For all you guys and gals out there that are into rehabs...I am talking about House People! Houses!...the first week or so is usually one of the busiest and in my opinion the most exciting (or stressful if you didnt plan right and got some nasty surprises)...and thats exactly what this week was - minus the surprises, well at least surprises i couldnt foresee.
Proper planning and project coordination is key to running any successful rehab project and I have made it so that all my contractors are in communication with not only me, but with each other and that they all play nice :) thus my job becomes that much easier. Now there is a method to communicating effectively with contractors in order to get your way and minimize confusion on the job site, but it takes a little "Je Ne Sais Quoi" (YEP, i am French, my mom was right off the boat and the only class in school i ever failed was 7th grade French, go figure!)...i just call it advanced contractor negotiating, either you take control or they will control you. Set the standard up front and if you use some of my power negotiating tactics, you will always be large and in charge.
So, here we are, moving forward from The contractor cleaning out the property and ripping down walls--the Roofer removing 3 layers of shingles (thats A LOT) being torn off down to the rafters and eliminating the Yankee Gutters -- the Electrician removing our quality Federal Pacific electric panels (I am be sarcastic, google Federal Pacific if you dont have a clue what i am referring to) and installing a new 200AMP service with new 4 meters -- the Plumber removing EVERYTHING (gas, water, drain and vent lines) and running the new vents and main stack runs. Its just cool to see everything running as i said it would and going smoothly (especially when you have a reputation to protect; as its one thing to say you can do/handle something and another to show and do it).
Anyway, a lot of prep work goes into this time of the rehab, so even though its a busy time, its a time where an untrained eye will say...hmmm this doesnt look that much different from 3 days ago! Most people just get that WOW factor when the kitchen and baths are close to completion, or the floor get installed or the first coat of paint hits the wall. Let me tell you my friends, behind the wall kinda stuff is just as important and making sure things are lined up in the right places is critical to the final product you "see" and having the right team in place will get you to your end goal with minimal problems.
I want to quickly point out that prescreening your contractors is the MOST important part of a rehab, even more important than price. I SCRUTINIZE the *#@$ out of anyone who thinks they are worthy enough to work on my jobsite. With that being said, I am assuming 1 of 4 things if you are reading this, 1- you are into rehabbing, 2- want to get started, 3- you stumbled upon this rambling blog by accident or 4- your wife is watching Dancing with the Stars or something like that and if you change the channel...well, I feel ya, i am married too, LOL. Seriously though, this is IMPORTANT!!! I just dont get 3 bids like most people have been "taught" and choose based off of price, kind of truck they drive or how they present themselves to me. This is all BS and anyone can "fake it til you make it" and this doesnt show you what you are really getting. What i do takes more time, but effort in the beginning pays off in the end...so i will leave you today with a quick power lesson:
1- Conduct either an initial phone interview or a live interview and hit them with your evaluation pre-screening questions
2- Visit the potential contractor on a LIVE jobsite, un-announced or short notice, and observe what kind of work he is doing, whose working on the job and pay attention to jobsite details. Sit back and just observe, if you dont know what you are looking at, learn fast or pretend for a few minutes!
2- Get the contractor to schedule a showing of no less than 2 jobs he has recently done that would be similar to the kind of work we are trying to hire him for. Pay attention to details, again as this is what you will get on your jobsite.
3- Look at the tools on the jobsite and watch how the workers carry themselves and act around you, this will tell you more than what any contractor can pitch you about them and their company.
4- Last but not least, put yourself in a power position and negotiate the best price.
I do these four steps to everyone i work with and i highly suggest you do the same as this will save you money, time and will put you on the fastest track to building your rehabbing dream team in no time flat.
Happy Investing, and if you have and comments or questions you want to ask, feel free to do so below so that everyone benefits (i have gotten quite a few PM's since last week, but that doesnt help the community)!
Hope all is well
Randy, you write as you speak and practice. Great blog--with instructions in presenting the process, as well! As always, a pleasure to be a student! We are so motivated...thanks.
Great job again Randy, great information for those who don't know. Got a headache yet from all the writing after the managing? Lol. Gotta love them Yankee Gutters, surprised it still didn't have a slate roof. The wow factor is more than just the end result, it gets exciting from day 1 even though there's alot of work ahead. You know my wife, she read this before me, lol. Keep up the good work.