Nicole Good is a talented and highly-skilled General Contractor who owns Good Construction out of Hot Springs, Arkansas. She also happens to be in my mentoring program and recently completed her first flip!
This episode is not to be missed! There are so many wonderful bits of information, especially given her experience as a GC.
Listen and learn the following:
...and much more. Tune in now!
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Debbie DeBerry | The Flipstress®
Leaving people and places better than we find them.
Hey, what's up you guys? I hope that whatever you're up to today, you're having a great one. I happen to have an awesome episode for you today because I'm interviewing one of my amazing, talented and generous members of my coaching and mentoring program. So stay tuned to hear how Nicole made nearly $30,000 on her very first flip.Intro Voice:
You're listening to the flip houses like a girl podcast where we educate, empower, and celebrate everyday women who are facing their fears, juggling family and business, embracing their awesomeness and wholeheartedly chasing their dream of flipping houses. Each episode delivers honest to goodness tools, tips and strategies you can implement today to get closer to your first or next successful house flip. Here's your spiky-haired breakfast taco loving host house, flipping coach, Debbie DeBerry.Debbie:
Like I said in the intro, we're sharing a success story of one of my tribe members, and if you don't know this already, I refer to anybody in my mentoring and coaching programs as my tribe. So we are going to hear Nicole Good's story. Well part of her story about how she navigated her first flip things that came up, things that went wrong, things that went right, how she made 30 grand, all kinds of things. And the cool part is that she is a general contractor. So she has some really interesting insight into that piece that I know a lot of people struggle with. And I'm 99.9% certain that that is a mindset issue because if you tell yourself it's hard to find good contractors, guess what? It's hard to find good contractors. And even if you have had a terrible experience with a contractor, that doesn't mean that you can generalize it across all contractors. Just like if you have a bad experience at a doctor or a mechanic or a coffee shop, it doesn't mean that all doctors, mechanics, coffee shops fill in the blank are awful, terrible. No good, right? So I highly encourage you, if you're having a limiting belief around contractors, meaning you believe they aren't good and you can't find them and that's what's holding you back from your house slipping dream, there is an opportunity for you to do some really powerful inner work around those beliefs because your thoughts around those things are what is holding you back. Period. Yes. Your thoughts about the circumstance are what is you back and what's my evidence of that? Well, there are hundreds of thousands of people successfully renovating and flipping houses using contractors. Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, let's move forward. So Nicole is going to share with us her fancy, magical system that she uses to manage her projects and here's a little hint. It's totally free. She's also going to talk to us about how she handles things when her project or budget gets blown. Also, she'll be sharing three secrets to finding and keeping the good contractors. She'll also talk about the fears that she felt around doing her first flip and how she overcame them as well as two things she wishes she had done differently. We've got a lots of cover. Let's go ahead and just jump on in. I'm just going to start asking questionsNicole:
and we'll see where it goes. Thank you again so much for taking the time to be here. alright. So tell me, you recently sold your first true flip. Tell me about, just tell me about it. Like, tell me about the numbers on it. Okay. So , um, the strange thing is, and this flip, I'd actually been in this house 12 years ago and looked at purchasing it for myself, but my memory is not great. So I didn't remember what my 12 year old a year ago person was and it was an auction so I didn't get to see the house inside at all. So I could just see it from across the street and you know, do the due diligence that I could from there and went to my first ever auction for a house. So there was a lot of first and split . Yeah , we'll come back to that. We'll come back to that cause that's a good one to talk about too. Yeah. So kind of cold, rainy day, went to the courthouse. They actually let you sit on a bench and not the stairs, like some people think , um , purchase this house and um, made a bid and fortunately no one else was there, which was awesome. That's right. Uh , opening bid, which was , um , 50,000, $500. And what was your Max bid going in? My Max bid actually was like 50. Oh, I guess I brought a cashier's check for 55. So that was my max. Okay, awesome. That was really pushing it at 55. So yes. So you got it for 4,500 less than your Max bid? Yep . Awesome . I did . Okay . Yup . Perfect. Yeah. And so a purchase , the house had to wait a couple of weeks until we got , um , a clear title from it. It was strange. It was actually through an attorney, but it was sold through the people who own the house and then , um, then just got started on the work. So yeah. What was renovation budget? So my renovation budget was 37 originally from my renovation. And what did it end up being at? So it was 39. Okay. Yeah. Bad sister. That's good. Nice. Okay. So what we ended up doing to kind of keep things , um, it made it a little bit not as clean as I would like it on my end is actually 39 was all our carrying costs throughout. So the actually my renovation budget was a little less than that . I think my rigid renovation budget was closer to like 33 and then on 39 was my total expenses for any , um, interest , uh, you know, all the carrying costs, you know , both areas. So far you're under. Um, how did you , speaking of financing, how did you finance the deal? I actually pulled some money I borrowed against , uh , some of my retirement. Okay. And then, so I purchased the house outright, but then, you know, borrowing against it, I had a, you know, some interest and I weighed that versus I'm borrowing from the bank from a, like a traditional construction loan purchase price. Got It. It worked out about the same because of closing costs with them. I had no closing to borrow against my retirement interest rate was 9%, which is less than a hard money lender. So that was pretty good. And it was a daily compounded interest though. So it starts immediately. Wow, okay. Instead of instead of com construction, which, you know, of course you just pay on what you borrow. That and then some I lent, my business partner came in and he had Kinda said originally that he could bring about 40,000 to the table, which was like, awesome. That's our budget. So great. That is not what happened. Um , to use the house as collateral to secure her his note. So it's looking like I could've done that. And so he secured a note. He was only able to secure for 30,000, which was not going to cover our renovation budget. So , um , yeah, it was a definite , uh , it was a learning experience and that's all we wanted to get out of it. As long as we didn't lose any money. And I learned how the process, that's really what I went in as this was like, you know, in my college class, flipping one oh one an f get through it. That was my goal. So I love that. So I think I did okay with flipping one oh one. Yeah . Okay . So yeah, speaking of what was your profit? So our profit on it was a $28,000, so total 28 grand, so 28 grand back in our pocket at the end of the day. Okay,Debbie:
awesome. What was, what did you end up selling for? We sold for one 29, nine [inaudible] and they sold fastNicole:
very fast. We had two offers the first day. Um , one was a little bit less, but still a very good offer , um , for one 25, nine and then the other one ended up being the offer we took. We thought it was going to be cash and they were offering one 25, nine and we said, you know, if it's cash we'll take it. And he came back and wanted to do financing, but he upped his offer to full price to one 29, nine. So we ultimately accepted that. So we were, we were pretty pleased.Debbie:
And I remember there being some delays on the closing. What was going on there. Did you ever figure out really what was actually going on?Nicole:
No, we actually never did. And it's funny you said that because I was actually talking to my really are today, the person who purchased the home actually found me on linkedin and reached out to me through my website and said how pleased they were with the home. They love it. They have other friends who are interested in projects just like it do. I have something on the market and I was like , um , maybe I could get something on the [inaudible] . We'll find something that's totally , um, so I thought it was really the buyer and it sounds like more, it was a little bit of trouble from the , um , other real estate agent . And he also did it through investment. So they switched banks and switched from like a traditional bank to wells Fargo, which sometimes can delay I think. Yeah. So what happened? It worked out in the end and it was, we just saw it was going to fall through and we were super bummed because we were like , they had this great offer and it's the middle of the summer and let's get it done.Debbie:
Yeah. And that does not look good coming back on market, regardless of how adorable and perfect the house is, it does not look good to come back on market. Okay. So what was your total timeline from purchase to a closing of the sale?Nicole:
So my projected timeline was actually three months and it actually took four months. And the thing is I was still carrying client work during the time. Right . And realize there is , um , as being a small business owner, there's only one of me. And um, weekends you don't get as much done as sometimes you hope. And it was worth it in the end for to feel good about the flip and get it done correctly. So we just , um , and ended up being four months from purchase to when we listed, which I don't think was terrible.Debbie:
Yeah, no, not at all. And okay, so yes, you mentioned client work, so you're a GC. Yes. And let's talk about that because I know people have so many questions about all of that. So one of the things that I hear often, and I know you hear it too, is it's hard. Well a couple things. It's hard to find contractors and it's hard to find good contractors. Now being that I've a real estate brokerNicole:
for 16 years, I've heard the same things. It's hard to find real estate, good real estate agents . How, I guess how, what's your take on that or what's your response to that when you hear people say that? But it's hard to find good contractors. Do you agree with that? So this is what I kind of tried to give, you know, shed some light on people is that a lot of times our trade is looked at as maybe not being the most professional. And it could be because we roll up into the job site. And what I consider my trash truck and we're directing because we've been at work or we're in a pair of blue jeans and that just means we're not a paper contractor where we're actually a contractor who works on the job site. Um , a that's good. If a guy comes in, he or girl, I hope it's a girl, right ? They come in dirty jeans . That means that they're invested in your project and they're invested in what project they're working on now. And hopefully we'll be invested in your project when you hire them. Totally agree. Yes . If they come and there's nothing wrong with a nice pretty truck, but if they come in, they're super clean, I sometimes go, what's going on here? Right , right. Yeah. So , um , the thing about it is, is that , um, you know, it is a profession. You're not going to go to the doctor and do your own surgery. You're not going to go to the dentist and pull your own teeth. And a lot of times people do come across. It's the hardest thing is that , um, our time is not as valuable as another professional. And if you find a great contractor, they're going to save you a ton of money, a ton of stress, your home's going to be beautiful, your project's going to go great. And um, so that's the most important thing is that I just say really make sure off the, the Ginkgo to let them know, a, you are interviewing other people, which is what I like to hear. I don't want to hear about it on the backside. I like to hear about on the front and that , um, you know, it really, it's a partnership, you know, that, you know, set the expectation of, of what you're looking to do. Um, in the beginning, you know, don't wait halfway through the conversation and then say, Hey, here's what I can bring to the table. What can you help me with? God kind of just, I look at it as like a partnership. Totally . So , um, any I , when , if people I've seen on Facebook where people say, Hey, I don't want to pay $150 but maybe is it worth it to pay $150 to get the person there to see if they're a good contractor? Got It . So sometimes contractors are charging $150 to come out and look at a project. I don't, but like from a lot of people on Facebook and certain areas they do. And um, you know, and maybe ask what that covers, do you get that back if you hire them, you know, or whatever it might be. Say it's a couple hundred dollars or 500, you know, what is , what does that get me? Okay . And what kind of estimate or what kind of commitment can I get from you? Cause I mean , you wouldn't just through five, $100 bills on the ground , you want to know that, oh, I'm getting x, Y and Z for that.Debbie:
Yeah. Okay. Yeah . Yeah . Got It. I think that's a good tip because I think a lot of people do initially they don't expect to be charged for a bid. It's not common. It isn't common here. But yeah, I have heard also that it is common in some areas , um, that it doesn't automatically mean that they're a scammer or that you shouldn't pay them 150 bucks or whatever it is to meet the person and see if y'all are a good fit. Okay.Nicole:
So I'll say I'm kind of back before the recession when I first started , um, I get a lot of people, they'd asked me to do plan design, which I'm skilled in. That's a very expensive program. If you had to hire an architect, it's a lot of money. And so I now have that conversation with people that if they'd like me to do that, I'm going to charge x amount to do that for their house. I'm going to generate a 2,500 square foot plan and we're going to have eight hours of revision time. I'm going to model certain areas, the kitchen or the bathroom so they could see what it looks like. But maybe my rates , $2,000. Right. Should they choose to go with me, I will discount that $2,000 off their price. So they're getting all that skill for free in the end. And then if not, then at least I've covered my time and effort.Debbie:
Oh yeah. I mean that's a lot of, that's, that takes definitely a lot of time putting together those drawings. Yeah, that's a lot of time. That makes sense. I get that. Yeah.Nicole:
And know that a contractor, a good contractor should spend at least 40 hours on a complex , um , flip. So if you're really going in and moving walls and moving things around , um, they, they're going to have to check with some other subs too as well. We're going to have some generalized numbers, but you know, we're going to have to make some phone calls. Um , I have a spreadsheet that I use, but you know, depending on what programs they use, and maybe it's not quite that, but you're looking at least half a week at time, sitting, dedicated, nodding, answering phones in front of the computer for that particular , um, relationship or building with a potential client. So .Debbie:
Okay. Got It. So be realistic on the turnaround time, right?Nicole:
Yes, yes. When people say two to three weeks and you're probably not their first bid, like right now I have four on my desk, so I go in order.Debbie:
Right. Okay, that makes sense. So how do you as a contractor, how do you find your subs?Nicole:
So I'm, I'm really lucky. Um, I noticed that, you know, when you were kind of asking, obviously I've been in this business for a long time, so I'm going on 13 years. So that's exciting. So I have a great group of subs, but that doesn't mean that every contractor does. And that doesn't mean that I don't switch. So , um , I use my contacts with other , um, colleagues that I have that are builders, which I know that if you're new to the GC field or acting as a GC on your flipper , probably not going to have a whole bunch of colleagues to call. So the other thing that I thought about is, you know, social media is great, so posted out to social media and not to find someone, but who have you used that you recommend and then tell me about why you like them. Yeah, so I'm a girlfriend of mine, just did a great renovation in Dallas and she did a bathroom and a kitchen while they lived in the house and she's a single mother of three and some of them are twins. And I was like, whoa. I was like, so tell me why you liked your contractor. I just reached out like, I don't live in Dallas, so it doesn't matter to me contractor. But she mentioned some things that, you know, I was like, how can I better myself? Totally. She's , you know , she's organized. I'm definitely, it was more like a partnership, like a friendship throughout that, you know, that I made sure that I understood the whole process. And so, yeah. So I thought, OK , so those are questions that you'd want to ask on social media. Like why do you like that person, you know, did they, you know, the things that are important to you? They showed up on time, they did what they said they were going to do. They were clean. Um , they talked me through the process, whatever. It's the reason why you liked them and that's how hopefully you could get some subs. Yeah , that may not happen . Maybe your friends aren't intimating . So then you're like, okay, now what do I do? So , um , the other thing that I said is, you know, if you're going to be a flipper, you couldn't join like a local , um, home builders group or local realtors group and surround yourself by other professionals who are using trades and saying, hey, again, why do you like this trade? What have they done for you?Debbie:
I think those are great tips. And also one tip that I really love is absolutely social media that is so smart. I mean, we're so lucky that we're in this day and age where we really can't just post a question on social media and we get an answer. Right . What about, have you ever, I think because I'm a realtor, I'm quick to ask other realtors for suggestions because they obviously have to recommend vendors all the time. Have you ever done, have you ever asked realtors or do you really? Probably you wouldn't need to because you have connections that areNicole:
builders and gcs already. So I'm on that question. Really. Honestly, probably no, because I'm , I do really have a , a great group of contacts that are builders and they're actually friends. But there's no reason why you wouldn't ask a realtor. And we literally, we meet all the time and ask and then I help provide. So they , they know good people. Yes . Yeah . And if you're struggling to find a GC, I can see why you're not going to have a million to ask about subs or if you're acting as your own GC, you know, ask the people who are on your team, people at the title company, Ask your realtors, ask the inspectors. I mean ask a room for people in the trade.Debbie:
Yeah , that inspectors a good one. I forgot I forget about that one. But yeah, I, when I first started, even as a real estate agent, I had my Goto inspector that I would recommend to people. Um, and that's exactly who I would ask initially when I first started out. alright, so now my clients are going to need this work. Who am I going to send them to? Give me some names. So yeah, that's a great point. Okay, here's a big one. Keeping Contractors. Okay. Is there any advice you'd give? Now I want to s I want to preface all of this with, well, I should have prefaced all this with, I haven't had these big issues that people are so afraid of having with contractors. I just haven't. And I think we tend to hear negative reviews more often than we hear positive reviews because when we get mad we want to go tell people we're quicker to tell people when we're mad about a service than we are when we're happy about a service unfortunately. Right. So I haven't, while I've had maybe some electricians or plumbers or vendors here and there that I'm not going to work with them again. Like I just haven't had these terrible, awful experiences with them. And keeping the good ones just hasn't been a problem for me. But how do you, how would you recommend people go about keeping their contractors happy and on time and all of that? Okay. The million dollar question.Nicole:
Yeah. So this question is actually near and dear to my heart cause it's actually how I personally select clients. So if I'm doing client-based work and not doing flipping work, I'm obviously I'm my own client. If I'm flipping, I'm , I'm selecting clients, this is what I'm looking for. So, and it may just be me, but I really think I talked to my buddies all the time. I think this is in general. So I think the biggest thing is to be organized. Okay. So you may not know what you're doing with your project and that's okay. Tell your contractor that, hey, this is why I'm hiring you as a professional. I really don't know why I want to do, but here are my five objectives. And maybe they say, okay, we cannot get all five objectives. Let's go down to what I call my big three. You know, how do we get the big three? But staying organized. So when you first call them out, kind of have kind of a game plan. Even if you're not 100% sure if it will work and if you can do it, if you have the money to do it, what it costs , that's why you're calling them out. Again, you're not the dentist pulling out around to um, keep schedules. So , um , the one thing is if the contractor asks you, you know, we need to have fixtures decided by this time or paint or finishes, keep your schedule, it will drive them crazy. If you cannot get your decisions on time. Cause then what happens is that the client's going to be upset that you're behind. But the client has done it to themselves. Yep . So this is pretty easy. Say, Hey, I'm not very detail oriented. Could you just make a calendar and say you have to have Beth finishes by this day. And then I know it's on my to do list, it's on my Google calendar. I need to get to wherever I'm going to get my fixtures and have them to the job site or give them to the contractor to order whatever that is. Um, my other big thing is to keep a contractor and I do the same thing from my end is set expectations. So set expectations of what you're looking for in the job and then communicate those often throughout the project. And it's a partnership. So remember they're also going to set expectations if they're a good contractor. So I'm going to tell you how I'm going to look at payment process, how I need selections chosen. You know, what time things will come money-wise , how I'm going to send an invoice. And My expectation for that point is that I do the work, I send you an invoice, you know, you pay me. It's pretty simple. But on the other end they need to know, hey, I'm really looking to try and get into this house at this point. What do I need to do on my end to make sure that we meet this date, you know, whatever that may be. Um, the other thing we talked about staying organized, have detailed notes. So as much information and you can give, we will sort through it. Um, it is great if you can give me things in lump sums, have one client, which I really do love, but she texts me from 3:00 AM in the morning on multiple things that come into her mind and that's okay. I'd rather know the information, but it's really great to kind of get it and you know, sort of some logical lumps. Let's see. Uh, if you're buying things, I have a list, so I'm, if you're buying things, again, schedules, if you're supposed to have materials on the job site, have them there. I cannot pay a crew to drive across town to sit and wait for three hours cause I'm paying them and it's, and I in turn I'm going to charge you for it. So I'm , you know, have the materials there, pay your bills on time. That is really the, honestly the number one thing that , um, I am more likely to hurry with your job if you are quick to pay me. And if you're a slow payer, and I mean some people are slow like four to six weeks, I'm probably going to abandon you. No offense. No, I mean, and people don't think that I stress about their budgets, but if we really think about it, the client is using my money to do their project and I'm praying in the end that they're going to pay me back for it . Totally a good way to put it. That is exactly what's happening. Yeah, exactly. So if you owe me, and it can be an outrageous number, if you owe me $100,000, oh, I'm sweating bullets, you're going to pay me. The more that you've kind of set that expectation in the beginning and hey, you know, can you give me an estimate? I pay on time, can you give me an estimated date when these bills will come up? Then you look like someone who is going to pay. Yes. You know, so they're going to be more interested in taking your job as well. Totally. And then my last thing is everybody loves to be bribed with treats. So if you're the person who puts cokes out at two o'clock in the afternoon or has water or occasionally brings pizza or you know, the crews love that. Not every day , but I'm , I mean that sounds crazy, but that's the way to, it's a great way to show that they're appreciated.Debbie:
Totally. I love like all of a sudden I'm like, Yay, I'm doing this stuff right. Like lost . Like I haven't had issues with my main contractors cause these are all the things I do. I'm like, I'm feeling so good. Like Yay. Oh Wow. Well I mean that sounds like common sense to me,Nicole:
right? It's not, it's not rocket science. It's not hard. I know it was a lengthy list, but honestly, it's everything that you would do with any relationship in your life. Do you need to make sure that they know really what your objectives are? Give them love back, whether it's in muffins or what have you. It's just common sense. If you borrow money from a friend, pay them back. It's just common sense.Debbie:
Yeah. I love that. Those are awesome tips. Thank you. I love hearing that because I think it's, it's really important for people to hear those things and I think it's more important that they hear it from a general contractor, someone making things up like, oh, this is how you should do it. And it's like, no. Um, but I love that the one thing that keeps coming up and it's so big, you've mentioned it a few times, is communication, like communication over communicate. If you feel like you're over communicating , you're probably communicating at the right level. Right. Because we're, we're so taught to just be quiet about things and just like not really have these open dialogues and communicate. We're just, I think as humans we're not great at it. It's something we really have to practice as grown ups. Maybe. Um, so I think that it's, I love hearing that you keep saying communication because it's so important over communicate, just over-communicate and the whole transparency thing, just being transparent, setting expectations like all of that . So easy. Now when you're managing projects, I'm sure because you're a GC, you have like the super fancy software. Is it something though that somebody could use like an excel spreadsheet, maybe an a calendar to manage their projects if they aren't super fancy?Nicole:
So , um , the funny thing is is when I first got into the business, I think I , I thought it would different. You know, whenDebbie:
I came to work for my dad and I was learning the trade through him, I thought, oh, I'm going to get all these super cute little business suits and all my meetings and you know, I'll have my nails done that , that's not how I am. I'm in Yoga Pants. Chocos if the job site is not super filthy, but most of the time, like some pretty heavy duty tennis shoes. And, I mean I'm usually kind of the Yucky girl on the, and then they're like, oh yeah, you're the GC , I could tell cause you're hauling trash. So , um, I did start with the program. Um , it was actually based out of Dallas and I really loved the company. It was a project based software. Um, it was really great but it was really ahead of the curve for myself. Um, and probably honestly my clients it like connected to everything and if if step one of 10 steps felt through it shifted everything back and it seemed like it'd be great . Um, I really use excel and a calendar. Oh good. All Excel man. Good. All Excel and calendars with reminders. Like it's as simple as that.Nicole:
Well , um , what I find is that , um, I use android devices and I know everybody's different, but um , so all my things linked together. So I do everything on Google and am I really just set up a Google calendar and it's always on my phone and I can turn off and on different projects. So if you're managing multiple flips, you can't have your electricians split in half. And be at two places at one time. So I'm , I find that it's really good. I just color code them. I put them in, they aren't intuitive if I need to shift things around. So either a , I just go, okay it's within a day or two or you know , just jump on the computer and shift to Morales . You know, there's a little bit more cumbersome tasks with it, but I find that I can send a um , email reminder through Google. So it's pretty intuitive for what we need to do.Debbie:
That's so great. And then you've also got Google docs, you have a Google drive and it's all free . It's free. Free.Nicole:
That's awesome. Okay .Debbie:
Another thing that comes up is the renovation budget and managing it and how to, like what do you do or what would you, what kind of advice would you give to somebody whose maybe their project has totally derailed and it looks like their innovation budgets getting blown and they're starting to panic.Nicole:
Okay. Yeah, I feel this all the time. A and my own things. Um , first week we were like Whoa, aluminum wiring. Cause remember I didn't get to go in the house. Um, and then what you do is that it does feel overwhelming. And I think especially as women, sometimes we take all that to heart and we stress more than probably a guy who's like, oh yeah, no problem. We got this, we overanalyze , we think about it, which is great. That's what makes us who are detail oriented and we get so much totally. But I think we really need to step back sometimes and go, okay, we have a giant elephant in the room. It says $10,000 foundation problem. And my budget does not allow for that. My budget allows for two . So let's step back. Let's take a couple of deep breaths and let's really look at the renovation budget and see what can I do? Can I cut something? Can I do something myself? Can I eliminate something? You know, and really take a strategic look at it. You know, we get in these emotional, like tailspins kinda like you said, you're in the weeds and you're like, oh, the world is over. The world's would not burn to the ground. The world's not over. I'm just really honestly like , um , and , and my crew and my clients know I'm like a goofball . Like I always laugh about stuff and I'm like, oh great, the $10,000 elephant or whatever, just kind of laughed at it. And then just look, if you've already started on the things we talked about being detailed and being organized, you're going to figure out a way to make it work. Yep . You know, so we had granite countertops in our flip and we had like a really expensive shower door and we really needed that money back. So we didn't put the shower door up. I asked out. Some people were like, oh my gosh, it's going to be like the end of all ends. We'll obviously sold it in one day with two offers. So that wasn't the end of the world, you know? And we refinished the countertops ourself with like a new product that I use . It was a poxy and apparently they love it. Yeah . So I mean there's things, just think of a solution. There's other ways I'm kind of for doing that. Um, and then the other thing is once you decide to , to do whatever, so we're not having the shower, the , the um , you know , shower door, stop stressing about it, getting clean and just stick to it. Life has a lot of derailments. We still keep breathing. They'll take your kids to school, right ? We'll go into the grocery store. I mean, my brother uses that really great saying he's always like, let go and let God know . He's like, just let it go. Move on tomorrow we'll be a new set of challenges. And you need to be fresh for those challenges. Not stressing out about the fact that, you know, oh, woe is me. It just happened .Debbie:
Right. So totally. And a lot of times some people find it really difficult to make decisions. I'm not one of those people's , I can make a decision. People's , I'm not one of those people. I can make a decision. And then if that didn't work out, that wasn't the best decision, I'll make another decision. But not making a decision is making a decision. You're deciding not to decide and you're deciding to talk about derailing your project. You're just going to delay your project. So make a decision and go for it. If it doesn't work out, make another decision. It's okay. Yeah. Yeah, totally common.Nicole:
You know, so like we talked about, you know, I made a decision to take a business partner. I could tell right away that was not the right decision. I tried to um, talk about how maybe we could separate, he had some other financial things come up and he did not take that. I was subtle about it and maybe I should have been more forceful. But nonetheless, so that was the, the decision was made that we were continuing forward in the end. You know, it was fine. Now it was a learning experience for me and I say , okay, this is probably not what I'll do next time. But I didn't just stress in it and think , oh my gosh, I didn't let it delay my project or you know, derail me. Just said, hey, this is what it is. So, and you're right, it , the $10,000 elephant will still be in the room whether you decide to do with it today or tomorrow. So, and he may have a buddy tomorrow that comes along with him. He may have a little elephant buddy that's 25 hundreds. The better this because like tell them , multiply.Debbie:
Yeah. A little elephant buddy. I love it. I don't know what a group of elephants is called. I'm sure it's a fancy name. Um, okay. So I guess with all of the knowledge and experience you have as a GC, is there a singular piece of advice that you would give to a woman who's navigating her first flip?Nicole:
Yes. Um, and this is kind of what I have to live pretty much every day , you know, through my professional life, whether it's a flip or not. And I think we've Kinda touched base on it and , and kind of some Facebook posts is sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. So the hard thing is, is I'll get phone calls and they'll ask if my husband's going to come out with me. Um , which I find very humorous. A, I don't have a husband, but you have a long term boyfriend and he will admit to you, he has no idea how to read a tape measure. So I was like, sure, I'll totally send him, you'll love it. It'll know really well for you. And , and so what I try to do there is, again, it's okay . That's kind of the stereotype and know that that's going to happen as a female. I think that's a what makes us really good at what we do. We become stronger and more confident for that. And the way that I kinda handle those situations is that I educate the client, you know, kind of on what I can bring to the table. And then if they still choose to maybe want to take on a guy or do the, you know, old boys club, then you know what, that's not the right person for you, right ? They say, no, say me . No. It has taken me 43 years to learn to say no. And I've been doing it for maybe about six months now and it's awesome because now I say yes,Debbie:
war . Yeah, that is, we could do an hour long conversation on just that. Just how to say no. It is so freeing and such a powerful stance to have like, no, and it's okay. It's okay to say no guys are really good about that at saying no. We are so bad at saying no. Oh yeah, are terrible, terrible. We're like, wow, I think I can do that. No, just me . No . Do you want to do it? No. Then say no. Right. Does it fit into your grand scheme? No. Then say no. It's okay. Oh my gosh. Such a good tip. So did you have any, I guess it's tough because you have this contractor experience that Gibbs, I'm sure it gave you a lot of confidence in some areas of your first flip . Were there any mindset obstacles that you had to overcome or was it just like this easy, this budget ? I'm just flipping the house. No big deal.Nicole:
Um, no, I'm a traditional woman. I overanalyze . Um, I have a lot of fear. I'm not saying all do, but I think, I think that's the nurturing side of us is that we nurture our projects and our ideas and our families, and this is what we do. Yep . So , uh , no, I was, I'm pretty darn fearful. Um, and the thing is I did not have a real estate partner at the time and I had to do all of that leg work on my own. And again, I had to wear a different hat than I'm not super used to. So what if my numbers weren't right? What if my , um, you know, repair value and my sales price was not correct. So my budget was totally upside down for even started, right? I didn't even get a real estate partner until two weeks before we listed, so yep . So I did that all on my own and , uh , just kinda trusted my gut. And like I said, you know, sometimes it's the fake it till you make it , um , the Internet, by no means am I devaluing a realtors , um , what they bring to the table because I would not have sold the house in one day without having a great realtor with a great marketing plan. Um, so obviously I feel the same way about, you know, a real estate agent as I do about a contractor. You know, everyone has the role, but I'm , yeah, I was super nervous, but like I said before, it was a learning experience and as long as I didn't lose money, I didn't care if I didn't make any money, as long as I didn't lose any and I learned value in doing the process, that's what mattered to me. So that took a little stress off. But then I think a Debbie you and I talked about is actually, I'm looking at like leaving client work this full time. That's a very big difference in financial , um, change.Debbie:
Yes, yes. Yeah. Right. And so the way this first project went, how does that play into this desire that you have to potentially do more flips and leave the client work?Nicole:
So , um, I do love my clients and I'm , I'm thankful they do pay me fairly well. I'm not going to say the best and you know, they really do pay me pretty fair, you know, fair for what I'm doing, but I'm going to have the bug. So like I see things and even though, you know, the return might not be as much as this one, that's the hard thing is as I was fortunate, I did really pretty well on the first one. Right . So now I'm like, oh, I don't want to do that. I'd be like a failure. I mean, I wouldn't be a failure. So I'm like , if I made $10,000, it's not a failure. I mean, I guess he was out that for two years.Debbie:
Yeah . And exhausting one. Yeah.Nicole:
But no, I mean, so , um , yeah, it's definitely still something I had no idea that my client business would pick up this much this summer. I really thought that I was really waiting just to close this flip so I'd have some cash and I'm doing another one and all of a sudden I'm, I'm full until December. But that works out well. You know , the real estate agent will be, you know, the season will be slowing down and I can find something and it'll be,Debbie:
yeah. Good. Awesome. Yay. Well, I mean that's the ultimate goal, right? Is to do the first flip in a way that makes you want to do it again. That's it. Yeah . Whatever that definition looks like is for you. Like what, it will look different to everybody. Maybe it looks like I better make $100,000 or I'm never doing it again. If that's the vision, that's a lot , but yeah. So, okay, well, Yay. Mission accomplished. Yeah. Okay. Lastly, as you think of , think back across the entire flip, is there anything that you wish you had done differently? Okay .Nicole:
Um , yes, there's actually two things. Um, one, even though, so see, this is where the, even though you're skilled and experienced as a GC and you know, every, you think you know everything about construction,Debbie:
Maybe I should have left a little more contingency. Like, I mean, I guess I could have still had that great shower door and the countertops and maybe gotten a little more money. I mean, who knows, but by not leaving myself as much room going, oh, I got this. I totally, I nailed it and then go, wow . Yeah. Um , so I just think that's really important, especially for someone who has less experience with the estimating part. Um, unless you find a really great GC that you're really comfortable in, but we don't know what's behind the walls. We don't have some kind of glasses that we put on that goes, yes, there's a plumbing stack there. You're going to have to move it. We don't know that.Debbie:
Right . And most of the time before you buy the house, they're kind of against us ripping the sheet rock off. [inaudible] I know what's there .Debbie:
Crazy like that .Nicole:
Yeah. So , um , that was the big first thing for me. And , um , thankfully in the end, like I said, step back, take a look, figure it out, get a game plan and go and it worked for me. Um, but if I didn't, if I had a bigger contingency, I wouldn't even have to do that. Just keep going. Right . And then , um , the other thing for me that might not be for other people as I had actually three people who were interested in the house without having to do much work. And I did not know that. And I had already had my game plan and had already kind of proceeded with game plan a where I could have probably done game plan B with a lot less work and still made pretty good money.Debbie:
Yeah. So , um, it may behoove you to , um, to think outside the box and see if anybody might be interested. Even though when your mind you have this totally different renovation, it may work for someone else the way that it is and you could still make some money and then, you know, a , these we're friends so I could help them find out that that may be totally different for everyone else.Debbie:
I think that's, so that is such a great point because, oh my gosh, yes we have, we are the first time we see a picture of this house we already have in our mind exactly what it's going to look like when we're done with it. And we are all in, we're doing it. And so for someone to come along and be like, oh, I kind of want to buy the house and then maybe you do a little bit of fix up, but I just want really like bare minimum, I'm going to fix it up over time. It's like, no, that's not my vision. But to be really stubborn, I had to learn this to be really stubborn and stuck in your vision of the property. That might not be the best plan. Like it might not be the best choice. Sometimes it is. I remember one of the houses that I bought early on I had, I was so excited, my favorite neighborhood, well I had my plan, right? My plan was in my brain. I was ready to go and the day after closing I had somebody call me and they were like, Hey, I saw that you got that deal on such and such street. We were looking at that and we're still really interested in this was a local builder and so unlike no, I have in my mind what's happening and I know like the, like it was just such a great deal. The , the profit margin was really good and I was like, no, I am committed. I'm doing this project. And they were like, well we'll give you x amount. And I was like, okay. Because it was about the same amount as I would make in four months after, you know, going through the risk of bill, you know, renovating the project and doing all of that and potentially finding surprises. It was a , you know, 60 year old house. So yeah, that's a tough one. It is really tough because we do get in our minds what we want that house to look like.Nicole:
But like you said, you should always be open and flexible. Yeah. That's one thing that people always tell me is, and I laughed , I say have a lot of patients. I'm not sure I have a lot of patients because I do go to my truck and probably say things, you know, that I probably shouldn't say to other people, but I'm like, you know , why are they doing this? But I think to be flexible, that's the word that I totally see . Your point is that why would you not be flexible to an offer entertained? People look at it just like you did your deal. Like why would you not look at that and say, hey, or go man, you know what? Let's just, let's get it done. You know , don't sacrifice integrity, but maybe you're not lying, you know, ceramic or porcelain tile throughout the whole house that takes forever. Maybe you're going to carpet the bedrooms and just get this, get this guy going. Right. Let's get, let's get her, you know, a good old thing here in the south as we say. Get her, literally get it done and go on to the next one. And, and yeah, and like I said, learning about those things along the way, I would have changed how I would have done things, you know, honestly, the house in the shape that it was was not terrible. Yeah. I got it. And did a crazy renovation because again, it was a learning experience. Yeah . But I didn't have to do that. You know, I could have sold it to my friend and you know, it could have , you know, I still look for things for her, so it's not like I'm still not, you know , you know , got her back for that. But be flexible. Yeah , yeah. Yeah.Debbie:
That's a great, a great tip. And probably a great point to end on. As we wrap up here. I just want to again, thank you so much for your time. I loved watching the whole process and talking to you throughout the process and just seeing how you handled things. And I just think that this episode is really important for people to hear because you are a contractor. And I think because we, some people make it such a big deal and they hold themselves back because of the whole contractor thing. And it's such a mindset thing. I think it's such a huge mindset thing that people just need to let go of because you don't seem too scary. Oh , it doesn't seem like you're going to steal my money and run away. I don't think you are. Yeah. So is there anywhere that you want to send people if people want to find out more information about you as a contractor, do you want to send people somewhere?Nicole:
Yeah, so we do have , um , social media presence. The easiest way to get it is we've got tabs on our website. Um, my last name is good. So I don't want people to think that I don't do great construction since it's helped good construction. But , um , it's a www construction, a r for arkansas.com. Awesome. It doesn't, you know, this ad thing is we're going to, I didn't add anything about the flip, but we're working on that. Yeah . So we did some really nice professional , um , photos through that and we'll do that through the next one and kind of out of that process. And then we're, I'm in the presence so you can see my just general construction page, but I'm getting ready to really delve into the flipping page when things slow down a little bit for client work. So I think people like it, you know , I think it's kind of fun and you know, I'm so thankful to this group. Um, it's just something that's really hard. You feel like you're on an island and you're all by yourself and just , just shoot off a Facebook message and have somebody say, oh, that's awesome, or way to go, or I totally feel your pain. Or, hey, Nicole, how would you do this? Or I go, hey, where can I find these doors? It's a great network and yeah, thank you so much for putting it together. That just shows like strong women. Totally amazing.Debbie:
Well thank you for those kind words. I appreciate it and I will, I'll provide a link for people in the show notes so they can go find out more about you and your awesome construction company.Nicole:
Thank you. Well thanks for having me today. It was great. Of course. Thank you so much and I'm sure I'm going to ask you to come back because I know people are going to have more questions for you because you're a contractor, so awesome . Thank you Nicole. I appreciate it very much and we'll see you soon. alright, thank you. Thank you so much. Bye.Debbie:
Okay folks. Well that wraps up our conversation with Nicole Good today and I just love to share stories of women who are out there chasing their dreams. She had a goal, she joined my mentoring program and has been such a big part of our tribe and she accomplished her goal and I just love to love on the people. In my tribe and celebrate their wins, the big ones, the little ones as well as share their stories with you because I know that they're inspiring. I think there are so many bits and pieces of wisdom and information in this conversation with Nicole and I have a feeling I'll be getting a lot of great feedback on this one. So if you're enjoying this podcast and you're finding value in it, would you do me a huge favor and help me reach more likeminded women like you? The way you can do so is by leaving a rating and a review wherever you listen to podcasts, because doing so will help this podcast have more visibility and reach more women. And if I can instill and just one more woman out there that she absolutely can chase her dream of flipping houses, then that is the whole purpose of this podcast. Okay? alright. You guys go out there and flip houses like a girl and make it a great day. See you soon .
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