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How to develop your own renovation crew
Whether you’re flipping projects or remodeling rental properties, one of the most basic property investing tips is to develop a crew. A crew is a bunch of tradespeople that you want to call on over and over again for all your projects. You’ll need to trust them implicitly, and feel that you’re getting the best value from them. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will have the best price compared with any other local tradesperson. But it does mean you’re getting the best price from them. Consider it a most-favored-nation clause – that is, they are not offering any better deal to anyone else or to any of their other customers.
You should be comfortable with everyone in your crew. You must have full confidence in their ability as a craftsperson – be it in plumbing, electrical, carpentry, floor refinishing, painting or landscaping, to name some of the most important crew personnel. You’ll also need to feel confident about how they treat you, and the service they are providing for you. Another very important feature, is that everyone in your crew will need to interact properly with each other. If one of your crew doesn’t work well with one or more of the other tradespeople in your crew, then they can singlehandedly blow up your entire project, costing you more time, money and aggravation. Your project timing will be delayed, and you can then expect more in the way of overages from other crew members. So each tradesperson in your crew needs to fit together properly with the others. Since all trades interact on some level to either repair and/or renovate your investment property, you’ll need to make sure that each member of your crew is a good fit to the whole project.
In this way your crew can operate as a well-honed machine. Then they can come in for any given project that you have for them, and you know they’ll work well together. Each one of them can offer design ideas and suggestions to improve your product. And then perform the work on time and effortlessly with each one meshing well with the others.
Doing your due diligence
Just as when you’re looking for a contractor for a larger project, scoping out tradespeople for your crew involves the most amount of work. This early amount of work will pay off handsomely in time though. Interviewing each respective tradesperson for your crew is like a contractor search- multiplied by ten though. Solid property investing tips say that you’ll want to interview at least three people for any particular trade position. Of course, you’ll need to check references for each potential crew member, as well as view some of their past work. You’ll also need to make sure they have no negative reviews with your local Better Business Bureau. And naturally, their prices should be in line for the area – though not necessarily the least expensive.
Ultimately, you’re looking for a combination of glowing reviews from past references, excellent workmanship, as well as work done in a very timely manner. And of course, you want all this for the least expensive price possible, if they’re going to become part of your crew. After all, you’ll be providing them with a steady stream of work over many years. So it makes good economic sense for them to want to be a member of your group.
Tossing out the bad apples
Always be on the lookout for bad apples in your crew. Don’t ignore when one starts complaining about the other. Or worse, if more than one tradesperson is complaining about some other tradesperson in your crew. If so, you’ll need to lend credence to what they’re saying and see where their concerns are. You’ll need to scope out and investigate these complaints. It may require you to be on-site for a period of time to see what they’re saying and if the complaints are true. You should always be looking for ways to streamline your crew to find the best fit for all your projects. Immediately replace any trouble makers, or those that just don’t get along well with the others in your crew.
It will take time to develop your personalized group of tradespeople. Expect there to be a lot of trial and error early on as you go around choosing the different members of your crew. You’ll see from project to project which ones work best with each other. You can then fine tune the crew until you are fully pleased with the whole group. This may take several projects before you get your full complement of crew that works well together.
The end result: a well-oiled machine
So once you finally have your personnel set, and you’re comfortable that they’ll all work together well with each other, then you should be hiring this group for every single project you do. It is in this way you will not only get the best product for the least money, creating incredible value, but you’ll also be saving yourself large chunks of time. No more looking for new tradespeople to fit the bill on every project. Since you’ll be trusting them, you won’t have to be on-site as much during the renovation. Lastly, these tradespeople in your crew will be offering you money-saving suggestions as to repairs to be made. For all these reasons, you’ll be saving yourself time, money and aggravation by utilizing your own personal crew of tradespeople. It’s a simple property investing tip that will yield increased savings, so you’ll realize a much greater profit when it comes time to sell your property.
photos courtesy of soundonsight.org, m8property.com, alwardwoodworking.com, jbblog.flopro.taco-hvac.com, theromanbuildingcompany.co.uk, insurancedealer.co.uk