I used to be afraid of online shopping. In the beginning, my fear was tied to my bank account. I was worried that someone would steal my credit card, or worse, my identity. I’d heard the Internet was an unsavory place, full of criminals lurking in the cyber shadows.
Once I learned about the all the extra safety measures retailers took to protect their consumers, I became more comfortable with the idea of buying goods and services online.
Then a new fear came about…
What if I don’t like something I buy? What if it doesn’t fit?
What if I don’t like the color?
What if the paper towels aren’t absorbent enough?
Turns out, there’s a simple solution for this problem too. Free returns. My favorite online retailer, Amazon, will take practically anything back and pay for my shipping costs.
I’ve returned my daughter’s Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars (they didn’t fit) and parts for my broken blender (they were for the wrong model). I once returned a $1,200 Canon telephoto lens because I had buyer’s remorse.
So now, I’ve completely changed. I avoid brick and mortar stores whenever possible, and purchase online. I’m addicted to the Amazon app on my phone.
A Moneymaking Discovery
When Manny and I started fixing and flipping houses in Milwaukee back in 2012, we thought the best approach would be to hire a general contractor to remodel the entire property. Having a single point of contact made sense to us.
But, we couldn’t scale our business this way. You see, most general contractors can only manage one project at a time (even though most say they can do more).
Determined to take advantage of the opportunity in Milwaukee, we decided to hire a project manager to oversee all of our fix and flip projects. At the time, we had 8 houses under construction. And unfortunately, our project manager couldn’t handle all the work. So, we had to fire him.
Rather than give up, we decided one of us would have to be in Milwaukee every week until we could figure out how to rehab multiple houses at a time, and stay on schedule and budget.
Manny took over as our project manager, and when it was my turn to fly into town; I was his eyes and ears.
For each property, we hired a general construction crew that did rough and finish carpentry work, roof installation, siding installation, cabinet installation, painting, drywall and flooring.
It didn’t take us long to figure out that each of these crews were more efficient at some tasks than others. For example, one of our teams excelled at rough and finish carpentry, but were slow and expensive at painting.
Another crew was terrible at cabinet installation, but fast and inexpensive at hanging drywall.
This discovery helped us make a huge change in the way we run our business.
The All-Star Fix and Flip Rehab Team
Using our budget tracker spreadsheet we began comparing the pricing and the efficiency of our general construction crews. Then, for the three we currently employ, we identified their strengths and weaknesses.
Now, we hire them to do the work they excel at, at each property we rehab. One of the crews does most of our rough and carpentry work, and cabinet installation.
Another team does our drywall and painting. And the other does our exterior siding.
The houses get done fast and done right. Our contractors love it too; they get all the work they love to do at almost every house we remodel.
We’ve built an all-star fix and flip rehab team.
How to Build Your Own All-Star Team
Most contractors will tell you they know how to do it all. They will tell you this because they probably can do it all. They also tell you this because they want all of the work at the property. It’s more profitable for them.
But how do you know if they can do it all well, fast, and inexpensively?
You ask them what they’re best at, what type of work they enjoy most, and how much it will cost. Then, you hire the contractor that is good at what they do and provides you with the most competitive bid.
Repeat this step for each phase of construction at your fix and flip project and you’ll see your timeline shrink, and your profit expand.