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CCCT with Phillip Ross & Joe Molloy from Anchin

CCCT with Phillip Ross & Joe Molloy from Anchin

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CCCT with Phillip Ross & Joe Molloy from Anchin is a leading accounting, tax, and advisory firm, that has built its practice to help clients overcome challenges and achieve their financial objectives with exceptional confidence. By mitigating risk and identifying opportunities, they empower privately-held businesses, investment funds, and high-net-worth families to realize their goals and drive success, in any economy. Featured consistently in leading “best of” lists, they have also cultivated a reputation for meticulous and thoughtful service—every client works directly with senior-level professionals, who provide specialized advice and insight, accountability, and continuity over the life of the business relationship. Enjoy the conversation.

 

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Transcription

Hey there, commercial construction Coffee Talk fans. Thanks for chiming in. My name’s David Corse, and I’m your host. I’m also the publisher and editor of Commercial Construction & Renovation magazine. This is what it used to look like. I got a little halo there, but this is Terry Micklin from Wawa. This was November-December 2018. Always nice to hold it in my hands, and this one was 172 pages. I always like to see what I was doing. Of course, it’s lacrosse. Anyway, this was my rec team, I think these were seventh graders, the select team. Anyway, I think we went to the championship that year. I don’t know, but I had a really good team. Practice makes perfection. Anyway, I was just giving them a pep talk probably during a timeout. Looked like it was really nice weather that day. Anyway, we went 100% digital in August of 21. Love having the menu in the magazine. Perry, I know you’re not at Wawa anymore, but thanks for gracing the cover. It’s always nice to hold it in the hands, but it’s been an amazing ride since then. To all of you out there that have hit the website, thank you so much. Love you guys out there.

With that said, hey, we’re starting Monday, we got a couple of weeks before Christmas. Big week on the college football front. Georgia Bulldogs choke, Bama beat them, and there were some controversial things that went during that game. It always comes down to a couple of plays or the zebras don’t get it right. There are some very unhappy people here in the great Peach State, but what are you going to do? They had a good run, a 29-game unbeaten streak, two national championships. Can’t win them all, and I don’t know who they’re going to play. I think they’re playing Florida State in one of those bowl games. It was a great game. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m a Yankee living in the South, but I always pull for all the Georgia teams, whether it’s Tech, Bulldogs, Oglethorpe, whoever’s down here, Georgia State. I pull for them all. It was an exciting day.

Listen, they had a great season, and they’ll be back next year. With that said, I’ve got two gentlemen up in the Big Apple, one of my hometowns, from way back when. I’ve got Philip Ross and Joe Malloy. They’re with a firm called Anin. They’re tax advisors, consultants, and they help you become more efficient on the financial side of your business. Philip and Joe, say hello to our audience out there on commercial construction Coffee Talk.

“Hey, everyone. Nice to be here.” “Yeah.”

Philip’s on my left, and Joe’s on my right, just so everybody knows. Gentlemen, thanks for finding the time to spend with our audience. The way this is going to work is I’m going to ask you, we’ll do it in three parts. You’ll each give us a little spiel on where you grew up, where you went to school, and how you ended up in the tax, audit, CPA kind of things. Then we’ll talk about lessons learned from the roller coaster that we’ve all been on over the last couple of years. Then you’ll each leave one positive thought or phrase, and then we’ll close it out.

With that said, the floor is yours, and either one of you can start. Be my guest.

“Well, I’ll start. Thank you for having us here. We’re really excited about it. So I’m Phil, and I grew up in New York, just like you did. Went to school at Fordham University, College of Business Administration. Real born and bred New Yorker. Majored in accounting there, started at Anin right out of school. We have a really great history. A lot of people started at Anin right out of school and stayed with the firm, went up through the ranks, and became partner. Started working at Anin, and everyone considers their career, and I was really happy with the work I was doing. As we went along, you really get involved in more things, a lot more client interaction, a lot more ways of seeing how you deal with clients. The focus of the firm has always been on how we help clients and bring value to clients. I kept seeing that at every different level, so it was great to stay here, to keep learning. I’m on the financial statement side and the consulting side. I also know taxes pretty well, but I have an expert like Joe here when things get really complex. Just kept really enjoying all the value adds we do, and also becoming a bit more of a business person. To all the accountants out there, to be a business advisor in addition to being an accountant, I think is great. It really gives you a great perspective.”

“Awesome, awesome. Joe, what about you?”

“Thanks for having us, David. I grew up in Carle Place, Long Island, New York. That’s one square mile, that town. It wasn’t 150 people in my graduating high school class. Went to Queens College, graduated with an accounting degree, and started right away with a smaller firm. Then I started doing more and more in construction and realized construction is the way to be. There’s a lot of things to learn and not a lot of people know it. I just found it very interesting, and there’s more to learn doing it. How you can help your contractor clients. Then I looked at Anin. I signed on with Anin. They have a lot of construction clients, and I realized this is how we’re supposed to handle clients. This is how we’re advisers. Like Phil said, we’re advisers. We can help them in more than just the financial statement and the tax return. That’s our approach. We’re constantly calling our clients, letting them know about potential changes and all the opportunities that are out there.”

“Yeah, you know, the reason, actually, you know, listen, I got the press release. Once again, people out there, commercial construction, the way you get on the show is you got to send me something. I got to know you exist. Publicist sent it to me, and I thought it was really, you know, listen, at the end of the year, everybody’s closing their books out. If you’re on a calendar year like myself, and you’re trying to get everything done, and when I launched my company, I was with Neelen and bought our company out, and then I went out on my own in December 17th, 2001, and I’m still standing today. But I told myself, I said, there are three essential people, when if you’re an entrepreneur, that you want to have the same vision with: your attorney, your CPA, and your doctor. Those are the three major people that you want to have on your side that know where you stand, and they’re going to know all your secrets, and you know how you do things. So you want to make sure that you choose wisely. But in my opinion, those are probably the most important. And the way that the tax code is, it’s just, you know, it’s got more words in the Bible. It’s just insane. So I’ve been with my same CPA since I’ve been, well, I don’t know how many years I’ve been with him, but anyway, it’s been essential to have that person, you know, not only from just doing your books and so forth but having, you know, knowing that, you know, when things change, he’ll get to me and say, hey, like when ERTC came into effect, you know, over the last couple of years, you know, a lot of people, you know, I got in the beginning, and then it had gotten defunded into something different than when it started. So, you know, and I was trying to tell people about it, you know, but I had, I was in the beginning of it, so it had changed. And people said, did you do it? Yeah, I did it, but when it was different. So, you know, it’s always good to have people that are in the know, and in addition, I don’t know, do you guys get into the R&D and the tax credits and all that, the grants and all that right now? Because that’s a big, big thing that’s happening, correct?”

“Yeah, it is. It is a very big thing. The law has changed about it as well. We have a separate group that does the tax credit.” “Studies, do other tax incentives work? You know, part of our Advisory Group, we have a whole suite of advisory services, including R&D credits and construction and A&E. So many firms really qualify for it, and they’re not leveraging those R&D credits, so they really should take a look and see if they really qualify. Speak whether to their accountant or if their accountant doesn’t have the experience with it, speak to a group that really does the studies and really understand what that credit could be because you really don’t want to leave money on the table.”

“Could you go a little more into, you know, a little more of a definition of what it actually is than just the tax credit? Because I was just at a conference last week, and it was full of general contractors, Architects, Engineers called C Bild. It’s part of the ICC, which is the International Council of Shopping Centers. We had a great event. Had a reception out there, but I saw a lot of my buds. We were having this discussion about the tax credits, and you know, it came up. So if our audience, I’m sure, would if you could give more of a definition of better than I can, sure, absolutely.”

“And Jo CH in as well, you know. So it’s not coming up with something that’s out of this world. It’s not the people in lab coats, really. It’s about experimentation. It’s about differences in processes, new processes. You could have new products as well. But we know when you do a construction job, whether you’re the architect, the engineer, or the contractor, nothing is straightforward. Nothing is easy. You’re always going through, ‘How can I value engineer this? How can I re-engineer it? Is there a way to do this more efficiently?’ Oh, you know, we’re going and we’re digging, and we hit rock, but we hit some other things that environmentally we have to go around, and you have to come up with different solutions and different things. And that process of experimentation, that process where you have to come up with new suggestions, new ideas, you’re doing your work a little differently, all of that can qualify to an extent for research and development expenses. And based on your research and development expenses, you can then get, without getting too complicated, there’s a calculation to do based on how much you’re spending compared to prior years, and you get a credit based on how much you’re spending that way. And it’s a credit, says Joe likes to say. The credit is better than a deduction because it’s dollar for dollar to reduce your taxes. It’s not, you reduce your income by $100,000, and then you’re only saving a percentage of that. So, like, tax credits are great, reduce your tax dollar for dollar. So when you think about R&D, you say, am I creating or improving a product or a process? Okay, and that’s what you’re looking, so you could create it. You could create a product. Okay, let’s just say I created this product every year. I’m going to spend time trying to improve this product. Okay, and that counts even though you created it in prior years. You’re still experimenting this year on how do we improve it. Process, we’re trying to make our process better. We got a new building, we got to work on how do we make it more efficient, how do we install this product more efficiently, everybody’s trying to make their work more efficient. And all the time they’re ending to do this, they can take advantage of this R&D credit. It’s huge.”

“Oh yeah. I have a piece of land up on the lake, and I just finished my budget for the construction loan, and we were finishing last time. My wife, she’s an interior designer, residential contractor, so we were going through all the line items, you know, whether it was framing or the concrete foundation, the roof, you know, the sticks and frames, you know, all that stuff. And I’m like, ‘Oh yeah,’ and he sent me the spreadsheet. So I went back to the liaison, and I was like, ‘Hey Tom, you know, you didn’t have the septic tank on there, you didn’t have the trim on there, you know, these are big-ticket items that are not cheap, and I don’t want you to send that spreadsheet to the hedge fund guys or whatever that we’re dealing with because I don’t want them to think that I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, you know?’ And I’ve had my magazine for 24 years, I come from a construction family, and so it’s been interesting, you know. And so when I was looking at the land when we were talking about the tax, I was like, ‘Oh, you know, I wonder if I can take advantage of this on this project, I don’t even know.’ But like I said, if you’re out there and you’re a general contractor, you’re not familiar with the R&D aspect of it, or you never thought about it, it’s an opportunity for you to reduce your tax liabilities and have that credit. It’s a nice gig if you can learn about it. And I always tell people, look, if you have a, you know, your toilet’s stopped up, you don’t call electricity to go out and fix it, you call a plumber. So if you want to learn about, you know, R&D tax credits as an AEC firm, you know, don’t go to just a regular old CPA, go to someone that’s doing it every day because they’re specialists. Am I right? Absolutely.”

“And there’s also, there’s a lot of other tax-saving strategies that are out there as well. Construction and A&E really, really, the tax code understands, you know, what the business challenges are for construction, so there’s some very, very, you know, taxpayer-advantage strategies out there that the IRS has blessed so that, you know, really, if companies are not taking advantage of them, if their report shows $100,000 of income and the tax return shows $100,000 of income, they’re not taking advantage of these strategies. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Now you guys are in the Big Apple, you know, you’re basically, let’s go back March 2020, construction booming, cranes all over the place, and here we are three and a half years later, kind of weathering the storm per se. How did your firm and then help your clients? How did you guys weather that storm, talk about that, and lessons learned that your audience out there in commercial construction Coffee Talk might find of interest?”

“I think, based on that, you always sit there and you can never be complacent. You can never think things are going good and they’re going to continue to go well. You really have to always kind of be on guard. So when that happened, we really stayed very close to our clients. We were calling each of our clients every week, even more than every week, just to see how things were going. Are you going to be back on your job sites? Are you not back on your job sites? Did your job stop? Are you limited in who you can bring out there? What do you think is going on with your backlog? What’s going on with your workforce, etc.? So we were spending a significant amount of time, and a lot of that time we were not charging clients for because we knew if we could help our clients to get through it, then we know we’ll have a really good client going forward after that. And helping them to survive was really key in our minds over there. So along those lines, like, we got involved with them with PPP, with ERC, there’s a special interplay between the two, which, you know, Joe can go into. We got involved them with projections, right? Have you, you know, where are you sitting with your projections now? You have to have brand new projections depending if this lasts longer, if it doesn’t last as long, depending how many jobs open up, etc. Just so that they had their options set up in ahead of time so they could still get tweaked, they could still get changed, but it’s always better to have a plan and try to change it around versus not having a plan at all. Absolutely, Joe.”

“Yeah, it was busy. It’s been a busy three and a half years advising our clients like Phil said with PPP. When that came out, oh, should I go for this? Am I allowed to go for this? We’ll go over the rules with you, we’ll let you qualify, we’ll let you know. And now you took it as a tax, we have to wait for this tax code to come out to find out if it’s taxable, how do we go about it. PPP2 comes out, now they change the CARES Act, they changed this act, you can get this payroll credit. It was constant discussions, making sure they took, because it was such a hard time, every opportunity they had to make more money or to reduce their taxes or to get more cash, we had to help them, and we wanted.”

“To, because if they succeed through it then we succeed through it, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re helping them in any way possible. Yeah, we tried to even go a step further just to see how it could affect things. So for some of the companies out there that are subject to the federal acquisition regulations, they’re doing the FAR regulations, they’re doing work, and they’re getting paid a fee, including their overhead rates. So the way PPP and the way ERC was going to be included in affecting overhead rates was key because it ended up reducing a lot of firms’ overhead rates, which was interpreted by the FAR so that it ended up reducing some of the amounts they would be able to bill. So we worked very closely with New York State’s ACEC, American Council of Engineering Companies, in trying to get this changed. And as of now, it’s still not changed, but from what we hear from ACEC, they’re still working on it, and they’re pushing for it. And, you know, just another thing where you couldn’t tell how getting a benefit to help you when you were struggling was going to somewhere down the road have a negative effect potentially, but hopefully, ACEC will be successful and win that battle.”

“Yeah, my wife, I mean, she’s a registered federal contractor with the SAM and small little jobs, you know. We’re not building $30 million nuclear power plants and stuff, you know. We’re pulling off air filters off roofs and just little jobs in and out. But the FAR thing, for those who don’t know, that’s a federal thing, and, uh, I think there are 56, I don’t… Anyway, you’ve got to learn them all, and they’re on every one of your bids that go out there. But, um, it’s the government, they’re the largest contractor in the world, they’ve been doing business for 200 and some odd years, and, uh, you’ve got to learn all the ins and outs. But the FAR is one of them. So, uh, but it’s good to know that all of those, that… See, I didn’t even think about that, to be honest with you. What you said about FAR, that, you know, there might be an opportunity where you can manipulate and lower your tax burden in some way or fashion, by having someone like yourself saying, ‘Hey, you might want to try… You might want to do this.’ You know, and, uh, it all adds up. Listen, if you save a little here, a little there, the sum is always bigger than the whole. So, uh, you know, that’s kind of the way that I was looking at things. Um, do you see any other new, you know, products or so forth, you know, on the AEC accounting side of things that people might want to take a look at that are coming down the pipeline?”

“Well, I think what’s, you know, what’s out there is there’s talk for the legislation for the research and development credits. Um, it changed for 2022, where you had to capitalize those expenses and amortize them over five years. There’s a lot of talk now, a lot of work to hopefully reverse that and be able to expense it directly in the year that it’s incurred. That would be a big bonus for getting the credit and also taking the tax deduction over there. That’s something that’s really good. There’s a couple of things going on on the GAAP, the accounting side for financial statements, which, you know, it seems every single year they try to think of something to change gapwise, and everything, you kind of scratch your head and you wonder, it doesn’t make sense, and why are they thinking about this, and why are they doing it? The last few years, we had the change in revenue recognition with 606, which for our clients didn’t really have, was more work but didn’t really change the numbers. Then you had the change in lease accounting where you had to take a look at long-term leases and basically end up evaluating it for capitalization and setting up both an asset and liability on the books. Now they’re taking a look at some changes for how you set up credit losses from your customers. Again, a lot of this stuff may not make sense, but you have people who were thinking about this all the time and coming up with it. But just along the lines of what’s going to happen, I don’t… I don’t think you can ever be against construction in A&E. You know, even here in New York, there’s challenges with office space. A lot more people are still working hybrid, working remotely and everything, so there’s the question, what’s going to happen with some of these spaces? There’s going to be some opportunities because those buildings are not going away. Those buildings… They’re already talking about how do you convert them into residential, affordable housing? How do you change it into maybe some more commercial uses, mixed-use and everything? So, the more, I think we’ve seen from the construction industry, the more challenges that come up, also the way more opportunities come up as well, yeah.”

“The occupancy rate, not to get off the tax side, but the occupancy rate in commercial real estate is… it’s a rough ride coming ahead. A lot of notes are going to come into play next year, and, uh, I mean, people are already turning their keys in. Uh, I did an event in New York back at the end of September, and, uh, we were talking, and a lot of my clients, you know, they have offices in the city, but they’re hybrid. They might come… They don’t come in Monday, they don’t come in Friday. They come either Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. And, uh, the occupancy rate is definitely below 50%. Could be 35%, 40%, it depends on who you talk to. But New York’s not the only… You look at any of the big cities, LA, Denver, Atlanta… The… it’s just changed since March of 2020. And now with people realizing, ‘Hey, I can work…’ I was already… I was working on my house, so it didn’t really affect me. But the people that were working in an office environment, then when worked out of their house, prove themselves. And then the employer wants them to come back to work, and they’re like, ‘Well, I want to go to concerts. I want to go to games. I want to go to this. But I don’t want to come back to the office.’ Okay. And, uh, you know, I… I was more productive. I gave you more hours. Why are you going to make me come back in there? However, some people want to go back in because they like the camaraderie, the corporate identity of themselves. But that’s the biggest challenge, I think, as an owner of a business that has, you know, an office in a city. Do I downsize? Do I keep it? And there’s going to be so many cool deals that are out there that, that… I hate to say it like that, but that’s just the reality of it. Uh, there are going to be deals that come out, and if you’re liquid with cash, and you’re going to be able to find some really good deals as an investment, in my opinion. But that’s… that real estate bubble is… it… the occupancy rate… it’s… it’s… it’s kind of scary, you know, to be honest with you, you know if you’re in real estate and you have a lot of those properties in your portfolio. That’s… I would be definitely… and listen, we need more… we need more affordable apartments. So whatever they can do to figure out, like, whenever I see an article in a newspaper or online… ‘Oh, XYZ retailer is shutting down 20 stores.’ But if you read about four or five paragraphs into it, it’ll say, ‘Yeah, but they’re building 10 new ones.’ So they’re getting rid of the dog stores. They’re always reinventing themselves, and, you know, retailers, especially if they’re not building, they’re not growing. And for us, renovation is a very cool thing because if someone else comes in and rehabs it or reuses that for something else, it’s new signage, it’s new paint, it’s new flooring, it’s… it’s… it’s all of those things. It’s just like when a hurricane comes in or a natural disaster, it’s terrible what happened, but everybody’s got to get that rebuilt. So there might be new laws and codes, but the bottom line is it’s going to get rebuilt. So, it’s… it’s good for construction, whether it’s a facility gig or a new build or a renovation. So, you know, I always look at it as… as a positive or making a positive out of a negative, if you know where I’m coming from, correct, right? Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah. So, um, let’s… let’s talk about… uh, how did you guys handle the, uh, you know, were you in the office, you know, in the Big Apple, or were you working out of your houses? How did you guys handle it?”

“We were… we were hybrid, you know. We had people that were coming in, you know, some people, during when it happened, they relocated, at least temporarily. You know, so we were hybrid, I’d say more remote than not. We also spoke with our clients. If our clients were back in the office and it was time to come and do fieldwork or and things like that, and they wanted us there, we were at the client’s office. So that was kind of left up to the clients. Some clients, for distancing reasons, etc., said don’t come in or come in one day a week or two days a week. So we kind of left it that way. Now, you know, we’re in our new offices now, and we have a lot more people coming in. Right now, we’re encouraging people to come in much more often. You know, not every day, but much more often. It’s, as you said, the camaraderie and the culture. It’s really nice. And for the people who were newer to the profession, just the mentoring aspect and learning aspect is much better for them to be around as well. That’s the big thing. That’s the big thing. Like I learned by asking the person next to me the question. Going, ‘Yes, you can Teams them, and you can do that, but you don’t know what they’re working on. You don’t know what they’re doing. You can just look to your next walk by the office, ‘Hey, do you have a minute?’ ‘Yeah, I got this situation,’ and we’re there to help them because that’s how you learn. That’s how you want to… You can learn so much in school, but in your first two years of accounting, you learn more than you did in your four years of school. Maybe your first year of accounting, you’d learn more than you did in college. So just helping the people and teaching them, ‘Man, is all right. I got to make this call. You want to sit in, and we’ll go for this call together?’ Yeah. And that’s what they do. How they treat the clients. Remember, we got to be… talk to them about this. These are the lists, and you let them say something, make them comfortable, and you can do it. So I’m a big fan of being in the office. But I get that not everybody can do it. So when they can, we’ll be there. But if not, we’ll go that way also. Yeah.”

“I had an architect on my show, uh, you know, a couple of weeks back, and, uh, he said, ‘Yeah, I went to uh, I went to architecture school to become an architect, but really when I got out, they don’t, you know, it’s more of drawing, you’re an artist or whatever, but when you get out there, you’re really a project manager because you’re really tied to the hip with the real estate guy and the construction guy and maybe it’s a project management firm, and you’re really, uh, they don’t teach you that in school. And, um, it’s, it’s a shocker, I think, to a lot of people. That same thing in construction management. If you go and get a construction management degree, they teach you all that stuff, but then when you go out there on the actual site and get your feet dirty and look at it, uh, I think it’s a major, major eye-opener. Uh, and I don’t care what degree you get, you know, if you go out there, once you go out there in the world, it gives you a nice foundation, but, uh, when you get out there, it’s a whole different ball game. And, uh, you know, I’ve been taking digital classes for the past year. I went digital in 2021. We had a digital magazine. I thought I knew everything. Oh my God, I’ve learned so much stuff. I learned left a lot of money on the table if I would have known how to use it from a business standpoint. The day you stop learning is the day you should go do something else, in my opinion. So, uh, but that, you know, I… the reason why I actually did my event in New York, I was back… I had an event in May, and, um, uh, big contractor in the city, and I was talking to people there, and they’re like, ‘Yeah, no one wants to come into the City,’ and it’s not, you know, we’re dying to, you know, see people and so forth. And I said, ‘Okay.’ So, I did my event in September, and then I found out, you know, listen, people on LinkedIn, they say they’re in New York, they’re off… Where before the roller coaster started, they were actually in New York working. But now they still say New York, but they could be in Connecticut or they could be in Western Jersey or, you know, an hour and a half away from the city. And, you know, that was… it was an eye-opener. But we had a very intimate, small event, but for the amount of invites that I sent… Now, people will come back and say, ‘Hey, David, you know, I know I said New York, but I’m really… I’m… I’m… I’m… I’m in Western Pennsylvania, or… Um, I’m… I’m working out of my house. I only go into the city, you know, a couple of times.’ So, it was… it was an eye-opener. And that’s… and that’s actually how we got on the conversation of the… of the real estate and the open office space. And, um, I remember when I went to the University of Denver in the ’80s, it was right after the oil boom and the crash, and all the buildings were all, you know, brand new, but they were empty because all the oil guys had gone out. And, uh, so it was kind of like déjà vu. History always repeats itself. And now in the city, it’s… it’s happened again. And once again, it’ll be revitalization. But when I go back to Denver now, oh my God, the city’s boomed. I mean, there’s… there’s been a ton of construction now between Denver and Colorado Springs. It’s like one long corridor. So, um, I like… I said, I don’t look at it as a negative. It’s just, you know, how… how are we going to, you know, weather the storm and move forward in a positive fashion and get things done because someone’s going to have to do something with that space. And, um, but there… I just got a press yesterday. A guy was doing a sign for a gelato… firm in the city. It’s somewhere around Times Square. But they were putting up the sign. And I was like, there you go, someone’s coming in new that they probably found some space that was empty, got a good deal on it, renovated it. Boom. And, you know, as more and more people come in, even though it’s, you know… And listen, you guys still have New Year’s in there. It still gets packed in there. So we all know the ball drops and all that. You guys are right by the ball, right? Right. Right. Right across the street. Right here. I can see it from our window. You know, I’ve done New Year’s in New York. But it’s good to know that you’re there because, uh, you know, I’m… I’m sure… I’m sure you… I’m sure you… you know, that Joe and… and Phil got on here by their press release that was sent from their PR firm. So, uh, you know, that’s how you… you know, I always tell people, and I know you always hear me say this, but if you don’t buy a ticket for the lottery, you can’t win. You send me something, I can’t look at it. And listen, we post all sorts of stuff up on the web these days. I mean, before the roller coaster started, it was mostly all construction. But now, people found out that there’s actually more to life than just work. And so, I post all sorts of stuff on there.

How to buy insurance, you know, how to buy the right cell phone, how to buy hair extensions. Half my circulation is female, so, and I’m sure there might be some guys out there that want to wear them too, who knows. I have no idea, but the bottom line is I’m diverse on that, and let us be the judge. Send this to us. It could be a charity golf tournament, could personnel, it could be an anniversary, it could be an invite to watch the ball drop in the Big Apple, whatever. You know, we look at it, and it’s very tough to get in the magazine, but we have all the other social media, we’re posting all day, and you know, we get a couple of million people a month that hit our site. Last year, I think we had almost 29 million people hit the website. I don’t know what we’re going to end up with this year, but a lot, a lot of people. And we’re a destination. I’m on Google and I’m on a lot of first pages. Most people find us through Google, they come into the site, and they go, ‘Oh, they got all this stuff,’ and they become unique users and they come back. So I always tell people, you should go there every couple of times a month, just look at news, you’ll find leads on there. I mean, we post stuff every day on the brands and the vendors and this and that. There’s a ton of stuff on the site. So, and for all of you out there, you know, we, like I said before, we really appreciate it. We couldn’t have gotten those numbers without you, making us a destination point.”

“As we wrap up here, gentlemen, you know, we’re at the end of the year, Q4 is almost over, got about a month left, and we’re going to close out 2023, watch the ball drop, and boom, 2024, here we come. So if you’re going to leave our listeners with one positive thought or phrase, what would it be? As we move forward into the New Year. Joe, I don’t know if I have a phrase, um, I do say a lot of them, but I don’t know which is more correct right now. But I would say, like Phil said, there’s a lot of opportunity out there. So stay positive. We’ve constructions a very cyclical industry. Interest rates are high right now. It’s a little hard, but stay positive and talk to your advisor. They can help you get through it if you’re going through hard times, and they can also help you through good times as well. Make sure everything goes according to plan. Bill, I would agree with Joe. You know, make sure that you plan. Make sure that you’re really consulting with your advisers as you plan. You come up with alternative scenarios. The infrastructure bill has been out there. It hasn’t been a lot of spending, at least in our tri-state area over here. We hear rumblings that there’s going to be some more projects coming out. Those projects come out, doesn’t matter which state that you’re in, that’s going to be a lot of opportunity for everybody. So really look for that, see what you can do to stay in touch with that. And even if you’re not doing infrastructure work, there are other companies that do that plus the work that you do. So if they’re going to get busy with infrastructure work, it’s going to lessen the competition for the work that you get involved with. So that would be some of the thoughts I leave you with. Yeah, nothing wrong with diversification, you know, right? You know, my gig is never ever quit. It’s just one of those things, you know. Uh, there’s going to be sunny days, there’s going to be cloudy days, there’s going to be some rainy days, there’s going to be some snowy days. You can’t control that stuff. Uh, and you can’t let the poo-pooers get to you. Get rid of the negativity, keep your blinders on, stay positive, and, uh, for the most part, the percentages are on your side that things will work out. You just got to stay positive. And, uh, don’t ever, ever quit. Finish what you start. That’s what I always tell my son. Just finish what you start. That’s the biggest thing you can do.”

“So, well, gentlemen, pleasure meeting you both. Uh, when I come up to the Big Apple, uh, we’ll go grab uh some lunch or whatever, and I’d like to see the office space. And, uh, you know, like I said, people think CPA and account, you know, it’s kind of a dry, you know, you got that stigma of, you know, it’s just like contractors, you know, they’re blue-collar guys, you know, hey, it’s, it’s not like that these days. It’s a completely different gig. You’re a crucial element to any business, like I said. If you’re an entrepreneur out there and you’re thinking about starting a business, and, uh, so many people that I knew that were with corporations went out on their own, you know, over the last three years, they’ve started businesses. And the first thing I ask them is, ‘Hey, who’s your CPA? Get a good attorney.’ And is your doctor with you? You know, because those are the three most important people, in my opinion, that you’re going to get through life with. If you want to become an entrepreneur, nine out of ten businesses don’t make it. So if you are standing still or standing, you know, down the road, you look back and go, ‘You know what? That was really good advice.’ And, uh, like I said, having a numbers guy behind you looking at things is just a serious asset, asset in your tool belt, just like you have all the right equipment on your construction site, you know. If you’re building a firm, you got to have a good CPA and tax person in there. It’s just the reality of it. Right, guys? We couldn’t have said it better. Yeah, you know, well, you know, you pay me 20 bucks to say that. But no. So, so everybody out there in Commercial Construction Coffee Talk, listen, uh, you got the holidays coming up, uh, you know, you got about another two weeks, and then things kind of slow down, and some people take off Christmas week, some people take off New Year’s week, some people just shut down for those two weeks. My son’s bowling, they’re shutting down for those two weeks. I got my son coming over for a couple of weeks. It’ll be nice to see him. And, um, and look, it’s been a wild, wild ride in 2023. I still have my seatbelt on, but 2024, trust me, it’s going to be a wild ride. So you better tighten that belt up. All right. And, uh, it’s probably going to get a little bumpier before it gets smoother. Uh, but it will. It’ll never be a dull moment, I can guarantee that. Next year, and construction is going to keep on going, you know. You can’t build a hospital in a day, you know, in a week. You know, just like a hotel or a retail store, any of these things that we cover the sectors. It’s just the biggest thing is finding PMs and supers for your project. And hopefully your product, you know, it’s in stock to get things done. Other than that, uh, if you’re an essential business, you know, you’re that much ahead of the game right off the bat. And, uh, uh, there’s a lot of jobs that are, you know, people right now are going through the holidays, they’re just about into that holiday mode, but right after the first of the year, boom, it’s going, it’s going to turn on like that. And, uh, the pipelines are going to start filling up just like you said about the infrastructure things that, uh, you know, as a federal contractor, you know, it slows down just like everything else, but boom, right after the first year, they’re going to start rolling in there. And if they don’t spend that money, they’re not going to get it the following year, so they, they need people to do those bills. So, well, gentlemen, say goodbye from the Big Apple. Phil first. Everybody from the Big Apple, you know, really appreciate being able to come here. Thank you for the invite. Appreciate being able to talk to the audience and everything and spend a little time talking about what we do and also about the AC industries as well. Awesome. Joe, thanks again for having us. Um, anybody out there has any questions or just wants to chat, has anything, just give us a call, and we can help them. All right. And Happy Holidays. Happy Holidays, yeah. Merry Christmas. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Festivus, whatever you want to do, you know, for those you don’t know, that’s a Jerry Seinfeld thing. Uh, so before I shut off, I always say, listen. Number one, listen. If you’re on a construction site, we want you to be safe, okay? We want you getting home at the end of the day, seeing your kids, eating your wife, spouse, partner, whatever, and catching some Z’s, be able to go do it the next day. Number two, I know it’s getting, uh, you know, the winters out, you know, it’s getting cold. But look, you got to stay hydrated. Go, you got to liquefy yourself. So make sure you stay hydrated on the site because when you get dehydration, that’s when you get headaches, that’s when the accidents happen. Drink as much liquid as you can during the day, all right? And if you’re out there, hit the like button, all right? Hit the Subscribe button. This was a great conversation, all right? And, uh, we want to find the algorithms, uh, and find these guys, and, and so people can find the story, okay, because I think it’s well worth it, there were some nice knowledge nuggets in our discussion, so please hit the like button. We love you. We love to have you as a subscriber. So with that, I’m going to sign off from Sugar Hill, which is about 25 miles north of downtown Atlanta, just below the Beffer Dam on Lake Lanier. Lake Lanier is about 600 miles of shoreline. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a nice big lake, man-made. DNR flooded the Chattahoochee, and it’s an unbelievable achievement. But with that said, everybody, have a great week, enjoy the holidays, and we will see you next time on another episode of Commercial Construction Coffee Talk. Phil and Joe look forward to meeting you in person. All right, absolutely. Good. All right, see you guys, thank you.”

 

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