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Flipping a house successfully means keeping your ducks in a row during the rehab process--and that typically means communicating with several vendors to coordinate work, making sure everyone is on the same page, and dealing with delays when they (inevitably) occur. It's worth your while to build a project management strategy and skill set into your workflow, particularly if you aren't accustomed to managing multiple teams on a project.
1. Always Know What's Happening
When you get started on a project, you'll need a list of vendors (electricians, plumbers, landscapers, etc.) and a scope of work for each of them. In some cases, a general contractor will manage all of these for you; in others, you'll end up coordinating the different facets of the job yourself. Regardless of who's doing what, you need to know what your people are working on. Don't micromanage the people you've hired, do check in with your contractor often.
The best suggestion is requiring a report of who's on the job (general contractor, subs, other vendors) and what's getting accomplished each week. This keeps your contractor more accountable and keeps you informed of issues as they pop up.
2. Use a Project Management System
House flippers use a huge variety of different online tools and apps to keep them on track, and the one that works best for you will be the one you find easiest to use. Many have had great success with Podio, Basecamp, and Asana as well. Learning one of these systems (or establishing your own) and using it to keep you and your team on track will make a huge difference in keeping your project running smoothly.
3. Set Expectations Before You Begin
It sounds simple, but this is a big one. Before your contractors get started, talk them through your goals--in terms of timelines, budgets, and unforeseen issues that arise during the flipping process. Here are a few issues to address with your contractor before work even begins:
- What grade of materials and finishes do you expect to be used?
- What happens when it becomes clear something is going to cost more than expected?
- What subcontractors will your general contractor be hiring out? For what projects?
- Do you expect a weekly report of what's going to be accomplished that week? Will you be on-site each day for a walk-through? How will you stay on top of the project and answer any questions that come up?
Many excellent books have been written on managing a house flip, so don't take this to be an exhaustive list by any means. But it's a solid skeleton of a jumping-off point as you plan out the most efficient ways to manage your projects.