Cash Flow With Joe

Controlled chaos

Controlled chaos


Sometimes, things are just hectic. In the real estate world, however, I think you have to accept that things are constantly going to come up and alter your plans. You’ll have to succumb to the fact that you will be living a life of controlled chaos at work.


Take this morning for instance.


I got through with my workout and went to go see V (short for Viridiana) at the Calhoun Home Depot Prodesk. We are putting in new countertops at a rental that’s about to go on market. And because they were shaped a little different (it’s a doublewide mobile home), we elected to tile the counter tops instead of going with our normal Formica tops. And since we were redoing the tops, we went ahead and traded out the plastic vanity sinks that are standard on a mobile home for some metal drop-ins. The problem was I forgot to measure the holes in the surface of the countertops.



This omission wouldn’t normally be an issue. I would usually just wait for the guys to get on site to get an accurate measurement. But we had a mishap that’s putting us behind schedule. You see, we noticed a soft spot in the hallway right underneath the brand-new floors we just installed. After investigating the issue, we found that the new air conditioner we had just put in was not draining.


Well, I guess that’s not true. It was draining. It was just draining out of the condensation pan in the inside unit instead of running out of the house through the drainpipe. The resulting water had seeped under the wall, flowed under the new floor and had caused the subfloor to weaken. Now, we had to pull up our new laminate, fix the spongy subfloor, and put it all back together in time to have it cleaned on Friday so as to have the house on market by the weekend. Oh… and we discovered this issue Wednesday.



I had two of my guys framing on a new flip project. I had to pull Charles off it and have him handle the subfloor at the rental. He’s an awesome carpenter and assured me he could get it done in time.


Since we were under the gun, I made a guess as to which sink would work, got the rest of the plumbing materials needed, and V checked me out. But as I was heading out the door, I saw Charles heading in. He needed a couple more things. We got those, and he headed off.



My next stop was over at the flip I had pulled Charles from. Hubert was there by himself and needing to know the game plan. It was about 7:30 a.m., and the roofers were already onsite tearing off the shingles. That fact meant it was going to be very loud working in the house with them banging on the roof. So, to save Hubert’s ears, I decided to send him to a house up in Dalton we just had go vacant that needed some painting.


Hubert and I ran over to the storage unit to get him the materials he needed, and he headed that way.


Another one of my guys called out due to stomach issues. This development was bad because he was needed to make sure the first house would be finished by Friday. I had to call Hubert back down to take his place. That move was super inefficient, but it couldn’t be helped.


All this, plus more I don’t have room to talk about, happened before 9 a.m. And I still needed to go home, shower, eat and get back to the office.


I was there at 10 a.m. When I walked in the door, Marybeth had been diligently working on a title flaw we are dealing with, and she needed some help from me.


Thursday morning is supposed to be column morning. But by the time I got through with everything else, it turned into column afternoon.


Believe it or not, I actually like to have a schedule. I find myself clinging to routines and rhythms, especially in my personal life. I think the reason for this is that I’m trying to find balance. That’s because as you can see with this morning, a real estate investor’s workday is just controlled chaos.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.



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