Author Topic: How to communicate with general contractors that do not take my concerns serious  (Read 946 times)

clarkfan1979

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I just got done renting my Hawaii rental (Kauai) out to a retired couple from Napa, CA last week. However, I had two failed attempts with general contractors. Housing construction workers from the mainland is big business on Kauai. I would like to be involved, but I am finding it difficult to communicate effectively with the General Contractors (G.C.'s).

From my perspective, my biggest issue is trying to communicate to G.C.'s that my rental is unique because it is two separate units. There is a young couple that lives in a separate basement unit. They take care of the property and I want to take care of them.

The last G.C. wanted his workers to move-in without filling out an application. I told him the application was non-negotiable because it does a background check and credit score. I told him the credit score was not a big deal because the company was paying. However, the background check was absolutely mandatory. He verbally told me 2-3 times that he understood.

He told me that his workers would complete the application, but after 6 days of no applications, I offered the rental to someone else. As you might expect, he was not very happy. He called me all sorts of names, said the application process was stupid and that I didn't know how to run a business. He then texted me pictures of a cashier's check.

Because this G.C. had no intentions of completing the applications, it ended up being a huge waste of time on both ends. How do I communicate at first point of contact in way that a G.C. will take me seriously?

I have also had similar communication problems with G.C.'s on Kauai in the past. It has happened enough times that I would like to address it and see if I can get better. Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 04:27:54 PM by clarkfan1979 »

Wrenchturner

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Make your expectations clear and use bolding, underlining and colored fonts if needed.  Outline what will occur if they fail to comply.  Get their promises in writing only.  Ignore the vitriol.  Rinse, repeat until you find someone who can follow basic directions.

clarkfan1979

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Make your expectations clear and use bolding, underlining and colored fonts if needed.  Outline what will occur if they fail to comply.  Get their promises in writing only.  Ignore the vitriol.  Rinse, repeat until you find someone who can follow basic directions.

Yes, I agree that those are good strategies. I do yellow highlighting on the lease for my college students. While they do not always follow everything, they do not put up a fight when I keep part of their deposit when they clearly violated something that was highlighted in yellow.

I've been doing rentals for 12 years. I would consider myself to be a good communicator in both writing and verbally. However, I only seem to have problems communicating with G.C.'s. When they fail to follow through on something, they tend to blame me. I think my college student tenants do a better job of owning their mistakes.

This is somewhat of a stereotype, but the G.C.'s seem to get what they want by offering more money at the end. I think I'm a little different. I do not cave-in and take the money. When I do not take the money, they get upset, even though they didn't follow through on our agreed upon expectations. 

Wrenchturner

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Make your expectations clear and use bolding, underlining and colored fonts if needed.  Outline what will occur if they fail to comply.  Get their promises in writing only.  Ignore the vitriol.  Rinse, repeat until you find someone who can follow basic directions.

Yes, I agree that those are good strategies. I do yellow highlighting on the lease for my college students. While they do not always follow everything, they do not put up a fight when I keep part of their deposit when they clearly violated something that was highlighted in yellow.

I've been doing rentals for 12 years. I would consider myself to be a good communicator in both writing and verbally. However, I only seem to have problems communicating with G.C.'s. When they fail to follow through on something, they tend to blame me. I think my college student tenants do a better job of owning their mistakes.

This is somewhat of a stereotype, but the G.C.'s seem to get what they want by offering more money at the end. I think I'm a little different. I do not cave-in and take the money. When I do not take the money, they get upset, even though they didn't follow through on our agreed upon expectations.

It sounds like I should hire college students instead of general contractors if I ever want something built on Hawaii.  I suspect I will never have this issue, however.

Seriously though, maybe there's a way you could reach them through a more professional channel.  Not sure what that would look like though, but obviously they don't care about their outward perceptions when dealing with you.

It's also probably an issue because the contractor doesn't want to be involved in a character assessment of their workers that might jeopardize their ability to work for the contractor.  They want you to absorb the risk so they get the workers where they need them.  Perhaps you should assess the risk in this way.  If you want these tenants, you might have to take on the risk(or find different tenants).

Edit: here's an idea, price it.  Say you'll offer x% discount if they pass the background and credit check.  Or say you'll charge x% more if they don't supply it, to protect yourself from the risk.

clarkfan1979

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Make your expectations clear and use bolding, underlining and colored fonts if needed.  Outline what will occur if they fail to comply.  Get their promises in writing only.  Ignore the vitriol.  Rinse, repeat until you find someone who can follow basic directions.

Yes, I agree that those are good strategies. I do yellow highlighting on the lease for my college students. While they do not always follow everything, they do not put up a fight when I keep part of their deposit when they clearly violated something that was highlighted in yellow.

I've been doing rentals for 12 years. I would consider myself to be a good communicator in both writing and verbally. However, I only seem to have problems communicating with G.C.'s. When they fail to follow through on something, they tend to blame me. I think my college student tenants do a better job of owning their mistakes.

This is somewhat of a stereotype, but the G.C.'s seem to get what they want by offering more money at the end. I think I'm a little different. I do not cave-in and take the money. When I do not take the money, they get upset, even though they didn't follow through on our agreed upon expectations.

It sounds like I should hire college students instead of general contractors if I ever want something built on Hawaii.  I suspect I will never have this issue, however.

Seriously though, maybe there's a way you could reach them through a more professional channel.  Not sure what that would look like though, but obviously they don't care about their outward perceptions when dealing with you.

It's also probably an issue because the contractor doesn't want to be involved in a character assessment of their workers that might jeopardize their ability to work for the contractor.  They want you to absorb the risk so they get the workers where they need them.  Perhaps you should assess the risk in this way.  If you want these tenants, you might have to take on the risk(or find different tenants).

Edit: here's an idea, price it.  Say you'll offer x% discount if they pass the background and credit check.  Or say you'll charge x% more if they don't supply it, to protect yourself from the risk.

I like your idea of charging more for people who do not want to do the application (background and credit check). I can't really do that with the Hawaii rental. However, I will consider it for my other rentals. Thank you.

Wrenchturner

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I was also thinking maybe the contractors could buy tenant insurance?