Helping People, Making a Difference – More Please! with guests Jay Barbour and Rex Altree


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Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Helping People, Making a Difference - More Please! with guests Jay Barbour and Rex Altree

How many companies do you know that really make a difference? Not so much in the products they sell or the services they offer, but in your overall experience. Are you a customer for life?

Jay Barbour, President of V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc. and Rex Altree, President of SafePro Auto Glass® join hosts Steve Rozansky, Felecia Rozansky and Ryan Steckelberg to talk about what they do to make that difference.

Episode Recap

SEMA Show Recap and News

Welcome back, Steve and Felecia! Back from the SEMA show. They’re grateful for Ryan and Matt filling in while they were gone. They missed another show as Friendly Auto Centers was recognized as a  runner-up for the Torch of Ethics award to a top-notch A/C company, Larson Air Conditioning. Friendly was top 3 of 300! Big kudos to the whole crew out there at Friendly.

In the booth, they had Rex Altree, founder of SafePro Auto Glass®, and Jay Barbour, founder of VIP Mortgage.

So, the SEMA and AAPEX show in Vegas. They met so many quality people at the expo. The professionalism in the automotive industry is amazing. While at the show, they talked to the lube equipment people — turns out, some cars will not have oil drain plugs! The oil will have to be evacuated. So, Friendly just ordered some of that gear for the shop. Steve marvelled at their salesmanship. The salesman offered a try-it-before-you-buy-it deal. It worked.

SEMA was filled with motorhead yahoos (all due respect). Every tire made was there. Just too much to talk about. Huge show.

Announcement: Late model Nissans with a CVT (Constant Velocity Transmission) have had their transmission warranties extended. They tend to fail between 90,000 and 110,000 miles. You’re told not to change the fluid. The warranty was 5/60, but it’s been extended to 10/120. If you’ve already had the work done, you may be eligible for a refund. That could save you $7000! It only applies to a re-manufactured unit.

They also heard a lot of talk about cars with gasoline direct injection getting carbon build-up. There’s a new product, a walnut blasting machine, to clean carbon off the valves. Carbon build-up is hard to flush out, and is usually treated with a supplement in the fuel. You also need to add something to the oil. It’s important, because you get a lean condition — a lot of fuel going into the cylinder but it gets absorbed by that carbon. If that becomes a problem, you have to pull the manifolds off, and use this walnut blasting machine that blasts granulated walnuts to break the carbon free. The average repair cost is $1000. If you use the Justice Brothers additive out of the gate, you’ll never have to do that.

Call Friendly is you have questions about your car.

Should You Fix a Chip in Your Auto Glass?

The gang welcomed Rex. Rex has been in the business for 22 years and is the largest family owned auto glass company in the state. In fact, they’re moving to a brand new office and warehouse in Chandler. They service the entire state of Arizona, from Casa Grande up to Prescott, and out to all corners of the state.

Rex is really passionate about auto glass. Now, there’s a lot of glass companies out there, but Rex really cares about his customers. About 30% of their 1100 weekly customers are repeat customers.

So, when do you know when to get a crack fixed, you know when you hear that little tick on the windshield while driving down the highway? Get it fixed if you can see a little line. But wait! SafePro offers free chip repairs — no insurance, no cost. Get that chip fixed and keep it from becoming a bigger problem. Do that!

At the show, Felecia had a bunch of OEM versus DOT, etc. glass. What’s the difference? DOT requires a certain strength, to support the frame in an accident. How would you know if you were getting unsafe glass. DOT glass is marked like that right on the windshield.

There are a lot of shortcuts being taken out there by other glass companies. What can consumers look for to avoid that? Look at the glue. Windshields are all the same. It’s the glue that makes the difference. Ask the technician and check the invoice for the “safe drive away” time. It should be 30 minutes. Again, in an accident, when the airbag hits the windshield, a poorly installed glass will pop out and not provide the protection.

ADAS: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

ADAS — Advanced Driver Assistance Systems —  are those cameras that are in windshields that provide features like lane assist. It’s critical to use the right company to come in and calibrate those after a windshield replacement. SafePro uses the best company around to do those calibrations, the same company used by the dealers. By 2022, 100% of vehicles will have ADAS. Steve and Felecia saw some questionable tools to do these calibrations at SEMA. Don’t fall for it.

Steve’s glass tip: When you lock yourself out of your car, don’t break the smallest window. It’s not the cheapest. Break a side window.  Or, call a locksmith.

Mortgages: Lenders versus Banks and Credit Unions

Jay Barbour of VIP Mortgage, Ryan’s boss — or is it the other way around — joins in.

But first, today is November 13th, Felix Unger Day! On this day, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his residence. But more importantly, today marks five years for Friendly Auto Centers. Here’s to many more years!

Okay, back to mortgages. Jay owns VIP Mortgage. Felecia loves mortgage companies and hates banks. With that being stated, what made Jay get into the mortgage business? When he got out of the Marine Corps, he started working at a mortgage company and realized he could help the community with his own business and his unique culture and leadership.

They have built a culture within the business. They use a lead-up model, where Jay is at the bottom of the pyramid. The business supports their customers and loan originators, providing the best tools and best experiences out there. It’s a different style, more of a family culture rather than a transaction. It’s about doing the right thing and building relationships. They believe in going through the mortgage process deliberately, not quickly, and taking care of each other along the way.

Ryan and Felecia work together in that model, taking time to find the right home with the right mortgage. She works to help her clients find the right home at the right price, not at the max mortgage they qualify for.

Any tips, Jay, for getting financially ready for a mortgage? Always open two bank accounts — one for deposits, one for “secret” savings. Put away a little bit. Don’t over-tip or under-tip. Save money wherever you can. Spend your money like it’s cash. Plastic can make you overspend. Spending cash just feels different.

Steve had great advice for their daughter. She wanted to make an expensive purchase. Steve asked how many hours of hard work it would take to buy it. She decided not to make the purchase.

Is it time to buy, sell, or wait? Are we waiting for the market to crash again? Jay recommends asking yourself the right questions. Nobody can time the market. Why do you want to move? Downsize? Right neighborhood? Identify your personal goals, and make a decision that way. A good mortgage consultant will help you ask the right questions.

The Housing and Lending Market: How Does 2019 Compare to 2007?

In the final segment, they finished up with Rex on a law in Arizona — insurance companies have to offer auto glass coverage with comprehensive coverage. A lot of people don’t realize it and don’t get it. Some insurance agents overlook that coverage. Be sure to get glass coverage on your car.

Let’s ask Matt…wait, where is Matt?! Steve just realized he’s not in the studio.

Back to Jay. 2007 versus 2019. Should we be scared? No. Back then, anybody could buy as many homes as they wanted. Today, you really have to qualify. And today, we’re nowhere near the peak of 2007, and inventory is down. It’s tougher to qualify.

Buy a home to make it your home. You’ll survive the natural cycles. The valley is still a great place to own. The cities and municipalities have invested in bringing in good employers.

Starter Homes in Arizona

What about starter homes? There seems to always be a shortage of those smaller starter homes — affordable, 1300-1500 square feet, a place to park, places to walk your kids in strollers. It can take months to find one. Jay says there are still starters, but they’re further out due to land cost. Employers are learning that remote employees are working, so starter homes can be purchased further out.

Investors? Are there still investors buying up homes? Not like 2008. Back then, homes were bought up in bulk. A lot of those homes are coming back into the market now.

What’s the difference between banks, credit unions, and mortgage lenders? The big difference is that with banks and credit unions is that the people selling mortgages aren’t focused on that, they don’t earn a living on that product via commissions. With an independent mortgage lender, you’re working with a pro who has access to multiple funding sources. It’s a one-stop source for shopping for a mortgage. When Felecia sees a deal coming in not from a lender, she always asks if they’ve looked at a lender. There’s a poor track record with bank loans closing. There’s just not the customer service at a bank.

Thank you, Jay, for hiring Ryan! Ryan is great!

Wrap Up

Thank you for listening and for getting Friendly Auto to 5 years!

Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!


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