Tag: People Management (3 articles found) - Clear Search

Working with Contractors

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In our last blog, we covered being a better landlord on your buy and holds. Here we’ll discuss a few tips to make working with contractors a little easier, whether on a flip or rental.

First, set a plan before starting, and stick to it! The plan should have a good, clear outline of how you want the project to finish. This includes materials and a budget. Many newer investors either don’t set a budget or blow past it. This is a recipe for disaster.

Second, contact your entire list of possible contractors and get bids. Many investors, to save time, may only talk to one contractor or sub. Take the time to really explain what you’re looking for, provide the plan & budget you’ve set, and get several bids. It’s worth your time.

Third, take the time to compare and contrast the different bids. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. You’ll need to understand how and where the contractor is making money. Is there a line-item fee? Is the contractor “padding” materials or labor? Does the contractor include labor & materials in one line-item? You may need to go back and get more specific information from the contractor. Take the time to do this.

Fourth, ask and learn how the contractor handles changes, whether those come from you or them. This seems to be one of the bigges
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When The Crazy Customer Strikes

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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” - Lao Tzu

Last week, I wrote about handling upset customers, and I laid out a simple four-step method: H.E.A.R.

1) Hear the customer and don't interrupt.  
2) Mirror back (Empathize) with something like: "I can understand why you're upset.  I would be upset too." Or, "I'm really sorry that happened to you."
3) Ask: "What can I do to make this right?" 
4) Resolve - Unless the request is absolutely ridiculous, DO IT!

But what happens if the customer is completely ridiculous?

It starts here: as the owner or general manager of the business you'll need to decide just how much empowerment you'll give your staff to resolve an issue.

Let's assume you have 3 levels of personnel in your business – front-line, manager, and you. You might give the front-line person the aut
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The Best Kind of Leaders Do This

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"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it'll always get you the right ones." - John Lennon

Perhaps it's not at all surprising that today's manager is pulled in many directions -- and often does such a poor job.

It's the irony of the digital age -- we have so many tools at our disposal to "virtually" connect with one another, that the real work of connecting in person is becoming a lost art. Posting status updates, sending emails, texting -- we've forgotten how to work without the digital assistance.

And, ultimately, being a business manager is about actual interpersonal influence and leadership. When you're used to leading virtually, it's harder to lead in person.

Even worse, perhaps because of all of these distractions (or, perhaps because of a modern, misplaced desire to be liked) managers learn to ignore the "small things", because there are just so many to keep track of that it seems "uptight" to track them. But when you start relaxing standards in the small tasks of
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