QC Everything.


Recently I had a string of projects we completed within the past few months come back as needing additional repairs that we honestly should have documented on the front end. And, all of these projects were assigned by the same client. So, I was mortified to say the least. One occurrence was bad enough, but three within a week’s time made me worry that we had compromised our reputation with the client.

When I received my client’s emails informing me of each issue, I responded immediately. I didn’t insult him by refusing blame. I didn’t waste his time by going on and on about how sorry I was — he could tell by my reaction how sorry I was. I listened to his frustration, accepted his instructions and got to work making it right. I also used these difficult conversations as an opportunity to do my best to prevent these problems from arising again.

Sure, my motivation was high to keep his business. At some level we all think about the bottom-line. To lose his trust and then his business would hurt our profitability. But, my motivation also came from my concern that I had bruised his reputation with his client. Integrity gets work from certain sources that the current REO infrastructure will not allow such a company to receive outside of this client’s position with lenders. The thought of hurting his position is a more personal issue because that involves threatening his source of income. His trust in me as a partner meant more to me than dollars. Over time, because we have documented well, completed the work well and communicated well he increased our status with his company and his clients.

His major concern was that we QC everything, catch every potential issue on the first visit and document it on the first bid. On the first visit, we should be able to see every repair needed, every potential security threat, every code violation waiting to happen. And, how can I argue with that? With some focused time at the property, my contractors (because they are all qualified and experienced in this industry) should provide this. And, to blame them solely is a mistake.

Because I run the company, if a contractor fails to provide adequate quality control it is a failure to train well on my part. As someone who wants the name Integrity to mean something, I am willing to do what it takes to catch everything on the first visit. This, of course, does not involve 15 page work orders to my contractors or sitting on the phone with them through the whole process. It involves thorough training. Open communication. High expectations. And, if contractors cannot match my standards for serving clients through quality control, then I will consider us mismatched. Simple as that.

This is an industry where contingencies are made because of the unstable condition vacant homes fall into. But, the best way to minimize risk is to QC everything.

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