July 9, 2020

How to Work With Contractors (Even as a People Pleaser)


I'm sharing the 4 steps you need to take to set clear boundaries with contractors so you don't get taken advantage of and you can protect your business.

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Transcript

Unknown Speaker  0:01  
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?

Unknown Speaker  0:39  
How's it going? Thanks for hanging out with me on this little episode we've got here. So for starters, actually, let me do this, I wanted to do a listener shout out because thank you a million times over for letting me know that this little podcast of ours is actually making a difference in your life, or a value. Like I appreciate that there's no need to add more fluff to the ridiculous world of real estate investing. Advice. And podcasts. Yeah, so we do things a little bit differently around here. And by a little bit. I mean a lot. Our conversations here are more in tune with mindset, and who we are as people, and how we are showing up in the world. And being mindful of those little eyes that are watching us. Because it's not just about the steps. And if you've heard any of my other episodes, you've probably heard me say that. It's not just about the steps of finding a house, renovating it and selling it. It's so much deeper than that. All right. So thank you for letting me know that this podcast means something positive in your life. I appreciate that. Alright, so I wanted to share this one is from Cora Lee. And I hope that's how you meant for it to be said, I apologize. I'm doing the best I can just by the letters. All right. It says Debbie is definitely the real deal. No BS the female point of view and advice on home rehabs is so refreshing, great info and actionable advice. Thanks, Debbie. Awesome. Thank you so much for that. I appreciate it. Yeah, it's, it's so much bigger than just flipping houses. It's doing things the right way. It's serving the seller. It's serving the buyer and future owners. It's serving our communities, right and serving our families. That's what this is about. Thank you again for taking the time to leave me some feedback. I'm really just so grateful that I get to walk this road with you guys. So thanks so much. Alright, let's get into today's episode, where my fellow people pleasers at

Unknown Speaker  3:23  
cash, it's really frustrating being a people pleaser, isn't it? My whole life, I've struggled with being a people pleaser. And it probably has something to do with being in a different school every year in elementary and middle school. That's probably got something to do with it. Right, trying to blend in trying to fit in as quickly as possible. Trying to not stand out too much, especially in those early years. It's hard. It's hard to be the one standing out. So yeah, it's really easy for us to get into people pleasing mode. It's also a way for me to almost like help manage or help regulate people's emotions around me. So I don't like explosive anger. I don't do well in it, I will actually literally will shut down. If somebody starts screaming at me, I will shut down and I go inside to my happy place and I am tuning everything out that that person is screaming at me. It's just not how I operate. It's not how I communicate. So managing people's emotions, right? If I'm doing that, then they won't explode in anger. They'll be happy and it will be a peaceful environment. So that's those two things actually are probably pretty big players into why I have struggled with being a people pleaser for many years. And the older I get honestly, one of the beautiful things is the less I care what people think about me. Right? The more coming into ourselves we do, the less we care, the less weight we put on what other people think about us. Because it's not my job to worry about what they're thinking. It's my job to be a good human period. All right, so if I'm doing that I'm okay with myself. That's not to say sometimes, it's really easy for me to slip back into people pleasing mode. And let's talk about it as it relates to one question I get often is Debbie, how do you deal with contractors? And I really don't like how that the question is phrased. It's so negative I deal with I don't deal with them, but I communicate with them. I have relationships with them, just as I do anybody else that I do business with. So let's talk about how to communicate with and work with contractors, when we're people pleasers, and it's really easy for us to, quote unquote, get walked all over. And, you know, just take whatever comes our way will handle it. That's exhausting, right? It's so exhausting. And I'm sure you see other people, maybe friends or family members who are really good at being super direct, and setting very clear boundaries very firmly. And they do it with such grace. And maybe when you try, maybe you're like me, and you kind of fumble all over the place and you walk away thinking that didn't go the way I envisioned it going at all. Right? The big question is, or, really what we're not doing when we aren't setting boundaries, is we aren't standing up for ourselves, period. And it took me probably five years, well, four years because it was 2012 when I finally put on my big girl pants, and started standing up for myself in this Rei space. Because up until then, honestly, my projects were pretty easy. My contractors were easy, like it was just easy. And no real major hiccups. But then, of course, I did all the things wrong. And a lot of my teachings to my students come from this one house that had just did so many things wrong on. And I learned so much on it in the big thing that I learned on that one was standing up for myself. And we can do that in multiple ways. First of all, by using our voices, right. And then also by having very clear contracts, that contractor sign. Everything is super explicit, over communicated very clear what is expected, and what the consequences are. If those expectations aren't met, right, and it's not being a jerk, I'm still really easy to work with. I pay people on time. Like I have fun, I bring them treats. It doesn't have to be a combative thing. Just be really clear in your contracts. Because here's the thing, those contracts protect them too. It's not a one sided contract. So maybe you're the type of person who doesn't say no, very often, right? You go to parties you don't want to go to you go to coffee with people so they can pick your brain. And you don't really want to you say yes to things that you have no desire to do. And despite not wanting to be a people pleaser, we continue to fill that role. Be because ultimately we don't want to hurt people's feelings and we just want to be liked. So as people pleasers we think that by setting boundaries and saying no to people and standing up for ourselves is rude or disrespectful, when really you're only disrespecting yourself when you're not doing those things when you aren't taking care of you. Look, I know that it's hard to stick up for yourself sometimes. So communicating your boundaries with yourself for starters, and then with others, is how we can make sure that that people pleasing side of us which look, I think it serves a really great purpose, I really do. But when it makes us not stand up for ourselves, or it makes us lose money because we let a project Go on, or it makes us spend time doing things we don't want to do. that's problematic. Alright. So you know, I love to give practical steps and things to do. So here are the four steps you need to take to set better boundaries with contractors. All right, number one, you have got to get crystal clear on your priorities of the project. Okay. So internally, with yourself a meeting with your team, whatever it is, you've got to get crystal clear on the priorities of the project. Okay. Usually, those are, stay on time, stay on budget, and do quality work. Like those are three priorities that I take to every single job site, right? So if those are the three priorities that I'm working from, then great, I've got some sort of framework. Now, your priorities might be different. You need to figure that out for yourself. You're the CEO of this business, figure that out for yourself. All right, step number one, get crystal clear on the priorities of the project. Number two, communicate what you will and will not tolerate. And you do so in writing. Okay, so in the contract that you have your contractor sign, Surely you're doing this, you're not just signing their contract, right? That reminds me, I literally just had a call this morning with a student who was raving, because I share all of my, this is documents with my students, right? So one of those things is a contract that we use with the contractors that we work with. And she was ecstatic. Because that contract literally just saved her 1000s of dollars. So, use a contract and make it a good one, okay. In that contract, you are communicating what you will and will not tolerate, can they smoke on the job site? Can they smoke inside the house? Can they bring visitors to the project? Can they let random strangers who pop by come through? How are materials handled? Where material stored? What is the project completion deadline, we are working from? What is the payment plan, which aspects of the job are supposed to be completed when over communicate, put it in the contract? Okay. So the second thing is you're communicating what you will and will not tolerate. Perfect. Now we get to the juicy stuff.

Unknown Speaker  13:17  
The third one, clearly communicate the consequences of that boundary being crossed. Okay, so all of those boundaries that we just laid out, now, you go in next to each boundary. All right, you're writing this down on paper. Next, each boundary that you're creating, you're writing down the consequence, okay. So, they are over budget on something, the consequence is this, they are over the project deadline, the consequence is this, etc. Okay? So go through each of your boundaries and clearly communicate a consequence. Now, all of that is written out very clearly in the contract, both parties sign you and your contractor and you use it with all the contractors you work with. Okay. So now, you can be very confident that you are crystal clear in your priorities right? That was step one, step two, you have communicated what you will and will not tolerate. Step three, you have clearly communicated the consequences of those boundaries being crossed. And number four, you have to enforce them. Man, if this isn't the one that gets the most resistance, right, because what happens is this. We're working on a job. We've got this project going, we got a contractor who we like him, we've got good rapport with them. And for the most part, he's doing things in a timely manner. And then all of a sudden, he ghosts us. And you're like, what the heck, I'm speaking from experience. By the way, this is what happened in 2012, a contractor that I have been working with for years, all right, and like he just fell off the planet. And I was left just like what is happening, I was trying to find him, I went to his house trying to track him down, I couldn't find anybody couldn't find him or anybody in his family. It was bizarre, obviously, they were having a very personal crisis happening, I had no idea. I had no idea. They were too in the thick of it, to even be able to respond to any messages from anybody. But what I should have done is ended that contract, and quickly found a replacement and kept the project on track. What I did was I waited around why it seemed easier at the time, at the time, it made perfect sense to me that I didn't want to go through the hassle of reaching out to other contractors, having them come out to my project, meeting with them, getting them up to speed. I mean, we were halfway through, it's hard to bring somebody new into a project that has already been going right. It's hard to do that. It's hard for them to do that. And it's hard for you to do that as well. Well, it was hard for me to do that. So I sat on it. And I was like, yeah, you know, I'll just wait because I'd rather just wait then have to go through the hassle. And bring somebody else on, you know, go through the learning curve of working together, yada, yada.

Unknown Speaker  16:50  
So what I did was I shot myself in the foot, basically, I ended up costing myself two or three months of carrying costs and stress. Because I did it in force, what the boundary was, I didn't enforce the consequence of not showing up to work and missing timelines. I didn't enforce it. I didn't stand up for myself. That's the worst part is when I look back, and I think, man, I feel like honestly, I feel shame around not freaking standing up for myself, that seems so dumb, that I didn't think God, this is my money. Well, guess what that was the project that I came out of that thing. And my priorities were very clear my livelihood and the livelihood of my son, period. So you mess with me, you mess with my finances, I'm going to have a problem with that. And I'm going to stand up for myself took that project to get me to that place. So hopefully you can avoid going through some of that pain. By following those four steps. Again, getting crystal clear on your priorities, number one, number two, communicating what you will and will not tolerate, you're doing that in your contract. Number three, you're clearly communicating the consequences of those boundaries being broken, or crossed. You're doing that in your contract. And number four, you are enforcing those consequences. All right. That, my friends is how we work with contractors as people pleasers. All right now go put that into action. All right. Thanks so much for hanging out with me today. Hey, if you want to get on the waitlist for the next openings for my coaching program, go to first flip done right.com. Again, that's first flip dunrite.com and join the waitlist. Alright, so go ahead, get your name on the list. We'll let you know when we've got a spot for you. Okay, until next time, go out there, flip houses like a girl. Leave people in places better than you find them and make it a great day. Bye.