In this episode, I tell a story about an encounter I had just today. I was meeting with someone at one of my rental properties, and what started out as a routine meeting for something very minor turned into something that could make me a lot of money by the end of the year.
As a real estate investor, you will have countless phone conversations, face-to-face meetings, appointments, etc. You will probably not look forward to all of them. To be perfectly honest, you may out right dread most of them. That being said, one thing I have learned over the years is that even the most routine meeting can surprise you and turn into something much more than you expect.
The idea here is that you should go to every situation as if there is a potential for great things to unfold. It doesn’t always work out that way, but if you keep your head up and your eyes open and allow yourself to be receptive to every situation, you just might be surprised.
This is exactly what I experienced today. I had an appointment to meet someone I had found on Craigslist, who was going to haul away some junk and debris that had been cleaned out of my rental property.
Now, I have to admit that lately when I find people on Craigslist to do small or odd jobs, I am almost never pleasantly surprised. In fact, lately I have been extremely disappointed in my luck with hiring people from Craigslist. Sometimes however, I have jobs that need to be done that I don’t want to bug my main general contractor with. The job that I was hiring for today was exactly that: hauling debris away from the job site. I had already ordered a dumpster, filled it, and this was basically the overflow. I didn’t want to order another dumpster, so I hired someone to load it up in their pickup truck and take it to the city recycling location.
The gentleman that I hired requested to meet me at the house so that he could see what I wanted hauled away, even though I had clearly listed everything in the Craigslist ad. All of the debris was in the detached garage. I was extremely tempted to email him and let him know that he could let himself into the garage, but I wanted to take a look at the inside of the house one more time anyway, so I agreed to meet him there.
When he arrived, I could immediately tell he wasn’t a typical Craigslist hire. He looked to be a man in his mid-50s. He walked up to me, shook my hand, and introduced himself. After speaking with him for a few minutes, I found out that he is actually a general contractor who had a thriving business until 2008 when the real estate industry crashed. Prior to that, he was also involved with flipping houses. Once I found out he was a licensed and insured general contractor, I showed him a couple of last-minute things that needed to be done to the house. He was more than willing to quote those things as well. It took a little stress off me, because I had not yet found someone to take care of those things.
Once he had a good idea of all of the work that I needed done at the house, he agreed to give me a quote the next day. Before he left I told him that one of my struggles was finding enough deals to support the amount of private funds I have my disposal. He told me that, as a contractor, he’s driving all over the area every day and routinely passes houses on his drive that clearly are in distress and possibly even abandoned. He asked me if I would be interested in him passing those addresses on to me. Of course, I immediately said yes and told him that for every house he passed on to me that I purchased, I would pay him commission. We agreed to work out the details once he started sending me leads.
Our conversation lasted about 30 minutes. In that time, I managed to find someone to completely finish my rental rehab, another contractor who can quote my rental rehab projects, and possibly even a very experienced bird-dog. Not bad, considering my original objective was to meet a guy with a pick-up truck who was going to haul away some debris.
This is why I say that finding team members is not an exact science. Keep your head up and your eyes open and you never know what you’ll find.