Ridiculous job from property preservation company - REO Property Preservation Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2015, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Ridiculous job from property preservation company

Hi,

I am new to property preservation for the most part. I have been mowing lawns and doing landscaping on my own for a while. My business has done pretty good and I've done some mowing for property preservation companies and picture taking for bids. The company I was working with doesn't have much work where I am but are very professional and pay me very well. As in $125 just to take pictures of one house. I answered an ad on Craigslist for another company. They assigned me one job an hour away from me over mountains in a remote town. I agreed to do the job thinking it would be profitable and lead to more work. They wanted me to cut the grass, rekey only one door, and winterize the house. When I spoke to them they told me to call the broker. He thought it was hilarious I was willing to drive an hour out to this house without knowing how much I would be paid. Their pay schedule is $25 for grass cut, $25 for a rekey, and $45 for a winterization. I don't understand how I can do a rekey for $25 when a locking knob and deadbolt costs $25. The Winterization requires me to buy anti-freeze and winterization signs in addition to pressurizing the lines. This house also had a boiler and radiatior system I was unfamiliar with that required anti-freeze in the boiler and radiator. I declined the rekey and winterization because I felt it wasn't worth my time and money. Was this a right call?? Or am I missing something. I told the company I was also unable to fully complete the grass cut as the only grass was that around the house. The grass was 4ft tall around the house. I was told that I would have to drive out there and send them pics to get a bid approved for longer grass. I did just that but did not get any answer. I decided to just go ahead and cut the grass around the house though. I attached a picture so you can see why I couldn't do the front yard. I told them you would have to call someone with a tree truck as it was dangerous for me to try and cut through it because it was a steep slope built on a 20ft high retaining wall I could slip and fall off of. How much would you charge to cut through this and how would you do it? It is to steep to stand on if you can't tell from the pics.

[IMG] http://www.picpaste.com/extpics/WP_2...1-XXNDfVWD.jpg [IMG]
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Jayman View Post
How much would you charge to cut through this and how would you do it? It is to steep to stand on if you can't tell from the pics.
You accepted a work order from a contractor on Craig's List.
You have no idea what the job pays and it is over an hour away.
The broker is laughing.
You admit the winterization is above your skills.
You are unable to complete the grass cut in it's current condition.
Supplying the lock and labor, you would be making no profit on the rekey.

After writing this you are asking us what we would charge to do this work?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I am asking what you guys would charge for all this.

To clarify it is not from a contractor but a property preservation company and I am the "contractor". Also, I could have done the winterization but I did not see the money in it. I just was unfamiliar with the boiler system but I could have figured it out. There is a first time for everything. I am just wondering if something like $25 for a rekey is possible for anyone. The company told me a set of locks only costs $5 but I could not find that price except for just the knob but I had to change the knob and deadbolt.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 10:01 AM
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This has to be a joke, right?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 10:21 AM
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Whether the locks cost $5 per or $150 per is not for your client to be telling you in order to justify what they want to pay.
I know one such contractor who avoids using MFS style bargain basement locks because they are no more than a cosmetic device.
It is likely, from what you have stated, that the company is willing to pay you approximately 1/10th of what the job is actually worth. When you are that far apart, there isn't much point in trying to negotiate for terms even fair, forget favorable to you. I will also add that they aren't concerned so much with your qualifications as they are being able to submit pics and an invoice to the lender.
They will worry all about the QC end once you turn in your invoice.
Do you get the impression yet what I'd advise you to do?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 10:23 AM
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This has to be a joke, right?

We bein punked do realz yo!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jayman View Post
Yes, I am asking what you guys would charge for all this.

To clarify it is not from a contractor but a property preservation company and I am the "contractor". Also, I could have done the winterization but I did not see the money in it. I just was unfamiliar with the boiler system but I could have figured it out. There is a first time for everything. I am just wondering if something like $25 for a rekey is possible for anyone. The company told me a set of locks only costs $5 but I could not find that price except for just the knob but I had to change the knob and deadbolt.
Okay, well as one new guy to another, maybe I can explain without the palm over my face like everyone else.

First, the "property preservation company" that you are a contractor for, at those rates, is almost certainly just another contractor that is working for another contractor that works for a national property preservation company. The reason you are getting $25 for the yard cut is because he is getting $35 from someone who is getting $60 from someone who is getting $85. Everyone is laughing, including the agent, because they know exactly how much you are missing out on for the work required of you.

Second, while there is certainly a first time for everything and no one is born with the knowledge of how to winterize a steam heat system, the fact that you would agree to do one without first studying and understanding the work involved is just scary. While it certainly brings some relief knowing that you didn't actually attempt to do it, you are still putting yourself in extremely risky situations for no guarantee or promise of pay, much less pay that would be compensatory for work that is clearly out of the realm of your clients.

Finally, $25 for a lock change is low, but not the worst thing in the world... except I've never received a work order that wanted both the knob and the deadbolt changed for one price. A lock change is a lock change, whether it is the knob or the deadbolt. I can change one or both, but you will get billed for each lock change I perform.

So what would I charge? The agreed upon rate. The property preservation business, as much as everyone hates it, is a business where you have to be able to work at agreed upon rates. Every company I work for either has provided me a price list or I have provided them a price list. I can either agree to work at those rates, not complain, and make it work or return a list of my rates, not complain, and hope they can afford to make it work.

My price list that I send to clients would bill $90 for the two locks, $110 for the initial yard, and $150 for the winterization. Can you demand $350 for an initial? I'm going to guess probably not, since you're willing to drive an hour based on the promise of a good pay day. Until you learn to stand up for yourself you will either get eaten alive in expenses or quickly find a way out of the sub-sub-sub-contractor trap.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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This isn't a joke and I do make good money on my own. I just wanted to give this company a chance considering they made it sound like they had tons of work for me. If it was just grass cuts and they paid me it would make sense. I still never heard anything from them on how much they are going to pay me for the grass I did cut. They told me to just cut around the house but could not give me a price on the phone. I think I'll be lucky to even see $25. I still would like to know if anyone can do a rekey for $25 and how?

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 01:40 PM
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Are you a licensed general contractor? In some states you HAVE to be to do a winterization or rekey. If you aren't and you do those jobs you will lose a lot more than a couple hours of driving time.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCC View Post
Okay, well as one new guy to another, maybe I can explain without the palm over my face like everyone else.

First, the "property preservation company" that you are a contractor for, at those rates, is almost certainly just another contractor that is working for another contractor that works for a national property preservation company. The reason you are getting $25 for the yard cut is because he is getting $35 from someone who is getting $60 from someone who is getting $85. Everyone is laughing, including the agent, because they know exactly how much you are missing out on for the work required of you.

Second, while there is certainly a first time for everything and no one is born with the knowledge of how to winterize a steam heat system, the fact that you would agree to do one without first studying and understanding the work involved is just scary. While it certainly brings some relief knowing that you didn't actually attempt to do it, you are still putting yourself in extremely risky situations for no guarantee or promise of pay, much less pay that would be compensatory for work that is clearly out of the realm of your clients.

Finally, $25 for a lock change is low, but not the worst thing in the world... except I've never received a work order that wanted both the knob and the deadbolt changed for one price. A lock change is a lock change, whether it is the knob or the deadbolt. I can change one or both, but you will get billed for each lock change I perform.

So what would I charge? The agreed upon rate. The property preservation business, as much as everyone hates it, is a business where you have to be able to work at agreed upon rates. Every company I work for either has provided me a price list or I have provided them a price list. I can either agree to work at those rates, not complain, and make it work or return a list of my rates, not complain, and hope they can afford to make it work.

My price list that I send to clients would bill $90 for the two locks, $110 for the initial yard, and $150 for the winterization. Can you demand $350 for an initial? I'm going to guess probably not, since you're willing to drive an hour based on the promise of a good pay day. Until you learn to stand up for yourself you will either get eaten alive in expenses or quickly find a way out of the sub-sub-sub-contractor trap.
Very well written first post , Kudos to you and Welcome to the site.
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