You know sometimes you just have to get away. Even if everything is going well, it can be exhausting. I have been having a good bit of trouble staying focused and just making it day in and day out. I felt burnout coming on and didn’t know how to ward it off. Just in a rough spot. The thing about getting into those spots is that you can lose perspective of being thankful. I decided to make a trip to my sister’s house in Friendswood for the weekend, since it was my nephew’s 15th birthday and all. She lives in an area that took damage from Hurricane Harvey. I want to talk about what I saw while I was there.
It’s no secret that people have different preferred styles of working. One aspect of contrasting styles comes into play when organizations place their workers into teams. Some people just find it easier to work in groups than others do. The Solo Worker prefers to organize their days the way that works best for them, create their own goals, keep their plans to themselves, and then present a finished project to whoever hired them, when complete. Others just would prefer to do their jobs without any interruptions, chit-chat, and so on. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, and in fact it’s the best way to do some things. (Of course, like most things, solo vs. teamwork preference is a spectrum, and most people lie somewhere between the two extremes.)
There are many people in our field who work solo. Sure, they have clients, may hire contractors, etc., but they find their own houses, do their own negotiations, supervise the work, sell the houses, and reap the profits all on their own. It can work.
That Sounds Like Hermits
Hermits do tend to be solo, don’t they? You can infer from the name of our company, then, that at least some of us may lean toward the solo end of the spectrum. You’d be right about that. However, our company spends a lot of time figuring out ways to work more smoothly as a team. I won’t say that there haven’t been hiccups, because there have. We’re all people, with human limitations, after all. But we’re all trying our best. In the rest of this post, I’ll share what we’ve figured out are the five most important aspects of teamwork, which we are all working towards. Five is about as many as we can remember, anyway. Conveniently, they all start with the letter “C.”
Yes, this sounds like an appetizing blog post, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s about something that all of us in real estate redevelopment are guaranteed to run into, probably many times. In fact, I actually got a request for a post about dealing with mice, rats and their buddies, since I mentioned rodent issues in the post about the challenges of maintaining outdoor living rooms.
What We’ve Seen
I’ve had the interesting fortune of living near swamps or woods most of my life, so I have run into a lot of creatures. When I lived near a canal that led to the Everglades in south Florida, we had swamp rats. Well, “we” didn’t, but the woman next door, who it turned out was a genuine class A hoarder and had a rubber-tree jungle in her back yard had swamp rats. They would come out and pester our dachshund mix dog. These were huge and scary.
When I lived in Illinois I “only” had field mice, and mostly during the winter when the corn fields were barren. They were actually sort of cute, until one died under a large chest of drawers.
In Braesgate, my first Texas house, there were tree rats (or roof rats; I didn’t ask them which they were) that I’d think were kitties in the trees outside. But they weren’t. Those darlings got into our attic and kept scaring my children, well into their teens.
Over here in Texas we have been seeing a lot of news about neighbors helping neighbors, businesses making donations, and simple acts of kindness, as people start to rebuild their lives after the big storm. One that really struck me today was the story of how the large Texas grocery store chain, HEB, got all the food to the areas hit hardest, so quickly. It’s a great story about flexibility in supply-chain management, but also a story about kindness. Everyone in Houston, Corpus Christi, and the surrounding communities will never forget that their stores re-opened so quickly and that HEB brought in truckloads of relief supplies in what seemed like an instant.
This corporate kindness pays off. Where will these folks shop now? How much invaluable positive publicity will these acts of generosity inspire (like, well, this one right here)? And of course, there are many other businesses, celebrities (like the football player J.J. Watt!), and philanthropists who’ve jumped in to help, along with regular folks, National Guard members, government employees, etc.
As I’ve mentioned before, we buy many of our projects from wholesalers. Wholesaling is essentially a three-step process:
- Sign a contract to buy a house with a motivated seller.
- Market that contract (not the house) to the investors you know who might be looking for a deal.
- Collect your assignment fee (definitely not a commission) when you assign the contract to the end buyer.
But why would you want to assign the contract instead of renovating the house yourself?
- Risk mitigation