Open Q and A


Steve: [00:00:00] Hey, y’all!

[00:00:01] Welcome to Let’s Talk Certification.

[00:00:04] I’m Steve, Executive Director of AIBD.

[00:00:06] I’m going to go ahead and open everybody’s mics.

[00:00:08] We’ve got three people online, Bob Davis, Crystal Payton, and hey Robert Platt.

[00:00:14] So if you guys got mics, if you would like to get a discussion going, if you’ve got some questions, I’m happy to to hang out here and discuss whatever it is that you’ve got on your mind.

[00:00:29] If not, then just let me know.

[00:00:33]Crystal: [00:00:33] Hello?

[00:00:34] Garrett: [00:00:34] Hello. Hey Crystal.

[00:00:36] Crystal: [00:00:36] Hi. I do have a question.

[00:00:38] So what are the steps?

[00:00:41] Just to even start the process of certification?

[00:00:44] What do you have to do? Like in terms of maybe schooling or anything like that?

[00:00:50] Steve: [00:00:50] The first step is to go to and download our candidate handbook.

[00:00:57]There’s tons of information in there and it’ll explain that it can be a combination of both .

[00:01:04] You are able to get certification without any education, you just have to have a minimum number of years of experience . Six years.

[00:01:12]There’s calculations in the candidate handbook to tell you how many hours per year is counted as a full year of work.

[00:01:19] Same thing with the education.

[00:01:21] If you do have education, you don’t have to have a degree.

[00:01:23] You can count whatever portion of your education that you have accomplished.

[00:01:28]There’s a formula for that, whether it be semesters or quarters.

[00:01:33]Then also there’s, I forget what the name of the organization is, but there was like an organization that did a study on if you have a three hour per week class that equates to X number of hours per month.

[00:01:47]That’s because of three hours a week for class and then your work outside of class and stuff like that.

[00:01:52] So there’s a formula that is in the application and it’s in the candidate handbook that explains if you have one semester of education, then that equates to ” point so many” years of experience.

[00:02:05]If you qualify, then you fill out an application and there’ll be some mechanisms that we can use to verify your experience or your education.

[00:02:15] The education is easy. You just send us a copy of your transcript from school.

[00:02:19] It doesn’t have to be like a certified transcript. It’s not like you’re transferring from one college to another.

[00:02:26] We just need a copy of it, a screenshot, just something that is an image of the official document.

[00:02:32]Then as far as documenting your experience, there’s a half dozen different ways we can do that.

[00:02:37]One of the easiest ways is to fill out a verification letter where someone, whether it be somebody you’ve worked with or a teacher, a builder that you do plans for, a client that you’ve done plans for, then they sign this letter that lets us know that they know of you being in the industry for X number of years.

[00:03:01]There’s a template for that letter found at the end of the candidate handbook that’s just fill in the blanks.

[00:03:06]What I would suggest you do is that you fill those blanks in for that person so that they don’t have to actually do anything but sign it and send it back to you.

[00:03:16]We found that to be the fastest, most successful thing.

[00:03:19] I do that even in my position when I need something from the president of the organization.

[00:03:25] I don’t ask Bernie, “Hey, Bernie, will you write me this letter?” I write the letter and I send it to him and I tell him, “tell me what you want changed. If it’s okay, just sign it and send it back.”

[00:03:35]So does that answer your question, crystal?


[00:03:38] Hey, Robert, thanks for joining us today .

[00:03:40] Robert Platt: [00:03:40] How have you been doing my friend? I don’t want to catch up on all the times on the air, but

[00:03:44]Steve: [00:03:45] No big deal.

[00:03:45] Robert Platt: [00:03:45] I hope you’re well. I hope you’re getting through the new… how would we call it?

[00:03:50] Steve: [00:03:50] It’s just life. Every year there’s something.

[00:03:52]This one was a really big thing, but really, if you think about it, we relate a lot of our timelines to these kinds of things.

[00:04:00] You remember right after 9/11, just before mama died , and going on in life, it’s going to be the year of the pandemic.

[00:04:07] Robert Platt: [00:04:07] That’s a fact, that’s a fact.

[00:04:09]It’s funny as a planner, it was just another thing.

[00:04:12] It was like, okay, we’ve got a new set of variables.

[00:04:14] What are we going to do? Make a plan of attack and go with the flow. It is what it is.

[00:04:20] Steve: [00:04:20] It is what it is.

[00:04:21] There’s nothing we can do about it, but be positive and find the silver linings.

[00:04:24] There’s been a ton of it.

[00:04:26]I’ve been hearing from a lot of designers for  AIBD, you can see, we really peaked out in new CPBDs, we really  peaked out in new members during the summer.

[00:04:36] I think everybody’s kinda back to the way it was cause all of our scoreboard numbers seem to be leveling off again.

[00:04:42] But it’s been a great year as far as the organization’s concerned.

[00:04:45]There’s really only been one or two designers that I’ve heard of that were suffering as far as not having much work through all this.

[00:04:53] One was in the Northeast , New York, Connecticut.

[00:04:55]They locked down and they locked down tight.

[00:04:58]That was one of the designers.

[00:04:59] The other designer, I hear from him and he’s always complaining every year.

[00:05:02] I’m not sure if life just isn’t living up to his standards or he’s just got to find the right motivation or something.

[00:05:09]Robert Platt: [00:05:09] It’s interesting this life we’ve chosen has to be a passion.

[00:05:12] If it’s not a passion, you’ve got problems.

[00:05:14]It’s up and down.  It’s a corny old adage, feast or famine, and I don’t think it’s quite so bad, but there are very predictable highs and lows.

[00:05:23] It’s very cyclical. And, once you do it as long as we have, and of course, I know that you’re in your twenties, right?

[00:05:31]Steve: [00:05:31] 20 plus…

[00:05:32] Robert Platt: [00:05:32] There you go. You’re a young guy.

[00:05:33]In truth, you just settle into the rhythm.

[00:05:35] I can’t imagine doing anything else.

[00:05:37]Through the course of the COVID reality growing before us, cause we learn something new every week.

[00:05:45]And there is a different way to approach things.

[00:05:47] There was a brief window that everything just stopped. It just stopped.

[00:05:53] We had a Holy cow moment, my God, what are we going to do? And things just, everybody just evaporated.

[00:05:59] However, oddly in about six or seven weeks, this new reality started emerging and people were saying we can’t just roll over and die.

[00:06:09] We can’t just say this is over.

[00:06:11] And we started seeing … not all of our clients. We saw a huge segment of our clients start approaching, investing their money in different ways.

[00:06:19] We saw a real uptick in people getting very serious about projects that had been kicking around for a couple of years.

[00:06:26] And now they’re saying this is a place I should put my money.

[00:06:30] Oddly, as the stock market got weaker, we saw a lot of our clients with higher end properties start investing more money into their property or into their Businesses or into family properties.

[00:06:42] It just, it really became a different dynamic.

[00:06:45] And we also saw, which was exciting, a whole new evolution in residential design.

[00:06:52] What used to be g-wiz, are you interested in the home office?

[00:06:55] Some people work at home, some people don’t, now it’s a staple.

[00:06:58] Every project we’re getting, people want a much more serviceable home office.

[00:07:04]The whole dynamic of the house, how it works and the fact that their work life and their home life are merging to some degree as far as the location, geographically.

[00:07:13] We’re really seeing an interesting change in the whole concept and it’s pretty much in every project that comes through the door.

[00:07:20]And we’re also watching companies right now, which is brilliant.

[00:07:23] Like the company my wife works with.

[00:07:26]They saw this coming years ago and they took 270 employees and put everybody on laptops and started doing that sort of thing years ago.

[00:07:35] And when COVID hit, they literally closed Monday.

[00:07:39] They reopened Tuesday with everybody working at home and they saw no change in efficiency.

[00:07:45] They saw no change in profit.

[00:07:48] What they did see a change in was their outlook on their lease. The 30,000 square feet they had that they suddenly said, damn  this is different.

[00:07:57]And we see that a lot of these people that you and I service Steve that our fellow members service, this is going to be the new norm.

[00:08:05] Some people are never going back to an office. What have you seen?

[00:08:09] Steve: [00:08:09] Here at AIBD, we were pretty much ready, too.

[00:08:11] Everybody was working from laptops.

[00:08:13]I had been working remotely on and off for 15 years.

[00:08:16]Being up-to-date on all the software’s, the cloud computing and, all of that was already a part of our vernacular and Garrett, had been wanting to work remotely for months prior.

[00:08:29]This was just the switch that made it easy to make the decision to say, yep.

[00:08:32]Well that, and we were running out of room in the office, so somebody had to leave.

[00:08:36]If anything, our production has gone up.

[00:08:39] Brandon, you joined us online.

[00:08:41] Garre tt, if Brandon can be un-muted.

[00:08:43] If your microphones working, join the discussion with us, Brandon.

[00:08:46]I’ll bring you up to speed, Brandon , our guest didn’t show up . Chip Hudson.

[00:08:50] I did a terrible job following up with him and confirming to make sure that he was going to be here today.

[00:08:55]It’s the universe probably telling me something, because I’ve got a lot that I’ve got to get done yet between now and when we leave for Orlando and the Fall Conference tomorrow morning.

[00:09:04]Robert Platt: [00:09:04] One thing that I regarding the podcast proper, I just thought I would kinda check in today.

[00:09:10] I’ve been terrible. I’m like everybody else. It’s funny.

[00:09:12] I was watching one of the podcasts the other day in the series.

[00:09:15] And you were talking I think the the guy with PSI Oh, heavens I can’t remember which the 13th episode 13.

[00:09:21] But anyhow, you asked the question ” what prohibits people from taking the test?”

[00:09:25] And he said, effectively, either there are just time constraints and issues like that, or with preparing for the test time constraints with trying to actually take the test or they’re just lazy or they’re nervous or whatever.

[00:09:41] And I got to say that we’re, I’ve been a terrible person, I’ve been involved in the process and been very excited about this tes t .

[00:09:48] This designation proper, not the test itself.

[00:09:51]Who’s excited about that then.

[00:09:53] I’ve decided I, I just gotta do this. I gotta get it done. I need to get this finished and put my money where my mouth is because I have put the time in, but now I need to get the designation.

[00:10:04] So I don’t look like an outlier, an idiot. So I wanted to basically check in and see if… is everything current?

[00:10:12] I downloaded the current handbook . Study materials, is everything current up to the latest iteration of the test. And do you think it’s it’s complete?

[00:10:21] Cause this needs to go on my agenda and I need to get it done.

[00:10:24] Steve: [00:10:24] It is. The only thing that I think, what is this the 10th last Monday, if that was the first Monday of the month, the council revise the policies under fees.

[00:10:35] When you get to the point where you’re buying your stamp and your  emboss seal and all the peripheral stuff, not the cost of the exam, not the cost of the application, but all the products  that come along with certification .

[00:10:48] The policy has changed to allow staff to set those prices because we’re finding that the prices have increased on the rubber stamps but we found a better deal on the embosser.

[00:11:01] So we’re working on putting a package together.

[00:11:04]By the time you are able to set aside the time and take the test and pass it, then hopefully we’ve got some better opportunities as far as cost and ordering procedures.

[00:11:15] We’re starting to put that stuff online.

[00:11:17]That’s the only thing that’s really changed, but we got some new stuff that’s coming on the horizon that will cause some changes.

[00:11:24] Not really a change in the policies and procedures.

[00:11:26]That’s hard to change now. The way that… the process.

[00:11:29] You were a part of that process with the psychometricians and all that.

[00:11:33] It’s not like we just get together at a meeting and decide that we’re going to go a different direction anymore.

[00:11:37] That direction is pretty much set.

[00:11:39]That, that doesn’t change, but what’s going to happen is we’re going to have to update the candidate handbook with more information that tells you and explains how to take advantage of a practice exam.

[00:11:50] So what has been approved and what we have assembled questions for is like a one-third scale test.

[00:11:58] That’ll be timed and it will be on the same platform that you’ll take the real test on, but instead of three hours and 175 questions, it’s going to be one hour and 58 questions.

[00:12:08] But they are going to be in the same proportions that you guys established when you worked as one of our subject matter experts, doing our job analysis.

[00:12:17] Robert Platt: [00:12:17] Gotcha.

[00:12:17] Steve: [00:12:17] So 10% on business administration, 10% on business planning or whatever the other topic is. And then 20% on design and then 60% on building sciences. I think it is.

[00:12:31] And the only way to get access to that practice exam will be to become a candidate, which you are. And once you get in there, I forget if they set a limit on how many times you could take it.

[00:12:42]It’d be like five or 10 times.

[00:12:45]And it’ll be 58 questions, but we have a pool of, I can’t remember, but more than 58. Many more than 58.

[00:12:55]There might be some of the domains that are a little light in questions, but basically what we did was , we finally had the time and the resources to go through all the leftover questions that were sitting in storage that were written, but we didn’t use them for the existing exam.

[00:13:11] And so now what we do is we bring in 25 pre-test questions every year to keep the true exam current.

[00:13:19]But then what was left over was like 140 questions, or so .

[00:13:23] We had SMEs come through and review those for us and we chose, I don’t know, I’m guessing there was somewhere around 90 questions that were left.

[00:13:32]When you take the practice exam there’s a chance that like, 40% of it may be different, new questions the next time you take it.

[00:13:40] So it works a little better as a practice exam that way.

[00:13:44] Robert Platt: [00:13:44] Very cool. Is it remote proctoring? We use cameras, et cetera. How do we do this?

[00:13:48]Steve: [00:13:48] There’s no need to proctor. It’s just for your practice.

[00:13:51] That’s the one element that will be different because otherwise we  would have to charge for that because the proctors charge us.

[00:13:57] That’s the one thing that will be different and that’s where we’re going to have to rewrite a new section in our candidate handbook that kind of explains the process and how to get into the practice exam, which should be fairly easy and to just make sure that everybody understands that you don’t have to go through ProctorU to set that one up.

[00:14:14] Robert Platt: [00:14:14] When do you anticipate that’ll be available?

[00:14:16] Steve: [00:14:16] I know that Rusty’s entering the questions as we speak. He was asking me questions about the platform this morning.

[00:14:22] I hope by the end of the month.

[00:14:25] Robert Platt: [00:14:25] Cool. Very cool. That is very exciting and I promise I’m going to get this thing done for God’s sake because it needs to be done.

[00:14:35]However, we down here we’re doing well . Practice is doing well. We’re very blessed. We’re very fortunate.

[00:14:43] Steve: [00:14:43] And I was going to ask you about what kind of changes you’re seeing to people’s desires in their houses, but you already answered that as far as the home office.

[00:14:51] Robert Platt: [00:14:51] Yeah. Seeing a lot more of that.

[00:14:53] We’re also seeing a lot of … home offices are of course the most common and there it’s not like it used to be.

[00:14:59] Most people, they wanted an alcove or a hobble.

[00:15:02] It didn’t matter. Just a little corner they can tuck away and have a desk.

[00:15:05] Now they want something more sophisticated and clients were asking for a home office that’ll at least handle a couple of side chairs, file cabinets, a credenza desk, more of a formal office in the house.

[00:15:16] So it’s averaging out to loosely, on the low side, 11 by 13 usually 12 and a half by 15.

[00:15:24]People were actually saying, all right, I’m going to operate my business out of my home.

[00:15:27] They want them also, they want them oriented more towards the common entrance to the house.

[00:15:34]Not the entrance that you use.

[00:15:35] Cause most people come in through the garage or car port .

[00:15:37] Closer to the front door.

[00:15:38] So if people in business come over, they come in the front door, they see the foyer and they have direct access to the office.

[00:15:45] So that’s interesting designing around that and making it, try and maintain the track of designs and whatnot.

[00:15:51] We’re also seeing a lot more elevators.

[00:15:55] That sounds silly, but we are seeing… elevators were more of an elective in a lot of our designs.

[00:16:00] We’re probably putting elevators in two out of three houses now that we’re in multi-story houses.

[00:16:06] And keep in mind that my practice, I specialize in major renovations.

[00:16:10] So we’re talking about renovated properties and we’re putting residential elevators 15 square foot because we’ve got a lot of boomers, a whole bunch of boomers that are looking at …

[00:16:21] We love the neighborhood. We’re entrenched here. We love the schools. Our kids are nearby, our grandkids are nearby.

[00:16:28] And so they’re investing in their home. And so we’re seeing a lot of we, we have a kind of a dark joke. We call the mausoleums when a client comes and says, this is my house. I’m gonna die here. That’s okay. We got it.

[00:16:42]So we call them and I teach people, I say, so this is your mausoleum. And they laugh.

[00:16:46] So we’re seeing a lot more mausoleums.

[00:16:49] We’re seeing a lot more people designing their home this is the home I’m going to die in and I realized I could be debilitated when I get older.

[00:16:56] The third thing we’re seeing is , and this has been happening now really, since it’s become…it’s kind of evened out, and that is that the crash of 2008, shortly thereafter, there was a radical shift in property values, at least down here.

[00:17:14] And of course, it probably happened to some degree in Florida as well, but  in the Georgia hub, what we saw is the nuclear family coming back together.

[00:17:25]We had heard so many for so long that, psychologists and people that study of the family construct have been saying that the nuclear family is flying apart.

[00:17:35] We’re seeing this reversal and either we have parents that have a very good retirement, they’re empty nesters, and they have way too much house.

[00:17:46] And kids that are struggling in this new economy, they’re saddled with education debt or whatever.

[00:17:52] And they’re having a tough time.

[00:17:54] And mom and dad said, tell you what. You come and you live with us, you carry the burden of some of the overhead, and we’ve got this huge house.

[00:18:02] We’ll modify the house so that we have effectively two houses in one.

[00:18:06] There are two segregated living areas with a common nuclear family area.

[00:18:12] And we’re seeing lots of that.

[00:18:14] It’s spiked  probably about five years ago, but it’s become pretty steady since then.

[00:18:21] It’s a very steady part of the economy.

[00:18:23] The other side of the same coin has been mom and dad have retired.

[00:18:28] They have a good retirement, but not a great retirement.

[00:18:31] They have a home with lots of equity.

[00:18:33] They don’t want to move into any kind of an elderly community, even an active senior community.

[00:18:39] They want to be near their family.

[00:18:40] The kids are again, struggling with the economy. They may have kids in school. Some kids in college.

[00:18:46] They’ve got a lot of outgoing capital, and they say, mom, dad, if you’ll take your retirement investment on our property, we will build this appendage on our house and create a living environment for you where you can be near the kids and you can help us with the children and you can be close to the family.

[00:19:04] This is becoming a significant part of our practice.

[00:19:08] We do a lot of this. It’s been a big movement in the industry.

[00:19:11] So those are the primary changes that I’ve seen since the crash, anyway.

[00:19:16] And the other things like elevators, home offices, elevators as boomers have become more and more seriously entrenched in their community.

[00:19:24] They love the community that’s been for the last two years.

[00:19:28] That particular investment, this is about 20 grand, has become pretty common in every design.

[00:19:33] And then finally home offices. And that has been the last eight months is that’s a big deal.

[00:19:39] So that’s where we’re at. I don’t know.

[00:19:41] What have you seen?

[00:19:42] Steve: [00:19:42] I depend on you guys telling me but I can imagine that the offices are going to be a big deal.

[00:19:48] I know, at one point, having something that you could Airbnb was starting to get up on the list.

[00:19:55] And I think that’ll come back again once people start traveling again.

[00:19:58] And if anybody, if there’s, I feel like I would rather stay in an Airbnb, I trust somebody’s house more than I would be in a building with lots of other people.

[00:20:09]I think the Airbnb thing will come back again.

[00:20:12]REmember the TV show Dallas back in the eighties?

[00:20:15] Robert Platt: [00:20:15] Unfortunately. Yes.

[00:20:17] Steve: [00:20:17] And

[00:20:18] Robert Platt: [00:20:18] I’m old enough.

[00:20:19] Steve: [00:20:19] I’m only thinking about it, not because of the quality of the show, but here’s all these people living in this one giant house.

[00:20:27] I remember then, that was 30 years ago .

[00:20:29] I was advocating for everybody living in one home then, because you figure once the kids grow up, they all are professionals.

[00:20:38] Everybody has a pretty good income.

[00:20:40] If you group all those incomes together, imagine what kind of mortgage you could get.

[00:20:45] And especially if you’re operating your business out of your house, imagine your clients coming up to a house that looks like a mansion.

[00:20:52] And there’s three families living in it, and everybody has their own space and a one giant kitchen that…

[00:20:59] I take that back. I designed a house once.

[00:21:01] Matter of fact, I drove past it yesterday for the first time in years …

[00:21:04] That had two kitchens in it.

[00:21:06] There was a kitchen everybody saw when they visited and then there was a kitchen… this is one of the last houses that I worked on before taking this position 15 years ago… And the other kitchen was a kitchen behind the kitchen that you could see.

[00:21:19] That was the chef’s kitchen.

[00:21:21] That was more like a commercial kitchen.

[00:21:23]The chef himself with his kitchen and his apartment had 3000 square foot of the house, but I don’t see that as a trend.

[00:21:30] I just thought that was cool.

[00:21:31] But if you were to bring three or four professional families together and not build a four unit building, but just one large single family home with four living units within it  you could carry a pretty hefty margin and have a pretty impressive house, I would think.

[00:21:48]Robert Platt: [00:21:48] Ideally, that is exactly what we’re seeing.

[00:21:51] And I talk to my clients all the time and tell them that, I’m your advocate. I try to help you through this process because it’s complicated and it’s really fraught with peril.

[00:22:02] If you’re not careful , it can be, especially around here.

[00:22:06]First of all, I tell them, talk to me like on your lawyer.

[00:22:09]I don’t share anything with anybody by the same token. You need to be honest with me.

[00:22:13] I can only hit targets I can see.

[00:22:15] And I ask them, how much are you prepared to spend?

[00:22:18] What kind of budget are you prepared for?

[00:22:20] And people were pretty forthcoming. They really are.

[00:22:22] They’ll come out and they’ll give us, and, I can tell them directly,  you’re undershooting, you’re overshooting, whatever it happens to be , and they’re good with that.

[00:22:29] But then I ask them, how are you going to pay for this?

[00:22:32] One thing that we’ve noticed recently is we’re getting a resounding “we’re going to pay cash.”

[00:22:38] And we’re telling people “don’t do that.”

[00:22:42] This is a new economy. The cash is King. You can buy money so dirt cheap that you’re actually, for the first time ever , you can make significantly more money in a good secure investment.

[00:22:57]And I’m talking midline risk investment that you can actually protect your principle money, protect your credit rating, beat inflation, because you’ll be earning the loss and inflation annually.

[00:23:09] And just about everybody has come around with a good product that has no prepayment penalties.

[00:23:16]And you get protections from the lender that you don’t get from everybody else.

[00:23:20] And in my side of the fence where we’re doing major renovations the lenders products offer all kinds of supplemental protections for the unknown.

[00:23:31]And when sewer line collapses or something like that during construction, because it’s an old house, the client usually says, Oh my God, what are we going to do?

[00:23:40] And the bank says, don’t worry. We were ready for that. And because they have a 10% set aside.

[00:23:45] Where the people that pay cash and the sewer line collapses say, Holy crap, there goes that part of the budget.

[00:23:50] They lose their stuff.

[00:23:52] All things being equal when we express this to people and it’s amazing.

[00:23:56] I’ve got one client, we’ve got a very large project where we’re doing, we’ve been working on it for a year.

[00:24:01] It’s almost going to be done in December.

[00:24:03] And the man is obviously very well off. He had no idea when I brought this to his attention.

[00:24:10] It was almost an epiphany, really.

[00:24:13] And so he did, and he went and he financed and it’s made all the difference in the world.

[00:24:18] In the project and he realizes now that any year or 18 months or two years, whenever he wants, if he changes his mind, he can pay off that note.

[00:24:29] And there is no prepayment penalty.

[00:24:31] And he has chosen when he surrendered his cash value.

[00:24:35] He’s been in more control. You know what I mean?

[00:24:38] So as a designer, we’ve been able to help people moving in that direction, at least around here because of the financial dynamics.

[00:24:46] Because one of my clients the other day their finance package was 2.9%.

[00:24:51]Holy cow. That’s obscene. It’s that low,

[00:24:55] Steve: [00:24:55] Right. And I think it’s going to continue for awhile that way.

[00:24:59] Robert Platt: [00:24:59] I do. I do. I think this next year for the industry, for residential designers, I think a lot of very good things are happening. And I think AIBD is positioned to be a tremendous instrument in that change.

[00:25:18]And it’s the things you and I have been discussing for years, but the industry has reached a level of complexity that we, or at least around here, we are no longer really an elective.

[00:25:28] We’re a necessity.

[00:25:30] And we offer a real benefit to the consumer that is not hard for them to see.

[00:25:37] You don’t have to work very hard to show them the benefits of working with a professional designer.

[00:25:42]So it’s been very exciting watching what the industry is doing here.

[00:25:46]Who also is on the line?

[00:25:48] Steve: [00:25:48] We still have Crystal and then Brendan Smyth i n Idaho has joined us.

[00:25:54] I know he’s listening because he’s made a couple of comments in the question box, but for the most part, I think everybody’s just been listening to it.

[00:26:02] Robert Platt: [00:26:02] I hope I don’t bore anybody.

[00:26:04] Steve: [00:26:04] No, I was just thinking to myself, I can’t wait for you to pass so I can set you up as a guest on this show and interview you.

[00:26:11]Robert Platt: [00:26:11] Yes. And I promise you, I’m going to get this done.

[00:26:14] You have been more than patient. Everybody has.

[00:26:16] It’s funny as designers, at least and I’m not going to drag you in, I’ll say my generation cause you’re a youthful guy. I don’t, when people see me, they say, no I could be your father, I think.

[00:26:27] Steve: [00:26:27] That’s my goal is to be the youngest old guy.

[00:26:30] Robert Platt: [00:26:30] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I hate that about you.

[00:26:32]You ought to see me now brother.

[00:26:33] I’ve got a, you haven’t seen, I’ve got the COVID haircut.

[00:26:36]If you ever go to my website, I’ve got the picture I’ve gotten, I’m clean cut.

[00:26:41] Now, my hair is down my back.

[00:26:43] I’m looking like a sixties throwback and my wife is begging me not to cut my hair.

[00:26:48] It’s driving me crazy.

[00:26:50] It’s the look.

[00:26:51]I’ve been very blessed through my career and unfortunately , and I’ll say this for the CPBD, just like before the, 1993 with the NCARB, it was, tomorrow’s always another day.

[00:27:06]And, and I was always focused on, there’s always business coming through the door and there’s always a project to do, and there’s never time. And it’s terrible.

[00:27:14] I have been that person. It’s something I’m not crazy about.

[00:27:19] But this is a thing , that is, getting proper credentialing, I’ve always put it on the back burner and that was a mistake.

[00:27:26] And it’s a mistake that at my age, it can be adjusted, but not rectified.

[00:27:31] And I’m fortunate, but my daughter’s in the practice with me now, and I think this is going to be very important for her moving forward.

[00:27:39] And I’m dealing with other young people and showing them that this organization, I believe truly is the future of residential design.

[00:27:48] And I think that residential design, the advantage of our profession is becoming extremely relevant.

[00:27:56]That’s a poor choice of words, but it really is.

[00:27:59] I think we’re becoming, as I said, it’s gotten extremely complex.

[00:28:04]This is at least in the core Metro.

[00:28:07] When I moved here, there were five core counties that were the holy cow, if you work in those counties, you better know what you’re doing cause they want a very well-documented set of drawings.

[00:28:16]They want a good set of drawings.

[00:28:18]Now it’s 13 counties and the criteria for a small project is tough. It’s really tough. The kind of drawings that we have to put out here.

[00:28:30] And it’s funny because the criteria is not that rigid for builders.

[00:28:35] The criteria for designers is far more complex than it is for builders.

[00:28:41] And they have actually, the legislation has managed to put so much of the emphasis of project control on our documents.  It’s been fascinating to watch.

[00:28:55] And again, like I said, a few minutes ago, It has now reached a place  at least in Atlanta and I’m confident it’s this way in other major metros around the country that are becoming more sophisticated in their regulation.

[00:29:09] And regulation is not a bad thing. It’s been a good thing for the health, safety and welfare of consumers.

[00:29:15] We are becoming as relevant in the everyday homeowners lexicon as a lawyer.

[00:29:22] The legal system is extremely complex and so you need a lawyer.

[00:29:26] You need a guide through the system. It’s very complicated.

[00:29:29] We are becoming more than just designers.  We’re advocates.

[00:29:32] We are guides. We help usher them through what can be a wonderful experience or what can be a very bad experience. And that’s a tremendous responsibility, but I think it’s something that this organization addresses remarkably well.

[00:29:49] Not to sound like a postcard, but still.

[00:29:52] Steve: [00:29:52] Good. Glad you feel that way.

[00:29:54]It was good speaking with you.

[00:29:56] We got a happy hour that’s going to be free this Thursday evening from five 30 to seven 30 Eastern time.

[00:30:04]You can find it at There should be a link to the fall conference there.

[00:30:09]But yeah the happy hours free, of course, there’s still the ability to attend the conference virtually.

[00:30:16] Traveling, we’ve got a few people that are going to brave the the tropical storm that looms out there as well as the COVID restrictions that we have.

[00:30:25] Garrett and I are going to set up tomorrow. We’re going to test out our equipment and it’s going to be our first time doing  hybrid event.

[00:30:31]I’ve attended a couple of hybrid events and in the past we’ve done some events where we videoed the education and streamed it out.

[00:30:39]In all the training that I’ve done in the last eight months that’s coming available for meeting planners, everything they’re showing me, and they’re calling it a hybrid event, both in-person and online.

[00:30:51] It doesn’t bring the two together and that’s where Garrett and I are going to try to attempt to be the pioneers in that part.

[00:30:58] I just went to a conference earlier… First week of October in Indiana, where the stage looked like, I felt like I was like at a show like the Tonight Show.

[00:31:09] And I was just a part of the audience watching a filming of a TV show.

[00:31:14] It was bright lights. There was lots of cameras.

[00:31:16] There was stuff in the way.

[00:31:17] I was sitting at one of the tables in the ballroom, but I had to sit there and watch it on a big screen because I couldn’t actually see the stage from where I was sitting and I was only like 40 feet away.

[00:31:28] So we’re going to have webcams set up in different angles of the room.

[00:31:34] I’ve got a gimbal that I’ll be walking around with a camera on.

[00:31:38] We’re going to try, we’re going to have two screens in the meeting space so that people that are attending classes virtually will be able to see you if you have a webcam.

[00:31:47]It’ll be an interesting experiment, a learning experience, and hopefully we can pull it off in a way that everybody can give us some really good feedback and we can just continue to improve upon the process.

[00:32:01] I think that going forward, not only is it convenient not having to travel but I think a lot of people for the next year or two are going to choose not to.

[00:32:12] Robert Platt: [00:32:12] I hope it goes well. And forgive me. We are literally booked almost every day through Christmas.

[00:32:21]We’re starting a podcast and it’s taking a lot of time, but it will be launching in about 30 days.

[00:32:27] And so we’re doing final mop-up for that, but I am excited about next summer’s event.

[00:32:33]And we’ll feel comfortable enough to venture out because being there is…  that’s where the fun is.

[00:32:40] Steve: [00:32:40] Okay. I agree.

[00:32:42]Let Garrett know about that podcast when you launch it so that we can promote it in the MondayMINUTE.

[00:32:46] Robert Platt: [00:32:46] Thank you very much. And I back at you I want to do what I can to promote AIBD.

[00:32:51]Steve: [00:32:51] All right.

[00:32:52] Thank you guys for listening.

[00:32:53] I appreciate you showing up and I’ll do better next month making sure that our guests remembers that they’ve agreed to be interviewed.

[00:33:00]Robert, I appreciate your perspectives and anything that we use I’ll run by you before we do it. So you know that we’re using it and how we’re using it.

[00:33:09] Robert Platt: [00:33:09] You’re more than welcome. I stand by everything you guys do. And if I didn’t say anything that was beneficial, then don’t worry about that.

[00:33:18]Steve: [00:33:18] No problem.

[00:33:19] Robert Platt: [00:33:19] Anything you can use, I’m here for you .

[00:33:21]Steve: [00:33:21] Brandon says, “sorry. I didn’t know when to jump in. Still a great show.” All right. Thanks man.

[00:33:26] Robert Platt: [00:33:26] I apologize. I hope I didn’t push you out, Brandon.

[00:33:30] Steve: [00:33:30] I learned an important lesson today: from now on whether we got a speaker or not, we’re going to have a show.

[00:33:35] Robert Platt: [00:33:35] There you go. There you go. All right, my friend, thank you so much. And I enjoyed the conversation.

[00:33:40] Steve: [00:33:40] My pleasure. Thank you. Have a great day.

[00:33:43]Robert Platt: [00:33:43] Goodbye.

[00:33:44] Steve: [00:33:44] Thanks Garrett.

[00:33:45] Garrett: [00:33:45] No problem. See you later.


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