It Only Takes A Spark To Get A Fire Going

Share Button


by Margaret Workman

[Editor’s Note: I see a refreshing change in the landscape of Property Preservation commentary with the introduction of Margaret Workman to the audience of  CubicYard™. Depending on the year, past statistics have shown that the percentage of property preservation businesses owned by women has varied between 48% and 61%. There are many women in the industry and most stay silently busy in the background, often unrecognized and under-appreciated. CubicYard™ is happy to say that this woman, Margaret Workman, has agreed to share her knowledge and experience with us – not surprising at all that she “stepped up to the plate” as she is an avid sports enthusiast and photographer.]

Why do some get away with not following the rules while others follow the rules and are treated worse by the Companies for the very rules they are trying to follow?

The problem here folks is some play by the rules and some don’t. I spoke with a gentleman the other day and he was new in the property preservation business.

He said  that a company working for National A Company (not naming names but you can probably figure this out) sent them an email and asked them to do winterizations and property preservation work for them. (basically a sub of a sub of a sub) This company never asked the contractor to have insurance or to do a background check, when this is clearly mandatory for getting work.

(I of course recommended it and highly warned him of how this type of practice is the quickest way to run his new business into the ground, he listened to me and got a GL policy even though he wasn’t being required to.)

This company he was working for also had enough work to send him a three thousand dollar check as an advance for getting work done. To me something is wrong with  this picture.

These B-companies doing this are getting by asking forgiveness instead of permission they are getting away with it.  They are uploading all photos and paperwork as if  they are doing the work. No paper trail of whom they are using as vendors.

This is all Contributing to the delinquency of our industry.

Something is wrong when we are told we have to pay $60 for a background check for one client and other clients do them for free. Some clients say even though you have had 6 background checks done in the past 3 months, they still have to do it through their company while other companies just say you can email the one you have already as long as its within 6 months. This is such a contradiction in an industry that should have the same goals. Preserving the properties we are servicing in order to get them on the market and sold.

The hit your credit report and score takes from all these inquiries is horrendous.

There needs to be someone watching the Nationals and Regionals just as much as they are watching the vendors.  Again, this should be mutually beneficial. Pay should be above the poverty level. Something’s got to give in this industry.

A dark cloud is definitely over us right now.

The question: Who do we go to? Who can we tell that will have our backs? How can we make the big dogs do what’s right and what’s legal? We are but a small voice in a big world. I am all for working together to bring contractors together and to make everyone play on a profitable playing field.

Either we are employees or independent contractors. I think if everyone in this industry would file the IRS forms that investigate employee vs. vendor then maybe something would be done and looked into.

I just don’t like seeing people taken advantage of and made to jump through hoops that the clients themselves are not jumping through.  We do the work and get very little benefit.

All of these companies have different software’s, different rules, different prices, hours of unpaid required  training, and charge backs and kick backs ….when will it stop? My fear is it won’t. There will always be some yahoo out there that will do anything for a buck. Mind you it won’t be done right and then we are called to clean up the mess. I don’t like what this industry is becoming. I won’t give up though. Just voicing how dark its getting!!! If you haven’t already diversify!

I choose to be a light…right now it’s a dim light but it only takes a spark….to get a fire going. Let’s get some sparks going…..I am all in….how about you?

Margaret Workman
General Contractor-President
Workman Home Repairs, Inc
“Capital Repairs, Inspections, and Property Preservation”

Share Button

Comments are closed.