Read word for word from our episode with Gabe Amey below:
Announcer: It’s time to enter the world of real estate in Oahu with Hawaii’s only true real estate radio show: the Team Lally Real Estate Show. Grab a pen and get ready to take notes. For the next full hour Hawaii’s premiere real estate leader Adrienne Lally and Attilio Leonardi will bring you the latest in real estate news and real world strategies on how they can guarantee to sell your home at a price and deadline you agree to - or they’ll buy it! Now here are your hosts Adrienne and Attilio.
Adrienne: Welcome to the Team Lally Real Estate Show home of the guaranteed sold program - or we’ll buy it. If you have any questions you can reach us 799-9596 or check us out on the web at teamlally.com.
Attilio: Well hey everybody this is Attilio. I was at a pumpkin pie eating contest halfway through my fourth pie. Lady taps me on the shoulder and starts me a bunch of tax and legal questions and I say “those are great questions, highly recommend you seek the appropriate licensed professional,” and then I continued on my way eating those pumpkin pies. So if you hear anything on the show that sounds like tax advice, run it by a CPA. If you hear anything on the show that sounds like legal advice hey go see an attorney because we are going to be talking about real estate and other related topics, and not related topics, but maybe interesting topics.
Adrienne: Speaking of an interesting topic: Who won the pie eating contest?
Attilio: Oh I did and then it was just like a scene from - I forget what that show was where they had the barforama.
Adrienne: Oh. Gross.
Adrienne: Well congratulations.
Attilio: Thank you.
Adrienne: Well I have some quotes today to share with you guys and it ties into our guest that we’re going to have on later on in the show and it has to do with our veterans. A very special veteran. So this first one is from Marco Rubio, he says “When I’m president of the United States we’re going to have a VA that cares more about veterans than about the bureaucrats who work at the VA.
Adrienne: The next one is from Judd Gregg.
Adrienne: He says that “The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we enjoy, have dedicated their lives to their country, and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.”
Attilio: That’s a good one.
Adrienne: Okay and then the last one before we bring on - from Pacific Property Management. This one is from Bill Shuster: “Our veterans accepted the responsibility to defend America and uphold our values when duty called.”
Adrienne: So we’re going to have a special guest that has to do with our veterans later on in the show.
Attilio: Yes they’ve created the video game called Duty Calls.
Attilio: No no no that’s not the guest.
Attilio: Alright so speaking of duty calls we have Evan.
Adrienne: From Hawaii Pacific Property Management calling in.
Attilio: Evan are you there?
Evan: Hey guys how are you doing?
Attilio: Good good good.
Attilio: Hey it’s an awesome Thanksgiving weekend coming up and we hope you’re going to be spending lots of time with your family but more importantly, what’s your property management tip of the week?
Evan: Our tip for this week has to do with pets. During our conversation our owners in the past, many times if we should allow pets or not. Just to take a quick look at what the rental market is, about 70%-80% of the renters out there do have pets.
Evan: So when you’re not allowing any pets on your property, you’re limiting your renter pool significantly.
Evan: How does Hawaii Pacific Property Management be proactive when we’re handling tenants with pets? What we do is we schedule a four month walkthrough of the property so every four months if a tenant has a pet, we’re doing a walkthrough just to confirm that they’re maintaining the standards that we expect of the property and that nothing unusual is happening.
Adrienne: So Evan do you guys do this for all pets?
Evan: For all pets. Any kind of pet be it a cat, a dog, a rabbit. We schedule four month walkthrough for any kind of pet
Attilio: What about a pony?
Adrienne and Evan laugh.
Evan: For the pony too.
Adrienne: So with the properties that have pets, do they have to do an extra deposit, do they have to pay more every month, how does that work?
Evan: We do have an extra security deposit depending on the size of the pets. We have a standard price for cats and depending on the size of your dog it may range from $300-$700 if it’s an extremely large animal, it could be higher than that.
Adrienne: Now wasn’t there some law that just came out that you can charge up until like a full month’s rent in security deposits?
Attilio: In addition to the security deposit.
Evan: Right we are allowed to do that now.
Adrienne: So what would warrant that? Would it be like a pony?
Attilio: The owner’s choice?
Evan: It would probably have to be some situation like that.
Evan: Or probably multiple pets or for large dogs.
Attilio: Well I guess the main thing to have the property owners realize is that if you want to expand, expand your ability to get your place rented. Be willing to take on pets.
Evan: There you go.
Adrienne: I’m recently going through this in a whole scenario and you guys have been very thorough. You even sent me a picture of the proposed pet and that’s super helpful to know.
Evan: Yeah we do take pictures of all the pets that we’re getting applications for properties for just so that we can run it by you, and of course it’s the owner’s decision to let the pets into the property or not.
Attilio: Yeah but also as far as allowing the pets to be there or not once you’ve engaged in that conversation you guys are going to carefully advise them about all those laws regarding those pets that could get them into trouble if they did deny them. Like emotional pets and service animals.
Adrienne: We’re just talking about pets.
Adrienne: That’s a whole nother topic, the whole service animal and emotional pets.
Evan: Yeah we can save that for definitely another day.
Evan and Adrienne laugh.
Attilio: Yeah thanks so much for calling in for that property management tip of the week.
Adrienne: Yes thank you Even.
Evan: Okay! Nice talking to you guys have a happy thanksgiving.
Adrienne: Bye bye.
Attilio: Alright so that was Evan with Hawaii Pacific Property Management. They can be reached at what number Adrienne?
Adrienne: You can call them at 445-9223.
Attilio: What’s that number one more time?
Adrienne: That’s 445-9223 or check them out online at hipacificpm-
Attilio: You’re not supposed to just say “or online.” You’re supposed to say something funny like “well what if I’m introverted and I don’t want to talk to someone?”
Adrienne: Okay well you can say the funny stuff.
Attilio: You’ve got to give me the space so I can slip that in there and-
Adrienne: Oh I just kept going.
Attilio: Yeah. You just-
Adrienne: You can reach them. Let’s do over.
Attilio: Alright say the number and then I say “Go ahead and give me the website,” and then you say the number and say the website part.
Adrienne: Okay so they can be reached at 445-
Attilio: No no no we’ve gotta move on. This is life radio.
Adrienne and Attilio laugh.
Adrienne: Well let me finish the website then. You can check them out online hipacificpm.com.
Attilio: I think we’re going to take a quick break and come back with our special guest.
Adrienne: That’s right so stay with us.
Announcer: The Team Lally Real Estate Show continues.
Adrienne: Welcome back and thanks for listening to the Team Lally Real Estate Show home of the guaranteed sold program - or we’ll buy it. I’m Adrienne.
Attilio: And I’m Attilio.
Adrienne: And if you have any questions just give us a call at 799-9596 or you can check us out on the web at teamlally.com.
Attilio: Well hey everybody we are back. We’re going to have a special guest on the show, his name is Gabe Amey. He’s with Hawaii VA Loans.
Adrienne: He’s actually the branch manager.
Attilio: He’s the branch manager?
Adrienne: Of Hawaii VA Loans.
Attilio: That sounds like Mr. Rogers. I know Gabe when he goes into the office he actually puts on a different sweater and then he changes his shoes and everything.
Attilio: Gabe you there?
Gabe: I’m here.
Attilio: We’re saying - because you said your title’s branch manager so we said you’re like Mr. Rogers, you know when you go in the office you put on a v neck sweater and then you change your shoes when you go to the office.
Gabe and Adrienne laugh.
Attilio: And then you’re like “Welcome visitors to Hawaii VA Loans! We’re going to the land of make believe.” No no no.
Adrienne: No but he is very welcoming.
Attilio: Yes. A very nice guy.
Gabe: I try to be.
Adrienne: In both locations.
Attilio: You know Gabe it’s been awhile since you’ve been on the show and listeners, you know this is what we learned from our listeners. They want to know about the business, and the tips, and the information that you’re going to share. But like local style, Hawaiian style, they like to get to know the person.
Attilio: So tell us a little about you. Give us the highlights of Gabe Amey’s life.
Gabe: Highlights. Oh! How much time I got?
Adrienne: Where do we begin?
Gabe: Yeah where do we begin? I’ll make it somewhat brief here. The cliff notes. I was born and raised in Hawaii. Graduated from Saint Louis school, who by the way just won the football open championship this past weekend. Very proud of them. Very great game.
Adrienne: And Gabe I think I’ve seen you on those commercials for Saint Louis.
Gabe: Yeah. Yeah.
Adrienne: You’re famous.
Gabe: You know what I do have a commercial with Saint Louis and sometimes I’m stoked about it but embarrassed at the same time because everyone comes up to me and “Hey what’s you’re in the commercial.”
Adrienne: I love it. I think it’s great!
Attilio: They’re proud of their alma mater.
Gabe: Right on.
Attilio: So Saint Louis graduate.
Gabe: Saint Louis graduate.
Attilio: What’d you do after that?
Gabe: I went away. I went away to college.
Attilio: Make sure you say “college” because let’s say you just said “I went away,” and left it at that.”
Attilio: What are you talking, like orange school? What do you mean went away?
Gabe: Well I’m trying to give you full context here. I’ve got to watch out. I’ve got to speak complete sentences here.
Gabe: I went away to college in California, graduated there and actually moved to the east coast for a little while and got to see the States. For a local boy which was a great experience. I moved back home in 2003 and then started in the mortgage industry in 2004.
Attilio: Mhm and when did you say I’m going to go do this thing called “Hawaii VA Loans?” What was the origin of that?
Gabe: So three years into the mortgage industry I realized that there was a big void, you know.
Gabe: My dad’s a veteran. He didn’t really get good information about his benefits and VA loan benefits and when I was in the industry just trying to learn VA loans myself there wasn’t really good information about this program. You know, the only information I could find online was through government websites and we all know government websites are not usually the most user friendly to read and use. So for me it just kind of mad sense. Why not make one website that’s easy to understand? A veteran can go ahead and log on and just get the full picture. You know the profits, the benefits, what to do next, things to look out for, and that was really the genesis of me starting Hawaii VA Loans and we first launched December 2007.
Adrienne: So in the beginning it was you, and-
Attilio: Yeah who was your first hire?
Gabe: It was me, you know. It’s funny I was the branch manager, officer, and loan officer-
Adrienne: All in one.
Gabe: All in one yeah. And then you know it was definitely tough trying to do all those positions but one of the great things was that I actually got perspective in understanding the role that each has to play so that definitely helped me become a better manager. Yeah.
Attilio: So in the beginning you’re running your company, like maybe, you answer the phone “Hello this is Doug thank you for calling Hawaii VA Loans.” “Yes hello I’m checking the status of my loan.” “Okay let me connect you with Momi Lani” and then you hang up the phone.”
Attilio (impersonating woman): “Hell this is Momi Lani let me catch you up to speed on the status of your loan.”
Gabe: No I didn’t go that far but you know what’s funny, that when I first launched Hawaii VA Loans one of the big things, my pet peeve is the branding and the design and the imagery. Especially the website. When I go to a website and it just looks like everything’s just thrown together, there’s not much though that went into it, and it just doesn’t look right, then it gives me that initial first impression that the company in general might be a little disorganized. Right? So for more me when we first launched Hawaii VA Loans, when I put it together, I wanted to make sure that the website was clean, nice, professional, was easy to navigate, and one of the things that I realized is that people mistake this one person company when I started for a much larger business because of how professional the branding was.
Attilio: Your marketing yeah.
Gabe: Yeah so that was an interesting insight that I learned but anyone out there who-
Attilio: Business owners, entrepreneurs.
Gabe: Starting a business make sure you know that the first impression a lot of times is going to be your website or your social media presence right?
Gabe So make sure you do that well and that it’s very thought through and if you’re not a design person, you don’t have those skills, make sure you hire somebody that’s really good at that because first impressions are big.
Attilio: Yeah so let’s recap on those tips here because we tell people. You know we get a lot of business owners who listen to the show.
Attilio: So we’ll recap what you said so make sure we’re good listeners here, is that start with the end in mind. In the beginning you’re very focused and intentional and took your time regarding your digital presence because you know I think you were saying your digital presence can in this day and age be your first impression.
Adrienne: Exactly. People are going to go check you out online first before they even make that call.
Gabe: Well Attilio, Adrienne, I always tell our loan officers in training, me personally if I want to buy a new car, the very last thing I want to do is go to a car sales lot and talk to the salesperson and listen to them convince me that I should buy one of our cars. The first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and start researching vehicles and models online and figure out what I’m interested in and what’s out there, what’s available, what’s the price range, so I am empowered with this information before I even go and talk to a sales person. So that analogy has a lot of parallels to what we do at Hawaii VA Loans and-
Attilio: A lot of businesses.
Gabe: We have a lot of information on our website and of course you could always talk to one of our representatives that can be very helpful but I know, personally I would instead of talking to a salesperson right away I want to do my research. So when it comes to VA Loans we like to think that VA Loans has a lot of resources on our website. To get people a lot of information and before they’re even ready to speak to you know-
Attilio: A loan officer. Yeah.
Adrienne: So Gabe what specifically kinds of resources are found on your site?
Attilio: Give us the top three.
Adrienne: Just walk us through.
Gabe: Yeah first off you go to our website, right away we’re going to present you with what’s the VA Loan process? You know, buying a home can be intimidating for, especially a first time homebuyer. You’re talking about the biggest financial commitment of their lives. A lot of times we deal with first home buyers in there who are very intimidated by the process so what we like to do is, let’s just break down the process so that they can digest it and it’s not so overwhelming
Gabe: Also the benefits. Let’s make sure that veterans understand why they would want to use the VA Loan versus a convention loan, or FHA loan, a USDA loan, you know there’s six main benefits that we outline on our website and you can check it out and hopefully after that you realize “Well this is probably a program I’m going to want to use if I want to buy.” Another helpful thing is not all condominiums are eligible for VA financing. They must first be approved by the V department for us to do financing on a particular condo and you know there’s a lot of condos because there’s not enough land here for first we’ve gotta go up.
Gabe: I’d say about 70%-75% are probably approved, but you’ve first got to verify it so the last thing you want to do is go and do a showing and visit a property and fall in love with a condo and find out later it’s not approved. So what we do is we created this condom check tool, and the traditional process of having it do this before we put it out there was you’ve got to go to the VA’s website, the VA portal website, but it’s very cumbersome so if you wanted to find out if a condo’s eligible you’ve got to do like 18 clicks trying to figure it out, even if doing all that worked you might not even get it correct because it’s kind of clunky.
Adrienne and Attilio: Yeah.
Gabe: So what we did is we tied into that database and we do a scrub every week to make sure that things are updating and on our website if you just type in the first couple of letters of a condo name it’ll pull up suggestions of condos you must be looking for and you can just click on the condo name. It’ll tell you whether it’s approved or not so this is another way where we think we add value by just kind of simplifying the process for people. It doesn’t have to be that difficult.
Adrienne: Now if the condo’s not on the list I know your guys’s company has gotten condos on the list for prospective buyers.
Attilio: Yeah. Tell us about that.
Gabe: Yeah so we definitely helped with that in the past. If it’s not on the list, two things. One, it could have been denied previously but maybe if it wasn’t even submitted to the VA until you looked at it, the condo wasn’t even submitted to be looked at by the VA, then in that case we can actually help try and get it VA approved. There’s some paperwork that we would need to gather from you know the seller’s side, and potentially the developers, and once we get that documentation, we can go ahead, package it up, drop it off at the loan guarantee office at Tripura and start that process of getting it reviewed by their attorneys and see if we can get it approved. So we’ve done this many, many times in the past so that’s not a problem at all.
Attilio: Hey you know your guys’s website, passed the Charmin test. Remember the Charmin commercial? Toilet paper.
Gabe: How soft?
Attilio: No about the toilet paper. The Charmin toilet paper. What do they always say? It’s so soft that people want to squeeze it.
Attilio: Now you’re thinking what the heck does that have to do with our website?
Gabe: Yeah I’m trying to figure that out. You want to squeeze my website?
Attilio: We want to squeeze your website. Close, you’re very close.
Adrienne and Attilio laugh.
Gabe: You’ve got kids listening out there so you’ve gotta watch out alright?
Adrienne: This is family friendly.
Attilio: Excuse me I need to be alone with your website for a moment I’ll be right back.
Adrienne and Gabe laugh.
Attilio: So basically what that means is you’re close. We’re joking around here but we’re incorporating your guys’s service that you provide but taking people through your entrepreneurial path - you know what I just realized, there’s some great things to be learned from you because you guys are so successful. Especially you with your path of travel. So we learned this from other techy dude. A lot of people will make this mistake. They’ll build the website and they’re going to look at it - when you’re building a website you’re looking at it on your phone or your desktop when you’re building it?
Gabe: Well back in the day it was all desktops.
Attilio: It was all desktop.
Gabe: Nowadays you almost have to build it with mobile first in mind which has been a big transition and for us it’s taken a lot of work to make sure that - when we first designed it was for desktop but now we have to retroactively make sure we fix everything so it’s mobile ready.
Attilio: Mobile friendly.
Gabe: Yeah that’s a huge change in the last, say, two and a half, three years that people must be aware of if they’re putting out a website.
Attilio: Now the listeners are saying “Well Attilio you were talking about toilet paper and don’t squeeze the charmin, what the heck does that have to do with anything?”
Attilio: Well here I’ll connect the dots for you guys. So a tech guy told us this: You look at your website on a desktop and then you grab the corners - and you know how you can kind of shrink the screen? So that’s called the squeeze test. - and you squeeze it down to the width because most cellphones - desktops are horizontal with the landscape - but most cellphones have a portrait format so you squeeze the page down and when you squeeze the page down on your desktop you’re going to see if things are conforming or shrinking or shifting or if they’re cut off so that’s what they call the squeeze test.
Attilio: So I’m looking at your website right now. So congratulations your website on my cellphone passes the squeeze test.
Adrienne: And then real quick website is hawaiivaloans.com if anyone wants to go and check this out.
Attilio: Yeah they can look right now.
Gabe: Hey Attilio. Attilio. So you know I’m glad you actually clarified that. It’s all about context. I almost said I went away, and didn’t fill in the blanks and it was a whole different meaning.
Gabe: “It looks like you passed the squeeze test,” I was wondering what is going on with Attilio here?
Attilio: What kind of sexual harassment lawsuit are we talking about here?
Attilio and Adrienne laugh.
Gabe: But it all comes together now. Totally makes sense.
Attilio: That’s how it is. We go over here into the weeds and then we bring you back on the path. That’s how we run this show. So anyway-
Gabe: One last thing I want to - you’re talking about some of the resources on our website.
Gabe: One of the first initial things - and this kind of ties into I guess entrepreneurs nowadays if they want to start a business - one of the things that I was really big on in 2007, before this was really mainstream, the whole idea of content marketing right?
Gabe: Instead of just spending a whole bunch of money and paying for newspaper ads, and radio ads, TV ads, that just try to blast your message to everyone one of the things that you know - I didn’t invent it but I’ve been reading up back in 2005, 6, 7 was that people are utilizing what search engines like Google and Yahoo and all that stuff to find information and research that we talked about. So one of the things that helps you get found in search engines is writing blog posts.
Gabe: And so I remember in 2007, 2008, myself and Jim Owens - he’s one of the branch managers too. We were writing these blog posts about VA loans which would take us two and a half, three hours to write, to make sure it’s done well.
Attilio: Oh wow.
Gabe: And we were doing that and we were like “Is anyone even going to read this stuff right?” and we would do at least a couple of blog posts every other week and at the time we didn’t really see initial - we didn’t think anybody was actually reading it but one of the things we realized overtime, 9 years doing it and being consistent and writing blog posts, we have a lot good content out there on the web so we’re more easily found when searching VA loans on our website. So if you search Hawaii VA Loans or VA loans in Hawaii you’re going to find us as one of the first results and that’s because of all of the work we did with putting good information via our blog.
Attilio: Yeah we were looking at it yesterday. You know what I like about your guys’s blog page? Adrienne what did I say yesterday? Do you remember?
Adrienne: No I don’t remember. I was distracted.
Attilio: Okay nevermind I was going to say something funny but I’ll hold back. I’ll hold back.
Gabe: She wasn’t paying attention to you she says, Attilio.
Attilio: She was doing like nine things at the same time.
Adrienne: I was multitasking.
Attilio: You know what I like about your - well first of all what you’re talking about, it’s called SEO equity. You know you do something way in the beginning, you keep - if you put a whole bunch of stuff now it’s a big difference between now and doing it over time.
Adrienne: 9 years ago.
Gabe: Longterm. Yeah. Exactly.
Attilio: So it’s called SEO equity and that’s what you guys have but what I love about your guys’s blog page - I was just looking at it yesterday - a lot of visual images and then you click below and there’s all the stuff.
Gabe: That’s the big thing right? You just kind of have a bunch of words on your website-
Attilio: It’s a snooze fest!
Gabe: It almost hurts your eyes right?
Adrienne: You just want to leave the website.
Gabe: Exactly and so you’ve got to catch them with hopefully good imagery that catches the eye and it leads them to the headline and eventually they’ll start reading your message so you know that’s important for us.
Adrienne: You guys have a lot of videos on there too which is - that’s great.
Attilio: Yeah so here’s the deal. While you were talking I clicked on the button, “The Process,” and there’s a two minute video with our favorite friend. Who?
Adrienne: VA Joe!
Gabe: VA Joe!
Attilio: You guys should get bobbleheads made of him.
Adrienne: Yeah who is this VA Joe and how did you come up with him?
Gabe: VA Joe is your typical servicemember who has his benefits trying to figure out how to utilize his benefit and “why should I utilize this benefit” and so through multiple videos we’ve kind of described why VA Joe will benefit from using a VA loan, and maybe comparing VA Joe buying a home vs. renting a home, and comparisons so that they can get empowered. VA Joe can get empowered and figure out what’s the best option for them. Our thing is we tell everyone, we do seminars, and everything, we tell everyone it’s not our job to tell you that you should buy a home or not, you know that’s a personal decision that you’re going to make whether you want to rent or buy. We’re just here to make sure you understand how to utilize your benefits and what’s involved with your benefits.
Attilio: I like what it says on your website. It’s super simple. Like you said it’s a personal choice, but if they decide they want to be a homeowner in one sentence I got the gist of your whole site. “We help veterans become homeowners.”
Gabe: And that’s it.
Gabe: Our whole business model is focused about educating veterans about their VA loan benefits and helping them if they want to buy a home. Even though we can do other loans, like conventional loans, USDA, FHA, it’s really not a big portion of our business at all because we like to focus on this niche, this market, and we truly that if you served in one of our armed forces, then you should have the opportunity to own part of Hawaii. You know? Since we only serve Hawaii. That makes us feel good and it really drives and motivates our team members to do a great job.
Adrienne: So Gabe if we have any veterans that are listening right now what would be a good number for them to call just to maybe get, you know, an appointment set up or when that next seminar is?
Gabe: Yeah. So it’s 808-792-4251. That’s 792-4251 and again you can always - if you don’t want to talk to us first right away -
Attilio: Do you research!
Adrienne: To the website.
Gabe: Go to our website. Check it out and if you have further questions or you want to speak to one of our VA loan specialists and potentially get pre-qualified and see what kind of VA loan amount you can qualify for then we can definitely help you.
Attilio: So we’re going to take a quick break but we want you to stay with us Gabe because we have more questions.
Adrienne: We have more questions for you. Only just the tip of the iceberg here.
Gabe: I’ll be here.
Attilio: So we’ve got Gabe Amey from Hawaii VA Loans. Stay with us we’ve got more questions regarding your VA benefits.
Announcer: It’s the Team Lally Real Estate Show. Here’s Adrienne and Attilio.
Adrienne: Welcome back and thanks for listening to the Team Lally Real Estate Show, home of the guaranteed sold program - or we’ll buy it. I’m Adrienne.
Attilio: And I’m Ad- Attilio!
Adrienne and Attilio laugh.
Attilio: I almost said Adrienne.
Adrienne: If you have any questions just give us a call at 799-9596 or check us out on the web at teamlally.com.
Attilio: Thank goodness we’re not livestreaming this. I was dancing like the Beegees.
Adrienne: Yeah that would be scary.
Attilio: And it was fun.
Attilio: Anyway we got-
Adrienne: Gabe Amey.
Attilio: We got Gabe. You still there Gabe?
Gabe: I’m still here. I’m envisioning you dancing like the Beegees.
Attilio: You know we’ve got this Beegees music that brings us back. I don’t think you can hear it when you’re on hold but you’ll hear it on the air. The big ol’ window, maybe people will like check us out and are videotaping and uploading it to YouTube
Adrienne: I hope not.
Attilio: Speaking of the Beegees and dancing and like Saturday Night Live, we’ve got Gabe Amey. Gabe Amey, he’s the founder of Hawaii VA Loans.
Adrienne and Attilio: Dot com.
Attilio: And you’ve taken us through the history of that. So we were thinking about some questions on the break to ask you. Adrienne do you remember one of the questions? So well I know that you said in the beginning that it was just you and I know that your team has grown to so much more than just you. Could you just share with our listeners your org chart?
Adrienne: Yeah who’s on the team?
Gabe: Yeah so you know from probably 2007-2010, 11, we’ve probably one had 4, 5 employees.
Gabe: And kind of flash forward to now I actually just counted we have - I think we just hit the 20 employee mark.
Gabe: We’re actually hiring two more people this week to help out with some things operationally so we’ve definitely grown and one of the things that helped us grow - and this is for the business people in mind - is you’ve gotta document all your processes. All your recurring processes, you’ve gotta document it because if it’s all stored in your head or if you’re relying on someone to just remember this process and that person leaves, you’re SOL. Right?
Gabe: So you’ve gotta documents all your recurring processes which is like creating a user manual on how to run your business and it’s very tedious, very time consuming, it’s not the most fun thing you can do but what we’ve found is that actually helps us scale our business.
Attilio: And leverage and training.
Gabe: Hey I know you guys are big book fans but there’s a great book that I’ve read to help me with this whole process of documenting and helping scale the business. It’s called Work the System by Sam Carpenter.
Attilio: Work the System by Sam Carpenter.
Gabe: Yeah and that’s been a great book for business owners who want to get out of them all day just putting out flyers.
Attilio: And jumping around, yeah so-
Adrienne: So Gabe by having these lists you’re able to remove yourself from certain situations where before you’d have to be like jumping in and solving it.
Gabe: Yeah there’s also so much time in a day, there’s only so many things you can do, and if everything’s reliant on you then really your business is not growing. You know?
Attilio: We just tell our staff go to figureitout.com.
Attilio: You know you’ve brought up a good point. Whenever you bring on somebody to a new position, or they’re the first person in that position, their first responsibility should be to start writing the operations manual for their position.
Gabe: Yeah. Yeah and you know we’re very lucky that we don’t have much turnover with our employees, so if they come on board we’ve got a great retention rate with them sticking with us which says a lot and I’m very proud of that.
Gabe: But you know one of the things we do realize is if someone were to leave and we don’t document their process and their responsibility, it’s a whole lot harder to get someone else on board to take their place and get them trained up knowing what to do if all the prior person’s responsibilities is only located in their head and they’re no longer with us, so that’s important.
Adrienne: So speaking of these checklists and unboarding, are you guys hiring currently or are you full?
Attilio: You good?!
Gabe: You know what out of the 10 loan officers that work on our team only three have had prior mortgage experience.
Attilio: Oh wow!
Gabe: One of the things that we’re proud of is that we’ like to find good, solid people who may not necessarily have prior mortgage experience and we train them through our training program and teach them how to do the business. We can mold them into the perfect loan officer that we always wanted instead of just hiring other loan officers from other companies that may have great contacts and referral partners to refer them business but they also come in with the baggage of bad habits that might not gel well with our crew. To answer your question yeah we’re always looking for good, solid people who we can train to become VA loan specialists. We just - honestly though - we just finished our last training program and we’ve brought in 5 new loan officers in 2016 so we’re probably not going to do another training program until mid-2017 just because, you know, we want to make sure we’re growing the right way and not just adding more bodies but with that said we’re always looking for good, solid, smart people who could help out with our team.
Attilio: Sounds like you’re looking for talent because the nuts and bolts of the industry can teach that but, that talent that right mindset, that good culture, that motivation, that grit, you can’t teach that. Right? I think there’s a book.
Gabe: You’ve gotta have that foundation, you know. You’ve gotta already have that in you and if you have that we’ve got a training program that can teach them the process of understanding the VA loans and how to pre-qualify someone, how to close a loan, and all that stuff. We can teach that stuff all day long but yeah like you said you can’t teach someone to have great - if they don’t have a great moral background, or they don’t do things ethically, if they’re not a good, reliable, dependable, person, by now, it’s a little more training than we can deliver in terms of trying to teach them out.
Attilio: Well one of our coaches said this: “The only time people change is when-” Adrienne?
Adrienne: Uh, never.
Attilio: In the movies!
Adrienne and Gabe laugh.
Attilio: That’s the same thing as never. The only time people change is in the movies.
Gabe: You’ve gotta get them early. You’ve gotta get them when they’re still in like, like grade school, and high school, and hopefully you can change them then.
Gabe: Once you’re a little older, right? It’s tough.
Adrienne: It’s ingrained.
Gabe: You’ve got a pattern set in and it’s a lot harder that’s for sure.
Attilio: They’re like taking a teenage boy to Europe. It’s a waste of time.
Gabe: They’re not going to have some perspective huh?
Attilio: They’re not going to appreciate it! Yeah we’re looking at the David, or the Mona Lisa, and they’re like “Is this it? What else we doing today?”
Gabe: “Where’s the party at?”
Attilio: “Where’s the McDonalds?”
Attilio: I’m like “Are you kidding me? Look at all this history,” but anway.
Gabe: Attilio it sounds like you’re speaking from experience. Has that happened to you?
Attilio: No I just hear a lot of the older parents with the older kids. You know my kids, we took them to a dude ranch. It was like a whole bunch of surfer dudes walking going around “duuude, duuude,” no no no. It was like with the horses and everything and at first they were, ah, you know kind of just basic teenager. Real kind of neutral and then once they were, they were like yo this is the best vacation they ever had.
Attilio: Here’s one of the questions that I had during the break. It was “what is the #1 misconception that veterans may have regarding a VA loan?”
Gabe: Yeah the biggest thing I think is um, well, I’ll give you two. One of them is feeling like, you know what, they wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a home.
Gabe: You know they’d be surprised. A lot of times these guys are paying rent that are $2,500, $3,000 a month. Well you know if you’re paying rent for that you can actually translate to buying a home with a VA loan with no down payment. In fact we pulled some statistics from all our VA home buyers who bought with no down payment. You know you could put a down payment down, but we’re just focused on who did 0%, 0 down, so 100% financing, and we found out that the average homebuyer came in with $2,200 pocket at closing.
Gabe: So you think about it, compared to renting. So I say you want to buy a house - say you want to rent a place and it’s $2,500 a month. So even just to get the keys you’re going to have to pay your first month’s rent, $2,500, plus your security deposit which is another $2,500, so you’re paying $5,000 right off the bat to rent a property. Well based on our statistics, you know, and of course things will change depending on your purchase price and all that, but what we’re saying is our people who bought with no money down paid an average of $2,200 at closing to get their keys, and their first mortgage payment is usually not until 31 days to 60 days after closing.
Adrienne: Oh wow! So it’s a lot more affordable to buy than to rent.
Gabe: Yeah people are concerned that they don’t have a whole lot of money in the bank and that means they can’t buy. Well with VA loans, that’s not necessarily the case. That’s the misconception.
Attilio: Yeah they’ll make an assumption. You have any misconceptions, give you guys a call. That number 792-4251?
Gabe: 792-4251, that’s it.
Attilio: And at the internet at hawaiivaloans.com. Well Gabe thanks for being on the show.
Gabe: Thanks for having me.
Adrienne: Yes we’ve enjoyed our time with you.
Gabe: I know it’s been a while but I think we caught up with this session so I’m glad to be apart of it.
Attilio: We’re going to come visit the office and we’re going to bring a big, big, package of Charmin toilet paper.
Adrienne: They’re going to give you strange looks Attilio.
Gabe: Hey we passed Attilio’s-
All: Squeeze test.
Gabe: That’s great news.
Attilio: The squeeze test and nobody gets sued, so that’s a good thing.
Gabe and Adrienne laugh.
Attilio: Alright Gabe thanks for being on the show.
Gabe: Happy Thanksgiving guys!
Adrienne: Alright thanks.
Attilio: Thank you. Alright guys so we had Duke- no not Duke.
Adrienne: That was Gabe Amey of Hawaii VA loans.
Attilio: Of Hawaii VA Loans. You can give them a call, they’re really super helpful, friendly guys. 792-4251. Check them out on the internet. Hawaiivaloans.com. Alright are we ready to bring on some callers
Adrienne: We’re ready for - looks like Brooks.
Attilio: Brooks is on the line? Hey Brooks are you there?
Adrienne: To talk about his coming soon.
BRO: Yes I am! Hi you guys!
Attilio: Thank you so much.
BRO: I want to talk about a property that I have coming soon. It’s the one that I mentioned yesterday in our team meeting and it’s located in the village in Kopalei in the Ailoa subdvision area. A beautiful subdivision and this is a great property. The owners have gone way over and beyond the call of duty to get it ready for market which will happen in the first of December. It features only a two year old kitchen. They spent $40,000 on this kitchen. It is absolutely phenomenal. They have 21 PV panels up on the roof. There’s a power plant up there. They painted inside. The entire interior has been repainted and new window screens throughout. Beautiful nice yard. It’s at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. This is an awesome opportunity and property for a buyer so that’s it for me today.
Attilio: When’s that one coming live?
Adrienne: December 1st,
Attilio: December 1st.
BRO: Yes well the first week of December, we’re actually going to go live on the 6th. That’s one live but our first billing will be Sunday, December 11th.
Attilio: Alright thanks BRO!
Adrienne: Thanks BRO.
BRO: Okay thanks you guys! See ya!
Attilio: Alright so if you wanna get ahead of the curve in this tight seller market give our seller hotline a call, or buyer hotline.
Adrienne: Actually it would be the buyer hotline at 234-4421.
Attilio: We’ll hook you up.
Adrienne: With the coming soon properties.
Attilio: It’s like going to a night club.
Adrienne: We have like a sneak peek.
Attilio: Going to a nightclub, get the super long line. We’ll open up the velvet ropes and let you into the VIP section and show you our coming soon.
Attilio: Who’s next? Oh we’ve got Keli'i.
Attilio: Keli'i are you there?
Keli'i: Aloha everyone. Yes this is Keli'i Lum.
Attilio: Hey is your middle name Yick?
Adrienne: What’s Yick?
Attilio: There’s a seed brand called Yick Lum.
Adrienne and Attilio laugh.
Attilio: You’re like “what?!” Keep going, keep going. I put your brain in a spin right now so go back to your open house.
Keli'i: Alright so I’ll be sitting at 94-1340 Lanikuhana Avenue #481 in Mililani. It’s a beautiful home, a spacious living room, a large private patio area, and it’s close to the town center, and it’s pretty much a really great place so please come and visit. I’ll be there Sunday, tomorrow, from 2-5 PM. You’re welcome to come and visit me. If it’s a bad day you can come in and enjoy my sunshine personality.
Adrienne: He’ll cheer you up.
Attilio: In Japanese and Korean because he is trilingual.
Adrienne: Yes give us a-
Keli'i: I’m not trilingual because you know Pidgin is another language brother.
Attilio: So can you sign off in Korean and Japanese?
Keli'i speaks Korean, then Japanese.
Adrienne: I have no idea what he said.
Attilio: Alright and you know what, whatever you do don’t touch your mustache okay?
Adrienne and Keli'i laugh.
Attilio: Alright Keli'i.
Adrienne: Okay so we have Michael on. He doesn’t have an open house this Sunday-
Attilio: But he’s got some pearl of wisdom.
Adrienne: Yes he has something to share with us.
Attilio: Give us your pearl of wisdom, Michael.
Michael: Hey guys great show. Yes thank you for giving me this time. For all you new home buyers out there definitely before you get started you need to get pre-approved.
Adrienne: That’s the first step.
Attilio: And you know what? Make sure and brush your teeth and shave before you start your home buying process.
Attilio: It’s all about mindset.
Michael: Absolutely and the last thing we would hate is you guys fall in love with a home and we find out you can’t put an offering on it so we definitely have preferred vendors that we can recommend to you to definitely get you started on that task.
Michael: So give us a call!
Attilio: Alright Thanks Mike!
Adrienne: Thanks Mike!
Michael: Aloha guys!
Adrienne: Alright well thanks for listening and thank you to our sponsors.
Attilio: Gabe Amey and Jim Owners of Hawaii VA Loans.
Adrienne: Bradley Mariama of All Star Insurance.
Attilio: Jodie Tonga and Derrick Tonga of Pacific Rim Mortgage.
Adrienne: Nathan Baker of Pillar to Post Home Inspections.
Attilio: Ben and Tony Mamuad of AAA Roofers.
Adrienne: Janyce Merlynd, Dream House Drafting.
Attilio: John Speed with Kilauea Pest Control.9
Adrienne: Duke Kimhan of Hawaii Pacific Property Management.
Attilio: If you want to get a hold of any of our sponsors just go to teamally.com.
Adrienne: We also want to give to a big thank you to Steven our producer here in the studio.
Attilio: And Leia!
Adrienne: So make sure to tune in next week we’ll have an awesome gift talking about something that’ll change your life!
Attilio: Forever! This is the Team Lally Real Estate Show, home of the guaranteed-
ALL: SOLD PROGRAM!
Adrienne: If we can’t sell your home at the agreed upon price and our timeframe we’ll have it bought for cash.
ALL: THANKS AND ALOHA!