Now that I’ve got the basics out of the way, I will continue with the public humiliation!

Getting started I would always ask other investors/ contractors what their biggest mistakes were so that I could avoid them.  Lets go back to the first house I ever did and Ill give you a lesson that I still haven’t seemed to learn all the way.  Even though I’ve been told, and told myself a thousand times not to do it!!


Example:  I knew from laying hardwood floors previously that it is very tedious, and hard work.  Your back will hurt for a few days and odds are the final product will not be quite what you were hoping for.  I didn’t have a lot of square footage to lay, so I wanted to pay someone to do it.

Where to find this person to lay the floors?  How about the kind-of-sketchy looking guy in the flooring isle at Home Depot that says he will do it for $2 a square foot (that’s a fair price to pay, though we pay $1.50 right now just to lay the pre finished floors).  DONE!!

He followed me to the job because he could start right then!!  I thought this was great!  It is, however, not great at all.  He was in the Home Depot in the middle of the workweek with no other job for the rest of the week.   Logically, it makes sense that a good sub contractor would have stuff to do the rest of the week and I would have to book him for the future.

We got to the house and we agreed to the price.  NO MONEY WAS PAID BEFORE HAND!!!  This is the saving grace in a bad sub contractor situation.  If they do not have materials to purchase, DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY!!!!! And, if they do have materials to purchase, you call in the payment to the supply house directly.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Ask me how I found this out…

An hour or two into the guy being there, his “team” showed up.  The kid that must have been no older than 12 started to clean up the debris and the fluffy haired guy (that I kind of recognized) started pulling up the tack strip.  The “fluffy haired guy” was a top 10 American Idol Contestant!!  He was the guy that supposedly had a “relationship” with Paula Abdul.  Yeah, laying hardwood floors.  It was wildly obvious that this was not what he wanted to be doing.  Nor was he good at it!!

The job that my guys would do in a half day,  drug out over 4 days with this sub!! Time is money.  At the beginning of each job I figure my carrying costs (interest, taxes, utilities, assoc. fees etc.)  Normally its like adding another guy to the payroll each day!! He finished and the job was done poorly.  I begrudgingly paid him.

I will admit that to this day I take recommendations from people that I shouldn’t.  it’s always tempting to hire the hourly guy that’s 8 bucks an hour, but you’ll pay WAY more in the long run (in actual dollars for the b.s. and time lost)  There’s generally a reason that person isn’t demanding $20.00 an hour or bidding the jobs the way they should be bid.  It’s a very hard cycle to break free from.  DON’T DO IT!!  Find the guys that do it the right way.  Get recommendations from others, or check out references.

More to come from Brandon’s wide world of real estate mistakes!!