Catch Randy Martin on the #PirateBroadcast
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Russ Johns 0:02
Welcome to the #piratebroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings where you can expand your connections, your community. #Kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let's get this party started.
It's another Pirate Day. Pirate kinda Day at the #piratebroadcast.
Randy Martin 0:27
Russ Johns 0:28
The whole point is that we have these #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. I thought it would be really fun. A good friend of mine, and somebody that I've been hanging out with last couple of years, is doing some interesting things. I wanted to highlight what he's doing because there's a lot of opportunity out there that people don't even recognize that exists.
Randy Martin 0:52
Russ Johns 0:52
Sometimes when you create things, you have to actually see it to really understand. I have Randy, Randy is here with us today and we're gonna be talking about some industries that you may not even know exist. Randy, thanks for being here, man.
Randy Martin 1:12
Thanks for having me, Russ looking forward to it. I've been following you and it's pretty cool.
Russ Johns 1:17
It's always great to be hanging out with you. Also, I want people to know that Randy's from up north, he's, north of north of where I am, you know, north of Arizona. You're actually in the
Randy Martin 1:31
North of Toronto,
Russ Johns 1:32
North of Toronto. Okay.
Randy Martin 1:33
Yeah, we're in what we call Lake Country, or we call God's country. It's,
Russ Johns 1:37
Randy Martin 1:38
Beautiful up here.
Russ Johns 1:39
It's a beautiful area and i love Toronto. Toronto is an amazing place to visit.
Randy Martin 1:45
Russ Johns 1:46
I've been there a few times.
Randy Martin 1:47
Russ Johns 1:49
Now one of the things that I think is really important for people to understand, appreciate, I mean, you've been in the oil industry and you've been out on the rigs and you've been all over The world and doing amazing things and telling stories and things are something we could probably do all day long.
Randy Martin 2:08
Russ Johns 2:09
However, I know that I don't want to get too far down the path of where the industry is right now, because it's going through some changes.
Randy Martin 2:21
Russ Johns 2:22
However, I think what's really important is what you've done on the side of the oil industry, and how you evolved in it. I want to kind of go back to how you got into the industry that you're focusing on now. For those that and then share what that industry is because it's an industry that not a lot of people understand even exists and I think it's important for us to kind of do the backstory on that. I know you're a pro at tell this story, and I'd love to have an opportunity to have you share With this, Randy
Randy Martin 3:01
Well, an old good story start with I was eating a salad. Sometimes a little difficult in these times
Russ Johns 3:12
they're sitting me eating a salad.
Randy Martin 3:15
Yeah. Sometimes those good ideas don't come out. There's other ways to get there.
Russ Johns 3:21
How far back does this story go.
Randy Martin 3:23
Yeah, well, yeah, I was working on the oilfield and my dad started to get a little sick. Around 1992 I came home and because we do live in Lake Country, and we're only an hour and a half from Toronto, people have cottages there's thousands of lakes up here and cottages and people come up here for the weekend, spend the Weekend at the Cottage, they go home for them, back to work. Then, after that the wintertime gets pretty slow, pretty well, everybody. That's a certain age heads down south. For the winter, so these cottages sit empty a lot in the winter. Back in those days, there have been a lot of break ins and damages from tree and weather and rodents. People found out that I was home and we knew a lot of people at the lake that was near us. They said, Hey, would you mind checking in on our cottage and so we started a cottage watch business, and just just out of the blue and all of a sudden it took off. In the winter times, I just drive around on my snowmobile and check cottages and I got paid to ride my snowmobile around. The interesting thing was, people always ask me, how do I know you've been there? At first, we'd put a tag on the door and punch it with a hole punch, but really, that meant nothing. What I used to do is I go and check their place, then I would go in and pick up their phone call a long distance number where a fax machine would answer I would hang up and that would show up on their phone bill is proof that I've been there. It worked out really well. It was like Wow, people were in so word got out, and it just kind of took off. Well, then I went back to the oilfield and but I work on a rotation. I was working out of the country a month away month home, so I kept it going and had some friends that would help in between. It was a little extra money. It wasn't big money, but it was it was enough to buy a snowmobile and pay for all the gas. I got to ride my snowmobile for free.
Russ Johns 5:26
Randy Martin 5:27
Then, As the years passed in, my career was going I decided that it was time to maybe leave, and my wife and I just started, we decided to start this family business doing kind of looking after cottages and doing cleaning and, odd jobs. Then I was still working. Here's my wife at home doing this, and slowly we're trying to make my exit strategy.
Russ Johns 5:51
Randy Martin 5:53
It took off all of a sudden, you know, and and then a community like this and some people People can relate to this, you know, everybody and their dog, you know?
Russ Johns 6:03
Randy Martin 6:03
So word got out
Russ Johns 6:04
Especially their dog
Randy Martin 6:05
Especially the dog.
Russ Johns 6:07
Randy Martin 6:07
Especially the dog. Yeah. Sometimes you better friends with the dog then the friends. We started doing home watch again. We realized that people had gotten rid of their landlines, and everybody had cell phones now.
Russ Johns 6:25
Calling the fax is not necessarily the first opportunity.
Randy Martin 6:29
Yeah, you can do it from your cell phone was not really gonna work. We got back into it again. We'd always kept clients over the years. We decided that we needed some way to prove we were at that client's property. We looked at my son and I we looked at like 10 or 11 different software's and we had this login for this one and it wasn't really saving us time.
Russ Johns 6:57
Randy Martin 6:58
Being the kind of person that I am. I was like, Well, why don't we just make a software can't be that hard?
Russ Johns 7:04
Yeah. It can't be that hard.
Randy Martin 7:07
Yeah. Well, so I always tell my wife You know, we should have just took that money and went to the casino and had some fun because it just went, but it was really cool because I mean I can drill your oil in your backyard tomorrow, the hands down, but software I had no idea and boy did I jump in with both feet and boy did my eyes get open and then I have utmost respect for those guys that are coders.
Russ Johns 7:34
Randy Martin 7:36
What they do is up here, and the thinking and the planning and everything. what if you do this and that so we actually built a prototype using a software called Drupal. It's like WordPress. It was a guy that helped us with our website for the family business and he suggested we use QR codes. What we wanted to do is want to be able to prove to people we were there, do a report with comments and photos and then communicate with them.
Russ Johns 8:10
Randy Martin 8:10
We built this prototype and over about a year and a half. Our clients were like, wow, this is really cool. Where'd you get this? We said well, we made it. One of our clients had a place up here on the lake they have a house in Toronto and they have a place in Arizona, not far from you. They said well our home we have a home watch guy and I was like, You mean you have a home watch guy and go well, we have a guy that looks after our place when we're when we're not in Arizona and I kind of scratch my head and went home watch we called it cottage watch up here.
Russ Johns 8:43
Randy Martin 8:44
I started researching and I was like, holy cow. Look at all these home watch companies in Florida. Arizona. I mean, Florida's a mecca for home watch.
Russ Johns 8:54
Oh, yeah. Seasonal, the snowbirds come down. They migrate back to the
Randy Martin 9:02
Russ Johns 9:03
When it gets to be about 105 here.
Randy Martin 9:06
I sat down with my wife and I said maybe somebody else could use this. Long story short, I started doing a market study and I called up like 75 different companies. I would say 25 to 30% of them just hung up because they thought I was trying to see,
Russ Johns 9:25
Randy Martin 9:26
As their competition. I'm like, No, no, I'm up in candidates. I'm not gonna compete with you guys.
Russ Johns 9:31
I'm not going to bang on anybody's door.
Randy Martin 9:33
Yeah, We decided in 2013 to take the prototype and actually make a software and that's when it got difficult. That's when we realize, Oh, boy, we have no idea what we're doing. We found some incredible people, which some of them are still with me today. It's been a really cool journey. They've educated me mentored me. I sit in on call sometimes, I listened to the mic. I'm lost but having those people supporting you and being there all the way through the journey has been incredible. I can't thank them enough for helping us and we built a really cool product.
Russ Johns 10:13
Randy Martin 10:15
In a nutshell, what we do is we put a geofence and a lot of people don't understand what geo fences are, and it's just imaginary line on a map. Basically, we put a QR code at the property and what a cute QR codes were made by Denzil wave in Japan for a lot of people don't know this, but for their just in time inventory they'd be on because they don't stock purchase anymore. They arrived the day that they put them on the vehicle, so they were having trouble, where is it? Where's that? They scan the QR code in the factory, and it takes them to the URL to the website and then it shows them where their inventory so it was a really quick method, and then go went well, we'll just share this with the world. It's free to use. So we took that QR code, put it there. then when you arrive at the property and you scan that with your QR code, if you're not inside that geofence you're done. It won't let you in.
Russ Johns 11:10
Randy Martin 11:11
Not just anybody can scan it, you have to be approved through the system. Then once you prove you're there, then a checklist pops up and says, okay, roof, okay, windows, okay. We customize the checklist for conditional questions. In other words,
Russ Johns 11:28
Depending on the client or the property or whatever it happens to be whether they have a pool or not, no pool, garage, whatever it happens to be. Hmm.
Randy Martin 11:38
The reason why we did that is insurance companies are getting tighter and tighter on claims.Hurricane Irma was there. There's right now with Hurricane Irma, I can't give you the statistics but there's millions and millions of dollars of claims that haven't been paid. Part of that reason is when Hurricane Irma hit. People didn't get down there. For a month to go down and check on their place, they didn't have a home watch person.
Russ Johns 12:04
Randy Martin 12:05
what happens is down there, mold grows within 72 hours. They leak in the roof or they had damages. The insurance company would say, Well, did you have somebody checking on your place? No. No, I didn't or Yes, I did. Well, can you prove that, ones that don't use any type of software? It doesn't have to be credit. It has to be
Russ Johns 12:25
Some validation that somebody was inspecting it, and it was a reliable resource that was there in place.
Randy Martin 12:34
Exactly. If you couldn't prove to the insurance companies that you had somebody checking on your place, a lot of those claims were denied. You got people paying thousands of dollars. You'd look at the people that are doing homework. They're not doing their clients any justice by not having a way to prove they were there.
Russ Johns 12:51
Randy Martin 12:52
They just did a disservice to their clients, because they can't prove that they were there and there's been lawsuits over this They can't prove they're there. It's changed hurricane Irma, as bad as it was for people. It's actually changed our industry, which, technically we're not really an industry, but we were growing it into an industry. People are now aware of Geez, it's not a matter of if it's going to happen, it's when it's going to happen if you leave your place in the end, a lot of people have that fallacy that, you know, I'll It's never happened to me, so it's not
Russ Johns 13:28
Randy Martin 13:30
Florida for 20 years, but and then all of a sudden, this
Russ Johns 13:34
Well, that's the whole point of insurance. Insurance companies are, you know, looking out for their interest as well. It's like, you could, bust your own pipe and let it run for three weeks. It's like, there's all kinds of things that, you know, it's crazy. However, the other side though, I think it's important for us to mention is the fact that even if you have your neighbor and they're reliable, they come over here all the time and they check on your house and my dad, he lives in retirement community, he used to take care of lots of homes and you know, make sure the yard is okay and making sure that they're there their bushes are trimmed or any trash that blows by or anything like that is picked up and they check on the doors and everything to make sure it's okay. However, there was no proof or evidence that he was ever there. If the insurance company said hey, yeah, I have Dale taken care of it. It's like, Well, how do we know he was there?
Randy Martin 14:40
Yeah. We have a mutual friend. I don't know if we should,Diane is the queen of home watch and one of the most respected in the industry. Just because you own a home doesn't mean you can be a home, watch person.
Russ Johns 15:00
Randy Martin 15:02
You do get the neighbors doing a favor and that's awesome.
Russ Johns 15:07
Not gonna diminish the fact that people can help each other out.
Randy Martin 15:12
One of the neighbors of our clients up here, I've been out of the business, my wife, friends, the whole thing and because of the software took off, it's incredible. It's something that I never would have dreamt of. We had a neighbor of one of our clients and they said, Oh, you know, they asked us, how much is it and they, kind of go well that's a lot of money just because for you to come by and check her place. Well, what's the value if you have to fly back from wherever you are to take care of a problem?
Russ Johns 15:42
Randy Martin 15:43
Anyway, they had another neighbor you know, I forgot the guy's name but he's gonna check on the place. Well, he went away for the winter. He decided to go to Florida for two months. They had damage in their place and they come home and You know,
Russ Johns 16:03
I was in Florida,
Randy Martin 16:04
i was in Florida so yeah. It's a really, it's a it's an industry that's growing. It's growing fast. I mean I always relate to Florida because I have a lot of statistics for there. In 2014, there was 157,000 homeowners associations registered in the United States. 53,000 of those are in the state of Florida.
Russ Johns 16:32
Randy Martin 16:32
If you've got to, if you think of these gated communities down there, if you've ever been to Florida and same in Arizona, they're everywhere.
Russ Johns 16:41
Randy Martin 16:43
The average of 500 homes per Hoa, and if you divide that by 2 say, for seasonal residents, just as rough numbers, you're talking millions 1112 million potential clients down there so so home watch hasn't even touched into the tip of the iceberg yet.
Russ Johns 16:58
Well, I think it's also about Important, Randy to mention that north where you are, is is the opposite end of the equation, it's like you don't have a lot of frozen pipes in, in Florida. You get the mold. However, there's still the challenge of somebody coming home and having water running for how long. It's really a challenge and I think the bigger story that I want to tell here though, is to get people to imagine that right now in this in this challenging time we're going through is that there are industries that are here that just like yourself, you earn a little cash so you can pay for your snowmobile fuel pay for a snowmobile and it's a side hustle that actually grows into an industry and that's essentially what we're doing. I've done a lot of watching your dogs or how sitting make a tree yourself. plants don't die while you're gone, things like that.
Randy Martin 18:02
Russ Johns 18:03
You don't even think about it as an industry until it starts evolving and collecting. However, there are a lot of people that would love the opportunity to do a small business like this. I think one of the projects that we've been working on is expanding that out, so we can actually share that with people and so if you want to get connected, and you're looking for something, we're going to be sharing some things, I'll be sharing it in the chat in the windows and reach out to Randy and connect with him on LinkedIn. We can actually stay connected and continue this conversation because it's so important for people to understand that. Just get started something simple and be like, Randy grow. Don't be like Randy.
Randy Martin 18:59
We may watch A huge marketing mistakes and thank goodness our paths have crossed and other people that have mentored me. I wanted to mention this because I did have a long career in the oil field and I got to a place where I was a senior guy and I look back at that, and I went, geez I didn't know everything. I had the world's best mentors to guide me. At a very young age, I got a senior position at a young age and these guys saw something in me and just gave me an opportunity to change my whole life. I got to see the world for free and been to some interesting places. When I started my business I missed the eye. It's easy to run a business. I'll just get her name but a website out there and he ha let's go and yeah, and that's where that come up with my wife said we did all these marketing things and spent money foolishly without educating ourselves and Then all of a sudden the brakes went on when you realize, jeez we should have went to the casino is brought that money out the window. If I had to get a message anybody that is going to enter in something like this or anything that continued education.
Russ Johns 20:18
Randy Martin 20:18
Getting mentors and talking to people like you and Dan and other people that Carl has been instrumental in my life for helping new business and stuff is wow, don't forget that. YouTube is full of educational stuff. Those are the mistakes I made. Don't be like Randy. Right.
Russ Johns 20:44
Take parts of your story and add it to your equation, right?
Randy Martin 20:48
Yeah, the successful part.
Russ Johns 20:51
Well, hey, I've probably started more startups then most people even think about and it's that process of Testing, evaluating and failing and understanding. Okay, well, that's not exactly what I imagined it was going to turn out to be. It's an accumulation of experience that allows us to get wisdom and sometimes it's bad decisions to add to that experience. All right.
Randy Martin 21:18
Well, I always remember the movie outlaw josey, Wales and chief and George was in there and The one thing he said is always stuck with me endeavor to persevere,
Russ Johns 21:29
Endeaver to persevere.
Randy Martin 21:31
It always stuck with me. I never knew what it meant when I was younger, but now I get older. It's like, okay, we failed there. when I listened to guys and people guys, but people on your show, and you talk to people about, business and entrepreneurs especially, and the startups and stuff and one morning you wake up and it's like, the weather in Canada. It changes every 30 minutes, but oh my god, we're broke. Oh, look, we just got a check. Oh my god. We're broke again. Why are we doing this? Why are we continuing with this, but I have to share a story and we got to that point. We had a lady that had started she was in her 60s beautiful lady called me up love this software, this is awesome and saving us and they were able to grow their business by over 40% within one year because they couldn't take on any more clients. Because of the way they were doing their paperwork and documenting that they were there. It was just her and her husband and it was kind of an exit business here's they're gonna build it up and sell it and we didn't they did sell it which was awesome. They're retired now and I hope I hope Diane hears this and sees this one day.
Russ Johns 22:45
Randy Martin 22:46
Because she changed our we were ready to stop we were like, man, we've plugged so much money into this we're and what what are we doing? She called me up one day and said and I have a video on my website. I will leave it on that They're forever. She just she was in tears. She said, if it wasn't for your software, I would have had to close my business. Now. I was like what? She said, Yeah, my husband got really sick ended up in the hospital. I had to do all these home watches by myself. She said, if it wasn't for the software and being able to report and do that, so I could get in fast get out, do the report. She's I would have to close my business. That was it. Almost the old tears are rolling up. I sat down with Sandy and said, we just helped somebody.
Russ Johns 23:34
Randy Martin 23:35
If we can do that to everybody, then we'll then we'll keep plugging money into it. We'll keep going. That's what we did. I'm thankful for that.
Russ Johns 23:43
Yeah. Well, and I think that's a that's a life lesson too. It's like, we can't help everyone.
Randy Martin 23:51
Russ Johns 23:51
We can help someone. And thatt someone is going to make a difference and that's really what it's about.
Randy Martin 24:00
It comes back, because I'm coming after you. I know that, I've listened to all the people on your shows, we all say the same thing. Give it give, it'll come back.
Russ Johns 24:09
Randy Martin 24:10
Yeah, and just to kind of switch here to mention about home watches growing. There's a lot of people that retire, they have a good career. They're young, they've done their 30 years, 35 years, but what am I gonna do you know, what businesses out there? This is a cool opportunity. Home watch is a business that especially if you're retired and in a community, you've got up marketing right there. They're all your neighbors.
Russ Johns 24:38
Randy Martin 24:39
Then there's also businesses that there's, well we're talking seasonal residents, right?
Russ Johns 24:46
Randy Martin 24:47
Well, people have a business and they lose a portion of the revenue. Excuse me at and when the seasonal residents exit the only clients they have basically Are there clients that are still there? Also these houses are empty? If you've already got them, this is a great opportunity to add some extra revenue to your business.
Russ Johns 25:11
Randy Martin 25:15
I think it's going to change here in the next little while as you and I both know, for the industry.
Russ Johns 25:21
Randy Martin 25:22
Russ Johns 25:24
I think more now than any other time is, is an opportunity that people can think about how they want to how they want to live in these kinds of times, right? It's like if not everybody wants to go to the office and working in that environment and the flexibility and the freedom to be able to help other people out and make sure that their property is safe and make sure and it's not just homes that need attention, you know, there's there's bacon property. There's all kinds of things But it's left up to the imagination about what you could actually do. Then also like you're talking about you know, the companies that are here locally supporting other people cleaning companies, landscaping companies, handyman those are people that could add products and services to their inventory of offerings and assist some of these people that are leaving town because like in my community here, you go drive down the roads and in the summertime half these homes are empty, or they're sitting empty
Randy Martin 26:38
Well a lot of these people that you just mentioned businesses, They're actually doing homework, they don't even realize they're doing it they have access to the property they know if they see something while, they mentioned it to the homeowner, they're already doing it. It's just a matter of getting some training and we got to go back to the to the mentoring and the training I've
Russ Johns 27:01
Sherry said see the need and pivot.
Randy Martin 27:06
Russ Johns 27:07
Wendy is saying cool concept, Love it, Gabriel.
Randy Martin 27:14
Russ Johns 27:17
Randy Martin 27:19
Russ Johns 27:22
Hi Russ and Randy all the pirates in the world
Randy Martin 27:26
Russ Johns 27:26
ARRRR. I mean realistically, Randy, I mean, like you said, everybody that's a homeowner may not necessarily be a good home watch person. However, through these processes that you've developed over years of experience and things like that you're kind of a guide and a Sherpa to a lot of people that have wanted to start this process. You have the software, you have a business, you have the ability and the opportunity to help a lot of people with it. Are you thinking about Okay, what can I do to keep myself busy and create a little extra income or even a very good income? How does that process work? I mean, they get ahold of you. They go through the process, and then they can actually, get moving in their own neighborhoods. So
Randy Martin 28:24
Yeah, well and sadly, I've seen, many, many companies start, and then drop. The biggest thing, if I could give advice, don't worry about spending a little money to get some training. Don't worry about spending money on a little bit of software. It's a return on investment. It'll pay for itself because the ones that didn't do that, and the ones that tried to wing it, we got lucky. We winged it and got lucky.
Russ Johns 28:24
Randy Martin 28:55
There's, get the training. Get the understanding. Do your clients adjust this by understanding what you're doing. Don't just walk into somebody's home and wing it for a while, because, you might cause them some problems so that that's the only advice, get the mentor and get the training, spend the money, do it properly, you know, go with the Cadillac, not the VW.
Russ Johns 29:17
Randy Martin 29:18
Start out, right, because I have john Russ. It's sad because I talked to these people. I'm talking to four to five new companies every week. I try to give them that advice.
Russ Johns 29:32
yeah, well, hey, I really appreciate it, Randy. I know that we're on our own adventure, and we got things going on. I just really appreciate the fact that you you were willing to share this with us because I know there are so many people out there that are right now looking at and reflecting on what they're going to do next. I think this is, this is one idea that I though because you and I are kind of similar in the fact that we see ourselves opportunities, we don't see challenges, we see opportunities because we're not afraid to roll up our sleeves and get things done.
Randy Martin 30:07
Yeah, well, and thank you, Russ for having me on the show. I really appreciate it. You're doing an awesome thing here by sharing all these people's stories and stuff. I look forward to it. I look forward to it every day.
Russ Johns 30:20
I appreciate that. Thank you so much, Randy. For anyone watching anyone that is interested in the pirate broadcasts that there's always going to be an opportunity to share some interesting people doing interesting things because we're here every Monday through Friday 7am Arizona time and in fact, the entire month of May is completely booked. I'm starting to book June dates. So
Randy Martin 30:49
Russ Johns 30:49
I got a list of fascinating individuals to have conversation with just like Randy So thank you, Randy. It's a pleasure always and I appreciate you And what you're doing so let's, let's continue the good fight. All right.
Randy Martin 31:05
All right, man. Thanks.
Russ Johns 31:07
#Kindnesssiscool #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday.
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