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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just started my HVAC company. My main contract is through a real estate company. I will be doing all of their HVAC work. I have inquired about doing some of their handyman type jobs to help me through the slow times. They currently have 3 different handymen doing all of their properties. I know they can't be licensed in all of the trades they do. They do minor plumbing and electrical work. For example, toilet replacement, replacing a fan, etc.

I also have a friend that owns his own office. The landlord has a handyman doing an expansion. He isn't doing anything structural, but he is doing plumbing and replacing/moving fixtures in the drop ceiling. I also see apartment maintenance guys doing all kind of work including HVAC.

My question is:

Are apartments and property management companies given some leeway with respect to construction activity?


How can I legally do these small jobs? My two options seem to be to get a license in each respective field or get a qualifier.

Do you think electrical/plumbing contractors would be interested in qualifying such a small amount of business? I was thinking about offering 5 percent of revenue for jobs in their respective field.

Any other suggestions on how to pickup these extra jobs.

I'm located in FL
 

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apt owners are among the cheapest people on earth....I have one that owns 10+ duplexes and will pay full price.....most want 1/2 price

im hoping they pay full price for your HVAC work?

why would you want to be their handyman? I assume it would pay 1/2 of your HVAC hourly wage?

they are using handymen because they want to save $$

id move on and find more customers....trying to have 100% of your work for the same customer isn't a good idea...use that precious free time to find more good HVAC customers instead of trying to also be a handyman service.....look to the future...wouldn't it be nice to have more work in HVAC than you can handle? the way to make that happen is Sales, not being a handyman
 

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Do you really want to start out being known as the HVAC guy who is willing to do electrical or plumbing for cheap also? When I need an HVAC guy, I want a guy who will do my HVAC, not someone who wants to fix electrical and plumbing as well.

I always figure those guys who claim they can do 1 million things don't have the first clue as to what they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You guys are right. I still need to mitigate risks, however. I don't have a lot of capital and may need the extra income. I'm definitely going to focus on HVAC.
 

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Particulate Filter
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Every body has to slum it sometimes; that being said I blew 17 thousand dollars my first year doing handyman work. There are so many little costs in the little jobs that you get paid a little money for that they are often losers. I generally try to avoid any work under a grand.

So you take a 100 dollar job. It takes two hours. But you have to buy materials for it. And clean up your truck. And go to and return from the job. And invoice for it. And wait on your money. And call the managment company because they thought they already paid you or they never saw the invoice or they just don't have the money in the reserve account etc...

More importantly every time you take a job you have another person who can make demands on your time. They will call you, ask for little things for free etc and keep you from jobs you can actually make money on because you forgot a fitting for a seventy five dollar fan install that you have to drive cross town to get. Funny, but after I stopped doing little jobs two years ago I started to be much more comfortable financially. This was combined with five years of referrals and a continually improved marketing plan.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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I didn't know there was a such thing as 100.00 job? You are losing money no matter what you do.

Apartment owner's generally are cheap customers. I agree with that. In a previous life I did a lot of work with property managers. I found they would take my nice detailed proposal and show it to a fly by night outfit and have them quote it. They obviously would be cheaper because they didn't need to invest time into the project bidding it or have the overhead a real company has to stay in business.

They would then present my 20k proposal and the ladder/truck guys 18k proposal and look like they saved them 2k. I played the game for a while, it got some work.

I realized what they where doing when they really wanted me to do this job but had a cheaper price. I think this property happened to actually be owned by the property management company. I asked the property manager to send me the scope of work of my competitor and it was nearly word for word what I had presented just on a different company letter head.

That being said not all of them are that way. Some of the bigger ones that have a huge portfolio know that it's better to go with a reputable contractor and can sell the customer owner on a long term warranty etc. It really depends on if the owner is planning on holding the property or just putting lipstick on it to sell 2 years down the road.

I agree that saying you can do everything will hinder you. Focus on what you do the best. You will sell more and get more efficient. I'm thinking about adding exterior painting to our services just because we have all the scaffolding and are familiar with the handling flashing's etc. I run into customers that are trying to decide if they can paint and get by another 5 years or need to redo there exterior completely. I'd like to provide them with both costs and let them decide.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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I like little jobs. They generally pay well and don't have lingering costs like a large project does.

I also like large jobs because It gives me breathing room because I know we have work for the next 3 months.
 

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I like little jobs. They generally pay well and don't have lingering costs like a large project does.

I also like large jobs because It gives me breathing room because I know we have work for the next 3 months.
I agree I have made some great money with very little hassle doing jobs which were 100$ jobs. Little jobs are great for filling the void between the big ones.

I am not saying don't do small jobs, do them in what you do, HVAC, this is a great way to open up the opportunity for larger projects in the future. I have had several small jobs turn into 10 000$ jobs.
 

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Liability.
One nail for your picture you say and you want it rite here. Okay. That will be ten bucks .....but you hit a line burn down the city or fry some little girl in the shower. Cant stay lucky forever. Im glad we had this talk. Stay home.
 

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Liability.
One nail for your picture you say and you want it rite here. Okay. That will be ten bucks .....but you hit a line burn down the city or fry some little girl in the shower. Cant stay lucky forever. Im glad we had this talk. Stay home.
This is why I suggest he look for small jobs in his line of work, not doing odd man things, my liability insurance covers me whether its a 10$ or 10000$ job, as long as I am doing the job I have coverage for.
 
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