“Mr. Plumber, have I told you lately you are the salt of the earth?”
Salt, necessary for human life, was once a highly prized commodity that could not be easily accessed in many parts of the world.
However, most of us associate salt as nothing more than the inexpensive stuff that tastes good sprinkled on food. Salt is listed in multiple resources with thousands of uses. Not only does the human body need it to function properly, but salt can be utilized for everything from producing chemicals to de-icing roads.
Your contractors can be as essential as salt. I know, from this firsthand example:
It was just the average first-of-the-month Saturday filled with bookkeeping work, deadlines of the grace period and the early banking hours. Of course, amidst this standard chaos here comes a crisis call. The resident had water that would not turn off and needed an immediate solution.
The quickness with which I can take action in such a situation is vital to the costs involved with possible property damage as well as my relationship to the resident and owner. We began by attempting to calm the resident with assurance that we empathize with the situation but needed to gather facts and images. We asked detailed questions about the start of the event and the history of the issue today and any relevant past information we could provide the contractor.
As I gathered this information, my mind ran ahead. Should this have been noticed during a regularly scheduled inspection? What plumbers are available in the area? What plumbers will not charge astronomical rates on a Saturday? Are there any alternative plans that will calm the resident and postpone the fix until a Monday? I quickly scrambled to find a contractor who was ready, willing and able to interrupt his/her weekend plans to access the situation and provide resolution.
Once the proper assistance was provided, I could take a second to sigh with relief. A contractor you know and trust is fundamental. As most investors are aware, the contractor relationship is essential to your success. It’s of value to review and edit your best practices. Are there regularly scheduled maintenance inspections at the properties? Do those inspections include images? Does each inspection sheet cover items to prevent emergencies?
I recommend a plan of investment in your relationships. Develop a strong network by attending many local REIA meetings and create the roots you need in the community. Helping others will pay you back in your time of need.
Finding new contractor relationships will be an ongoing part of your business. Contractor relationships can make you shine and add value to a resident’s experience in your property. Your team and the social capital you build through reputation and relationships will be a precious commodity. Launching strong relationships will multiply and continue to open up new paths of value.
About the Author
Linda Liberatore is the founder and president of My Landlord Helper—Secure Pay One, a unique virtual assistant solution for DIY real estate investors. She also is a motivational speaker and author of the book “Daily Inspirations to Achieve Your Real Estate Investment Goals.” Her second book is due out Spring 2017. She has conducted more than 1,000 workshops focusing on setting goals and implementing technology and best business processes. Her ability to transform a property suffering from reduced collections into a flourishing one is displayed by a 98 percent client retention rate.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.