Join us for a LIVE discussion and Q&A regarding career and leadership development in the skilled trades
This event will be curated by:
Josh Zolin, renowned author, speaker, contractor, and podcast host of "Blue Is The New White"
See more - blueisthenewwhite.com
Jon Isaacson, medicore author, contractor, and podcast host of "The DYOJO Podcast"
See more - thedyojo.com
Career & Leadership Development for the Skilled Trades
The Plan Thus Far:
Idiots At The Helm: A Discussion About Career Development & Leadership Growth In The Skilled Trades
Our hosts will discuss the questions below for about 45 minutes. They will keep the Zoom chat room open, and try to check on that periodically. At the end of the planned discussion, we will leave about 15 minutes for Q&A direct from the chat room or people that email and comment prior - email@example.com
Questions for our hosts:
Zoom Invitation for this Event
Jon Isaacson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: TDP Presents: Idiots @ The Helm (LIVE on Zoom)
Time: Jul 7, 2022 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 847 6912 3891
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It is important that insurance claims contractors don't confuse supervisory labor, a direct cost, with your overhead (indirect) costs. Educate the customer on the unique format of insurance claims estimates. Be sure to accurately track your supervisory labor and include those cost breakdowns in your estimate.
Indirect Costs For Contractors
Xactimate is a common estimating software used as a means of establishing a common language between restoration contractors and insurance claims professionals. According to Xactimate, general overhead (aka indirect costs) are,
General Overhead are expenses incurred by a General Contractor, that cannot be attributed to individual projects, and include any and all expenses necessary for the General Contractor to operate their business.
Indirect costs are all of those necessary expenses that a contractor incurs but are not directly related to an individual project. If a contractor, or any business, does not account for their overhead expenditures in the costs of their goods and services, they will not be in business for long. Examples of general overhead, according to Xactimate, include but are not limited to:
Xactimate does not include consideration for these indirect or general overhead expenses in their unit pricing. Instead, they advise, that the contractor should add these costs to the estimate, "As a percentage of the total bid along with the appropriate profit margin. These two costs together constitute what is normally referred to in the insurance restoration industry as General Contractor’s O&P, or just O&P." While contractors and carriers have become comfortable with a 20% markup, this amount is not stipulated by the software.
Direct Costs for Construction Projects
Supervision is common, i.e. industry standard, for construction projects. This role is often the responsibility of roles including project managers, site foremen, superintendents, departmental supervisors, safety managers, etc. Supervision is critical to successful project outcomes and is a real cost of the work being performed. Xactimate states that indirect costs or job-related (specific) overhead,
Are expenses that can be attributed to a project, but cannot be attributed to a specific task and include any and all necessary expenses to complete the project other than direct materials and labor. Examples (including but not limited to): Project managers, onsite portable offices and restroom facilities, temporary power and fencing, security if needed, etc.
Supervisory labor (aka project management time) is as much a real cost that should be accounted for an compensated for the work as temporary power or restroom facilities. It is common to either bid supervisory labor as a percentage of the estimated labor or submitted as a breakdown for billing at project intervals (i.e. bi-monthly).
Have you heard the saying, "You can have it good, fast, or cheap, but you have to choose two." While it seems like a good idea to get the best deal when shopping for a kitchen or bathroom remodel, in the current market there is not a shortage of work for quality contractors. If you are consumer and are getting more than 2 or 3 bids, you will probably find that many contractors won't even bid. Consumers and contractors should focus on is value when determining the cost of a remodel project.
The Best Price for Home Improvement
The best price is not the cheapest, the most expensive, or the middle of the pack. Some contractors can do it cheaper than their competitors and do it well. Unfortunately, a contractor that does not know how to properly price their services likely is not covering all of their obligations such as taxes, overhead expenses, and investing in the long term growth of their business. If you are a contractor and doing work for less than market averages as a strategy to get you more work, stop and think for a minute about whether you are profitable.
The Best Bang for Your Buck When Remodeling
Consumers and contractors should focus on value. As a contractor, what value are you brining to your clients and are you doing a good job of communicating why your process and pricing unique? As a consumer, you want to find the contractor who fully understands your vision and can best work with your budget. Neither contractors or consumers win when corners are cut in order to cram an unrealistic scope into a underfunded budget.
Unrealistic Expectations for Renovation
As I share in my upcoming book, I think much of the modern consumer mentality is shaped by home improvement shows. What the customer expects is that we can walk through a house in five minutes or less and tell them, “This will cost $1,500 (seems like this is the magic number for everything) and my crew can start this afternoon.” Unfortunately this is not how things work in the real world. If you need to prove this to a client, you can find stories like this one from Fast Company that reveal these shows are selling “fantasy at best and nightmare at worst”.
Do you know the asbestos testing requirements in your local jurisdiction? In the state of Washington, if you read the LNI (Labor and Industries) regulations, the letter of the law requires everything, regardless of age, to be tested for asbestos prior to demolition or remodeling. This would apply to water and fire damage scenarios where materials such as wet drywall are being removed.
As a contracts you want to do your best to:
Test for lead and asbestos before you do any work
It must be understood that these regulations are not suggestions, they are the law and compliance is mandatory. Many restoration contractors are adhering to high standards and best practices, yet they encounter pushback from insurance representatives or clients who are unaware of these compliance factors. Homeowners, adjusters, and property managers will benefit from documentation that educates them on the responsibilities of all parties to adhere to testing requirements.
I was discussing this with a local mitigation contractor who was being questioned by a representative from the insurance company on a claim. It may be that this person has never heard of these laws or encountered a contractor charging for them, so we forwarded this citation from LNI in Washington,
“Building owners and construction contractors both share responsibility for asbestos testing when doing work on the building. A good faith inspection for asbestos, performed by an AHERA certified building inspector is required before any remodel, repair, removal, or other work that could disturb suspect materials.”
Educate homeowners and property managers on their responsibilities
Previously we wrote more extensively on this topic for an article in Restoration and Remediation (R&R) Magazine on the responsibilities of property owners, property managers, and contractors. You may find that content helpful in your efforts to educate various parties during an insurance claim.
For additional reference, see the picture attached to this article which was taken at our local landfill in Puyallup, WA. The landfill requires proof of clearance following asbestos testing prior to being able to dispose of worksite debris.
My latest book, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? was going to be my shortest book. I had planned for it to be a primer on the mindset and habits for growth in project management. But more words turned into more pages which spilled into more chapters.
Honestly, my first draft was a MESS. The concepts were even more eclectic than this revised version. Thankfully some good friends gave earnest feedback and constructive criticism which helped me to strip things down to this current form.
Having a good peer network is a great resource for your personal and professional development. I was glad to be able to incorporate insights on project management from everyday restorers throughout this book.
One such restorer is David Watts, who was involved in the intricate 2019 fire restoration for The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. When I asked him about some of the mindsets that have helped him to be successful in project management. He replied,
Mindsets for Success in Project Management
When I asked David about some of the habits that have helped him to be successful in his roles, he shared the importance of the PLAN (which is an element of SPEeD). The project manager must create a process for clear and consistent communication. The PLAN includes customer expectations, resource allocation, budget, problem-solving, and transparency. David says that once the project is assessed (SCAN) the following needs to be communicated early and often to keep EXECUTION on track.
Habits of Successful Project Managers
David Watt's shared the following:
Early Reviews for This New Project Management Book
“I like what I saw from the mediocre book. Jon puts into words things veterans of the industry should know and shortens the learning of those new to the industry. Most of us learn by on the job training with some guidance. His books provide guidance for those willing to take the next steps at raising their knowledge.” - David Watts (New York, NY)
In August, we published an announcement in Restoration & Remediation (R&R) Magazine that we were looking for new project managers to sent copies of our third book to:
Jon Isaacson is wrapping up the first draft of book number three in the Be Intentional series titled, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? Isaacson is looking for feedback from new project managers; those who have been in the role for a year or less. If you are a new project manager, Isaacson is sending out 10 advance copies of the book. This will be once they are printed. The target publish date is the end of October 2021. Isaacson has created a sign-up portal.
We received a great response from many more than ten project managers, training managers, and property restoration owners who were excited about the content of our book. This created some internal excitement at The DYOJO as it affirmed a need for some assistance in this area. So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? is a book about the mindset and habits for growth in the roles and responsibilities of project management.
As we stated in our release through Cleaning and Restoration (C&R) Magazine, we wanted feedback from project managers:
If you are a training manager and need some help inspiring as well as challenging your team, I think you will find this book to be of value to your efforts.
Mindset and habits for success in project managerment
The DYOJO is following through on their promise and these applicants will be receiving a FREE copy of our third book. We hope they will enjoy the book, put the principles to work, and provide us with some good feedback (including Amazon reviews and social media posts - hint, hint). The awardees are:
Training and leadership development for project managers
As soon as my author copies are in, I will be sending the 10 copies of our latest book, So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? to our 10 winners.
I hope you will all find this book to be helpful to you in your personal and professional development. If you want to help us promote the book, you can do a few simple things:
1. Please post a picture of yourself with the book for social media - this will help us get the word out. We are about as low budget as it gets with regards to marketing, so your post will help us boost that effort.
2. If the book is worthy, please post a review on Amazon, this helps the book searchers to find and have confidence in purchasing the book for themselves.
3. If you really enjoy the book, please subscribe to The DYOJO Podcast. We post on Thursdays at 9am PST - you can WATCH via YouTube or LISTEN via Spotify or Apple.
4. Let us know if you and/or your organization would be interested in setting up a zoom call or in person training on the mindset and habits for growth in project management.
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a 19 year veteran of the property restoration industry and a business coach through his organization The DYOJO.