Michael Schnitzer: Getting to Know Michael Schnitzer and Stanley Martin Custom Homes
About This Episode
Go With John as he sits down with his business partner and friend, Michael Schnitzer – President of Stanley Martin Custom Homes. This episode is the first of many featuring Michael. In this conversation, Michael shares a bit about his personal life and how his experience in building led him to a career with Stanley Martin Custom Homes. John and Mike also discuss being Awarded Best Home Built in America in 2001.
Stanley Martin Custom Homes Website
[00:00:03] Hey, this is John Jorgenson, and welcome to another episode of the Go with John Show. This is our fifth episode of the show and it’ll be our last episode of 2020. And I think we’re all grateful that this year is quickly coming to an end. We are all deeply humbled on the Go with John team for all the folks that are listening to this show. And we greatly appreciate all the feedback we’re getting both through email and on Facebook, and we look forward to bringing you many more episodes next year. So in closing out 2020, I want to say happy holidays to all. Let’s get this year in the rearview mirror. We’re looking forward to launching into 2021 and getting on with our lives. And with that, I want to bring in Michael Schnitzer, president of Stanley Martin Custom Homes. And we’re going to chat a little bit about how he got to Stanley Martin, how he met Steve Alloy, who’s the president of Stanley Martin Companies, and some of the lessons Michael’s learned along the way. So without further ado, let’s get on with our conversation with Michael Schnitzer, President Stanley Martin, custom homes. All right, so I’m here today with Michael Schnitzer, president of Stanley Martin Custom Homes. Welcome, Michael. Hey, John. How are you doing? So, Michael, I guess give us we want to get to know you a little bit, I guess. Tell us a little bit about where you went to school and how did you end up at Stanley Martin Custom Homes? Well, this is interesting, John, because I want to get to know myself because I am a I’m a complete enigma to myself. So so I went so grew up in Baltimore, right. Not Bulmer, right. Baltimore, right.
[00:01:54] When to school. Maryland. Yep. Played lacrosse there. Got an engineering degree there. Loved math. Right. He did. After I graduated when I started to do engineering I said, whoa, look at all these engineers. I went to work at Westinghouse. Right. And like, I cannot live with myself walking around with a pocket protector, sitting behind a desk. So I literally hit the eject button. Right. I just I knew, like, it was great when I was in school because I could have fun with math and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, but it was terrible for me in real life. I felt like I was like caged. So that was that was interesting. You really don’t know what you want to be until you really are faced with the real world. Right. I mean, the idea the dream is always better than the reality. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I totally I mean, I when I was a Westinghouse, I went back for my Masters. I was getting in math. I was like two classes away. I’m like, this is not for me. I’m just I got to get out of this. So I have no idea what I would have done differently. Right. It all kind of worked out at the end. But it’s just interesting how you major in something and it turns out that it really doesn’t work with your personality maybe or whatever. Yeah. And you don’t really know who you are until you get a little older anyway. It’s all right. As I said when we started this conversation, I still don’t know who I am. I’m still confused. So what did you do after Westinghouse? Where did you go from there? So after Westinghouse, I tried to figure out what I wanted to do.
[00:03:34] So my family has a you had a large business in the Baltimore area, and it was my father, my uncle, who took it over from my grandfather. So I started working there a little bit. It was just too that, you know, it’s. Yeah, it’s not that is feuding. Yeah. But it’s just too much family for me. Family politics. Yeah. So I said to my father, you know, I always had an interest. I love watching houses go up and whatever I said, hey, would you back me if I can figure out how to start a business and get some customers, whatever. So then I was faced with the dilemma. My father said yes, but I was like, well, when do I get the business or not? Even in the business. Right? You started building houses like I started painting houses with nothing, right? Yeah. So I had to figure out a path and I said, well, let’s see, who are some top architects in the area. Right. So I started looking around and cold calling and whatnot, and I found this architect who had a great name. I had a really good following. So we teamed up. I had my father back us and started building houses. You know, I understood how houses went together. Right. I understand structure. It’s not right. I had an engineering degree. Right. But I don’t know, you know, sequencing and scheduling and how to treat the trade partners and beg them subcontractors and whatnot. So there was certainly some growing, not even pains, just normal, just trying to understand the business. And so we got through the first two houses and I noticed that my partner, I really should call our part my father, my my my partner. Right. It was like he wasn’t returning subcontractor’s calls or this or that.
[00:05:28] And, you know, we not that we had cash flow issues, but, you know, it wasn’t like my father injected, you know, two million dollars into the company. Right. So there was, you know, working with the drawls and things of that nature. And he just kind of took a left turn. Your dad know you’re the partner. You know, my dad was all in and you guys take care of my son, get them started and whatnot. So I was like, this is so I had to finish up. We had two other projects right at the time. One was in in the scenario Lutherville and one was in actually just outside of Columbia. And so I finished those up so that my father yeah, well, my father’s money to be at risk. Right. And I said I better figure out how to make this work and really understand the business. So one of my close friends, A. Lived across the street from me, had moved down to the D.C. area, so I started and he knew some people, blah, blah, blah. So long story short, I work for this company called the Milton Company or a large company back in the day in the 70s and 80s. And so I started learning the business right finish and and and and I felt like there were times where I got so emotional about things. Right. I scream at the subcontractors and then I go into like the SaniJohn and I’d see like I won’t even use the words that were referred to me. I was like, Wow, man, I’m not making too many friends in this business. And, you know, like, we have things to deliver. And I’d have like thirty five houses and I’ll be like sleeping at the job site because I had so much going on.
[00:07:09] Right. And you know, you know me personally. It’s like I’m to a type personality and I can, you know, eject from this. Right. So and it is it is a maddening business. I mean, it’s maddening, the craziness that goes on. And I and I say it all the time to people. I honestly don’t know how you do it because, yeah, it is a it is an orchestra and a dance and all these things when you’re building a home, all these things have to come together in the right order at the right time and with the right qualities. The right. Exactly. It’s just, you know, and when you’re in the production world, they’re going to throw houses at you until you almost not really collapse because not the right word, right. If you can handle 30 houses at a time. Right. You have some in this stage of construction and others, and then you have something to finish and it’s just going to throw a match. Right. So I never say never. So I just keep throwing it right. So I would be getting up at like 4:00 in the morning so that I could punch out houses that were in the finish and then during the day. So it was just maddening. Right. Long story short, I grew through the business and eventually I left the Milton Company and was hired to be a VP of a company in Maryland. Right. To have a larger basically have all the organization run under me in the Maryland operation. So that was good for me. And I had people underneath me and I started kind of understanding more like interpersonal relationships. And if you want to be treated a certain way, you better treat others that way.
[00:08:51] And, you know, a lot of this is just when you’re young, you’re just out there trying to make a name for yourself. Right? Right. But I started to learn, you know, as you get older, you learn and you’re like, you know, that is not how you get things from people being demand. I mean, sometimes you have to be. Yeah, but there’s a you know, there’s a there’s a process in that. Yeah. I also think we’ve talked about this before you and I have offline where when you’re younger, your people are more likely to try to take advantage of you and step on you. And you have to really I think you have to have your act together and people have to know you’re on top of things. So it is a little harder. As you get older, you can rest on your reputation and your experience. Yeah, and you’re right. I mean, I think with any with any business, you’re a newcomer. People want to see, especially if you’re managing tradespeople, how much can they get away from you? Yeah. Get away with. Right. And that’s going to eventually factor into schedules and quality and whatever. And I was having none of it yet, but I just went around I just went around it the wrong way in terms of how to how to deal with people. Yeah. Yeah. But live and learn. Right. So so where did you go from there. So then I came to Stanley Martin. Mm hmm. And a close friend of mine actually the name’s Mark. Yep. Dubeck. So Mark was good friends. His cousin was good friends with this. This person by name is Steve Alloy. So Mark said, hey, why don’t you talk to Steve? Right. So Steve’s dad started Stanley Martin.
[00:10:25] So through Mark, I met Steve. I’d known Steve somewhat just from, you know, through Mark and things just way outside of work. Right. And really just started again from not really the ground up at this point, but at a higher level and work through project management to purchasing, to director purchase. And this is all it. Stanley Martin, this is all Martin Company. Yes. Right. Then to VP of Internal Operations. So I was managing all the processes and systems and eventually up to chief operating officer. So where all the divisions reported rolled up underneath me. And then at a point, if I just. Kind of digress for a second, right? I decided I wanted to do something a little bit different and use a little bit of my creative side. I always knew I had some ability to draw and whatnot really comes from my mother’s side of the family. But so back in the late two, I would say late 90s, early 2000s, we started a custom home renovation business. Stanley Martin Custom Homes and Renovations. Right. And so we did that for a couple of years and it turned everything was fine. Right. What happened was the market had a hockey stick straight up. Mm hmm. And so things were just booming right into the 90s and into the 90s. And Steve asked, hey, why don’t you roll your organization? I could use your help and we could use more people within our network. And so we kind of we never shut close the doors. We just stopped taking orders. Right. Right, right. So and that’s when I went in to become chief operating officer. And interestingly enough, one of the last homes you built before you did that, you won the award award for Best Home Built in America.
[00:12:34] Yes. Yeah, that was interesting. That was in Silver Spring, Maryland. Right. And we that house, we had to pay a lot of attention to detail. Yeah, it was, I would say, one of the first true arts and crafts homes built maybe not in the nation. Right. In terms of current. Sure. Right. Not arts and crafts. Way back when. Yeah. So interesting is used to say that. So we had all these processes and systems and we would have customer sign shop drawings and all kinds of stuff. We brought timbers down from Vermont. Right, right. Right. We, we had an interior trim carpenter on site for about a month. Yeah. Hand building the stairs. Right. Doing all kinds of ceiling details and running trim. And the house looked beautiful when it was done. And on a lark when somebody in my organization said, hey, why don’t you submit the home to the best an American living. So that’s sponsored by Professional Builder, which is the largest rag. Right. You know, trade magazine and sponsored by the National Homeowners Association. So, OK, what the heck is a couple hundred dollars, blah, blah, blah. We sent the pictures in and I don’t know, some time passed and I get this call. Hey, Mr. Schnitzer, would you be willing to come down to Atlanta like. Well, I don’t know. Yeah, sure. Right. But why? Well, you won an award and I was like, OK, tell me a little bit more. So they said, well, your house was nominated and won for best custom home built in the United States. I’m like, well, are you kidding me? So, you know, so so we go down there, I accept the award, whatever. And the the night before the award, there was this reception in this museum.
[00:14:37] Right. And they had easels and there’s all these houses. Right. And the palatial estates in Beverly Hills and this and that. And I’m walking. I’m like, wow, that’s beautiful. And then I see this, you know, maybe 3500 square foot arts and crafts. And that was my home. Not that was embarrassing. I’m looking at some of these other houses like what is going on here? I feel like I’m not even in the right league just because some of these are just palatial. Right. But lo and behold, 12 judges from around the country visited the finalists. Right. Some Northeast SW, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And these 12 judges found the home that I built to be the have the best execution of detail and the highest quality home and most appealing in the United States. So great award, really. It has more to do with my team and having good processes to deliver a product than it does about one person, because I’m not out there every day building it. I’m the one putting the systems together and making sure that we have all the checks and balances. But you’re also the one who’s backing up the standards, right? The standards and the culture of the organization comes from the top. Absolutely. Absolutely. And those same metrics and there’s obviously continuous evolution, but the same processes and and methodology that I used in the early 2000s, somewhat refined to the 2020 time frame is. Are still is our standard operating procedure, right? I mean, it’s yeah, it’s try not to start a house without one hundred percent complete and accurate information. Right. Making sure all the information that potentially can lead to a customer being upset or dissatisfied or there’s a gap between what you’re telling the customer and maybe what they heard.
[00:16:45] Right. Those are the kind of the gray spots that you want to try to bring forward and make sure, you know, so it could be for the stairs. Right. So I do believe it could be the the the handbill stairs. Well, exactly how are those stairs built? Well, what’s the shop drawing. Right. And I hope will come together. We I don’t think we did mentioned earlier, though, the stairs were field built by the trim carpenter on site. So it wasn’t like a factory ordered set of steps that were put in. So to make sure you have lot to make sure that everything was right, there was no you know, there was no no gray area. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So those are important details and those same details, while maybe not as detailed, if you will, still are prevalent in how we do business today. Right. So. Yeah, so. Just kind of we’re not flying by the seat of our pants course. Exactly. Well, it’s a great place to pause for a second. And when we come back, we’ll talk about how you and I kicked off Stanley Martin Custom Homes part too perfect. Hi, this is Jerry Berry with First Heritage Mortgage. If you’re thinking about building a new home, give me a call and I’ll be more than happy to explain how the construction process works. To learn more about me and my team, you can find me at Jerry Berry Loans dot com. That’s First Heritage Mortgage. My NMLS number is one oh nine six five seven. All right, well, welcome back. And so, Michael, it’s good to have you here. Thanks. So let’s talk a little bit about the reinvention of Stanley Martin Custom Homes. So two thousand six, you and I met and I talk about how we initially met in the very first episode of our podcast.
[00:19:04] So if you want to hear that story, you can go back and I’d like to listen to it. Yeah, you should listen to it. It’s been so long ago. So so you and I start we actually met the second day, the day after we met at Long and Foster. You and I met at the California Pizza Kitchen right now in Fairfax. And literally from that day forward, you and I were together seven days a week for about six months. Seven days a week. Yeah, we didn’t stop. I was fired up and motivated. You were fired up and motivated. And I mean, it was a really fun, exciting time, you know? And so I guess talk a little bit about Michael from your from your building experience. What was going through your mind and what did you have to accomplish to get this organization back off the ground again? Right. So I want to go too far back where you’ve already covered it in the episode. But my thought was I needed to partner with someone who had a good following. Right. Because think about a business has referrals and whatever. And while we have good brand recognition, I got to start over again. Right. And it’s it’s you know, it’s not that it’s hard. No, it is hard. It’s not easy starting from scratch. Right. And you know, and moving forward. So I think at the highest level, my thought was, how do we start getting people to talk to Stanley Martin? Right. Right. And how hard we always work hard for the business. Right. But how much harder do we have to work? Because we got to start bringing in some business. Right. So I remember some of our first sales. If you remember, like I was on vacation and I wasn’t unplugged.
[00:20:56] So I’m never unplugged from my from my iPhone. But I was you know, my wife and the kids are having fun and I’m like in the room on the computer doing work. And I really didn’t even have a vacation. Right. Right. But it’s all about how do you get the business started. Right. And there was nobody else there except for you and me. And we had you had one assistant, Jen, and I had a dog and a dog. Yeah. Yeah, a man in the right. So you’re right. So on the weekends, we were meeting with customers. We were doing Meet the Builders. We had that sign that you put we put on your truck. Yep. Yep. I mean, we were we were just Katie bar the door. Right. Right. That’s where we were. And eventually we started picking up sales and because I’m starting over from scratch. So now I’m selling I’m doing the purchasing a car the day I’m H.R., the day I’m in the field starting construction because I wanted to get enough backlog where it made sense to hire. Right. And then begin hiring. So it’s just like with any business, you have to put the time and you have to invest the energy right. To get the outcome you want. It’s there’s no easy path. Right. Right. There’s just no easy path. So as we started growing, we started growing. The company started growing the business. I think in the beginning, you know, we always took the approach that we would modify our plans. Right. So we were modifying plans, making one of the mantras even from the beginning was we have to put a pretty face on a house. Absolutely. Because. If you don’t A, I’m not going to be proud of it, right? Builder B, the customer probably isn’t going to be proud of it when they’re standing on the street looking at their home.
[00:22:53] Right. So are our mantra was back then. Let’s try to go as value oriented as possible. And I used to use the term box on a box. Right. With a hook. Right. And a pretty face. Meaning the simpler we can create the design, the better the value. Right. A hook. We need a couple of things inside the house where people are going to be like, wow, that’s a beautiful kitchen or above a really cool fireplace. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then the pretty face is part of it’s for me. Right, right. Because I don’t want to put a Stanely Martin custom sign up in front of a house that really is that you’re feeling that. Yeah. Yeah exactly. So and word of mouth. Then we started growing and we started to do more advertising and kind of here we are today. But you and I know it was 365, 24/7 for a couple of years. And then as a reward then we don’t think we crashed. We went on vacation for five years because we were so tired. Now, just kidding. We never stop. Yeah, but it was it was amazing, right, when we were starting to get some really good traction and things were roll and we had the we had the 2008 financial crash, which which really didn’t it it overall hurt the market. Sure. But generally speaking, it helped us because with our capital. That’s correct. And just being able to get the subcontractor’s to a job and people and financial security and customer not worried about a builder going under. Right. We were we were able to leverage that. And I think we probably picked up a couple of sales for. Oh, for sure. Slowly, slowly. People were telling us they were very comfortable building what, Stanley Martin.
[00:24:42] Yeah, because there were builders going out of town, I mean, out of business all over the place and probably out of. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So so let’s talk a little bit about the Stanley Martin connection with Stanley Martin Custom Homes. So Stanley Martin Custom Homes is a wholly owned subsidiary of Stanley Martin. So how does how does how do we benefit from the relationship with Stanley Martin? Sure. So a couple of things. So one is I’ve been with Stanley Martin for twenty five years and pretty much every seat. Right. So it helps to be, well, what’s the word, well-heeled within the company. Right. And friendly with the owner and the boss. And I don’t see any commentary on the bathroom walls about you anymore. So I’ve learned from those experiences for sure. So the but but at the highest level, we are a boutique builder within a large umbrella. Right. Right. So large umbrella, meaning I don’t have to go to outside legal. Right. I don’t have to for legal counsel. Right. Reviewing documents and things of that. I don’t have to go outside for, for H.R., for accounting or even for purchasing. Right. There’s a team in corporate. All they do is commodity buys for a large builder and I’m betting I’m benefiting from it. Our customers are betting front. Right. So the the value add is we’re able to bring product to market at a at a price point that’s lower than the competition. Now, what we do is we sprinkle some other things because it’s a recipe. Right, right. Menu. And how you build it is a great recipe. And so one is we want to provide customers with a great experience. Right. Well, the only way to do that is have enough supervision on the job to make sure things are running smoothly, that we have weekly meetings, that we have meetings with agendas.
[00:26:47] So we have deliverables and things of that nature. So theoretically, our our our cost of sales, if you will, could be less. But I realize how important sleep is, right. For both myself and my customers. Yeah. And so if you don’t provide enough supervision, you have a recipe for failure, right? Maybe not every job, maybe it’s one in five or whatever it is, but not every job is going to go smoothly. Exactly. And you need you need eyes on the ground. Yeah. And I think one of the things we do at Stanley Martin Custom Homes is we give every single buyer a weekly meeting, either virtually or in person during the whole entire with an agenda. With an agenda. Right. It’s not just like what questions do you have today? It’s yours, the agenda and and from the start of construction until delivery. And I don’t think most of the. Folks realize how important that is and, you know, back at the beginning of the segment, we talked a little bit about your beginnings in construction, in the madness of trying to hold and keep everything together. And I think when you’re a customer coming into the program and and and you’re investing this kind of money, you want to have those weekly meetings, right, with your with your contractors building your house, like whether building a widget or a car or a house. It’s Project Management 101, weekly meetings with agendas, but they can’t get simpler than you’re right. But they cost money. Right. So. Right, absolutely. Because of our relationship with Stanley Martin, we’re buying materials, windows, doors, framing lumber, HVAC systems, flooring, tile, all of the parts in the piece well below market. Same quality, if not better than market, but well below market, because if you’re a one year old builder, you’re not building thousands and thousands and thousands of houses a year.
[00:28:39] Right. So they can’t they can’t touch us. So they cost bricks and sticks. Exactly. So we compete on price with the cheapest builders in town, but we’re providing a lot of value. Add Yeah, but we’d like to use the word leased. I know lesser expensive, cheap has such a lot of these days and not just one of these days it’ll stick out. So the but so going back to the boutique company. Right. So we want to provide a great experience to our buyer. Yeah. And so that every meeting for every sales meeting I’m involved with the first meeting. Correct. I’m doing the design work. I know the intricacies of the project, so I understand the customer’s DNA. Right. And so because I’m the common denominator, if you will, throughout the whole project. Exactly. Right now, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a VP of operations and it can be a construction. But I know. What are the customers hotspots? I’ve been to the site. I know the topography. I know the parameters of the site. I know the project. Yeah, right. So nothing’s going to get by the team because I have a firsthand knowledge and just not to go on too much of a tangent, but we have something called hotspots, right. So houses have hundreds and thousands, hundreds of thousands of parts and pieces. Right. So we can’t have a hotspot for every little piece. Exactly. But if a customer has bad allergies, that may be a hotspot with some associated things. Exactly. If a customer built a house and had an issue with a foundation, Reiby, it was water leakage and it probably was old. Exactly. That’s a hotspot. Right? Right, right. So I’m looking for the exact number of things that I know a customer is sensitive to, or I know that as an overall project, we as a team have to be sensitive to.
[00:30:40] It could be a topographic thing. It could be an element with a neighbor or whatever it is. Those are the hotspots that we want to lift out. Of all the many, many specs you say you really have to be careful on these OP. Exactly. Exactly. So so, I mean, in a hotspot, they’re going to be different for all its customer specific and land specific to my house. I had a driveway once that had a puddle in it and it annoyed me to no end a poodle or a poodle, a puddle, a puddle. So so that’s that would be a hot spot today. Exactly right. Because you’re going to be you’re hypersensitive to it and you’re on the lookout. And if I build a house and there’s a puddle in my driveway, then we have to turn it into a poodle. Yeah. So so I think the bottom line is we leverage the buying power of Stanley Martin. We provide a boutique service service. Totally boutique. Exactly. And really the biggest takeaway is you’re involved in this from top to bottom. And I’ve seen it and I know the industry. I’ve never seen anybody that can perform at your level. I always say you’re the smartest, hardworking person I’ve ever met in my life. And you say, no, Steve Alloy is. So that is the smartest. Yeah, he is the smartest man in his orbit. So. Yeah, but it’s pretty amazing what you do, holding it all together with the team and the and the and the projects. It’s impressive. So but well if I didn’t like what I did it wouldn’t be satisfying. Right. So exactly. And going back again to what you said at the beginning of this episode, you know, you can’t sleep at night if things are not going right and you are focused on every detail from the very start.
[00:32:24] And that’s why you’re at every sales meeting right at the very beginning of the process, because you want to understand what the customer is trying to accomplish. So when you get out to the property, you want to make sure it’s all going to work. And there’s so many nuances with this type of transaction. You have to think so many layers deep and you have to think so far ahead. I think you’re the a big part of the great experience the customer has when they come in to Stanley Martin customers. Well, I try, John. I mean, not that I think you hit it. It’s I’m not saying any builder can deliver a quality product. All right. Not any builder. Right. Builders can. Right. But it takes a special builder to also focus on the experience. Right. Which is a tough element because you have different individuals in your org. How do you find the common thread? And look, face it, the project managers. Right. They’re not you know, if they were real people, people. Right. They probably be in sales. Right. Right. So we have to find that blend of we got to have the right PMs. Right. And he has to know the industry and be good at that and also needs to be able to communicate, maybe not to the level you and I can write, but have to be able to have a good rapport. And we I think we’ve got a great blend of PMs that are able to do that, has been with us for several, many, many years. Yeah, yeah, we do. We do. That’s true. Very low turnover to Stanley Martin, Custom Home Organization. Thanks to you and your poodle. Yeah. Or Puddle.
[00:34:03] Michael Schnitzer here, president of Stanley Martin Custom Homes. Buyers appreciate our focus on energy efficiency and sustainability so that they can lower their utility costs and we can reduce our footprint on the environment. To learn more about our prices and floor plans, visit. We build on your Lot dotcom that’s we build on your lot dotcom. So there’s a great introduction to Michael, so one last thing I want to kind of end with is that folks out there may not realize is you take some pretty interesting vacations. So tell us about one of your vacations that you’ve enjoyed the most and where did you go? What did you do and what did you love about it? Well, so I would say probably my favorite vacation was when we went to the moon with Neil Armstrong. So I don’t like to brag about that. But he said, Michael, what should I say when I step on the you know, when the moon on the surface, I don’t know. I say some say something about a step and something about mankind. There you go. And I let him take it from there. So I would never do that, by the way. So don’t worry about that. So my wife likes to travel. Sure. I like to work. Yeah. And I know if I don’t if I don’t have a happy wife, I’ll never have a happy life because I work so much. So, you know, we go places like, you know, go on safari, go to Vietnam. And just so it’s as long as I’m not unplugged right now. So I still have service because I still have to answer questions and whatnot. But I would say for me, I mean, there’s so many probably Africa is the number one. So tell us about that trip and what did you tell us what you did and talk a little bit about your experience on that safari? Yeah, so there’s kind of nothing like it.
[00:36:06] So we went to Kenya and Tanzania on the Mara, roaming the plains with the wildebeest, the Serengeti watching lions. And it’s just John, it’s just it’s it’s literally surreal. You really unless you’ve done it, it’s it’s very hard to describe. But it is an experience you can get. You know, you could go to Italy and it’s a great I mean, you know, Florence is unbelievable. You can go to Vietnam. It is unbelievable. Right. But it’s just something different or, you know, waking up at four thirty and taking a hot air balloon over the I think we were over the Mara and then landing and having a picnic lunch. And there’s people around you make sure you don’t get attacked yourself by the lions and tigers. So it’s just it is just unbelievable. So anybody that has the opportunity they should do it is just it’s crazy. Crazy cool, crazy cool. Very good. So I would say that was my number one home because that was my wife’s number one trip. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fanta, I do remember. Yep. All right. Well, Michael, listen, thanks for coming in to chat with me today for the podcast. It’s been a lot of fun working with you, and I look forward to continuing the journey. Thanks, John. Talk to you soon. I like what you’re hearing on the Go with John show. Let us know what you think by leaving a review on Apple podcast and share this episode with your friends to sign up for show updates. Head to go with John Dotcom to join our list