Have you seen them? I saw my first one this week and it made me both excited and a little bit sad.
I’m talking about the back to school ads that are popping up everywhere – on tv, in the newspaper, on every end-cap at the stores. This in-between season is the perfect time for us to reflect on the past year and look forward to the year to come.
Since last July we have actively worked on 8 houses. There has been great success (yay! We finished!) as well as plenty of struggles and surprises along the way. What I love about this job is that every house is different, so remodeling each one to try and highlight its own unique character and create a space that is updated appropriately is both tricky and rewarding.
We had one house this year where, frankly, there were lots of things we had to do that we hadn’t anticipated (things like rewiring, removing the structurally unsound back deck, repairing plumbing, etc.). Post inspection, we usually have a good idea what issues will need to be addressed, but in this case we found several issues that demanded our attention before we could move forward. In the end, we had put in a lot more money than we had budgeted so instead of selling the house at a possible loss we decided to keep it as a rental. We have found great tenants and are excited to see how this new venture as landlords for this house plays out.
To be completely honest, as I look back on this year I can see that we spread ourselves a bit too thin. There were times when we took on too many houses with not enough labor to help or held onto a house too long. Both instances reduced our opportunity for a profit. The flipside (ha!) of this is that we learned through these experiences. We decided to fail-forward, to learn from our mistakes and make careful and clear guidelines that will help shape our future.
Have a positive impact on neighborhoods in our community and the people who buy our homes by providing quality remodeled homes at an affordable price by utilizing our talents and passion.
I have always known it is important to work on your business and not just in your business, but exactly what that looks like has been difficult for me to grasp. Now I know. Working on my business means learning, growing, and building models that will help launch us forward as a company. For example: budgets. It’s easy to wing it. What is difficult is setting, reviewing and following budgets. Your gut might be a good guide for some aspects of this work, but it is not a good tool for budgeting.
Another area we have grown this past year is with our staff. By working alongside our lead general contractor through several of the house issues that have arisen, we have figured out how to work harder as a team to achieve the best results for everyone.
Looking forward, my goal for this next year is concise: balance, balance, balance. As some of you may well know, I tend to go big or go home. My personal and professional goal for this year is to learn to be okay with a different scale. For our family this means enjoying great weekends together and not worrying about planning month-long adventures (though those are pretty amazing, too!). Professionally, I would like to see Pro Home Solutions involved with volunteer projects, like maybe helping with a Habitat build or something similar that would utilize our talents.
What will be different next July at this time? I fully anticipate we will have several projects in the works. The team we work with now is comprised of talented, easy-going people who care about the finished product. I love the team we are working with now and hope to continue to be working alongside them next year.