Rob Buffington

Join us for The Underdog Show, where host Pamela Bardhi interviews entrepreneur Rob Buffington. They discuss entrepreneurship, business growth, and overcoming obstacles. Rob’s journey from real estate to property management to owning an accounting firm and a remote staffing company offers valuable lessons and perspectives on achieving business success. Discover how his businesses are making a positive impact through charity work and employee profit sharing.

Rob Buffington is an experienced HOA management consultant who owns and operates an accounting firm and remote staffing company. With a unique perspective gained from his experience as an HOA manager and vendor, he helps businesses address vendor-related challenges and services, staffing, bookkeeping, and overall management. His dual mission is to provide exceptional service and consulting to clients, and to make a positive impact in the world. His companies actively participate in local charity work and adopt an employee profit-sharing model.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Synergy of Complementary Businesses: Rob Buffington’s journey from real estate to property management and the foundation of Gordion Staffing and Guardian Financial, two companies that complement each other in providing remote staffing and accounting services for clients.
  • Inspiration for Becoming a Consultant: Rob’s motivation to help people, his role as a consultant, and his passion for identifying and solving problems.
  • Overcoming Obstacles: Rob’s entrepreneurial journey encompasses problem-solving, learning from others’ mistakes, and scaling businesses effectively.
  • Scaling with Remote Teams: The importance of addressing underlying issues within a company before scaling and the analogy of an orchestra to illustrate the need for specificity.
  • Effective Hiring and Logistical Practices: The upfront work, including training and supervision, required when hiring remote team members and the significance of standard operating procedures and KPIs.
  • Tracking Metrics for Business Success: The importance of using metrics with practical context, tracking missed call percentage, and monitoring cash flow, accounts receivable (AR), and accounts payable (AP) to avoid cash crunches.
  • Business Growth Strategies: The value of monthly calls with peers, the significance of prioritizing contracts and cash flow in real estate development, and the importance of having a clear reason for acquiring a business.
  • Innovative Initiatives: Rob Buffington’s efforts include upskilling employees through a learning management system and introducing new services for clients.

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Click To Read The Transcript

Rob Buffington’s Inspiring Journey to Thriving and Overcoming Challenges

Pamela Bardhi: Hello, everyone, everyone, and welcome to the Underdog podcast. Today I have an incredible guest here with me. Rob, how are you, my friend?

Rob Buffington: I’m, well, thank you for having me.

Pamela Bardhi: Oh, my goodness. Thank you so much for being here. I was so excited to interview you. I remember reading up your bio, I was like, seven companies, three different countries. Like, man, this man’s got system and ops down to a whole new degree that I’ve never seen before. So excited to meet you and hear all the things that you’re up to in this universe.

Rob Buffington: We definitely keep busy. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we’ve made enough mistakes for people to learn from, for sure.

Pamela Bardhi:I love that we’re all about learning lessons here. I always say lessons, never failures. Failure is simply just a lesson, and that’s all it is. And, I feel like as entrepreneurs, we become bulletproof over the years. You’re like, oh, that went sideways. Oh, okay. Normal. Sweet. Let’s note that for next time.

Rob Buffington: Yeah. You harden a little bit. I’ll definitely say that.

Pamela Bardhi: I think we’re just numb. Have you ever seen that? You know, that meme with that guy who’s on a roller coaster that keeps the dead straight face on.

Rob Buffington: Yeah, I think I know what you’re talking about.

Pamela Bardhi: That is every entrepreneur that I know.

Rob Buffington: Yeah.

Pamela Bardhi: It is. So, like, on the ball. I’m like, this is what it means to be, a successful entrepreneur right here.

Rob Buffington: Well, and I think good and bad, too. because when something good is coming. you’ve seen it go sideways so many different ways until the check actually clears. you’re just like, maybe hope so. We’ll see.

Pamela Bardhi: I love it, Rob. Oh, man. Well, I can’t wait to dig into all the businesses and all the amazingness that you’re up to. And, for me, I always love to wonder, where did this all originate from?

Rob Buffington: Right?

What inspired you on your journey to where you are today, my friend

Pamela Bardhi: So what inspired you on your journey to where you are today, my friend?

Rob Buffington: It’s all been very cumulative, It’s all built on one another. I got started buying real estate. actually, similar to you, rental properties. I didn’t flip,I would rent them out for a few years. and then the next logical thing was I got my broker’s license. Did a few years at Keller Williams. Still have my license in three states from there. It was good, It was educational.

 The information I got as a realtor was much better than the money. but it was very feast or famine. Like, you’d have a good summer. you’d make 100 grand in commissions. and then you better save that for the next eight months. because it’s going to be a while. and so then the next question was, what’s the logical step based on what we know? it was property management. 

So we got into property management. We bought two companies there, consolidated them from there. What’s next? Hey, building services. We’re paying money to janitors and Cleaners and gutter cleaning, all that. Let’s buy a building services company. from there, we had a hard time with staffing. This was 2016. 2017. and this is long before COVID We had trouble getting people. 

So a friend of mine introduced me to somebody in Mexico who was looking for a job. because he had hired remote staff. Hired them. That was April. By August, we had ten people working out of Mexico. And it was so successful that friends started saying, hey, I heard you’re doing this. Can you help me find somebody? It evolved into its own business.

 So we founded Gordian Staffing. About a third of the positions we fill are in the accounting area. Staff accountants, bookkeepers, apnar. But we had a lot of clients that needed more hands on help. So we founded Gordian Financial. to actually just do all the accounting for you rather than just find the people.

 We bought another accounting company in Texas to bring on more skilled staff. Bought another property management company out in the Midwest. I think that’s all of them. So it’s all built on one another. They all feed one another. They all supply do something for one another. Gordian Financial does all the accounting. Gordian Staffing does all the remote staffing. So they all feed off of one another.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah. What I love that you’ve done there is the complementary business piece of it. It’s like, hey, we’ve already got the clientele in this market. How can we service them better?

Rob Buffington: And there’s a lot of which is which is amazing.

Pamela Bardhi: And most entrepreneurs don’t think of this. I’m like, guys, cleaning companies. Things like this are like, everything.

Rob Buffington: And our first clients of Gordian Staffing were some of our clients from East West. the building services company, I would say. Hey, would you agree that East West does a good job on the admin side? Oh, yeah. You guys are amazing. Well, they’re all out of my staffing company. What do you think? And oh, yeah, let’s give it a try. it’s a lot of the same clients. There’s definitely a lot of overlap.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah. Which is amazing. Building complimentary businesses off of what you’ve already have. I mean, your best clients will be the ones that you’ve already serviced.

Rob Buffington: Right.

Pamela Bardhi: And so how can you serve them better? I love that you did that.

Rob says his favorite part of his job is helping people solve problems

Pamela Bardhi: And now, Rob, as a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? What was your dream?

Rob Buffington: The two jobs that I can really remember are I wanted to be a teacher. and I wanted to be a psychiatrist, actually. And then I realized I don’t like kids. I love my kids. Not nuts. About your kids. I’m not a kid guy. Don’t show me pictures. I’ve seen pictures of kids before. You’re just wasting your time. But both of those things I wanted to help people, teaching people.

 The favorite part of my job is I own these companies. but when people ask me, what do you do? Like, on a plane or something, I’ll usually just say, I’m a consultant. My job is I go in, I help people. I see what I can do. And part of my job is talking to people, finding the problems, offering advice on how they can fix it.

and just being that confidant. I say I’m like a doctor, a priest, or a lawyer. You’d be amazed at some of the stuff I’ve picked up over the years. but we’re able to help people because of it.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that as a psychiatrist, as a kid, that’s super interesting. Well, it’s interesting because a lot of entrepreneurs are really into human behavior. and all of the human connection.

Rob Buffington: Right.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s the reason why they build their businesses. So it’s super cool to see how that’s correlated throughout the years for you.

The reason I bought a property management company was because I had no experience

Pamela Bardhi: Interesting. And who or what has been your biggest inspiration, like, growing up?

Rob Buffington: I’m not sure I have an answer for that, to be honest with you. I’ve always been kind of a lone wolf. The reason I bought a property management company. I initially tried to get a job at a property management company. and I couldn’t because I had no experience. I even offered to work for free for six months just to learn the ropes. And nobody hired me.

Pamela Bardhi: Wow.

Rob Buffington: Went out and bought a company. And I think that’s been the secret to my success. is I don’t think outside the box. I don’t even know where it is. So I try all this crazy stuff that nobody in their right mind would do. because I’m so dumb. I don’t know it’s a bad idea. 

And, like, 80% of it doesn’t work. we learn, and we grow, and we move on the other 20%. There’s some real nuggets of gold in there. just by the law of large numbers. So, yeah, I think we’ve changed a lot. because I had no idea what I was doing. and nobody told me it was wrong. so I just tried stuff.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that.

Has there been any mentors or role models for you in this space

Pamela Bardhi: And who’s been your biggest inspiration in business. I guess, to step into your realm? You just mentioned that you couldn’t find a job. so that’s how you kind of eased into it. But has there been any mentors or role models for you in this space?

Rob Buffington: I always hesitate to answer that question. because when you say a name and then three months later. they do something really crappy and you get associated with them. like, oh, you’re with this guy’s? Like, I just think he’s like you can’t see real well. but I’ve got a ton of biographies and history books over there. 

So I love to read about business. I’ve read Steve Jobs, I’ve read Jeff Bezos. I’ve read Elon Musk, I’ve read Michael Dell, Phil Knight. I read everybody, I think they’re all pretty awesome. I guess the theme that I’ve seen in all of them is. they’ve all  made colossal, giant, earth shattering mistakes.

 You look at Jeff Bezos and you look at, Steve Jobs being ousted out of his own company. and he goes and founds Next, which was a joke. It built a good operating system, and that was about it. And he eventually came back in. So I guess I would say I don’t follow any one person. I just like to read the stories and see the common themes.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that.

You talked about how you started your first business and then scaled it out

Pamela Bardhi: And there’s a lot of common themes when it comes to entrepreneurs and their journey. I’d love to kind of step back into how you got to your first business. then kind of scale that out. You mentioned you kind of built everything complementary to what you were doing. I think on the property management side. and then built a brokerage and stuff like that.

but kind of like the step by step on how you actually did that. Because I know that there’s people listening. that are maybe on the precipice of, creating their first business. and kind of just don’t know how. or some tips and tricks along the way. and sharing your journey might help them get there.

Rob Buffington: Yeah, I mean, I was in college, and I had some money saved up. I just wanted to put it to good use. And the market had crashed. This was 2009 or 2010, so the market was really bad. I bought my first house for 69,000, fixed it up. put some money into it, rented it out. did the home equity line, bought another. and just kind of built on that until we had about a dozen properties.

And then yeah, it was one of two questions. It was, what’s the next logical problem to solve? Or with the assets and knowledge we have. what’s the next logical expansion? We have rental properties. Why don’t we just become our own agents? Hey, we’re agents. Why don’t we become property managers? Hey, we pay all these vendors. Let’s bring our own. It was a natural progression as much as possible.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s amazing. And pretty much, you ended up just buying your first business, property management. and then kind of elevating everything from there as the businesses were starting to expand on their own.

Rob Buffington: Yeah, you learn more, you find new problems. Every new place. You look around, what’s the problem that I’m best equipped to solve. that’ll do the most good, and you move in that direction.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that.

The remote staffing was definitely huge. Getting people to show up is the hardest thing

Pamela Bardhi: Well, I also love that you’ve scaled the remote staff. The remote staffing was definitely huge. I mean, building services, being in construction for the last decade. retention is definitely the hardest thing. Getting people to show up is the hardest thing. Once they’re there, do it. 

But just like scheduling and dealing with subcontractors. and that kind of thing is like a whole nother layer. So what were some of the obstacles that you faced. as you started building out these companies?

Rob Buffington: I mean, one thing I would say from my own experience. and from consulting with clients in 27 or 28 states at this point. people think it’s kind of like a cure all. Like, I could just hire these people and stuff is going to start to get fixed. It’s just like anything else. You got to put the work in. You got to be ready.

If you’re a messed up company and you hire people. it’s just going to get more messed up. If you’re a strong company and you hire remote people. it’s going to get better. Which is not to say that you can never do it until you’re perfectly squeaky clean. god knows I’m not. We have almost 500 employees at this point. and we’re still pulling our hair out every day of something new. 

But you have to put the work in. You have to ask yourself, what’s this person going to do? How are they going to be trained? to be supervised? How are they going to communicate and make them feel part of the team? The number one call I get is, okay, I want to hire you. I need help. Okay, I’d love to help you. Tell me more about what you need. I’m overwhelmed.

 I need somebody, I need help. Okay, for what position? I don’t know. It’s just an assistant or something. Okay, what are they going to do? And people just i, use the analogy. It’s like an orchestra. If the conductor doesn’t have things playing well. adding a couple more tubas and timpanies is not going to improve the sound. You have to get things in order to at least a small degree. 

Now you don’t have to revamp the entire company. But I always used it in what I called a clean room technique. I’m just going to take one tiny area of the company. and I’m going to seal it off. I’m going to fix it, I’m going to bring in new people. We never let anybody go if they were doing their job.

 We’re not corporate raiders. If you’ve got great people, hold on to them for all they’re worth. But as positions naturally opened up. as a company grew, we would always say, can this be done remotely? And so we would just take one tiny part of the company, like invoicing. and we would just create it from the ground up. 

Reinvent everything, policies, procedures, scripts, checklists, and then make it a clean room. And then we’d move on to the next one. And then we wouldn’t try to do the whole thing at once. just little by little cumulative change. Because too many people. They hire people for a messed up area and it doesn’t work. they think the employee is the problem. when the truth is nobody could succeed in that realm.

Pamela Bardhi: Right? Absolutely.

Scale is the hardest part and part of that is also people

Pamela Bardhi: Well, scaling is the hardest part and part of that is ah, also people. So I love that you’ve created the systems around that. and you mentioned like 500 employees. and we’re still learning every day.

Rob Buffington: Oh yeah.

Pamela Bardhi: So that’s like some of the biggest challenges is definitely in the people. And what have been some of your golden nuggets and lessons in building out these companies. and kind of retaining employees and continuing to scale effectively?

Rob Buffington: It’s a long conversation. I mean, remember that people are people. that a lot of people think they’re hiring software. You’re not. You’re hiring a person. They need to be trained, they need to be encouraged. they need to have a connection with you. The number one complaint we get, or negative feedback I should say. is I don’t even know who the people at the main, I feel like I’m out on an islet. 

We don’t communicate, I don’t get instruction. I’m just kind of over here. So one of our biggest obstacles to overcome is sharing the company culture. making sure everybody’s plugged in and that they’re treating this as part of the team. That’s why we don’t use the term virtual assistant.

I’ve never liked that term. We call them remote team members. We’re not outsourcing anything. We’re helping you open your Mexico office. because these are part of your team. Just like somebody who’s working from home domestically.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that. Well, it’s definitely like you said, they have to be encouraged. And I think that that’s something that’s entrained. how do you actively implement in practices. like as an entrepreneur who’s maybe right now looking to scale. and is trying to figure out what do I put in place. in order to bring people in and get them to stay?

Rob Buffington: The trick is you’ve got to realize that hiring somebody is actually going to be more work up front. People kind of think like, day one, things are going to get better. No, first couple of weeks, it’s going to be more work. it’s going to be time training, it’s going to be time teaching. Correcting. Supervising it is a long term play.

 I also tell people, if it took you ten years to get into this mess. don’t think you’re going to get out of it in a month. Just go slow. Slow and steady. Do a little bit at a time. As long as you’re moving in the right direction, that’s better. Too many people want to just reinvent everything overnight. and start fresh and it just doesn’t work like that. A business is like a ship. Big ship, small change. Long term, you can’t turn a boat 90 degrees overnight.

Pamela Bardhi: Totally.

Rob: I’m a huge believer in metrics with a grain of common sense

Pamela Bardhi: And some of the logistical practices that you’ve incorporated in. like standard operating procedures and different things like that. KPIs what are some of your you don’t have to get specific. because I know that’s probably proprietary. but, what have been some tools that really helped you with that accountability and that retention and scaling.

Rob Buffington: I’m a huge believer in metrics with a grain of common sense. A lot of people take metrics and it’s just like, this is gospel. Your number fell here. I always say metrics don’t tell you the answer. They tell you where to look for the answer. So for me, when I first started implementing metrics, probably back in 2017 or 2018.

one of the first numbers we started with was, missed call percentage. because we wanted basic high level stuff that we could act on. And it showed. Our missed call percentage was, I think, 37%. And I’m like, that’s not possible. We have two full time people answering the phones. We’re not that big of a cut. Something is wrong. Long story short, when we had had a previous employee leave. we hadn’t correctly rerouted their extension. 

So a third of the calls were going into this dead phone tree extension. And that’s where all these things were coming from. And if I would have just looked at the numbers. I would have railed on the guys and said, you guys suck. You’re not answering the phones. Come on. But it told me, okay, something is wrong here. Let’s investigate. And the next week, I think it was like 7%, and then it was 5%. 

And it never went back there. but it could have literally been years. The person had been gone six months. so it could have literally been years that a third of the people calling in would have gotten no answer. So, yeah, that’s an example. I love metrics, and honestly, Excel is one of your best friends.

 I mean, even before this, I was working on a giant Excel sheet, just tracking data. It doesn’t matter how you track data. Just track the numbers, track the information. It’ll show you where to pay attention, what the trouble spots are.

Pamela Bardhi: Totally. And that was something, Rob, to be honest with you. that I wasn’t paying attention to from day one. It’s like, we’re so optimistic on all the business. and everything you were getting wasn’t tracking it. then it was like, well, you know, for you.

What are some of the things that entrepreneurs should be looking for when tracking metrics

Pamela Bardhi: What are some of the things that, as an entrepreneur. you should be looking for when you are tracking metrics? Especially, I mean, there’s a lot of real estate entrepreneurs listening. so you could cater it that way. because I know your businesses are mainly based in real estate. but what would be the things to look for?

Rob Buffington: I mean, it’s going to vary by company, obviously. Any customer service based business, you want, customer satisfaction percentage. you want missed call percentage, email response time, first call resolution, average time average, time per call. That the name is eluding me for some reason, stuff like that. 

On the finance side, you’ve got to track delinquent rent, delinquent paint, whatever your business is. Track your cash flow. You can grow as fast as you want. but all the numbers on paper doesn’t mean squat until it hits your bank. So if you’re growing really fast but you’re not collecting your AR. or if you’re not paying attention to your AP. you’re going to find yourself in a cash crunch really quickly. 

So I would say track your delinquent AR, track your processing time for AP invoices. I do a monthly sheet for my wife and I are just the collective buffington organization, as I call it. Every bank account, every credit card, every AR list. At the end of each month, we tally every loan, you name it. and we track month over month, like, hey, we’ve really been burning cash. Our AR is spiking. 

It tells us where to look, and it helps us track patterns over time, stuff like that. If you’re in property management, I could go on all day maintenance. work order, turn time, vacancy fill time, stuff like that. If you’re selling homes, obviously, days on market, percent over asking or under asking, stuff like that. it really gets valuable when you’re three to six months in.

and you can see the patterns, and you can see every September, things slow way down. because people are going back to school. on the recruiting side. I know that every December, we hit a brick wall. and nobody wants to change jobs in December. because that’s when all the Christmas bonuses and the parties are happening. 

So I know that when I take clients on in November. I got to tell them, just be aware we’re talking January. We clear? Great. And once you’ve done it for a few years, you start to notice those patterns. My building services business, same thing every December. 

Our AR doubles because all the people approving the checks are out on vacation. or they’re busy and all that. So I’ve got to have cash set aside in November or it’s going to be really tight until January. so stuff like that.

Pamela Bardhi: Love that. Yeah, it’s following the different trends in the business. and accounts receivable is obviously huge. You need to make sure your cash flow is always on par for any company. I think that’s the number one metric to be paying attention to. Fabulous. That’s fabulous.

Most of your systems are run off of Excel, Rob

Pamela Bardhi: And I love all the different systems and everything that you’ve created, Rob. I mean, there’s definitely a reason why you were managing seven of them.

Rob Buffington: And crushing, and most of these are run off of Excel. It doesn’t need to be complicated. I can literally just use an Excel spreadsheet. and week over week, punch the numbers in. I know a lot of people. 

Somebody sells them a $50,000 piece of equipment of software that takes six months to implement. and then never gets used it’s kind of like buying the fancy treadmill at home. when what you need to do is get your ass on a bicycle. and go do some work and then put the money into it. I’m guilty of that. I have, absolutely.

Rob Batts says putting money into a good attorney can protect you from lawsuits

Pamela Bardhi: Rob, what have been some of your biggest lessons in business? Would you say that you’ve learned?

Rob Buffington: Don’t count the commission check until it’s cleared. You will never know what’s going to until the money actually hits the bank. Just, okay, we’ll see. And bad stuff, too. 90% of the stuff I worried about never happened. and most of it was in his Bat. Just wait and see. Just yesterday or the day before. I got told that some employee was suing us for wrongful termination and going through all this stuff. 

Come to find out, this morning he was working another job. It’s just all kinds of messy stuff. And it was like I didn’t even need to worry about it. because a day later it was resolved. So I’m just going to wait until I have the whole story before worrying. I’d say put some money into a good attorney. Don’t do handshake deals.

 They sound nice. I’m sure they’re in plenty of Hallmark movies. The reality is, eventually somebody’s going to try to screw you. and you need a contract that can protect you. You can be as nice as you want when you have the upper hand. but when you’re the one on bottom. you don’t get to control much about what’s happening. 

So put the money into a good contract, every situation. Make sure you have a good set of lawyers, good tax people, all that. It’s a lot cheaper to pay that money up front than when you need it later for a lawsuit. We just went through our first IRS audit. so that was fun. Actually did pretty well. 

Pretty proud of my team there. But yeah, I think there’s a whole generation of feel good. believe in you can achieve and all that. And I’m not saying you don’t need a measure of that. but the truth is, it is a knock down street fight every day to stay in business. Somebody’s coming to try to take your lunch money. You can do a lot of good in the world if you succeed. but it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. It takes a lot out of you, for sure.

The more you succeed, the more good you’re able to do

Pamela Bardhi: And in terms of the biggest life obstacles. what have been some of the most difficult things that you have dealt with. and the lessons that have kind of risen from there?

Rob Buffington: I think your view of people definitely changes. You work with people enough, you see what happens when people are put into pressure spots, what they’ll do. You lose a lot of your faith in humanity. but at the same time, the more you succeed. the more good you’re able to do. 

Last year, we gave over 100,000 to charity. It’s a huge part of who we are and why we do what we do. So you’re able to do a lot of good in the world when you succeed. There’s a saying it’s lonely at the top. It’s hard to relate to people, when you’re doing large deals.

when you’re trying to build something. it’s kind of hard to relate to most people working the nine to five. which is kind of sad. So it does get lonely. So find a good peer network of people who know what you’re going through. that’ll definitely help.

Pamela Bardhi: Absolutely.

The entrepreneurial journey takes a mental toll sometimes because there’s so much involved

Pamela Bardhi: Well, also, the entrepreneurial journey takes, such a mental toll sometimes. because there’s so much that goes into it. And sometimes if you don’t have that community. or that network of people around you. it’s like, well, who do I have to bounce off of, these ideas? 

Because some people may just not understand. and it’s not that they don’t want to. but they’re not entrepreneurs. So how have you been able to kind of work through all of that. while building out all these companies? Do you have mentors and all of what’s the secret sauce behind that? Because there’s a whole mental game behind the entrepreneurial spirit.

Rob Buffington: Yeah. It takes a lot out of you. One of the best things I did in the early days is I found a peer group. when I had my property management company. I reached out to four people that I knew that also owned property management companies. and I intentionally picked people that were spread out throughout the country. 

One was in Vancouver, which is obviously Canada. Those listening, I know my geography. One was in, Colorado, one was in Florida, one was in the Northeast somewhere. I forget where. And once a month, we would just sit down, compare notes. Hey, what are you struggling with? What are you working on? 

And because we had NDAs, of course. but because we were completely different metros, there was no competition. We were just four or five people talking about what’s going on, learning from each other. and I think that was one of the best things I did.

 I’ve learned so much from my peers, just asking them, what are you working on? What are you proud of? What are you struggling with? You can learn a lot that way. I think that was one of the best things I did. and I still keep in touch with a lot of those people.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that. And to circle back on this one, and this can be life or business, whichever one you prefer.

Rob: Prepare for the worst when it comes to contracts

Pamela Bardhi: Rob, but what would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know now?

Rob Buffington: The one thing, the one but honestly, I’d probably go back to the contracts thing of everybody. Your best friend today might be in a lawsuit with you tomorrow. so be be prepared. People think that I’ll never need a contract because we’re friends. All that. The contract is written for the day, for every eventuality. 

The day that you’re not friends, you’re developing a piece of property and the owner dies. and it falls to the heirs who never wanted to do this project. Yeah, I would say prepare for the worst, especially as it relates to contracts. and cash flow is king. It’s all well and good to build something on paper. 

but unless you’ve got cash in your bank account, you’re pretty powerless. because as we’re seeing right now with the banks. you can’t get financing anymore when we need it the most. So unless you have cash, you’re going to miss out on some opportunities. But the nice thing is this is a great time to buy. If you do have that cash stockpiled, not real estate so much. but businesses and opportunities.

Pamela Bardhi: Absolutely.

Rob Buffington: Don’t buy a business thinking it will strengthen existing business

Pamela Bardhi: And what would be your biggest piece of advice for someone who’s looking to maybe has a company. and is looking to add these complementary businesses on the way that you have?

Rob Buffington: There’s something I call the 20% BS rule. Anything the seller is telling you, take 20% off of it. For just the BS factor. It’s going to take 20% more work, you’re going to make 20% less money, It’s going to take 20% longer. and you better have your own house in order. Don’t buy a business thinking that it’s going to strengthen your existing business. It’s going to weaken your existing business for a while.

 So you got to have your own stuff together. And then look at why you’re buying it. Is it for cash flow? Is it a platform acquisition that’s going to take you into a new field or a new client base? Figure that out. There’s a term, in real estate, the accumulator. somebody who just wants to buy properties to feel special. 

And look at me. Look at me. I’ve got all these properties, and I’ve probably been guilty of it in business sometimes. But it’s easy to fall in love with an idea. But you’ve got to have if you’re doing it for fun, awesome. Enjoy. 

Just be clear about that. But there’s got to be solid data backing it up. You’ve got to have cash flow. You’ve got to have, skills. There’s got to be something. What are you getting out of it? Don’t just buy it because it sounds cool, on your CV.

Pamela Bardhi: Totally. I love that, Rob. I love that. And in your world, what’s happening in the next few months? What’s going on in Rob world?

Rob Buffington: Biggest thing is we’re developing our own learning management system. so we can help our employees get better at the jobs upskilling while they’re currently employed. so they can advance in the companies they’re working for. We’re offering several new services to our clients that we’re getting ready to announce later this year. we’re looking forward to that. Just solving one problem at a time.

Pamela Bardhi: amazing. Rob, I love it. I love it. Thank you so much for dropping all of these gems throughout the interview. I know there’s going to be entrepreneurs and people listening that are taking all these golden nuggets. and writing them all down. Thank you so much for that. Then you’ve got to let everyone know where to find you and your awesomeness.

Rob Buffington: Rob Buffington and Gordian Business Solutions. You can find me on there.

Pamela Bardhi: Love that Rob. Again, thank you so much for being here today. Rob, you are awesome. Really grateful for you. Thank you so much for sharing all this amazing insight.

Rob Buffington: Thanks for having me.

Pamela Bardhi: Thank you.

Underdog is always dropping on Thursdays. Catch us next week

Pamela Bardhi: So that’s it for today’s episode of Underdog. Catch us next week. Always dropping on Thursdays. And remember, if you’re interested in real or want to learn how to create more money. and magic in your life, check out and let’s chat. Sending you so, so much love.


Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Rob Buffington. If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review. The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

If you’re interested in elevating your life 10x, and owning your power, Pamela invites you to join her for a 15-minute call to set your goals straight and get clarity. Start building your game plan now: