EPISODE 19

Jeff Detwiler | CEO, Long & Foster 

Jimmy Lang

About This Episode

Jeff Detwiler, CEO of Long & Foster, sits down with John and shares his stories and experiences spreading over 35 years in the finance industry. After the first anniversary of Covid, Jeff and John also delve into how being a CEO during the pandemic presented its challenges and how Jeff was not only able to stay afloat but grow the Long & Foster business over that past year. Plus, a touching tribute and storytelling session about now-retired Wess Foster, founder of Long & Foster. Don’t miss the upcoming episode.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:02] I’m here today with Jeff Detwiler, who is CEO of all of the long and foster companies. And welcome, Jeff.

[00:00:09] Thanks, John. Yeah, glad to be here. Yeah, I’m glad you’re excited. I know it’s I know we’re going to have some fun. So, Jeff, I

[00:00:16] guess I’m curious to learn. Tell us a little bit about your career and how did you end up as CEO of Long and Foster Companies?

[00:00:26] Well, I’ll try to make that somewhat quick, if I can. Sure. It’s like so many other things, you kind of fall into it and just sort of unfolds in front of you. But when I graduated, I went back to the Midwest and I worked there for five years, ended up taking a job with another bank in the Midwest in Minneapolis, then went to Wall Street in New York for five years, went out to Southern California for five years and then came here. And it was just a progression in terms of mostly banking and moving for higher level positions and different types of roles in companies. But I share with you where they were is because it’s really been interesting working in on both coasts and the Midwest. And it’s amazing. You might as well be in different countries. Absolutely.

[00:01:24] That you could go from Northern

[00:01:26] Virginia to Shenandoah County and

[00:01:29] Virginia to different countries. Yeah, yeah. You don’t have to go far to find a whole new world. Yeah.

[00:01:34] So. So you graduated from Princeton in 83. Yes. And then you went out to the Midwest for five. Correct. And then when you got to Wall Street, I’m just curious, because while you see the movies and you see the pressure and all that, I mean, how did how did you come in from the Midwest to Wall Street? How did that impact you?

[00:01:49] Well, so just to set the stage on that a little bit more so is that I had been in the Midwest. I was originally in Michigan, right outside of Detroit. That’s where I had gone to high school. And so I kind of went back home. I had some connections there and I got into the world of banking there, went to Minneapolis after that. There’s a thing called Minnesota Nice. Yeah. And I spent ten years in in Minnesota and there is a Minnesota nice I telling you. And I left Minnesota and went to Wall Street. The firm I was working with was a very advanced, innovative securities firm. We structured and created mortgage backed securities. We were the largest mortgage backed security issuer in the world next to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And we really innovated a lot of jumbo loan market and a lot of the other loan products that are out there today. But I my working sphere were really all the Wall Street firms. So they would underwrite our deals that we would structure. They would sell the deals to investors that we would structure. So it was one of those situations. And, you know, in your career, you sit there and you say, I can do that. I think I can do that that other person is doing.

[00:03:04] I think I can do that. And so I said, but I just I think I can do that.

[00:03:09] And I had the same. Wall Street is a really mysterious, pseudo glamorous, but kinda scary place

[00:03:18] on the outside looking in. Yeah, right. And I said, I can do this, I want to go there.

[00:03:22] So I went there in 2000 after fifteen years of working, but more importantly, after ten years of being in Minnesota. Nice. Yeah. There is no such thing as Wall Street.

[00:03:31] Nice. Yeah there’s, it’s not a secret.

[00:03:34] There is no Wall Street. Nice. So five years at Wall Street. It is a it’s a highly competitive. It is a political, it is a rough and tough world. And the thing that struck me the most after five years, why I chose to leave is that the team concept is is really hard to come by now. I think some firms are probably really good at teams. You know, Goldman Sachs as a firm that comes to mind and things like that of really being good with teams. But but I know how it is. It’s everyone’s there. There is there’s a dollar there. There’s a dollar that’s going to be paid out and you all go get yours. And so it’s it’s rough. And it’s like, if I can take that away from you, I get

[00:04:26] it and you don’t get it. But there’s not two dollars to get. There’s one dollar. You got to go get it.

[00:04:31] And so it’s really tough, the team environment. And I didn’t care for that. And so after five years, I chose to go to another part of the country. I just wanted to start something new.

[00:04:42] And so you went to California from Wall Street. So that’s that’s that’s a whole different world.

[00:04:46] Oh, it is a different it might as well be a different country for sure. You know, the Wall Street thing is that I had I had my fourth child when we were living in New Jersey and I was working on Wall Street. And so I had four young. Kids at the time during that point in time. 9/11 occurred, there were 13 parents in my kids’ little elementary school that passed away that horrible day. My neighbor passed away that day. There were for two weeks straight. We went to funerals and wakes. It was just it was a time you never want to revisit by any means. But then also the next thing that happened was the anthrax scare, if you remember that do so. It emanated from we actually lived in Princeton, New Jersey, and I commuted to New York every day. And the anthrax scare emanated from Nassau Street, which is right downtown Princeton. And so we were all so edgy. It was just such a tough time. And you combine kind of the work environment and not a real great team environment on Wall Street. Combine what was happening. You know, personally, it was a lot for my wife and for my family. And so we said after about five years, look, we’re in a good place. Let’s let’s look around and figure out where we want to go. And Southern California showed up on the map for us and had new some people out there. And I ended we ended up going out there and it was just you couldn’t have found a more different place to be.

[00:06:23] And that’s what you needed at the time, undoubtedly.

[00:06:25] And my wife and kids needed a different place. Right. And so the so it was a great five years for us in Southern California. Yeah. My family lived there for about eight years. I spent three years commuting back and forth from Northern Virginia to California while I was working here at at long involved.

[00:06:45] Right. I remember that. Yeah, it was it was I thought you were nuts.

[00:06:49] That was I was I was. I have a

[00:06:52] record. So my record, like my claim to fame, the Iron Man record as I did 52 Sunday night, red eyes in a row.

[00:07:01] Oh, my gosh. That is that is unbelievable. That is unbelievable.

[00:07:06] And you just have to kind of desensitize yourself to it. So I during that period of time of commuting, you know, originally you start out, you know, it’s maybe like Thursday afternoon you go back and you come back Monday morning. Yeah, well, you give up three hours from the West Coast to the East Coast. So then you start leaving Sunday night. Yeah. And then things start getting crazy in our industry. And so it ended up I’d go home on Friday afternoons. Yes. I get to my house at about eight o’clock California time, which is about 11:00 p.m. our time, and then have dinner on Sunday and head to the airport and get back. Stop take a shower in Reston at the town center and then get in to Chantilly for the opening bell

[00:07:52] on Monday morning. Yeah, that’s a commitment. Oh, boy. Yeah. Yeah. So when did

[00:07:56] so your wife and kids obviously were enjoying living in California. And they obviously just based on what you’ve told us, we’re not ready to move to the East Coast. Yeah. Yeah, not to. They wanted to stay there.

[00:08:09] Yeah.

[00:08:09] I had you know, my son was I think when I first came, my son was a senior in high school and so we didn’t want to move for that extent. And then I had my next oldest is a daughter and she was an athlete and she was you know, she would have had three she had her sophomore, junior senior year. And I didn’t want to leave till after. That makes perfect. But our family story that my wife seems to deny is that my daughter was going into her senior year. She was basketball star at the high school and played other sports. And so the last thing they wanted to do is see her leave. Right. And my wife came to me and she said, you know what? We’re all ready to come to Northern Virginia and let’s get back together. I said, I can’t believe that Jaclyn really wants to leave before senior year. Oh, yeah, she’s fine with that.

[00:09:00] Well, come to find out, after I read my

[00:09:02] daughter’s first essay

[00:09:03] at Langley High School about how her heart felt like it got ripped out when I moved her from Southern California to Northern Virginia her senior year. So there was a little disclosure issue between my wife and I at that point. I see that. I see that. Yeah. That goes back to

[00:09:21] Stephen Covey’s rule number five or have it number five that I preach every day in my organization,

[00:09:26] which is seek first to understand. Oh, yeah, absolutely. I’m going to jot that down on my list of good things to not. Yeah. Seek first to understand and then be understood. Yes, I know. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:09:38] So anyways, nonetheless, she did a great job her senior year here. I had two younger kids that came and were in middle school and elementary school and so they adjusted and things like that. But it is interesting, you know, have your you’re on the different coasts and in the middle of the country. And all I know is you can take the kid out of California, but you can’t take California out of the kid.

[00:10:00] And that’s a good thing. I think I think it is, yeah, I think it is, yeah, there’s a

[00:10:03] there’s a little more of a laid back attitude. You know, we were talking before we turned on the microphones about my two kids. And I have one kid with a California personality and I have

[00:10:13] another kid with a New York personality. So I’ve got it all under one roof.

[00:10:18] But there’s I think there’s something to be said with take life as it is.

[00:10:22] It is.

[00:10:23] It’s it’s an outdoor life. It’s a really active life. It’s it’s more chill than it is kind of tense. Yeah. And and they continue to be that way. They’re pretty they’re very committed to their their work now, their careers and things like that. But all of them want to get back to all but one of them want to get back to California in some way, shape or form.

[00:10:44] Right. Well, one of them is back in California. So let’s talk about your kids for a second. So while we’re on that, so you’ve got so all your kids went to college,

[00:10:52] three of them went

[00:10:54] and then

[00:10:54] one of them did not. And then they’ve they’ve they’re back at home with you.

[00:10:58] Yeah. So how did that happen? So well,

[00:11:00] combination between just kind of moving back home to get started in your career and, you know, being ready to move out then and this whole covid thing hit and everybody just locked down. And so all four of our kids were at our home. And I will tell you it, I know a lot of people have had such a horrible time in 2020, you know, working through covid and all the issues and things like that. And I’ll tell you, I’m sensitive to everybody’s personal situation. People have lost people and I feel for them. But personally, it may end up being one of the best personal years in my life because it was an opportunity for the the six of us to spend a lot of time together. Everybody’s doing constructive stuff, you know, work wise, working from home. But, you know, we had each other and that was it. So and what I know all of them were adults. Right. And so, you know, with six people, there’s always enough for a party.

[00:11:59] Yeah, that is absolutely true.

[00:12:04] I think a lot of people share your sentiment. I mean, I spend most of my days on, you know, video meetings with homeowners who want to either build a new house or buy a house. And they many of them have kids. They have families, and they don’t have enough space in their home. And they’re all appreciating the change in our culture and the time that they have at the dinner table at night and the time they have together. And I feel I feel the same way. So it’s really been a good thing since. That’s fantastic. So. So what? So you’re one daughter is back in California?

[00:12:38] Yep. My youngest is back in California. She’s going to San Diego State University. She’s a sophomore. They’re wonderful, loves it. You know, she’s taking all her classes virtual. She said, Dad, I do have this one class that I can’t take online. I have to take it in person. And I was like, well, hurry. You know, we’re finally getting, you

[00:12:57] know, our money’s worth. You know, you get to go into class. I said, tell me about this class.

[00:13:02] She goes, it’s surfing.

[00:13:03] Yeah. So and I said, do I pay the same

[00:13:08] money for a credit hour of surfing as I do for economics?

[00:13:11] And she said, yes, so but

[00:13:12] she’s back and she’s loving

[00:13:14] it. Awesome. Awesome. So what’s your favorite part about being a father? You obviously love it.

[00:13:19] You love fatherhood. Yeah, I’m a

[00:13:21] better father of older children than I am of younger children. Yeah, my wife is certainly the superstar there with younger children. I think just

[00:13:31] the

[00:13:31] ability to engage people that you really care about to announce degree. I mean, I think the the the love that one has for their kids can surpass anything. You know, it’s like no judgment, no anything. You’ll do anything for them. And and so I just I love the idea of seeing them kind of really develop and blossom and unfold. And I can actually help them out more now. You know, they they ask questions. I don’t push anything on them. You know, I allow them to come to me if they choose to and to ask career questions and work related questions and life questions. And so we just have great conversations and we always have a lot of fun. There’s a lot of teasing that goes on in my family. And so,

[00:14:21] yeah, we have we totally appreciate that. I think all families with big personalities have some internal competition of of teasing is how a lot of

[00:14:32] times you show your love through. If they’re not teasing you, they don’t care. Right. Exactly. Exactly.

[00:14:38] All right. That’s fantastic. We’re going to take a quick break, Jeff. And when we come back, I want to hear about when you first decided that you wanted to be a CEO or if it just kind of fell in your lap. All right. We’ll be right back. In case you missed it, here is a clip from Episode three with Boomer Foster, president of Long and Foster Real Estate.

[00:15:04] Leadership is about doing not saying because, you know, you get a lot of vocal people who profess to be leaders and they’ll say one thing, but when you watch them perform, they’ll do something completely different. Right. And I think you’ve got to have a consistency. Like I want to lead by example. If I don’t want to ask somebody to do something that I’m not willing to do myself. So if we’re talking about, you know, managers or regional managers and you’re talking about, you know, making contacts and recruiting and building relationships, I don’t have legitimacy. If I’m sitting in the ivory tower and saying, you guys need to be doing this. If all I’m doing is sitting in the ivory tower and not out doing that myself. So leadership by example is something that I learned in football because I was very vocal when I first got to college. And and by the time, you know, at the end, it wasn’t about, you know, do as I do. It wasn’t about do as I say.

[00:16:07] All right. So we’re back with Jeff Detwiler, CEO of Long Foster Companies. Jeff, thanks again for coming in. It’s my pleasure.

[00:16:15] It’s been great, John. We read a great time before the show. Yeah. And now

[00:16:19] we’re rolling. Yeah, well, I was actually getting a little nervous because we were covering so much ground before we had the microphones on. Oh, you know, you’re like, OK, where are we going to run out of stuff here? So tell me, when did

[00:16:32] you tell me about becoming a CEO at Long and Foster? Did you want to be a CEO? Was that your goal or did that just kind of fall into your life?

[00:16:40] No, it really wasn’t. It unfolded in front of me like so much has. I think I would go back to when I was in Minneapolis and I was working for a company called R.F. FC, which was the big bond firm, you know, who created securities and things like that. I was probably, you know, effectively the number two person there. And it was great. And and we we grew the company. I think I was the two hundredth employee and it was a little little company when I started. And we grew it up and we did great things. So it was really exciting. But I was always number two. And I and I had my boss, the CEO was a great guy. Bruce parodist, great guy, one of the favorite people I’ve ever worked for. And he but you’re always number two, you know. And so there are decisions, you know, that are made that, you know, no one makes and No. Two listens. And then I went to California and I worked for Countrywide, which was then bought by Bank of America during the financial crisis. And we at about seven different companies there. And the one company I worked for, I was number two. Right. And as my boss there, another great guy, Doug Jones, told me, he said, look, we’re partners in this thing, but I’ve got 51 percent voting rights and 49 percent. So that basically means no one gets the call and number two, listens on those calls. And and when I was on Wall Street in between Minneapolis and and Countrywide, I was in in that role also kind of behind the guy running the department and things like that. So it was just this feeling like I wanted to be the guy I wanted to be. And I mean that a non gender specific situation. I just I wanted to be the one who was who had the 51 percent voting share. I wanted to be the one who was ultimately responsible for success or failure. And you really can’t go look anywhere else. And so I found that opportunity at Long and Foster. So it wasn’t originally there. You know, I originally came and I was the president and the CEO of long and phosphor companies. And that’s when W Foster was still here. And I work for West and West, had a lot more than fifty one percent voting.

[00:19:10] Yeah, but we had a we had a we had a we had a really good relationship.

[00:19:18] We had a lot of fun times together, there were a lot of stressful times together. But once the acquisition occurred, you know, I did really become the CEO. You know, I, I was in that what I’ll call the top spot for the entire time that I’ve been here. And you learn a lot of things when you’re in that top spot.

[00:19:41] Yeah. Yeah. So what is it? You know, because I’m very, very happy. We talked about before the show. I like being in number two position. Yeah. I don’t I think I spent most of my life. Wanting what you wanted was I want it to be the guy I wanted to be the one making all the decisions, but now the closer I get to that, I realize, you know what? It’s the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Sometimes it’s blue over there. So when you were the number two guy compared to being the number one guy, how different is that from a workload perspective? From a obviously you love the satisfaction of of being the CEO. Is the workload that much different or is it about the same? You have more decisions to make in a day.

[00:20:28] I think it’s

[00:20:30] you know, here’s one of the things you know, you talk about. The closer you get to it, the less you want to exact, more you learn about it. And I had I this is what I’ve learned about being the guy. And that’s kind of being number one, the guy. Right. What I learned is you’re really hardly ever the guy. You always work for somebody. And every time you get to a spot that it looks like from the outside that you’re going to be the one.

[00:20:55] Yeah, you’re not. Yeah. And then you get to the next

[00:20:58] spot and you’re still not the one in. And I had this conversation with a with somebody here at Long and Foster just last week and, and a friend of mine and, and talking about this concept and and I just said to him, you’re just you’re just hardly ever the one. Right. So you’re we’re always working for somebody, you know, and even in a big public company, CEOs, you know, are working for their board of directors and the board of directors are working for shareholders. And so it just is. That’s what I’ve learned.

[00:21:30] Yeah, but the big

[00:21:31] difference is, I think between being sort of in that 51 percent voting share versus the 49 percent is that, you know, work never quits. Right. You never go away because the buck stops with you. Right. And so you’re you’re 24/7, 52 weeks a year. And that’s how it is now. Fortunately for me, I grew up in my career in a fixed income environment, meaning I was a I was a trader on Wall Street. I was a bond trader when I worked at at RFLP for ten years. We had a big trading desk where we bought and sold securities. And so your position, your bond position that you own never goes on vacation. It never goes never has a weekend, and it never goes home at night and it never goes on vacation. So you sort of I learned to live with the fact that even when you’re off, you’re never alone. You’re always plugged in, you’re always plugged in. You have to be. And so it hasn’t been nearly as difficult for me. But I think that’s what it gets exhausting at times, just constantly being kind of connected and plugged in. But it’s not only me, my our whole team here at Long Foster is extraordinary in that. But that’s what I would that’s probably my biggest concern about any executive position is just constantly being plugged in and not being able to unplug and recharge.

[00:23:05] It’s a lot easier to be plugged in 24/7 when everything’s going right.

[00:23:10] That it

[00:23:10] is, you know, with Saturday

[00:23:12] afternoon when you check your email and there’s no no fires in the box. Yeah, it’s good. Yeah, it’s a good feeling. Good.

[00:23:19] Yeah. So we obviously had a few of those

[00:23:22] days last year. Yeah. I can only imagine

[00:23:26] March 17th and August 2013.

[00:23:28] Yeah. Yeah it was. Yeah it was, it was a really interesting thing, the whole covid transition. I mean it was you know, we went to work, you know, Nick our engineer here and I’ve been working together pretty much constantly remotely and, you know, doing doing these shows. And we came to work on a Thursday and we said, this is our last time. We’re going to see each other and we’re going to go into lockdown. And Friday, this was really before just a little bit before the whole area shut down. We were a day or two ahead of the curve. And it really was quite dramatic, you know, so I can’t even imagine I got a small team, you know, ten or twelve people if you have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people. And now all of a sudden you’re all working remotely. I know the pain we went through. So, yeah,

[00:24:14] well, there’s a lot of consternation, right? I just remember our team sitting around a table. And if you remember back then, John, is there wasn’t a lot of guidance. It was surprised.

[00:24:23] There was not big of a deal. There was little federal guidance.

[00:24:26] Everybody started looking to the states. Obviously, you know, we operate all across a number of states and there’s all kinds of different stories coming out of each state. And so but there wasn’t a lot of guidance anywhere. And I remember sitting around the table and finally saying, look, this is the right thing for for our agents, for employees and for our customers. We got a shutdown. And I think it

[00:24:49] was it was probably

[00:24:51] ten days to. Two weeks ahead of anybody else, and it was a scary decision that we made, and I remember we we made the decision, we adjourned, we were walking out and I just looked at Boomer and I said. I wonder when we’ll sell another piece of real estate.

[00:25:09] Yes. So little did you know. Oh, boy. Surprise, surprise. But there were some scary

[00:25:15] times in in April, without

[00:25:16] a doubt. Well, you know, what

[00:25:18] was weird is that it was eerily quiet. I mean, there were no phone calls. There was nothing to do in our team. We grabbed on to this podcast project and we really all sink our teeth into it. And it really kept us sane. But but there was there was no traffic, no emails, no phone calls. Any outreach we did was met with radio silence. And then it was just like all of a sudden we got a phone call, we get a second phone call, people start returning our emails, and then the floodgates opened. And I think everybody started to realize, you know, I think there’s two things we didn’t know. We didn’t really know how infectious this disease was. Yeah, nobody really knew. And so we were wiping down our Amazon boxes and our groceries. Right. I mean, the groceries were coming delivery, if you could get them delivered. You know, we were putting on rubber gloves and masks and wiping everything, the bags with the alcohol and all this stuff. And that’s what they were telling us to do on the news. Right.

[00:26:15] And they wouldn’t touch a doorknob except you would Lysol your doorknob. Yes.

[00:26:19] That kind of a thing. Yeah. And now I think we know

[00:26:21] it’s not coming into your house on a Amazon box or any box or your or your groceries. Right. So we can let our guard down a little. But I think the other thing that we didn’t know was how long is it going to last? And now everybody is working and living and schooling and exercising from home. And everybody needs a bigger house, everybody. And and I think it all started to dawn on people at about the same time. And I think we’re still in the middle of it here. A year later, we’re just past the one year anniversary. And I think the housing market is still crazy. There’s no listings out there. It’s the construction industry is being tested and strained to the max. You can’t get supply. So it’s you know, it’s gone from, you know, this great unknown. And are we all going to get this, too? Now we’ve got a new way to live.

[00:27:14] Yeah, well, without a doubt. And I think that, you know, in addition to a bigger house, which I think you’re spot on and everybody saying, you know, I need this kind of a space in my house now in this kind of space. And I think that there’s also these migration trends that are showing up, you know, that are all related to the same thing. But if I’m going to be working in this house a little bit more like do I necessarily want to do it here versus maybe there? Right, exactly. And so you see some of those migration trends. And I think that I think for where we’re sitting right now here in Northern Virginia and in the capital region, gosh, you know that the driving force used to be how close can I get to D.C.? Yeah, right. Yes. And living in this life of concentric circles that, you know, the farther out I go, the longer it takes, the longer it takes, the more grueling the commute is. I can get a better deal on my house. And so there’s this tradeoff. And and I think that we’re in a really interesting time is that all of a sudden there’s this opportunity in these much further out concentric circles that there never was for the last two decades, probably in this region.

[00:28:23] Right. And, you know, I’ll just bring up an interesting stat that Boomer Foster brought up, you know, 15 episodes ago, and that is that pre covid five percent of Americans worked and lived full time from home and post covid, it’s going to be 25 percent. Yeah, right. So even when we solve the disease and we get vaccinated, there’s a lot of people that aren’t going to go back to the old way. We have a new way of living now, right?

[00:28:50] Yeah, yeah. I think that, you know, we at long and phosphor, we’re you know, we’re we’re working with that. We used to discourage remote work. Right, for our employees. Yeah. And and and we had some skepticism about how efficient and productive you could be. Everybody learns. Right. And we learned a lot last year from our employees and what they were able to do. So we haven’t figured out what tomorrow looks like in terms of our remote work policy. But just to give you a perspective, as I see a third of our employees working remotely. Yeah. Back office and headquarters employees, I see a third of them working remotely at all times. Not the same third. Right. But just

[00:29:35] road rotating.

[00:29:36] And I just can’t imagine companies in in any of the big metropolitan areas telling their people that you got to get back on the road twice a day. Yeah. And, you know, you got to grind it out for an hour each way to get here. I think that I think you’ll lose employees and I think there’d be a mutiny. Yeah. The the thing that we do think is important is we do want to be together. You know, we do want to be together, maybe not 100 percent of the time,

[00:30:05] but we want to be together. And and so

[00:30:09] we want to make sure that the time that people are working together is time that’s used to really help develop each other and bond and things like that. And and obviously, you know you know, we’re sitting in in a great one of our offices here in McLean. And it’s a great office. And I’m sure you guys had a lot of fun here. And you guys are certainly very, very efficient and productive. But it’s important for us and all of our offices, particularly here in the field, to get into the office. You know, the long and foster culture is an important part of our of who we are. And covid has taken its toll.

[00:30:46] Yeah, that aspect. Absolutely. Absolutely. I agree. You know, we talk about that in our team often and we make great efforts to try to get together in very small groups occasionally. And it’s and it’s important. So looking, looking, looking back over the last year, what are you most proud of? What are the is there one decision that you looked at that that you said this made a really big difference in our success this year? And conversely, is there one decision you made that you wish you had made differently?

[00:31:24] You know,

[00:31:25] I think that that decision I referred to in the middle of March last year, which was well ahead of any of our competitors and well ahead of any of the states in terms of shutting down, locking down, sending our people home and saying that, you know, you’re the most important. Right. Are our agents, our employees and our customers are the most important people. We’ve got to protect their health. And the health of the business will come second and we’ll just see how that unfolds. And and look, we’re in an innovative industry and we certainly have a lot of innovative people here at long in. And and all of our agents and our employees responded really, really well to that. And we were able to serve our customers. Who you know,

[00:32:15] the interesting thing is that, you

[00:32:17] know, one of the things if you just humor me for a second, you know, on these lockdowns and the government governors locking states down, one of the states, Pennsylvania, for example, locked down and said that real estate wasn’t essential. And that’s very different than, say, here in Virginia, where real estate was essential. And in essence, what they said is, you know, you can’t conduct real estate business. You can’t you can’t show a house. You can’t do anything even if you take all kinds of precautions. Well, what about the thousands and thousands of people in the state of Pennsylvania and other states similar to that that were in the middle of a transaction? Maybe they sold their house

[00:32:53] and they needed to buy a new house. Right. That it was just people

[00:32:59] in a position of authority didn’t think

[00:33:01] about, yeah, you can

[00:33:03] lock down, but you can’t lock down people’s lives. You can’t turn off their lights. And there were thousands of people in the middle of a transaction that didn’t have a choice. It wasn’t just something fun to do to go out and look at a house. And and so I was super proud of our of our realtors to be able to muster the innovation and creativity and adapt and and solve those issues for those customers immediately. And then subsequently, do you know, we we got to closing. We did not have one deal that didn’t get to closing in 2020 because of covid, because of that disruption itself. And, you know, our folks in the in the Soman services and title companies, you know, we filled them up with masks and things like that and all kinds of stuff. And, you know, we had outdoor settlements and all kinds of things and we went totally virtual with our loan officers. And just everybody just found a way. And as you know, you know, the business did really well in terms of production levels and things like that.

[00:34:09] I think maybe a lot of folks listening may not realize is that I think as real estate professionals, we deal with challenges every day, every single transaction, every single one has a home inspection hurdle, has an appraisal hurdle, has a negotiation hurdle. So I think realtors in general are wired to overcome whatever challenge lands on on your desk. So when when covid came along, I think it hit us all by surprise, obviously. Who would

[00:34:38] have ever thought

[00:34:39] who would have ever. Right. You could have never predicted that. Only a

[00:34:41] movie. You’re exactly right. What was it? Dustin Hoffman outbreak. Oh, yeah. Dustin Hoffman. Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So so anything

[00:34:52] you would have done differently, is there any one decision you look at to go, man, I really wish I had done this differently

[00:35:00] in in twenty twenty. This sounds ridiculous. Not sure there are but. Major decisions I think we made, there are no major decisions that I look back on and say that was a big mistake, done something different, you know, there’s smaller decisions that, sure, I would have done something different. You know, I think that another day I mentioned August twenty third, that was the worst day. That was worse than that March day, because that was the day was a Sunday, and that was the day that I was notified of this ransomware attack. Yeah. Along and that’s right. That’s right. And and we had to make the decision on the phone, myself and Barry Redler. Yeah. To shut down long and foster companies. And and we did that. And boy, that was a lonely feeling.

[00:35:55] That was a lonely feeling pit in the stomach feeling

[00:35:58] and things like that. But probably the proudest thing, I think everybody did a great job with covid and the way everybody pulled together and responded. But I thought it was extraordinary in our outage at long and phosphor companies. And fortunately, most of our non real estate businesses, you know, the non brokerage businesses were not impacted systems wise, those we were able to isolate. But the brokerage business certainly was. And and we shut everything down. And it was like, oh, my gosh, when are we ever going to be able to start things up? And I can’t imagine this. And and. The the brokerage team, Gary Scott, Bulmer Foster and all the regional managers and then all the branch managers and my entire team was just extraordinary in terms of the way that they all stepped up. Nobody complained. And I think back on that and nobody complained. Nobody pointed fingers. Nobody said it’s so-and-so fault. Everybody just kind of stepped up in a major way and did what they had to do. Fine. It was probably our finest hour at Long and Foster. And and it’ll never really be seen from the outside like I saw it from the inside.

[00:37:17] Yeah. Yeah. Fantastic. We did a great job.

[00:37:19] Well, thanks. The team did a great job and and everybody, you know, I was also thoroughly amazed with our realtor community. I thought we were going to get skewered. Yeah. With that and the amount of support and the professionalism of our realtors was, you know, just it was gosh, was kind of heartwarming, you know, just on a horrible day. And I say that in multiple days afterwards felt so much better because everybody pulled together and was supportive.

[00:37:54] Yeah, well, the bad times make the good times all that much better, you know, without it.

[00:38:00] I mean, it’s

[00:38:01] easy to be good in the good times. It is.

[00:38:03] It’s the bad times that you have to look at. And, you know, you say that, John, and I know there’s a lot of sayings. Right. And cliches about that and adversity and things like that. But that was one of the things that I was sharing with my team. The outage was so much tougher for us than covid because everybody was in the same proverbial boat, right. Covid every business, every competitor. But the outage was only us.

[00:38:28] Yeah. And at

[00:38:29] a time when technology was most

[00:38:32] needed. Well, isn’t that the irony of it is we went from kind of this some technology and a lot of kind of personal relationships to all all virtual. And then all of a sudden overnight we had to stop.

[00:38:45] Yeah.

[00:38:46] All virtual stuff and go back to everything manual. And it was like, you’ve got

[00:38:50] to be kidding me. Yeah. Yeah. Like we’re being tested and tested. But yeah, it is.

[00:38:56] I had shared with the team all the time as like you guys will look back and this you’ll you’ll say I was as good as I can be during that time. And I think they were fantastic. And that’s I look back at my career and it would be times like this that were really tested me and actually made me grow. And more that was I had shared with my team is that is horrible. Is this is this isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to me in my career.

[00:39:25] So it could be worse. Yeah. So we’re not going to talk about that today.

[00:39:31] All right. Let’s take a quick break. And when we come back, I want to hear a little bit about what it was like to work with the legendary Wes Foster and some some of your other items of value that you brought for us today. We’ll be right back. I’m John Jorgenson. And if you want to learn more about buying a home or selling your existing home, contact us through the show. We work with an incredible network of professionals who can help you get through the process smoothly. Again, that’s go with John Dotcom. So we’re back with Jeff Detwiler, thanks again for coming in. I mean, I’m having such a great time. Oh, it’s all listening to your stories. Yeah, this is awesome. So so I really think very highly of Wes Foster. You know, I remember in in 2004, five, six, seven, when I was a new agent, Westwood routinely come in to the sales meetings here at Long and Foster McClaine office. And I know for a fact he went to all of his offices or most of them. Right. I guess I don’t know for a fact if you went to all of them. But I’ve heard that he would routinely go into the offices and he’s a great guy, had great stories, would really enjoyed interacting with the agents, wanted to hear their stories and their their things they were happy about and things they were not happy about. But what was it like? And I’ve heard some

[00:41:07] stories all boy from corporate. Right. But so what

[00:41:11] was your experience working with Wes? Tell us about Wes.

[00:41:14] Well, gosh,

[00:41:15] I could go on and on with that. You know, obviously, for those that don’t know w you know, w very well. But Wes was an icon to our industry and and as I got yeah. I was new to the industry when I joined in late 2009 and 2010. And I because of my role that I filled here at long and year, I got exposure to a lot of these icons who really

[00:41:39] they built the

[00:41:40] they built the industry in the 70s, 80s and 90s, if you will, and created the foundation that we’re all operating on now.

[00:41:49] But all of that

[00:41:50] group W was W was a leader among them, you know, always doing for some boy the stories I would hear from them about w and the things that he would do. And he was just he was he was quite a person and extraordinary. You know, I do wish that in some ways, you know, if I were here a little earlier, you know, when he was at the very top of his game, I think when I got here, you know, W was well into his 70s at that point in time. And he had already kind of set sights on taking his foot off the pedal a little bit and things like that. But so, you know, the first thing that comes to mind about W Foster is nobody can work a phone like W Foster.

[00:42:35] Right. He would he

[00:42:38] would pound out a hundred phone calls a day. You know, he wouldn’t come into the office every day. But the days that he came into the office and he wasn’t there at at at eight or nine and he wasn’t there at five. Yeah. But he’d pound out a hundred phone calls and he would just call branch managers and agents and everybody and he would have the three minute conversation and he would build a list that was four pages long that day. And then our, our schedule was kind of the same thing, is that the days that he would come in, when he would first come in, I would that would be the first thing I would do is go over and sit with him in his office. Right. And and we would go through his list and he would pull out four pages. Yeah. And we’d go through this whole list. And then I’d have to take all these things off the list

[00:43:28] and go go do whatever was said that we were going to do. We committed to with his bigger

[00:43:33] than fifty one percent

[00:43:34] voting just right. Yeah. Yeah. There you go. No one can get this done. Yes. How’s it feel being number one. Yeah. So so we would do that. But he, he was, he

[00:43:48] was pretty funny in the sense that when you would talk to people who were on the other end of the phone is w would call you up, he had that super baritone voice. You know, you never doubted who it was on the phone. And he would ask a couple of, you know, really drilling questions, you know, to get into whatever he wanted to talk about. But when he was

[00:44:09] done, he was done. He was like, you could be in the middle of the sentence that if he was done, it was OK. Good talking to you. Right. But I was like, you’re like, just hang up. And I had

[00:44:20] many people tell me about that. But he was extraordinary in working things out on the phone. I he was one of the things that we did when I got to know him the best is that he was a notorious driver when I got to know him. And and what I mean by that is his new cars, like within about 90 days, would always he’d always start to customize them for whatever reason he liked, like push this back quarter panel of his

[00:44:53] car, maybe the bumper. He liked it to have like a black mark across the front of it. It was interesting what he would do, but so he would we’d

[00:45:02] try to keep him off the road as much as possible. We felt that was doing our community service by keeping us off the road. So on occasion, we would go visit branches or we’d go to big regional function. And so we get. The car and I drive him and we’d have a three hour drive down to, you know, Hampton Roads or up to Philadelphia or whatever, and he would come in the car and he’d get settled in and he would get his he’d get his list out and his list would be pages and pages and pages. There would be rides where he would go through every single branch in our 200 branches or 175 branches at the time. What about this branch? What about that branch? And you would talk about all these things, but then, you know, after about an hour, hour and a half, he was done. Yeah, he put the list down and for the next hour and a half, I could get west to talk about his days in high school, his days at VMI, going to college. He loved VMI.

[00:45:59] So tell us and tell us tell us a story that you liked. Your Betty knows these

[00:46:03] stories, so I’m not sure I’m allowed

[00:46:04] to tell you so. OK, ok. He would he just it was they were

[00:46:09] all innocent stories, but VMI was a military academy. And, you know, you’re very disciplined and things you got to do. But, you know, those guys would go out and have a lot of fun.

[00:46:20] Yeah.

[00:46:20] And think I got it.

[00:46:22] And so when he would also talk about when he when he first got into the business, he he lived out in California for a while. Like, you never think of West Foster living in California. Yeah. Yeah. And he would talk about he was dating some girl in the northern part of California and he was stationed more central California. I might have my details wrong, but, you know, he would have to make this 120 mile jaunt, you know, back to be, you know, to be ready for work the next morning kind of a thing. And I think he tested the the limits of California state patrol.

[00:47:00] You know, he was a fast driver at the

[00:47:03] time and he would tell me a lot of those stories and he would talk about stories about being stationed over in Germany. Was he? He was with a group over in Germany where he was stationed. And he just you know, I w Foster would have been a great friend. Yeah. He was a fun loving guy, I think really was one who embraced life. And obviously, you know, he built an extraordinary company or companies, did a great job, build a lot of great relationships. But so interesting is that I used to ask him, you know, he obviously did very, very well for himself financially. Right. He’s a quintessential entrepreneur. And, you know, if you ask him about kind of setting out to accomplish some of the things he accomplished, he would just say, I never I never set out to accomplish, you know, the things that I did. You know, he just took a day at a time and he was always striving to do better and he would always set shorter term goals and things like that. But all of this success and and quite honestly, some of the wealth that surrounds him was not the thing for Wes. And, you know, he I think he like I don’t know exactly how he lived, but I mean, I always got the impression that he was a pretty frugal guy and. Yeah. And things like that, particularly compared to others that I would see, you know, in his circle and things like that. And so just a great guy. And I used to always I used to tease him about boy through his career and hearing some of his stories. And I would say you’re the guy in the casino that puts all your chips on red and you just let it keep rolling and

[00:48:49] rolling and rolling. And you never took any chips off the table and

[00:48:52] you had a huge mound of chips at the

[00:48:54] end of the night.

[00:48:55] And and, you know, he just he was extraordinary in that function. Yeah. Can I tell you one story? A story. So, yeah. So when I first took the job. Yeah. Wes was having a bout with headaches. He he suffered from migraines and particularly at the beginning when I got there. And I think I don’t I don’t think I saw him for the first sixty days when I got to work because he was just really under the weather and not feeling right. So he wasn’t coming in. There was another guy that was here that was in late left early. You know, that was just his traffic pattern. He’d been with West forever from the beginning. George Eastman and and then the guy that was the president of Long and companies before I was there, Dave Stevens had been nominated to

[00:49:48] president of Mortgage Bank. Well, FHA. FHA, yeah.

[00:49:51] Don’t think that’s right. And so he was being he was going through the confirmation style. So I think it had been like kind of six months since Dave was really here.

[00:49:59] There is so the

[00:50:01] what comes to mind as the saying is when when the cat’s away.

[00:50:04] Yes. The misapply. Right.

[00:50:06] So we had recently, you know, about probably two years earlier, moved into the long and phosphor headquarters in. Chantilly, George,

[00:50:15] Cardinal

[00:50:16] George Calaway enormous building has an enormous parking garage connected to it, 1500 parking spaces, because from what I understand, as long and Foster had to move to times prior to new buildings because ran out of parking spaces and said, I’m never going to run out a parking space.

[00:50:33] Right. He got thirteen

[00:50:35] hundred parking spaces and we had this we were the only tenants in this five story building site, something like three hundred fifty thousand square feet, you know, enormous. You’ve seen it, but not everybody has seen it. But just any notion of massive

[00:50:51] protests,

[00:50:51] the folks that drive up and down 28, it’s the huge building that looks like a giant house. It’s a commercial colonial look. Exactly.

[00:50:58] Williamsburg Colonial. I think it has the record for the most bricks in the state of Virginia, something

[00:51:04] like as to its.

[00:51:05] And so so I start work there and I and on the interior of it, there is this area of how the building was designed in an executive area. And so it was really only West myself and this other gentleman, George Eastman, that had offices in that executive area. And it was kind of cordoned off to everything else. Well, you know, when he wasn’t coming in, George was coming in kind of late. Yeah. And every morning I would drive in early. New job. Right. I get there at like 7:00. Yeah, I drive in. There wasn’t a single car in that thirteen hundred slot parking structure. Yeah. I would walk into the building and up from the second floor to the fourth floor wouldn’t see a soul and the same thing. I’d leave, I’d stay there till maybe seven thirty at night just pouring through kind of reports and books and things like that. Same thing. Wouldn’t see a soul, wouldn’t see a single car in it. So I’m getting towards the end of the week, started on Monday. It’s now Thursday. And I haven’t seen but two people in the building.

[00:52:08] There were two people that would come down and just bring information to you and fill it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I don’t think there was any food. I don’t think I was eating anything. And and they would just pile stuff on on my desk.

[00:52:21] And I called my wife on Thursday afternoon and I said, You’re going to think I’m crazy. Mary do you remember John? Do you remember the show punkt?

[00:52:31] Asheton Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Where they play these like elaborate tricks. Yeah. I said to my wife, I said, I think I’m on punkt. I think they rented out this big empty office building and there’s nobody here and they, and they, they, they hired me. And here’s this guy Detwiler that’s sitting in this office all alone and he thinks he’s running this big, huge company with 10000 agents and a thousand or 2000 employees. And there’s there’s nobody here. Yeah, nobody here. So it wasn’t until, like the tenth business day that I actually saw somebody other than these two people. And I realized it’s it’s a little bit different now. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Oh, no. And now it’s back to empty again because. Well, is that right. Yes, it is. Back to empty. Yeah. So everything old is new again. That’s right. It’s just like bell bottoms. I’m still waiting for elephant bottoms to come back. Right. Oh jeez.

[00:53:25] Fantastic. That’s good stuff Jeff. And stuff. So tell us tell us some of your lessons from the road. So you were gracious enough. I asked you if you could share a couple of business related tidbits, which I ask everybody. Right. If you if you’re talking to folks out there that are running a company, what are what are some of the things that you think are important?

[00:53:49] Yeah. So, you

[00:53:50] know, I thought about a couple of things, John, and these are real simple things. And I think that I’ve learned them in my position here, my role here and throughout my career. But these are things that would serve us all well in life or in business, regardless of what your role as the first one, I would just say is good communications is so hard. I think it’s underappreciated, the value of good communications versus kind of mediocre or bad communication.

[00:54:20] I totally agree with that.

[00:54:21] And I think it’s overestimated how hard it really is to communicate, completely agree with you. And, you know, just on that front is

[00:54:30] like, how hard could it be? You know, you you ask a question, I answer.

[00:54:35] It’s like, how hard can that be?

[00:54:36] But that simple

[00:54:38] exchange between us can get all fouled up, you know,

[00:54:42] and does every day. All the time.

[00:54:44] Yeah, all the time. And when you start dealing on a on a larger and larger scale, if you start dealing instead of you and your friend or maybe you and your spouse start dealing with you and your family, it gets a little bit more complicated because there’s more people and it just gets exponentially more complicated. And I can’t tell you how challenging, how much time we commit to trying to be good communicators throughout long and foster. And it’s hard. It’s hard, but I think that. As hard as it is and as valuable as good communications is as companies, we seldom ever tried to develop our people or train them in how to be a good communicator. I really was benefited one time earlier in my career where we spend an extraordinary amount of time with. We had a communications coach come in and the executive team had access to the communications coach and had to learn about how to communicate and really more about like what goes wrong that we don’t think about. You know, if I say something, if I say the door is blue on the house, I think I know what I’m saying. You may take a door is blue on the house and and interpret it as something different. Absolutely. And we get we got to get off the rails there from the get go so that good communications is something that is really important. And I think that, you know.

[00:56:06] Well, let me jump in on that for a second. And I say this all the time because I want people to get value out of this podcast. And, you know, one of the things I preach is video, video, video, video, because I learned early on when when you’re doing a lot of communicating with a lot of people, when you’re communicating with the public, that the public and this is just my perspective, they’re speaking if they’re calling you to interview you to be a real they’re also interviewing two or three other people. Usually, if they’re calling me to learn about building a house, they’re usually talking to two or three other builders. And many, many, many times early on in my career, people would tell me that I told them something that I know for a fact I never said, because if you ask me a question, there’s an answer to the question. There’s not three different answers to the same question. Yes. So putting things in video, I think brought a lot of comfort to my customers, because not only could they hear me say it on the phone, I could say, hey, you know what? Let me I’ve got this conversation recorded in video. Let me send it to you so I do understand how hard that is. And and within team members and training and all that. It is. It is. It’s a huge challenge.

[00:57:16] Yeah. Another thing, you and I briefly talked about it during the time out or the break was that, you know, in the context of communications, email and texts are dangerous. You know, pick up the phone and call somebody or go see him and call him the number of times that people get off the rails and all bent out of shape because they misinterpret what somebody means or is saying in a text or a communication. And you’ve seen these change.

[00:57:45] They go on and on and on and they

[00:57:47] deteriorate into an

[00:57:48] argument. Right. You know, I don’t know who these people type a lot better than I do because they would take me forever, you know, to to type out some of that. But it’s just

[00:57:59] be very careful about using texts and emails because they’re misinterpreted all the time by the receiver. And you pick up the phone. Yeah. And I think there’s less lost in that.

[00:58:11] Yeah. And I think our colleague Barry Redler has said to me many, many, many times that if you can’t solve something in three volleys in an email, pick up the phone and speak like humans. Yeah, right. So one, two, three. If it’s not resolved, get on the phone. But you’re absolutely right.

[00:58:30] And you know, one one of the reasons that I think and I’m sure that you would agree is that I think we all feel emboldened to some point on an email where we lose some of our just our common decency and courtesy that we have when we speak to each other. You know, I think we feel more accountable to each other when I’m sitting here talking to you. Yes. You know, and but, you know, we we seem to lose some of that in a text or email. And you read some of these emails.

[00:59:00] Are you serious? You really wrote that? Yeah. Like, what are you thinking? Yeah.

[00:59:05] So anyways, you know, we just have to have some more discretion on those things.

[00:59:10] I would agree with that. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:59:13] So another thing that I think is interesting, and you were talking about, you know, having a discussion with Nick here also and just different points of view and. Absolutely. And one of the things that I have really learned at Long and Foster, and it’s come to serve me well from my family and from everywhere, is that, you know, if you think about, let’s say, conflict or disagreements or not agreeing and and the idea is that, you know, there’s not just one right answer. And the idea that depending on the world looks different to people, depending on where they sit and they’re looking at it. So I think in a family, if you’re a mother or a father, it looks way different than if you’re a son or a daughter. Right. A brother or a sister. It looks way different. Not not that it’s anybody’s. All nobody’s right, it just looks different and in business, I see that all the time, you know, and I, I have conversations all the time with people that get so worked up about somebody has a difference of opinion of me or doesn’t get what I’m saying. And I’m just saying there’s nothing wrong with that. The world looks different to them each. And it should because they see it from a different place than you see it. And I think that if we can just try to appreciate the person that’s across from us or are on the other end of the phone and just appreciate why you don’t have to agree with it, but appreciate why they see it like it is and maybe ask some questions.

[01:00:56] Right. And and I think it goes back to the seven habits of highly effective people, which I brought up earlier. I think the and my team, everybody working with me knows that that that we talk about email all the time. And I’ll share a little something about that in a second, but seek first to understand and then be understood as habit. Five of the seven habits of Stephen Covey’s book and probably the single most valuable tool that I have ever learned how to use in business. Because if and if you’re in sales or if you’re providing a service, if you go in and just start talking and you just tell people what you’re going to do, you may or may not be on the mark. I literally want to ask everybody, you know, tell me what it is you need. What would you like to learn from me before I start talking? And that that seeking to understand there is a no matter what side of any kind of a conversation you’re on when you take a moment to ask the other person, well, tell me what’s your position and what would before you start talking? It makes a big difference. It really is a great decompressive.

[01:02:00] Yeah, I think I think that’s very well said. And it’s a critical importance. Best tool in business is your ears.

[01:02:06] Absolutely. You know,

[01:02:07] yeah. We all could use them more. Yeah. And so the, you know, talking about some other things, just conflict and things like that in business, you know, it obviously it happens all the time and I find myself as a mediator. Yes. Quite often. I mean, people will come to me with complaints or come to me with seeking that I change something. And I found that it’s you know, there’s two sides to every story. Yes. And it’s not it’s not that anybody is necessarily not telling the truth, but I think we all we all remember things a little differently. You and I were just talking about that, right? Yes. We all remember things a little differently. Video helps us remember exactly how it was, actually. But we all interpret things a little bit differently. And there there’s always two sides to every story. And so we should never jump to conclusions when we hear one side of the story. And and we should always, as you seek to understand and I always say to my team as like when we have an issue with somebody, someone, it’s like, well, you know, let’s get the other side to this story, because there’s always two sides, at least two sides.

[01:03:21] And quite often it’s more than two sides. And the truth

[01:03:24] really exists someplace in the middle of all

[01:03:27] this, there’s three sides, at least average score. Well, yeah, quite often.

[01:03:31] Quite often so. And then the last thing I say, this one is tongue in cheek, but we’re talking about that is that I share this with with my team when somebody’s coming in and talking about how ridiculous a particular employee is and this, that and the other thing. And can you imagine that and and the same thing with maybe a customer relationship issue. And I just said, well, you know, you are right. Business would be a lot easier without any customers and without any employees. But, you know, we wouldn’t have much to do,

[01:04:03] although we would know if we didn’t have that. So, you

[01:04:06] know, customer relations and employee relations is that’s that’s what we do every day is, you know, basically solve problems when it works well, it works well. It’s about how well can you solve a problem.

[01:04:17] Right. And if you have good policies and good procedures and people follow them, things are generally running more smoothly when they’re not out.

[01:04:28] Yeah, yeah. That’s good.

[01:04:30] Jeff Detwiler, thank you. I’m humbled that you came in today. I really enjoyed the conversation.

[01:04:36] And thanks, John. I appreciate the invitation. I just wanted to tell you, you know, it’s so awesome that you put me so high on the priority list. Just number sixteen.

[01:04:45] There’s a hundred people waiting outside. You know, the truth

[01:04:48] of the matter is, is we actually tried we called over to corporate to get you on the show and they said, Jeff’s really busy, but we got

[01:04:54] this guy, Boomer. We can send him

[01:04:56] over if you want. And I said, you know,

[01:04:58] OK, we can do that. Well, I it has been a lot of fun.

[01:05:01] It’s you, but it is harder getting on your show than it is getting a vaccine.

[01:05:05] That’s true, right?

[01:05:06] That’s true. John, thank you very much.

[01:05:08] And congratulations on everything that you’re up to.

[01:05:10] All right. Thank you, Jeff. All right, Jeff Detwiler, thanks for coming in, had a great time talking to you. I know you’re going to be back on the show here in the next few weeks when we can talk more about the direction of the company and where you want to take it. I’m looking forward to that conversation. If you guys want to learn more about Jeff Detwiler and the long and foster companies, you can find a link to his profile at the episode. Page A go at John. You get go go at John Dotcom and go to Jeff Detwiler episode page and we will link to his profile over a long and faster until next time. This is John Jorgenson. Go build something extraordinary.