Today’s session revisits the purpose of the show and discusses the plan to realign its focus to more specific and technical topics. Reuben shares that the show was originally designed for diligent homeowners who want to learn more about their house, real estate agents, and home inspectors. We’re considering a new target audience of just home inspectors, but we’d like to hear your input. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you think.
Reuben also shares that StructureTech will be partnering with Majordomo. This is a third-party vendor who will be an additional option for homeowners to contact and request a repair estimate. Bill also highlights that this partnership will be a great help for homeowners to arrive at an informed decision.
The gang discusses the finer points of testing GFCI devices, and then Reuben shares his book summaries, which he just made public last week. To find these book summaries, visit https://structuretech.com/reubens-corner/.
The following is a transcription from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it may be slightly incomplete or contain minor inaccuracies due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Bill Oelrich: Send Reuben a note and respond to any of the 356.
Reuben Saltzman: Oh Bill you’re short-changing me man. It was 356 10 years ago. No, just kidding.
BO: How many blogs are in existence?
RS: I don’t know, I think we’re… I think it’s somewhere close to a thousand.
BO: Welcome everyone. You’re listening to Structure Talk, a Structure Tech presentation. My name is Bill Oelrich alongside Tessa Murry and Reuben Saltzman. As always, your three-legged stool coming to you from the Northland, talking all things houses and whatever else might be in our head at the moment. Welcome to today’s episode, which we are terming The Variety Show, because we’re gonna…
RS: Variety Pack.
BO: The Variety Pack. Okay. Yes, yeah.
RS: This is a bonus show.
BO: Yeah, well, [chuckle] I guess. If you wanna call it that, that’s what we’ll call it.
RS: Yeah, you gotta sell it Bill.
BO: There we go, there we go. But on today’s episode, we’re gonna touch on a few things that are not really related, but things that we’ve been discussing and we’re gonna put out to the world and get your feedback, so at some point here, if you wanna share anything that you heard on this episode, and tell us what you think, we would love to hear it. So let’s get started, I wanna just lay out…
Tessa Murry: Hey Bill.
BO: Yeah, go ahead Tessa.
TM: Sorry to interrupt, where should they go to give us feedback?
BO: Well, they can go to our website and send Reuben a note or something like that, or they could go on the blog and respond to any of the 56 blogs that Reuben… Well, 56… 356.
RS: Oh Bill you’re short-changing me man. It was 356 10 years ago. No, just kidding.
BO: How many blogs are in existence?
RS: I don’t know, I think we’re… I think it’s somewhere close to a thousand. We got a lot.
BO: You can comment there or you could send Reuben an email at homeinspectorextraordinaire… No, just kidding.
RS: No, we do have an email address set up just for this podcast, I don’t think we’ve ever announced it or used it, but I created one many years ago called email@example.com.
BO: Perfect. Well it sounds like a great time to roll that out. So you can send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay, so what are we gonna talk about today?
RS: Well, let’s start with what we’re really asking for feedback for, this is probably the biggest one. Back when we started this podcast a couple of years ago now, we’re not quite at the two-year mark, but we’re approaching it, it’s coming up very quickly. And back when we first started this podcast, we had been planning to do this for probably a couple of years, we had kicked around the idea, and the whole idea was to have something for homeowners, diligent homeowners who want to learn more about their house and for real estate agents, for agents who want to learn more about home buying, home selling, home inspections, all that stuff, that was our intended audience, and after doing this podcast for a couple of years now, I’m convinced that approximately 98% of our listenership is other home inspectors. [chuckle] I don’t think we have any homeowners who listen to this, I don’t think there’s any real estate agents who listen… I shouldn’t say any, I do get occasional feedback from someone here and there, but I think just about everybody who listens, at least the people who give us feedback is other home inspectors. When I talk to other home inspectors on email, online, Facebook groups, in person, at conferences, I hear about the podcast constantly. Tessa, you’ve had the same experience, right?
TM: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, there’s a lot of fans and groupies out there, but they all seem to be home inspectors. [chuckle]
RS: So at some point, we just say, Alright, we tried to make our focus the general public, but it’s not working out, at least it doesn’t seem to be working out, and we’re seriously considering changing the focus of this podcast to just home inspectors, and I don’t know why we do it, we haven’t quite figured out the why behind this yet, maybe someday we’ll figure out why we’re doing it.
BO: It’s because you’re a teacher, you love to teach.
RS: Thank you Bill, that is our core focus here at Structure Tech, we… We’re ripping off… I’m saying this for the first time ever, we have not announced this to the world anywhere, but we’re totally ripping off Keller Williams’s old slogan, and I’m gonna say that we are an education company disguised as a home inspection company, that’s really who we are. That fits us to a T. Everything we do, education is at the core of it, blogging, podcasts, YouTube videos, home inspection, CE classes for real estate agents and stuff that we do internally at Structure Tech, it’s all about education. So we don’t quite have the why completely dialed in. It has something to do with education. What’s our return for doing a podcast? These aren’t free, It’s a big commitment of my time, your time, Tessa, your time, Bill. And then we got the producer, we got producer Larry putting in all of his time to get all of our ums and ums and all those little flobs, and Hey, Larry, cut that out, all that stuff, it costs a fair chunk of money to get this done, and not only that, but we… What’s the word? We transcribe all of these too.
RS: We had a couple of listeners who are hearing-impaired and they asked if we could transcribe it, and it costs a boat load of money to do that, actually. It’s not some electronic service, we’re actually using a live person to listen to every one of these words and type this out, and then somebody else on our team has to take that transcription and then review it for accuracy. It is a ton… I’m boring everybody, I’m sorry. You guys have been laughing at me, I know. But…
TM: The point is, we don’t make any money on this. We do it because we love it.
BO: In case anybody’s wondering, this is what Reuben does, he teaches, he’s teaching you all about the podcast and what goes into it. [chuckle]
RS: A look behind the closed doors of the podcast.
BO: What are you trying to say in a nutshell, you wanna talk to home inspectors about home inspection topics.
RS: If you are not a home inspector and you love the format, just the way it is, shoot us a note. Let us know. I honestly don’t think that the format would change a ton, but it would get more technical, we would dig more into more specific technical topics, and we would probably have some more guests on the show whom only home inspectors would be interested in listening to. We haven’t done a whole lot of that. We have had Kevin Wagstaff with Spectora on the show, and we’re gonna have him on again next week. I suppose only home inspectors are interested in that, but we’ve been trying to make those types of shows a little bit more broad to fit any audience, but maybe we need to narrow just on… Narrow in just on home inspectors. All right, sorry, that was way more words that I meant to use, but you know.
BO: What you said is I like talking technical details, I’m not so much sure I wanna talk broad, wide… Details aren’t broad and wide. Sorry about that. Okay, well, Tessa, what are you thinking? Are you all in on technical details?
TM: Well, I’m just curious to see if there’s any feedback from the listeners of what they prefer to listen to. Personally, I actually enjoy talking about a wide spectrum of things. Yes, we can dig down into the nitty-gritty details and the science and the technical pieces, but sometimes I like to zoom back out again and butch it up and have a different perspective on things, too.
BO: So we’re gonna do probably a few more episodes, kind of just the normal way and we’re gonna pick a date. We’re hopefully gonna get some feedback and we’ll make an adjustment. We’ll make a note or an announcement of when actually things would change, but they’re staying the way they are for now for a short period of time. [chuckle]
RS: Yeah, we didn’t get feedback. This is not a foregone conclusion, it’s just something that we’ve been kicking around and we are discussing it on the air.
BO: Yeah, so we’re thinking out loud. It’s a problem, we do this often, so.
TM: What we’re also thinking about… Can I throw this out, that we’re thinking about some Structure Talk… What’s the word?
BO: Swag or gear.
TM: Right, yeah, swag. Some Structure Talk swag to give away. People be interested in that? I don’t know, T-shirts, koozies.
BO: As long as it’s a Richardson trucker hat, I’m all for it.
TM: [chuckle] Yes. Put it into your rotation.
BO: Yes, yes, and in fact, I do need a few more in my rotation. The two or three that I wear on a regular basis are… They’re wearing out, so. Okay, Reuben, I’ve got another question for you because I know you’re jonesing to talk about something that we’ve recently implemented into the home inspection process here at Structure Tech. So if I bring up the word Major Domo, would you care to explain to everybody just what that means?
RS: Majordomo… I don’t know if this is a dictionary definition. I guess it is, yeah, this is Miriam Webster. They say, “It is the head steward of a large household, such as a palace.” You could also think of it as the head butler of a house, like Alfred was to Batman. He was the Major Domo. So that’s what it means. You want me to continue on, Bill?
BO: Well, yeah. Yeah. So what does that mean to anybody who’s worked with Structure Tech in the past? And if they work with us in the future, what difference are they gonna see?
RS: Well, there’s this company called Majordomo, and I’ve known the owner of that company for several years now. He and I have been in a lot of discussions about different business ventures and things that he’s been working on, Lee Eckroth. And he started this company basically as a repair pricer, where somebody gets a home inspection report, you submit your report to Major Domo along with credit card payment, and they will provide repair estimates for everything in the home inspection report based on your market, based on where you are. And they’re not the first person to do this, there’s been a couple of other companies that have done it. We have dabbled with those other companies, we’ve even tried it, and we have not received good feedback. We’ve had people complain that the prices are totally inaccurate, they’re way too high or they’re way too low, or, “This particular item in the report was the big one I was really concerned with, and you couldn’t even give me a repair estimate.” So we haven’t received good feedback and we kind of scrapped those projects, but we’ve shared the Major Domo report with a handful of people, and the feedback has been really good.
RS: People have said that this one is actually a lot more useful than anything we’ve done in the past, so we’re trying it out again, we’re basically… We’re including a link at the end of every one of our inspection reports to where people can go online and they can purchase this report. And we stand to gain nothing from this, Structure Tech does not make a penny. We have an arrangement where I talked to the owner, he’s like, “You can set your own price and you can decide how much you make” and I’m like, “Well, how about if we make nothing, does that work?” He’s like, “Well, what do you mean?” I said, “I don’t want to make money off of this. I want to make it very clearly defined how Structure Tech makes money, and I don’t want it to be by selling third-party services like this.” He’s like, “Yeah, then we’ll do it for bare-bones minimum.” If you go through us, it’s $59, and it’s a link at the end of the inspection report, something new we’re testing out, and we just rolled it out. So, if we get a bunch of negative feedback, it’s gonna be gone next week, but I’m hoping people are going to like this and use it.
BO: That’s awesome, Reuben. Because I know as home inspectors, when you’re going through the house and you find something and you’re explaining to the client, “Okay, this is what I’m looking at, and this is what could be,” what’s the next question that always comes out of their mouth?
RS: How much is it gonna cost to fix that?
BO: So this tool is an awesome tool to give you some parameters for what a repair might end up costing you, it just ballparks things. I think it’s a really useful tool and it delivers the information quickly. In the past, you’d have to go search out all this information. And you might still wanna search out all this information, but for a pretty low dollar you can get a rapid report that ballparks things here for you, and think, sets your compass north.
TM: In the current market now with just the competitiveness on the lack of inventory, that people are making offers on houses and they’re not able to negotiate that the seller fix things or the seller reduce the price. It’s kind of like you’re buying a property as is, and so this can be a great tool to know what you’re getting into and all these… The expense of all of these repairs that need to be made. So just more information for the buyer going in to which can be really helpful. And if the market changes and you’ve got the opportunity for people to start negotiating things again, it can be great for that as well.
BO: Yeah, and we’re not advocates of negotiation. We’re not trying to suggest to people what they do and go sit down at the bargaining table with a sharp pencil. That’s, by all means, not what we’re talking about. We’re just saying it’s a good idea to understand what you’re getting into, so that surprises don’t happen later. As a matter of fact, I was listening to the radio last night, and there was a conversation about a woman who had bought a house, the water heater… She was a single mom. The water heater went out after she moved in, not long after she moved in, she got three estimates, the first estimate was… She said $8000 to repair her water heater.
TM: Oh my gosh.
BO: Second estimate, not repair, replace. Okay, the second estimate was a bid for $5000 to replace it, and she didn’t know if this was a realistic bid, and one day she was kind of down and out, and she said she was crying and she looked outside and there was some city workers working on a water main out in front of her home, so she went outside and said, “I have this problem. What do you think I should do? I’m looking for any help, any suggestions? I got this, I got that. It doesn’t seem right.” And the gentleman who was working for the city told her, Call this guy and see if he can help you. And the guy that he recommended actually said, “Here’s a deal, I’ll charge you cost for the water heater, and we’ll take my labor and we’ll cut it up into three payments and we’ll work this out together. I understand this is a big deal, you just moved into your house,” so it would have… To know like you have a 15-year-old water heater, if some sort of cost estimator came back and said that should be a $1200 repair for a $1400 repair or even a $2400 repair, she would have known right away that that person who gave her an $8000 bid was a complete shyster. So I think these are very useful tools and it’s for the…
TM: Knowledge is power.
BO: Yeah, totally, totally. And not to take to the negotiation table, but just to have in your back pocket to use in situations where you actually need that.
RS: Yeah, and I will say that there’s a huge difference in prices between different service providers out there. I recently had my furnace and air conditioner replaced, I can’t remember if I had mentioned this on the podcast or not, I think we did.
TM: I think we might have touched on it.
RS: But I’ll just tell you, I went through a handful of companies just to kinda see what the whole process was that they’d be providing to our clients, and there was a swing of $3000 apples to apples, same furnace, same air conditioner. There was about a $3000 difference between the most expensive and the least expensive companies, it was between $11,000 and $8000, so it pays to shop around a little bit, provided you’re working with companies that you know, like and trust.
TM: And Reuben, can you speak to a little bit how you feel about home inspectors at Structure Tech talking with clients about estimates for repairs and maintenance of things that we come across?
RS: I’m really hesitant to do it because of the big swing in prices and because there may be things that are unknown to us. I mean, if there’s underlying stuff, if we say, “Oh yeah, it should cost $2000 and it turns out it’s $4000, it’s gonna be really bad news,” and if it’s the opposite, if we say, it’s gonna be 2000 bucks, but someone could get it done for 500, well we’re blowing stuff out of proportion, and it’s like, unless we’re the ones really doing the repairs, I really hate to give prices. Every once in a while people will just have no idea, and we’ll give them a ballpark, there’s a CE class that we teach Tess, and I always use the example about the chimney, you got a chimney crown that’s kind of falling apart, and clients will ask us What does this cost to fix? And we hate giving prices, but they don’t have any idea. They’re like, “Is this $200? Is it $20,000? I’ve got nothing.” And we’ll say, “Well, maybe in the middle, it might be a $2000 repair.” And it’s a good estimate, maybe 1500, maybe 2500, but we’re at least in the right ballpark. If a home inspector is qualified to give an estimate and they’ve asked around enough and they got a good idea, I’ve got no problem with that, but boy, those recommendations should be made… Not recommendations, that advice should be given sparingly. Only do it when someone’s twisting your arm.
BO: And that’s why a third party vendor like this that can step in and provide this information, it’s not us saying it, and it’s valuable, and I remember when we rolled this out earlier, some of the feedback, the negative feedback was coming from the real estate community ’cause they thought, “Hey, you’re sort of treading into our area here, so it’s important that we manage our business and you manage your business.” And I thought that was a very fair assessment and so again, it’s not a negotiation tool, it’s a tool, it’s data, more information is better than less information and you can make your decisions once you have all your data. Okay, well, there’s that. Very good. I’m glad we had a chance to talk about that a little bit because I just felt so bad for that lady who had to go through that experience. I don’t know about the rest of you, but in my life, whenever there’s this introduction of uncertainty, anxiety follows not far behind, and depending on the number that’s created through uncertainty, that level of anxiety is much different.
BO: So when you come out of a rental situation where… Say you worked all of your way up to your 20s, you’ve saved enough, you finally buy this house, you get in there, and then you have this major… Occurring like, “Oh my goodness. Where is this money gonna come from?” And all you can see is all the bad. So I just wish there was a good place for homeowners to go to that could help them orient these decisions like, “Okay, I understand what you’re looking at. Let’s put this in perspective. Now, when you go out and you talk to people, tell them this is what you need, so that they can’t give you some crazy, “Well, if you need to do this, that’s that, and if you need to do that… ” And all of a sudden, that’s how you get to that $8000, you add on a bunch of things that aren’t necessary, but…
TM: Don’t get me started, because we talk in building science, sometimes you make one recommendation to change one thing and it leads to a whole slew of things you need to do. [chuckle] Unknown, unseen costs, where you think you’re improving your house by air-sealing your attic, and then you realize that the fact that you don’t have any ventilation in your house is a problem, so you need to add bath fans, then you add bath fans and then you make your natural draft water heater back draft, and then you need to replace your water heater with a power vent, one thing leads to the next and there you go, there’s your $8000.
BO: Alright, who wants to buy a house?
RS: I’m out. I’m out. It sounds a little too expensive.
BO: Alright, so there’s something else I wanted to bring up on our Variety show. At least up in Minnesota, we’re kind of into storm season, and I had an event in my life yesterday that I just wanna talk real briefly about. My mother-in-law has a condo in the city. There was a big storm last night, it was about 15 minutes long, but it blew in fast enough and hard enough that it knocked out power to a bunch of people in the city. And when the power came back on at her condo, one of the arc-fault circuit breakers in her panel tripped, and she didn’t know it tripped. And when she got up this morning, some 14 hours after the storm passed through, she realized that her refrigerator was no longer working, and her microwave was no longer working, and she could not figure out what was going on, even with my best efforts to try to guide her through resetting the potential problem at her service panel. So if you have arc-fault circuit interrupter breakers, okay, Reuben, help me on the technical side ’cause I’m not saying this right, but if you have this special breaker in your panel that’s called an arc-fault, and if you lose power, you probably wanna take a look in your panel and make sure that something hasn’t tripped accidentally, especially if it’s on, say, a kitchen appliance circuit, which is exactly where hers was. Just make sure you don’t lose a freezer full of food or refrigerator full of food or something like that.
TM: As home inspectors, we’re going through, and it’s our job to test these outlets and make sure they’re working properly, and not necessarily test the breakers, although that’s debatable if we should test these arc-fault breakers. What does the ASHI SOP say, Reuben, about the arc-fault breakers and GFCIs? Do you remember?
RS: Home inspectors need to inspect them. [chuckle] That’s that.
TM: What is it? Yeah, exactly, so clear as mud. Okay, so if we’re not tripping them at the inspection, at least we’re plugging in outlet testers and making sure outlets have power, and if they’re supposed to be GFCI, we’re trying to trip them to make sure they’re operating properly. But we had a recent question come up amongst one of our inspectors who was at an inspection who… I think he’d had a problem where he tripped a GFCI outlet and he wasn’t able to reset it right away, and during the process of the home inspection, he said, I think he went back to that outlet and was able to reset it again at the end of the inspection. And his question was, “Is there a reason why he wasn’t able to reset that outlet right away?” Do you remember that?
RS: I remember the thread, yeah.
TM: What was your advice that you gave with those outlets that don’t reset?
RS: My advice is, to start, if you’ve got one of those electrical testers that has a test button on it, if you go to any hardware store or home improvement store, you can buy a $5 electrical tester, or for $8, you can buy the one that has a built-in test button where you can test GFCI devices. Now, this is not an officially recognized test. No manufacturer of a GFCI device will recognize these test buttons. The only official test that’s recognized is pressing the test button on the receptacle itself. And if I’m going up to a GFCI outlet, I resist the urge to press the handy little button on my tester, and I press the button on the outlet itself. Because there was one house, it was a remodeled house, they had a basement kitchen, and it was all Do-It-Yourself, and it was just packed. They had so much stuff stored in the basement. And I was in the habit of using the test button on my tester, so I stick my tester in the outlet, press the test button, and I must have heard about seven clicks all at the same time. [chuckle] Like, it was…
RS: And I went, “Oh great.” And this will happen when you’ve got amateur hour electrical wiring going on, where somebody knows you need GFCI protection in a kitchen, but they don’t understand that you only need one device to protect everything downstream, so that every outlet was a GFCI outlet, and I tripped all seven of ’em in one shot using the button on my tester. Now if I had used the button on the receptacle, I would have only tested that receptacle. The problem here is that when you reset these, they need power to reset. So to do it, you need to reset them in the proper order. You need to find the first one on that circuit and Tess, I must have spent a solid half hour opening cabinet doors, and moving boxes, and doing all this stuff to figure out the right order.
TM: Oh my gosh.
RS: To finally get power to the last outlet, which just happened to be the one that I had tripped. So yeah, if you’re a home inspector, press the test button on the receptacle, don’t use the test button on your remote tester, that’s my advice.
TM: And if the receptacle doesn’t have a test reset button on it, you have to push the button on your tester.
RS: Oh yeah, like you’re saying, let’s say you’re walking around the outside of a house. It’s not a GFCI receptacle, it’s just a traditional receptacle. How do you prove that it’s GFCI protected?
RS: I guess there’s two ways to do a test. One would be to use that handy little test button. Do it, make sure you’re being very quiet. Every once in a while, you’ll get lucky and you’ll hear a click somewhere, and it’ll kind of guide you in the right direction of where you need to go to find a receptacle to reset. That’s one way to do it, and then find where you tripped it and reset it. The other way would be to locate every single GFCI outlet in the house, trip every single one, and then go outside and make sure that there’s no power at that outlet.
TM: Oh my gosh.
RS: I don’t know who does this. I know there are some very experienced home inspectors who say they don’t carry around these outlets with a test button. I have yet to understand how they verify GFCI protection for remote outlets. I don’t know how they do it.
TM: Use the test button on the tester sparingly, only when you have to.
RS: That’s right.
TM: And when you do, listen very closely, and try to let that click you hear in the distance guide you to where you need to reset.
RS: That’s good advice, Tessa. Exactly.
BO: And thankfully, the outlet tester that doesn’t have the button on it is more affordable than the one that does have a button on it. So if you like to buy tools that are just useful but not the best, like the fanciest version, just get the one without the button and you don’t run into this problem. You can test outlets, and you don’t accidentally trip GFCI test reset buttons.
RS: Yep. Yep. But you know what? Let’s just take it one step further. I’m sure we’ve, everybody’s quit listening at this point, but…
RS: One step further. If you are using a test button on a remote outlet and it’s not grounded, you can legally do that, it’s fine, you can have an ungrounded three-prong outlet as long as it is GFCI protected, but if you’re using that test button on your remote tester, it’s not going to trip the GFCI device. So it gets darn complicated. I guess, bottomline is understand what you’re doing, know how electricity works, know how these testers work. That’s my bottom line advice.
BO: Okay, folks, what you just experienced was what the future of this show might look like in terms of understanding…
TM: So stop us now, if you don’t like it.
BO: Technical nuances of inspecting.
RS: Yes, this where we could be going.
BO: Yes. [chuckle] So it’s good stuff, you can just geek out on it, but it might not be for everybody. Okay, Reuben, let’s talk about a new project you’ve been working on, so you’ve decided to go into the business of reviewing books?
RS: Yeah. It was just a side project. I’ve been… Boy, it was probably, I don’t know, five, six years ago, I was listening to a ton of podcasts, and at some point I came to this realization that it’s a better use of my time to listen to audio books because it’s not just riffing like we’re doing, it’s somebody taking all of their thoughts over many years and distilling it down into something that’s very narrow and focused. Don’t get me wrong, I still listen to my share of podcasts, I still enjoy them, but for more focused personal growth, I’ve been doing a lot more audio books, and I would regularly share these at company meetings just, “Hey guys, I just finished listening to Delivering Happiness, and I’m pumped about it and here’s the lessons I learned.” I started thinking about the best way that I can improve the people on my team, what’s the biggest bang for the buck, how can I really move the needle? Because our team here at Structure Tech is never going to get bigger than me. I am the limit to where the company is going. So if I want the company to grow, I need to grow myself, and it’s, it’s with a lot of audio books. If I want my leadership team to grow, they need to be doing the same thing. They need to be taking in new information, and I thought, “How can I move the needle here? It’s sharing what I’ve learned.”
RS: So I started sharing a lot of stuff that I had been learning week to week with the rest of the team, and I would do this during meetings, but at some point I realized, if I’m just sharing one-way information, it doesn’t need to be happening during a meeting, all I need to do is record a video summary of the book, and I can just share that with you guys. So I started doing that back in December. I would share whatever I had taken in over the last week, and then I realized it’s much better if I just do a summary on a book itself. So I started doing book summaries. And at the end of the very first video I recorded, I just tongue-in-cheek, I went, “And this has been Reuben’s Corner,” and I decided that’s what I’m gonna call my book summaries. I’m calling them Reuben’s Corner. And I was talking with one of my business coaches about this, ’cause I had released one or two of these on my personal Facebook page, that are just good books that I thought, everybody ought to listen to this or read this book. And he was like, “Reuben, you should share these with the world.” And I said, “No, you don’t understand. These are just for my team at Structure Tech.” He’s like, “Who cares?” And I was worried about what people think, and they’re not really well-produced, they’re just more conversational book summaries.
RS: Sometimes I got the wrong microphone selected, sometimes I’m recording into my phone from my car or a hotel room or whatever. And he’s like, “Who cares? It doesn’t matter. You’re putting out good content. Just share it.” So the bottom line is, I have shared it. I have made a blog post where I shared all of my book summaries, I shared links to all of them, I will not be making those public on our YouTube channel. They are unlisted, which means if you’re looking for it, you can find it, you can get it through the Structure Tech website. We’ll put a link to it in the show notes here. You can find all of my book summaries, but I’m not gonna be heavily promoting them. It’s more, if you want it, here it is, and I might mention it again a year from now. But so far, I’ve got about 30, I think 33 book summaries on the podcast that we just recently released.
BO: The last 12 months?
RS: I started doing this in December, and…
BO: So you got through 30 books in six months?
RS: It’s been a lot more than that, actually, but that’s how many summaries I’ve done. I don’t record summaries for every book that I read, it’s just summaries for the ones that I think deserve a summary, which is, to be fair it’s probably about eight out of 10, I’ll do a summary on. Steven, our business coach, he was concerned, he’s like, “You’re going through a lot of books, I’m concerned that you’re not digesting the information, you’re not taking it all in, it’s just background noise, so I want you to start taking notes on every chapter.” And I started doing that just to make sure that it’s not going in one ear and out the other, that I’m actually digesting it. But there’s a fair amount of downtime, where I got time to take stuff in, it’s like working out, driving, things like yard work, all that stuff. If I’m doing that, I probably have an audio book going.
BO: Gotcha. Bless your heart, I’m still in the podcast mode.
TM: Me too. [chuckle]
BO: I like audio books too, but to me, podcasts are like reading a newspaper, where listening to a book is like reading a book and…
RS: That’s a really good analogy.
BO: Yeah, well, my attention is not much longer than my index fingernail, it just… [chuckle]
TM: You know what, Bill, I’m the same way, but I have to tell you, Reuben’s summaries take care of that for you, because they are the cliff-note version of what’s important. So you don’t need to listen to the whole audio book, you just have to listen to Reuben’s summary of the audio book.
RS: Tessa, sell it. Sell it.
TM: Thank you for saving me from having to read 33 books, Reuben.
BO: Okay, I think we should probably put a wrap on our Variety show, with a couple of things to note. If you want to check out Major Domo, Reuben, where can you get it?
RS: The only way to get it is to order a Structure Tech home inspection. No, that was my best-heeled voice commercial. I don’t know. If you wanna just buy a report directly from Major Domo, I suppose you go to their website, MajorDomo.com, we’ll put a link in the shownotes.
BO: Well it’s gonna be based on something. You’re gonna have to give them some information so they can build a report, or you can get a home inspection with Structure Tech and then get it through that. But what I’m saying is, if you wanna check them out and see what type of work they’re doing, just go to their website and you can read all the background information. One thing I will note, you were very specific with them, that you’re like, scrub all the negotiation language from anything we’re publishing because we are not using this as a tool to negotiate, and this is a data tool, thank you, take your information and enjoy, they were kind enough to work with you and just edit some of their facing information so that the word…
TM: Their marketing. Yeah.
BO: The word negotiation no longer was represented in the material that we’re putting out.
BO: Okay, the next thing I wanna remind everybody, after a storm, just make sure your refrigerator is working, ’cause if you have the new fancy breakers in your house, they might get tripped when the electricity comes back on, if it was off. And the next thing, we would love your feedback, so if you wanna hear more technical information, please let us know. If you’d like us to do what we’re doing, please let us know, but just any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated. You’ve been listening to Structure Talk, a Structure Tech presentation. My name is Bill Oelrich alongside Tessa Murry, Reuben Saltzman. Thank you for listening. I appreciate the fact that you stuck through our Variety show, and if you’re here hearing these words, it really means a lot to us, so thank you. We will catch you next time. Have a great week.