A networking lesson from Maz…

I’ve always enjoyed talking to people, learning about their business and sharing ideas.  Last year I shared my story at a networking event when I was then approached by an IT specialist whose father in law was selling some land.  Was this something I could help with.

So I visited the potential client, who owned a small farm with almost 2 acres of land that he wanted to sell.

I evaluated the potential with the support of key contacts from my network:

2 Architects

2 Solicitors

1 Accountant

1 Commercial Banker

After planning permission was granted for two houses.  I introduced some buyers for the self-build plots.  But the client explained he’d found a buyer, which was great news for the land.

Last week I made a follow up call, arranged to meet the client again and listen to his story.  He told me that the potential buyers came 5 times promising to buy all of the plots but then walked away leaving Arnold with the land still.

The opportunity is now back with me again so I’m excited to tell everyone I meet that I’m looking for an investor who can develop 2 houses with a GDV of almost £1m which can make over £200k profit!

Lessons learnt:

  • Tell everyone you meet what you do
  • Be prepared to listen and learn
  • Share your knowledge – be helpful!
  • Always follow up

Our very own Maz wanted to share his story on how to he found his best builder….

“My worst builder…the roof contractor started off really well and did a good job with the flat roof and the tiled roof but disappeared onto another job never to be seen again!! So a builder with lots of experience was brought in to finish the roofing and refurbish a property I had bought at auction for £50k.  Damp walls needed treating and a new bathroom, with a lot of plastering jobs to be done too, plenty of decorating, a new boiler and all the doors replacing along with new carpets.

The work seemed slow at first, it then picked up some momentum then almost stopped, so the job ended up running behind schedule.  The arrangement was that I’d already nominated the carpet provider and all the builder needed to do was make the arrangements for the fitters when the work was completed.  My letting agent had secured the tenant and all seemed to be on track for the agreed move in date.

Then I got a call from the carpet guy who was quite fed up because when his team arrived on site the property was not finished & the fitters could not proceed.  They delivered the carpet rolls and had to leave them until the builders finished off.  They returned to fit the carpet after the tenant had moved in…. the builder then disappeared completely leaving devastation in his wake.

I went to see the reliable carpet guy at his store and berated the builder saying he’s always messing us around and proceeded to tell me about other occasions when his team had to ‘stand down’ because the builder was not finished or property still being worked on!  He said he’d never supply carpets to a property the builder was involved with.

Then the light bulb moment occurred…I asked the carpet guy if he could recommend a reliable builder.  “Of course” he said, “try Peter, I’ll give you his number”.  On the back of this recommendation I gave Peter the next property to quote and gave him the contract to refurbish.  That job went really well and the finish was excellent, the carpets went down exactly to plan!

That was the start of a series of 8 refurbishments one after another and kept Peter busy for almost 18 months.

The start of a lasting ‘partnership’ which continues to date.

Learning point from this story…reverse engineer your solutions.  Engage the carpet contractor first and they’ll recommend a reliable builder (and keep you clear of the bad ones).