Paging: Jeffrey
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Paging: Jeffrey (by Roy [AL]) Aug 8, 2022 4:54 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Robert J [CA]) Aug 8, 2022 6:41 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Roy [AL]) Aug 8, 2022 6:59 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by MMIT [VA]) Aug 8, 2022 7:27 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Ken [NY]) Aug 8, 2022 7:42 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Roy [AL]) Aug 8, 2022 8:08 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Jeffrey [VA]) Aug 8, 2022 8:15 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Robert J [CA]) Aug 8, 2022 8:23 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Roy [AL]) Aug 8, 2022 9:06 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by small potatoes [NY]) Aug 8, 2022 10:26 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by GKARL [PA]) Aug 8, 2022 10:27 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by dino [CA]) Aug 8, 2022 10:58 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Aug 8, 2022 11:30 PM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Aug 9, 2022 9:20 AM
       Paging: Jeffrey (by Robin [WI]) Aug 9, 2022 8:52 PM

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Paging: Jeffrey (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 4:54 PM


Today I had a talk with my #1 painter (Ricky) who had asked me a month ago if he could be put in charge of handling all of my DIY jobs (my 20%) when my next vacancy occurs. I told him a month ago, that would be a major responsibility and I was not sure he could handle everything I do in getting a vacancy in ready to rent condition again. Today, he made it clear he wants me to train him in everything he needs to know about how I handle a vacancy, from start to finish.

I told him that on my next vacancy, I will take him along as my apprentice and make a serious attempt to train him on how deal with a rental house that needs 'certain things done to it' to bring it back to being 'cute and cozy' again, and also to get it to pass my city's rental house inspection (again). In the meantime, I will begin to create 'check lists' that Ricky can follow. Now, if things don't work out, I will just demote him and just hire him as a painter again.

Do you have any suggestion for me? Words of Wisdom?

Paging: Jeffrey (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 6:41 PM

Every time I'd take one of my "employee's" (I am a Licensed Building Contractor with 6 trade licenses in California) how to be well versed in repairs, remodels or upgrading, THEN they would pull some NO-SHOWS and not complete an assignment so they could work on a side job.

From working for me for 3 years and getting a good salary plus a free apartment (for him, wife and child), he'd barely work 3 days a week.

So I told him I didn't mind if he gave me advanced notice, but he just had to complete his current assignment.

He left me and took another of my full time employee's with him. Since he had no license, he could not accept, or get paid, for any job of $500 or more. Within a few months he went out of business and wanted to come back to work for me. I agreed and gave him a raise. But he still pulled not showing up on the job saying he was sick at home taking care of his family. While his truck was on a job site, GPS, and he was working for another landlord per job and not by salary. That didn't last either. He had to leave my free apartment and work for others, not reliable anymore.

I'd rather not depend on ONE person for everything. Spread the work around. --47.156.xx.xx

Paging: Jeffrey (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 6:59 PM

Robert J,

By giving your guy a free apartment, you did something I would never do. I would never do 'business' with a tenant. I am sorry you got taken advantage of. And that may happen to me too. Ricky is not an employee nor is he a tenant either. He is one of about 6 independent contractors that are on 'my team'.

Ricky has the potential to be a great handyman. He can do a lot of things other than just painting. I just want to know if it possible for me to train someone else to do all of the nickel and dime DIY jobs that someone has to do at every vacancy.

Now, if anyone else here has trained a person, other than a family member, to do all of your DIY rental house projects, I would like to hear from you too.

Paging: Jeffrey (by MMIT [VA]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 7:27 PM


I do not have any words of wisdom. I have failed miserably in finding good help.

For example, my first helper in 2014 had just graduated from college (forestry and wildlife), but, wanted a job where he used his hands.

He was smart, learned quickly, good with tenants, easy to work with, and he was honest.

We looked at houses that he could buy and start building his RE business. We worked through the numbers on several houses and saw where he could have a $1M net worth in less than 10 years.

But, I need to find some help soon - retirement is coming up quickly.

But, he wanted to live “out west”.

He quit a year later and eventually moved to the Seattle area where he started a handyman business that is being subsidized by a family member.

I saw him recently and he was very happy with his life and is still not interested in investing in RE.

Paging: Jeffrey (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 7:42 PM

Roy,if he cant show up regularly and on time he isnt foreman material.I think you need to find someone else. --74.77.xx.xx

Paging: Jeffrey (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 8:08 PM


There will come a time when Ricky and I will talk about what I think he needs to improve on. Ricky shows up when he is supposed to, however, he seems to be at his wife's beckon call. That situation will get better with time though. Ricky just needs to be trained properly, that is all.

At this writing, I am not sure when my next vacancy will happen, so adopting Ricky as my apprentice could be a few months.

Paging: Jeffrey (by Jeffrey [VA]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 8:15 PM

Roy, the first word of wisdom I would share with you was actually already expressed in another discussion by MikeA. He mentioned how he had hired the wife of a 20 something who was a daughter of a home builder and she did several needed jobs for him. She worked part-time and it appeared she worked out well for him.

The problem he discovered was when she moved out of the area a year later after Mike had done lots of training with her, he realized he had not taken the time to write down all the instructions, checklists, procedures and guidelines he had only verbally communicated. So when he wanted to get a new helper, he had to start all the training all over again from scratch. Two lessons from this.

1. Everything you wish to train and verbally instruct your trainee, make sure you take the time to write it all down in the form of guidelines, procedures and checklists.

2. As echoed by Robert J above, while having a trainee is great who can do many of the tasks you need done; never total rely solely on one person. Always be on the lookout for at least one additional person who can also serve as back-up help. And when you find a potential secondary person, have them also do some of the work.

Paging: Jeffrey (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 8:23 PM

I gave free rent to an employee of my construction business. At the time it was only $500 a month. So he was getting $125 a week in extra pay from this free rent. Not appreciated.

I also give my mangers free rent plus an hourly salary for the hours worked each month. --47.156.xx.xx

Paging: Jeffrey (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 9:06 PM

Thanks Jeffrey,..I will heed you advice.

I have always been on the look-out for new talent and whatever skills they may have. What is interesting though, most of the independent contractors that I use now (my team) or have used in the past, I first met them while I was doing some DIY task at my own properties. In other words, if I quit all of my DIY jobs, I will be stuck trying to find new people on CL or Angies List or at the very worse, employment agency. I am being serious here.

Paging: Jeffrey (by small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 10:26 PM

Roy, I'll throw one other word of caution your way, don't make other people answer to him, especially if they have previously worked together (or independently) and answered to you. It usually doesn't go over well when a 'peer' is promoted to supervisor. Good luck I hope it takes something off your plate.

Paging: Jeffrey (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 10:27 PM

One problem with relying on one person is they know you're reliant on them and can begin to take advantage. This lesson has been reconfirmed here recently while working with a contractor. I decided to put him on the bench and let him ride the pine for now. It's always prudent to split up the work wherever possible.

Paging: Jeffrey (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 10:58 PM

I get a kick out of the occasional reality show that might or might not be related to real estate but always involves some employee problems where the business owner blames the employee for the foul up, but in reality it was the business owner who hired some friend to do a job that they just had no possibility of ever being able to do it well.

Bottom line is don't try to put a square peg in a round hole.

Some people will never be able to pay attention to all of the details you need done to get your unit ready to rent.

I'm also a big fan of redundancy.

Always be looking for a worker in every area. You never know when you might lose that top person you've had for 10 years. When you find a good one, give them a little work occasionally so they are there if you lose your main person. To try to avoid losing a top person in both skill AND character, show your appreciation occasionally.

I had a great plumber for many years who then hooked up with a big property management firm and has no time for any of his old customers. I used a few different plumbers until I found another really good one who got a big head and decided his high prices needed to be even higher. But by then I had some good backups and I just moved on to a good backup with no problem.

Be cautious about the person that says they do everything really well. It might take a little effort to find out what jobs they should never be working on. Some people say they do everything really well.

Are you good at painting? Yes

Are you good at electrical? Yes

Are you good at carpentry? Yes

Are you good at plumbing? Yes

Are you good at brain surgery? Yes, oh what did you ask me?


Paging: Jeffrey (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 11:30 PM


My 2 cents…

Don’t try to force a chicken to become an eagle.

Don’t believe you can rehabilitate someone.

Take 30 minutes and write a very specific list of tasks. Don’t expect anything you did not write on the list.

Have him be your helper as the 2 of you work the list. Purposely have him do the actual work. Spend time on your phone or do a supply run.

I take them to Lowes and teach them what items to pick. I had a master list of each product we buy at Lowes.


Paging: Jeffrey (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Aug 9, 2022 9:20 AM

I think it would be fine. Give him some training, but don't turn him loose at the beginning. Supervise what he does and turn over responsibility gradually.

Even if he can never be trusted to do it all, it would be great to have someone go in and do 90% of it... or even half of it.

Written checklists are a great help for anyone who is starting a new project.

Paging: Jeffrey (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Aug 9, 2022 8:52 PM

I too have failed miserably at this. I found someone who was young, smart, and hungry. Took him through three purchase/rehab/rent projects with me. I had moved out of town and needed someone local to handle things for me. He was great. He asked lots of questions and I shared my knowledge freely.

Then he bought his first house. And his second. And his third. In the same area that I had identified as profitable. He is now too busy to help me out.

So...I succeeded at helping someone up the ladder, but I'm still climbing my own

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