greg, I think you and I talked about the days before technology and the internet. What did we do? We had to run newspaper ads. We had to run magazine ads. They had to be carefully designed. I can remember spending hours in marketing meetings when we're spending 15,000 bucks for an ad. Having a debate over should it be a period or a comma?
Why? 'Cause once it's out there, it's out there because we knew that the ad is designed [00:24:00] for two things and two things only. One, to attract attention, boom, in whatever the medium is, and number two, to get them to show up. So, what do we see today? I see it and I study it all the time. I see so much social media stuff. Bless their hearts. They know how to do social media, and they're putting out stuff that is absolutely, I'm not gonna say wasteful. It's meaningless.
But how will they judge the success of it? Oh, how many likes we got? Ooh, look at this. We sent it out and we had 117 or 1700 likes. Good. Here's another quote. Being liked is highly overrated if it does not lead to a contact with somebody that leads to meeting with somebody that leads to a sale, and all of it needs to be measurable.
In the world of yours, Kevin, and by the way, Greg, this is a combination of what the two of you do so well. In my world, this is my opinion, there is no difference in the ultimate objective of an online salesperson than [00:25:00] in somebody that's in a sales office. There's no difference. Both of them have the same job. They've just made contact with somebody online. So, I'm saying that the online salespeople, if that's the term that's used, and the onsite salespeople, should be learning the same sales process.
I'm going back now to the 17 and 0 football season. I'm a Dolphin fan. Don Shula once said, When I am going to the draft, yes I might need a certain position, I might need one, but if there is a really good athlete available, I'll take them 'cause I can teach them to play what we need them to do. So, the idea is that the online people, they're given this whole technology.
Very few people will ever buy site unseen. Oh yes, they do, Bob. They did when the market was hot site unseen. Now, what I mean by that is that we're always going to need, eventually, 90% or so of the people that are gonna buy, are gonna want to go touch it and feel [00:26:00] it and see it. Now, the online people, the onsite people, I simply suggest that this online sales, it's a sales model. It's a new home sales office. It's just not bricks and mortar. It's just not bricks and mortar. It's not bricks and mortar, that's all. It's not in a place.
And so, therefore, the salespeople that are dealing with those leads, unless they understand the fundamental concepts of conversation with a customer that is information exchange for information. But dialogue, unless they are doing the initial information gathering and conveyance of information, they're not doing their job. You can make a contact with a customer online and it's the same as bringing them into my sales office in person, almost isn't it. Almost. So, then why shouldn't that person that's doing that be able to leave there and go out into a sales office if we need them? And I'm not saying that's what we should do, but the persons in the sales office should be able to be online.
Again, I'm not saying we should do it that way, but you know what? With the smaller builders that only have three or four [00:27:00] people, that's what we're doing. They can do both. They can do both. Why can they do both? Because there's not much difference. The only difference is I'm meeting and greeting and gathering and good morning, good afternoon. How are you? How did you learn about ABC Homes? None of that should be significantly different.
And so this whole division of, well, the online do this and the other people do this, I think is a huge mistake. And I think as part of the smaller builders, as we talk about, or not the nationals. One of the things that always happens, going back to the other downturns, which you asked about, Greg, is that any builder right now today is looking, How can I reduce my unnecessary overhead? Where can I cut unnecessary overhead?
And sometimes the first thing they do is start firing people. No. What I'm saying is maybe we don't need anymore five models staffed by people. Maybe we need two models, direct people there, and I might be able to accomplish, well actually, we just did, accomplish more sales with fewer salespeople if we're directing their energies and the appropriate use of technology in the right [00:28:00] channel.
Greg Bray: Bob, I mean, we could listen to your advice for hours and hours, and I know you've been in front of rooms for hours being able to help and train and share, but unfortunately we're gonna have to uh, kind of bring this to a conclusion, but I do want to give you an opportunity. If there was just one piece of advice, just one little, Hey, start looking at X, whatever it is. What would you share with our listeners today as that one thing they should be paying attention to that they might not be?
Bob Schultz: Well, there'd be about a list of five, but I would say if there's one, top of the list would be this, and it's what Tom Peters said a long time ago, Give a lot, demand a lot and if you don't get it prune. The idea that anybody in business today, their number one objective of the top three should be, how do I increase sales revenue, reduce all necessary costs without sacrificing quality, integrity to good business, and judgment?
So, that the top of my list would be this step aside from your business for an hour or a day, and simply analyze of all the people that I have in my company, whether they've been with me for 20 years, for 20 [00:29:00] days, regardless of the position, given my business conditions today, and given what I know I need to have happen today to have my business either thrive or survive, here's the question.
Knowing that what I need today with every single person I have, and it's not about them as a person. It's about a position and the skills. Knowing what I know about each of these people in whatever position they're in, knowing what I know, knowing what I need to know. Here's my question. If I were interviewing today for people to take that position, would I reinterview the person I have?
And if the answer to that is no, or maybe you got a problem. You gotta seriously be willing to look at that, and it's not personal, it's business. And that's making sure that I've got the right people in the right place. 'Cause if I don't, you can have the best strategies in the world. That would be the hope. It's not a strategy. But I mean, that would be at the top of my list. You gotta start with that. Belichick once said when he wanted to do all the recruiting and everything. He said, If you want me to cook a gourmet meal, I gotta buy the groceries.
Greg Bray: [00:30:00] Great advice. Great advice, Bob.
Kevin Weitzel: So Greg, I've got a quick trio of rapid fire for Bob. All right. These are rapid-fire questions, Bob.
Bob Schultz: Alrighty.
Kevin Weitzel: Question number one, stand up or electric? What's your preferred method?
Bob Schultz: Upright. I was an upright bass player.
Kevin Weitzel: All right. Number two, is Jaco Pastorious the greatest bassist ever on the planet?
Bob Schultz: I knew Jaco Pastorious personally. I mean, he was a dear friend of mine.
Kevin Weitzel: Get outta town. You did not. Oh my goodness.
Bob Schultz: Oh no. Oh, wow. No, I've got the second base that he took the strings out of and took the frets out of. I knew Jaco when he was 14 years old, 15 years old.
Kevin Weitzel: Oh, I'm jealous.
Bob Schultz: Oh, I know Jaco very well. So, the answer to that question is, Jaco Pastorious without question is the most transformational electric bass player of all time. So, when we put it into that genre, without question.
Kevin Weitzel: I agree.
Bob Schultz: He had the brilliance of a Mozart. Unfortunately, he reached a point in his life, when I knew him, he didn't drink, he didn't smoke. He was an athlete. He played baseball. I knew his kids. I mean, I loved them. So, with that being said, now we take all the bass players over time, [00:31:00] transitional, we could start out with Jimmy Blanton and then we could probably move up to probably Ray Brown in terms of time and all that. But I think the greatest overall jazz bass player of all time, and specifically today, is Ron Carter.
If you put them both together, there's things that Jaco can do that Ron Carter could not do, and there's things that Ron Carter could do that Jaco couldn't do. It wouldn't matter with either one of them. It wouldn't matter. So, people always say who's the greatest? Sometimes I say, They're both great, they're just different. But it's without question, Jaco.
Kevin Weitzel: And the last one, who's your favorite person you've ever played with? Famous or not?
Bob Schultz: Flip Phillips was very famous. Matter of fact, I worked with him before I could even get into clubs when I was still in high school. In my senior year, we had a couple of months to go, and I worked with Flip for a year and a half. He taught me so much about the music business. A lot of people confuse the word music and the word business. It's both.
Let's see, Alex Darqui. D A R Q U I. He and Jaco were the same. They were best friends. Alex Darqui was one of the most unknown, underrated jazz pianists [00:32:00] ever. Herby Hancock and a guy named Wally Cirillo, a piano player who used to play with Miles in New York and all that, and he came to Florida. So, we had a lot of great jazz players in Florida in the fifties and sixties. They left New York to come live in Florida. They were big fish in the little pond and they sure did suck up a lot of the water. Frank Sinatra Jr. was a, as the phrase would go, a gas to play with, 'cause it was show business and music at the same time. So, that was an interesting but every night it was the same thing. It was the same tunes and all that.
Greg Bray: Well, Bob, thank you so much for sharing with us today, and it's great to learn a little bit more about your, other side that we didn't know as much about. So, that's fantastic. Bob is doing some articles for Professional Builder Magazine sharing some of his insights and experience related to the market today, and we'll definitely put some links to that in the show notes as well so that people can find that easily. But Bob, if somebody does want to connect with you and reach out, what's the best way for them to get in touch with you?
Bob Schultz: The best would be an email, which is B O B, bob and I jokingly say that works forward or backwards. Bob@ and then the letter I, which I [00:33:00] stands for international. By the way, I learned this lesson. When you create an email domain or a website domain, don't make it something you gotta explain to people. So, it's Bob@ the letter I, which stands for international, and then a hyphen or a dash, not an underscore, nhss, Nancy, Harry, Sally, Sally.com. Bob@i-nhss.com
Greg Bray: All right. We'll drop that in the show notes too. Well, Bob, again, thank you so much for sharing your time with us today and your wisdom and experience.
Bob Schultz: My pleasure.
Greg Bray: And thank you everybody for listening to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse. Thank you.