Hey everyone out there in blog land! I’ve been dealing with a different side of business recently that was not discussed much in any of my college classes. Late payments. We have all done it, I’m sure. I’m sure we have let things go before because we just didn’t have the money for it. I have sure been on that side of things.
But there are two sides of late payments. There is the side that we have all been on where we are just broke and can’t pay something, forget to pay, whatever the case may be. Then there is the side of what happens to the person/business that you owe that money to. That’s where things have been very enlightening for me recently.
Can’t You Just Work With Me?
Well, no. We really can’t. We are a small business that depends on the income from our properties to operate everyday. Just like other small businesses rely on their customers to purchase products, we do as well. As an example, when a boutique type place has a loss of inventory (theft, damage, etc.) they feel those losses. We do as well when payments to us are not made on time. When a property is damaged from a tenant, that is a cost that we have to “eat” if it exceeds their deposit. When someone does not pay their mortgage/rent, we feel that when our bills come due.
We Are Not Heartless Though!
We understand that things happen sometimes. When those things happen, we will try our best to help. We can only do so much however. It does make a difference if you have had a couple of serious things to take care of as opposed to just not making your payments/rent at all and only asking for help when it is to the point of foreclosure and eviction. Hypothetically.
See, when we start having to bear these costs without any income, we have to start using our reserves to do that. Our reserve funds also allow our charitable donations, hiring of contractors, buying new project houses… Something else… what was it…?.. Oh yeah, my check also depends on people paying.
Wait A Minute! Mandi Doesn’t Work For Free?!
Hahahaha, no. Mandi doesn’t work for free. When I look at these numbers (same as what Lee sees) and we are looking at how much money we should have coming in, and it is not there, the first thing to cut is charitable donations. Next is contractors who depend on jobs from us to feed their own families. Third is new projects cease. Fourth, Mandi’s salary cannot be maintained by the company anymore.
See the ripple effect, here? It really puts me in a bad place when someone asks me to get Lee to work with them when they are perpetually late, or do not pay at all because they are essentially saying, “Hey I didn’t handle my business, but would you put your own job at risk so that I can go a little longer without paying?” Wow. Thanks person. No, I will not get Lee to work with you anymore.
But What if You’re Really Trying?
We see that too. Trust me, we do. We see people who are doing their absolute best, and are finding a way to work it out to make sure their payments on time. Some families get hit with the unexpected, and they have to miss work and lose money. Any attempt to pay just about any amount makes a difference to Lee and me. We see the struggle, we want to help. When we see people trying so hard, we stand ready to help how we can. When people promise to pay then don’t show up, change their number/don’t answer their phone or mailings until they are threatened with having to move… Well, we are way less likely to give you ANOTHER chance and help out in that situation.
Well, Have You Ever Made Payments Late, Mandi?
Why, yes I have. I have had utilities turned off, and had to scramble to figure it out. I’ve had to ask for help. I’ve had to do without many times because my payments were late and that affected the people that I owed the money to. I had to let go of things that I couldn’t afford, and manage my money better.
We don’t single people out and publicly talk about what we are owed and who owes it because that is horribly trashy and tacky. The most common misconception I see with people who are late is that they think they are the only ones that are late, or that are having a hard time paying their bills. This could not be further from the truth.
We have a goal with this company to provide safe and comfortable housing to everyone that we possibly can. When we rehab a house to sell or rent, we depend on that money to come back in to pay the investors and/or banks who provided the funds for that project. We have to borrow the money to buy the houses and complete these projects, and that has to be paid back no matter what.
This isn’t meant to be an ugly post, I just want people to see a different side. We love what we do! We LOVE IT! We want to continue doing what we do.