Here’s an important question for you – is this fixing and flipping houses thing going to be your business or an odd job? In other words, are you going act like a business owner and hire employees to perform the work associated with rehabbing the house, or are you going to hire yourself to do everything?
I believe it should be every fix and flippers goal to work on their business, not in their business. My partner and I don’t demo, paint, lay tile, install appliances, light fixtures, ceiling fans, blinds or clean our fix and flip properties anymore. Our talented team of contractors does this work so we can focus on acquiring additional properties and raising more capital.
However, it’s difficult for anyone, regardless of the industry, to work on a business BEFORE they’ve worked in the business. Thorough knowledge of the processes and procedures required to get a home fixed up and ready to sell on the retail market is crucial. The best way to learn how to get a rehab done is to work for someone who knows how to get a rehab done.
After the market crashed in 2008, and I lost all my cash, I worked for an experienced investor and did everything on his rehab projects that didn’t involve wielding a sledgehammer, paintbrush or plumber’s wrench. I quickly learned:
- What materials cost and where to go to buy them.
- How long it takes to get jobs done.
- How to get the jobs done fast.
- How to get the jobs done inexpensively.
This may not be an option if you don’t know any real estate investors that need project management help. You can always do the work yourself without any guidance and learn the hard way. I recommend you seek out members here on BiggerPockets that can provide valuable tips and advice. Whatever method you choose, the goal should be to replace yourself with less expensive labor once you’ve learned how to get your rehabs done quickly and inexpensively. Then your focus can shift to finding and doing more deals.
But what if I like doing all the rehab work myself you ask? Fine, I say.
There’s nothing wrong with getting your hands dirty. I know several local rehabbers who take tremendous pride in their design and carpentry skills. They like working with cordless drills and paint rollers. I’ve even heard them say that swinging a hammer is a good workout. I say if you can reach your income goals by doing all the work yourself while simultaneously building muscle tone and cardiovascular strength it’s a win-win. Just remember, if you hire yourself as a project manager and laborer you only have yourself to blame if the rehab isn’t done on time or to budget.
Fixing and Flipping Houses: A Business or a Job? by Marty Boardman