Hiring, Growing And Building With Co-Host Robert Orfino

TRE 79 | Hiring In Real Estate


Hiring someone should not be based on their skills alone; instead, it should include their attitude and their belief in your system. Host, Jason Bible, and co-host, Robert Orfino, discuss hiring people in the real estate business and provide critical insights that would help you find the right ones. What is more, you could even join their team. They share some of the positions they are looking to fill and give out important pointers on what they expect. On another note, Jason and Robert also provide some amazing tactics and creative strategies in dealing with shifts in the marketplace, using Airbnb as an example. Find out more from this episode on how to grow and build your own business empire.

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Hiring, Growing And Building With Co-Host Robert Orfino

I want to give a Greenland update. It’s a hilarious article that somebody posted in the Mr. Texas Real Estate Facebook Group. They said that, “Trump is going to flip Greenland, has already called Chip and Joanna Gaines to add some shiplap, hardwood floors and island and some new granite to Greenland, and then we’re going to sell it from there.” That was my favorite part, the shiplap and they’re going to add an island. They had these quotes from Trump and he’s like, “We know that like opposing wood tile, it’s just not in anymore.” I’ve never been a fan of that by the way, but in any case, everyone thought it was so cool. We’ll see. I haven’t gotten a Greenland update, but it sounds like, maybe we’re going to buy, maybe we’re not. I think they did a price drop and then the agent just totally ghosted to Europe.

It’s 90/10.

It’s 10% of the agents do 90% of the work. We’re negotiating on this. It’s full price, “We’re ready to get this going.”

When can we close?

They’re like, “I’m on vacation.” What do you mean you’re on vacation?

“I went to Europe, sorry.”

The other thing too is I’m learning this is commercial real estate. They’re like, “We don’t like to get a whole lot of work done on Fridays. We like to be on the golf course or maybe at happy hour.”

Any time after 3:00, we’re done or until there’s a deal and then it’s 24/7.

It’s like, “What are we doing on Saturday? What are we doing on Sunday?” Speaking of which, we’re looking at our first-class A deal right now. I was surprised.

We have to get silly money for that. How can you service the debt at a 3.5% cap?

It didn’t start a 3.5% cap. The rates are much lower for that type of asset.

TRE 79 | Hiring In Real Estate
Hiring In Real Estate: When you’re building out your business and you’re going to do some hiring, you need not only the skills but their belief in the organization as well.


It has to be.

It’s an interesting deal so we’ll see. We’re supposed to get some more numbers back. That’s a big-boy deal. I’m talking to my contact that brought me the deal. He said, “They’re stuck on $220,000 but I think ultimately where this thing’s going to land is about $180,000.” I’m like, “That would make a bit more sense.” They need money for another project. I’m like, “If anybody can get it done, Mr. Texas Real Estate can get it done. I’ve got the guy. Every time we visit with them in California, they go, “Do you guys got $100 million deal?” I’m like, “No, but I got this $2 million deal in Corpus.” They’re like, “We’re not interested in that.” I said, “I’ve got a hotel. We’re doing down in Surfside.” They’re like, “A $1 million didn’t get us out of bed in the morning.”

It is so crazy as you get up that ladder. I was so happy to get $3,500 wholesale fee.

When you go through that change, when we close that deal out, and what we did on that deal and I started looking at a couple other deals that we did.

Now, we see the blue Honda everywhere.

That’s a good one.

It’s when you buy the blue Honda Accord and then you see the blue Honda Accord everywhere.

There’s this amazing thing that you find what you’re looking for and now that I know we’re supposed to be looking for, I find it all over the place now. That’s exciting, but we’re hiring. We’re bringing on some work. We’re bringing on some more new people.

We have three positions, but let’s go into a few things that are going to help you. The people that are reading, not you Jason, but it’ll also help you, Jason. When you are filling out your team or if you already have an existing team, this is a big thing. I made a statement over the weekend on our little Mastermind. I love this organization. That’s an organization we were talking about. I love them. The problem is, some of their employees don’t love the organization. I’m like, “Wow.” Every time I’m around certain folks from this organization, I don’t feel any love like I do when these other representatives are there. I’m not going to go into any deeper than that. Casey did an excellent little thing when he talked about sales and marketing and folks that work for you. There is the ego, the I. “I did this. I did that. This is great. Look how good I am. Me, me, me. I’m doing a Facebook post, me, me, me.”

There’s the second level where it’s like the product, “We’ve got the best. This is the best. We rock. This destroys. Best, best, best,” even though it’s a commodity. There’s the third which we as owners of several organizations need to be on constant vigilance for is service. The third thing that we’re always looking for is service. I don’t want our salespeople talking about them. I want them talking about our customers. I don’t want the folks that do Airbnb talking about how great the bed is. I want them talking about how comfortable your sleep will be and it’s just a switch. It’s a little shift but it’s big because you’re going to find it in the employee’s mindset.

Jack Welch says, “You’ve got skills and belief in the system.” You can mix those two in four different ways. He would say, “It is easier for me to take someone who believes in the system but doesn’t have the skills and train them up to have a good employee versus someone who comes in with the skills and doesn’t believe in a system.” What GE did is found people who didn’t have the skills and didn’t believe in the system and they immediately fired them. They just got rid of them. The people that were left over who had the skills and didn’t believe, he gave them six months. If they didn’t bite in, they were gone too. The people that had the belief and didn’t have the skills, he gave a year. It was so big with General Electric. He set up General Electric University. He pushed all these guys to the Six Sigma Training. It was serious. If you believed in the system, then you were going to spend a good portion of your life working for General Electric. Everything is falling apart for that organization, but at the time, it was the number one corporation in the entire world.

Closing is not just about the product but how you are serving the community. Click To Tweet

His vision was, “If we’re not one or two in an industry, we’re getting rid of it. We’re getting out,” which is phenomenal if you think about it.

What was left? It’s nuclear power and financing. They had the number one consumer financing product which carried their company for a long time. When you’re building out your business and you’re going to do some hiring, you need the skills, but you need the belief. They need to believe in the organization and believe in the team. When I hear people talking about my commission, what’s my commission? How do I get paid? It’s like, “We’re serving these people.” You’re going to get paid a lot of money if you make an effort to serve everyone that Jason and I bring to you.

We’ve got some people that are loving it. For sure, Cindy and Linda are serving our Mastermind folks and our members, just above and beyond. They are part of the 10 in a 90 to 10 ratio in real estate. We are blessed to have them on our team and that’s we want. Here comes Joe Blow and he wants to do a duplex and they’re on it. Within a week, we got things under contract. We got inspections. We’re moving forward on all this stuff because they’re serving Mr. Texas Real Estate and they’re serving those folks that come in. It’s not about Cindy and Linda. That’s a real distinction that everyone in your organization has to make, especially on the sales side. Because you get cringy, “We’re the biggest in the whole state. We’re the biggest in the city. We’re the best. I crushed it. We’ve got the best product.” That’s like, “Wait a minute, what about me?” I’m serving the people that are lining up.

I’ll tell you where this shows up, when I would go to these weekend real estate seminars, you’re standing there or you’re sitting there and the first ten slides on a Saturday morning is this guy’s picture of his family in the big house and the Lambos and Ferraris. It’s like, “We got it. You’re a rich guy.” I’m like, “That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to learn.”

I’m going to tell you that Grosse Pointe Blank is becoming one of those movies that I stopped what I’m doing and watch.

I need to see it.

It’s good. I was thinking of the three movies. I posted Billy Jack on my Facebook page. Whenever that movie is on, I sit down. It’s that and it’s like The Godfather. For me, it’s the first Star Wars. I stop, sit down, and watch it. Grosse Pointe Blank is moving into that category where I love that movie. It’s music and it’s fun.

I’ve got this on my list. I like to watch it every six months to a year. I’d watch Fight Club in probably about a year. I want to read the book. I watched the behind-the-scenes. There’s one line. They tried to edit one line and the writer said, “We’ll come up with a different line,” and it was ten times worse. They said, “No, we’ll take that other one.” It was when Tyler Durden and Marlin are hanging out. It’s something he says and they came up with an even better line. They’re like, “No, we’re not going to do that. You can go back to the other line.”

We’re also talking about filling out your staff, filling out your team. You want someone who’s going to be about the team and servicing the client. They’ve got to truly believe that they’re going out there to help Mima get rid of her property, to bail her out of a bad situation. Not, “Look how great I am. I can close this deal,” and not, “I’m the fastest closer in town.” I’m waiting for a hard money lender to tell me they can close in hours. I can close in three hours. You cannot close in three days. It’s not about them. It’s not about the products, but how we serve the community. We’re in a studio every day and we bounce back and forth and talk about ourselves and our stuff because there’s not in front of us. If we’re in front of a crowd, we are always interacting, pointing, “What are you doing?” It’s the same thing. You’ve got to serve that community. You’ve got to serve that customer base. If you want to work for us, we’re not interested in you. We’re not interested in the tools you use. We’re interested in how you serve our customers. That’s one big requirement. You have to be and understand that we are service-based.

When you have a conversation and let’s say you’re representing a seller or a buyer in some case. They start having this discussion about how big the deal is. I don’t know if the deal is important. Does the deal work for your client? That’s more of a better question. Are you putting them into a situation in which they can succeed or is this going to be a real challenge for them?

I’ll go back to the ladies that are doing the Mr. Texas Real Estate. They are working just as hard on a $62,000 deal as they are on a $1 million deal. They’re going to make nothing on this. They make $600, but they’re working hard and they’re delivering to the clients. That’s what we want our organization to represent. We do serve this community and that the folks that come to us, clients, customers and guests. They are all getting an unbelievable experience. If we can’t deliver that experience, we want to know why and how we fix.

The second thing that we’re always looking for is we want people who got to be able to speak to power. You’ve got to be able to grab Jason and say, “You’re wrong and this is why you’re wrong, this is what we need to do.” We don’t need a bunch of lemmings running around. We need folks that make us better. We want people in our organization that will make us better. “We should look at this.” “This is a better tool I found.” “We can do this for the show.” What that all leads to is how we can serve our customers, our clients and our guests.

TRE 79 | Hiring In Real Estate
Hiring In Real Estate: With Airbnb, market experiences, not locations.


You hire folks that have higher-level expertise in something that you don’t. The idea that we have to be experts and everything on our business is ridiculous.

I forget who coined the phrase, “You want to hire a bunch of people around you who are smarter than you.” That has not been a challenge in my life. I surround myself with smart people and, “Tell me how we’re going to do it?” The other little thing that annoys the heck out of me, and it’s in the Mastermind and we said this was one of the ground rules. You can point out a problem to me anytime but when you’re done with that statement, it is followed by one of two things, the solution that you have or the words ‘I don’t know the solution.’ People who go around and point out problems at work are buttheads. They’re just complaining. “What’s the solution?” “I don’t have a solution.” “Thank you for bringing it up. If we don’t have a solution, let’s go figure out a solution. Let’s stop talking about the problem and find a solution.”

We want folks around us that are solution-based. Serve the client, serve the guests, serve the customer solution base and can bring better ideas to us all the time. If you fit those three critical things, if you’re good at what you do, understand you got to serve the customer, the client, the community and can bring us solutions, we want to hire you. All the positions start part-time. That’s how we do it. They all start part-time. It’s usually 20 to 25 hours. We don’t want to commit big time. It’s a lot of my training, a lot of Jason’s training. We don’t want to jump into it. It’s part-time and we grow out.

The three positions that we’re hiring for, we’re calling this the property manager’s manager. We have a lot of properties and we have most of them with property managers or a hosting company for Airbnb. Someone’s got to be the liaison there. Someone’s got to be able to figure out, “Is this a critical issue that Jason and Rob need to deal with or is it something that the property manager is just making us aware of? We’ve got great property managers, but one of them talks. It’s just sifting and sorting. Is this a real problem? “Yes, it’s a real problem. I got to take it to Robert. We got to get this thing fixed.” The other thing that we have, and this has been a fault of ours that we’ve been falling on this summer, is we now have so many properties. We have to multiply that number by electric bill, gas bill, water bill, SOAR bill, cable bill, alarm bill, and landscaping bill. We’ve got seven or eight bills that are coming in per property and they’re just going in a big old box at this point. Christine sits down once a week and sorts some and says, “Anything pink, we better pay attention to.”

We are trying to get on top of that and be better customers to our utilities and service providers so that will be a big position, just staying on track of all that. If you take 58 times 8, we’ve got 400, 500 different accounts. There are ways that we’re going to be able to maximize and save on those accounts. You’re going to have to dig deep. There are referral fees. We use Reliant. Every client we sign up, we should make another $50. There are all these little things, so that’s going to be a desk-driven task. You have to work with spreadsheets and you’re going to have to be able to communicate and get on the phone and solve these basic utility and service provider problems that we’re having.

We’re hiring. That first one is the assistant property manager position. The second one is going to take us a while to fill, but we are looking for a hospitality director. We are on the verge of having 52 Airbnb units. We need someone who’s going to manage that entire organization here in Texas. We are looking for someone who has hospitality background, worked at a hotel, who’s got a good degree. We want to see you have some background on that. You’ve done your internship somewhere else and then we’re going to teach you something completely different. We are looking for someone to run those properties and focus on hospitality.

One of the things we learned from Casey, we’ve got 52 or something. We’ll do just fine on that but there’s probably another $800 to $1,000 per unit that we can pull out if we do some add-ons. You and I do not have time to put together the beach towel package and all that other stuff, but our manager can. Our manager can put the family beach package together, which has got four beach towels, the sand thing, maybe a little cooler that gets delivered to one of our beach houses right before they show up. For an extra hundred $150 you get that or the couple’s retreat or working with them to promote Valentine’s Day at Surfside.

We will run a little weekend special with champagne and choc and all that other stuff. We’ll have someone who’s got to work that angle. They’ve got to work that angle for us because there is a ton more we can work from it. As much as we love Surfside and we love everyone down there, they are not sophisticated at what they’re doing. It is like, “Here’s the property, white appliances, squeaky bed and they’re getting $250 a night.” We want to get $250 a night and we want to add on another $75 a night with some add-ons.

That’s an addition to the experience. We were talking about it in the Mr. Texas Real Estate Facebook Group. We posted up a hotel article that showed the cyclical nature of occupancy in hotels and I said, “This is one of the things we’re tracking right now. We’re looking at not only regionally but nationally because we are in that business now.” We started having this conversation about exponential marketing, which is the idea that we’re marketing experiences not locations. A couple of folks brought up some different points and that’s true. It’s like, “What’s the experience in going to Surfside for Valentine’s weekend?” Can we market that experience as opposed to just, “Here’s the property.”

Can we get twenty couples down there and we host a bonfire on the beach as an added experience? Yes, it is. Can we bring a photographer down? There are all those little things that we need someone. You got to have the basics of hospitality, but you have to be creative. Again, we’re going to start part-time but we’ll probably move full-time if we find the right person quickly. That is a hospitality director. The last position, we’re hiring for is something you’ve been screaming for a couple months now. We need a transactional coordinator. We need someone who knows this business. Jason can speak to this, but we’re a little stymied on how we’re going to pay them. We like them to be in-house ultimately. We might not have enough deals right now. It would be a pay-as-you-go at the beginning and then maybe we can move to a full-time position.

I can tell you one of the challenges is, even working with a title company is great. They’re fantastic at moving a file along but you need somebody that is working with buyers and sellers and, “Did we get the survey order? Do we do this? Do we do that? Hard money lender or mortgage company, this is where we’re at.” It’s someone who is managing that whole process and we highly prefer someone with title experience because it makes life a whole lot easier. I’ve hired people before without title experience and it’s six months of training. One of the challenges we found is then they figure out they don’t like it and then you’re like, “We just spent six months.”

It is easier to take someone who believes in the system but doesn’t have the skills and train them up to be a good employee. Click To Tweet

Somebody goes, “I’m highly organized and I like working with people.” I’m like, “This would be great.” You spent six months training and you’re like, “I absolutely hate this.” I’m like, “This is not for you.” We’re looking for somebody with title experience, loan experience, that sort of thing who is accustomed to real estate transactions, not a real estate agent. There’s a lot of agents out there that think they’ve got that experience. They don’t. If I ask you what a Schedule C is and you don’t know what that is, then this is not the position for you. That’s what we’re looking for, someone to help us on the transaction side working with our fund’s portfolio, our portfolio and then The Mr. Texas Real Estate Mastermind group as they’re building their portfolio out.

Again, we’re open to the pay structure there. We know we have some things to work on. Those are the positions we’re hiring for. We’re hiring an assistant property manager, a director of hospitality and a transactional coordinator. If you’re looking to get on the team, we’d love to have you. We’d love to talk to you. If you know some folks, go ahead and direct message them and put us together on Facebook. We’d appreciate it. You can always text us at (281) 401-9008.

We’ll be all in on that deal at about $290,000. What’s the gross? It’s $6,000 a month on $300,000. That’ll work.

It’s an opportunity zone too. We’re putting in more than 50% improvements.

That is more than 50% improvements.

If we hold on to for seven and a half to ten years, yes.

It’s been fascinating the last six months to see people as we have changed over to Airbnb and now we’re doing hotels, small apartments and all that other stuff. All of the back-and-forth, why are you guys doing this? Why are you doing that? I’m like, “You’re not seeing where the marketplace is going.” I think when we look at small apartment space, probably a better way to put it is the affordable housing space and when we look at Airbnb which we’re not doing affordable housing Airbnb. Those are nice properties. For business travels or for vacation travelers, that’s where the marketplace is going. One of the things they used to tell you in business school is you either want to be the high-end custom, it’s Nordstrom’s or Walmart and if you’re in between, you get run over.

It’s interesting when you look at our portfolio, that’s what it looks like. It’s funny, having this conversation with some of my lenders and they said, “We noticed you guys are getting into this affordable, lower-end housing marketplace and it’s a new venture for you guys. We’ve got a bit of trepidation in that space.” I understand it. That makes sense that we haven’t turned enough of the units over for him yet to believe that we figured out the system. I said, “At the end of the day, it is the affordable housing model. The floor doesn’t get any lower.”

Even the deal that we did, we tried to close this three or four times. Everybody’s backed out and we pull up more like, “This is going to work great. We know exactly what to do with this.” That is where the marketplace is going. We closed on a refinance on a property in Katy and that house went from in two years an ARV of $140,000 to $170,000 and the rents are flat at $1,350 a month. You start looking at, “How am I going to build my portfolio for those of you who are getting started in real estate and you’re thinking, ‘I’m going to buy the cute little house and Katy.’” I’m like, “You’re getting priced out of that marketplace.” You’re going to have to go somewhere else. You’re going to have to do Airbnb because you’re able to buy higher-end properties. You’re going to go into some of the smaller submarkets in some areas of town that are affordable housing.

Some are government-subsidized and some are just working class.

It’s a working-class neighborhood. You’re not going to be in the white-collar, middle class. Those are almost $250,000 houses now. They rent for $1,500 month and those numbers don’t work.

TRE 79 | Hiring In Real Estate
Hiring In Real Estate: For business travels or for vacation travelers, Airbnb is where the marketplace is going.


You can see like bad landlords in certain areas now, even in Katy. You can see bad landlords. You drive past a house and you’re like, “I’m sure that person doesn’t own that.” The trim hasn’t been painted because the HOA is big. The HOA is on the same floor as our office. They’re big. It’s like, “Why isn’t someone on top of that?” That’s happening too, reverse market going down there. I did a little video on the cost of things. You can go buy. You can find ten houses. You can find eight houses in La Marque. You can find affordable, more cashflow and if we can hold them for five to seven years, you’re going to make a fortune.

They’re going to double in value.

If you do that every single year, for four years, pick up 32 properties, you’ll be sitting at $1.8 million in seven years in equity based on the current market trends. Imagine trying to wholesale to $1.8 million of wealth.

To wholesale to get to $1.8 million, you have to wholesale $3.6 million. I hope everybody cut that math. That’s why I have never met a millionaire wholesaler.

I met one, but he’s more of a guru.

That’s when you ask him, “Did you make your money wholesaling or did you make it sale and wholesaling courses? It’s the same thing with flippers. Unless you go to California, I haven’t met any flippers that do over net-net a million dollars a year. It’s tough because you’ve got to make net-net two just for the taxes to make one. It’s possible. Let’s talk about Katy and La Marque. It’s easier to go in there and buy a deal. We bought it for $110,000 at the time and it was worth $140,000. It’s a 79% deal. I bought an 80% deal and people were asking me, “Jason, why are you buying an 80% deal?” The appreciation is going to be great. I had a private lender do the loan for me. I paid them for two years, interest only. That property is now worth $170,000. We’ve rolled everything into the loan. That’s now a 70% deal. Truth be told, that $170,000 is low. I think it’s worth between $190,000 and $200,000 if we were to put it on the market.

If we were to hold on to that property and sell it now at $190,000, I’m in for $110,000. It would have made me $80,000. Try flipping a house and making $80,000. The average wholesale fee is $8,900 and that doesn’t include any of your overhead costs. That’s just the gross fee. When you’re looking at flipping and you’re looking at wholesaling and I hear people say things like, “Jason, I need to flip in a wholesale to bring an additional capital so I can buy rental properties.” I’m like, “You need to sit down and do the math because you and your wife’s household combined income is $250,000.” Here’s the other problem. Let’s say you wholesale and flip and you make another $150,000, you’re going to pay so much taxes. It doesn’t even make sense. Let’s figure out some other ways that we can get these things in our contract, maybe some partnerships. Let’s see we can find some other cash and then hold on to it for two years. If you want to liquidate your Katy deal, you’ve got $80,000 or $90,000 equity in then go into two more deals. That makes more sense.

If you know someone looking for a job, let us know. We’ve got three positions available. Check us out on Mr. Texas Real Estate Group on Facebook. There’s the assistant property manager position, which means you liaison in the field property managers. You’re taking care of all the different invoices and counts. Organize all that and then find ways to save money on some of the expenses that we’re doing. We have a director of hospitality. That’s a serious position with a serious degree and some serious experience but you’re going to come in.

You’re going to do fun things like rent jeeps and golf carts and beach towels. We’re going to look for the ups. We’re trying to figure out the ups. We’re looking for a transactional coordinator. We’re looking for someone who has some experience, who understands the whole process and we’d love to have a conversation with you. If you know anyone who fits those descriptions that might be looking for new employment, please go ahead and tag them, bring them on over to the Mr. Texas Facebook Group or direct message Robert Orofino or Jason Bible. That would be great.

I will tell you about the hiring process. It is long. Here’s how it works. We want to see your resume. We’ll review your resume. We’re going to do a quick little phone interview then I’m going to send you two tests. One is going to be a personality test. It doesn’t matter what your personality is. Don’t guess what I’m looking for. I need to understand how I communicate with you. That’s a big thing. Second, I’m going to give you homework. I’m going to see if you can do the job. I’m going to give you two to three things to look up and call on that I already know the answer to. I want to see how you’re finding and how you would report back to me. I had one person to shoot me a link. I’m like, “That might be okay but probably not what I’m looking for,” versus someone who wrote a whole dissertation on what I was looking for. It was perfect. You’re going to get a little homework.

After that, you’re going to come in and we’re going to do a very long interview. It’ll probably be with two people. Before you come into an interview, before you waste three hours of your time or three hours of my time, I will need you to set up conference calls with your references. That’s it. I need you to go ahead and set up a call with me and your references. We check references. If you don’t have a good reference or if you’re going to get a partial reference or you’re not smart enough to call your old manager to ask if would they give you a good reference or not, that’s going to be a big thing.

I’m going to tell you the first question I ask your reference. “Jim, I’m calling about Rick. Rick’s going to come and work for us with all this good stuff. Let me ask you before we get started, just real quick. On a scale of one to ten, what’s Rick?” If I don’t hear eight, nine or ten, I say, “Thanks a lot. I got to go.” I hang up the phone. I’m not looking to hire a five or six. I’m not looking for any more projects. I’m not looking for, “I’m going to work with you and develop you.” No, I want you to be a rock star when you come in. We got this little thing like in two years if you’re not holding property, you’ve messed up. Those are what we’re looking for. Go ahead and hit us up on Mr. Texas Real Estate group and then direct message me or Jason on Facebook. Have a great day. We’ll be back.

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