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Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast Digital Marketing Podcast Hosted by Greg Bray and Kevin Weitzel

208 Growing Your Home Builder Business - Randy Stanbury

This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Randy Stanbury of 4 Level Coach joins Greg and Kevin to discuss how to grow your home builder business successfully.

When a home builder decides to take their business to the next level, they must also determine the purpose behind that desire for growth. Randy says, “…the very first thing we need to do is get to your why. Because without your why and understanding how deep your desire is, you're not going to do what it takes because this is not an easy thing. But you're in this business for a reason in the first place. So, do you want it bad enough to get to where you want to go? Because it's going to take something and it's not a quick fix.”

Home builders encounter problems and setbacks daily, but for a business to reach new heights, those difficulties must be drastically reduced. Randy explains, “Now, we have issues, roadblocks, and challenges literally every day in the building/remodeling world. Literally every day we're dealing with issues, roadblocks, and challenges. But there are certain issues, roadblocks, and challenges that if we dealt with them if we could eliminate those from our business, and we can create systems and processes around eliminating those IRCs, that will take the business to the next level.”

Home builders who want different outcomes than they’ve previously had must be ready and willing to change. Randy says, “This hamster wheel that we all tend to run on for too long will get us nowhere. And at the end of the day, if you want something more, if you want the next level in any way, shape, or form, doing the same things that you've been doing that hasn't gotten you there, won't get you there. So, we've got to slow down to speed up. Strategize and think differently about how we move forward and take the right bites of the elephant.”

Listen to this week’s podcast to learn more about how to take a home builder business to the next level.

About the Guest:

Randy Stanbury is a Serial Entrepreneur, 2-time #1 Amazon Best Selling Author, Speaker, Coach, and Business Expert to the Home Building and Remodeling industry. He started his first business in 1995 which grew and scaled without him for the last 10 years after removing himself from the day-to-day in 2007, selling the business in 2017 for an industry high multiple.

Randy currently has stake and partnerships in 9 businesses across the US and Canada that include 7 in Custom Home Building, 1 Remodeling, and 1 Plumbing Business. He founded 4 Level Coach in 2019 to teach, coach, train, and advise other entrepreneurs in the space to do exactly what he has figured out during his 28 years as a serial entrepreneur. With a sole focus on growth and scalability with the ultimate goal of removing yourself from the day-to-day to create the Ultimate Freedom of Time & Money.   


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 Randy Stanbury. Randy is the founder and lead coach at 4 Level Coach. Welcome, Randy. Thanks for being with us today.

Randy Stanbury: Yeah, thanks for having me, guys. This will be fun.

Greg Bray: So, Randy, why don't we start off by just letting you, uh, give us the quick overview and introduction? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Randy Stanbury: Yeah, sure. Back in 95, I had this idea, wanted to start a business. I had no idea what to do, how to [00:01:00] do anything. By 98, we cracked our first million and I knew enough then. I always say I knew enough to know I didn't know nearly enough. At that point is when I realized I need to get a coach. I need to get a business coach that I can work with that's going to help me get to the next level. And since that, we've always had a business coach.

I got myself to a point in the business, 2007, I removed myself entirely after putting a president in place, a vice president place, all the management layers. And I was managing and running the business from anywhere in the world, from a set of scoreboards and metrics, which is maybe something we'll talk about today, about how to help builders.

But at the end of the day, I was freed up from that business to go start other businesses for the next 10 years. Did not work another day in that. Well, it paid me extremely well. Sold that business in 2017 and when I sold it, what I realized at that time was what I pulled off was pretty unique and special.

That I could get removed from a business, have it run [00:02:00] without me, be paid extremely well, have it grow in scale while I was gone, and then sell it at an industry high multiple. I was on to something. And then, you know, in 2019, we decided to start 4 Level Coach and share, you know, everything that I'd learned and how I did that with builders and remodelers around the country.

Kevin Weitzel: That's awesome, and we're going to take a big old deep dive into that. However, before we get started, I need to know for our listeners, something personal about you that has nothing to do with work that they'll learn about on our podcast.

Randy Stanbury: Hmm. Interesting. Personal about me. Love sports. Love my family, love my daughters. Everything I do is for them to create a legacy and help them see that you can do anything you want, and you can recreate yourself at any point in time in your journey, and you're never stuck anywhere where you are.

Kevin Weitzel: That's fantastic. And I'm going to assume that your favorite hockey team is not the Raptors, that it's probably the [00:03:00] Canucks or somebody awesome like that, or the Canadians.

Randy Stanbury: That would be the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kevin Weitzel: Oh, Maple Leafs is good. All right.

Randy Stanbury: Definitely not the Canucks and not the Habs either, by the way.

Kevin Weitzel: You can't. You just can't.

Greg Bray: Well, Randy, tell us a little bit more about specifically 4 Level Coach, the type of services that you guys offer, and who you're trying to work with today.

Randy Stanbury: We have a variety of packages, programs to help builders and remodelers. Our core track, we call it Freedom Builders Program. We have 300 plus tools and videos and content and structures and templates and all the systems and everything that they need, literally every single piece of their business we have created for them. And then we coach them in a weekly group session that we help move them through the program. And that's our core program.

We also have our farm system. We work with guys in a much lower level and we help them get over that million-dollar mark. But our real sweet spot and where we can really put [00:04:00] fuel on the fire is our inner circle. And our inner circle is where we have our team become part of their team, and we really help them build a what we call level 3 and 4 business, which is a scalable business, and level 4, a sellable business. And so, this is where we can put fuel on the fire. This is where we can help them inject pieces into the business, work with them in-depth, and which I think what separates us from most other coaching businesses because this is our done for you model.

The biggest challenge that builders have, let's face it, is bandwidth and time. There's a hundred moving parts and pieces in this business every single day. We're getting sucked into the vortex of the business constantly. At the end of the day, what we can do for them in our inner circle is remove a lot of that stuff from them, take it off the plate, let our experts do it for them, and inject it into their business. This is where we see exponential growth.

Greg Bray: So, Randy, that sounds great. I want to be a better business, but [00:05:00] why do I need a coach for that? What is it that a coach brings to the table that maybe someone who hasn't worked with one before should consider?

Randy Stanbury: Yeah. Great question. Let's go back to the sports analogy, right? There is no professional athlete on the planet, Olympic athlete, high high-performing athlete that is doing this on their own. They have a team of coaches, right? They have a team of trainers. If you just think about it from that perspective, why do business owners not take the approach to say, hey, why am I doing this on my own?

It's not about motivation either. I think we get misconstrued about this is inspiration and motivation. It's not. Yeah, sure. That might be a part of it on days where we're sinking, and those days are there. Let's face it. But the truth is we're there to help strategize.

How many times have I heard this one? And you guys, no doubt too. As entrepreneurs, we feel like we're on an island. We're alone. Who do we talk to? I just had a conversation yesterday with a guy. It's like, man, feel I like I'm alone. I can't chat [00:06:00] with my team. My team doesn't get it. Most of my friends aren't entrepreneurs and they don't get it, and so where do I turn? Where do I go?

When you inject a coach, as I did in 98, I would not be talking to you if I didn't do that in 98, by the way. That showed me something different. It took me to another level of mindset and thinking that completely changed the game.

Kevin Weitzel: You know, I love that analogy because being a former professional cyclist, you would get in a rut and get in the habit of doing the same old thing, do what you just know that you know how to do. I know how to get on a bike. I know how to pedal. I know that I should work on my heart rate, yada, yada, yada.

And I think that home builders do the same thing and home builders will, I know how to build homes. Here's what I've done forever. If they don't infuse a coach to eliminate that, I do it this way and this is how I'm going to do it, and then consider other avenues that can bring profitability that can bring efficiencies, then they are truly on an island.

Randy Stanbury: Yeah, and that's so well said. I love that. Everyone's heard the analogy of, you know, sometimes we can't see the [00:07:00] forest for the trees. The truth is, just an outside perspective, this is not a pat on my back, it's just the truth. I've done this for so long and I understand the numbers in business so well that give me 30 minutes with you and show me a bit of your data in your business, and I'm going to find all kinds of holes and usually, literally tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars that we have falling through the cracks. And that's mainly because I'm not in the day-to-day in the thick of your world. I'm an outsider looking at it from a new perspective, with a different set of glasses on.

Greg Bray: That's a good point because a coach is not someone who's going to tell you what to do. They're not going to take over your business and say, this is now how you run it. But rather you're going to be asking some questions. Well, why do you do this and maybe saying, have you considered this other way that I've seen work?

The other secret to it that I've found too, is that when I actually have to explain something to somebody else [00:08:00] and convince you, well, this is why I'm doing it this way, it forces me to order my thoughts and my thinking in a way that just doesn't happen when you're just staring at the wall thinking to yourself. It just doesn't come out the same way when you have to explain to somebody else.

Kevin Weitzel: Greg, don't give away my secrets of staring at a wall and thinking to myself. Come on. That's how I mind melt with myself. Come on.

Randy Stanbury: Well, but Greg what you hit on there is as coaches, our job is not to tell you what to do but actually extract it from you, have you get deeper with that thinking. However, there's a consultant model that the consultant is more about telling you what to do. A lot of what we do is a little bit of a combined consultant/coach type model depending on where we see fit and where I believe their injections need to be there.

Because sometimes we were just not getting to it and I don't want to waste a whole lot of your time as a client of ours if you're just not getting it. Let's [00:09:00] help you get it. That's more of a consultant edge. So, there is a combined thinking about coaches and consultants and a true coach is going to do it one way and a true consultants another, and I like a blend of the two, really gets a result.

Greg Bray: That's a great insight. So, tell us, Randy, when you are talking with a builder and you say, are you ready to take your business to the next level? You guys are playing on that with your level, right? What is it that you mean when you say the next level? What does that really mean and what should it look like for a builder when they want it to go to the next level?

Randy Stanbury: Well, I'll tell you our four levels. I mean, to me, level one is having a job in your business. So, when we have a job in our business, in our world anyway, is a level one type of business. Now, if we're going to go to the next level from there, level two is having a real small business where we've got some management layers in place. Things are starting to be peeled off our plates. We're not dealing with every issue. Someone else is dealing with them, you know, we've got some layers in place. But we have a real small [00:10:00] business, but it's not scalable.

And so, our entire world is about taking and helping people go from levels one and two to three and four, and level three is a scalable business when we can become scalable. Now the next level is systematizing. It's freeing ourselves from the day-to-day to work on the business, to not be working in it, to not be having the business control us, but we control it. And so, next level to me is a scalable business.

Now when we're a scalable business, next level after that, and this is where guys start to talk about exit strategies. If anything I do well is help people exit because of what I pulled off back in 2017 or 07 actually is getting myself freed up entirely from the business, have it run and operate without me. That to me is a sellable business. When you are no longer of any value in the business. We devalue ourselves, but the business is still scalable. That is peak and that's [00:11:00] a level 4, and it's very difficult to achieve. A lot of things have to come into place.

Greg Bray: So, because we've got a focus on sales and marketing just with our audience, maybe we can drill down a little bit more into that piece of the overall business in the structure. So, again, it's always challenging for an owner to do everything. And a lot of folks that start home building businesses come from that idea, I want to build, from my experience. So, is the sales and marketing piece, one of the first things that they hand off, or is it something that just kind of stays by the wayside because they aren't really sure what to do with it?

Randy Stanbury: I think that's an excellent, excellent question. Two things. I think the marketing piece they likely shouldn't touch ever. I don't know if you guys agree with that.

Greg Bray: If it's not your, you know, genius zone, as they say, then you should get somebody else to help for sure.

Randy Stanbury: Right.

Kevin Weitzel: I agree. In the, especially in the sub 40 homes a year builder. They shouldn't be wasting their time dealing with that. They can hire that [00:12:00] in for far less than what it costs to staff and hire in gunslinging champions instead of just mediocre, hey, they're going to fill the seat.

Randy Stanbury: Sure, sure. Exactly that. Even if you feel like you can't afford it, you almost can't afford not to, because if you just mess around in it, and the time that takes and what it does with your bandwidth to do something more vital in your business than that, and you don't do it very well, what does that cost you? And what is not moving the needle in the marketing side costing you? You can't put a tangible number on it because we don't know what we're missing. There is an element to me of that's leaking cash, by the way. When we analyze the business and we look at the marketing side and we look at what's missing, we're leaking cash.

Now, the other piece is if marketing ramps up, but we can't handle it, we're the bottleneck on the system side, we're in trouble, right? But we need this machine, and we refer to the sales and marketing as a client acquisition machine. [00:13:00] And the truth is, if you want to take yourself to levels 3 and 4, we need a scalable business, and a scalable business must have a dialed-in client acquisition machine. And that includes our marketing side and our sales side.

Now, when we look at, again, that sub 40 homes, typically the owner lets go of sales last. It's typically the last thing they let go of because they're usually the ones that can close the best deals and they actually love that part of the game, stereotypically. This isn't the norm across the board, but most of the times this is what they love to do. And so, when we help them, we're helping them get outside of everything else, get themselves freed up to focus on the sale side so they can go close more deals at higher price points. And that is a piece that they want to let go of last. And typically, we suggest they let go of it last because they're usually are pretty darn good at. So, let's keep your focus there. Let's have you [00:14:00] love what you do.

We do an exercise called love and hate. And we look at our business and say, what is all the stuff you love to do? What is all the stuff you hate to do? Now, those are strong words, but you get the picture. It leads us in one direction or the other. Some things you might like to do, but you don't love them. Well, where's that bucket, right? But we want to just say, what do you love? What do you hate? And let's put those in two buckets. And at the end of the day, let's get you doing the things you love, so you can be more energized, motivated, and back to why you did this in the first place.

Greg Bray: So, Randy, where does this marketing strategy fall in the scalable business framework, shall we say? I get all my leads by word of mouth and referrals.

Randy Stanbury: Yeah. Well, I mean, it doesn't fall in the scalability realm. The truth is, we say this, word of mouth will make you a living, rarely make you a fortune. Fortunes come from scalability.

Kevin Weitzel: Randy, I can tell you firsthand that with the four levels that you already discussed. I founded the [00:15:00] largest triathlon shop in the entire Western half of the United States called Tribe Multisport in 2004. I failed to move forward and it was successful, but obviously, I failed to move forward with a level two and level three and I had two options.

Either one, completely revamp, the entire company, two, go out of business, or three, sell it. I chose to sell it, but I didn't sell it at prime multiple. I sold at walk away money, you know, shake my hands in the air and I at least can hold my head high that I didn't go out of business.

Randy Stanbury: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Kevin well said. I mean, that's the thing. When we say level 4 is sellable, sure, there's businesses you can sell at level two, but you're not going to love the return. Level four, that's walk away money. That's the money that we all want, and that's what we're referring to. But yeah, I don't believe word of mouth, you're always going to hit a ceiling with word of mouth. Let's face it.

Here's the thing that we find with word of mouth most of the time, especially if you've got the wrong word of mouth, you're trying to get to the [00:16:00] next level or separate yourself from where you've been. So, you're trying to scale up and you know, you cannot create a scalable business unless you charge a higher price point typically than you have been because what you're charging is not enough to grow and scale your business. You're not making enough money to build people and teams around you, great systems around you to ever free you up.

So, scalability cannot happen unless we get the right price point. But word of mouth typically will lead us down a path of a whole bunch of clients that haven't paid us superly well in the past, and they're the ones referring us to more clients the same as them. Now, how good is that? We've got to get outside of that, and marketing will get us outside of that. The client acquisition machine is everything to making it work. It's the heart of the whole scalability business.

Greg Bray: So, Randy, if a builder's listening today and they're okay, I want a client acquisition machine, what's kind of step one to even begin [00:17:00] creating that machine?

Randy Stanbury: Well, we have to start looking at our components because again, if we come to you to inject some real marketing for us, we better have some things in place. We better have a website that is not just a brochure, but a real revenue-generating website. Because the first thing you're going to do is get us some leads and our leads are going to go to our website, and is our website in conjunction with our brand and who we want to be?

So, do we have alignment with our branding? Do we have alignment with what do we want to show up in the marketplace? Is our social media in alignment with our website? When we have these new opportunities, are they just going to fall through the cracks because we don't look the part anyway?

Are we prepared for the tap to be turned on, on marketing? And if we're not prepared by having those things in place, well, we should have planted that oak tree a few years back. So, if we're going to start doing this, we have a laundry list of elements that [00:18:00] must be in place in order for an acquisition machine to be present or to be real and turned on and work.

Kevin Weitzel: Funny that you said oak tree because with an oak tree, if you're building it for that level 4 sell-off, you plant the oak tree, you'll never benefit from the shade that it produces. Because by the time it becomes a full-grown oak tree, you're long gone.

Randy Stanbury: You're long gone. Well, they say, what's the best time to plant an oak tree?

Greg Bray: Twenty years ago.

Kevin Weitzel: Forty years before you need it.

Randy Stanbury: Yeah, yeah. You know, typically a hundred years ago, right? That'd be even better. Well, when's the second best time?

Greg Bray: Today.

Randy Stanbury: Today. We need to get that planted if we want to benefit from the machine. And here's the thing that people often come to us and say, it's like, Hey, I've spent a ton of money on marketing and it never worked. Then we do an analysis of their branding and their business and their website and social media. And we go, well, no wonder it didn't work. That's clear. And you're mad at the marketing agency?

Now, maybe the marketing agency should have helped them with some of [00:19:00] that before they got to spending that kind of money with them. But the truth is, If we're a true business owner, we need to have extreme ownership, right? So, we got to take ownership of what's present. Are we set up to win or not?

Greg Bray: I love Randy, this idea that there's so many things that you need to kind of get in place. You used the word laundry list. But at the same time, that can sound a little overwhelming. I've got all these things, I can't even start this until I finish all these other things. How do you help folks that you're working with not get just overwhelmed? Because you're coming in here and saying, Gosh, here's the plan, guys and there's a lot because you've just really missed the boat here and we gotta get you turned around. Go away, Randy. That's too much. I'm just going to go back to how I've always done it because I can't process everything you're bringing at me. How do you kind of walk somebody through that minefield?

Randy Stanbury: Well, I'll tell you, the very first thing we need to do is get to your why. Because without your why and understanding how deep your desire [00:20:00] is, you're not going to do what it takes because this is not an easy thing. But you're in this business for a reason in the first place. So, do you want it bad enough to get to where you want to go? Because it's going to take something and it's not a quick fix.

These elephants and we can't see this with our audio, but these elephants sit on my desk for a reason because they represent what we're trying to achieve. We're trying to eat an elephant. And so how do we do that? One bite at a time. And the only way that we can do that is strategize what bites of the elephant we're going to take. We do it every 90 days. We have focused vision sessions, 12-month goals.

So, we start with vision. We reverse engineer 12-month goals, and then we look at our 90-day focus. And at the end of the day, what's gonna happen in the next 90 days? Because if we can do that for the next 13 weeks, what we call vitals, if we can focus on moving the needle, finding the needle movers in our business, which is our bites of the elephant, we get you four or five bites of the elephant in the next quarter, that's gonna make a difference. You just had the best quarter you ever had. And it [00:21:00] sets you up for the next step and the next step.

And really what we're doing, if you ever read the book, Darren Hardy's Compound Effect, you'll understand how the compound effect works. And that's what we're trying to do is say, let's not get overwhelmed. Let's realize that, yes, this is a long-term thing. Let's understand the bites of the elephant. Let's give you a game plan. Let's focus on the needle movers, and then let's get you an action plan. And why we work with guys every week in our program to keep you focused and dialed in on your vitals to move the needle because yes, it's not easy.

Greg Bray: I think, Randy, that folks listening are going, okay, I want that vision. If somebody listening today is not the owner, but they're someone who's trying to help the owner, they're a leader within the organization. What are some pieces of advice you might have for them as to how they can help the owner when they see the owner kind of stuck in some place or not willing to let go of some part of this process or whatnot? Any thoughts for that? That person?

Randy Stanbury: I was literally just with my daughter. I mentioned my daughters earlier, right? I literally [00:22:00] was having this conversation with my daughter yesterday. She's looking for her first big career job and I said, you know, the most valuable asset that me as a business owner looks for in a candidate to hire is initiative, right? I need someone that's going to take initiative. So, if somebody is listening to this and thinking, how can I help the owner?

Help the owner by taking initiative with what we refer to as IRCs, and your IRCs are your issues, roadblocks, and challenges. Now, we have issues, roadblocks, and challenges literally every day in the building/remodeling world. Literally every day we're dealing with issues, roadblocks, and challenges. But there are certain issues, roadblocks, and challenges that if we dealt with them, if we could eliminate those from our business, and we can create systems and processes around eliminating those IRCs, that will take the business to the next level.

Now, far too often as a business owner, we have people coming to us with problems, not solutions. So, if you want to help, figure out what the big IRCs are that's [00:23:00] causing problems in the business, leakage of cash, blowing profitability, having where we're stuck in projects, solve the problem, create the new system, bring the new process to the owner, to your boss, or to that next level, and help strategize through fixing the problem with these solutions. And think about it from the IRC perspective. What are the issues, roadblocks, and challenges, and start there is my suggestion.

Greg Bray: Great advice. Kevin, wouldn't you love it if somebody came to you with the solution instead of just, hey, Kevin, what should I do?

Kevin Weitzel: Uh, I deal with that every day of my life. My girlfriend comes to me with a solution for practically everything I do, you know? What I should be eating, what time I should be going to bed when I should stop chewing so loudly. You know, I could go on for hours and hours about all the things that I do wrong in her eyes, that I could be doing right. But apparently, she doesn't see that I'm still me.

Greg Bray: Well, if you'd stop eating that elephant all the time.

Kevin Weitzel: It's the elephant that I'm chewing, you got it. It's that one bite at a time. I got to stop [00:24:00] taking three or four bites at a time.

Greg Bray: Well, Randy, this has been a great conversation. Any last thoughts or words of advice for the builders out there, as far as just helping them to pick one thing to do next?

Randy Stanbury: Yeah. I would say, one of the biggest things that is almost always present is the need to slow down to speed up. We're far too busy being sucked into the vortex of the business, in most cases, to ever see the forest for the tree. So, we need to slow down to speed up. We need to step back and analyze and strategize. We need time to think and process what's happening and review. We call it reviewing, evaluating, and adjusting course. We need that time on a consistent basis.

This hamster wheel that we all tend to run on for too long will get us nowhere. And at the end of the day, if you want something more, if you want the next level in any way, shape, or form, doing the same things that you've been doing that hasn't gotten you there, won't get you there. So, we've got to slow down to speed up. [00:25:00] Strategize and think differently about how we move forward and take the right bites of the elephant.

Greg Bray: Randy, if somebody wants to learn more and connect with you, what's the best way for them to reach out and get in touch?

Randy Stanbury: They can email, randy@4levelcoach.

com or go to our website, 4levelcoach. com. All our programs and what we do is there. You certainly learn lots more there or check us out on any of the social media platforms.

Greg Bray: Well, thanks again for being with us, and thank you everybody for listening today 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 [00:26:00]

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