We’re currently flipping a house down in Cartersville and part of the rehab design includes new kitchen cabinets. Now, we don’t normally do cabinets so I didn’t know who to turn to.
I got some recommendations for local cabinet makers and got a few bids on the project. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I made my way over to one of the two major home improvement stores to see if we could get it done more economically there.
As it turned out, the store was able to get us great cabinets at about a third of the cost of hand-made ones. At this price point, it was a no brainer. We put our order in and waited for the delivery call.
I was delighted to get that call two days early. But when I picked the cabinets up, the fun began.
First off, someone had put a fork lift through the side of our brand new pantry. These things happen; no worries. I took the rest of the order to the job site while the stores staff got a new pantry on its way.
Next, we start installing the cabinets. This was going great until we noticed two of the wall cabinets were missing. A quick call revealed these two units hadn’t arrived with the others because they were a special order; we were told they would be in by the weekend.
Monday came; the new pantry had arrived. However, the two wall cabinets weren’t in. We were then behind schedule on our rehab and couldn’t move forward.
Wednesday morning I got a call that one of the wall cabinets came in. That was awesome, but I had ordered two units. We picked up the pantry and the wall cabinet hoping the other one would show up soon.
Friday came, and the other special order wall cabinet was here. Hooray!
I went to pick it up at the store. That’s when I noticed the damage. It had been sitting in water on the truck, which had caused the sides of the cabinet to swell and blister the finish. UGH!
This was becoming too much. I was now a week and half behind, we’re still missing cabinets, and I couldn’t get an answer as to when the order, paid for in advance mind you, would come in. Can you feel my aggravation?
Oh, it gets better. The sales rep called one of the blue vest mangers over to see what they could do. His response was, I quote, “I don’t know what to tell you bubba. You can have this damaged one for free if you want it.”
My mental response was, “BUBBA? I’m not your bubba. I’m your customer that’s already paid for a product that hasn’t showed up in good order or on time. I guess the slogan “never stop improving” doesn’t apply to management’s customer service practices.”
At this point you have two choices: tell them off or exercise patience.
As a real estate investor, you have to master your emotions. This is crucial during negotiating. If you get caught up in your emotions, you’ll often times make a bad deal.
The other thing real estate investors must realize is this is a people business, not a house business. You’ll go farther and faster if you build relationships with people than if you focus on the house you are working on.
So, on Monday, the cabinets came in. The staff inspected them and made sure to double wrap them for protection. As I was walking to the front with the sales rep, she asked me, “Do you buy houses… in any condition?”
As it turns out, she has a house she needs to sell. By controlling my emotions, exercising patience, and focusing on having good long term-relationships, I secured an appointment to go look at her house. Woot Woot!
Joe and Ashley English invest in real estate in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com