It can be hard to know when you’ve selected a good contractor that you can count on for years to come. You can get three estimates and look for the highest quality at the lowest price point. You can check referrals and pictures of previous work. You can even observe what they say/do during the walk through, whether they show up to each meeting on time, and how willing they are to share information… But how do you really know? Its not easy. We’ve relied heavily on referrals from other investors and then referrals from specialized contractors for new folks to add to the team.
Last week, we took our HVAC contractor out for drinks and the server left the door to the sliding glass refrigerator open. It wasn’t open wide, just a small crack large enough for our contractor to hear the compressor overworking. Honestly, without being directed to listen we couldn’t hear the noise ourselves. Before explaining, our HVAC contractor asked another server closer to the refrigerator (kindly) to close the door. He continued talking about how the refrigerator is not designed to heat the entire restaurant and how the compressor will not last long if they keep overworking it (insert father voice). Apparently when you leave a refrigerator door open, the compressor (aka what keeps the refrigerator cool) thinks that it has to cool the whole room versus just the refrigerator causing it to overwork and eventually die. (This may or may not be why my refrigerator beeps incessantly if I leave it open for longer than 20 seconds).
When working with “mature grown-up adults”, you’ll find that the sound of an overworked compressor will call him or her to action. It shows a level of passion for the craft, that there’s an art to the craft…its not just work.
Takeaways – We tend to target contractors whose ‘why’ is aligned with ours. So open up about why you’re in the business and observe, very closely, the contractor’s response. When missions align, amazing things happen. And grab some drinks with the team, as much as we all work hard, its great to play hard too.