#51: Brad & Kaitlyn Blair

Kaitlyn and Brad Blair are the owners of Spruce Homes. Based in Saskatoon, SK they work to revitalize neighbourhoods through renovation and infill projects. Their passion is building and renovating unique spaces that suit their client’s needs and they take pride in fighting the cookie cutter model. Spruce is dedicated to delivering the highest quality of workmanship at an affordable price. A driving force behind what they do is their mission to give back locally and on a global scale. With each Spruce home that is sold, a child is sponsored in one of the poorest parts of the world.

Find out more about Brad and Kaitlyn at:
sprucehomes.ca

 

Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show, Respect the Grind with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show where we interview people who’ve achieved mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors. Anybody whose achieved mastery and examine what it took to get there. Today on the show we have some platinum graduate students of mine. Brad and Kaitlyn Blair all the way from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They have built a beautiful home building company, Spruce Homes. Great brand. Great real estate company. Brad and Kaitlyn Blair. Respect the Grind. Welcome to this show. How are you guys doing today?

Brad Blair: We’re doing great. How are you guys doing? Or how are you doing over there?

Stefan Aarnio: How are you guys over here? I got me and the voice in my head. I’m doing great. Doing great. Thank you so much for being on the show guys. I love the branding for the people who can see this on the video maybe on You Tube, beautiful branding. Spruce Homes in the background, right behind them. Now guys, for people who don’t know Brad and Kaitlyn Blair at home, they don’t know Spruce Homes, tell us a little bit about you guys. Where you came from and what Spruce Homes’ about.

Kaitlyn blair: Yeah, so we’ve been in business for about four years now. Brad and I both are, we got married down south in the U.S. and after we got married we decided we wanted to get into real estate. So at the time, real estate was really poor where I was from which is St. Louis, Missouri, so it was kind of a hot market up here in Canada so we moved up to Saskatoon which is close to where Brad is from and we totally missed the boom here. They had a huge real estate boom and we caught it at the very tail end. And funny enough now back in St. Louis where I’m from, the market is now just crazy booming and we’ve never seen it boom but we’re still making it work in kind of a stale market. And so we’ve been doing real estate for four years like you said. We started flipping houses and now we’ve been building homes for only a year now.

Brad Blair: Yeah so we’ve flipped I don’t know, maybe a handful probably between six and ten houses and then decided to try our hand at home building at the same time as we were flipping. And that really just kind of took off. So right now, we are at the exact moment, exclusively building new houses. Not to say that we’re not going to flip anymore, but that’s just a market that ended up almost kind of falling on our lap by accident. And it’s something we really enjoy and it’s been going well. So we’re just going to keep it going while the wheels are turning.

Stefan Aarnio: Now for the people at home, Brad and Kaitlyn Blair, when people hear about home build, they might think that that’s really different than flipping houses. Is home building different from flipping? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Brad Blair: No, it’s not honestly. When we kind of when down that path, we had already done almost all of the steps that a home builder does. The only thing that we hadn’t done was dry wall and earlier. So we hadn’t done foundations and basements. We hadn’t done roughing in of electrical and plumbing and framing, that’s it. Everything else we had done and that’s why it wasn’t a super scary jump for us, because we already had the experience of the majority of it.

Brad Blair: The one thing that we really enjoy about building versus flipping is that you have total control. It’s not like when you’re flipping a house, you kind of have to deal with the cards that you’re dealt. So the floor plan can be altered a little bit but at the end of the day, massive transformation in floor plan gets very expensive and doesn’t make sense in the flipping world. Where when you’re building a house, you have full control. Which can be good or can be bad. But at least, at the end of the day, when the house is done, if you get negative feedback on the floor plan, you are the only person who’s at fault. You can’t blame anything else. So I like that part of it.

Kaitlyn blair: Yeah, funny enough we actually got into home building because we kept getting beat out on flip houses. So we would put in an offer on a house to flip but a builder would come in and buy it out from underneath of us because they were just going to knock it down and it was at land value. So, that’s when we kind of had the moment, like, “Well, if we’re just going to keep getting beat out by builders, why don’t we just become a builder too and take advantage of it.”

Stefan Aarnio: Right. Now you guys have some of the best looking houses I’ve seen in Canada and I don’t know, Kaitlyn, are you doing the design on the houses?

Kaitlyn blair: I am. It’s still just me, myself and I right now. I would love eventually to bring on some more people to help in that field but right now it’s just all kind of on my plate.

Stefan Aarnio: So you got the little girl’s dream of getting to design and stage the home and all the things. I always talk to young women and they say, “Oh, I want to be a designer. I want to be an Instagram wife, or something like that. Designer or whatever.” You got the dream job of getting to design all these homes and whenever I look at one of the Spruce Homes there’s always like a story and a lifestyle and it really tells the story. Can you tell me about what’s your design philosophy for making these homes just so warm and inviting. They’re not just cold boxes that some spec builder’s building. This is a story, it’s … someone can look at it and they can tell themselves a story about what’s going on in this house. Tell me about how you did the design?

Kaitlyn blair: Yeah, so one of the things Brad and I feel really strongly about is not building or flipping houses to be cookie cutter. We believe that everyone’s house should be kind of a unique expression of their own personal taste and personality. So whenever we build or flip a home, we kind of look at the area and we say, “Okay, what are the other houses in the area like?” And if we’re in a trendy neighborhood, I’ll go with something a little bit more retro. If we’re in a more traditional area, maybe we’ll do a Tudor style like we’re about to do. And the thing that we try to do is bring the wow with the design, but keep it at an affordable price. So we use materials like laminate and we’ll do quartz in the kitchen but then maybe we’ll do laminate countertops in the bathroom but we’re able to bring in more design elements because we just decide where we’re going to put the money in terms of what’s going to get us the best feedback from our customers.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow. I love that. Now, guys you know you’re successful today with the home building and real estate. What was life like before you guys reached success in this kind of field?

Kaitlyn blair: Oh man.

Brad Blair: It’s frustrating.

Kaitlyn blair: Yeah.

Brad Blair: I mean, our story, we were successful when we started. We made money. The first three flips we ever did, we made money on. Nothing crazy. But the houses sold, all three of them, sold within 48 hours and we made neighborhood records on all three of them. So we were making money. We were selling fast. We were breaking records and we thought we were awesome. And our ego went through the roof and then we started dipping our toes into places that we shouldn’t have. Doing things that we knew nothing about. Going into price points way above what our means or what those first three were like. The scope of work was way higher. We thought that we were rock stars because we were killing it. After just three flips. And we bit it. We bit hard. So the next two flips that we did, we lost all the money that we made on the first three.

Kaitlyn blair: Yeah, I still remember us having conversations with you when we were going through a downturn and we hired you and you were like, “You’ve just got to keep going. Like you’ve got to get rid of these houses that are bringing you down and just change what you’re doing and move forward.” And that’s exactly what we did.

Brad Blair: Yeah. We basically just went back to what we were doing in the beginning. Realizing why we were successful on those first three and then just learning to rinse and repeat. And not chase the money. The two that we stepped out of our element on, the potential profit numbers looked very enticing. And I think that’s what we were running after and we just bit it.

Stefan Aarnio: Right. Guys, I love what Bill Gates says. He says, “Success is a lousy teacher.” And you guys, you hit three, bang, bang, bang. You made money on all three and then of course you didn’t learn anything when you win. When you lose you learn. So what are some of the fundamentals then maybe that you guys let go of? You did the first three, just beginners luck. You didn’t even think about it. You were doing good. And then you went off the rails for a bit. What’s some of the fundamentals that you know today that you wish you knew back then?

Kaitlyn blair: Well back then we didn’t know what our niche was, but we after just kind of backtracking and looking what was working before, we realized that our niche is people in our demographic. So Brad and I are both, we’re about to be 29 years old. We have a one year old. People in that price point are at $450,000 or below. It’s not their first home. Maybe it’s not even their second home, but it’s a step up from wherever they are. They’ve got a growing family. They need more space. They want to be in the center of the city so they can easily get places. So that’s our niche, and we had stepped outside of that and we went higher end. And we just needed to tone it back into our niche which is our age demographic.

Stefan Aarnio: [crosstalk 00:09:44]Go ahead Brad.

Brad Blair: So it was understanding that niche, but going back to the fundamentals, which is, knowing your niche is definitely a fundamental, but we were buying at prices we should not have been buying at. But we were buying at those prices because we didn’t know how the hell to run a comp. We were using comps that weren’t realistic or weren’t even valid. We were trying to validate, we were trying to find reasons to buy the house instead of finding reasons not to buy it. And when we learned the hard way that when you do that it’s a very slippery slope and it’s only a matter of time before you’re going to eat it.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow. So you guys were like trying to find value where there almost wasn’t value existing. You’re almost projecting that there’s value but there really isn’t. Okay. Okay, so how did you guys end up fixing that problem? What brought you back to the fundamentals and how’d you say, “Okay, this is the niche. This is where we gotta go. This is it.” Because your niche and your brand right now, we were just talking offline before we got online here. You were saying you guys have all these pre-sold homes now. Your brand looks amazing. Social media looks amazing. How did you dial in that niche and say this is it and this is where we’re going to go and we’re going nowhere else?

Brad Blair: I guess a little bit of trial and error. So like I said, after those two where we stepped out of our niche, we did scale back and go back to where we were successful originally. But that’s not when we knew what our niche was. We didn’t really realize what our niche was for probably another two or three projects. And then all of a sudden, something clicked. And it was that we had never sold a house to anybody over the age of 35. And every single one, I think at that point it was maybe eight or six houses that we’d sold and all of them has been under the age of 35. So then that’s where things clicked for us.

Brad Blair: And that’s when we started saying, “Okay, well people under 35, they’re buying our houses. We’re under 35. What would we want in a house? What price point would we want to be at?” And that’s really how we altered our decision making process. So when we go to renovate a house, whether we decide to put money in something or not, in the kitchen or in the living room or in the bathroom. The mind set for us now is always, would we be willing to pay for that? And if we would be willing to pay for it, we do it. And if we would not be willing to pay for it, we don’t do it. So it would surprise maybe some people what that is and what it isn’t but that’s what our decision making is based upon now.

Stefan Aarnio: I love that. From a marketing standpoint, you guys are the demographic that you’re selling to. So very basically, you got a woman like Kaitlyn Blair, and she has taste and she says, “I want these things.” And if you’re making something for another woman like Kaitlyn Blair or a guy like yourself, Brad, it’s great that you guys are in the mind of your own customer. I think one of the things that businesses get wrong all the time is they get … you guys happen to be the same mind as your customers. So what you want is what they would want and I’m sure there’s a lot of young couples in your market that want to do that. But there’s a big disconnect between what you want to sell and what they want to buy. And you guys have just brought those two things-

Stefan Aarnio: Now let me ask you this. Do you guys think success is more about challenge or more about hard work?

Kaitlyn blair: That’s a hard one.

Brad Blair: Hard work.

Kaitlyn blair: I was going to say hard work.

Brad Blair: Easily. And that’s, if you just think about what we’re doing. So we’re flipping and building houses. We have zero construction background. We were not raised in a real estate family. Kaitlyn does all of our design and as you pointed out, it’s fantastic. She has no professional design experience.

Kaitlyn blair: I have a degree in HR.

Brad Blair: Her degree’s in HR and she does design.

Stefan Aarnio: You know what she’s got [crosstalk 00:14:23] You can’t buy taste. It’s like Steve Jobs of Apple, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are on stage and Bill Gates said, “I wish I had Steve’s taste.” Because you can’t buy taste, guys. That’s a magical thing and it just works. Anyways, Brad, continue. Go ahead.

Brad Blair: No, I just, like that. I think that just explains why it’s the work that you put in, not necessarily the skills that you have. We’ve surrounded ourselves with people who do have the skills that we don’t hold. Things like design with Kaitlyn. She’s put in a lot of work. She didn’t go to school for it, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t put a pile of hours in to learn the craft and follow current trends and all that kind of thing. So that’s kind of why I think that it’s more hard work. Obviously there is some skill involved in it, but if you have all the skill in the world and have a shitty work ethic, it don’t matter.

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah. Wow. So is there, what do you guys think? Do you think that it’s more important to have a great brand or you think it’s more important to have a great business these days in 2018 the day of this interview?

Kaitlyn blair: There’s a lot of emphasis on brand right now and I know we’re trying to put a lot more focus on the brand because people are, not only on our personal brand but also our company brand, because people associate Spruce with both Brad and I. So people need to know who we are, because we are a reflection of Spruce. So we put a lot of time recently into really good quality logos, for not only the company but also for our personal branding. And then just kind of telling our story through Instagram, through Instagram stories. I have a You Tube channel for design. Through all these different outlets. And that’s allowing us to build our brand.

Brad Blair: Yeah. Branding is definitely important. It’s heavy lifting. It takes time for sure. It’s effort, it’s thought.

Kaitlyn blair: Being real people.

Brad Blair: Yeah, being real which I’m finding is hard. But it is important. Obviously the business has to go along with it. You can’t brand something that’s fake. You can’t brand something that’s not authentic. The business definitely has to go along with it, but if you don’t have a brand a business can only get so far. And one thing that I think that we are learning is that if you have a brand, if you have a good brand to go along with a good business, then that brand can actually accelerate your business. Not only with speed but your profit margins can also go up because of that brand awareness.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow.

Brad Blair: That’s something we’re, we’ve just learned I would say in the last eight months.

Stefan Aarnio: Well I’m a brand guy and I think you guys are nailing it. I, even in the video here, people in audio only can’t see, but Brad’s wearing a Spruce Homes hat, Spruce Homes jacket. Every Facebook post, Instagram post is Brad wearing this Spruce jacket, Spruce hat, Spruce sign in the background. Guys, it’s phenomenal what you guys have done. You really elevated the brand and I think you can really scale off that, so that’s fantastic.

Stefan Aarnio: I want to ask this open question for either one of you. What’s your obsession? Most very successful people I meet have an obsession about something. What are you guys obsessed with? This could be an individual question for each one of you. What do you obsess about? What do you think about all day?

Kaitlyn blair: It’s like I obsess with growing the business but I also obsess with creating a lifestyle for Brad and I and our family. Like I mentioned we have a one year old daughter, named Rae, and just creating a lifestyle where, I’m from St. Louis, where we want to fly home and visit my family, it’s not a big ordeal. We just book our plane ticket and off we go. Not to say that it won’t have to be arranged around what point of work and whatnot but part of being entrepreneur, what I love, is a lot of hours, like a lot, a lot of hours. People don’t know the late nights that you’re up, a big return for that, you’re able to build a company and have employees and scales but also be able to spend time with your family when you just need that. It’s not someone dictating your schedule for you. And I obsess over that, because I love being able to be a good mom to Rae, but also to be an entrepreneur. I love having the opportunity to do both of those things.

Stefan Aarnio: Let me ask you this Kaitlyn. [crosstalk 00:18:45] I want to ask you a question further about that. The mom, the lifestyle, the being able to get on the plane, do you think that that idea, or that feeling, does that play into your product and your houses? Does that translate into the social media because I always see you guys in your brand. You guys, got the baby. You guys are doing things. Does that come into the product in the business as well? Are those two things one and the same?

Kaitlyn blair: Oh yeah. For sure. Lots of our clientele like I said either have small children or they’re starting to establish a family so whenever we’re creating floor plans that is always top of mind for us. So for instance, we did a Jack and Jill bathroom in one of our install projects here last year. So that’s something that’s really popular down in the States. That’s where your bathroom is shared by two bedrooms. If you have two kids, that is such a great thing. I grew up on one and I can’t help but rave about it. So we’re always thinking about ways to make houses child friendly and make them with tons of storage for mom and dad and we’re always just thinking about those different things. And Rae just happens to tag along a lot, so she ends up on a lot of videos and whatnot but we actually love that.

Brad Blair: But you know what. Having Rae, who’s our one year old, around in our marketing and all of that, it is intentional. It’s who we are. And we want to show … our philosophy of branding is just not to necessarily create things, but to share what we’re doing. And the reality of that is that we have a one year old and sometimes she’s with us. Sometimes she’s not. And she’s clearly a very important part of our life. And so she is an extension of our brand, and for people who have families, they can relate to that. And it’s all about being relatable.

Stefan Aarnio: The one word I heard from you Brad earlier was authentic. And I love the authenticity of what you guys have done. You guys are living this lifestyle. You guys are doing it. You guys have the kid. You guys have the time to vacation, the time off. And I think it kind of comes into the product too and you can just really see that. Now what’s one moment where you guys thought that you were going to fail and this thing would be all over and you guys wouldn’t be in real estate anymore. You’d be done.

Kaitlyn blair: Oh I can remember that conversation.

Brad Blair: Yeah, we were deciding whether to, it was after we flunked on those two big houses and we hadn’t sold them yet. But we were passed the point of profit. So they, we already knew we were going to lose money. It was just a matter of how much. And it was at that point, we basically had been doing, flipping houses for a year and a half and weren’t looking like we were going to make any money for that year and a half. And so we just looked at each other and said, “We have to do something different or we have to quit. Those are our two options.”

Brad Blair: But we’ve always had the philosophy, we’re not even 29 years old yet. We’ve had the philosophy that we’re young, and if we screw this up, we have our whole life to bounce back yet. So at that moment we said, “You know what, let’s give this one more whirl. Let’s go find somebody who knows what the hell they’re doing.” And are doing it currently. We didn’t want to find somebody who flipped houses 10 years ago and now they just talk about it. And we didn’t know who that was going to be.

Brad Blair: So we went on the search and it took us a few months but we found him. We kind of stalked him. He didn’t even know us but we met him a couple times. That was obviously you, Stefan. And we decided to move forward with it and like I said, “Give it a whirl.” Go all in. And we said at the end of the year, if it still wasn’t working, then we were going to draw the line in the sand. But we said, “We’re going to go all in. And it was going to be one way or the other.”

Stefan Aarnio: So how scary is that signing up for coaching. I mean I’m not a cheap coach. How scary is that signing up for coaching [crosstalk 00:22:53] Sorry?

Kaitlyn blair: No, you’re definitely not cheap.

Stefan Aarnio: No and actually my price has gone up significantly since you guys took the program. So how scary is that signing up for a hight ticket coaching program? It’s more money than someone makes in a year usually and you’re coming into that and you’re getting hit on houses that aren’t working. How scary is that?

Kaitlyn blair: I think you just have to have the all in mind set if you’re going to do it. Like if you don’t plan to put in the work and the hours, that’s required with your coaching program, do not put up that much money. You’re just watching it float or flutter away. But for us, we had hit that road block like Brad said, and we were either going to do this, or we were going to fall on our butts and fail. And we had such a desire to make this work that we were willing to do whatever it took and we had to do some uncomfortable things that you made us do, but obviously they paid off and look where we are now and can’t help but rave about it.

Brad Blair: I mean to me it wasn’t scary. It was … people buy brand new vehicles for more than what the coaching was all the time. And they don’t have a problem with it. And the difference is, at the end of their six year payments or five year payments, or whatever they do, they have nothing. Worse case scenario, we flunked and we quit and we paid that debt off in five to seven years and went and got a normal job. That was worse case scenario. At that time we were 27 years old. If that’s worse case scenario, I can chew on that. So to me it wasn’t really scary.

Stefan Aarnio: Brad, I love your answer. You’ve got big balls buddy. Those are some big balls.

Kaitlyn blair: He doesn’t stress out very easily.

Stefan Aarnio: I thought you were going to say something about his balls, Kaitlyn. I thought [crosstalk 00:24:44]. Yeah, Brad does have the balls. Okay.

Stefan Aarnio: Let me ask you this guys. What do you think causes the biggest, what’s the biggest cause of failure in people? You probably see people all the time wanting to get into real estate. They want to flip houses. They want to build houses. They want to be Brad and Kaitlyn. They bought Brad and Kaitlyn’s home. They want to be you in every way. They want to go flip houses. What causes people to fail in this business?

Kaitlyn blair: I think people are afraid to step outside of their comfort zone in my opinion. Lots of people like to talk. People have lots of dreams and intentions and that’s awesome but they don’t do anything and if you don’t go do something, nothing’s ever going to change. Your life is going to stay the same. So unless you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone, and do things that make you feel uncomfortable, you’re not going to get anywhere.

Brad Blair: Yep.

Stefan Aarnio: It’s a comfort zone. Now let me ask you guys this. When you were stepping out of your comfort zone and doing this kind of business, did you guys have haters? Did other people doubt you and say it wasn’t going to work out?

Brad Blair: You know what, not really. We’ve been pretty lucky that way. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family with entrepreneurs. I grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan where the majority of people were farmers or worked on a farm. So they, farmers are one of the highest risk entrepreneurs there is. What’s the saying, the only, something, oh, “They’re just banking on the fact that there’s six inches of top soil and then they hope it rains.” So they’re really banking on some things, so I never had really anybody saying that we were crazy. I don’t think Kaitlyn did either. We were fortunate in that aspect I think. We had more supporters. People watching on the sidelines more than anything. I don’t think that anyone thought that we would get to where we are though.

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, well it’s tremendous. You guys have-

Kaitlyn blair: I think people thought it might be a side hobby.

Brad Blair: Yeah.

Kaitlyn blair: I think that’s kind of what they thought as, “Oh that’s cute, Brad and Kaitlyn are flipping a house.”

Brad Blair: Yeah.

Kaitlyn blair: But obviously we had bigger dreams for it than that and they’ve come to like, so. But no we have been quite fortunate. We haven’t had a bunch of quote unquote haters.

Brad Blair: Not that we know about anything.

Kaitlyn blair: [inaudible 00:27:46] whatever.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow, if you guys could go back … now you guys are 28 today, 29, before 30. If you guys could go back to your 18 year old selves and give yourselves some advice what would you say to 18 year old Brad and Kaitlyn?

Kaitlyn blair: That’s a good one.

Brad Blair: I really try, well not try, don’t. I don’t live life with regrets at all. I don’t regret one thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I just think that the decisions we make have positive and negative consequences and you just learn from those and move on. I’d say if I could go back to when I was 18, it would be more, get outside of your comfort zone more. I didn’t do that very much until I was out of college. So I wish I would have done that more, but in terms of like tactical advice, just keep making mistakes.

Stefan Aarnio: How about you, Kaitlyn?

Kaitlyn blair: Yeah, it’s funny. We joke about whether or not we’ll suggest to our children that they should go to college or not. I don’t regret going to university whatsoever. The experience was well worth the time spent there, but when I think of maybe what I could have been doing in those four years either personally developing myself or starting a business. I don’t know, there are so many other things I probably could have learned quicker than if I would have gone to school and gotten the degree I got. So I think if I could change one thing, I may look back and see what life would have been like if I would have just started on the entrepreneur journey sooner.

Stefan Aarnio: Cool. Now what are the top three books that you guys think have changed your life?

Kaitlyn blair: Brad is definitely more of a reader than I am.

Brad Blair: Top three books. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone for sure. Probably, it’s a standard I know, but Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. What would another one be?

Stefan Aarnio: Give us one Kate, just one?

Brad Blair: I don’t know.

Kaitlyn blair: Well I might [inaudible 00:30:01] business one. I mostly listen to business podcasts but I like to read kind of like motherhood books and there was one called Great Thought Perception and it was just a great book on accepting you for you and feeling positive. And I don’t know, if you’re a mom or just a female out there looking for a great read, I would highly suggest that one. It’s by Emily Way.

Stefan Aarnio: Well I think moms have the most important job of all. They are raising the next generation of people. So that’s fantastic. Now what do you guys think is the one thing that young people need to succeed these days?

Brad Blair: I don’t know how to say this. They need to do something. I just feel like everything has been, everything is so kosher for them. They don’t get in trouble in school anymore because they can’t. Teachers have no authority to give them any trouble. It just seems like there’s less respectful because they don’t have to be respectful. I think that kids that are in school now, whether it’s elementary or high school, once they get into the working world, are going, their eyes are going to be opened to how things really are.

Brad Blair: Not everything’s fair. You do win or you lose. End of story. There are no ties. And I think that is going to be a rude awakening once reality hits. I’ll even say for me, I had, I’m not sitting here saying I had a tough childhood. I had an unbelievably fortunate childhood. And I had some of that myself. And but my parents never raised me that things were fair. Or they never turned a blind eye to things. I got the back hand when I deserved it. And you either won or you lost. There was no participation ribbons. So I had that but I still had a rude awakening when I got out of college. And so I think for the people that are in school now, it will be even worse. What do you think?

Kaitlyn blair: Yeah. I agree with that. [crosstalk 00:32:22]

Stefan Aarnio: Kaitlyn [crosstalk 00:32:17] winners win and losers lose. Now let me ask you this guys, we’re just going to wrap up here in a second. Is there any resources you recommend for people who want to follow a path like you. Flip houses, build houses, build a brand. Anything you recommend?

Kaitlyn blair: Brad and I highly believe in investing in education. We’ve gone through quite a few different trainings and we are under a mentorship program now. We’ve finished yours and now we’re doing another one. So we’re always continually investing in our education and I think that’s what drives us forward and that’s what drives our business forward. I’m sure you agree with that.

Brad Blair: Yeah, definitely. I mean you do have to learn some lessons the hard way. But you don’t have to learn them all the hard way. So you may as well invest in the education to get yourself going. That’s one of the reasons why we did it. We actually did some education before we invested with you Stefan, and that was really to just get us off of the couch and start moving and then when we hired you it was more for to eliminate the mistakes that we were doing and help accelerate us faster. Even if you get coaching, you’re going to make mistakes and you have to make them but you may as well invest in the coaching or the education whatever that looks like to get you going and eliminate some of the major mistakes.

Kaitlyn blair: Also another thing we do and just in terms of branding and social media branding. We follow people that we look up to and admire. And we’re able to see what are they doing. How can we incorporate some more things into our brand. Not that we’re looking to copy them but it’s always great to pull inspiration from different people even from different sectors. Brad and I just went and spoke at a conference on social media branding and talked to a bunch of farmers. But they brought us in because they wanted a different outside perspective so that now they can follow us and see what we’re doing in real estate and see how they can do things in their own social media for farming.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow. That’s tremendous. So you guys are now helping others. Mentoring others. Training others. Because you have guys have become leaders in that. That’s fantastic. Any final words, guys, today?

Kaitlyn blair: No. We appreciate coming on here. We love listening to podcasts and having the opportunity to be on here is really something special.

Brad Blair: Yeah. So our first one. It was fun.

Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. Thanks guys. Respect the Grind and keep going. You guys are building a beautiful brand, beautiful company and I can’t wait to see where it is in the next five years.

Kaitlyn blair: Thanks Stefan.

Stefan Aarnio: It’s Stefan Aarnio here. Thank you for listening to another episode of my podcast, Respect the Grind. Now if you like the content on this podcast today. You are going to love my new book, Hard Times Create Strong Men. Now we live in an age right now where the men have become weak. Society has become weak. The mindset has become weak. What does it mean to be a man? Now whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re going to find value in this book, Hard Times Create Strong Men. Which reveals the philosophy and the power of what it takes to be strong in today’s market economy. Go ahead and get a copy of Hard Times Create Strong Men at hardtimestraongmen.com/podcast. That’s going to be a special offer just for podcast listeners. That’s hardtimesstrongmen.com/podcast. Get the book. You’re going to love it. It’s going to change the way you think. I’m Stefan Aarnio, Respect the Grind. We’ll see you on the next episode.