On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike is joined by Kamil Maras and Aleksandar Memca on a panel discussion from the GoBundance trip to Breckenridge this summer. The guys explain their backgrounds and talk about how COVID has affected their businesses and how they pivoted to continue to perform. Enjoy!
“Sometimes, when we’re not in a crisis or overloaded, we create a lot of problems. We’re constantly putting new projects on our team and trying to sort through what really matters. In times of crisis, it becomes really clear.”
0:00 – Intro and explanation of the panel
3:15 – The three panelists explain their background
9:00 – The panelists explain what happened the first week COVID hit, how they dealt with it, and how they adapted their individual businesses
23:18 – The panelists are asked about what their leadership teams were looking like after the first 30-60 days, what kind of conversations they were having, and what holes showed up
33:32 – The panelists are asked what’s been the result of their efforts, and what’s changed since COVID hit
40:11 – The panelists are asked what they envision for the next 3-5 years
48:49 – The panelists are asked what are the things keeping them up at night and what their fears are to make them pivot again
57:16 – The panelists are asked whether they can point at one person within their organizations which helped them get to where they are today with the pandemic
1:04:24 – The panelists leave their final thoughts about what they’ve learned through the COVID experience
1:07:09 – Some of the audience members show their appreciation to the panelists
Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today I’m going to share the audio from a panel that I was on in Breckenridge this last summer for the group I talk about a lot GoBundance. There were three of us. Another guy in the group, Kamil Maras, and then Aleksandar Memca. And the three of us were on a panel being interviewed by Dirk van Reenen. Just talking about, the title of the panel was called Scaling Your Business During the Pandemic. And it was just a fun time. We had a great conversation and then it went into a Q and A time, which I think was valuable. So, you know, whether you own a business or whether you’re aspiring to own a business or, you know even just, I mean we all work somewhere. So, I think this will provide value to you just having the perspective, let’s say that you’re a W2 employee, just having the perspective from the employer’s view. I think it would be valuable, but if you’re a business owner or an aspiring business owner, I think you’ll especially find value in this. You know, there are some really smart guys that were on the panel, Kamil owns a pretty large roofing company that he’s scaling in the east side of the U.S. and then Aleksandar owns a really large business. An international business actually and talking to this guy is just mesmerizing. I mean, the things that he’s accomplished in life are just amazing. So, I think you’ll get a lot of value out of this. And you know, if you have any questions or any follow-ups just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can continue the conversation. Enjoy the interview.
Dirk van Reenen: Hey guys. So, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to have a panel and we’re really going to talk about how some people have transitioned and pivoted through COVID. And we’ve got three amazing brothers that are coming up that all three own really strong businesses and are strong investors as well. And really our people that we have found are pouring into other areas of their life in a big way. So, we want to bring up our three panelists and we’ve got Mike Ayala coming up, Alex Memca and Kamil Maras, come on up guys. I gave you kind of like a weird thumb hug, around the mic.
Mike Ayala: That’s the new COVID.
Dirk van Reenen: That’s the new COVID. Yeah. All right. So, guys, here’s what we want to do is just jump into getting to know you guys for anybody that doesn’t know you. So, we’d love to start off with you guys, just sharing a little bit about your background and, you know, kind of what has brought you to this point where you are today. So, Mike, why don’t we go ahead and kick off with you?
Mike Ayala: I’m the lucky kicker offer. So, I was a plumber by trade. Started my first business in 2004. I was 24 years old, which I won’t go into a lot of the reasons, but I found myself at a place which we started talking about. I was working 90, 100 hours a week missed my wife’s third pregnancy. Just found myself there. And a lot of the guys, you know, I’ve been having a lot of conversations with Jeff, right? We don’t own our time. And so that kind of led me into starting my first business, which was a plumbing and HVAC company. That was a crazy ride, inc fastest-growing companies in America. I mean, double-digit growth, every single year, a hundred employees. I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, none. So, like all of us, you know, you find rooms like this, you surround yourselves, you hire the best Coaches, did all that stuff, and ended up exiting that business in 2014, along the way. We were making a, you know, a lot of, spinning off a lot of capital like business does. I mean, I’ve, I look up to David Osborne so much when he’s talking about the three legs. And I’ve heard him said too that a lot of people, a lot of wealthy people made their money in business, but they hold it in real estate or other investments. And so, we followed that trend. I ended up buying five mobile home parks along the way. Had 45 single families and then three commercial buildings when I sold the business in 2014, I kept the real estate and then kind of went on this journey of what’s next, found the real estate guys through a mastermind, and teamed up with my partner. And we started syndicating manufactured housing communities. And currently, we’re at 39 communities in 13 States, have a construction company, which is completely on hold right now, and the property management company, which we had to spend a lot of time adjusting through COVID, which we’ll probably talk about, but that’s my background. That’s what brought us to today.
Dirk van Reenen: Awesome. Mike, thank you. Kamil go ahead.
Kamil Maras: So, my name’s Kamil. Born and raised in Poland, came to the States when I was 13 years old, and right out of college, I was supposed to become a lawyer, took the LSAT and everything. And then my mom says, why don’t you try the family business, help us out. We always got along, I said sure, why not and then maybe, that was 2005, maybe six months later. She sat me and, my brother’s right there. She sat us down and she’s like, boy, peace out, I’m out to Florida. I was like, well, shit. I had no idea what I was doing, a similar situation. So, it was a small mom and pop roofing and siding business, right. A service business. So, I took it in 2005. I took it through 2009 and it survived. I, again, I had no idea what I was doing and then it grew, I discovered, you know, systems, processes, people, all that stuff, GoBundance around 2017. And there was this high, high growth over the last say five years. So, yeah, and then COVID hit and it’s even better now.
Dirk van Reenen: Awesome. Kamil, thank you, Alex. Go ahead.
Aleksandar Memca: So, similar background. I would say I’m originally from Macedonia. I came to the States when I was 20 years old and I came here to basically look at opportunities that I just didn’t have in Macedonia. I had a hundred bucks in my pocket and figured I’ll give it a shot. I finished school; I had this amount of offers. So, I ended up doing consulting for a startup, and sort of some projects put themselves in front of me that allowed me to see how business can be really built if you just believe in what’s beyond what’s visible and after a while I figured, well, why would they work for someone else when I can do this for myself? At that point, I started a company in Macedonia because I was looking for a way to give back to the community that basically brought me up and invested in my education. And at that point I started the company, we’ve grown that over the years, we are 160 people now. We have offices in Macedonia, the Netherlands and soon here in the US we. We do integrate what’s called the integration consultancy. And with COVID we certainly got hit just because of who our clientele is. Significantly on the retail side. But to the point, there are things that you do based on who you are and who you are as a businessperson. So, there’s pretty good stuff that you can actually use from the whole situation. So, we can go into more detail.
Dirk van Reenen: Yeah, appreciate that, Alex. So, I want to dive into this. So, COVID hits, and as the news is unfolding about things shutting down everywhere. Let’s talk about that first week and the mindset behind as things are shutting down, what are you guys thinking and what are you doing at that point?
Aleksandar Memca: So, I can go. For me this wasn’t the first time. I’ve talked about this within our pod. I lived in the former Yugoslavia when Chernobyl happened. And we were told if you leave the house, you’ll die, and we would let the old people go out cause they’re dying anyway. So, living through that, is not normal for children, right? But we lived through it. So, how we lived through it and what damage we have sort of sanitizers for what happened. So, when COVID happened, I was like, huh, what’s the big deal, you know it’s just another virus. It will pass. And that will be that. Obviously, I made some mistakes believing in that because I made some stupid investments you know in stock like Boeing and the Carnival Cruises and so.
Dirk van Reenen: So, you bought it when they were high?
Aleksandar Memca: I bought a few times, and I lost my neck, but I’m still in it. So, that’s another lesson learned. I’m not giving up. But at one point, at one point when my wife saw that I am 1.7 million in red, she’s like, okay I’m going to leave the room now. Cause I’ll later kill you or kill myself. Either one would be, either one would be bad for the kids. So, let’s not do that. I was like, yeah, that would be a good idea. But a lesson learned there, right? From a business perspective, we said, this is going to be a shit show. So, what do we do about it? A lot of personal development things have taught me these are the businesses that are going to be here failing or will be suffering. Here’s what the impact is going to be on us. We do business with Ikea, Guitar Center and others that Slumber J for example, you know, being out of Houston, right? Slumber J like 28,000 people overnight, we stayed. So, the question is, how? How do we get there? What I’ve learned is you got to provide value every time you can. So, when companies came to us and said, Hey, we’re going to have to reduce staff. I was like, that’s fine. What do you really need? Because one of the companies furloughed 9,000 people and is telling us, well, we’re really sorry, but we will have to let three of your guys go, okay, what do you really need? Because you’ve just lost 9,000 people. And they said, well, these are the few things that we’ll really need to keep the business running. I was like, how about I give you five people on my dime and let them work on that. So, keep the three you have, and I’ll give you five more and just keep on doing what you need to do. Another thing we did is we invested into mobile apps. So, we gave mobile apps through Ikea. For example, we gave them a coloring book just because that’s what they have in the stores. We gave them a digital coloring book and we just gave it away. What happened is because of that, Now we’re on their top list to pay first, to bring back first, the company where 9,000 people were let go called us and said, Hey, we want to add five more people. We want to convert those that you have given us for free. And we’ll add five more. Sorry, we can’t really bring our own employees back, but we know that you guys are actually truly running our business. So, those are the things that sort of came to mind. Because we’ve seen 2008 and we didn’t start with freaking out. We just said, well, yeah, this is normal. And if it is normal, then what will we do? And we basically said, we’re going to be friends and partners with our current clients because now is the time when they need us. They don’t need this when it’s old Goldilocks.
Dirk van Reenen: Yeah, Alex, I mean, that’s such a powerful mindset. Cause I think a lot of people in that, you know, in that situation would go to self-preservation and say, Hey, we’re getting some people cut maybe from multiple clients and you guys turn around and say, Hey, you guys are getting your ass kicked as a company. How can we help? You know, what do you guys need right now? And that, I think that’s a beautiful lesson.
Aleksandar Memca: And for us, it was simply now is the time to invest the capital we have, we have people and we have obviously funds that we’ve put aside, but if we don’t invest right now, then when would be, right. You can’t really invest when it’s all great. And at the same time, we were investing back in Macedonia with the people because other companies are falling apart. They didn’t really put any capital aside. So, now we’re basically getting people that are really great people to have on board. The kind of on the cheap, because you know, there aren’t that many opportunities.
Dirk van Reenen: Essentially, you’re saying you’re investing in relationships.
Aleksandar Memca: Pretty much.
Dirk van Reenen: Kamil. The first week COVID hits, like, what’s going through your head. What’s happening man?
Kamil Maras: Man, I got fucking excited. I was like, I was waiting for this moment years. So, let me just say this. The first thought in my mind, I’m going to finally put a lid on my wife’s spending. Like now it’s my time. Actually, Pretty good. But fizzles out, that energy fizzles out real quick. I love what David said earlier on the stage that internal clock where you feel it, we all feel, we all had these conversations. When is it going to happen? So, I’ve been, I’ve been preparing, and I was ready, and I got excited, obviously fearful at the same time. Cause you don’t want your people around you to get hurt, to get laid off all that stuff. But essentially, I just attacked my P&L. I attacked all the expenses, see where the flaws are. And then I actually went back to my notes from GoBundance meetups, different events, and I kind of started filtering through it. And essentially, I use this, this system that Jeff Hoffman talked about, where you sponge information and at the right moment stuff comes together and you get the clear picture and that’s what happened basically. So, I then decided, this is my time never up to then have I invested a dime in my business, not a dime. Everything went into real estate. And I said, and a buddy of mine who owns like a $30 million roofing company, he says one of his biggest mistakes. Or if he could do it over again, he would invest all his money in his own business. So, at that time I said that that week actually I said, man, I am going all out, doubling my marketing effort. Everybody else is shrinking, Grant Cardone style. Yep. So, I did that. I automatically went out looking for people. I didn’t actually hire, but I filled my pipeline and I’m actually right now it’s a savior for me, pipeline for salespeople, the pipeline for installers. I talked to everybody and anybody I could. So, I was busier throughout those three months where we were completely shut down than ever before, personally, just working on the business. I think I made, so if I wake up three years from now, I’ll probably make maybe $5 million in that three months of the changes I made, systems I implemented, I went all the way down to my processes from the very beginning, from entry-level positions. I just reviewed everything, made it better. So, yeah. And then on an investment side, I got all excited. We bought a nice piece of land with my brother. So, we made moves. So, my risk tolerance is very high, like in my regular investments, real estate, and other stuff, you know, I was going all-in on everything and I finally decided it’s time to go in on my own shit.
Dirk van Reenen: So, you jumped in, you took a lot of action. I’m curious, like how many of you guys play the initial hit of covert? Like how many of you guys were working a lot? Like how many of you found yourself Kind of just really grinding it out for the first, you know, two months.
Mike first week, what happens?
Mike Ayala: So, we actually, my son’s a competitive wake surfer and he was supposed to go to Asia early in the year. So, I’d been kind of watching this anyway, just seeing what was going on in Asia. And I’ve been telling him you’re not going on tour. And all of his contacts in Asia were basically saying, Oh, everything’s fine. Everything’s fine. Well, then all of a sudden it wasn’t. And they were like two months ahead of us. Right. So, we were kind of watching this a little bit and I actually started having some meetings with my team and they thought I was nuts, but you know, at that point in time, it wasn’t real high stress. It was just kind of like, Hey, we might want to prep for this. And like I said, we’ve got 39 communities, 13 different States. So, I was actually on vacation. We had gone to Hawaii, March 6th and I was on vacation when my leadership team decided to send everybody home, but we’d kind of prepped for it. And so, it was a little bit before I think Arizona or a lot of the States were telling us, we had to shut down. We had just kind of put a contingency plan in place. And I had basically told my team, I said, look, I would rather, I’d rather test this out on our terms than be forced to do it. And the challenge that we have obviously is just being spread through so many municipalities, so many different counties, so many different states, but that’s also a part of our benefit. I mean, our managers on site are used to working with our corporate team in Phoenix. So, a big part of our business is already virtual, our corporate team wasn’t. So, you know, the guy that basically runs our park place communities, he sent the team home when I was actually on vacation, they made the call just to kind of test everything out and make sure it was going.
So, our biggest challenge going through this, and we were talking about a little bit at dinner when you go into a situation like this, and I learned so much through it. And I just have to say, I’m so glad that I’m part of this community because we have, you know, we have the voices that are in our head and the things that we’re being told and our preconceived ideas about what’s coming. But then when you can get on a call with David Osborne and brilliant, I mean, look at me, business owners are in this room. Look at how many investors are in this room. And so that collective brainpower being able to just kind of weigh what you’re thinking against what everybody else is thinking. And that was a huge benefit for me. But like we were talking about at dinner, the challenge I think is in times like that you’re making decisions based on intel that you don’t know if it’s true, you don’t know if it isn’t true. You don’t know what’s actually coming, but we just narrowed it down to one simple thing. And it’s like, okay, what if I’m wrong? Okay. So, what if we make these certain decisions and we’re wrong? What’s that outcome? And what if we’re right. I brought this up at dinner too. The thing that I realized through this is wartime leaders are completely different than peacetime leaders. In periods of time like that, I saw a lot of my leadership team actually freeze. They are used to committee style meetings, right? Like you sit in a meeting for an hour and determine what you’re going to do next. There’s no time for that. So, I really, I think that’s the time for a lot of people that are in this room and the heads of businesses to really shine because we go into that wartime leader mode. And like David was talking about, you know, a lot of people too, I’ve been told the same thing. Like you’re such a Dick. And most of you guys would maybe not, Well, maybe you do think that I don’t know, but you know, I’ve been told that so many times by my employees, but I’ve got to learn when to move out of that too. And I’m a visionary. So, having the integrator in our business is extremely important, but when it’s time for the visionary to step in and push that team, that’s what I really learned through this. I mean, we had to make fast decisions and I think the key is just making sure that, again, weighing the decisions against that question. What if I’m wrong? Is it going to destroy my business if we make these moves and I’m wrong. And then what if we’re right, if we don’t make these decisions and we’re right, is it going to destroy our business? And so just weighing that, I really just taught the team even though we couldn’t slow down, just weigh those decisions against that. Our big challenge though, again, you know, a hundred percent of our business as a lot of the guys in the room is based on rent and what we were hearing at that point in time or what we’re thinking, unemployment skyrocketing. And we didn’t know that the government’s just going to give us all free money forever. And so, we were just kind of basing all of our decisions off of thinking that rents probably weren’t going to come in. H
ere’s what’s interesting. We laid off or furloughed basically, we shut our construction company down. That was the first move we made because our construction team travels, and they live inside the community. So, when we buy a distressed community, you know, there might be 25 homes in there that they need to go remodel. So, they’ll go stay in a hotel room for two weeks. And then they move into the homes that they remodeled, and they stay there. So, I had these traveling crews of guys that are living out in our communities and we’re seeing a possible shutdown, two or three weeks down the road. And these guys are halfway across the country, away from their families. We had to make that tough decision early on. That was the first thing we did. Called the, you know, all the construction guys and said, Hey, listen, we’re sending you guys home. We’re furloughing you, even though, I mean, that was before, that was the first shutdown that we did. Because I didn’t want our guys to be in a community, living in our homes with six guys in two different homes and be away from their family. So, those are the kinds of decisions that you have to make along the way, and it’s not easy and we haven’t brought those guys back. Just cause I’m not comfortable sending them halfway across the country. So, I mean, that’s the decisions that we’re still facing. A lot of the guys probably would take that burden on, but I don’t know that I want to right or wrong, but that’s that questioning, right? So, what if I’m wrong? Well, what if I’m right? And I’ve got guys living in communities all across the country and they can’t get home to their families.
Dirk van Reenen: So, one of the things that we found with a lot of the clients that we work with, cause we work with a lot of service-based clients and what they felt is especially the first six weeks of the COVID hit, there was a huge burden placed on the leadership teams, within their companies. And they started really seeing some big gaps shown up. So, I want to ask you guys about your leadership teams, what did that look like over the first 30, 60 days of COVID? What were the conversations and how did you guys have to step up as leaders in those situations?
Mike Ayala: I’ll dive in there. So, you know what Dirk does. And I was on a webinar with Dirk a couple of weeks ago about pivot-ready teams, which I think is a brilliant thing you’re moving into and we’re getting ready to shift a little bit. And that’s why I really wanted to see what was going on. But, you know, I know a lot of the guys in the room work off of traction or a philosophy similar, and we were self-implementing for six or eight months. And then we realized it was too much for me. So, we brought in an implementer, we had our list of RPRS right people, right seats. And we had some decisions that we’d been dragging out for. I mean, years, in some cases, I think the value in those kinds of, I can see it more clearly than I ever have of having those lists and making decisions in a timely manner. It’s hard sometimes when you’re not in that war mentality, you know, you’re in peacetime leadership to make those tough decisions. But as soon as COVID hit our leadership team already had the right people, right seat list. And so, it was really easy to make the picks that we needed to make. But then when you talk about the question was what holes show up in your leadership team? I learned some valuable lessons through that. And I think number one is just my team really shined loyal, you know, the loyalty and not one of them have complaints through this whole thing, even though, you know, some of them are, I know our controllers working 80, 90 hours a week, no complaining. And so, I didn’t see, there is some gaps. Through this process, we brought in a fractional CFO because it’s something that we’ve been tiptoeing around for a while, but we’re like, Oh, you know, our controller can handle it. But then once she got Overloaded, it became very apparent, the holes that we knew we had, we needed to step in and fill. So, we started outsourcing some positions, but I think times like this are where certain people can shine too. So, I didn’t really see a lot of gaps necessarily that we didn’t already know, but it was really on us as the owners to like with my controllers, say, Hey, listen, you don’t have to worry about that. We’re going to go hire a fractional CFO, which we should have done 6 or 12 months ago and fill that need for you. So, it was really weaknesses on our part, not making decisions or in that peacetime.
Dirk van Reenen: Yeah. Well, good for you man. I mean, I was thinking that’s all impressive, you know, Dylan’s supposed to go to the East and so you’re kind of keeping an eye on things and you recognize hey, this is probably to come here. Cause I think a lot of people were looking at when we’re seeing the news of what’s happening in December in China, how many people were starting to think like, wow, this is actually going to show up here and it’s going to shut our country down. I don’t think a lot of people were thinking that way. So, good for you for having that foresight and that vision and prepping your team for it. Yeah. Good job, man. Kamil what about you? Like what happened with your leadership team? Any breakdowns? I mean maybe for you guys has been growing like crazy and the growth is causing stress, but like what’s happening with your team?
Kamil Maras: Yeah. So, I mean, for the very, for the first three months we were shut down, so there wasn’t much operation going on, but what I immediately implemented and I believe I heard it on a very first Monday night call was that you should be very in touch with your team and then with your employees. So, I started implementing immediately daily meetings. We even started doing a morning and a closeout meeting, which is impactful, and we continued to do it today. But more so than that, I started putting together meetings with the guys on the ground with the subs, with the installers. And that just created a tremendous culture shift, which now is just, you know, it resulted in an awesome, awesome working relationship. So, I would have never done it if it wasn’t for COVID, if it wasn’t for any of this. So, you discover things, you discover implementations that you don’t even think about that tremendously helped the business. So, the meetings were key leadership wise everything, we kind of had, right people in the right seats, we still have, but very similar to your situation, we decided that we need to hire, not implementer but a coach, EO coach. So I just did it few weeks ago. We just, it’s just, we had richer conversations as a leadership team, not just about the day to day. Cause day to today was nothing. So, we started having conversations about what the business should look like, where we have to be on other side of this whole thing. And that resulted in some major changes, man.
Dirk van Reenen: Very cool. Alex, what things go with your team?
Aleksandar Memca: I would say in the beginning we were sort of ready for it. Cause we went through a certification process for security and confirming that the company knows how to deal with disasters. So, that taught us what to do from system perspective, from people perspective and we do a hundred percent, almost a hundred percent remote work. So, that part wasn’t new.
Dirk van Reenen: So, I’m curious, like what prompted you guys to get certified in kind of being ready for disasters?
Aleksandar Memca: Regulation in Europe and finding the right plans in the US. So, we have that sort of badge of recognition that you know, how to be cognizant of other people’s privacy, how to securely manage that information and educate your team on it, is basically how you win some of the right contracts. So, we had to do that kind of regardless. And we basically went through an audit just weeks before COVID happened. So, it was fresh in our minds. And when we started hearing I was actually in Macedonia I think the first week of March and we started talking about it. So, if this happens, can we run a show on how this would play out? And we just executed. So, that part was easy. The second part was also easy when we said here’s what the situation is right now. Let’s go in and invest. And we invested heavily into our educational system or educational division. Basically, since we can’t get the people in a classroom, we’re going to either give away a free training or we’ll charge a nominal fee to train people that are now sitting at home for our clients. We were already doing that for our team. So, we just expanded on that, but we revamped the whole educational side of the business. We got people to go and get certified. You know, we do a lot of Amazon. We do a lot of mobile development, certification. So, we pushed them. And that went really well for a couple of months, after that and I want to say that during that period I don’t think people believe that that is going to get any worse. So, they are still kind of warm, right? Now they’re all working from home. No one is complaining. Now the second or the last few weeks, I would say we started seeing problems. Now as business starts to pick up and people started calling all the seeds that we planted in March are now sort of opening up and they’re knocking on our door. Now I’m sensing fear in the same team that implemented, how the hell are we going to do this? You know, there are so many people, there are so many projects that we’re getting three requests for proposals that they, whereas before it may have been one a week, right? How are we going to do this? We bought a building just before a COVID happened. I actually, some of you guys know I hired a new CEO, a COO and a couple of managers at the end of February. So, this whole thing is a change. And in the middle of it, I had to fire my HR director because something happened. So, we had to let her go. Which is probably the worst time that you get rid of a, you know, top HR position. But what we noticed is that because of people being at home, they sort of relaxed a little bit. And what was easily believable, you know, in March and in April in June, it’s like, I think that’s going to be really hard. And I was like, what? To wake up? Come on, man. So, we started talking through some of those things and we simply decided you know, COVID or no COVID we’ve got to get back to work. We got to get into the office and get into that sort of a mechanical aspect of what work is. And it’s already showing the results that people after some time just get numb to what’s happening. And now COVID and listening to the other stuff, what I was going to say is common to what you were talking about. We are also pushing to be the voice of calm when others are commenting, that’s what we were talking about at dinner. That there’s a lot of noise and we are often there to basically ask the question; is this really noise or not? What if it was a noise? What would we do? So, I think that’s really where we play a critical role in owning a business or supporting the team. They actually work. So, by asking some of those questions, I think, you know, I’m on the right path now with the right leadership, but time will tell and some of the things we need to change some.
Dirk van Reenen: So, you guys all really kind of turned into your businesses, you sort of going through your systems and processes, you’re investing in your people really stepped in. What’s been the result for you. Like how are things changed in business for you guys since COVID hit?
Aleksandar Memca: So, I mean, for me, it’s been an increased request, we haven’t, in the services business most are basically either gone if they didn’t have capital or they’re questioning how to shut down. For us when this started, we thought if we are, you know, at zero, we’ll be okay. We’re at 25% profit now which is decent last year, we were a little over 50. So, right now the pipeline that we have is three times more than what we had in the end of last year or early Q1. So, all the investments that we put in, we do a ton of more webinars and marketing and all that. So, we increased our presence, which now is yielding a lot more calls, a lot more qualified leads. So, looking towards how we monetize this over the next three years. I believe it is going to be a significant revenue booster versus what we would thought you know, early on. Some of the plans were in place, but they were less aggressive. COVID just made us a lot more aggressive just because there was a little bit of push behind us.
Dirk van Reenen: Awesome. Kamil what has changed I mean, for you guys, I mean, you said earlier some, I mean, a lot of good things have happened with, you know, with your teams, with the business, like what’s happening today.
Kamil Maras: Yeah. I mean, the business is definitely going to hit last years mark in nine months of production versus 12 months, which is fucking amazing if we break even right. Next year, I’m scared, man. I don’t know if I can handle it, you got to come back help me out man. Cause he lives in Florida. It’s going to be, it’s going to be fantastic. I mean, I am, I got to stop myself from not spending the extra marketing dollars because I’m calling my guys like, you know, more, hit it more. It’s going to be, it’s going to be bigger problems like it was talked about earlier on the stage, bigger newer problems, installed crews, not enough manpower, growing the team. Like I said, we hired the coach. Looking for an integrator. So, all the, all the great problems that you want to have are going to happen and business should definitely grow at least 30% next year, if not 50. And that’s good, good stuff, man.
Mike Ayala: And I said this already, but times like this allow you to make decisions that you probably should’ve made a long time ago. So, we’re definitely a lot leaner. We were definitely structured for growth. We had a big acquisition strategy for this year, which is out the window. You know, some of the things that we were debating internally for a while, how many communities can we actually acquire? Because unlike five or 10 years ago, everybody’s really excited about manufactured housing communities. So, you know, prices are, it doesn’t mean we can’t get deals, but we started having conversations about how do we consolidate operators in lieu of picking up one, two and three deals at a time. It’s kind of interesting because we had made tide for our highest sales and leasing month ever with no managers onsite. So, it really gets you thinking about, you know, just everything that you’re doing, our managers in most communities, even though, so they couldn’t come on-site generally speaking, unless there was an emergency. So, we immediately went into lockboxes. And how do you do virtual showings and stuff like that. And we’re kind of sorting through like how much, how far back do you go? I mean, if you can have your, what tied for your highest sales and leasing month ever with no managers on-site and 39 communities across the country, like, you know, where do you go with that? So, you know, as real estate investors, I’d love to have that conversation and hear what everybody’s doing. Our corporate team in Arizona is as tight as it’s ever been. I mean, they really banded together. Sometimes I find myself thinking a lot. I think sometimes when we’re not in a crisis or overloaded, I think we create a lot of problems. You know, we’re constantly putting new projects on our team and trying to sort through what really matters. In times of crisis, it becomes really clear. And the thing that I learned through this is teams need the latitude to make decisions. And so how do you rally everybody around something simple? And it just popped in my brain, you know, a simple mantra, protect the team, protect the asset, protect the residence. And if every decision you make, you can filter against that, are you protecting the asset? Is this decision helping that asset, that property? Are you protecting the team? So, when we decide to send the team home, you know, we’re protecting the team, but then the concern is the asset. Well if there’s nobody there to show houses, are we going to lose that? By sending the construction team home, I literally have 18 available units right now across the country, which is nothing. So, now we’ve got an inventory problem. So, you know, it’s got our team working on tighter issues. And I think again in times of peace, I think we waste a lot of time on things that really don’t matter. And I’m really seeing my team shine. And also, you know, I’ve been working on I said this already, but you know, I’m a plumber by trade. Tyler that runs our property management and construction company, he stepped up, we’ve streamlined. I don’t think our acquisition strategy is going to go back to what it was anytime soon. So, we’re shifting, we’re going to start buying service businesses. We started analyzing a fund like three years ago. We started working on this. I’m going to shift to that model because my role in the company was like growth and vision, we’re going to slow that growth down. I mean, we’ll be happy if we do three acquisitions this year. So, you know, the teams really pulled together and shine, but I think the key is getting them something to rally around that they can make simple decisions based off of.
Dirk van Reenen: Alright, let’s talk about this. With everything that you know today about COVID, everything you’ve learned, and you just said, you know, you’re going into a pivot to start acquiring service-based businesses, but what do you envision the next three to five years with what you know today?
Mike Ayala: So, for me, you know, for all of us that love the manufactured housing space, I mean, I’ve been concerned about this for a little bit anyway, because of housing prices. The other side of that affordable housing is holding up like nothing we’ve seen so far. What does that look like six months from now, 12 months from now? You know, for us it’s about direct, you’re in the business. I want to pivot to essentially, right. But in the housing sector, I get a little concerned long term about what that looks like. Our case for affordable housing has always been the same conversation and I’ll stand by it. I hate to say that I think there’s going to be a major housing correction next year, but I think there’s probably going to be a major housing correction sometime coming. So, affordable housing, I think is going to farewell. We just have to make sure that we’re structured properly and can get through that. Now on the service side, I think immediately, you know, Kamil was so excited because those types of businesses are going to flourish. I mean, you try to get a contractor or a service business or something out to your house right now, and they’re just, they’re stacked up and so immediately. And I’ve always believed this thesis on the HVAC side, I went through this in 2007, my company then, I mean, we blew up. Now in fairness, it was a gold mining community, which is countercyclical, but I think people always need their air conditioners fixed. They always need their sewer lines unplugged. They always need their roof fixed those kinds of things. And so, I’m optimistic on both, affordable housing I think is going to do well. I think what we’ve got to watch out for is the prices, you know, at what price can you continue to acquire manufactured housing or apartment complexes. That’s what, I’d love to have this conversation, but that’s what kind of triggers in the back of my mind is more money’s coming after it. And more operators are coming into it. You know, we are taking our acquisition strategy from 12 to 15 per year down to three to five. And I think the key we’re going to look at rolling up operators. So, if I can buy one operator per year that owns five parks or 10 parks, that’s a winning strategy, I think. Where’s Doug? Doug, are you ready to sell? Oh, okay. You know, guys there are so many guys out there that have owned their communities forever. And I think if you can strategically partner through that, that might be a win.
Dirk van Reenen: So, on the business you’re already in, it sounds like you guys are going to go fewer acquisitions with larger-scale acquisitions. But then you’re not, you know, and I think this is what David was talking about earlier is that you are going after that next big leg for you. You’re saying like, look, we’re not going to be as aggressive in this area, but we’re pivoting and I’m ready to reengage into another area and get really aggressive there.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. And I think the key with that is, you know, and this is the shiny object syndrome. I mean, I brought the guy that I’m, one of the guys that I’m going to bring for the new leadership team. He worked for me years ago. And now he’s like the head coach for a company we coached with. I brought him into Phoenix three years ago to map out this new fund, but I didn’t, I didn’t go after it then because I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to leave what we were currently working on. So, I think the key for people like us in this room is to just make sure that you’re fortified on this leg before we move on to this one. And you know, my team was ready, but through COVID, I mean, they really shown. It’s time for me to move, but yes, I think it’s time for that leg.
Dirk van Reenen: Nice. Kamil, what about you, man? What do you see in the next three to five years?
Kamil Maras: So, I definitely want to piggyback off of what Mike is saying because obviously the service industry is going to flourish, but I want to be conscious of being open to possibilities. So, finding complementary industries that could fit into my portfolio. So, looking into maybe getting into the solar business, right. If I’m on that roof already, it just fits. Once I’m fully automated in my current business, again, for to find that leg, then I can dive into that other aspect a little more, but it’s, I think times will change obviously with technology and it’s going to be very important to stay at least with the wave. I’m not genius enough to be ahead of the wave. So, I’ll just wait, I’ll just do that. But you don’t want to be a step behind, you know, and I think I’m excited about that because unfortunately, my industry is a very low barrier of entry, right. These guys make it very easy for me to make money. All I got to do is show up to the kitchen table, you know, 50% of customers tell me 50% of people I call don’t even show up. So, I’m excited about what’s up ahead with technology with implementing other complementary businesses because I know my competition is not even thinking about that.
Dirk van Reenen: Awesome. Alex, what about you man? What is coming up?
Aleksandar Memca: So, a few things. I mean COVID showed us who the survivors are going to be. We’re in an IT services business. And we realized that people that weren’t really thinking about visualization are just not going to exist anymore. And we’re already seeing that, especially in Europe a number of clients that or prospects that we had in mind we just punted, you know, they’re not going to be out there you know, in six, maybe 12 months. So, we looked at two aspects on people what do we want our people to look like in three years and what skills they must have, because a lot of this push towards digitalization is going to bring other products to the market where our current skills are going to be useless in three years. So, we pivoted into what we’re learning now that is going to put us on a different field compared to the competition. So, we’re learning things that we believe are going to be crucial for what’s coming. We are focusing on certain industries. So, we believe the finance industry is going to go through revolution and they’re going to be looking for a much better solutions that give them quick access to information, to know who is the right customer, how they can provide really tailored or curtailed product in seconds. So, we’re building some solutions for certain industries and in many cases, we are also changing our approach. We are giving away kind of a taste of what could be there. We’ve built chatbots and a lot of other things that give them a sense of what they could be doing, you know when a company comes to us and say, Hey, it would be nice to improve the call center. Our approach now is, well, what if you get rid of the call center and you automate all of that, have you thought about that? And it makes them pause, but that’s going to be reality. And we are actually investing into building products and solutions that make that real. And when presented people open up about a whole set of other ideas that, you know in January or February of this year, that would have been, you know, a decade out, now it’s reality cause it’s possible. So, a lot of that is going to mean a new investment or continuous investment into or heavier investment into what we thought is possible, but also changing focus from what we thought would be a good set of clientele in a given industry to completely punting those. And then focusing on those that are a little bit ahead of the competition with digitalization and that’s where we are.
Dirk van Reenen: Nice. [46:31 inaudible] going to do, we’ve got about 12, 13 minutes left. I Want to open it up to you guys with questions. What do you guys want to ask these guys about business, about investing, how they pivoted to things? What would you guys like to ask them? Let’s go back to Jake.
Jake: Hey guys, wanted to know what, I know It seemed very optimistic as far as your outlook. And obviously Mike, you talked about a potential housing you know, something happening recession. So, what’s keeping you up at night, what are the things that you are concerned about that you know, would cause you to pause or even pivot again? I mean, politically could be, you know, politics, anything, COVID, another round, another disease, I mean, anything.
Kamil Maras: So, for me, the shining thing in all of this is I know I can shrink in a heartbeat with one, you know, phone call and the business covers expenses with minimal effort. I know I can do that personally. I know I can do that with my overhead with my business. So, if shit hits the fan again, you know, I’m ready. But more so what keeps me up at night is the fact, the fear of the growth and how we’re going to handle that because, you know, you don’t want to grow too fast and then hurt your reputation and all that stuff that comes along with that. But yeah, I survived 2009. We did pretty good this time around, so I think we’re in a good spot.
Mike Ayala: Okay. So, I’m constantly asking myself, like, how do we not lose this sense of urgency, right? Because I mean, if things kind of chill out, which I don’t know, I mean, we’re in masks at an event and spaced apart, but if things chill out, how do we keep that sense of urgency? So, one of the, we have a sense of urgency internally. So, I hadn’t mentioned this, but one of the first things that we did, we took all of our properties and put them into A’s B’s and C categories. And the A’s were, you know, I mean, unless we had some kind of, you know, 50% reduction in rent collections and that kind of stuff, they weren’t going to survive. They were funded properly. They’re good assets. The B’s were like, Hey, we need to keep a pulse on this, based on these different metrics and watch them. Because if we dropped down to like 75% collections, we could have some issues. And then the C’s were like things that we’ve been talking about offloading for a couple of years. So, that’s one of the first things that we did Jake, and there is a sense of urgency for us to reposition our entire portfolios and offload, you know, we’re probably going to sell part of our purpose in hiring the fractional CFO was to run all this analysis for us and really be an advisor to us and make some, you know, help us make recommendations because we found our accounting team was burdened with trying to do operations, but then also we’re constantly pulling on it for this. So, we’re probably going to offload 10 to 15 assets in the next three months to six months to position our portfolios, to be ready for, you know, hopefully stable, but worst case a dip. And again, I’m optimistic on the affordable housing side, but it brings not to get too far in the weeds, but, you know, David asked me today, why do you only have 18 units right now? Well, number one, our construction teams aren’t traveling. Number two, the factories aren’t, there’s backlogs in the factories, finding people to set the homes as a challenge, and then financing. Financing is going to be, financing is always a challenge in the manufactured housing space, but it’s probably going to be a little bit worse. So, we’ve got to solve all those problems. And I think for what’s keeping me up at night I’ll sleep a lot better when we’ve offloaded our C assets and some of our B’s and just reposition some of our portfolios. And by the way, the other side of that, and I haven’t had this conversation with most of my team, but then you can lean down the team a little too, and we’re trying to get out of certain States too. So, we have some assets that are actually performing, but they’re in States that we don’t want to be in. And that’s the thing that I think we need to watch. Certain asset classes are shining through these certain types of businesses are shining through this. I mean, you guys are shining, but there are certain markets too, you know, we’ve had conversations for years. What markets do we want to be in? Well, the markets are kind of showing themselves to us, right. So, I don’t know that it’s really keeping me up at night, but I want to get as lean and mean as possible for now.
Aleksandar Memca: Yeah. For me, it’s are we aggressive enough? Are we keeping someone that we should have fired a while ago? And are we missing someone on the team that has surfaced stuff, but we just didn’t really pay attention. That’s it.
Dirk van Reenen: You got somebody. Okay. Let’s go to room B and then we’re going to go to Tommy.
Audience Member 1: Hey guys, this has been just fricking phenomenal. So, thank you all so much for this, but Mike, you mentioned three legs or three pillars or something like that. Can you go over those?
Dirk van Reenen: Well, I think David mentioned the three legs.
Audience Member 1: Did I miss that? Did you go over them? If you did disregard it, but maybe I just missed it.
Aleksandar Memca: But do you have different legs for yourself. I mean, obviously, you’ve talked about the business. Do you have anything else? Maybe we’ll cover the same thing.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. So, I think Dirk kind of brought up that I’m going back to my second leg, right. Which is actually my first leg. So, I was in the HVAC business, sold all that off. So, I think manufactured housing space is probably my first leg right now. I do have a personal rental portfolio still to that, but I’ve been having conversations with David Osborne about this for eight months now. I was thinking about offloading a lot of my personal portfolio then, and I’m really thinking about it now, having, and again, this is the value of this tribe, but just sitting down with Patton and Tim today, again, it’s like, I keep finding myself saying the same thing. Like I got to do the same thing in my personal legs. So, I know that’s not, I don’t really have a third leg. I’m just a two leger.
Dirk van Reenen: You got two solid legs, man. Cool. All right, Tommy, go ahead.
Tommy: Okay. So, would you say you got away from your acquisition strategy for this year, specifically based off the type of capital you were acquiring with, or the risk level associated with the fact that you didn’t have operations to do the turnover model? Like what was that pivot that you guys decided you’re like, this is our main focus, our plan, like, how do you describe that?
Mike Ayala: So, the writing has been on the wall for a little bit. We just don’t want to see it. We were for growth. And actually, if there was anything that could have taken our business down during this time, it was being too overhead, and tense being structured for growth. And then we had some key people that were really expensive too, that were focused on acquisitions. And when it talks, when it comes to RPRS like right people, right seats, we had an internal problem That’s been a problem for like two years, but we just kept putting up with it because we had this huge acquisition strategy and she had us over a barrel. So, anyway, the writing’s been on the wall. Financing is a challenge. So, here’s the thing in the manufactured housing space for anybody that’s really in it. We buy a lot of distress properties, but even on the more stable assets, you know, unless you get into a certain level, certain markets and a low amount of park owned homes, the financing is always a little bit more challenging than apartments, unless you really get into like the big, more stable class A units. So, financing is an issue, capital, capital dried up. I mean, for the most part, there’s still people wanting to place capital and it’s definitely coming back now, but for a month and a half, everybody that had committed capital to deals and everything was like, we’re not doing anything for the next two months. So, you got all these people situated for growth and everything else. And rather than having the furlough conversation, we just said, let’s have the conversation we’ve been having internally Anyway. We’ve been talking about like, how difficult can we really do 12 to 15 community acquisitions per year? And nobody wanted to say no, but the answer was no. So, we just came to reality with ourselves and COVID slapped us around and force us into it. But it also forced, it was a good excuse to deal with people issues and inefficiency issues. And that’s why I was saying about how do you keep that sense of urgency on the other side of this? I don’t know the answer to that other than have Pat Heiban yell at you every couple of months saying, are you keeping that sense of urgency? Like, I don’t know. I don’t know if I directly answered your question.
Dirk van Reenen: Another question. Let’s go to room B.
James: Hey guys, James from Los Angeles. This is my first time out here. It’s been a privilege to be with all you guys. Mike, you just touched on a question I wanted to ask. Now, you guys, obviously looked at this COVID situation and really, you know, made it your own, right. You guys are, it looks like you’re all capitalizing with your companies, with your leadership, but can you guys like point a specific person within your organization and the type of maybe leadership or choices or decisions they made to help you get to where you guys are today with this whole, this whole crisis, so to speak or pandemic?
Aleksandar Memca: Yeah. So, I can talk about that. I would point out the three people within my organization. My legs of the stool. I often say I got the four, one is the operating business That’s in Macedonia. I do a lot of stock market investments and I do investments with other people that are investing in funds, real estate funds. And then I do my own real estate investment over single-family homes. So, those are the four. On the operating business side, I have a CTO again, we are a technology company, so I have a CTO that I respect and what he has done for me is look at reality and interpret reality by ignoring the noise. So, to me that’s a huge aid and then an A-player who every day comes in and says, here’s, what’s going on. These are the things that you know, you will hear in the news, but this is reality. And here’s why. So, almost like a dissertation of why we should be going in a certain direction versus another. So, that’s one key player. My wife is the second one because she keeps me honest about the bullshit that I tell myself you know and the third is the Pod. So, I see Mike here and we have a couple more guys, but the pod is what’s been working at least for me to again be close to reality. We do a lot of talks about family and what’s important to you in life. So, it’s a good, for those that aren’t in a Pod, get in a Pod, or if you’re in a pod that it’s not working, find the pod that will work. What we did as part of COVID is we were going, what were we doing Mike? Once a month or so, and then went down to two. Now we are basically every week and some things feel like we want to chat a few times a week. So, those are the things
Dirk van Reenen: What about you guys, key people in your life that have helped you through this?
Kamil Maras: I’ll second that a little bit, obviously the pod and the tribe, immense, immense value. On the street level more So obviously I had the ideas, I had the drive to implement the ideas, but similar to what you just said, I had my people, my team said, Hey, listen, this might work. This might not work. This is the reality. Because I’m a 60% integrator, but I turn into this 90% visionary in that three months. And they had to keep me in check a little bit. So, that was important. I think the tribe by far the ideas, the conversation of rhetoric kind of put things in perspective for me, made me put everything into action. So, get in that go Pod.
Mike Ayala: I don’t want to sound like a parrot, but man, I love you guys like, so our pod, Han’s is here, but you know, we went to twice a week scheduled for an hour and sometimes it was three. Just can’t say enough about that. You know, just being able to bounce your frustrations or just ideas or, you know, what the craziness is that’s coming, but you know, the question was the team. And so, I can attribute it really to one person in my company. And I’ve worked with him for a long time. He worked for me in my first company for years, and we went through a crisis in 2007 together, laid off 45 people like two days before Christmas, had a huge company go bankrupt on us. Like our guys showed up and they owed us like half a million bucks. And that was a lot of money. It still is a lot of money. So, we went through some crisis together before. When I sold my first company, he went off and started buying insurance companies. And then, but he’s got manufactured housing too. And then he’s got his stuff set up completely passive. So, I’ve been trying to get him to come to work for me for three years. He finally did a year ago and the timing is just perfect. I probably would have destroyed our team through this. Cause we need to do it now. And there’s no, he’s very, he’s just, he’s an integrator. He’s very good at what he does and keeping that calm and peace. And you know, one of you guys was talking about, you know, we need to show up at this point in time as leaders. And I just can’t put up with like slow movement or like, this is urgent. Like we need to get stuff done. And so, Tyler was pivotal through all this for me, I’m going to go home and maybe tell him how great he is. Cause you know, he really, I actually, honestly, after like the first two weeks I stepped out and it would just be him and I talking and obviously my partner and we did a lot of restructuring too. My partner stepped back into a lot of things that he used to do. And then it’s kind of got to a point where he just kind of phased out a lot of that and was just raising capital. So, he stepped back in and everybody just kind of found their groove, but having that number two person that can just keep the calm and implement the vision and keep everybody rowing in the same direction is extremely important. And for me it was Tyler.
Dirk van Reenen: Love it, guys, you heard all three of these guys, this is nothing that GoBundance, you guys, all three sais hey, my pod was instrumental for me. And that’s something that we’ve really started bringing a lot more focus back into GoBundance this year are the GoPods, you know, and Mike and David and Pat and Tim set that example. I mean, they’re still in a Pod, Mike’s actually in multiple pods. You know, and there’s such wisdom and knowledge and support through that. And want to encourage you guys like, you know, like Alex said, if you’re not in a pod, get in a pod, if there’s something that’s off on your pod, come to the go team, talk to us, let us find out, you know, is there something we can help. There are always guys that are willing to jump into your pod and kind of go through some calls with you guys to get you on track. And by the way, Mel when is the next GoPod launch, do we know? In two weeks, Yeah, so it’ll give you time to get settled back in from the event and get ready to get into a pod if you want to. So, guys let’s do this, any kind of final thoughts that you guys want to leave the tribe with tonight about what you guys have learned through the COVID experience in your businesses, in your life.
Aleksandar Memca: Don’t freak out and stay in the market.
Dirk van Reenen: Hold on to that Boeing stock. Yeah. Kamil.
Kamil Maras: The obvious, do the opposite. Everybody’s shrinking you expand, pedal to the metal.
Dirk van Reenen: Nice. Mike?
Mike Ayala: I think just getting clarity on what your strengths are. I think we spend a lot of time thinking about that, but times like this really show what we’re good at and what we’re not good at. And when you see that move out of the way, I mean, once you get the right team in place, but you know, I think we spend a lot of time again in peacetime thinking about a lot of this and this isn’t a pitch for you, but when you’re talking about pivot ready teams and the leadership stuff that Dirk does, I think a lot of times in peacetime, we have time. There’s no sense of urgency. But I don’t, we need to really focus on our strengths and focus on other people’s strengths as well. And I think our job as leaders is to mind for that strength, like what, you know, what are they good at? I know exactly what I’m not good at. And it’s a lot.
Dirk van Reenen: Yeah. Awesome. Guys, what do you guys think tonight?
Mike Ayala: So, I love to just get maybe two or three people to just show some appreciation for this. Mike, Go ahead.
Mike: So, obviously Alex, I get to spend a lot of time with you on our pod. It’s amazing. Always love the insight that you bring, the humor. Great job tonight. Just awesome wisdom, shared. Kamil, you as well brother. We’ve traveled a lot. We get to spend a lot of time together as well, both Alex and Kamil, by the way have been on almost every single Saturday call with their families, connecting with other families. And it’s just been amazing guys. And I just appreciate not only how you’re showing up through COVID for your businesses, but also for your families and Mike, I’ve gotten to spend time with Dylan, your son, and wake surfed with him three times this year, so far. And I got to see a young man who I just hope my son can grow up to be more like, and I’m just really appreciative of the leadership you’ve given to my son through Dylan. It’s just amazing. And I just appreciate the person that you are for your family. So, thanks guys. Amazing.
Dirk van Reenen: That was beautiful, Mike, thank you. All right let’s go one or two more. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Here come the stories guys.
Audience Member 2: No, I’d just like to recognize that Kamil has been a tremendous driving force in our family business. And it shows that the driving force comes from this GoBundance organization. And I just like to recognize that.
Dirk van Reenen: Well, it’s awesome. Love it. All right. Anyone else? One more.
Kamil Maras: Room B. Where you at?
Dirk van Reenen: Yeah. Aaron, go ahead.
Aaron: So, a couple of things that you guys said that I really like that was Alex, you talked about how can we bring value and you know, that’s something that we need to be thinking about all the time, much less than something like this, but when there is times of trial, that’s when it really makes a big difference. Mike, I love that, what can we do to not lose the sense of urgency? I can stand up. I’m embarrassed. And then Kamil, I just love that you’re excited and you’re like, let’s fucking go get this. That’s just, it’s just awesome. So, thanks guys.
Dirk van Reenen: Very cool. Okay. So, we’re going to continue the conversation this week around, you know, growing businesses. How do we start looking at this? How many of you were on the call with Cody Sanchez when she said I believe it was Cody that said, Hey, if you went back to 2009, what was the play? Real estate, right. She just said, what’s the plate today? Buying businesses. So, yeah, Nigel is going to be on a panel. Nigel, Cody, and David are going to be on a panel coming up this week, talking about business acquisitions, but guys, there’s a tremendous shift that’s happening in the business world today, especially in the services business. When you look at the average age of people and you know, the transition in tech-savvy people coming into those industries like there’s going to be a massive opportunity. And we’re going to explore that a little bit this week to see what does that look like. I think, I mean, the tribe is always, you heard these guys say right, they run amazing businesses. They all have personal real estate portfolios. They all still go into real estate. But like David said, that number one leg for him was owning service-based businesses, right. In his case, brokerage, you know, then he started going into the investing side and then the debt side. So, we believe that there are some huge opportunities that we want to be able to explore. And we’re excited about that. So, guys let’s give them a huge hand. You guys did an amazing job. Thank you.