Perhaps this thread should be in the "off topic" ? Looking back and finding paystubs from 30 years ago brought back some nostalgia and low feelings.
I have been very fortunate to own several different businesses and worked at some good jobs and look at the pay that was earned and compare to today.
: Worked at a warehouse job part-time while in college. PT wage was $13.42/hour. Today that same warehouse, for the #5 largest Grocery store chain, is paying $10.25/hour for FULL-time. A wage decrease of nearly 25%. Costs to own home/auto/food/insurance has all increased nearly 100%.
Owned an insurance brokerage office. In 1983 till the mid 90's we would get 20% commission on an auto or a homeowners policy on the 1st years premium. By 2005 the commissions had dropped to 5% on auto policies and 3-5% on a homeowners policy. An earnings decrease of nearly 75% less while costs continued to escalate. Sold in Nov 2011 due to this very reason. Only way to recoup this loss of commissions was to "sell more" ie....volume.
Started doing P&P work (totally by accident) while doing insurance inspections on Force Placed Insurance Policies and writing Homeowners policies for different banks in an attempt to earn more "volume" due to the commissions had started sliding downhill. By 1998 I found myself doing the full scope of Preservation work and really enjoyed the pay and the industry.
First Preston paid $1500 flat fee on up to 25cyds debris (first company with a flat fee that I know of). Lawn service $250 up to 10". $150 maid service. Hazards separate bid.
Cyprexx was $40cyd + lawn + maid service + any hazards. They topped out at $1500 +/- then we had to bid to complete.
Safeguard was $40cyd + lawn/maid service + hazards. No limit.
MCS was $50cyd + Lawn/maid service + hazards. No limit.
These prices were the day's when you actually made a profit! We had offices in 4 States (MN, IA, SC & NE) and provided exceptional service. The crews could take 2 vacations a year--well deserved vacations for the 60 hr weeks they would put in. Yearly Christmas party for each State that we could actually afford.
Formed an Adjusting business. So far so good and having a great time fighting the insurance companies on behalf of the homeowner/businessowner.
The reason for this post is twofold: I keep hearing and hopefully contributing to this forum and consider each and everyone of you a "internet" friend. Does it seem though that everyone in the Preservation field is a dinosaur? The end is here but nobody knows what else to do? Pricing is continuing the downward spiral.. I know its got to hit bottom at some point but till then.... how much valuable time are you wasting in the wait game to see what becomes of the industry?
I wish I had the answers... I think I know what has happened.. Corporate Greed and Government fraud. The suits know that this industry is going to change (limited profit) so why not plunder from the contractor NOW to pocket as much profit as possible before they exit the industry.
Where I am located we are rich in history from the coal mining days... John L Lewis, the founder of the union (United Coal Miners) that fought the Coal Mining Companies, was born and raised just 8 miles from where I type. He was fed up with the injustice of the worker.... Not saying there needs to be a union but something needs to be done! Maybe the Guild might help..... Its to be seen but they will only be able to do so much without some BITE and getting without that bite will only leave them a bark. I sincerely hope, for everyone in the Preservation Field to contribute to any organization that may be able to help straighten this out.... if you want to continue anyway.