… winning a bid doesn’t always come down to price; it is often more about the customer choosing a contractor with whom they feel most comfortable. I think this approach really sets us apart from our competition because winning a bid doesn’t always come down to price; it is often more about the customer choosing a contractor with whom they feel most comfortable.
What are some of the biggest obstacles to completing the work?
This type of work requires a lot of communication because residents need to be aware of the job we will be performing in advance. We do this by distributing fliers one week prior to the start of the job and again two days before we begin work. We also inform residents when the job is complete. However, when it’s time to paint front doors, it can sometimes be challenging because residents must be home for us to gain access and complete the job. In other circumstances, we’ve worked with communities that didn’t have the money to complete the job or needed to postpone the project for a few months until funds were received. We can slow a job down, based on the needs of our customer. That is sometimes just the nature of the business.
Are there any specific skills or equipment needed?
We use all the standard painting supplies, tools and equipment that are used on residential jobs. On an HOA project, there is typically a team of five individuals consisting of a project manager, a journeyman painter, two or three highly skilled painters, and two support members that assist with setup, taping and cleanup. When we hire painters, we look for individuals who work hard, have a good attitude, and can communicate well with customers.
What is your involvement with color selection?
Color selection for a residential community or apartment building is usually determined by the HOA or property management company—or recommended by a large paint-supply company like Sherwin-Williams.
If we are asked for input, we’ll reach out to a preferred color specialist who we work with in the area and offer these services to the board at no extra cost.
Are there any red flags that make you choose to avoid taking on a project?
We try to avoid accepting subcontractor jobs from general contracting companies because the payment schedule and overall entire process is not based on our terms, which can sometimes be difficult to maneuver.
Do you consider this market opportunity to be strong?
There are so many HOAs in communities across the country and I believe there will always be a demand for this type of work. These organizations normally operate very well, often scheduling work every eight to 12 years, and are a strong component of our business.
What advice can you share for pros who want to get into this business?
It takes a lot of time and determination to generate customers and become a preferred vendor on an HOA or property management company bid list. I recommend treating their business like the highest paying customer you have. Your work and craftsmanship will shine through. -
NOAH WINKLES is the VP of New Life Painting, a family owned business and Nolan Summit Services contractor servicing the California Central Coast, offering residential, commercial and HOA painting services. He is an active member of the Santa Maria Connect!, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the PDCA. NewLifePainting.com
May 2018 | inPAINT