A Rant About Crybabies and Haters From a Successful Property Preservation Business Owner

I just stumbled onto a rant I posted to an online property preservation forum a few years ago. It’s a little rough around the edges and I’m sure some will find it quite controversial.

One of my new year’s resolutions for 2014 is to not censor myself so much when deciding what content to add to my websites. This has been a real problem for me. In fact, I have over 20 blog posts that I previously wrote but have not yet published on this blog because I felt they were too controversial and I didn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers.

I finally decided to publish this old forum rant for all the real entrepreneurs who are curious to hear a different perspective on the property preservation industry, from someone who has actually achieved a certain level of success.

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This blog post is not for those who are easily offended or the faint of heart.
Continue reading at your own risk…

I have been self employed in the real estate field in one form or another for the last 16 years. I have been a subcontractor for Safeguard Properties for the last several years now. I can tell you that I have finally found a business that I can thrive in. Financially speaking, I am the happiest I have ever been in my whole self-employed life.

In my first year, things were a little rough mainly because I lacked knowledge about this industry, but somehow, I still managed to gross over $150K. Two years later and after I implemented several organized business systems, I have just grossed over $900K for 2009. In 2010, I grossed $1,600,000 for the year and then almost doubled it to $2,600,000 in 2011.

They always pay my company on time. The only time we get “charged-back” is when we screw up or do not have adequate photo documentation for a repair or something. The largest chargeback I ever received was for $37,000. And I received many other chargebacks over the years, which fortunately cost me a lot less money, but I always learned a lesson from each and every one of them.
I think the real reason there are so many haters posting their negative opinions online is because they do not yet understand the huge difference between the “employee” mindset and the “employer” mindset.

Employees are used to getting paid, even when they screw up.

Experienced employers (aka small business owners) who have already taken their lumps, are used to not only paying for their own mistakes and the mistakes made by their employees and subcontractors. They have learned by making mistakes and then cleaning up the damage caused by those mistakes, that it takes real courage and laser-like focus to operate a successful business. I can count on one hand the number of people I have met, in real life, that have those 2 qualities.

There’s nothing easy about building a successful business out of thin air. Most people crawl up into the fetal position, crying for their mommy, when they experience the shark-infested waters of the self-employment world. Most people have had it so good for so long and are so used to everything coming to them easily that they forget its actually a dog-eat-dog world out here.

You people need to keep in mind that your clients cannot receive payment from their clients if they do not receive adequate photos proving what they are billing their clients for. Therefore, they need to be firm and not accept anything less from their subcontractors.

Another important fact is that the national property preservation companies do not make up the pricing for most of the inspection and preservation work. The Dept of HUD puts out a price list for what they allow servicing companies to charge.

As far as I’m concerned, I hope all you crybabies out there keep screwing up and blaming companies like Safeguard instead of taking responsibility for your inability to implement “quality control measures” for the work that they give you. That way, my company can continue to grow and take over more and more territories.

Safeguard would not be in business this long if they screwed people over all the time like some of you incompetent people are stating.

Here’s something to think about for those of you who “bad mouth” your clients and customers at online forums, creating posts about how you did all this work but never got paid and how you were unfairly charged back: You guys always fail to tell the “whole story” by selectively omitting many facts that are “vitally important”.

A couple questions I’d like you to answer, just off the top of my head:

  1. Did you actually complete the assignment on time?
  2. Did you supply your client with the required documentation – like dump receipts showing the volume of debris on it or adequate photo documentation to prove that you actually completed 100% of the work you invoiced them for?
  3. Did you take the client to Small Claims Court before heading over to the forums?

Do you “NAYSAYERS” ever stop and think that maybe, just maybe, you might have deserved the chargeback? Probably not. I’ll bet you’re thinking you got screwed because “you physically completed work at a property and sent some photos to a client and that should be good enough to get you paid”.

You need to realize that nothing is easy in this world. It may be simple, but it takes hard work and an attitude that you will never give up and the responsibility on your part to increase your knowledge of the business you are choosing to be in.

Like I said before, those negative people out there aka naysayers aka haters, keep on being yourself. It only makes real entrepreneurs like myself look better.

And to those of you that are serious about adding another stream of income to your current business, I recommend that you sign up to become a vendor for the following national property preservation companies:

  • Mortgage Contracting Services
  • Safeguard Properties
  • A2Z

And while you’re waiting to get approved, learn everything you can about how to correctly complete the work so you are ready when you get the call. And do yourself a favor by staying away from the forums and all the negative talk.

This business has made my family’s dreams come true for the last few years. It was a challenge getting to this point and it continues to be a challenge, but it is very possible if you have the right mindset. Then again, anything that matters in this world is never easy… is it?

I wish you all the best in all your business endeavors – including the haters…

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this blog. I can relate to what you wrote. I have made a tremendous amount of money in this field. I have also gotten a few charge backs. I try to learn from charge backs and there are times that my company hasn’t been charged back we just didn’t get paid. I set my employees down and let them know that I will not tolerate less than 100%. When I first started in this field was with a very small local company. The owner of that company subbed work out to me. There was a few times that he wasn’t happy with the results and I complained and told him that I had done everything I could and just overlooked a few small details. He told me something that really rubbed me the wrong way, but as I thought about it over a couple of weeks I began to realize what he said was true. That made a world of difference to me. Her’s what he said to me: “don’t confuse effort for results”.

    1. Robert, thank you for sharing that. That statement is pretty damn powerful and I think there’s more people out there like you and I that would be better off having heard it.

  2. Chris, I agree with you. Most of the crying going on is self inflicted. They don’t complete the work order correctly, and then cry about not being paid.

    And Robert, that statement needs to be posted in every P&P contractors office.

    Best advise I ever got, “Don’t get mad – get paid”. The speaker was refering to charge-backs and short payments. The Nat’s make up the rules. Its a rigged game. But, if you choose to play – learn the rules and do the job right.

  3. Thanks for the post. I’m just getting started in this and was getting a little worried about all the negativity I’ve been hearing. Having worked the banking side of this for some time, I have to agree – the devil is in the details! Do it right or stay home.

  4. I want to say thank you for the post, it does make me feel a lot better getting into this business. I have been a manager for many years and I am going into business with my brother that has worked in this industry for a few years. I have heard his horror stories with his employer and realize that there is a need for a good quality company to help provide work with integrity. I will continue to read your things for the harsh reality some people decline to face that we are all responsible for our actions especially when we are business owners.

  5. This sounds more like my story than anything I’ve ever read on the “angry forums”. I’ve been in business since 2005 with Safeguard as my largest client for most of that time. I’m still in the game, albeit a bit smaller in scale than in previous years, but my profits are higher and my stress is much much lower. As for back charges, I can honestly say I’ve not paid one from Safeguard ever. They’ve submitted them to me but I was always able to supply the needed documentation. Even years later. Some of my smaller clients have hit me. Mostly cuts on estimates that were approved, completed and later reduced.

  6. Great post and very true. I’ve been in the business several years now and love it. Chargebacks do suck but, we pride ourselves on doing Quality work, ate very detailed, and keep records of EVERYTHING plus all photos documentation. Doing the repairs is the easiest part. The documentation and paperwork are where you can lose money. I love the guys that can’t get this business right as it creates more work for us.
    Thanks for your post.

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