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Human Resources and Payroll Solutions for Real Estate Industry

payroll solutions kansas city

Live from the KC Property Guys and KC Pier Studio in beautiful Kansas city. Home to over 200 fountains and more barbecue restaurants per capita than anywhere in the nation. It’s the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leadership. A show about industry leaders from the local Kansas City Metro market for Kansas City real estate related professionals and enthusiasts like you. Now, here’s your host, Eric Scheele.

Eric Scheele:
Hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leaders podcast. My name is Eric Scheele. I’ll be your host today. I’m here today with Mark Mansingh, from Paychecx to discuss payroll solutions for the real estate industry, correct?

Mark Mansingh:
That’s right.

Eric Scheele:
Welcome on board, and glad to have you here.

Mark Mansingh:
Thanks, Eric.

Eric Scheele:
I ran into Mark a few weeks ago. He was giving a seminar through the BBB, Better Business Bureau of Kansas City. You came in and you gave a talk about HR and payroll solutions.

Mark Mansingh:
That’s right.

Eric Scheele:
You gave out the quizlets and the questionnaires and… I’m a business owner, I run three groups. KC Property Guys, KC Pier, KCPD Realty Group, specifically Pier, which has the most employees. I was able to go and check through that and say, no, no, no, I don’t have it, don’t have it. You’re going over your list. We ended up meeting, talking, and I think you have a lot of valuable information for business owners and business owners across Kansas City specifically. We cater towards real estate, but you cross the gamut with payroll solutions.

Mark Mansingh:
That’s right.

Eric Scheele:
But you can also specifically talk to a lot of, like you did with me, a lot of people related to real estate who are in that growth phase or are starting that investment group or as a mid-star property management group or a brokerage house for realtors that maybe needs to do a HR and payroll solutions health check, liability check.

Mark Mansingh:
That’s right.

Human Resources & Payroll Solutions

Eric Scheele:
We’re going to spend some time talking shop today, specifically catered towards the HR and payroll solutions. Glad to have you in.

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah, sounds good. Thanks for having me here.

Eric Scheele:
If you could, and like we do with most people, just start with, what’s the elevator pitch? We summarize it but let’s hear from you maybe.

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah. I’m an HR and compliance consultant for businesses. What I do, I do seminars and then I meet with businesses one-on-one and do assessments for them. The government doesn’t have a good way to communicate the requirements when you have employees and what you need to communicate to them and sign off on. But they have a good way to enforce it.

Small Businesses & Payroll Solutions

Mark Mansingh:
It’s been frustrating for our small businesses because they’re wearing 15, 20 hats and they just hope to God they don’t put the HR hat on because they know it’s a nightmare, and they don’t know where to turn. Typically, it’s one of those important but not urgent category situations where you don’t mess with it, you don’t look at it, you don’t think about it until inevitably something does happen.

Eric Scheele:
That’s what I was saying.

Mark Mansingh:
Then you’re scrambling for payroll solutions. I spend about 50% of my time damage control-

Eric Scheele:
It’s easy to ignore the HR and payroll solutions side because there’s so much else going on. You spoke to it when you spoke to the BBB the other day and we’re going to have Dustin in the shop here in a few weeks as well, by the way. That’ll be a good talk from the BBB. But, as you’re speaking and you actually allocate time as a business owner, which I strongly encourage small business owners, especially those that we talk to related to real estate to take some time to call somebody for an assessment and then really carve that piece out so you can make sure that, like you said, your bases are covered because when the time comes that you need it is when you need it most.

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah. I’m just blessed that Paychex pays me a salary and I come out and I do these free assessments for businesses. It’s always been helpful, because most of the time they have things out of compliance. They don’t know what they don’t know. Most of the time they’re paying too much in taxes because they don’t know a lot of the tax savings for small business, and most of the time they’re paying too much in benefits that they have it because they don’t know what options are out there for payroll solutions.

Mark Mansingh:
There’s a lot of what they’re doing, they’re not efficient at all either where they have a lot of different systems and they’re trying to navigate all these systems. They just don’t have time. We try to free up time-

Eric Scheele:
Totally get that.

Mark Mansingh:
-for folks. There’s always a good idea to step back and do an assessment and make sure you’re doing things right.

Eric Scheele:
We’ll talk the generalizations, the checklist that everybody needs to consider. But also I want to hopefully get to the point where maybe we can talk about some things specific to property management groups, realtors, brokerages, brokerage houses, investors, and foundation companies or whatever it might be, but specific to those related to home services, and real estate I’d like to. But before we get into that, the general scope, if you’re given to a would be passer-by, watcher today, and you want to give him the checklist of questions that, okay, here’s your health check, here’s your top five, 10 whatever it may be. Yes or no to them. How would you give that assessment and talk to somebody?

General Assessment

Mark Mansingh:
Sure. Basically, I have it assessed, just to protect your business assessment, we go through for 2020, but for example, a lot of people don’t realize the law change that was effective here, January 1, 2020 on exempt, non-exempt. There’s been a lot of confusion with that. I just did a seminar, but before the seminar I did with you, I did at least summit and we had 65 people come. Not one of them understood the new law change.

Mark Mansingh:
It’s just been costly for folks. That’s probably the number one thing I’ve been going over with our folks is that new law change on the exempt, non-exempt and the requirement for job descriptions.

Eric Scheele:
Okay, all right. Then beyond the exempt, non-exempt, not necessarily pertaining to the most updated changes, but what about the structural, just basic infrastructure checkpoints that someone should have as a business, and what are some of those items that are typically covered that you find?

Mark Mansingh:
Absolutely. For example, there’s been a lot of law changes on just an application. Most of the people that I meet with, their employee application is not compliant. They’re asking things you cannot ask anymore. Sadly, an employee that wasn’t hired, can just take that to an attorney and then you’ll get a letter and then you call your attorney and they’ll say, “Well, did you ask it?” Yes, it’s on there and they’ll just

Mark Mansingh:
Things like that, hopefully none of that would ever happen, but we’re seeing it happen. People want money, they don’t want to work. They’re trying to find their angles, and that’s the angle that we’re seeing a lot now. Having a compliant application is probably the first thing. The other thing is interviewing has completely changed, and most of my clients just don’t know it.

Mark Mansingh:
Most of the time for a property management company, for example, if they’re interviewing and they’re saying, look, do you have reliable transportation, because we need to know you can get to the job site.

Eric Scheele:
Valid question.

Mark Mansingh:
Do you have a valid driver’s license? We need you to drive legally to the job site. Are you able to lift 30, 40, 50 pounds? We need you to be able to do that. Are you able to go up on a ladder? Are you able to… These are most of the time the questions that are being asked in an interview and you can’t ask those anymore. That is… An interview has become, the old way of interviewing, it’s just a conversation between me and you and I’m asking you personal questions that are absolutely going to discriminate against you based on your answers.

Mark Mansingh:
The government has said you need to be job focused, not people focused. You can have all that on a job description, but you can’t ask it. The job description… Because at the end of the day, I don’t care if you have back problem or whatever your issues are, you can do the job. This law change that requires a job description now has been really helpful because you can have all that on the job because it’s not personal.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah. I remember you speaking about this at the BBB and I can’t remember how you did it, but I hope you can remember how you did it, but you reframe those three or four questions that you just asked specifically. You reframed that to be able to essentially pull that information out in a more compliant way.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Mark Mansingh:
You can ask open-ended questions. Tell me about yourself. Tell me about your experiences. Tell me why you’re applying for this job. There’s lots of questions you can ask, but those specific questions you can’t ask anymore, but you can have them in a job description and then you can say, are you willing and able to do the duties of this job?

Mark Mansingh:
You put the job description before them and then it’s not between me… If I’m interviewing you between me and you personally, it’s between you and the job. Then you say, no, I don’t have reliable transportation, or no, I don’t have a valid driver’s license or whatever it is. You say, “I’m so sorry you don’t qualify for the same job anybody else that came in would have to qualify for because it’s about the job and not about the person.”

Eric Scheele:
That’s the vehicle, the job description is your vehicle of conversation.

Mark Mansingh:
It’s exactly right.

Eric Scheele:
It makes a lot of sense.

Mark Mansingh:
It’s really helped because the best part about that, sometimes the government has you do things and you’re like, this is just a pain, but this has really helped and protected our employers because they sign it. Most of them all sign it. They just go, yeah, yeah, maybe they don’t even read it. They’re just like, “I need a job and let’s go.”

Mark Mansingh:
They sign it and then inevitably what happens? They don’t do it or something happens and then everything’s clean. Instead of being like, “Wait a minute, I didn’t know or you’re picking on me or you don’t understand I have these situations.” It’s just really simply, “I’m so sorry, you knew the job you signed to do.” Because they sign and agreed in the beginning to it. It’s really helped take out the emotion and just be really clean for businesses. Having a job description has been so important now in the interview process, as well as, if there is issues being able to navigate that.

Eric Scheele:
Your ZipRecruiter job description, your Indeed job description is essentially being printed and used as part of the-

Mark Mansingh:
No, I’m so glad that you mentioned this. Yes, one of the things that’s confusing is I see… Right now, we’re at a very competitive market where people are… Every single person I’m meeting was looking for a good hire. They’re looking to hire with low unemployment. I see a lot of times that they’re using the same tool, the job description for their post and for when they interview.

Mark Mansingh:
Really, those are two different things with two different goals. The job listing on Indeed or ZipRecruiter or whatever, that’s a sales and marketing tool. That’s going to look really different than your job description in your interview process, to have the employee sign, which is a compliance tool. A lot of folks get confused with that and then they don’t know why they’re not getting some good talent coming in because their job listing really isn’t doing the job it should be doing. There’s some confusion there.

Marketing Tools

Eric Scheele:
Absolutely. No, that makes a lot of sense. It’s a competitive marketplace, if I summarize real quick. To be able to attract the talent and cut to the cream, you have to have a job description that is also a marketing tool to allow you to stand out over the thousand other jobs that this client happens to be considering.

Mark Mansingh:
Matter of fact, a lot of our folks don’t realize there’s a lot of things that you can add to that job listing from a benefit standpoint that can recruit better people. There’s benefits, even volunteer, like dental, vision, life insurance.

Mark Mansingh:
One of the things a lot of our clients do, that we help them with, is like a cash advance. If they’ve been with you for six months, they get a $12 an hour cash advance form. The EAP, Employee Assistance Program, mental illnesses is a prevalent in our culture, and so free counseling. There’s a lot of things you can add, discount programs that you can add that are really significant for your recruiting. A lot of our businesses don’t even know about a lot of those things, they don’t cost very much or anything that they could add to differentiate themselves.

Eric Scheele:
In fact, in a lot of them, they’re already there. But, bring them to the employers awareness to use that as a marketing tool is critical. Having you as that advisor to get that in the right person’s hands, to make sure that that’s projected forward is a valuable tool for the employer. It’s great advice.

Real Estate Specific Payroll Solutions

Eric Scheele:
Shifting more now towards real estate specific payroll solutions or home services specific, are there things that you tend to cover that you find that maybe you overlooked or find advantageous towards us in the real estate world?

Mark Mansingh:
Sure. Lots of things

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Mark Mansingh:
The first thing that comes to mind for payroll solutions is most of the time when I’m meeting with real estate folks or property management folks, they’re paying taxes and they’re profitable. But, I see they’re usually paying too much in taxes. What I mean by that is there are some significant tax reduction tools that are out there that they’re just not familiar with.

Mark Mansingh:
For example, retirement 401K. There’s been a lot of changes with 401K over the years because initially back in the day it wasn’t really a viable option for small business, but there’s been some changes because the government is desperate for people to save money and put money away.

Mark Mansingh:
Over the course of time they began to do surveys and find out why are these small businesses not offering 401K? One of the reasons was it couldn’t be heavy on the owner. If the employees are putting in 33,000 or whatever amount, the employer can’t really take full advantage of it. So, they just weren’t offering it. Well what happened was Safe Harbor allowed for employers now, if they’re under 50, they can put up to 56,000 in their 401K. If they’re over 50 they can put up to 62,000.

Mark Mansingh:
When you’re in front of your accountant and you have too much taxable income, instead of buying depreciable assets, you can just put it in your 401K. That’s been really helpful, and it’s helpful for recruiting, for retention as well. Then they had a tax incentive they started, $500 a year for three years just to offer it, and then they raised that here in 2020 to an unprecedented 5,000 per year for three year potentially.

Mark Mansingh:
It’s been really significant. Most of my business owners, if they’re profitable, they’re paying taxes, they need to have a retirement that they offer just for the tax breaks alone.

Eric Scheele:
So many small businesses and home service related business owners are struggling to that fact. They’re living by the paycheck, they’re running cash heavy. You see this in the world and some of those guys that go out and buy all the boats and have all the fun with the toys, but in the end they’re not necessarily projecting forward as a true retirement plan. You’re saying there are some definite tools in place that you guys can make and help manage the business owner specifically towards that.

Mark Mansingh:
The other one is a flexible spending account for childcare. I just met with someone yesterday, both owners were paying for childcare, it’s 5,000 tax free, so they were able to take, that’s a 1,500 or more raise if they’re in the 30% bracket, and they also save on the payroll tax side. Same with your employees. It’s another great benefit for recruiting, but also a good tax savings as well. These are the kinds of things that a lot of our folks aren’t aware of, or aren’t doing that saved them tremendously in taxes.

Eric Scheele:
You’re more than just payroll.

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah. It’s funny you said that, most people think Paychex, I get my paycheck every Friday. Paychex, a lot of folks don’t realize we started in ’71 just doing payroll solutions for small business and it’s an incredible American dream. He took a $3,000 loan and started off his garage and now it’s the largest outsourcing of payroll solutions in the United States.

Mark Mansingh:
But, in 2000… In 1990, the burden of proof switched from the employee to the employer, which changed HR forever. Before ’90, if an employee got upset or thought you didn’t treat them right or pay him right or whatever, they’d have to pay an attorney and pay to take you to court. The government said the employer has the money, employee doesn’t, we’re going to put the burden of proof on the employer. After 1990 if an employee, whatever they say, the employer has to pay an attorney to prove they didn’t do it. HR became a huge issue, which it is today.

Mark Mansingh:
Paychex created an HR and compliance division in ’91 to just address this because all of our small business owners didn’t have anything in HR.

Eric Scheele:
Right on.

Mark Mansingh:
Now, we’re the largest outsource thing of HR compliance in the United States. We’ve really helped out a lot of our small businesses where the owners are wearing 15 hats. We’ve created a HR department they can just plug into to get what they need and unplug, and it’s been very helpful.

Eric Scheele:
Being… Let me talk about the obvious real quick. I assume it’s the obvious, but let’s make sure we’re clear. You work with both Kansas business owners as well as Missouri nationwide?

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah, nationwide.

Eric Scheele:
Okay. But for you yourself, are you mainly working out of the Kansas City Metro region or are you traveling as well?

Mark Mansingh:
I travel. Kansas City, Metro and then Columbia, Jeff City, the Ozarks, Springfield, Branson, Wichita, Salina, Joplin.

Eric Scheele:
We’re Branson fan around here. We like picking and granting every once in a while.

Mark Mansingh:
We have a lot of shows for Branson our clients. They’ll give me free tickets when I come down.

Eric Scheele:
That’s fantastic. I know them all. We got a small… KC Property Guys has a small resort down in Branson. We know the shows, absolutely. We can talk Branson sometime.

Mark Mansingh:
That’s fun.

HR for Real Estate Owners

Eric Scheele:
Anything else you want to throw in there related to payroll solutions or HR for real estate owners?

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah. A lot of the folks I see don’t have update up to date handbooks that are compliant. It’s been shocking what’s happened with employee handbook. Most people don’t know this, but the most subpoenaed document in the United States now is the employee handbook.

Eric Scheele:
Employee handbook.

Mark Mansingh:
All of the sensitive people leaving their jobs, all these hungry attorneys getting a hold of these things. The old adage of, I’m going to put everything I can think of that could possibly happen in that thing so that it’s like a car insurance if something happens, thank God we addressed it, it doesn’t work anymore because you have a lot of things in there now that are what’s called implied contracts. Which means, if you do this, I’ll do this.

Mark Mansingh:
For example, if a verbal warning, written warning, suspension termination for example. That’s an implied contract. The problem with that, no one follows that perfectly. You’ll have somebody that’s a great employee that’s having personal problems, you’re going to work with them. Then you have somebody else that’s a bad hire and you just want them out, right?

Mark Mansingh:
We’ve come in and stripped out all those implied contracts. Our standpoint is now with it being the most subpoenaed document, it’s not going to bind the employer to anything. It’s only going to bind the employee. Most of the time the handbooks I see are not compliant. They have things in there they shouldn’t have. They don’t-

Eric Scheele:
Or you don’t have them at all.

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah, or you don’t have them at all, which is even worse because then everything’s, he said, she said. When everything’s he said, she said, guess who loses every time?

Eric Scheele:
Of course, the employer.

Mark Mansingh:
Right, every time. You got to have that and the government requires it, that you communicate these things to employees, you have them sign off on it. We’ve helped out a lot in… When you have those boundaries in place, it’s like having kids. If you don’t have any boundaries in place, they’re going to go wild. It’s the same with employees, if you don’t have that stuff in place, then it just leaves too much gray area for people that to cause all kinds of problems. That’s been really helpful.

Eric Scheele:
It’s one of those things that you don’t… Like we said at the beginning, you don’t want to deal with it, but if you have to, it’s excellent to make sure that you’re covered.

Mark Mansingh:
Just unnecessary risk to not have it. You’ll never regret in having it, but you’ll definitely at some point regret not having it.

Eric Scheele:
Right. Good point.

Mark Mansingh:
I forgot to mention one thing about this, is that okay?

Eric Scheele:
Sure. Go ahead. Absolutely.

OSHA

Mark Mansingh:
One of the things with the property… Did I talk about OSHA yet?

Eric Scheele:
No, you didn’t mention OSHA.

Mark Mansingh:
OSHA in 2017 came out with, you’re required to have an OSHA safety manual, OSHA safety trainings or videos. They changed from the MSDS sheets to the SDS sheets. Then they raised their fines from 7,000 to 12,600 per incident. They want everybody to be safe, of course, but made money, yes.

Mark Mansingh:
This has been a big… This probably costs our businesses the most, not having that in place. They come on every work comp claim. We’ve had a state unemployment insurance trigger audits. We’ve just had a lot of issues with OSHA. You’re supposed to get a safety vendor to put that in place, and we do that for a lot of our clients is provide all that.

Eric Scheele:
No, that’s perfect. I appreciate you mentioning that. From payroll solutions to HR to interviewing to employee handbooks and working through employment issues, to OSHA, it’s an all-in-one HR and payroll management business in a box, specifically catered towards the small business owner.

Mark Mansingh:
It’s fully integrated too, which is one system for all of that, in benefits, in retirement. One sign in, one system. It helps alleviate all the manual entry and having all the different systems.

Eric Scheele:
You bet. For those of us related to any industry, but of course we speak to real estate and investors and realtors and home services specifically throughout it’s a great resource.

Mark Mansingh:
For some of our home services, we’ve also just done HR. If they have somebody doing payroll solutions already, we can just do HR, just for safety. For others that already have that, we can just do payroll. We can really piece out things, and it’s pretty cost effective to address whatever you need help with.

Kansas City Favorites

Eric Scheele:
Perfect. We usually spend our last segment where we talk all things, Kansas City. This is Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leaders. We talk to Kansas City. You get to see the city. You get to see all parts of the city and the businesses in the city. We’re foodies around here too, as well. I’m throwing these on you, but do you have any secrets around the city? What’s your favorite restaurant or two or is there something that you can let us in on that we know?

Mark Mansingh:
Yes, I can.

Eric Scheele:
Right on.

Mark Mansingh:
I love Jazz, Jazz Restaurant. It’s just been one of my favorites for many, many, many, many years. I love the Chicken A La Mer, is really good. Jazz is definitely one of the best kept secrets-

Eric Scheele:
First time mentioned on the show, so that’s good.

Mark Mansingh:
Oh, really? You got to go.

Eric Scheele:
The whole Cajun style.

Mark Mansingh:
Yep. There’s one at Legends. There’s one at 39th & State Line.

Eric Scheele:
Okay. One over the other or both good?

Mark Mansingh:
Both great.

Eric Scheele:
Fantastic. Good. We’re near the Legends-

Mark Mansingh:
I think there’s one too. Somewhere over there.

Eric Scheele:
Any others?

Mark Mansingh:
Any of the restaurants?

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Mark Mansingh:
I could go on. I love J. Gilbert’s and Bristol owned by the same folks, both on Metcalf… I guess Bristol’s on Nall, and J.Gilbert’s on Metcalf. J. Gilberts has a lot of the fish from Bristol, they get flown in.

Eric Scheele:
Is that right? You’re an insider.

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah. If you want good steak and or good seafood… Me and my wife, we go to J. Gilbert’s because she doesn’t like seafood, and I love seafood. She don’t want to go to Bristol, but she’ll go to J. Gilbert’s. Both places are amazing.

Eric Scheele:
That’s good. How about events? You got kids, you got family, maybe family event, favorite Kansas City event? Something you go to year in, year out, that’s always on the calendar? Anything out there? If it’s not an event, it could be a sporting group, someone that you just like to-

Mark Mansingh:
I have season tickets to Sporting Kansas City. I love going… Well, where I was going to take my son for his birthday-

Eric Scheele:
Near the cauldron-

Mark Mansingh:
May 9th-

Eric Scheele:
-outside of the cauldron?

Mark Mansingh:
We’re in the cauldron but we’re on the side, so it’s not quite as bad.

Eric Scheele:
Cauldron hybrid?

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah, we’re on the side, so that the end zone area is pretty crazy.

Eric Scheele:
It’s pretty rough.

Mark Mansingh:
We just sit on the side, because I have kids. We get still the energy and the excitement without all the… Less crazy. I was supposed to take him on May 9th, and then we meet the players. The season ticket holders get a meet and greet with the players, but that’s… Who knows if sports is going to be reengaged.

Eric Scheele:
That’s something. It’s a matter of time.

Mark Mansingh:
But we like to go to Old Shawnee Days and they do the parade and they throw the candy. We went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade last year and my kids were like, “Where’s the candy? This parade sucks. No candy.” I’m like, “Well… ” It was a disaster, they were not happy. I’m like, “Look at the floats.” They’re like, “We don’t care about the floats. Where’s the candy?”

Eric Scheele:
Right on. That’s great. Well, I appreciate you coming in. Any shout outs? We do some shout outs. Anybody that you want to send your appreciations to, thank yous to, say hi to, anywhere in Kansas City?

Mark Mansingh:
The greater Kansas City Better Business Bureau. Love them. They are a great partner. We’re the preferred provider of the HR clients payroll solutions, all that. Let’s see, other shout outs, all the health workers right now, man, tell you what, the truckers, the grocery store workers, thank God for them. Yeah, thank God. Shout outs to them.

Eric Scheele:
Absolutely. Those are three good ones. Like I said, we’re going to have Dustin from the Better Business Bureau in here in two weeks, actually. I’ll be sure to mention the shout out to him, he’ll appreciate that and he’ll hear about it here once we actually get through production. How do they get ahold of you?

Mark Mansingh:
They can just call my cell phone anytime. 913-530-6275 and we’ll do a free assessment for them. There’s no obligation either. We’ll do the assessment no matter what, obviously you could use us, but there’s no obligation whatsoever.

Eric Scheele:
Perfect. Phone is best.

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah. You can email M, M for Mark and then man, M-A-N. And then Singh, S-I-N-G, and then H, which is my last name, Mansingh, @paychex, paychex.com.

Eric Scheele:
Perfect. I appreciate having you in.

Mark Mansingh:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
All right.

Mark Mansingh:
Thanks for having me.

Eric Scheele:
Good talking shop. There you have it. Thank you for joining us and we’ll see you next time. Appreciate it.

Speaker 1:
Thanks for joining us this week on the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leaders Show. Please support all things local to Kansas City. Hey, be sure to subscribe and share our podcast on Facebook and LinkedIn. This has been a KC Property Guys’ production, kcpropertyguys.com.