All right. So I’ve got Walter Salazar from Walter Salazar pest control and you’re right. Walter you’re in Naples. Are you really in Naples Florida.We are in Lehigh Acres Florida. OK. So that’s like what are you What are you do you cover. We run from Marco Island to Port Charlotte. So we do almost the entire south southwest coast.
The following is an imperfect transcription of the interview with Walter Salazar
Frank and Walter Should Swap Vacations
Gotcha. OK so that’s one of my favorite Walter. One of my favorite places to go and get away because I’m in Miami. So you’re only two hours from me and I could get away for a weekend I could go to Marco Island Sanibel Naples totally unwind because unlike Miami that’s like being in a whole different state. Absolutely.
So we’re in Miami bro I love going to Naples man I’ve done it for like like twelve or thirteen years where I would go every three months and spend three or four days over there just chillax because there’s nothing to do.
Pretty much I mean you go to the beach you go eat you go to eat you go back to the hotel you sleep and you go out to eat and then at night I smoke a cigar and died and I told him I totally unwind Walter I totally get into a whole different zone bro.
So so that’s my one of my favorite places in the whole world the other place I love to go which I it’s just too far for me but I love it is St. Augustine and I love God man I love going out to St. Augustine and St. Pete anywhere out of Miami bro is awesome.
Miami is like Dude it’s headache it’s a nightmare here. But anyway.
You you you want to get into some noise because you’re in the choir right. Well I we go to dinner.
We like to dance a little bit. You know we don’t have that stuff down here.
So really there’s not a whole lot many dance clubs. There’s not a lot of thousand salsa clubs down there.
Salsa there’s a lot of you know rap hip hop country bars. But you know we like Latin music right. And we used to do that all the time here. So we go to Miami and it’s like we wish we could live there and it’s just like it was anytime you want to switch roles I’m having switched to the.
I think we’re going to do that bro. I’m I’m I’m like we’re going to head up over there and you head down here.
But let me ask you this what how how how did you get. Because one of the things that I’m always fascinated by is how people get in pest control. Nobody gets into pest control I think by choice.
And it’s always intrigues me to see where how you got in because you look like a young guy.
I mean I’m proud I’m probably old enough to be your dad. You’re good. Yeah I’m forty nine so I’m just I just turned 49.
How Walter Got Into The Pest Control Industry
So but how did you get into pest control Walter? Well it was completely by mistake. I was in hurricane shelters right after high school. And you know I used to lift weights in high school always play football wrestling so I used to be a jock and it was just one of those things I thought I had to beat my body up every day to make a living. And I had a kid you know with my wife and I just had a kid out of high school and I knew the work. I was just all the hurricane shutters and all I could see me come home drained every day after work and.
Right. Not getting any younger. We just started looking for a career for you and I said well listen any any job opportunity you find me I’ll get it because I’m a people person I love people. Right. And so you want me in an interview with a major corporation here. And I said man you want to be a bug guy. Like how do you want me to walk around and be a bug guy like I can’t do that. I’m cool you know. So to the evolution you said anything any anything wanted for you do a good job. I said OK. So I sat down with the corporation out of one hundred and twenty six applicants. I got a job. They called me for a fourth interview. Long story short I started working there I worked with them for about seven years decided seven years and I had a great time there. You know it felt like I had a bunch of friends.
You know I was able to talk to people was able to see different things and what really made me passionate about pest control is when I would go into a house after somebody you know another technician had been there for two three years 15 services they completed their when they would get rid of an issue then I walk in there and I’m thinking outside of the box and I find the source treat the source and Ryan solve it. And we’ve had this guy here forever. You’re here for an hour. You did more time in an hour than this guy did with us for two and a half years and in almost the life of me it almost makes you like a superman you know like that was my superpower the right to make plans. So once I did that then started becoming passionate about it so after hours on the weekend let’s say we’re going to Miami or we’re going to visit my family in Georgia. I listen to insects I listen the story of hey this but does this this book does that. And if somebody schooled me I would want to listen to it. So when my customer says hey well what is this. But with little Pincher things on his bottom and I we’re able to break out of this writer with their occasional invaders. If you have excess water do you have lights on. That’s what it’s like the light. So I was able to be more fluid with that. And that’s really what took me I believe to the next level.
Right right. So. So you got you got into this really young like what. How old were you when you got it.
I was about 19 18 19 years old when I started. I’m 31 now.
So yeah I am almost old enough to be a dad I could have had you at a high school 40 days. Yeah right.
But I actually started late I had my I had my first kid in my late 30s so I got I got a four year old now. And so yeah. So I got it I got a nine year old and a four year old. So I waited a long time that I almost waited till I was exhausted. And good thing I stay in shape. I’ve lost a ton of weight because if not Walter I wouldn’t be able to keep up. So it’s it’s just with the business the podcast the teaching you know my kids the family it’s a lot of work so that we have to do.
So I don’t know man. Hat’s off to you man.
I still young bro. I try to stay younger. You know so it’s a good thing young at heart. Yeah. So so.
So you got you got this you know what are the things that I discuss with a lot of guys that have worked for large company I came out of corporate I was never in pest control by the way in corporate. I come out of corporate in a couple of different fields. But a lot of the guys that that worked for large courts eventually end up starting up and and doing it for a lot of the reasons that most people are disgruntled in all across America not just in pest control but in any any field that they’re in eventually large corp is not for them. And a lot of people have nowhere to go. They stay in a job they don’t like they’re unhappy. Large corp demands a lot of hours from you and you’re doing you know 15 20. We understand that large business is about quality about quantity. Very little to do. To do with quality. I don’t think anybody that’s in any field I think there’s any customer or any other pest control guy listening to me that will disagree that that’s a fact. You know there’s a difference between a McDonald’s burger and a Five Guys Burger. I mean you know you sit there and you have to literally wait for a five guy burger because they have to make it on the grill when you order it. You know a lot of the time the patties in a tray they’re pulling it out and throwing it on for you and half of the time that order is wrong anyway. So that is in it. At what point. How long were you in court before you decided or what happened and you needed to get out and start up for yourself. What was that whole process like for you what what happened.
Well I was doing about twenty eight thirty two production tickets a day. So Jesus yes I was doing some serious numbers and I’m like I said I love my customers but they wouldn’t say what you mean like Hey come in have a drink you know you want some coke. The refrigerator was outside and I loved it. They treated me like family and I’d just like to help run. I love the business that I worked with because I just that’s all I knew you know is making money. You know I’m young I’m making you know that kind of money do it the right way. Yeah. Was happy.
Walter Salazar Starts His Own Pest Control Control Service
What happened was the company went to new management and it almost felt like it was. It was like a different Labor revolt. Like hey you need to do this you better do this you’re going to respect me and I’m one of those guys where there’s a difference between a leader and a boss. You know bosses say do this. We’ll get well and a leader is one of those like myself. You know we’ll get down in the trenches and I’m ready to work. I work from eight thirty eight thirty at night twelve o’clock at night we work up to three o’clock in the morning doing some insulation jobs but I just believe that that’s different than the fact that they just treated me like oh you’re just the help you need to go do this. I just I don’t like. All right. Tablets like that and I had the experience you know women tested to through the University of Florida. And I was able to you know collect my exam on my P.C. and then later I went and did my video. I would destroy an organism and that’s just you know once I started I did on my own. That’s how it happened right.
So a and it is common in our industry that companies are being built up to then be sold to corporate entities and then that culture changes and everybody experiences it. Where you you were maybe a 10 crew company and you build it up to two to three million and then you sell it to a large engineer and we know that the industry is experiencing for the last five six years a lot of reconciliation. And then the customers in the end the customers lose out. A lot of people do get fired they get this place for the same reason they get disgruntled because you know they basically get treated as a number your Europe your product. And and that is constant in our industry that keeps happening. And you know the smiles and the pictures and everything when the company gets sold and they get on all the magazines but everybody realizes that after that things get really hard. So how long were you in that situation before you decided to start up and say I’m going to start up.
Well I you know I always had the passion like I said to make people happy and do that. And I didn’t just say hey you know what. This company I start my own business you know because that wasn’t my intent. From one day to the next I was I was. What do they call that. They fired me from one day to the next so no morning we talked about a technician that we’ve been to work always that stuff never took vacation time and yet from one day to the next they fired me for I forget what the actual term was mis identification of treatment or something some term that they use but falsification of document is what it was. Right. Because because of a temple is to not treat an entry point you know injection services. It was one of those things where give to find a detail. And they threw me on my face and then I cried. Do you know I guess a lot of that I knew I came home and I was like I’ve never seen you depressed before what’s going on. And I was this emotional like I don’t want to talk to anybody I don’t want to be around anybody right. What was it like for Monday the next. Need you need to get off your butt. You need to go get your exam and you need to do it. So you know I did that I just landscaping for another company. A great friend of mine. He allowed me to come work with them just in time just to keep my bills paid.
And then with this a little saved I passed my exam and there was a little savings that I had I had about four thousand dollars in savings. And with that money I found the truck an old term and it struck in Texas. So I bought a one way flight with my wife to Texas and we bought this truck and they wanted thirty eight hundred dollars for it. That’s now three thousand. And we just drove this truck home. So man you can imagine me driving out of this parking lot real happy that I just bought my truck. This is a start to something new and we get to the gas station to get gas. I go inside the truck. Don’t start any more. So I needed a new battery and we we go to the advance and we’re buying a battery. We’re selling it there. It starts raining on some right rain not as of the battery in a parking lot. And this remember like listen I want to get through this I want to make it happen but we’re going to make the best of it. I start driving down the road. I’d never shut the truck off again just in case. And then we make a home state we patrol completely straight through all this and to make it happen. You know Brian I pull in we get to the house. I’m a cook now. So I wanted to come up with a business name and I wanted to use something cool like dynamic or suspension or like a cool name. But I just felt like that wasn’t me.
You know I feel like if I put something you know my quality so preferences that say I have a technician in charge of a shot is doing a service he still represents me because my name is on that company and I have to make sure that we’re delivering that quality that I would put on the house right. So I just came up with Amy Walter that was our first butcher. That’s what I do. There’s no sales pitch and no gimmicks. It’s just me and a lot of my old clients started contacting me like hey you know we didn’t know you when you left. What happened with that estate or something. And I’m like No this is this is what I did. And they’re like well can you give us a quote. And that’s how it started. From one truck now at that point you know fast forward to six years. Now we’ve got six full time technicians. You know we’re covering for Marco to for Charlotte. And people always ask me then how to do it. How do you blokes. I don’t think I blew up and I don’t think it was fast for me. It was like the end of eternity. I mean I was backed up on my mortgage payments. I was backed up on my electric bills. We were eating hamburger helper every single day. I mean you know we we really went through it and I started people were like hey let me do your service and I had to the service that I provide. You know I’ll give it to you for free.
You don’t owe me anything. Right. I did. One for a great find it and he said listen. In that one hour that you were here you did more time than another technician in two years. Not only am I going to pay you more than what you asked me to pay you but I’m also going to hook you up with 13 of my golf buddies as a man. Thank you so much for that maturity I do appreciate it. And from there started I did those 13 accounts and then those guys. It is covered. This is broke off of that and it was just providing that superior customer service that I want when I go to a restaurant I wanted to be treated like and Mr. Salazar. How are you. Well I want to treat my car. I say my rights to Franklin. How are you. It’s great to see you not just account number for 6 4 3. You know Mr. Frank Hernandez and that’s all I want to be treated. I want to treat this like the same way. So that’s how we got into this. From where we started to where we are now and it’s just you know I look back at it I’m like Man I don’t think I’m ever going to be successful in my life is like what do you mean you never know this is says like you don’t ever stop to congratulate yourself on the right because I always like enough. I always want more not just for myself. Like I don’t want to make more money. I want to make more clients happy.
You know there’s there’s some times where I give free services away to a local paid because people are less fortunate they’re having some bad times and you know you know you’ve got big box companies. Four hundred dollars seven hundred dollars for a journalist. Now listen you know I know you’re going through a tough time if you ever come out of it and help hires to take care of it. And you know people see that and they really appreciate it. They know that we’re not here for a dollar. You know we’re here to make sure that people are being taken care of. Right. And that’s all.
Yeah I mean a lot of the time Walter we can do things on a dime that as a small local company we’re in touch with what’s happening with local people we can make decisions as owners as independents that large companies can’t. I mean you can’t turn that big ship around. You are on a corporate mandate. Everything is protocols everything has to be approved. I get it. And that’s the difference between the local company Walter and you and I. And what a large corp can’t do for people we can turn on a dime we can make decisions. You can be in the field with your techs which I know you’re in the field and you know you’re still in the field even if you run 10 trucks you’re still in the field I’m in the field I’m hands on I just took out a large account which is an apartment building and it’s been requiring me to go back a week every week to do this and I can’t put that on my guy because he’s got a route to run and if I sit him there and there are large problems to address he can’t devote two to three hours on a site.
So I still have to be there. So those are the things that we still provide as a small company that even if we’re 10 technicians we’re still intimately involved with our business. A lot of people think oh you’ve got employees now you don’t do anything I said no. I mean dude I was I. I’m still working 12 to 14 hours a day I’m just not working at the same way I was on a truck every day but I’m still putting in 12 14 hours a day. So you know we’re intimate we still know who our customers are. We know the area. We understand the Pacific problems that we have in our specific territories.
How long did it take you though from the time that you started up to where you are now with as many trucks as you have. Because that’s you by the way you’re you’re not a normal company yet you know there are guys who’ve been doing this for 12 14 years that haven’t gotten past two. So how much how much time have you spent between you know when you started to now that you’ve got five technicians.
I mean it really started. It almost seemed like the first two years were like the toughest to get the right people will look like man. I don’t know if I can trust you I don’t know we’re going to be in business for X amount years and I keep telling the same thing. I don’t know if I’m going to be a business myself either. The only thing I can do is just keep pushing forward you know keep the right to see and I can promise you that while I’m here I’m going to make sure that you’re going to feel like you’re the only customer on my list because I’m always going to clean house. I’m always going to treat it. And if you have a problem I’m going to go there. Come back so alive for free. So we’ve been doing this just shy of 60 years about five and a half years. Every year I was in an ad in a truck to the fleet and hiring the technician is the most important part because I could go out there and say hey hey you know I’ll pay you five 10 dollars an hour to do this. But one of my clients told me he’s like listen if you pay your people peanuts you’re going to have monkeys.
All right so what do you have to pay them appropriately enough to where you’re still able to pay your bills you’re still able to grow and you may not have the biggest bank account but you’re going to have guys that are honest that are loyal and that are going to take care of those clients like you. Exactly and that’s where it starts. You know our technicians you know I don’t just hire them and say hey you’re hired to do this and take care of it which are my family and you’ll hear a lot of times I call my brothers or people will praise on on Facebook and say Man you guys are the best company out there. You know you did a great service and I say yes our family did that because we’re a team. You know we’re really where we move as one. When you have a family that has the same the same mind as you might say hey I want to be successful I want to grow we’re all going to move together. Now you have that slips through the cracks that maybe you wanted to look for themselves but also to themselves out you know just like it doesn’t pay their bills on time. They filter themselves out and that’s what we have to act as a filter to make sure that your family is on the same day motion. Hey we all want to go together. We all want to be successful and we all want to be the best.
And that’s what we do here. So every Wednesday morning we have classes where we educate them on a certain insight whether it be ghost dance be the know big ads and not only do we talk about this but we we talk about different situation that we’ve been in for instance one day I was like Hey I found him in a light post Hey I found him at a water meter and Oh really. How did you do that. How do you take care of it. So we’re able to pick each other’s brains. And one of the things I always say in our meetings is we’re treatment’s only going to be as good as the inspection. Right. So if you’re not Inspector you’re never going to be able to treat it the way you want to. And you know you really have to deliver you know consistency is the key. You can’t just treat big head advance once and say oh well they look good now I’m never going to come back. You have to keep that concept right. You know on the weekly follow ups or weekly follow whatever you’re doing is make sure you keep that consistency because that’s really what’s going to push you to that next level. And you know by us doing that as having the family that’s in the same has the same mentality that has the same hunger.
Like we all want to grow from the technicians down to the girls in the office you know the girls in the office you know they answer the phone all the time. They take the bullet for us when something happens. Hey you know I was eating lunch right over my appointment could you call. No. And you know a lot of times those girls will take that on not having to so you know at the end of the month what we’ll do is we’ll take them on a lunch as a family and we’ll eat together nice. We talk as one would say that we had a great month.
What can we do to make it better. What can we do. And that’s another thing we tell the clients we’re leaving a and perform your service today. I notice those ants walking up the Ledge. They should be gone in about two to five days. If you have an issue call me back and then before I leave is there anything I can do to make my services better for you in the future. And if they say no well then you’re doing a great job. But if they say yes you know I’d like you to bring my trash can up next time. Well we’re going to put that on a heart note and we’re going to bring that trash kind of next time because the client wants. If I want my steak medium well. You’re bringing out there. OK. OK. Right. But then when you bring a bring a burger then you have a client who’s very upset. Listen I gave you the chance to fix it once and you made it worse the second time. I don’t even want to be here anymore. And so right whenever in that service to our clients our families out there we want to make sure that we’re delivering the same consistency that the qualities that we did everything that we could do to make sure that they had what they deserve.
Yeah no I think you nailed some awesome points and I’m sorry I’m not looking at the camera I got it up here but I’m looking at you.
So because you’re my guest I’m sorry that if I’m ignoring the audience because the camera is a little bit higher that than when I have it. But when a couple of things that you nailed which is what we harp on constantly is you can either do a follow up or you can get a callback and when you do a follow up you’re a hero. When you get a callback you’re basically incompetent when the customer has to call you to complain when you saw the problem and you know that life cycle of that insect and you know that if you’ve got a ghost. You that sucker isn’t gonna go away. You follow up so I tell my guys. Same as you is. Hey listen you found the problem. Follow it up next week. You know the protocol. So we look at the protocol based on and biology. We have that constant training that constant feedback. I got guys in the field sending me pictures of plants. We do. We are like you you’re more into termite. My my my specialty is is it.
Look I’m sorry I got a call here I need to tell stories. Sorry man. Let me know that I’m going to power this off.
I got to do it. But but I tell my guys all the time I said you know something doesn’t look right. Don’t ignore it. If you go in and you see this plant looks weird it is. You know you’re so they inspect everything because you nailed it. Inspection is the key. So we inspect everything before we know what we have to do. We got to spray the lawn but we’re inspecting that long to think that spot doesn’t look right. I need to know that if it has a change bug if that shrub color doesn’t look right you know inspect it and then follow up on it because we know that it’s not going to go away on its own. We can’t depend on chemical. And what a lot of the companies are doing is depending on the chemical and even the client thinks that it’s we have some super duper chemical. Our secret ingredient dude is knowledge. Having the understanding and then following up on that consistently and that’s what people think is is that follow up that we understand makes the difference on how we treat people and when you’re nailed that when you’re doing 15 to 30 clients a day you don’t have time to follow up on that. And I know my guys only or doing maximum on their biggest day. They’re doing maybe 12th GHB. But when they have that mix of Lauder or a metal six to eight is all they can handle in a day. So we give that individual customer a lot of attention when we’re on that property. Forty five minutes to an hour when the average company is there 15 minutes.
So those are the biggest things that differentiates you and I and from you know a large company to give that customer that service and that is that’s what I mean my guys going hey you know we haven’t had a chance to meet for a while. We got three guys say look I want to do a barbecue over the weekend get a pool bring the whole family together and you know spend some time together as a family. Because he part it up he says you know this is a family business. We’re all like family. We should all spend time together. And I think that’s vital that you you you spend the time on your people training them every week. But you you also spend time together outside of the business to do that and you don’t get that in court. I never expected that in court. I never had that in my you know my bosses tried but it just doesn’t happen. I mean it becomes about business. You know the business meeting and we’re having you just having a biased lunch for a business meeting. So that that’s a huge thing man. That that that ownership of pride that they know that they’re part of something bigger than just being a number or doing their job. So yeah I mean that that’s that’s huge bro. What you guys are doing and I think that’s a secret to why you grown in six years at a root per year because that that that’s just there. It’s just you can’t fake it.
I mean the thing is to you know we always tell our family when they’re here doing our Wednesday classes that listen you’re only as strong as you are we can as your weakest link. So right off while I’m here I’m going to give you everything I want you to be the best. I’m not afraid to be the best. Right. I want to have you with me come and talk to me because if you’re unhappy with something just like the client they tells me I don’t know what’s going on I can’t fix the problem. So right take is like I’m working too many hours I have too many stops I’m too you starts talk to me so I can fix it because I’m I’m happy to go out there and help you do yours. You just have to communicate with me. And communication is the key. If you’re not communicating that missions if you’re not keeping the consistency if you just lay back to us to say oh you know what I’m only here because frankly, we’re going to do a great job. You think this is going to be like well why am I carrying on the load of yours right. And we can both carry together and do it more efficiently. So that’s your system.
Yeah. What are the things that you know you and I are constantly in sync is where we realize that it’s that communication with the client with with the staff you know good notes I harp on my guys always Hey guys good notes because I got a lot of customer. Your guy was here and you know he he didn’t solve the problem and I’m looking at the notes and he says Wait he just put a note that he’ll be back next week. You got the report. You know he could he could have not been there not seen it when he puts it in his notes he’s on it you know. So I trust me he’s on it. He’s gonna take care of you. Those are the things that you know everybody’s got to carry. You know each other I try to create an environment where in a lot of the big companies is the way they’re compensated. And it’s about their route. It’s not about the company or the customer. It’s about their individual route. And what I teach my guys is listen. One day you might have to take somebody else’s customer and deal without or beans and areas and you’ve got to collaborate. We just did a big collaboration job over the weekend where we took on this drug rehab center that was infested with bedbugs. Friend of mine service we facility never said anything to us and we just got in there and all of us went in and went.
Fifteen man hours to took to do this and we did it in five hours. We wanted to get these guys by noon and have them ready to go back into their beds by six o’clock so that they can set up and clean and and not have to be out until 2:00 in the morning. And it’s just building that team collaboration that you don’t have with a lot of the larger busy because everybody’s you know it’s your thing. You can’t get sick if one of your guys gets sick. Somebody’s got to carry that load. You got to have that. And that’s the difference. Man that’s a huge difference between a slot small local company that everybody is going to chip in to cover each other’s back and not just you know it’s my thing my dear you know and you’re stepping on my toes is no whenever I need you you should be able to call your other friends a Hey listen I got an issue and a job I can’t solve it. I need you to I need your input on this. That that’s massive bro. Let me let me ask you this because going into some of the stuff that you do because you determined. I see you do the spraying for termites and stuff like that. I don’t know anything about termite I don’t do termite. I’ve been wanting to but I’m I’m on the edge because we’re still growing so much and I haven’t seen the need to do it and I and I would like to do it personally for at least a year before I train anybody to do anything.
Talk to me about the termite work that you do for your clients. Some of the big issues that you see in the industry with termite work and we both I think know Paul Belo which is a master in keeping you out of jail and doing what’s right for he’s an advocate for the client. I’m an advocate for the client. I’m not an advocate for the industry. I think that too many times with this I know that you talk about things that don’t help the industry but I’m here to protect the client to protect to train up technicians to help them grow. Everyone. I want everyone to be the best and the guys that are underserved. I think in the industry are the small clients are the small companies and then the client gets hurt because marketing is really good for a lot of the big clients but talk to me about one of the major problems that you think the termite industry has. And for other people not to fall into this but also for the client that’s listening to this that what can we do there what can we do to help.
So the biggest thing that I see all the time is people will look for like the smallest. So you know as well as I do talking you know solution turns by filtering versus turbot or is going to be a complete different cost. Well I think the Internet within the 100 hours to do a trench and you’re charging me a thousand dollars. OK well what is trying to use it compared to what I’m using. So the biggest thing is that a lot of times people hear cheaper and they think oh this guy’s better this guy is just trying to make another dollar. That’s the right answer certainly the case. That’s one of the points that kind point is that a lot of clients down here think oh I have a concrete block house I’m never going to have termites with you know we’ve seen time after time you know shout out to Paul Bay or he does help us you know substantially with pictures with information keeping us out of jail as you said in another shot at the start. You know Chad you know him and I are always communicating yeah he’s hook me up with the devil or 80. You know. Right.
So now I’m not having that I’m not having a dig as long am I having to drill holes every 12 inches I can do it every 18 inches just because you know he communicated that with me to break down the cost. If you’re a homeowner then like do I need to write projects and then I say well I can’t answer that question for you because I don’t want you to think that I’m a salesman that I’m trying to sell you something. I said think of it like this is like car insurance OK. You’re probably a great driver. What happens if you get 18 year old Billy who’s texting and driving and texting on his phone and his rear ends you know that insurance. Are you going to be happy. The answer is no. And then I will yeah. We have the advantage. Well same thing with termites you’re going to be protecting your home with it with a boundary. And what happens if the term activity you don’t have any protection if you’re done you’re paying out at a cost because homeowner’s insurance isn’t going to cover that for you. So a lot of times people say I have a concrete block house. You know they’re never going to eat my house. Well you forget what your roof is made out of all your trust they’re made of wood.
You know you can get dry with termites and you can get subterranean termites down here trim on the garage doors. Baseball is one of the biggest thing we’ve always seen with termites down here. A lot of people just like blind to it. Other companies what they’re doing is they’re just doing bombs without charge you for an apartment complex with the forklifts they’ll charge you a well we’re going to charge 100 hundred. Here and we’re going to give you a term my bond. And we’re just going to charge you every year. We’re gonna give you one inspection a year. And to me that’s like highway robbery because you’re not putting any kind of boundary down there. You’re just doing a visual inspection once a year versus you know are where we’re doing in any system either Trey Lama our central commander or whatever reason at that time and we’re doing it for inspections a year once every three months. An issue when they call us so we take care that we take care out of pocket because we put our money where our mouth is. If you’re concerned about the product that you’re putting out the training that you’ve given your technicians and what you’re doing out there you have nothing to worry about.
You can tell it exactly like this and put your money where your mouth is this and if the termites come back so a life free I’ll come and treat it I’ll make sure that you’re good to go. And I think that’s that that’s a huge point. You know with the bonds they’re just doing a visual inspection. Oh you’re good you’re good for another seven years. Well ten years down the road you just kind of does not live with them. You have termites. What do they do at that point. Oh well your liability just eliminated your policies that then you’ve let a goat contact another competitor business where you’re no longer doing preventative maintenance you don’t correct it. You have to drill. You have to trench you got to foam walls. And I just did it for a big box company I cleaned up the mess with them not too long ago a wood frame house with stucco on the outside of the wood and there was active subterranean termites in there. And what they did is they just this all the businesses that didn’t do any warming of the walls. They didn’t do any of the mud tubes. So when his client called for a second opinion after he already had this work that I said Man this is bad.
And I showed him the actual mud to throw coming out of the drywall. And he said What is this. I scratched it off. And you can actually see a sub sticking his head out of the ground. Yeah I saw that point he is like man I’m really gypped. But you know a lot of times a homeowner thinks oh well this is a box big box company they’re going to take the best care of me. That’s not always the case because as you said at the beginning of this we have to do thirty two stops a day and a big box company. You know there’s no way that you can expect a technician to do a trench for termite treatment on a home in 30 minutes to an hour. If he’s doing a trench with active subs now if you’re doing preventative you know as you’re doing you know termite inspections on your base stations would take you know 15 30 minutes depending on how clean your stations are and how clearly dotted or notated that they are on the property. So little to you know two big things that we see down here all the time.
Yeah I know I I I’ve and I’ve had several conversations with a couple of other guys that do termite.
I mean there is no way that you can do a real termite inspection in 15 30 minutes sometimes depending on the style of home whether there’s a crawlspace or not whether you’ve got to treat you’ve got to go into the attic and look you’re looking for the signs you know you can’t. And a lot of it here in Miami the big thing is just tend to you know do tenting for dry wood termite now. So people will wait five six years and then all of a sudden they got this termite they’re going to tend it but they don’t look at the damage.
You killed the termite if you tent it but you don’t look at all the damage that they’ve done to your roof and now you have might have 10 15 20 thousand dollars worth of damage to the home and in some cases one hundred thousand dollars that. All of the sudden the company is saying oh no that’s pre-existing. We’re not responsible for that because you can’t prove that that didn’t happen 8 9 10 years ago when you inspected that home. So you’re inspecting the home and you’re looking at it you say how did we not see. Well you were there 15 20 minutes see that the end and the other thing is with a lot of these home inspections. They’re not real inspectors their sales guy selling a contract where you know they’re going in and saying Oh I’m here. Yes we found termite damage. Well did you find any like termite that term I could be six years old. So sign a contract. We’re going to get you set up and then they sold the country because these sales guys are on commission. They have to sell. I mean I was in sales I was in sales for 20 something years. I get it but at the end of the day you know did you sell the client what the client needed or did you sell something because you had to sell it.
And you had to meet a quota. And if you don’t meet your quotas you’re out of a job. I get that. But at the end of the day you know if you’re gonna come in and do an inspection and a client is saying if you’re a guy is there’s 15 minutes there’s no way he did it but if he’s not spending one to four hours they’re minimum. And what I tell people is pay for an inspect I got people calling me all the time. Do you provide free termite inspections. I don’t provide any termite anything. I don’t do it. But you I think get a company that’s going to do a termite inspection and charge you for it. It’s the same way that you got to take your vehicle in and put it on a computer and have a technician look at it for an hour and diagnose the problem. Nobody can do that for free. It’s not going to happen. So that’s one of the things that I have a big beef about that I tell people is you’re getting all you’re asking for a free inspection and you’re getting what you paid for.
You’ve got a salesman in the end we even with our guard just to give you an idea with our gardens. We don’t do garden consultations. We don’t do free estimates. We get free estimates over the phone and what it takes to service that property. But I got clients that spent seventy five or one hundred thousand dollars on their landscape. And you’ve seen those landscapes in Naples you’re there in Marco Island. You know that they’d cost easily seventy five hundred thousand dollars on those million dollar homes to do a landscape. And people want a free consultation. I know we charge one hundred and twenty five dollars an hour for multicultural consultation because I’m a specialist. I’m going to tell you and if you decide to go with me or not. Here’s the report you can give it to anybody and they can give you a grade. You know what you actually need but at least you know what you need. And if they’re not offering this then you know you’ve got the wrong company. So you know that’s that’s a thing man that’s constantly the free inspections is is it is a joke really.
Yeah and you know we started doing free inspections three bedbug inspections we were doing all this and what would happen is we’re doing free inspections on the price that we would charge and they would call it Company X Y Z and that’s it. Oh I could beat that price. These products they’re found here here. I think it works well. How is it fair that I invested an hour of my time to find the source to educate you on them for x y z to come in here and cut my throat.
You know right there. So with those bad apples that’s what happens to the company then they say well you did target for bedbug inspection last time as well. Yeah. Last time I gave you a bedbug inspection and you cut my throat. So how do you expect me to pay my bills and feed my family. If you’re taking all of my knowledge and giving it to somebody else compete with me right. You’re given a guy bullets to a gun to shoot you. And it’s an unfair battle.
Yeah. And again the customer loses a lot of the time both ways because they could they got a cheaper company and I said look the way they’re gonna do it is not what you’re asking for and you’re basically comparing an apple to an orange. You’re not even in the same field and you know if you invest in your clients and I invest a lot of time on the phone with my clients when we do a lot of consulting over the phone I can pretty much diagnose a lot of what we’re doing and how we’re different. And when there’s a doubt I gotta go out there and I say listen I’ve got to charge you for us going out and and doing this because this is not a service. It’s not an estimate. It’s an actual expertise that is required that I’ve invested 12 years of my life. It’s like you go into the doctor said I want a free consultation. Only charging me for writing the prescription. No doctor is going to do that. I mean no professional lawyer really does that except they’re going to evaluate whether you have a case or not but they’re not going to give you free advice. So professionals have to charge for the work that they do. That’s why they’re professionals and that’s what differentiates a professional from an amateur or a salesman that just wants a commission. Right.
So that’s what it here with the McDonald’s. So I like to think that a particular pest control you know you can have McDonald’s is the cheapest be the best but they’re going to get your order wrong. You can have an issue with it you can walk back inside and fix it whereas when you go to Chick fil A comedy they treat you like you’re a person with life. And when you get it it’s going to be right. The food is there. Their employees are always courteous. That is treated with respect and that’s right. I’ll take this as this. I was go into a house next year delivery systems that kind of deserves because they work in their own job harder differently towards you. You can have a future. So you need to take care of them the way they deserve to be treated you know. And that’s all we get is McDonald’s cheaper. Absolutely. But for a couple pennies more a dollar more maybe you get treated like a prison you get your order right and you get to get on the road and drive again where in that place you will have to. So that shortcut motocross is 30 minutes whereas the other one doing it you know the quality of the cars the only five eight minutes. So yeah you pay a little bit more but you’re getting the quality right.
Yeah. And as a small company like you and I are we sell an individualized service really. I mean we’re selling a personalized service for that client which you’re not getting a prepackaged meal and that’s the difference that we really are a local company.
We understand the specific things that happen that we can trade on because we’re in that market. We understand the weather. We understand the invasiveness of these species. There are things we understand that a lot of people don’t. And so you’re buying a specialized gourmet service. You’re not buying a prepackaged service that is sold to everybody whether no matter what it is. And that is a huge difference with a local company a small company that yes you’re going to pay more. I understand our costs are higher. We don’t get breaks from the big manufacturers. You know we don’t get kickbacks. You know we don’t get you know the the Association calling us and saying By the way you know we got you this great deal on an insurance. I mean we don’t get to buy in volume. We have to pay full price for everything our insurance is full price.
Our vehicles are full price our products are full price we pay super premium for our employees. I mean you know I start my guys to train in Miami at thirteen dollars an hour when all my competition is starting out at 400 dollars a week. You know that’s a train. You know we’re paying people 16 an hour as a as after three months when our competition is and they’re working 48 hours maybe 50 would when they’re pushing it. So we’re not overworking our people they’re not working 12 hour days up to Sunday. So we’re paying a super premium workman’s comp is a super premium for us. So we have to charge super premium service prices. You can’t get the Chick fil A for that 59 cent burger. I mean that’s fifty 59 cent burger. You taste like like a wet sock.
I mean I tasted one of those patties.
How could this better. It’s wet patties aren’t supposed to be wet. There’s a difference between being wet and juicy. So.
So you know you have no way to it. Yeah. So so.
So you’ve got to understand you know look people don’t have a problem paying for it for quality. Nobody has a problem paying for more. No no my all my clients are in the top 10 percent of the money makers. That’s who buys our services. No the reality is their doctors their lawyers they’re not going to do this themselves. That’s the reality. So. So you know you don’t have a problem spending three hundred thousand dollars on a bank Bentleys in Miami grow on trees. I mean when they go in all they want to know is when can I get it and what color I want it. They don’t care about a discount. They’re buying a quality service are our clients that want what we sell especially in the environment that we’re in the eco friendly business that we’re in.
It’s a premium services only to people in our county that know how to do what we do. That’s it. That’s our competition. And we’re both friends because hey we stick together because we understand that there’s plenty for us to do. There’s plenty of business for you because all the business I get I get from large companies people. They’ve had three and four large companies. I’m not competing against my small client. So this is why I can sit here with you have a conversation and have a conversation where I help a guy every week. That’s my competitor here in Miami say this is how you do lawn care. This is how you treat ships. I’m not taking his clients or not calling me and my clients are not calling him. I’m getting the business from the big box because they’re dropping the ball like flies and and that’s what we’re getting. That’s why we can stick together have Fellowship have these discussions and not be intimidated by each other because we’re really not competing we’re not going into each other’s homes. We’re I’ve never lost a business to a small guy really never. And vice versa. It hasn’t happened in 12 years.
It rarely happens. So you know Wasserman I think you’re doing great. I think you’re doing awesome. You know you’re young you know you I think you were always Walter I think you were always entrepreneurial. You just didn’t know it into you had to do it because you can’t you can’t drop the ball get fired start a business build five routes with five technicians. And be a loser and not be taking care of you kid. You got to be on top of everything as an owner bro. Because you’ve got to be paranoid. Everything is going out of control sometimes. It does. As an owner I have to deal with it. Things are cut. You know the weather right now is killing us. I don’t know when it gets rainy. We’re getting tons of calls and start moving in. You know it’s a reality of what we do and like I told my guys said Guys you’re gonna have to do a lot of this is their first year with us. You know they’re eight. It’s like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. We’re gonna have to move things around like crazy and we do it. And and so I don’t know.
You were always entrepreneurial. You’re you’re doing a bang up job dude. I mean you think about it you’re almost maybe 10 vehicles away from being on the PCC 100. Think about it. When you look at the revenue those guys are doing. I mean think you’re a third of away way there. That’s amazing. So.
So you can’t do that but by doing bad service I mean because I’ve got a sunburn the other day and you’re making me blush. You know some of those things that I’ve done but I would be it would be selfish of me to just sit here and say that it’ll happen because of me. I don’t I don’t like middle school going for 16 years. She had always held me down when I needed help. All right guys I’ve always been a hey you know what you have you take care for me. So for me to sit here and take all that I would love to but you know I have writers that in our family absolutely and you know without them you know without them having my back you know I will be able to do it. You know my my 11 year old son comes out with me and he sweeps the night or he takes pictures of your videos and he says hey you know I’m out here with my dad. You know he’s doing this is this treatment. And for me that really makes my day. My my father was very you know my father passed away and I didn’t get to spend that time you know with him that my son gets to stay with me. So I try to be there as my dad. And you know flipping his balance. I want to be a perfect boss. I want to be perfect. I want to be the perfect friend. Then you just never have time to really yourself. And like you said relax and get to actually enjoy life. And you know that’s when you do that well actually you know blossom into what you’re supposed to be.
Yeah absolutely you know I had the same issue with my dad. My dad died when I was five. So you know I was raised by my mom. Today I’m trying to you know I got my my little boy in karate class and I I spend a ton of time with our I pick him up after school every day.
I can do that now where I couldn’t do it five years ago because I was working I would get home and he would be waiting up for me at eight thirty at night so I can play with him because I got home at eight thirty at night and then I would put him to bed and then go back out to midnight and do a restaurant you know. And this is what a lot of people don’t understand that we have to go through his business owners that we’re juggling all this and you know balance to me is this is the way balance feels like most of the time. Like I’m going across Niagara Falls. OK. While it’s it’s you know while it’s raining and you know and and and it’s windy and I’m set on fire and I’m trying to juggle a child at the same time. That’s what balance feels like to us because we have to pay that price. And a lot of the business owners that are solo operators a lot of the time they don’t. They don’t grow Walter because they’re afraid of that. All the problem because there are problems with dealing with employee issues. I mean they get sick they have their own problems they have their own marital problems you know all that affects the family when you’re in a family you know what one person is down. It affects the whole family. And how do why as the leader keep all this when I’m dealing with my own issues too you have problems. You know your kids get sick you know your wife has problems.
You know everybody’s wife has problems but you know she could hear. OK.
But you know it’s you know it’s a whole you know it’s a human business. We’re not you know and when other things that we have to deal with in this society Walter is that I keep going to keep talking a lot about this because we we went from a microwave society to an instant download society where everything is mostly solved on an app. And guess what you can’t solve pest control on an app. It requires a human person to be there physically. You can only be in so many places at once. You can only service so many people and people forget this. The customer forgets this that you can’t instantly download this. This is this and problem that took six months because you had bad companies dealing with you didn’t deal with it. All of this stuff isn’t going to get solved in three days.
Right. That the German Roach. Yeah we got a lot of that has been going on for two years now. Yeah. And they have us come in for them in the initial pay. It can take anywhere from three to 10 applications that I can’t predict. Yeah I’m going to react to our product solutions and which we try to deal with with the owner to spot us. So no flushing no smoking. Right. Certain areas. And it takes a little longer to get done. Yeah. This is what once we do that. And then I I did everything I was ever going to get rid of them. Thank you so much for having us right where he wrote. The thing is you just have to do it. Have some patience. You know they say Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Yeah. Same to you two years to fix guarantee at that time and at least half to solve your problem but I’m going to keep coming every single two weeks until your problem is perfect. So you’re on my back and I’m going to carry you as long as I have to till we make it to the price point.
You know what. At the end of the mission yeah.
The only thing that’s living in the home is the people the pets the plants and the pests everything else is dead in that home and they’re having the emotional issues because they’re dealing with the stress and a lot of people getting really emotional with this and the technician is has to come back and back to the past is living it doesn’t want to die. Nothing that’s living wants to die. So it’s we deal in a human disease. This is a human. This can’t be solved with software. This can’t be solved with you know we have to interact with all these dynamics.
And I think that is the beauty of what we do is we get to deal with the people. We do have to do a lot of psychological work and a lot of ministry work with people to help everybody along. And I think that’s a small company has the opportunity to do that. Anything you wanted that I didn’t ask you that you maybe want to tell people. Tell the pesky audience. Tell the customer. Any last words that you want to have. It’s all yours.
You have four other geek fans out there.
Never give up on yourself even when you feel like the whole world is caving in on you. You have to keep consistency. You have to keep moving forward because if it’s raining in here you know. You know Frank is what an ideal for it may be right down the street and not on the next week. So you keep listening to that rain you’re gonna make it to a dry area so you may have had a day where you may be lost 300 hours in production or you know what the next day you might gain 13 dollars in your contract vehicle. So don’t give up on yourself if you really care about. It’s not just a way to pay your bills it’s not just that if you care about it you’re passionate about it. Keep pushing forward. You always going to make it to the consumers out there listen to everybody.
This is the time to your house. Try to get a technician that you can not a salesman someone’s going to try to teach you any and everything where a technician is going to give you a solution to your problem. Listen to three people. I agree different companies need to talk to you more. See who provides a better solution see who fits your needs budget their need their wants. You’re going to find the perfect fit for you. We we’ll just accept any client off the street. But we see that they’re not going to be good. That was we may recommend him to another company that wants most of the clients but our family our clients aren’t as members of their family. So you have to be a part of our family. We have that everything we want listen you understand. But take this much you understand it’s a one year service agreement you understand it’s a one time it’s a clean out and then I guess you have OK perfectly if you’re happy with that then sign if you’re not. Then I can leave a written estimate and you can call somebody else for both of nine times out of ten they all of that. So don’t just go with the first person that you thought to get the quotes. Take care of your investment. You know you’re buying a million dollar home three hundred five hundred of our home librarians. Then you know find the cheapest person in the service that you don’t want.
Oh I call this guy. He never showed up. Or I had an issue with them roaches. Two years later I’m still dealing with a monster fancy. All right. We’ll do that. You’ll have to settle for that just like you wouldn’t settle for just any doubt or you wouldn’t settle for just having a mediocre family. Keep pushing yourself get the best. If you want to understand that it comes with a premium. I have been in this industry for 13 years. So you can’t just hire some Joe Schmo to come in and compete with me because it’s unfair. It’s like he’s fighting with one hand tied behind his back. I’m going to win because I’ve been doing this long enough. So with that experience comes time. My time is worth money just like a doctor came to class the said. My doctor just understand when you’re hired. It is not just a bug I break something. And it was that easy to be friendly and I had one hundred people. Oh just thought to also buy that home defense that I keep everything answer. Listen I could buy a home defense and keep us out of my house it’s my sprain. I’d be a millionaire. There’s no way to do it because you have to find the source feed it and solve it and it’s more natural. Yeah it is. You know keep in mind when you are not just listen to the number listen to the service that they’re providing.
You know Absolutely brother. I agree man. I love having you on. I love your enthusiasm. I love your spirit. I love how you’re just rocking it and you’re you’re an inspiration for a lot of guys bro because a lot of guys like me that got into this late we’re older bro.
We’re getting tired. It’s it’s a lot of hard work to do what you guys do. So I appreciate you. Congratulations to your wife or for its bro. That’s a that’s a big woman that has to be putting up with you and having faith in you and pushing you forward makes all the difference in the world. Enjoy the kids enjoy everything and bro I hope I can when I go up there to the west coast where you’re at. We can hang out and grab some lunch or something. It’s a lot of fun.
Have you in your family ever come down and you want to pay for a hotel. I’ve got a spare bedroom here. You guys are all in this thing. Your brother. No pressure. You have your own privacy. I’ll give you a bathroom. You’re always welcome in my house. Anything you guys need. We love treating our friends like family bro ever down. You ever want to. I’ll send you my address. You’re more than welcome to stop on my own. We love to have you guys in our food.
Thanks brother. Appreciate it man. I know I know you’ve got to get back on the road. So we’re going to call it quits. Oh by the way do you have a Web site.
I do. You can find us at Walter Salazar pest control dot com. We’re also on all social media platforms wants to solve our pest control. If you want to know some more interesting things. Many of the guys out there are Facebook social media their biggest thing. You fight us on what’s the sales actually or not. I’ve helped people from Alabama from Mississippi Carolina. And if these people are looking for leads I hook them up with our network of solo operators professionals that are going to treat you like a person and not just like a number or anything just like our page follows. We’re doing some giveaway.
Sweet DEAL MAN. ALL RIGHT SO I’M GOING TO LET YOU GO TO GET BACK TO WORK AND GO GO BUILD ANOTHER ROUTE AND AND WE’LL TALK SOON. Man I appreciate you being on so much. Thank you.
Have a great one Sea ya I guess.
All right. Take care. Later.