Bob Brown is an author, speaker, patented innovator, and the foremost authority on foundation repair diagnosis who shares his experience and how he started his career as a student doing a lot of concrete repairs. Bob discusses strategies an agent can use to inspect a home and the importance of doing it. Bob also talks about red flags agents should be aware when showing a house that may mean foundation issues. Last, Bob talks about his book “Foundation Repair Secrets: Learn How to Protect Yourself and Save Thousands” and how agents may find it useful.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.
D.J. Paris 0:00
How would you like to be able to walk up to a property and have a better idea of how healthy the foundation is? Well, today we’re going to show you how stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solutions so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I am your guide and host through the show and I am glad that you are here. What are we going to learn today? Well, in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Bob Brown, who’s one of the foremost experts on property foundation. So he’s going to show you some skills that you can actually take and use with your clients when looking at properties. Super exciting stuff. Before we get to Bob. Just a quick reminder, please tell a friend about this podcast. You guys are our marketing engine, our marketing arm, we love you for it. Please continue to tell other people about the show so that we can reach more ears and eyes. So thank you in advance for that. And also please, please leave us a review. Let us know what you think of the show on whatever podcast app you might be listening to us on and leave us some notes to so we can see what feedback you have and we can always we’re always looking to improve the show and make it better for you. Alright guys, let’s get to the main event my conversation with Bob Brown.
Today on the show, our guest is author, instructor and foundation repair expert Bob Brown will tell you more about Rob Now Bob graduated in 1984 from ASU receiving a Bachelor in design science from school of architecture, and a Bachelor of Science from the School of Business specializing in real estate and finance. Now growing up Bob spent time learning construction trade, working with his family while learning good working habits. And he Bob successfully founded Arizona foundation solutions and built one of the only foundation repair companies to utilize licensed professional engineers on the front end to analyze initial conditions, make recommendations and specify repairs before presenting proposals to homeowners. Now after 35 years of this see successfully exited and along those 35 years, what he did is developed and patented four successful unique solutions with three more that are pending. He also developed a cloud based software solution to streamline and assist engineers and contractors in home foundation investigations. He also wrote and self published several publications including which way is the foundation moving sorry which way is my foundation moving and he has just published and released his newest book, which is called foundation repair secrets which is available on Amazon and anywhere else books are sold I want everybody to check out Bob’s website which is foundation repair secrets.com also follow Bob on Facebook and the E and we’re going to link to both of these his book as well as his social media but to find him on Facebook, just go to Facebook search for the dirt whisperer which I am just so tickled that that that is what Bob’s title so we will welcome the dirt whisperer here to our show. Bob Welcome.
Bob Brown 4:39
Thank you glad to be here.
D.J. Paris 4:41
Glad to have you here. Now this is a very unique episode for us after 500 I think episodes somewhere around there we very rarely have talked to people in real estate adjacent or rather realtor I should say you are in real estate realtor adjacent businesses. As and I was, so I’m so excited to have you on the show. Because this is this could be a skill building opportunity for our audience. And, you know, we are just excited to help our A our audience with with something like this, which we hope could help them, you know, differentiate themselves amongst the 1.6 other no 1.6 million other realtors floating around in this country. But but let’s get started at the beginning because you really are like a renaissance man, you have been hyper focused in the real estate industry really seemingly since since college. But you’ve also built software build solutions, you have patents, you are an inventor, and you and an author, right? So you really are doing so much for this industry. Can you tell us about sort of how you got into foundation repair.
Bob Brown 5:50
I, when I was in college, I worked my way through college doing concrete repairs. And when I got out of college, I thought, well, it’s going good, I got a few employees, I’m just gonna keep doing it. And so I did, I did a lot of concrete repairs, I had an old Chevy pickup truck that in the summertime, the only way I could keep it from overheating was to drive with the heater on full blast. So if you can imagine that being 120 degrees and driving with the heater on. But I would pile that back end up with bags of concrete and go do concrete repairs. And eventually that just led to more innovative things and morphed into foundation repair.
D.J. Paris 6:34
It’s amazing. And you know, when you’ve done so much with it you not only are you you know an X an absolute, registered, recognized expert in this field, you’ve published books, you have a new book that just came out foundation repair secrets. And also you teach these classes to realtors and other professionals in Arizona because there’s actually you teach a CTE class. And I want to mention because our audience is all over the country and even other countries that even if we have a lot of Arizona realtors who listen. But even if you’re in an area, a state, that’s not Arizona, you can still take Bob’s course you won’t get the CPE credit necessarily, but this is something that I think Realtors should really consider adding to their arsenal is becoming a foundation, you know, be more knowledgeable and foundation so that when you do evaluate properties for your buyers or your sellers, you just have a little bit more information that you know will help you hopefully win that business. But maybe I’ll start with this. And I don’t know anything about foundation repair. So you I am I am the list of newbies, but you will you will help me here. So we’re I’m here in Chicago, and our Realtors at our firm here or work locally. But are there any universal sort of first first glance, sort of strategies that when an eight when a realtor does go to a property? Is there anything that they can start to look for that would maybe send up any sort of red flag or a signal that they could say, oh, this, this might be an issue?
Bob Brown 8:14
Well, there are different strategies depending on if you’re a Lister or a buying agent, right. So if you’re a listing agent, it’s better to get on board right away and recognize some of these signs of stress, which we’ll talk about here in a bit. And maybe hire a licensed professional engineer to do a really good investigation before you get involved in the listing process. Because once that all gets going, it’s difficult to it kicks a lot of things into play that maybe you don’t want to have kicked into play. Now if you’re a if you’re a Lister, I mean sorry, if you’re a buyer on the other end, you want to engage some strategies like call a licensed engineer, before you before the home inspector delivers his report because once he delivers the report, you got two days left. It’s kind of hard to do anything, right? Right. Or the alternative strategy can be Hey, building a clause right from the get go that says that the building effect the home foundation inspector, or the home inspector rather, just notices that, hey, there’s a few signs of stress and I teach a lot of the home inspector. I teach a lot of their courses for their education. But if they start to see some of the signs and put it in the report, you get an automatic 10 day extension because then you’ve got time to deal with it.
D.J. Paris 9:47
Interesting so so ideally pre inspection, you would hire a foundation repair engineer and expert to come in and evaluate the property. Now for everyone who’s a realtor are listening, I can, I can hear a little bit of people thinking I already hired inspector, but you said the challenge with that is if they do see some signs of stress, you only have a two day window to really do something with that information. So ideally, you do it before, but what is the average cost? And I could I’m sure it fluctuates wildly. But if we were just an estimate on like, a single family home, you know, traditional, you know, four bedroom house two storey kind of thing. What, what price range are would Realtors be looking at or buyers and sellers if they wanted to have somebody come take a look?
Bob Brown 10:36
Alright, so, again, a couple of strategies that has happened in the past that maybe hasn’t served realtors, and that is cheap, I’ll call a foundation repair company because who, hey, they’re experts, right? And they’re really cheap. You know, they might do it for free, or maybe three or $400. But guess what, those guys are really interested in selling a big repair. Sure, half the time you’re going to end up with, oh, there’s an $80,000 repair needed. Right? And maybe it’s needed, maybe it’s not because these guys are not engineers, right? And guess what happens to the listing? Well, if you are the, if you are the listing agent, often what happens is the homeowner fires the listing agent, clocks, everything up paints, it hides it hires a new listing agent, and doesn’t disclose it. Right? Right. So if you’re a listing agent, and you don’t want to get fired, be proactive, right? And don’t call a foundation repair company. Now, if you call an engineer, they’re going to be you know, somewhere between 515 $100 for a good inspection. Well worth it if you’re the listing agent. Now, if you’re the buyer, that’s a bit of a crapshoot, right? Because it may or may not go through and the homeowner may not be willing to pay for it, I get that. But it’s better than paying $80,000 Down the road, right?
D.J. Paris 12:05
Yes. And also remembering too, that if, in a transaction, especially on the buy side, if it if the buyers do figure this out, let’s say there was something that was painted over or or hidden, there wasn’t a an engineer out there to actually see what was sort of, you know, Band Aid it over, and the transaction happens, you know, two years go by and all of a sudden, this now comes to light and they have to spend $80,000, there, they’re probably going to have some feelings about their their by side realtor, even though, you know, whether it’s the realtors fault or not. So I think you’re bringing up a really strong point, I’m thinking about, Look, nobody wants to reduce their Commission’s by $1,500 as an agent, obviously, we understand that same time. When you’re getting you know, 10 to $15,000 on this Transit Commission, maybe it does make sense to for peace of mind. And also just to tell your clients Hey, one thing I do is in maybe you pay for it yourself, that’s certainly an option, or you build it into, you know, your commissions or however you want to do it. But boy, you know, for $500 to $1,500. I would rather have that than a buyer call me two years later and say, how do you miss this?
Bob Brown 13:22
Well, and there’s also a risk strategy, where, hey, guess what a disappointed home buyer? Well, he might feel like somebody had some negligence there. And now maybe everybody gets sued, even though maybe not everybody’s at fault, right? And now you’ve got one of those mired up situations, it’s better to try to steer clear of that.
D.J. Paris 13:47
And you really, you’re bringing up a really good point about this idea of, you know, possible litigation, because when, when all of us, you know, if we’re talking about $1,000 repair, yeah, no one’s probably filing a suit over that. You could, you know, they’ll they’ll they’ll grumble, but they’ll pay it $80,000 is enough to get somebody going. Who can who can we is there somebody that should be responsible for this? And, and there are plenty of attorneys that would love to try to get that money back from the agent or from whoever they study, they think right? Yeah, somebody’s strategy
Bob Brown 14:19
is you just sue everybody. And hopefully you figure out who was at fault. Well, that means everybody has to defend themselves, right?
D.J. Paris 14:27
Yes. And we have 800 agents. So we have we have we haven’t had that particular incident happen, but it certainly could happen anytime. But yes, we understand the for anyone who’s listening who doesn’t know if you’ve ever if you ever have an action taken against you, that’s Bob’s exactly right. Everybody gets sued, everybody’s got to defend themselves. It’s not a lot of fun. And also it’s just a lot of bad will out there. Like you don’t want your client hating your guts. Even though it may be isn’t necessarily your area of expertise. So okay, so hiring an engineer is different from hiring a foundation repair expert, because as Bob said, it’s like going to a surgeon and saying, you know, should I do surgery? Well, they’re gonna, they want to cut you because they’re surgeons. So foundation repair company wants to do foundation repair, obviously, we get that, it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily not being fully honest. But you might not know, it’s like going to a mechanic when I eventually got a really good mechanic. And I always tell everybody, it’s like worth its weight in gold, because I never have to question what they tell me. I mean, maybe they’re scamming me, I don’t think they are, they certainly won my trust. And I just do whatever they tell me. So this is why hiring an engineer is really, really probably the better way to go. Because you would hope that there is no incentive for them to sell you additional services they just want to give you you know, structural engineers can do this. We’ve hired them for various condo buildings I’ve lived at it’s expensive, yes. But boy, is it nice. And also to a lot of times what these engineers can do is give you a schedule of like, here’s what we think is coming down the pipe for you, and a, you know, relative timeline. And here’s, and that really is worth its weight. Well in and
Bob Brown 16:05
go ahead, there’s an added dimension of the fact that, you know, the car mechanic probably knows how you know how the car functions really well. And, you know, there’s no knowledge that he needs. Additionally, that would probably make a lot of difference. But in a, in a home investigation, mainly what you’re talking about is geotechnical engineers that understand soil mechanics, and foundation repair contractors are not qualified in this area, nor are they qualified to be a structural engineer. So it’s, it does add another dimension to the fact that these guys that are foundation repair salesmen get their education from their one source supplier, that tells them how to sell that one product. Sure. And not a lot of education. I mean, engineers go through five years of school and three years of apprenticeship and two very difficult exams, and they’re overseen by boards of technical registration for their conduct. You don’t get any of that, but the foundation repair person.
D.J. Paris 17:13
Let’s talk about the relationship between soil and foundation. And what because obviously, you are the dirt whisperer, I would be remiss if we didn’t talk about dirt. So I’ll do a terrible pun, let’s get let’s get dirty and talking about That’s not even funny. Well, I just I was trying to think of a funny pun there. But anyway, let’s talk about the the what soil means to foundation and and how they interact.
Bob Brown 17:39
So there’s two basic kinds of soil that we need to really have distinctions for. One is a more granular sandy soil silty soil, and the other is clay types. And some clay types. Not all some clay types are what they call expansive soils, as you’ve probably heard the term but they don’t exactly know what it means. Well, what that really means is that when water hits those expensive soils, if they’re very dry, they’re going to expand. And guess what if they lose water, they contract. And you’ve probably seen like pictures of desert with all the cracks in it and everything right? Well, that’s clay soil, it’s dried up, and when it dries up, it makes all those cracks. And so clay soil can be cyclical, it can it can expand and contract and expand and contract. And if you have seasonal moisture pattern differentiations, your house can go up and down, up and down and have all kinds of problems. Whereas if it’s Sandy silty, those don’t get consolidated, those only move in typically one direction down. And so everybody thinks of settlement as the primary factor when in fact, there’s clay in in in a lot of stratas of soil. And when I say strata, layers, lots of layers, and each layer is different, like a seven layer chip dip. And each layer has different mineral contents and different moisture contents and different reactions to water and different amounts of water leaking into them through different channels. And so when when clay hit some of these channels, some of these layers, it expands, and you can actually push a house up. I’ve seen how house pushed up in the air nine inches. And it’ll tear house up it’ll, it’ll break concrete bend steel, very powerful force. And so it’s important to understand that there’s two mechanisms of failure here. One consolidation from sands and clays and sill are set sorry sands and silts and gravels. The other one is clay expansion which can settle also or contract depending on whether it’s getting wet or dry.
D.J. Paris 19:59
So how would How would a realtor learn about what is most common in their area of where they practice? For as far as soil type,
Bob Brown 20:09
you can go to the national conservation. Soil NCRs, I forgot the initials, but NCRs website, and they produce information, a lot of times maps that will tell you how expensive the soil is in the upper five feet, it was originally built for farmers. But all that data is still there. For most people to access,
D.J. Paris 20:36
got it got it, that’s really interesting. So it seems to me as is that it’s important for a homeowner, and certainly the realtor in a transaction buying and selling to sort of have, I would think an awareness of again, what pressure is being put on the foundation based on soil. So even just knowing that what type of soil and what the stressors are to that property really helps, I think, just give a better sense of valuation. So I would assume, if you have again, you know, ideally, you’re hiring an engineer to come out and do this work for you. Because ultimately, they’re going to going to be the final expert on on this this topic, but but just knowing a couple of these items about your local market area is going to be really helpful because you can, you know, get a history of a property’s foundation repair, if there has been Oh, that’s another question. How would How would a realtor let’s say a buyer’s agent going into a property? Would they be able to using just their own skill set be able to determine if there was foundation repair that had happened on this particular property? Is there any easy telltale signs that this property has already had foundation repair issues,
Bob Brown 21:54
I think it would be very difficult to see if Foundation, see by looking at it. If foundation repair has been done in the past now. Like if you’re from Dallas, pretty much be guaranteed that there is foundation work done. I mean, almost every house has problems in Dallas or Houston, maybe some parts of Colorado. It happens all the time. But it’s really hard. And I get Realtors coming to me all the time saying, Hey, I know like, you know that there is foundation work done on this house five years ago, can you tell me if it’s performing. And you know, if the analysis was done by a contractor, I could probably tell you nothing. If it was done by an engineer, and there was good records of it, I can tell you a lot. And so that’s another advantage of making sure you have things well documented, which an engineer would do, hard to tell by looking at it. And sure if if work was done, because everything is buried and covered up, you know, maybe in the concrete, if you see like a bunch of three foot squares where the concrete has been removed and replaced. Maybe that might give you a clue.
D.J. Paris 23:03
You know, I do want to go back to this idea of of being liable because I just was reminded, my brain reminded me about 10 minutes too late about one of our neighbors that growing up in a different anyway, not here in Chicago. But anyway, growing up there, there were some neighbors who purchased a property. This, I guess is slightly related to foundation. But basically there was mold remediation that happened. But they didn’t actually treat the mold, they painted over it, or they hired somebody to write it. And the seller knew the owner or knew the buyer. And so it was even more nefarious than that, because there was a personal connection between the two. Anyway, the buyer didn’t find out. This happened until many years later, when all of a sudden they were having these weird mold issues. And they found out that the person had put painted over black mold or whatever it was, you know, on the concrete in the foundation, and, and it was an 80,000 The reason this, it was an $80,000 repair. And we had even said you should sue those people because they lied to you. And they didn’t disclose this. And she goes, yeah, we’re just not going to do that. But but but it was like everybody was telling her to sue. So you’re really bringing up a really good point. And again, you know, obviously a realtor can’t determine everything that’s ever happened in this house if the homeowners are lying, but but it is important to sort of protect in a way it’s kind of a little bit of protection for your license, and maybe just litigation, hiring somebody for $1,000 or so to have come out. And, you know, again, we think about this is in Bob, I’m curious to get your thoughts because this is the year that we have a lot of agents exiting, the business rates are up inventories down. It’s a harder time right now to be in business as a realtor. There’s just less buyers out there and not as many homes to sell. So the reality of it is it’s trickier people are leaving. I think this is the time to level up your skills and really try to figure out what can I do going forward? That really sort of Future proofs my business. And I think this is a really smart way to consider it. Are there any other any other suggestions for realtors? And then I want to talk about the new book, sure of things that they can do aside from hiring an engineer there any little things that they could ask questions? Okay, great.
Bob Brown 25:20
Yes. So there are some very basic signs that will tell you if you have foundation related movement, and I use that term because foundations could go up or they could go down. And people make the mistake of saying foundation settlement. But foundation related movement is way more accurate. And there’s ways of telling. So for instance, if you see cracks in the drywall, and they’re either more than one or they’re significant in size, and by significance in size, I mean, you could stick a pencil, a sharp end of a pencil in it in the crack, and you can wedge it in there, so it’ll stay. That’s a significant crack. Okay. The other thing is, cracks on the outside bricks block. I I’m hesitant to say stucco, because stucco expands and contracts with heat a lot. And it can crack for a lot of reasons if they didn’t laugh at right or whatever. But it could be could be a sign of movement. If you have floors that are noticeably not level, that’s a pretty good sign, floor cracks, cracks and tiles, cracks under the carpet. By themselves, probably not anything indicator. But if they’re accompanied with other things, other things like the walls that I just mentioned, or like doors, if the door pinches, it doesn’t open and close, very good doesn’t latch right. You can see above the door, maybe it’s a gap is wide at one spot. And small on the other windows the same way. People sand down doors, so they work properly. But people don’t do that to Windows very often. So windows are kind of like the secret, like the secret tool of going in and looking at things and seeing if you have movement.
D.J. Paris 27:14
That’s interesting. So if the windows don’t easily go up or down, it could be it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s foundation issues, but it’s an indicator that there may be
Bob Brown 27:25
or sideways, the size sliders have the same problem. Yeah, closet doors, same thing. People don’t often fix closet doors, but they’re pretty good telltale signs.
D.J. Paris 27:34
So that’s a huge tip you just gave our audience. This is something you can do at every showing, you know, as a realtor, maybe you’re not necessarily checking every single window, but maybe you test a few and you say, Hey, I’m going to be testing a few of these windows just to see if there’s any indicators that there may be some foundation issues. And Bob, one thing I didn’t mention, and I’m completely sort of feel silly for not mentioning this, if anyone out there who’s listening who works with investors, or is an investor, this is really critical stuff. Because yes, single family homes, you know, you hope the inspector is good enough to sort of get a sense of what’s going on and on a you know, a single family home. But when we’re talking about, you know, multifamily properties, we’re talking about larger properties. And we’re talking about investors, you know, these are people that absolutely will be, I don’t know if they’ll always want to pay that fee to have an engineer come out. But boy, you are going to be really future proofing your business, if you can either get them to pay for it, or you pay for it yourself as the realtor, because these are people that are going to do additional projects. And if all of a sudden they have the first project you did cost him an extra 80 grand, you know, a year later, they may or may not hold that against you and may not want to work with you again. So I think if right, you know, everyone should consider this but if you’re working with with investors, this is really, really critical.
Bob Brown 28:55
Well, and I’ve been an investor for many years I’ve owned rental properties, both residential and commercial, so I know what it’s like and I actually bought a house once that had foundation problems and had to fix it. So I understand the issues. And by the way side note, you can see pictures and diagrams of all of these signs of stress in my book. And the
D.J. Paris 29:17
book is foundation repair secrets and the website is foundation repair secrets.com We will link to the Amazon book please consider buying it again guys. We’re talking about leveling up your skill. What can someone expect to learn from reading the book?
Bob Brown 29:33
Well, that’s one of them. Chapter five in the book is all about how to recognize signs of stress and and what they look like. I go into okay, you know, what are the various types of soils you know, one of my favorite sayings is you know, Clay sucks because it really does suck it actually pulls water towards itself. Engineers call it negative pore pressure to talk about all that kind of stuff, talk about foundation types, slab on grade crawlspace, post tension slabs, basements, all those all the different kinds of things and how old they are and and how they perform over time. And I talk a lot about what we’ve already discussed and that is, hey, why would I hire an engineer versus a contractor and I go into that in great, great detail so that people can viscerally understand what they’re in for, if they kind of take the cheap way out,
D.J. Paris 30:34
you know, to a lot of foundations, at least in the single family home market, here in our local area, not so much in Metro Chicago, I don’t think although I, I may be wrong, but certainly out in the suburbs, there’s a lot of drain tiles that surround a foundation. Right. And that is something that also I imagine is that part of an analysis is looking at drainage, when someone’s engineers evaluating the foundation or is that a, is that sort of a separate thing as well?
Bob Brown 31:02
It depends. You could have the engineer, include that in his scope of work. And certainly, you want to make sure the drainage works, right? If the drainage doesn’t work, right, whether it be surface drainage or subsurface drainage, you’re going to have problems and can because moisture is the catalyst of all of these problems. If the moisture is pretty much constant, you’re probably not going to have a lot of problems. But if there’s variations in the moisture, that’s when you got to look out.
D.J. Paris 31:33
Is there any rule of thumb for properties that have a basement? Is there any reason not to have a dehumidifier? kind of always running? in basements? It could that be problematic, too upsetting whatever the moisture currently is? Or is it always good to remove as much of that moisture as possible?
Bob Brown 31:54
Well, depending on your climate, you know, here in Phoenix, it’s pretty, pretty bone dry to begin, right? There’s not a lot of basements here either, but but, you know, places like maybe you know, Omaha or Chicago? Yeah, you’re gonna want that dehumidifier running all the time. And by the way, if you have a crawlspace, you probably want to get it sealed up and have a dehumidifier running in there also, because that’s just like a little mini basement. It’s your breathing the same air that’s down there that may not be all that great of air. Right?
D.J. Paris 32:26
Yeah, that’s, that’s a great tip, by the way. And a lot of here in the Midwest, we have a lot of crawl spaces. So that is absolutely an amazing tip. So if you’re a realtor, you’re taking a look at the basement, maybe you have a buyer client or it’s your listing your your list agent, you could say, you know, we may want to consider getting this getting this, you know, sealed up and having a humidifier in there running as well. It’s also I mean, it’s maybe not the most exciting gift to give somebody at a closing dehumidifier, but it’s actually a good
Bob Brown 32:58
idea. Probably keeps you out of hot water. Right. Keeps the mold out keeps everybody happy, right?
D.J. Paris 33:05
Yeah, I was just I was just giggling about the pond a little bit. But yes. Anyway, but it is is an idea. Again, these, these are things here in the Midwest, I feel like everyone’s got a dehumidifier in their basement after learning a lesson. They don’t usually have at first they so as the realtor, you could you could bring that up. What other there any other ideas that you as an engineer sort of wish Realtors understood about foundations and foundation repair and anything that that could help?
Bob Brown 33:38
Well, first of all, then clarify. I’m not an engineer, even though I owned an engineering company. I’m an architect by trade. But going on from there, engineers are really good at being objective. You know, quite often I would I would hear a foundation repair salesperson tell maybe a little old lady sitting across the table. And she says, Well, how bad is my foundation? And the foundation repair salesperson says, oh, you know, on a scale of one to 10. You know, I think it’s about an 8.5 You know, and I’m thinking wow, that’s the BS meter. You know, I don’t even know what that is. And by the way, Mr. Salesman, how’d you ride at 8.5? Well, you know, based on my years of experience and the fact that my kids need braces, I arrived at this conclusion. You want somebody doing data driven? Decisions. You don’t want to be in subjective, and you certainly don’t want to be as subjective with somebody who has something to gain by it.
D.J. Paris 34:49
Right? Yeah, this is this is why there’s even been a birth in the financial services industry around financial advisors who now watch Charge flat fees for you know, which is kind of a newer thing in the last 10 years and in that business because people would think, wow, they’re getting a percentage of the assets, I give them under management every single year, and that may or may not be in my best interest. So that does make a lot of sense. So just to reiterate that point, you know, guys, you really want to hire an objective third party who not only this is their job, but like, they have the actual training, they’re not a salesperson salespeople, you know, we all sort of inherently distrust or not distrust salespeople, but question salespeople and, and as it should be, so you want to really work with engineers who and as as I only have one architect, well, it’s not an architect joke, I’m gonna give it’s a very poor joke, but I’ll give it to you as an as an architect, because you’ll, you’ll understand it, none of our listeners will, but I’ll explain it. To them. It’s a funny joke, if you ever it’s a good joke for civil engineers, or architects. And the joke is that what is the joke? The joke is, what’s the difference between a psychotic and and a civil engineer? And the joke? The answer is one pays better. And the joke there to explain it is that what civil engineers and architects can do, which is so amazing, is they see what isn’t there. And then they create, or they’re able to visualize, and a psychotic sees what isn’t there as well, but they’re just not able to make it real. But the architects are so I don’t know, I shouldn’t have probably that was a dumb joke by
Bob Brown 36:23
and go. Vincent van Gogh.
D.J. Paris 36:27
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But anyway, that’s my little silly joke. But as far as let’s talk about the book so so foundation repair secrets, is the book available everywhere books are sold linked to the Amazon sales page, right? In our our notes, what what else? Give us some give us some of the other, you know, headings and chapters is this for who’s the book for more importantly,
Bob Brown 36:52
well, I wrote it primarily for homeowners and realtors, although I think a lot of engineers could benefit from this as well. And I say that somewhat timidly because, you know, engineers get a bit sensitive about non engineers telling them what they should be doing, even though I did own engineering company. But there’s, you know, this is a field of forensics, that’s not done by very many engineers, and they can, if they want to go into that field, they can learn some things that will be helpful for them. But mostly, mostly, I think it’s good for homeowners and realtors who want to understand how this how the Foundation’s work, how soils work, and how they interact together to cause foundation dysfunction. And one of the things that I talk about in the book is, well, this kind of one trick pony business that goes on in the foundation repair industry. So what happens is, there’s several big suppliers of products, and they find installers, and there’s usually an exclusive relationship. And it’s a very close relationship. Well, those guys provide steel peering products, or sometimes concrete peering products to go in the ground to lift things up, right. But what do you do if it’s heaving? Wow, they don’t have a whole lot to say about that. They try to ignore it. Because guess what, they don’t have a lot of products for it. So one of my patents and put it out there for contractors to be able to license from me is to be able to use a sub slab depressurization system on an existing house that dries out the clay’s and stops heating. So if you have a heating problem, now there’s a tool that can be addressed, as opposed to just shrugging your shoulders like everybody’s done for the last 50 years and say, well, there’s nothing we can do about it. And oh, it could be a little bit of heat. Let’s just put piers in any way to cover ourselves, and all that kind of business that goes on.
D.J. Paris 39:06
And so this would actually help remove moisture from the clay. Is that am I understanding that correctly? That’s correct. That’s correct. And moisture is the enemy. We will we will?
Bob Brown 39:17
Well, it depends. It depends. So like if you’re in Houston, probably it’s pretty wet soil for the last few 100,000 years. At moot. removing moisture isn’t the ideal thing to do. It just depends on where you’re at. And that’s another reason why you want an engineer involved because you want to figure out what the annual precipitation is and how variant how much varying it is. So it could be a helpful tool in some situations, maybe not all situations.
D.J. Paris 39:48
Right? Obviously there’s there’s over dry and over wet and rather are bad. But I guess I’m thinking practically if I’m a realtor, I want to learn a I have a little bit about this myself so that I can appear to have a degree of skill. Again, a, you know, not an official licensed opinion of foundation, but just a couple of things I could learn from your book, which would enable me to make a better decision for my buyers or sellers. And then the other thing I’d want to do based on what everything I’ve heard you say today is get the book, first get the book learn, maybe take a one of your classes as well, because you you teach classes to realtors about this stuff. And then what I would do personally, since realtors have to wear so many hats, and you can’t be everything to everyone is I would I would start interviewing architects or engineers, to say, Hey, I sell this many homes a year, I would love for you to be my partner to come in every single time and and build a relationship there and maybe even work out you know, a fee arrangement with them. And and then start marketing that to your clients. Hey, I’m adding a new service to my I’m just curious if you’ve seen agents adopt this kind of strategy and how it’s how it works for them.
Bob Brown 41:10
Yes, I have seen agents do it. However, unfortunately, most of the time they do it with foundation repair companies, which is, which is a problem for them. But you know, you don’t want to be searching for people. When the when the you know, time is of the essence, right? You’re running out of time, you know you don’t want what you want to do is just exactly what you said, Go proactively, go try to find somebody, you know, develop a relationship with them, make sure you’re on the same page with them that they understand what you’re looking for, and have them ready and then use that as a marketing tool. So that people understand that you’re a little bit better than the average Joe, you’ve got this under control, you have the right relationships, you understand how it works, all that kind of stuff.
D.J. Paris 42:00
It’s really brilliant. The book is foundation repair secrets just published. And it is available on Amazon. Other places books are sold. There’s hardcopy, there’s digital, so please consider purchasing. And again, even if even, you know for $10 with the book is $10 Digital, if it gives you three or four talking points, boy that’s worth way more than $10 in my mind on so absolutely no brainer there and also go to Bob’s website because he has a lot of information that he just gives away right on his site. He’s he speaks he’s an author, he’s an inventor, he’s a really neat guy in this space. And there aren’t a lot of experts in this space that work with that sort of talk to realtors. So I mean, Bob teaches Realtors do so foundation repair. secrets.com is the website to learn all things, Bob. And you know, he’s got an his Facebook page as well, which is just search for the dirt whisperer, we’ll link to that in our show notes. He’s got a lot of followers too. So check him out. He’s always posting great content, specifically short bits of content that realtors can subscribe to it. You know, it’s funny, Bob, I was thinking I am going to add you to my to my social media, I was just chatting with somebody about this. And I’ll just use say this as a sort of FYI, to our audience. There’s a new social channel called threads, which people have probably racked at once and maybe continue to like it. But anyway, I was thinking, you know, I never got into Tik Tok, or really Instagram Personally, myself, I’m not somebody that scrolls endlessly looking at stuff because I just I don’t know that that’s good for me. And also, I don’t have a lot of control over it. Well, this is how silly I am, I didn’t realize you can search for things on Instagram or Tiktok. And so if it was me, I would specifically search for things like foundation repair secrets, foundation repair, helps, I would subscribe to Bob’s channel. And I would start to teach the algorithms and whatever social channel you use that this is the kind of content you want to see. Instead of just having it passively kind of play out in front of you. You can actually search for things like this. So what wouldn’t it be cool, if every once a week you saw one of Bob’s posts just as you’re scrolling through Instagram, or Tiktok. And Bob does post quite a bit. And it’s always educational. So definitely subscribe to them, but start teaching the whatever social channel you’re using, start teaching it the best way to teach it search, do searches, specific searches. I know it’s a little bit of work, but this will tell the algorithms oh yeah, this person is interested in this. And it will serve up more of more of that than just you know some of the sillier content that isn’t going to help your business. So I’m so grateful Bob that you do have an active social channel. Again, it’s the dirt whisperer and we’re gonna link to all of Bob’s social channels so you can find them everywhere. He’s an author, he’s an inventor, he’s just he this is this is his his thing. And he is probably the number one guy in the country around this particular topic. So we are going to stay in touch with with Bob. I want everybody to go Consider buying his book, The dirt. The dirt whisperer, that is not the name of the book, though. Although it could be the name of a book I like that if you do a buy a biography, that’s got to be the name. But the the foundation repair secrets is the name of the book, Bob is the dirt whisperer. Follow him on Facebook, the dirt whisperer, find him on his website, foundation, repair secrets.com and consider buying that book. And basically, here’s the subtitle of this book, which really just sells it completely. Learn how to protect yourself and save 1000s That’s literally what you’re doing by learning some of these skills, protecting yourself as an agent and a homeowner and investor or protecting your clients. And you’re saving yourself lots of money in the process. And yeah, let’s let’s not learn from salespeople, let’s learn from engineers and architects, right? The people that know the math, let’s go back to the math. And Bob and his Bob and his ilk know the math. So and by the way, if you’re looking for a recommendation for a good you know, foundation expert or engineer, rather, in your area, you know, Bob would give it given had provided some resources. And you can also reach out to Bob to you know, he’s He’s very friendly. He’s a super, super nice guy. This is his passion. So if you go to his website, you can reach out to him there again, foundation repair secrets.com. Bob, thank you so much for being on our show. You’re wonderful. This was super helpful to our audience, I am on behalf of our audience want to thank you for being part of our show coming on. Hope we sell a lot of books for you and get people signed up. And also you can Oh, I wanted to mention one more thing. Ask tell your brokerage, hey, you know, managing broker or owner let’s hire Bob to teach us a couple of little tips and tricks for our particular area that he may know Bob can be hired for these kinds of consulting and speaking gigs as well. He speaks all over the country about this so you can find them foundation repair secrets.com You can hire Bob find him he is he’s the real deal. And very excited to continue watching your your career Bob, you do so many different things. You’re in it, you’re you’re an author, you do a lot of cool stuff. So thank you on behalf of our audience. And on behalf of Bob and myself, we want to thank our audience for making it all the way to the end of our episode. And please tell a friend think of one other realtor that could benefit from hearing this great conversation with Bob. But maybe they don’t know about our show. Why don’t you let them know about keeping it real? Send them a link to our website, keeping it real pod.com Or you know, we’re on every social channel as well. So just hit that subscribe button and follow us. We appreciate it. Tell a friend and go buy Bob’s book right now foundation repair secrets and that link is on our show notes to Amazon. Bob, thank you so much and we will see everybody next time.
Bob Brown 47:51
Awesome. appreciate being here.