We recently wrote about the importance of the Lessons Learned stage of a project. It’s vital to your company’s growth and success to take a careful look at projects you finish, and evaluate what you’d like to replicate in future property renovations, and of course, go over what went wrong and why. Some things can’t be avoided (weather, natural disasters), but even those should be coped with as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.
Our Meadow Arbor 2 house in San Antonio just closed. The best news is we did make a good bit of money on this sale, thanks to the hard work of our project manager, Frank Dorsey, with input from Lee and Carol. Hooray! So, how did that go?
What worked well:
- Marketing to neighbors can get you new projects! Frank did that, by chatting to the man across the street from our Meadow Arbor 1 house, and it worked. The owner needed to be out soon and did not want to put in the needed repairs to get top dollar.
- Sometimes a cheerful paint job is all it takes to increase curb appeal (the house is blue!). Not much landscaping or other work was done, but Carol chose colors that went well in this neighborhood.
- If you aren’t at the house all the time, don’t install a new HVAC unit until just before closing. This prevents opportunistic copper thieves. We’d learned that lesson on other properties that weren’t local to our team.
- You don’t have to make every single improvement to sell a house. In this neighborhood, it would not have helped to switch out the kitchen lighting or remove a bunch of walls, and that would have made us unable to sell the house for a profit.
- Hire someone local to manage the project. Frank knew local contractors, and was able to do some of the work himself, which helped keep costs down.
What we could do better:
- In some locations, you need a permit to install a new roof. Who knew? Even though our contract says the contractor is responsible for obtaining any necessary permits (at our expense), we are still responsible for the contractor’s failure to do so. Expensive lesson.
- Contractors can disappear, even ones with good references.
- Communication among the team members can speed a project up. We had some issues with misunderstandings and lack of clarity during some phases of the project.
We’re proud of how well this project came out. Next we’ll go over some lessons from the Taylor house.Hermann says please like and share!