How should I be managing my General Contractor?

3 Replies

I am purchasing a house and funding the rehab and can be as hands off or on as I would like (I will be hands on). I have a partnered GC who is responsible for coordination and timeline, budgeting, sub-contractor hiring and management etc. What are investor best practices regarding managing the GC?

Open communication, black and white instructions, weekly deliverables.

As elementary as it sounds, you need a spreadsheet which details EVERYTHING everyone is responsible for. Little things get overlooked, but having a list of who (whom?) takes care of which items in throughout the process will help you keep your sanity and keep relationships from being strained. 

I do not know how your partnership is structured, but you said you want to be hands on, so with that said, this is what I recommend. I would make sure you have a detailed list of work that will be completed per week so you can review and insure all the work is in fact getting completed, if not, why, and then reschedule for the next week. You may see things your partner does not or may have missed. Early in a relationship like this, I would want to make sure I am looking at everything. Once you have done a few deals and see how he works, maybe you can pull back a bit.

If you have some experience and some contacts and his or his subs numbers do not jive, then I would use that experience and contacts to verify you are getting the best value. Contractors at times will use who they know and not always look for the best value. 

Make him accountable and set expectations, both for weekly and project targets. Most of the guys that work for me like having set expectations because it gives them priorities when the inevitable issue pops up. You do  not have to micromanage, but a clear list of items to be completed in a week, instead of over the whole project, makes everything go smoother in my opinion. 

Ask questions. 

Provide kudos to the GC, his workers and any any subs that are doing good work or perform above expectations. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and it will make them want to work harder and smarter for you.

Let the GC be in control, that is why he is there. Do not undermine his business, but do provide nudging if required. If you do not agree with something he is doing, tell him something like "Man, that is a really good idea, but I was thinking about doing x,y,z. What do you think about that?". Managing people is just as important as the numbers. 

Best of luck!

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