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Ten tips that you would do well to heed.

I'm sure some of my seasoned co-horts can chime in with more if they get a hanker'in to do so.

1.) Get any delusion of fast, easy and big money out of your head. You are going to work your arse off for every single penny you bill for. Notice I didn't say make. To many beancounters arbitrarily making decisions to chargeback the contractor for WHATEVER they think will increase their bottom line. NOT YOURS.

2.) Make absolutely sure that you are set up properly / legally for doing this business. Yes, that means ALL the required licenses, ALL the required insurances, accounting system of some sort, etc....

3.) Taking a basic business class or studying up on how to run a business will help to make you money....Uhmmm typically. You may find the book Mark Up and Profit useful. Remember, you're in this to make a good living.

4.) Invest in yourself. This isn't always a monetary investment. More often then not it should be a constant desire to learn. The library and internet are your friends.

5.) Always remember, most of the people that you deal with in this business could give a Stink Pickle less about you, your family, your dog, your house, your business etc....

6.) Figure out what YOU need to make and stick to it. $200 could sound like great money to cut a lawn, unless the grass is 6 feet high, filled with debris, on an acre lot, etc.... You get the point. The numbers have to work for you to run your business. Not just for beer money for the weekend. If that's your desire, Please prompltly remove yourself from the gene pool. The professionals in this business would appreciate it.

7.) You will find most of the seasoned folk on here talk about NOT RELYING on this business. You would do well to heed this advice. It's getting worse by the day. This is the cold hard truth. The Lepracon has run off with the "Pot O Gold" at the end of this rainbow. Now it's more like a mason jar full of Plug Nickles.

8.) Be sure you have all the necessary equipment needed to perform the various services requested in this business. A Kentucky tool box with a Pipe Wrench, a Hammer and a bicycle tire pump does not a P&P or REO Contractor make. Nothin' against Kentuckians.

9.) Keep great records and a mindful eye on your outstanding invoices. Funny how the Nationals / Regionals often misplace them, claim they never got them or the check is in the mail routine. There is NEVER urgency on their part to get you paid. ONLY to have you do their work on a moments notice.

10.) Don't bet the farm on this and watch how deep you let ANY company get into you. They can easily rack up thousands of dollars worth of invoices they owe you on and string you along until they send someone to do P&P on your house.

Hope this helps.

Good luck:whistling
 
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Great points!!
Especially #5 & #7.

#5 - make them think you are their best friend but don't ever become their best friend. :no:

#7 - save as much as possible. do not piss it away as fast as it comes in. and don't tell your wife how much you have or are making! :no:
 

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A few more............

#11) buy plenty of vaseline and a couple of packages of new underwear. You WILL end up taking it in the shorts a few times before you figure out who's who in this business. All of us have.

#12) like Kenny Rogers' says, "know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away". Not everyone is right for this business and this business is not right for everyone. Learn to understand when you're winning the war but losing the battle. If it's a struggle to stay on top, it might be time to go.

#13) drive and motivation are your greatest strengths or weakest points. Your business will treat you the way you treat it and you will only get out of it what you put into it.

#14) at the end of a tough day, it's not always about the money.

Linda
 
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a1propertyclean said:
A few more............

#11) buy plenty of vaseline and a couple of packages of new underwear. You WILL end up taking it in the shorts a few times before you figure out who's who in this business. All of us have.

#12) like Kenny Rogers' says, "know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away". Not everyone is right for this business and this business is not right for everyone. Learn to understand when you're winning the war but losing the battle. If it's a struggle to stay on top, it might be time to go.

#13) drive and motivation are your greatest strengths or weakest points. Your business will treat you the way you treat it and you will only get out of it what you put into it.

#14) at the end of a tough day, it's not always about the money.

Linda
Great job, Linda!! :thumbsup:
 
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Thanks for the input peeps:thumbup:

Here's some more.

15.) For the love of everything that you hold dear in life, Be cautious and careful when going to and entering these properties. The areas can and often are not in the best location. You have NO IDEA typically what you are entering or about to encounter. You could be entering a Meth Lab, Crack house, a Sick House (From Hazardous or Biological Waste Contamination - Most often Mold.), a structurally unsound dwelling - one that has possibly been condemned. You could encounter animals (Both Dead and Alive), You could walk in on vagrants, you could walk in on a drug deal, massive amounts of flaking lead based paint, pipes wrapped with asbestos, etc.etc.etc.

If you don't feel that you can do your job safely, DON"T DO IT.

Use all your senses and proceed cautiously until you've determined what your up against. I NEVER enter a house empty handed.

Now this isn't saying that every structure you enter will be like this. But they are deffinately out there.

Also, BE VERY CAREFUL when going up or down stairs until you are sure they are safe and can support you properly. I've been in houses where the stair to the basement were severely damaged,or completely missing.

KNOW the AREA you are in. I was installing a "Security door" in a neighborhood known for drug activity. About 3 rowhouses down from where I was working in the middle of the day, someone was shot. I watched them put him on the stretcher. Lucky for him, he only got shot in his ARSE.
 

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You are SO right about safety. Don't go against your instincts. If a place really gives you the creeps either leave or proceed with extreme caution. We all get those vibes from time to time and they can certainly make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

My ex-partner went to a property in San Diego a few years ago that had trip wires throughout the back yard with explosives hooked up to them.

They were barely noticeable and, if he hadn't been on the demo team in the Navy, he might not have recognized them. And, if he was like anyone who'd never seen one, he might have reached down to pull it out of the ground, thinking someone else might trip over it.

One of our vendors walked through a house up in Oregon and fell into a hole in a bedroom doorway that was 2' x 3', as soon as he opened the bedroom door.

Another vendor came across a vagrant in a house who held him at gunpoint, then knocked him out with it. Fortunately, the vagrants didn't have any ammo.

I could go on and on but I won't. There really ARE dangers out there and we've seen or heard of quite a few.

#16) it's a BAD, BAD, BAD idea to take your kids with you to a property. THEY will be distracted by just about anything and YOU will be distracted by them. Stay focused and stay safe.

#17) NEVER let a neighbor, or anyone you don't know, go into the house with you. There is risk to you AND risk to your insurance if they hurt you or hurt themselves. They could be scoping the house out to see what they can come back for. Simply tell people that your insurance policy will not allow you to have anyone on the property but yourself.

#18) get a business card from any realtor who shows up. Let your coordinator know about the visit and give them the contact info. If you get a bad feeling, ask for their ID.

Linda
 
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And another thing while I'm thinking about it.

19.) NEVER EVER NEVER EVER Back feed electric to a house. Some companies will try to get you to do this. You must stand your ground and absolutely refuse to do so.:mad:

This could result in someones death or fire.

Remember, the liability will all fall on you.

You go to jail, the company that dispatched the work order to you gets paid and the owner / mortgage company gets a nice fat insurance check. Just doesn't add up does it?
 
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a1propertyclean said:
A few more............


#14) at the end of a tough day, it's not always about the money.

Linda
Maybe prop. pres. is different, but at the end of the day, it is all about the money.

Don't get me wrong, the "feeling of a job well done" is great, but not so much if you didn't make a profit.
 
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a1propertyclean said:
You are SO right about safety. Don't go against your instincts. If a place really gives you the creeps either leave or proceed with extreme caution. We all get those vibes from time to time and they can certainly make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

My ex-partner went to a property in San Diego a few years ago that had trip wires throughout the back yard with explosives hooked up to them.

They were barely noticeable and, if he hadn't been on the demo team in the Navy, he might not have recognized them. And, if he was like anyone who'd never seen one, he might have reached down to pull it out of the ground, thinking someone else might trip over it.

One of our vendors walked through a house up in Oregon and fell into a hole in a bedroom doorway that was 2' x 3', as soon as he opened the bedroom door.

Another vendor came across a vagrant in a house who held him at gunpoint, then knocked him out with it. Fortunately, the vagrants didn't have any ammo.

I could go on and on but I won't. There really ARE dangers out there and we've seen or heard of quite a few.

#16) it's a BAD, BAD, BAD idea to take your kids with you to a property. THEY will be distracted by just about anything and YOU will be distracted by them. Stay focused and stay safe.

#17) NEVER let a neighbor, or anyone you don't know, go into the house with you. There is risk to you AND risk to your insurance if they hurt you or hurt themselves. They could be scoping the house out to see what they can come back for. Simply tell people that your insurance policy will not allow you to have anyone on the property but yourself.

#18) get a business card from any realtor who shows up. Let your coordinator know about the visit and give them the contact info. If you get a bad feeling, ask for their ID.

Linda
Somemore great points Linda.

20.) Also, always have your authorzing paperwork (i.e. Work Order) with you, your I.D. and Your company business card or proof of your company. You will eventually have the police called on you by a nosy neighbor. Remember, they have no idea who you are or what you are doing on the property. Without proof that you are suppose to be there you could easily spend a night in jail.

Bubba and Snaggle Tooth Joe might enjoy the company, but I doubt you will.:no:
 

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a1propertyclean said:
#18) get a business card from any realtor who shows up. Let your coordinator know about the visit and give them the contact info. If you get a bad feeling, ask for their ID.

Linda



Sounds like there is a story begging to be told here.




Great bullet points that have been posted so far.

I absolutely agree with good record keeping and NOT making one client your sole source of income. And NOT making P&P your only source of income.
I used P&P as my sole source of getting out of trucking, but SOON, VERY SOON realized just how much of a career dead end the industry is.
 

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BPWY said:
Sounds like there is a story begging to be told here.
lol. Perhaps. ;)

To add to DreamWeaver's comment about carrying paperwork with you.........

Early in the game [about 4 years ago], we were doing pre-sale properties for FAFS. One day, my partner and my son went to a property to cut the grass in the front yard and found that someone had shot foam insulation into the lock and there was now a vehicle in the driveway.

Not wanting to do any work until they found out if it was occupied, they knocked and rang the doorbell and no one was there. While they were waiting on a call back from me to see what the client wanted them to do, the neighbor came out with a gun on his hip, demanding to know who they were. Before he confronted them, however, he had called the cops.

The cops arrived within minutes and had my son and my partner in handcuffs instantly, then had my son call me to come to the property to deal with the situation.

When I got there, I found that the reason they were handcuffed is because the cops were told there were a couple of suspicious looking guys at the property, trying to open the lock. The cops wouldn't let them get the work order out of the truck to show that they had permission to access the property and were handcuffed for trespassing, loitering [waiting for my call], and possible B & E.

Now, I'm usually a pretty easy going person but the sight of my son in handcuffs pissed me off and I let the cop in charge have it. Both barrels! When it comes to my kids, I don't fool around.

The cop removed the handcuffs when I showed him the same paperwork he wouldn't let them get out of the truck.

Then I found out that the car in the driveway belonged to the neighbor with the gun and, because of the way he had come out of his house, telling my guys he was some kind of "field agent", with his hand on the gun on his hip, and his high and mighty attitude the whole time I was talking to the cop, I asked him to remove his vehicle from the premises before I had it towed away.

The cops just laughed and told him he thought it might be a good idea to remove it, then told me to have a good day and left. Before they did, though, the officer in charge told me that he could not confirm what type of "field agent" this guy was either and they ran him the same way they ran my partner and my son. He could have been an IRS agent, for all we know. :laughing:

It ended well but I can see several ways, during this scenario, that it might not have. The cops could have arrested my guys for trespassing, ME for public nuisance :laughing:, and the guy next door could have shot us all.

But the day didn't end there, just that segment of it.:blink:

I went back to my office and the guys went to the next property. I no sooner walked through the door when I got another call from my son.

This time they were lying face down and, once again, in handcuffs.:rolleyes: The neighbors had called the cops and, ALSO once again, the guys had left the paperwork in the truck!:censored:

Since I had already unloaded on the other cop, I had no "ammo" left in me. I was upset but all I could do was chuckle [kinda] and asked my son to have the cop call me, at which point I asked him to go to the truck, pull out the clipboard with the orders on it, and look for the one with that address.

Thankfully, this cop was agreeable and ended up removing the handcuffs and letting the guys go back to work.

After the 2nd time in one day, my guys NEVER got out of the truck without folding up the work order and putting it in their back pocket. I think we ALL learned a lesson that day about the importance of having proof ON YOU that you have permission to access the property.

This business has been quite an adventure, in one way or another, over the past 4 years but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world. I've been taught a LOT of lessons about people, from the good ones to the absolute scum of the earth.

Linda
 

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Many years ago during my first round of P&P when we did things WAY differently than now......

I had a run in with the fuzz where a neighbor had called me in.
The company I was working for told me to NEVER ever go without paper work. It was in the pickup. Always has been.
Any way I'm doing the spread em routine up against the wall while being felt up by three big fuzz all bigger than me.

I never was cuffed but they were pretty rough and then walked with me to the pickup to get the paper work.
Ran my DL and cut me loose.

Now days it seems that the neighbors will come over and ask whats up before calling the fuzz.
Also my company name is on the side of my truck in very large letters.
Most SANE folks will realize that some one that is advertising their name that loudly probably is going to be legit.

I did have an angry realtor call the cops on me in '10. I sat in the truck waited 15 mins for the po po to show up. Nothing.
So I call and talk to the small town's main man. He was laughing and told me to do my thing. As long as I had a work order he wasn't going to interfere with what I was doing. He told the realtor to pound sand. That his disagreement with me changing one rear door lock and winterizing was a civil matter and he was NOT going to get involved.
I got to work after my conversation with him.
 

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great advice guys and gals this business is getting worse by the day,and companies getting really bad about paying,safety is always 1st had an employee at a house today and was threatened by intruder inside said if he didnt leave now he'd shoot him,nephew said smell of crack cooking was so bad he was ready to puke..so never think a house is empty just because it looks empty you never know what lurks behind closed doors.
 
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Just wait till you meet up with a Laotian gang dividing up the bounty!
 

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FremontREO said:
Just wait till you meet up with a Laotian gang dividing up the bounty!





Spill the story.
 
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21.) Read the contracts you sign and understand YOUR Liability.

22.) Know the laws in your area and what you can and can't legally do. This ties in with number 21. You see, if you violate some law or for lack of a better term, screw something up, you're on your own. The company that dispatched the work order to you will be the first to point the finger at you and to say it was your responsibility to know better.

23.) Now 22 is a good segway into this tip. Do Not let any company / representative issuing you a work order bully you into doing something that you shouldn't. There will be times and companies / reps that will most certainly try to. If you cave and something goes wrong they will hang you out to dry in a heart beat. Remember, these companies stress in their contracts that you sign with them that you are by no means an employee, that you are an independant contractor (This could be argued.). Thus you decide what you / your company will or will not do.

24.) Get it in writing. Reps lie.......... Enough said. You'll be suprised at how often this request will be denied. If so, tell them you cannot proceed without satisfactory written authorization signed by whomever is requesting the work. :no:

25.) These companies can Smell Desperation. If they can tell you are desperate, they know you are more apt to be manipulated and beat down.
 

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to the newbees thinking about getting into property preservation,rethink everything its not all its cracked up to be and you'll be lucky if you keep up with bills gas and expenses kill you and the nationals could care less,long as they have the next dick or jane to call to make them richer,its a real joke my friends
 

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I may be reviving an old thread here, but i'm new to the site.

About knowing your local laws, not too long ago the state of Alabama, in an effort to curb vehicle theft, decided to pass a law that a vehicle could not be sold for scrap without a title. Before, you could remove old abandoned vehicles and sell them for scrap without any paperwork. People were loosing their ride to work at an alarming rate. Well, it takes about 60 days to go through the "Abandoned Vehile Title" process. Which mean the vehicle has to be stored for 60 days. You have to pay a tow company (if you don't have your own towing equip), you have to pay fees to obtain the title, you have to advertise the "auction" of the vehicle for two weeks prior to the "auction" in the local paper, you have to research and contact any lein holders for the vehicle. Then you can have it hauled off to the scrap yard.

I just tell them, I can't remove vehicles for the allowable due to state requirements and laws.

And this one should be in bold letters the size of a pickup truck NEVER GO TO A PROPERTY WITHOUT THE PAPERWORK. :)
 

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BamaPPC said:
I may be reviving an old thread here, but i'm new to the site.

About knowing your local laws, not too long ago the state of Alabama, in an effort to curb vehicle theft, decided to pass a law that a vehicle could not be sold for scrap without a title. Before, you could remove old abandoned vehicles and sell them for scrap without any paperwork. People were loosing their ride to work at an alarming rate. Well, it takes about 60 days to go through the "Abandoned Vehile Title" process. Which mean the vehicle has to be stored for 60 days. You have to pay a tow company (if you don't have your own towing equip), you have to pay fees to obtain the title, you have to advertise the "auction" of the vehicle for two weeks prior to the "auction" in the local paper, you have to research and contact any lein holders for the vehicle. Then you can have it hauled off to the scrap yard.

I just tell them, I can't remove vehicles for the allowable due to state requirements and laws.

And this one should be in bold letters the size of a pickup truck NEVER GO TO A PROPERTY WITHOUT THE PAPERWORK. :)
Same in AZ and UT unless you go through the police dept who donates it for charities
 
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