GAIN THE PASSION
GAIN THE PASSION
Oct. 15, 2021

Shane Wenzel - Earn It, Don't Expect It. A Journey Through Life and Business.

Shane Wenzel - Earn It, Don't Expect It. A Journey Through Life and Business.

Shane Wenzel, President of Shane Homes Group of Companies located in Calgary, Alberta, joins Todd, Alyssa and Kelley for an informative and entertaining conversation focused on your life and business. 

Shane openly shares his expertise and vulnerabilities in many topics and discusses his journey through life and business as the namesake of his company, along with the pressure that comes with his name and having the title of President.

Follow Shane Wenzel on Instragram
https://www.instagram.com/shanewenzel
Follow Shane Homes on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/shanehomes
Learn more about Shane Homes
https://www.shanehomes.com/
Episode Transcript
https://www.successcoachingpodcast.com/shane-wenzel-earn-it-dont-expect-it-a-journey-through-life-and-business/#transcript

Find out more about GAIN THE PASSION Coaching
https://www.gainthepassion.com
Access past episodes and more of the GAIN THE PASSION Podcast
https://www.gainthepassionpodcast.com

Transcript
Voiceover:

This is the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast with host, Todd Foster, Alyssa Stanley and Kelley Skar.

Alyssa Stanley:

Hello everyone and welcome to the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast. My name is Alyssa Stanley, and I am here with co-hosts, Todd Foster and Kelley Skar. Today we have the privilege of talking with Shane Wenzel, welcome. We're so excited to have you here with us today.

Shane Wenzel:

Well, thank you for having me.

Kelley Skar:

Shane, thanks for joining us today. Man. I really appreciate your time. And I'm excited for this podcast number one, because it's, you know, we're both Calgarians of course, I've I've made a shift now back to BC, but you know, from the same town from the same city, and so excited to talk to a fellow calgarian you know, I heard this intro on a on a different podcast, Patrick bet David was interviewing one of his guests. And he the way that he started the podcast was really quite intriguing. So I'm going to, I'm going to try to, you know, start our podcast off kind of the same way. And so what I'm interested in, in, you know, we love it when our guests kind of talk about their background, their past and kind of do an intro, but what I want you to do is take us back to grade 10 and tell us the type of person that Shane was in grade 10 and why we would want to be friends with Shane and then kind of move us forward through your path and to present day.

Shane Wenzel:

Shane in grade 10, you know, was a wee bit geeky, but you know, acid washed jeans were in and you know, so we're, you know, so we're shirts with a bunch of images on it. And you know, I jumped on that train pretty good. But no, I, you know, in high school, I was probably, you know, I wouldn't be considered say the hidden crowd, so to speak, you know, I just kind of kind of kept to myself, I had my small group of friends. And, you know, we had fun together. You know, if you asked me, you know what, I was planning on being a homebuilder, then no, I had no idea like every kid at that age, you know, you had, you know, all you could think of is, you know, God, I gotta go to school tomorrow. Yeah. But, you know, you accelerate, you know, a couple years later, and a reality starts setting in where you've got to make a decision as to, you know, what are you going to do? Are you going to go to post secondary education? Or are you going to hop right into the workforce, and I ended up hopping right into the workforce, I started working with, with my mother, who has a market research company, and still does to this date. You know, just just working, helping out in the call room, in the evenings and, and, and during the day. And then after about six months, I came to work for, for my father, I worked under him as a as a marketing assistant and kind of learning, learning how the business worked that way.

Todd Foster:

So I'd like to ask a question for you, Shane, I noticed that it's called Shane Homes, which I'm assuming that it was named after you. Were you ever felt forced or pressured into getting into the company since the company was named clearly after you?

Shane Wenzel:

Yes or no? No, in the sense that it was never expected? Yes, in the sense that, you know, I know, it was always my father's hope. But you know, he wasn't going to I wasn't going to force it unless I actually had a passion to be involved with the company.

Todd Foster:

So when did that passion come along? Was it when you were 14? Or were you 10? Or did you come out of the womb and say, I can't wait to be a home builder?

Shane Wenzel:

I think anybody comes out of the womb that way Todd. No, it it really kind of hit me. You know, as, as we're not a we're a rather as I was in high school, but you know, this would be kind of a cool career because I was more creative, or artistic had more of that marketing background. And the rest I could I could certainly learn but coming into the company gave me an opportunity to kind of flex that creativity still. And honestly, to this date, I think my mom's still mad at me because I didn't pursue a career in comic book art, or in broadcasting, which is what she thought I should pursue.

Kelley Skar:

Well, you got the voice for it,

Shane Wenzel:

Apparently, yes. But yeah, she was disappointed that way. But I was I was more than happy to get involved with the company because I could flex that creativity more so

Todd Foster:

Though, the company was founded by your father back in 1979. It looked like there was a goal of selling 50 homes in the first year. And there were five that actually were sold, and took a couple of years to get there with your father running the company at the time and with his experience and basically building homes and marketing as well. At what point did you realize that he realized that was time for you to take the reins over?

Shane Wenzel:

I would say about 10 years ago because he was getting sick and tired of being in the day to day operations. And you know, I think, you know, like any executive or any leader, you know, you have a you do have a shelf life where you you just don't want to change anymore. You don't want to learn anymore. And I think I think that was kind of the the turning point for him. You know, he wanted to be more visionary. He wanted to work on different things within the group of companies and, and, you know, he felt I was ready, and I felt I was as well.

Alyssa Stanley:

So, Shane, I'm curious, and you just said that you felt you were ready as well. But I think anytime you transition within a business, there is some sort of period where you have to adjust and get used to your new role. Did that take a while? Or did you since you've been in that business, did you just jump in and take it over like a boss?

Shane Wenzel:

I, you know, I think it takes a while I, you know, I dove right into it, you know, I was certainly spending more hours in the role and, and learning as much as I could, but I think the biggest thing that I found was that the I'm a different leader than what my father is, you know, he jokingly makes the comment that his leadership style is that of a passive dictator, I honestly make make a comment that, you know, that my style is, is say, more, more collaborative, or I think the buzzword that people like to use now is democratic in a way. And, you know, because of that, you know, it requires different different leaders even below you on your executive team, because they're used to working with cow, they're used to working within his strengths and his weaknesses, and mine are completely different than what he is are. So it was a, I would say comfortably, it probably took about three, four years to make make a solid transition.

Kelley Skar:

So it under a dictatorship, it becomes quite easy to be able to, you know, mold the underlings to the new vision of the new dictator, right, because you're, it's either you fall in line, or you're gone. So I'm interested in the democratization of the leadership, you know, from the top down, how, how, from a leaders perspective, were you able to, you know, craft the vision, and bring those leaders kind of into that vision and get them, you know, kind of onboard with with the style and the way that you were going to lead these, this company,

Shane Wenzel:

It takes a while, because now you're you're trying to empower them to, to make decisions rather than always coming to you for the answers. And I don't mean you know, passive dictatorship for my father is a slight towards some that was, what was what was needed for a growing company up to a certain volume level. And, and as I transitioned into the presidency, all of a sudden, you know, the single family homes are selling about five to 600 a year, you've got a multifamily division, and you got a land division as well. Yeah, so I mean, what what he had started with was, was considerably smaller. And, and this is now considerably larger. But the the, the the only way I could do it was was to have leaders below me again, that, you know, I had had to empower to make the proper decisions, or I would, like I jokingly say to people, I would never go home, I'd be here 24 hours a day, you know, no one can be that way. You have to, you have to allow, you know, people to, you know, I guess earn their paycheck and earn their stripes, so to speak, you have to allow them to make those big decisions along with you.

Todd Foster:

Like to follow up on what you said about going home. Since this is a family run business. And we know dynamics and families are always fascinating in the first place. And when you're working really close, I mean, really close. And you're almost like two styles of leadership between you and your father. Yeah. How do you keep that going without not not visiting each other on your off time or avoiding each other in the hallways or because it sounds like most people, when you think about they think, oh, to be great to work and family, we love each other yada, yada, yada, and the reality hits. So how have you guys kept this together for so long?

Shane Wenzel:

You know, I guess because we've always got along, we have a good working relationship. But that's not to say that we don't, we don't end up butting heads. Of course we do. We we probably butt heads over something once a month. Again, you're you're dealing with the you know, the the architect of all of this, and you know, he's, he's still very passionate about the business. You know, but he, he can't understand why some of the things have changed. And, you know, I mean, with regards to a family based business, it's not for the faint of heart either. You know, working with family is, is probably more difficult than working in a regular business. Because we can't avoid each other. We do get together for dinners we do get together for special family events. So we do have to keep things real but it's it's tough not to buttheads.

Todd Foster:

What's the one thing you recommend to someone if they are thinking about getting a family business and making it successful? What's the one thing actually is two questions? What's one thing you should do and what's the one thing you shouldn't do?

Shane Wenzel:

The one thing you should do is come up with a code of conduct for family right up front. I learned that from a good friend of mine from From tech Canada, and really that just kind of outlines what, what the expectations are, because as you can appreciate in a family business, not every family member works out, and you're going to have to at some point in time, fire. So at least if you have a code of conduct in place, everybody understands what the rules of engagement are. And because of that, I think that makes things a lot easier when you're having discussions. But with that said, you do have to have those discussions quite regularly. You can't, can't just pass in the halls every, every couple of weeks, no, you have to, you have to sit down, and you have to talk. You know, communication is, is one of the most crucial things in a business, but it's more important than a family based business. You shouldn't do. Don't expect your family to be all your employees and your company. That is ridiculous. You know, I still believe that, you know, a family businesses are good, but you do have to separate family and business. So don't expect everybody in the family to, to come in and work and work especially as hard as what you're prepared to.

Alyssa Stanley:

I want to go back to what we're talking about when you're the kind of changing of the guards and you had to take over in a different environment and kind of change all that around, you used a really important word here, you had said that you wanted to empower your leaders to essentially lead better and step into their roles. I take that as you wanted to empower them to work in the community that you're trying to build, rather than dictate how they were going to come to work and how they were going to perform their jobs. And that's huge to me, because so many own business owners and people in leadership positions just Well, I'm the leader, and I'm the boss, and you're going to do this. And that creates such a toxic work environment. And it is easy to go in and be like, here's what you're going to do. ABCD do it report back to me, empowering them takes a lot more work.

Shane Wenzel:

Probably the smartest thing you can do.

Alyssa Stanley:

Absolutely. So if someone is in that same position, and they are sitting here thinking, Oh my gosh, well, I guess you know, that makes sense. I would rather empower those in my company that are leaders, but I don't know how, how would you describe that process of empowering someone rather than dictating them?

Shane Wenzel:

Well, in some cases, you've got to start over with different people. Again, you know, the people that that my father was used to working with weren't, weren't necessarily used to being empowered to, to perform their duties to perform their job. So in some cases, you've got to make the change, and you've got to hire the right person and hire them with with the right attitude in mind is that, you know, it may seem silly, and I know some people think it is, but you know, I use the example of, if I die in a fiery car crash tomorrow, can you take your job and run with it? Can you make the decisions that you know, that I used to and that you need to and keep this business afloat? Then I mean, I do that more for shock value just just to kind of imply to people as it you know, if I disappeared tomorrow, what happens then? Yeah, so they realize that, you know, I'm quite serious when I say that, you know, I I'm empowering you to make decisions. We're just, we're just going to have conversations quite regularly about it. You know, and I'm trying not to not try to step on your your toes, but I'm just going to be that kind of de facto coach in the background. And that seems to that seems to work when you're transitioning people that way or like I said, you have to hire different people who can work under you that way.

Alyssa Stanley:

Yeah.

Kelley Skar:

Well, we've got a few podcasts now without me mentioning Navy SEALs or military doctrine. So I think it's time to bring that back in conversation again. Anybody that knows me knows that I'm fascinated with with mindset and and is especially a Navy SEAL culture and, and this idea of what you're describing Shane, and decentralized command, right, allowing the people to make decisions on the ground in real time to be able to move the company forward. My think that if you have a leadership of a company, that are all tied in to the same vision of that company, it becomes very easy than to empower those leaders underneath you to be able to operate within that ideology of decentralized command convinced me that I'm wrong. I can't convince you that you're wrong, because you're absolutely right. I was I guess I was saying that more or less tongue in cheek Right. I mean, convinced convinced me that I'm wrong because I don't think that I am, but you know, I think it kind of begs that, you know, have a conversation around that.

Shane Wenzel:

You know, you're not wrong. You're completely Right. And to be honest, we we purchased the purchase the assets of one company because of that, you know, and I think it's the best example around that I have, you know, the owner of the company was, was the big cog in the machine. You know, he didn't have anybody behind them, he wouldn't. You know, he wouldn't empower anybody in his organization because he didn't have the people around him that he could trust. And what happened was that owner got sick with cancer and eventually passed away and that company, and all 73 employees were shuttled. Wow. You know, so that's how quickly it can happen. And this happened all within a matter of eight months. You know, so it's a it's a good reminder that, that you can't be that most important cog in the wheel, you do have to have other other cogs that way, if if one falls out, you can you can try to replace that, that that cog or that person, you know, and I'm no different as a leader, I can't be expected to, to be the oil and everything for the company. I need leaders around me that if something were to happen, if I was incapacity, incapacitated for a while that, you know, that they can pick it up, and they can run with it.

Kelley Skar:

Well, let's, let's fix the world right now. And let's just, you know, let's jump into politics little because I know that's one of your passions. And let's talk let's talk about, you know, how the leadership, I think, you know, it's, let's talk specific to Calgary for for a quick second, right now, the City of Calgary is going through a municipal election, the mayor of that city has been, he was in power for, what, 10 years, 11 years? And at the end of the day, yeah, 11 years. Yeah. And, you know, there are a couple of different people that are, you know, touted as front runners. But, you know, I've followed the election from from Kalona and you know, quite closely, and it seems to me that there really aren't a lot of leaders per se, in the group that are running, you know, give me give me an example of, of, you know, from a leadership perspective, what a municipal provincial state, you know, federal leader, some of the qualities that they should be employing right now, especially in 2021, to actually lead and inspire a populace as opposed to, you know, divide and, you know, potentially conquer, I guess, you know, depending on which way you want to look at things,

Shane Wenzel:

Well, it politics is, is somewhat similar and somewhat different than a business. And in my opinion, you know, when it comes down to leadership, at that level, you need somebody with strong communication skills, there's got to be someone who, who can really build relationships, because you're working with other counselors, and they're all from, you know, from different ends of the spectrum. So how do you bring them together? And, and make not only the most of your time, but make the most great decisions possible? You know, you've got to be able to help, I'd say, coach them, you know, kind of bring them along in their role and, and show them why your way is the better way, you know, but there's got to be, I guess, a strong, stronger background even in planning, because you are playing around with a city of 1,000,003 people in $4.3 billion budget. You know, it would be nice if if somebody there actually had had some understanding what a financial statement is, or a balance sheet. But then, you know, really kind of problem solving, and that requires tremendous listening skills, you know, that ties back to communication. And if you don't have that you don't have the proper leader. And, you know, we, we've been suffering from that for a while. So I mean, you have a new batch of people running for mayor, they're, in my opinion, is probably two or three of the top 10 that that have the ability to do that. But again, that all that all comes back to the composition of counsel, at least from my side of it, I can I can pick my executive and my managers, you can't there. I mean, that's, that's a that's a bigger challenge all in itself. So you've got to be able to bring people together. More importantly,

Kelley Skar:

Yeah, I think part of that problem is the erosion of ideas being brought forward and you know, coupled with the rise of populism, right, you know, and, you know, populism. A lot of people look at populism or populist ideology is being a negative. I think there's some positives to it. But ultimately, it's, you know, somebody standing up there talking about popular ideas that maybe some people are afraid to talk about, not necessarily having any sort of solution back behind that, right. So just throwing the idea out there, but without offering any sort of a solution is just it's it's noise. That's all that it is. And so I think you've got this rise of populist Right now across North America, if not across the western, Western Hemisphere, without real, any, any real solutions, you know, thrown against the wall to see if anything sticks all that we're all we're listening to all of our hearing from these so called leaders out there is that, you know, they're gonna throw this idea out there, you know, give you an example Trudeau not this isn't an anti Trudeau or pro Trudeau it's just a factual statement. Right. He campaigned on certain things to do with our electorate, and how people are elected in this country, not once, but twice. Right. And the first time he campaigned on it, he did nothing about it. The second time he campaigned on it was just recently. Now is he going to do anything about it? Probably not. Right? But it was this idea that he threw out there that's popular. And people say, Hey, I'm gonna like that guy or that girl, because it's a popular idea. But without any solution, backing it up, right?

Shane Wenzel:

You know, there is a solution. He just doesn't want to write it. Because it doesn't work out in his favor, you know, I just relate that to Okay, you just like to get like, right? We've talked about indigenous, indigenous people and what they have to do on their reserves for a number of years, I was another part of the campaign and nothing's come of it. But you know, with that said, I can pick on every political party that way.

Todd Foster:

I'd like to bring back up something you said about leadership, or business is like politics. And so, you know, politics, sports, whatever it is, we all have our favorite teams. And yet, in leadership in the company, you're making some popular decisions, and some very unpopular decisions based on how people perceive it. Also, there's a little bit of acting evolve, too, I think you have to be a character, you know, you have to sell the idea. And you have to market yourself. So I'm gonna go back to when you were helping your mother market, it looks like it's really helped you build in the company, not just now in the past. Also, in the future, a true leader, you brought up many things over and over coaching, it was a big one, right? And also empowering people. And so when you took over the company, or your name is as the president now, and you had to conform those people into changing ways they were doing things and have them buy into you? How did you encourage them that your way was the right way? And that the old way of doing things just need to be changed?

Shane Wenzel:

That's a good question. Well, I think the best one is probably is probably this, you know, and this was very end up changing people. You know, we had a module that we would call we called build in price. And our industry is probably one of the last few industries to put their pricing online for the consumer to see, I don't know why we're just we've traditionally been behind in in home building and development for for 5060 years. I had a great vision, you know, for building price, and we got it together, we implemented it and with the wrong people in place that got turned off about five years ago. Only now are we revisiting it, but with with new champions, new leaders, rather. And, you know, those are the people who bought into the vision. That's it today, the people who didn't buy into the vision totally, were from five years ago. And I guess, you know, I'll take the blame for that. Because, you know, I, I even knew at the time that they weren't buying into it, I was trying to sell them on the idea. Except, you know, they kept listening to the wrong people. They kept listening to our sales people who were sitting there saying, we're giving away too much we don't like it, our competitors are shopping us online. But why does every other industry do it now you have transparency and pricing through the biggest organization and Amazon. Now as a as a parallel, you have pricing available for new vehicles online. So we can't do this on home pricing. Because truthfully, we're 80% the same, we're 20% difference and the 20% really comes down to the values and the services provided in the organization. So you can't tell me it doesn't work. So here we are five years later doing the exact same thing with the different leadership below me, and they buy into it 100% and it's working out tremendously well.

Todd Foster:

So I heard you say is you had people buy into your vision, and the people that bought and the vision are there and the change of the guard. So it proves as something you said in the past that you need to fire people ever so often right? and assure you and you can't really change one you can possibly change their vision to match yours yet if they're not the right person for that right job. It's okay to fire that person.

Shane Wenzel:

Absolutely. It is. There's a there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. You know, his issue is even you know, I mentioned earlier on that my father has a shelf life and you know, and even he acknowledges that I have a shelf life in my role as well, at some point in time, I just won't be prepared to change. And that's no different than, you know, the the executive or the management or any of the staff members. They have a shelf life as well, they're they're happy, they're comfortable in their job and doing things the way that they always do them. And the minute you change it, they're either people you can grow with, or you can't grow with a model, and then it's time for them to go. There's nothing wrong with saying that.

Todd Foster:

Yet, it might be the unpopular decision at the

Shane Wenzel:

As well. I mean, we all have to make unpopular time, decisions. We have to do it at home, not only at work, but we have to do it at home.

Voiceover:

If you're enjoying this episode, please rate review and follow the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast on Apple podcasts,

Alyssa Stanley:

You know, this topic of conversation of whether or not to let people go makes me think of something I read several times. Regarding you and I don't know, you call it a mantra or a tagline from what it appears to me is something you live very firmly by and it's earn it don't expect it right.

Shane Wenzel:

Absolutely,yes.

Alyssa Stanley:

So I'm curious to know, is that something that is that like a thought process you developed? Is it something your dad taught you? Where did that come from?

Shane Wenzel:

That came from years of being in business. I came from, you know, dealing with hundreds of different people in different roles and and running into some who who just would sit the I guess the best example would be somebody on a career path who, who didn't get the job role they wanted in five years, and you're in two years, rather, let's use that as an example. Well, he expected that rule. And you sit there and say, but he didn't do the things that you needed to do to, to elevate yourself to to move up the end of that role. And consequently, they leave. You just you keep thinking of that it keeps going around in your mind and that's where the the tagline earn it don't expect it comes in, in the light, you know, you have to earn that, that promotion, you can't just expect it

Alyssa Stanley:

Is that something you use within empowering leaders, that's something you kind of teach because people can be as business for years and years and years, that doesn't mean they adapt the ernet don't expect it. So that's something that you make sure you help empower your leaders to understand.

Shane Wenzel:

Absolutely, yes, you know, they, they, again, we we, we communicate quite regularly. We, we have our monthly management meetings, we have our bi annual strategic planning sessions, but I have one on one conversations with, with each my direct reports. So am I the executive team every two weeks, and we might spend 15 minutes talking, we might spend an hour talking about, you know, what their goals are and where they're going. That's why I say you know, being a leader is also being a bit of a coach at the same time. Yep. But you do have to communicate quite regularly or, you know, I mean, something could go off the rails.

Kelley Skar:

Excuse me, I want to bring it back again, to the market research company that that your mother had. Now, was that a marketing company or it was just market research? Like you mentioned, you're on the phones in the evenings and making these calls? I'm, I'm imagining, you know, the call center in the Wenzel family basement, you know, or maybe she had an office? I don't know, it's kind of the way that you described it, but, you know, you'd said that your your passion for marketing was born out of that. So can you connect the dots for us a little bit?

Shane Wenzel:

Well, again, I've always had a creative side, but you know, being able to attach the market research side of things, just really quite kind of opens up your mind to the fact that, you know, your opinion may not be fact that, that you have to you have to pull people, you have to find out where, where they're where their thoughts are at and, and formulate, formulate the answer. And, you know, it may not be the answer that you expect. So that was the fun part about learning about market research. And, you know, I guess that's why I always get a kick out of when people ask, or when they come back with a different report used to do some of the first questions out of my mouth, or what was the methodology? You know, what size was the group? What size was the sample? You start going through it and you sit there and you catch people sometimes because they don't expect those questions. Now, but I'm also you know, because of that knowledge, I'm able to sit there and say, well, that's bullshit. You know, you didn't do it properly. So of course, you got the you got the answer that you wanted. I'm looking for the answer that people are prepared to give when when you're not leading them in a certain direction.

Kelley Skar:

Right.

Shane Wenzel:

Yeah. So that was a valuable tool, a valuable lesson for me to learn and I still apply it even today,

Kelley Skar:

Right? Well, I mean, from a marketing perspective, you have to when you're Multan, running a multi million dollar company. You have to understand the numbers. You can't Just go off of a gut feeling and and think that this is going to be, you know, good for the marketplace when you know, potential research could show that it's going to be an absolute flop.

Shane Wenzel:

Right? Well, I mean, go back to my comment about building price for our industry. I knew that that was valid. That was something that people want to 13 years ago. And it stayed on there are internal surveys with our customers all that time. And it never changed. It's just, you know, the numbers of people who wanted this kind of transparency just kept growing and growing and growing. So why wouldn't we accommodate that?

Kelley Skar:

Do you think that you were just too early to market for that? Or do you think it was just you didn't have the right leadership in place to make it successful? Like was I guess? Well, I guess the greater question is, was there pressure coming from inside the industry to shut you guys down and saying, we want to keep the information held close to our chest?

Shane Wenzel:

Well, I would agree with the first two, there was there was internal pressure. And you know, it was maybe too early to market where the opportunity came in, again, is over the last 19 months during COVID, where people got stuck at home during lock downs. And they didn't matter what age group you were in, you learned to shop online more. So shopping for a new home online, are we going to get people to buy single family homes online exclusively? No, that will take time. But I can honestly say that we've had four of them over the last 16 months now. Where people didn't even go into a show home they just made they made contact with us online, pick the model, pick the lot. And we did everything right down to color selections in our design center with an iPad. There are people who are prepared to do that, you know, whether it be fear of, of COVID and transmission that way or they just, they like the convenience of it,

Kelley Skar:

Right? Well, I was gonna, I was going to try to tie in some social media stuff, like from a marketer's perspective. You know, oh, seven, you know, Facebook, I think I got onto Facebook in 2007. Twitter was shortly thereafter. I don't have quite the following that Shane Wenzel does but you know, from, from a marketing perspective, what are your thoughts on social media and, and marketing and business building? Considering that you've got kind of influencer numbers on some of these different platforms?

Shane Wenzel:

It's a requirement moving forward. You know, I not only key I hopped on in 2009, 2010, you know, I had to figure out, I actually started off, I had to figure out how this was influencing an election. You know, so I got onto Twitter is kind of a kind of a lark, and it just kind of stuck. Instagram was actually, you know, a competition between my son and I, at the time, because he convinced me to set up an account. So every couple of weeks, when he would come over to my house, he, he would ask, you know, how you're doing for followers? And, you know, I'd say seven, and he'd say, 37. And he, you know, this kept going, you know, I'd say 19. He'd say, 211. And, you know, so finally, the third week, he showed up, I asked the same question, I said, I have 292 followers. How can you? How can you I said, Well, I guess I just learned how it works. truth of the matter is about 250 followers just because I was pissed off at him. And then, you know, LinkedIn follow there and you know, Facebook, and you play around with those different platforms and do it to be honest, there wasn't a lot of education, there wasn't a lot of a lot of anything at the time that you could learn from other than, you know, picking up hints and tips from people out there. And, you know, I know quite a few influencers here, even locally, or, or around the country around the world that that I actually converse with and learn a little bit more from them every day. You know, so there's been benefits that way. But, you know, moving forward, I've even encouraged our sales people and a few of the other people in the company to just get on it, because that's where your prospecting moving forward, people have to know who you are. And you know, this is this is the way of actually showing them who you are not just the business, you the real you the authentic you,

Todd Foster:

Kelley Skar is on MySpace. He's one of the two left I think

Shane Wenzel:

You and my husband, Matt, I think you both have MySpace accounts.

Kelley Skar:

Something really interesting and not to monopolize the conversation here, Todd and Melissa, but, you know, you'd mentioned from a leadership perspective being on social media is is going to be essential moving forward. And you would talk a little bit about authenticity, maybe talk about it from a leaders perspective why a leader should be on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. I mean, what what's the what's the what's the benefit For having that leader on these platforms,

Shane Wenzel:

Well again, I guess you know, you can associate the individual with the with the corporate values and and what they really represent there. But it also humanizes the brand. it humanizes the individual, because there are people too. And I think you've seen seen in a lot of cases where, you know, radio personalities, TV personalities, journalists, you know, a lot of people from different walks of life have been, have been mobbed, even on social media for, for their opinions. You know, and in some cases, you're gonna get that, you know, but I think it's no different than real life. You know, you have to have that opinion out there. As long as you're respectful when you bring it out, then everything should be okay. But I think that's the initial fear from people getting out there as being mobbed at some point for their opinion. I would rather be out there and present and showing people who I am and, and having them understand me, as opposed to hating me for not even knowing me for not even being there. And I think that's what happens.

Alyssa Stanley:

So you think sprinkling a little bit of you as a person into say, your business, Instagram is very important?

Shane Wenzel:

Absolutely.

Alyssa Stanley:

It is the the person behind the brand behind the business?

Shane Wenzel:

Well, yeah, absolutely. You know, again, you know, it's not just, it's not just a, you know, a value statement. It is it's not just a mission statement. It's not a vision, it's, it's it, there's real people in this business, and it's not just me. Yeah, there's 97 other people that work here, and, you know, I like to see them inject who they are, into the into the conversation, because they help make this company what it is,

Todd Foster:

Do you see a possible future for social media, in the helping you or actually someone going through the entire home buying process through a social media channel?

Shane Wenzel:

Absolutely, you see this, even with airlines, while Southwest is probably one of them, where you can communicate with them through Facebook, through Twitter, you know, through various different platforms. And you know, you can share your experiences that way. I think, you know, social media is one of those integrations that will just continue to grow. So you're either part of it, or you're falling behind in it.

Alyssa Stanley:

I have one question before that, that I think would actually segue really well. So every successful person has to start somewhere. And usually that somewhere where they started, you, you have people in your life who don't really believe that you can accomplish what you're saying you want to accomplish and make those goals happen. I'm assuming you're probably no different. You might have had one or two people who said, you know, that dream is too big. You can't make this happen. What's one thing that you've accomplished, that you've made a huge success that someone said, You can't do that? No way.

Shane Wenzel:

Where I'm at right here right now as president of the company, just because you're the namesake, just because you're the son doesn't mean that it's automatic, that you become president. And there were certainly doubters out there. And, and I guess the doubt was there, because, you know, I wasn't a leader like count, I it was something completely different than cash. And, you know, all I would say to people is, you know, take, you know, take those comments, learn something from them use them. Yeah, you know, because that that should help you in your growth. You know, having those doubters having those comments available to you, because you're there to prove them wrong.

Alyssa Stanley:

So because you were not completely different, but you had different leadership and management perspectives from your dad, that's what made them think No, there's no way you could do that.

Shane Wenzel:

That's exactly. That's exactly why they were doubtful.

Todd Foster:

Did you ever buy into those feelings? Were you sort of self doubting yourself and or have an imposter syndrome?

Shane Wenzel:

True? Absolutely. You can only hear it so often. And and I don't think anybody's strong enough to not let it affect them a bit. You know, but sometimes you just need a little bit of a break from it. And you need to go and gather some perspective and ask yourself, Is this what you really want and remind yourself why you're here, why you're working towards this, this lofty goal? Because you can't give up on those. You can't give up on those dreams. You have to you have to stay focused on. So for as much as there were doubters and there were comments, you know, there were equally as many comments so if you know you can do this, you just just stay focused, just keep moving forward

Alyssa Stanley:

So with the housing market the way that it has been in the last five years. Did you ever have doubters that said, Shane Holmes is not going to make it through this housing market debacle. When you knew full well, you could you had the capacity you had the power? Was there people creeping and going this is it?

Shane Wenzel:

Well, there's always gonna be people like that out there. You know, because I think that, that their perspective on the market is, is the only perspective of the marketplace. We've been around for 42 years, we have a solid base, you know, and we have the financial strength to really weather any storm. You know, and as as far as the doubters go, yeah, I mean, the world is constantly changing, you know, I've been around for 31 years of this, and I've seen a tremendous amount of change where, you know, we started as a small builder, you know, building, you know, 4050 homes a year at one point to, you know, growing up to five 500 to 600, single family homes, and again, having a multifamily division, having a land development, division. That's just how things have evolved over time. And over the next 30 years, they're going to evolve or continuously evolve, evolve rather, again, now, and we just have to, we have to stay on top of things, we have to stay on the forefront. And, you know, oddly enough, we're having our fall strategic planning session in a couple of weeks, and we're going to, we're really going to discuss things like that, you know, where do we see it going? How do we, how do we shift gears from where we are right now to just stay on top of our game and remain relevant?

Alyssa Stanley:

Yeah. In all your years of success, you've really been able to go through the ebbs and flows of the real estate market. So what do you think like, what do you see coming up in the real estate market? Are you able to kind of look at trends and say, you know, this way or that way?

Shane Wenzel:

Yes, and it's so hard to imagine it even 10 years old, but I mean, again, that's why you get together regularly, and they plan strategically. Like I said, we do it two times a year. So we're always discussing these things, but I mean, we get together formally and, and have a bigger, larger, more well informed conversation about it. So where do I think things are gonna go, you're still gonna see single family homes out there, and they just continue to evolve. in Calgary, especially, we've seen, you know, the usage per acre, you know, tighten up a little bit. So I mean, you're seeing narrower houses, but you're seeing larger square footage, houses, and people, in my opinion, from where it was, even 30 years ago, people would buy houses, single family houses, rather, as an investment, now, they're buying them to live in. And we're such a such a melting pot in this city. You know, I mean, in certain sectors, you see multi generational families living in houses, you know, when I, when I go to one sector, and I, you know, we're building 2600 square foot homes with full basement developments, which are also illegal rental suite. But you've also got three generations or possibly four generations of family living. I mean, that's a significant change over 30 years. So you have to kind of roll with it there. So that's where I see the single family side of it. multifamily will continue to grow, it'll just be a question of what direction it grows. And because their cycles are somewhat different, you know, we, you know, you see the mid rise and the high rise units, kind of shifting gears to more of a rental market, which is either concerning or not concerning, depending on what side of things you're on. You know, as far as the for sale product and multifamily, you're seeing more more townhome, more three story walk up structures. Yeah, so that's, that's seen a shift here as well. But I can see that being more prevalent in the future. So there's lots that's going to change.

Todd Foster:

It sounds like you're prepared for it, though. Because between the single family housing, condos, or townhouses and land, you're pretty set up for success in the future.

Shane Wenzel:

Well, and that was the that was the plan. But that's why you get together and you discuss things strategically, isn't it? And so you can kind of plan towards the future and, and you can make adjustments along the way.

Todd Foster:

So you discussed that, eventually, you'll be leaving the bench, and you'll be stepping away from everyday operations. When do you see that happening? And then number two, what will you do with your time once it happens?

Shane Wenzel:

Actually, it's really a really good question. It's hard to determine when, when your time has come you just, you have to recognize it more than anything. So it could be five years from now, it could be 10 years from now. But, you know, like I said, when we were discussing it, there's a shelf life. What would I do after the fact? That's an even better question? I don't have the answer for that yet. You know, we covered this topic off a lot when I was involved with tech Canada about that, that second tree, and what you know, and this was really for the outgoing CEOs in our group. And that was probably the most difficult question for anybody to answer. So stay tuned because I have no frickin idea yeah

Todd Foster:

Well my advice for you is to start practicing your TikTok dances you know plenty time for those later on

Alyssa Stanley:

Did your dad step back like no problems I'm out or it was hard for him to transition out of that leadership role. He did not step out

Shane Wenzel:

He did not step out or step back with any ease you know I think he thought he can but he couldn't so it was difficult for him at first when you're used to being the the commander in chief for so many years and then all of a sudden you know, I come in and and I intentionally do things different. Yeah, it It was a tough transition for him although here we are 10 years later and he's he's probably more comfortable with it now than he ever has been.

Voiceover:

Hold up! It's time for the light lightning round.

Kelley Skar:

Alright, so we've got this. We've got this one segment that we like to do the lightning round I'm gonna ask you like, four or five questions and it's just they're meant to just be top of mind answer the question and let's move on. So what is your most used emoji?

Shane Wenzel:

The smirk

Kelley Skar:

The smirk. I like that one. Okay. All right. What is your favorite word?

Shane Wenzel:

Oh, absolutely.

Kelley Skar:

All right, if you could win an Olympic medal for any sport, real or fake? What would it be?

Shane Wenzel:

Oh, God, most time on social media.

Kelley Skar:

You know, Todd might have you beat maybe Todd would win the silver medal on that.

Shane Wenzel:

A little competition?

Kelley Skar:

If you could change your name, what would it be?

Shane Wenzel:

Oh, there's a interesting question.

Alyssa Stanley:

I picked that for you already, Shane Homes, remember?

Shane Wenzel:

It's too easy.

Kelley Skar:

That's okay. Well, we'll pass on that

Shane Wenzel:

I like that one becasue it makes sense.

Kelley Skar:

All right. Um, what is your hidden talent?

Shane Wenzel:

It's not really hidden. I've, I've talked to a number of people about its comic book art. It's comic book art, because I you know, I don't share that a lot with people. But that was the career that one of the careers that my mother thought I should pursue. So I still have the artboard I still do the odd thing and that just takes me away

Kelley Skar:

Do you ever post any of that stuff on Instagram Shane?

Shane Wenzel:

No, actually I don't. I probably should just just to show it off a little bit.

Kelley Skar:

Yeah, man. I think so.

Shane Wenzel:

That's a quiet passion.

Kelley Skar:

Awesome. Okay, one last question. One last one. If someone were to play you in a movie, who would you want it to be?

Shane Wenzel:

Mel Gibson.

Kelley Skar:

I could see that actually.

Alyssa Stanley:

Yeah,

Kelley Skar:

yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Shane Wenzel:

I should probably be playing Mel Gibson because he is older than me. Mel can playme. What the Hell.

Alyssa Stanley:

Shane, if anyone would like to learn more about you, or follow you on Instagram, where can we find you?

Shane Wenzel:

That's actually pretty simple. I've kept it kept it that way. So you can find me at Shane Wenzel, that's it @ShaneWenzel

Alyssa Stanley:

okay. That's Instagram. So then if we Google Shane Wenzel we'll get your business page correct.

Shane Wenzel:

You will get the business page you will get @ShaneHomes

Alyssa Stanley:

Awesome.

Shane Wenzel:

And you can find them on virtually every other platform as well.

Voiceover:

Thanks for listening. Make sure to follow or subscribe to the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast and like us on Facebook at SUCCESS Magazine Coaching.