Why Plumbers Should Network

[John]: And you’re listening to Ask The Experts Radio Show on Talk Radio 1190. I’m John Wolf and we have one of our favorite guests in studio today, Roger Wakefield of texasgreenplumbing.com and then we have another guest, Chas Wilson of Master Networks at masternetworks.com. Let’s dive in first with Roger, how areyou this morning?

[Roger]:  I’m doing great John, how have you been?

[John]: I’ve been great as well, and tell us a little bit about Texas Green Plumbing. What makes you special?

[Roger]: First of all, did you have a good 4th of July?

[John]: I had a great fourth of – well actually, I did a car repair you know, on 4th of July. But it worked, so that was good.

[Roger]: Well if you did a car repair you saved yourself money, so it’s not a bad deal. You know, Texas Green Plumbing is a full-service plumbing company and I normally tell people Texas Green Plumbing is a lot like any other plumbing company. But we’ve got certain things that we specialize in, but to be honest the more I look and learn about other plumbing companies, we’re not a lot like them. We do a lot of things different and you know, probably the biggest thing that we do different that I’m realizing the more I talk to other plumbers about coming to work for me is the training programs that we have in place to train our plumbers. And most plumbing companies, they don’t invest in their guys and to me the people that pay for it the most are the end-users, the customers.

[John]: So I’d say your plumbing company is more long-term interested not just grab today’s quick buck and let it fall where it falls.

[Roger]: When my guys come in what we like to look at not just the problem, but what caused the problem and if we can determine what caused that problem, because if we can determine what caused the problem for, say your toilet, chances are it’s also causing problems with your washing machine, your ice-maker, your shower cartridges and valves and things like that all through your house. Your entire plumbing system, the water line anyway, is all tied together and then you’ve got another system to the plumbing, your sewer system, it’s all tied together and when you start running into problems with one or the other chances are it can affect multiple parts of that system.

[John]: I feel like I live in the Amityville house.

[Roger]: I’ve been in that house that seems like.

[John]: Yeah I’ll bet! Chas – Chas Wilson, what brings you in today? What – tell us a little about Master Networks.

[Chas]: Well Master Networks is a business/ entrepreneurial networking organization. So we organize networking groups with entrepreneurs to network. It’s a systematic approach to networking, right? We create a system, a process where people come together to get to know each other. That’s where I met Roger. We met Roger through a Master Networks meeting where we come together as business owners to connect with each other, to learn about each other’s businesses and then to share referrals, right? Everyone says network, that’s what you need to do in business, you’ve got to network. But most people don’t really know what that means or have an approach to actually do that and so I started in the real estate industry for years and I built that through networking, but I wanted to actually have a real – not this way where you just go schmooze or you go just, you know, hang out with people but really network in a systematic way to grow my business that worked so well that people wanted me to start building a networking organization and so that’s what we did.

[John]: Just not to get too far off topic, but what did you do to make it different? I know I’ve been to plenty of business mixers after work and it seemed like most of the time people were just smiling and pretending like they were interested in your business but they just want to tell you about their business. What did – what do you guys do?

[Chas]: Sort of the speed-dating concept?

[John]: Yes, exactly!

[Chas]: Right. The difference for us is we wanted to be – where that feels very transactional, it’s like what could you do for me today? What we wanted to create was the relational aspect. What we understood is if we could build relationships long-term, enhance that with business education, very much like Roger said he trains his people. Well if I’m gonna network with you I want to make sure you’re highly trained and that you know when I send a referral that’s – I’m putting my name behind it, that you’re gonna be able to service that well, take care of that person. So it’s relational enhanced with business education, then the referrals come. It’s as sort of this put it on the back end, the referrals will come and that that was our motto and then we of course we built the whole structure around that.

[John]: Great. Getting back to the plumbing side of things, we’ve had 100 degree days already, it’s just mid-90s now which seems really cool compared to 101 or 102. It’s amazing that it’s only gonna be 97! What are the biggest problems at this time of year? Besides just an air conditioner going out.

[Roger]: I think just due to the weather, you know, we had Roger Williamson from Williamson Foundation in here last month and he talked about it being dry and the foundation shifting. It’s also – it’s a big time for real estate agents and real estate agents, you know, I’ve got a form here from from TREC and TREC talks about hydrostatic testing. Which I wish they’d have talk to a plumber before they did it because it’s not actually hydrostatic testing, because hydrostatic testing increases pressure above what it’s designed to operate at and just this last week we got called out actually got called out a week ago Friday to do what we call a sewer/water test. If you are buying a house, if you’re a Realtor representing a buyer, if you know anybody buying a house in the Dallas area and I recommend that every Realtor do a sewer/water test. So we went out to this house last – a week ago Friday, we did a test and found out that the water line held, the sewer line failed. So all that means is that there is a leak in the sewer line somewhere. We got a call Monday morning saying “Roger the flippers plumber went out there Saturday and tested it again for the third time and this house passed. He’s coming back out at 11 to show our buyer that it passed. Can you get a plumber out there?” Well I don’t like for people to tell me that – me or my guys do something wrong, so I actually got one of my other plumbers and we went out there. We showed up at you
know 11 o’clock, 10 o’clock whatever time it was and this guy shows up he’s like “look I want to use my test ball, I want to do the test, I don’t want y’all touching this, yada yada yada” So we watch him go through his steps and when it’s full we take a picture of it and set the timer and it leaks and he says “okay look I’m gonna test it again because I’ve tested this three times I know it holds” So he moved his test ball to another location in between the double cleanouts instead of at the exit side, which is fine it didn’t matter to me. He tests it again and it leaks and this guy came up with a hundred different reasons of why that test could have passed three times before. So when he did I ask for his card and it just kind of struck me as funny and that’s why I brought it in today and I’m not gonna tell you all the name of the company or his name or anything but right under the name of the company it says “Plumbing done right the first time.” If a plumber is coming back three times to test something to tell you it’s right every time, he’s not doing it right. And then the other thing is down under the name it’s says “slab leak specialist” and from his master number this guy’s been doing this for 15-20 years. Guys, my thing is all plumbers don’t train people right, all plumbers don’t do things right and one thing that I’ve learned through Master Networks is people buy from people they know, like and trust. Know what plumber you’re going to use before you ever have a plumbing problem. And it’s not just a plumber, an electrician, an HVAC guy, whoever. Don’t wait till you’ve got an emergency and try to find somebody on Google. Know who you’re gonna call in advance. Slab leaks are a big thing right now, but representing a buyer in a house purchase to get the sewer and water lines tested, that is one of the most expensive problems they have. I represent, I tell that to everybody and now I’ll get off the soapbox and we can just go ahead and talk about plumbing in general.

[John]: Well actually you mentioned any type of trade like this plumbing or HVAC or auto auto work being done. But what I found over the years is I can’t expect anyone to be perfect every time, except you of course.

[Roger]: I strive for it! I hate to say that. I’m a perfectionist.

[John]: Actually we all strive for it, I think. I hope. But the integrity is just as important. So if somebody says the – your brake lines are fixed and then you get out on the road and they’re still skidding around and going into the intersection as long as they back it up that’s all I can ask.

[Roger]: Absolutely.

[John]: And what kind of guarantee, warranty, whatever comes with your work, TexasGreen Plumbing.

[Roger]: It’s funny because I tell people I do a lifetime warranty on the workmanship of what we do. Meaning if I do a solder joint and you’ve got to call us back 10, 20 years later and that solder joint fails. If we do it right it’s never gonna fail and there’s not many people that will say that about their work. Now, do parts fail? Absolutely. We see that all the time in this industry. But the quality of our work I will guarantee the quality of our work forever, because I do work with these guys, I know what kind of work they do and I trust them.

[John]: How many plumbers do you have underneath

[Roger]: Right now I’ve got four plumbers and I’m looking for some so if anybody in this industry or anybody on the radio guys, if you know of a plumber that – and here’s the deal I don’t want a plumber that’s sitting at home right now eating Cheetos, you know, watching TV all day long thinking about, you know, looking on Craigslist for a job. I want a plumber who’s one of the best plumbers in the industry, he works for somebody else, he makes good money. I pay my guys very well, I have great benefits, I’m looking for the best plumbers in town, not the plumber that’s unemployed sitting at home thinking “gee I’ve been fired from my last four or five jobs but this sounds like a great deal.”

[John]: Right, so now we’re talking plumbing we’re talking networking and we’re talking recruiting. It’s quite a show you bring with you. Switching switching back to Chas Wilson again of Master Networks for a second, what do you – what would you say to someone who’s looking to expand their business, as far as how to get involved with your organization?

[Chas]: Well it’s really simple I mean, the interesting thing is I was listening to Roger, he just brings such a wonderful wisdom to this show is that he and I actually the truth be told her in the same business. We’re in the business of finding more business. His service and my service are different, what we provide. But we’re in the same business of finding more business. So if an entrepreneur is listening to this show, their business is finding more business. Lead generation. That’s the business they’re in, but having a systematic way to do that is what we provide. So the easiest way to do it is to go on our website, masternetworks.com, find a local chapter, come visit us, see if you like the fit, the group, the energy that’s there so that we can come into your world, you can come into ours and then we can promote you like we do Roger. When someone calls me and they need a plumbing issue I’m going to call Roger because why? I know him, I like him, I trust him, we’ve spent time together, that’s what we do at Master Networks.

[John]: Sounds great! We’re gonna take a little break here, again we’re with Roger Wakefield of Texas Green Plumbing. 

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