What Should You Expect From a Broker?
You’ve heard about PDR brokers, usually along side hail storm sites. Well, what should you expect from a broker, or what should you do when YOU broker a deal when your local stuff gets hit with hail.
Transcript:[Music playing] [00:00:00-00:00:03]
Male Speaker: Let’s talk a little bit about hot glue specific for paintless dent removal. What kind are you using? You know, you can get a decent pull from any type of glue – I mean any. You can get some stuff from the craft store. You can get stuff from Walmart. In fact, I used Walmart glue for a long time before I really got into the manufacturing side of PDR, Walmart glue was my glue. You know what I thought? All these colored glues are fancy ways to trick me out of money. How much better can they work? Well, to some degree, I was right. Some of those colors suck and they’re there just to take your money.
However, once I opened my eyes and got some of the samples of glues that were the real deal – glues that really did work better – I thought, “Holy Smokes, here I am again, doubting the technical progress of our trade.” Just because something looks different, it doesn’t mean that it’s not better. It doesn’t mean it’s a scam. So I started using colored glues. I found two that worked amazingly. Green glue and the pink glue that we stock – and we stock both of them on blackplaguepdr.com – but I wanted a glue that worked even better than that.
Now, can a glue work too good? Yes, superglue and liquid nails work too good. They will take the paint off the car. That’s not what we’re after. There’s a fine line of maximum adhesion but not going over the top and ripping the paint off the car, putting us further back than we started in the first place. We want to leave the paint on the car.
So we need something that doesn’t have maximum adhesion for a hot nail glue. There’s a lot of glues out there that are made for construction and manufacturing that’ll make this glue look like it doesn’t work, our glues that we use. But we have a specific purpose and we need to find the maximum adhesion we can get out of those conditions and that’s what we’ve done with our new line of glue, Tab Weld. Tab Weld is the new standard for PDR. You don’t think it can get better because what you’re using works now but if you want to function at the highest level, you’ve got to squeeze the last 2, 3, 5, 10 percent of performance out that everyone else is leaving. It’s just like racing cars – everything has to be dialed if you want to go faster than the other guy.
And if you want to a better repair with less pulls or do a repair that someone else said couldn’t be done, you’ve got to have the best tools. And glue is so stinking cheap for how much you use. I did a $600 repair the other day. I was on it for four hours and I used two sticks of Tab Weld the whole time and I glue pulled the whole time. It’s not a lot of money to put in and there’s almost no other expenses in our business. Stop being short sighted. Buy the glue that’s going to make your life easier and profitable.
Don’t forget that that’s what I’m all about in this business – making more money. And if you’re using the right tools, you’re going make more of it. I can promise you that. You’ve got the right lights, you’ve got the right tools, you’ve got the right tabs and the right glues and you know how to use it all, magic happens. So that’s what I’m trying to tell you about. There’s a glue that works better than what you’re using now and it’s called Tab Weld. Check out the website, tabweld.com. You can bop yourself onto our mailing list right there so you can be notified the minute we are releasing it. But we’ve got some exciting stuff coming out with that. You are going to be impressed, I promise you. And if you don’t like it, I’ll buy it back because I use it every single day. I can’t have enough of it. So buy it, enjoy it, make more money. Tabweld.com[Music playing] [00:03:36-00:03:40]
Shane Jacks: Good morning and welcome to the PDR college podcast. I am your host Shane Jacks, and, as you can probably tell, without the music and without my West Coast brother speaking into the microphone before me, we are without one part of the tandem of terrificness and that is Keith Cosentino – he is out this week and sadly – He’s okay. He’ll be back next week, I am certain, but what happened this week to Keith – we know he’s had some misfortunes in the past with stacks of money falling and it took him a few days to get all that cleaned up. But the reason he’s not here today is a little bit personal.
A couple of days ago, the poor guy dropped his spleen while spider fishing off the coast of Australia. Sport spider fishing. And the guy – I mean, he’s a nut – the guy just goes after adventure. At any chance he can get out there and do something crazy, he’s out there. So they’re looking for his spleen and he dropped it – kind of bounced around in the boat and went out the drain hole down the back of the boat there. They don’t think a shark got it or any of those spiders he was fishing for. Yeah, looking for his spleen. They’ll get it back shortly. The guy’s an animal.
But, anyway, I am glad to be here even though Keith, spleenless Keith, is not. I am happy to be here with you and we have some things that we want to talk about today. Most of you know, Keith is a 100 percent retail guy. He does very little hail. He does hail that comes into his area from people traveling, but he doesn’t do any traveling, so to speak, to do hail damage – to repair hail damage – so we’re going to go over a hail damage topic today, something that we don’t do a whole lot of but sometimes it’s needed. So don’t mean to alienate you retail guys because some of this actually you can use, also. But what I want to go over today is what is expected of brokers or what are the things that are expected of brokers?
Maybe you are a broker or maybe you are just a local guy who has brokered a storm. It’s going to happen. Eventually, you are going to be a broker with a hail storm and you are going to have to bring guys in from out of town. Now, bringing guys in from out of town – from other areas – is a tricky situation. No. 1, the trust factor. How do you know what you’re getting into? You go by the word of other people that are in the business. Or you have worked with this person before – and so it’s easy then. You know what their work is like, you know what their work ethic is like and you know that they probably won’t screw you over. But other than that, you have to go by the words of some of our other fellow techs out there, people you know, friends in the business and that can get tricky sometimes.
But it’s tricky bringing guys in from out of town because you don’t want them to hate you by the time they leave. And that has very little to do with how you act and your personality and things like that and it has more to do with you being straight-up with what’s going on in the situation you’re putting them in, in this hail damage situation. And so we’re going to touch on that later – that’s actually my last point being straight-up about everything. But what you want to do, you want to bring guys in, if it comes to that point and you want to make them happy. That’s the bottom line.
These guys are coming from out of town from who knows where and they’re coming to help you repair this hail damage. And they’re coming to do it, not because they like your town and they think you’re a cool guy, they’re coming to do it to make money. That is the bottom line. If that’s not why they’re doing it, then they need to have their heads checked. Unless you’re working in an exotic locale, like Chickenlips or Pumpkintown. If you’re working in an area like that, we can understand that you don’t have to stay busy all day long, every day – the sights and scenes around these two areas, Chickenlips and Pumpkintown – lots of pumpkin patches in Pumpkintown, as the name would designate.
Let’s talk about four things here that I have that is expected of brokers – or four things that are expected of brokers – and let’s break them down just a little bit. And these are not in any order of significance or importance, so just listen and we’ll have all four by the end of our period here. No. 1 is paperwork. Paperwork – what do I mean by paperwork? Invoices. You must have invoices for the guys to bill out the cars that they’re working on. Now I know this sounds trivial and it sounds, “Well, duh, that’s a given.” I have been on a storm myself where it took a couple of days to get the billing, to get the method that we were going to use to do the billing more than anything.
So what happened there was it was a big storm with a pretty big local company. They’re a big local company, actually – employed 10, 15, 20 techs – I’m not really sure how many. But they’re a big local company in a big city and I went to do some hail and we were doing a wholesale job for them at a rental car place and guess what? Two days in, we still weren’t settled on how we were going to bill these cars out as far as the paperwork we were going to use. That’s just not acceptable, because once we were two days in, we were many cars in and had to go back and eventually had to change the paperwork that we had started with.
Well, the paperwork that we had started with was really just writing down the cars on a piece of paper and then transferring them over to the billing – the method of billing that they chose to use two days later and that just wasn’t ideal. I sat in my hotel room doing that. And it’s not that big of a deal but having it hammered out before the guys get there it really shows that you’re on top of things, it shows organization and it shows that you care about them getting paid. It feels kind of sketchy when you’re writing VINS and stock numbers down on a piece of notebook paper that you bought at BestBuy or bought at the OfficeMax or whatever – that feels a little scary.
So have the billing down. And it doesn’t have to be a paper billing; it could be a paperless system. Okay, and on that, if you go – If these brokers use a paperless system and you’re a local guy and you use one of the apps for doing your billing and that’s what you want to use, you better have some iPads – you better buy some or you better have access to yours for the guys to your iPad to the guys that are going to be there. The system needs to be consistent and the system needs to be available.
So that is for invoices. Estimates are the same way. Have plenty of estimate sheets. If you’ve got a storm that rolled into your area and you’ve got six body shops – and you brought in 12 different guys to man those body shops – and they show up at the body shop and they’re having to ask the body shop manager to print out last year’s State Farm matrix, that is not a good thing. Have the estimate sheets ready. Again, this can be paperless. It can be on an app, on a system also, but have it readily available for everyone that is going to be working for you at every possible shop position wherever if you’re going to want to make this thing seamless and if you want your guys to actually be writing these estimates.
And another one – this seems kind of trivial also – is paint pens to mark up the cars. They may not have them and they may go through them so have those available. So whenever the guys roll up to the shop, you’re brokering this new storm and they’re at XYZ Body Shop in Chickenlips and your new guy – your out of town guys at XYZ Body Shop in Chickenlips make sure he has paint pens to mark the cars up with, Windex to wipe it off with.
Give your guy – what I’m saying here is give your guys the tools to estimate and to bill these cars. It’s really not that difficult to even beforehand have this hammered out. If it storms on Thursday and the guy’s there Monday, you can have all this fully set in motion and printed from one of the major box office supply stores out there and be ready to roll by Monday. So it’s not really that hard, not that big of a deal. So No. 1 is paperwork.
No. 2, workflow expectations. And we’re going to break this down into two different segments, body shop and retail shop. Okay, body shop workflow expectations. One thing that needs to be taken into account, as far as having workflow expectations at a body shop is, before it even gets started, you need to try and figure out exactly how much the body shop can handle without backing up. If this is a combo storm and they’re going to be putting roofs and hoods and deck lids on and wiping some rails and, if it’s not a big high-volume shop, they are not going to be able to keep up with even one dent guy.
They could probably keep up with one but if you put four to six dent guys in this shop and it’s not a massive shop, man, your workflow is going to absolutely hit the wall and we don’t want that. What we want is constant workflow for your guys that are here from out of town to help you make money. You want them making money, not only to make them money but to make you money. If they’re not making it, you’re not making it and that is for certain. So we’ve got to take that into account. Make sure you understand your body shop’s limitations before you bring a bunch of guys in.
Next, what you want to do at a body shop whenever you bring guy in, let’s say you think, “Oh, I’m going to bring four guys in to help me handle this and I’ve got X amount of dollars coming in.” I would get with – this is what I would do – I would get with the techs that are coming in, ask them – each individually – how much gross and PDR do you need per day or per week to make you happy and to keep you fed, keep you constantly working?
You’ve got, let’s say Bob is coming into your storm and along with two other guys – Bob, Larry and Rick. So you ask Bob, “Bob, how much gross do you need per day to be happy?” Bob says, “I need $3,500 a day gross to be happy.” All right, write that down, $3,500 a day gross, Bob’s happy. “Mark, how much do you need?” “I need $6,000 a day gross for me to be happy.” “All right, Mark, $6,000 a day gross for you to be happy. Keep doing that and you need to bring that gross in per day. You need to schedule that gross per day and make sure that the body shop can handle that. You want to keep the techs happy.
Now, who coordinates with the managers to schedule that much work? Let’s say you’ve got three techs and the total gross needed per day is agreed upon and it’s – let’s say $15,000 to make it easy. Those three techs have decided that $15,000 gross per day running through that shop is enough to keep them happy and keep them working and keep them busy.
Who coordinates that with the manager of the body shop? Remember, this is a storm. You are probably running more than one shop at this time. Are you going to be the one that dictates that – that coordinates with the managers, who set up this $15,000 per day, or is one of the techs responsible for setting up that workflow? So you need to think about that. Who coordinates with the managers to bring the workflow in? This needs to be settled before any work is done.
Another thing that needs to be settled before any work is done is who is doing the R & I? Are the techs doing the R & I? Most are not going to want to. Are you going to bring somebody in? There’s also the possibility that a body guy there – If it’s an all PDR storm – except moldings, of course – but if it’s a pretty much 100 percent PDR storm, you can probably, in one of the body shops – if it’s a bigger body shop or even a medium-sized body shop – you could probably find and talk to the manager of that shop and find that one guy in there that’ll do all your R & I for you. Other than that, you’re going to have to bring an R & I tech in. Who is responsible for bringing that R & I tech in? Are these techs going to be the ones who choose the guy to come in or is it going to be you, the broker? We’ve got to figure these things out before anything gets started.
How about estimates? Who writes them? Is it going to be the body shop themselves – the body shop employees themselves? Is it going to be the broker? Is it going to be the PDR techs? And, going along with that, this all needs to be told to the techs before they come. It’s hard when you get to a storm and you’re like, “Well, I didn’t know I had to do all that.” For X percent, this all needs to be laid out in the beginning, needs to be upfront. So who writes the estimates?
What about dealing with adjustors and who is sending in the supplements? I understand the PDR tech is going to have to do at least mark on the original estimate how much more they need but who is actually sending that supplement in? Is that going to be body shop management? Is it going to be the broker? Or is it going to be the tech themselves and is that supplement being sent in? Are they going to be sent in in a timely fashion? That is huge so you’re not waiting around.
Now, retail shops, it’s much the same on a retail shop as it is with a body shop. Minimum gross ticket in PDR per day or per week – you still need to get with your techs to find out how much they need gross per day or per week – you can break it down either way – to make them happy and to keep them fed and to keep them from trying to find greener pastures. Who’s going to do the R & I? You’re not going to be able to find a body guy because you’re in a retail facility at this point. So you’ve got to figure out who is going to do the R & I. What about parts? If the dent techs are doing the R & I and it’s agreed upon but then you’ve got parts – you’ve got chrome moldings and what-not that most PDR techs are not adept at replacing.
I’m sure they can do it but it takes time and I’m telling you, if you’re a broker and you are telling your – And you’ve got a retail shop and you’re telling your PDR techs that they’re going to be doing the R & I and they’re going to be doing the trim replacement, whew, man, in my opinion, you are losing money. They are definitely losing money on this unless they are a really slow PDR tech and then you’re losing money. Man, I’m telling you, get an R & I guy, at least one R & I person in there to take care of that. You may think, “Well, it’s just another expense.”
It’s really not and you can pay them cheap enough and you can keep your dent guys, your PDR guys, rolling without stoppage. Once a PDR guy stops and has to stop and do moldings or put a headliner up or whatever, it completely – for me anyway – it completely slows my roll. I mean, I am – it’s like you’re turning off a switch. Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I just hate doing that stuff that bad that it turns me completely off but I’m just not an R & I guy. I don’t like doing it. I don’t like replacing moldings, especially, so do yourself a favor if you’re a broker and make that R & I something that is separate from the PDR techs themselves.
Okay, what about ordering parts also when the cars come in? The broker might not always be there at the retail facilities, so if they come in, we need to nail down who is going to order those parts. Not just who’s just going to put them on but also who is going to order those parts. That should fall on the hands of the broker or the manager who is managing that retail spot – ordering the parts and ordering them in a timely fashion and getting them picked up or having them delivered, whichever is feasible. Again, we’ve got to figure out who is going to deal with adjusters and supplements. Who is going to send the supplements in and who is going to talk to the adjusters once they come out to look at this car that has a supplement on it? These things need to be hammered out beforehand.
No. 3, the pay expectations. Kind of a biggie. This is why we work is because we want to get paid so what we need to know is when do the body shops pay? If you’re in a body shop situation, when do the body shops pay? And then, you need to tell the techs when the body shops are getting paid and that needs to happen day one. If I roll up to a storm and it is April 3rd and the first check from the body shop –
Some of my body shops here, one of my body shops here, they pay monthly and they pay on the 15th of the month for the month previous. So if I show up on April 3rd and work the entire month of April, I will work all the way to May 15th before I’m going to get paid for April. Now, if this is a problem, really, the broker should have enough money so that he can at least pay, partially, what the techs have done. If not, he may have to – you may have to, as a broker, you may have to go to that body shop, like the one that I have, and ask for a special exemption and get paid a little earlier.
But you need to be straightforward with when you’re going to get paid, hence, when they’re going to get paid. So don’t beat around the bush on that. Just tell the truth and be straight upfront about it. When the retail customers pay, well, that’s pretty self-explanatory. With supplements, it’s not that self-explanatory – supplements can take a while to come in or they can be cut on the very same day that the adjuster is there. So, brokers, you need to be upfront about that.
And that is actually my last point, is being upfront and I’m going to state it as this: be upfront before the tech gets there, be upfront during the storm, and be upfront after the tech leaves. So be upfront before the tech gets there. Don’t lie about the damage. Don’t say it’s a gravy storm and it ends up being Jackson, Mississippi 2013. Don’t do that. You’re not helping anyone but yourself. Not only be upfront about the damage, be upfront about the space that you have to work in. If you’re a retail shop, don’t say, “I’ve got this massive 18,000 square foot shop that I can put 40 cars in or whatever.” No, just be straight up. Be straight up with what they’re coming into. Be straight up with the money, the percentages that they’re getting, be straight up. Be straight up with the workflow that’s coming in and this is all before the tech gets there.
Now, while the tech is there, during the storm, be upfront there also. Maybe there’s a glitch. Maybe something happens. Maybe the payment doesn’t come like it’s supposed to. Be upfront with them. Don’t beat around the bush. People like the truth. They don’t like to be lied to. Also, if you foresee them having to leave XYZ Body Shop and go to ABC Body Shop because of workflow or because of other issues, give them as much notice as possible.
It’s nice for us to know what’s going to happen in the near future. Literally, most of the time what happens to me is – and sometimes it can’t be helped – “Hey, pack up your stuff. You’re going over here.” It’s like, “What? I’m not even finished with this car.” “Okay, finish that one then pick up your crap.” And then you’ve got to go across town. But be upfront. Let the guys know this as much prior to it happening as you possibly can and it’ll make it a lot easier on you and the techs.
And be upfront after the storm. Are you going to bring them back again? What kind of issues did you have with them? Share with them. If you had something go wrong, share with them, “Hey, this is what I did not like about what happened at this storm and this is what I did like.” And maybe both of you can learn from that. So just be upfront before, during and after the storm with these techs. They’re going to respect you more for it.
Now, I know that was a quick – I think it’s the quickest one we have ever done, I bet, sitting at just about 25 minutes – but that was quick. But I wanted to give you guys, if you’re ever in the position to be a broker or if you are a hail tech and you’re wondering, “What should I expect out of a broker?” Here are some tips to help you. Is it comprehensive? No, it doesn’t cover everything but it covers pretty much all the important aspects there. So listen to this again and, if you get in a bad deal and you don’t think it’s going the way it’s supposed to, hit this episode up again. Make the broker listen to it – record it and put it on a CD and slip it into his truck – whatever you’ve got to do to make him listen to it.
Guys, I’ve enjoyed the time even though it was solo today it was pretty fun. I hope you’ve learned something. I hope you go out and do nothing but get better.[Music playing] [28:05-28:29]
Male Speaker: Are you trying to stay on the cutting edge of paintless dent removal when it comes to your tools? Well, if so, you need to make sure you have two things in your arsenal. One is a Shane Jacks Jackhammer Blending Hammer. Find it at blendinghammerpdr.com. If you want to learn blending, we’ve got an awesome tutorial to go along with the hammer right there on the site. You’re going to love it. You’re going to learn something and get better and make money.
In addition to the hammer, if you are doing any glue pulling, you need to have the Black Plague Crease Tabs. It’s a six-piece crease pulling set. The two largest are absolute monsters. They are going to pull out collision damage like nothing else you’ve got available. And the smaller sizes are going to be for the normal, everyday kind of doors – minor, minor collision dents and a dog leg and a bottom of a door. I’m telling you guys, it is going to change the way you do your repairs when you have the cutting edge tools and these are two of them. Blackplaguepdr.com. Blendinghammerpdr.com. Check out the sites, guys. Bring yourselves into the 21st century.[End of Audio]
Duration: 30 minutes