The care and feeding of a Contractor

At our last Movers and Shakers (12/9/2016) a beginning Investor showed up and I was reminded of what NOT to do in The care and feeding of a Contractor.

It seems this beginning Real Estate Investor had found a “Cinderella” deal (that’s what I call an opportunity that you don’t recognize right away). When he joined us at our regular meeting months ago he had mentioned it and said he had no idea what it needed nor how to do it. So as everyone introduced themselves and what they needed, Rich, a successful (and very busy) Master Electrician and General Contractor, offered to help him.

which is typical at our meetings

Later that week the Beginner and Rich drove West for about an hour from Boston and spent several hours at the Property. After that, Rich thought the Beginner knew it was a deal and knew what to do about it.

However, no thank you from the Beginner to Rich or any further contact.

Months later they met at another of our meetings and I asked how it went.
Beginner – “Oh, I passed on that deal. I didn’t have a good feeling about it…”

Rich – “You’re kidding. That was a good deal. You would have made money on it. We ran the numbers. I would have done it, if you had told me you weren’t going ahead and how about all the time we spent there?”

I believe I’ve often been able to put myself in my opponents shoes and I think I have some idea of what they want, however it’s important to listen twice as much as you speak (hence your two ears and one mouth;-) to gain a better understanding of what someone wants.

So to avoid further disappointment between Real Estate Investors and Contractors you may want to keep these points in mind:
A Contractor can probably remember not too long ago that they had to look for work. Now that there’s plenty of work for contractors, they can become more discerning with the jobs they take and even raise there prices. So they’re very busy!

A Real Estate Investor, if under 30, may not have trade skills that everyone had when we lived on farms generations ago. They see most material, unvetted, on Blogs that tells them how to Simply become a successful Real Estate Investor. Since EVERYTHING is available on-line and free, then they believe, everything outside the web should be easily available and free.

First, Ask the Contractor/Investor what they’ve been working on?

Next, Listen to what they answer and process it. Don’t just keep asking questions without seeming to listen. Process the answer and comment on that response.

After listening for awhile, volunteer some information about yourself and wait for comments.

Finally, Ask if they could help you find someone that could do something in particular and listen again.

Usually a request for Help will be answered, especially if you’ve had a thoughtful conversation. If not ask me, I know most of the members or we could ask it in our weekly email.

David, Brian, Rich and Mike



PS Don’t forget the care and feeding of a Contractor could include coffee, a meal or some gas money!


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