You might remember the story of the Sirens. Taken from Greek Mythology, the Sirens were three dangerous bird-women who lured sailors into the sea with their enchanting singing and music. Odysseus wanted to hear the song of the Sirens, so he sailed to them ordering his crew to tie him to the mast of the ship. In this article I explain how working with some Oklahoma City contractors can be like listening to the call of the Sirens.
In the story, the ship’s crew had bee’s wax in their ears so they could not hear the Sirens. Odysseus begged his crew to untie him, but they refused.
In a way, a contractor that you place too much trust in too early in the relationship is like listening to the call of the Sirens trying to tempt you into the sea. Sometimes it’s very tempting to just blindly follow their advice and recommendations, even if they are dead wrong.
The good part of owning and operating an OKC property management company is that I get exposure to a bunch of contractors every single week. I get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I’ll give you a perfect example. I’m currently rehabbing an apartment building. I hired a contractor I’ve used for a long time to do the plumbing and electrical work.
In one of the upstairs units had an older bath tub but still in good condition. However, the fitting connecting the tub to the drain pipes was leaking. The contractor told me they couldn’t replace the tub. They told me the tub had to be ripped out, which would require that the bathroom get a total rehab. In fact, the contractor doubted I’d be able to get the tub out of the apartment without widening the outside door.
Unsatisfied, I called another plumber out for another opinion. The other plumber easily fixed the problem for only $125.
Like the sailor drawn in by the voice of the sirens, it’s easy to be taken in by a contractor. It’s natural to begin to trust someone when they prove themselves, but as a property manager, you’ve got to verify they are doing their job.
The lesson is that you really have to pay attention to what your contractor is doing. When they tell you something that just doesn’t ring true, take a step back. Get a second opinion. It may save you thousands of dollars.
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