Monday, September 15, 2014

The Toothless Roofer

Before we get to "The Toothless Roofer" I'm going to give you an overview on what this blog is and what this blog is not. What you will read actually happened. Some of the names will be changed to protect their ignorance. Others will be modified just because we want to. Others will be altered to keep them out of the limelight. (Heh. Heh. If we can call my little blog "limelight".)

First off, Jack is real. You want proof? You can watch him on his "Two-Minute Tuesday" video blogs. ( Know how we came up with that name? It's a two-minute video sent out on Tuesday. Pretty clever, eh? (A little Canadian lingo for you, eh?)

Bruce is real. You have to trust me on this. I am Bruce and will be the author of these blogs. You can see my mug shot on various Bakerson websites. But, you will not see me in the Two-Minute Tuesday videos or any other such medium for that matter. I prefer to be under the radar. Besides, I have a face for radio and a voice for blogging. You have to trust me on this. 

And, this will be a semi-monthly blog. Or, is it bi-monthly? That is an interesting question. Let’s review that for a moment. If a "semi-annual sale" occurs twice a year and a "bi-annual sale" occurs twice a year…huh? Wait a minute! Let me go look that up. Geez. What do you know? The dictionary says the bi-annual and semi-annual are the same thing; twice a year. BUT, it also says that bi-annual is every other year. How can we have it both ways? Well then, what is bi-monthly? You know, way back when I was in 2nd grade we celebrated the bi-centennial which means 200 years. So, if bi-centennial is every other century (every other 100 years) then bi-monthly must be every other month. The dictionary says that bi-monthly is the same as semi-monthly, which is twice a month. However, it also says it means every other month, which is NOT the same as semi-monthly, quite different actually. While you scholars who read this are fighting it out I am quietly publishing this blog twice a month. 

Now, to the tale of The Toothless Roofer. 

In the first months of our business I found the houses and Jack remodeled them. We were fixing homes to sell. Back in 2002 real estate in Phoenix was a quiet business. There wasn’t the hype that there is today. In fact, many of the homes we bought had been vacant for many years. And, vacant properties were common. I drove neighborhoods looking for deals. Jack managed the properties and was hands-on with the remodeling. The deals were plentiful and we could find and take down more properties than we could possibly fix and sell. 

So, what do you do if you can buy more houses than you can fix and sell? You flip them. What does this involve? Well, you will have to wait. You see, my next blog will be on how we got into the fascinating business of wholesaling - which is just a fancy word for flipping houses. It is a niche that is fast-paced, exciting and truly rewarding. 

Ok, back to the story. Jack was managing and remodeling a house. Some of the work was subbed out to contractors. And, one of our contractors was a roofer. He did great work and his price was very reasonable. And, he had a quirky sense about him. When he smiled he revealed a nearly toothless smile. As Jack puts it, “He has two teeth, and they’re both crooked." He is affectionately known in our history as “The Toothless Roofer”. The benefit, as you will learn, is much greater than roofs he put on our houses.

Before New Roof

Before New Roof

One day when working on the second or third job for us he asked Jack about our business. Jack told him what we do. He said, "Wow! My step-daughter works for a guy that does the same thing." And then he broadly smiled to reveal the row of two pearly whites. So Jack, being a natural networker, asked for the investor's name and number. The Toothless Roofer said he would find out and get back to Jack. 

Each time Jack would ask for the investor's number The Toothless Roofer would quietly say he forgot. After weeks of checking in, Jack finally got the phone number. Know what happened? Ha! You will have to wait and see.  My next blog will also cover the power of networking.  It's a wonderful thing! Don’t miss it.

Work Completed!

And that is real estate in my corner of the globe. Now, go back to what you were doing before you decided to waste a few precious moments to read my blog. 

Life. Often stranger than fiction. 


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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Bakerson Story

The year is 1966. The place is Minneapolis, Minnesota. More specifically, on the NW corner of 50th Street & Penn. A young man, Carl, met with an energetic and cheerful entrepreneur. On a Sunday afternoon shortly after moving to Minneapolis Carl was visiting with Ray. And.. well, here, let me have Carl tell you in his words:

“I visited with Ray about getting into the retail baking business. He recommended the best way to learn is by hands-on experience. He invited me to accompany him to the bakery to prepare his 'bake-order' for the next day. He handed me a bucket and asked me to fill with cream icing from a barrel. I said, ‘With what?’. And he said, 'Use your hand'. So, dig in I did and when I was done he said, ‘It looks like you’ve done that before', and offered me a job. I worked there from January 4, 1966 to June 1970.”

50th & Penn Location

Another baker there was Ben. Ben grew up in the bakery business and was said to be a very ambitious worker with a hunger for learning. Let's hear Carl’s experience of working with Ben: "Ben was the ‘oven man’ and he took great pride in it and he was good at it. But we also worked on the bench together. Sometimes we would race to see who could twirl the most croissants or be the fastest at something! He had a great sense of humor and was often very witty. The holidays were especially fun and busy, and I can remember Easter and all the eggs, little chicks and bunnies and hot cross buns… and of course he would always come up with remarks like 'it’s a hare-raising experience’, or ‘let’s get busy and hop to it’. 

Carl (second from left), Ray (middle), Ben (2nd from right)

So, who are these people? Well, let’s fast-forward and find out!

The year is 2002. The place is Phoenix, Arizona. More specifically, at a Starbucks at PV Mall in Phoenix on the NW corner of Tatum & Cactus. A young man, Jack, met with an energetic and cheerful entrepreneur. On an afternoon in September shortly after finishing up his work for the day at 2721 E Tamarisk, Jack was sitting down and visiting with Bruce about real estate. And on a napkin, a business plan was laid out. By October 1, 2002, a business was born and ready to buy houses. 

Carl, the man mentioned in the beginning, is Carl Martin, Jack’s father. Ray & Ben are the late grandfather and father of Bruce Wuollet. Carl worked with Ray & Ben at the Wuollet Bakery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ben and Carl worked together for nearly 5 years. Being that Jack and Bruce are both sons of bakers, a business name was born - Bakerson, LLC. And, that is how we came up with our company name. How cool is that?

Ray & Crew

A little housekeeping: This blog will share anecdotal reports from the field and real-world experiences through the eyes of the founders. We hope you enjoy these and realize oftentimes that life is stranger than fiction. We cannot make this stuff up!

So, sit back, relax and enjoy the stories in the life of Bruce & Jack and the whole Bakerson Family! You will see real estate from my corner of the globe.   

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