Expertise and Training
While Green Building Science is not new, many contractors have yet to familiarize themselves with the kind of practices and technologies Energy Wise Residential Remodeling requires.
Excuse Me, That Thing You Just Did… You Can’t Do That!
Its been fun this last year listening to people, from Renovators to Investors, real estate agents to contractors, bankers to government officials, tell me it’s impossible to do complete remodels with deep energy retrofits and sell them at a profit. ”Difficult anytime and Impossible in this economy,” they say. But since that is exactly what we’ve developed over this last year, it leads to an interesting conversation.
It happened again today. An old friend and I were re-connecting and in the catching up, he expressed surprise that I was flipping houses with full energy retrofits. “I didn’t think you could do that in this market.”
Where does all this negativity and pessimism come from? The main thing I can think of is an over-indulgence in mainstream media consumption. Followed by “Conventional Wisdom & Urban Legend,” stuff passed around at the water cooler and golf course….No basis in reality required.
Since pessimism is so prevalent, and its consumption is so detrimental to one’s success, my advice is that if a person wants to be successful as an Energy Wise House Flipper, they would do well to go on a Media and Gossip Fast.
This is good advice for any contrarian who determines to swim against the current of the main stream. But wait, there’s more! To maintain forward progress swimming against the main stream, you must not only close your ears to the mainstream media and friends who repeat its negative mantras… You’ll have to filter carefully the advice of experts of your own industry.
Being an Energy-Wise Renovating House Flipping Investor requires some knowledge of three industries, Real Estate, Remodeling, and Building Performance-Green Building. The main stream in each of those industries repeats the pessimism of the general mainstream media. So a successful Energy Wise House Flipper will find themselves swimming against the current, even in the industries that he or she is demonstrating success in.
My friend is a contractor, a very good one, probably the best one in his trade in our city. Why was he surprised that I’m being successful at Energy Wise House Flipping? I say the culprit is the pessimism that he hears at his supply house, and from the general contractors he works for and the coffee shop talk combined with the nightly news…… just too much negativity for a human brain to stay positive in.
Am I saying to be an ostrich and stick your head in the sand? Not exactly. But what if the sand is in sand bags and bullets are whizzing overhead? Negativity bullets come at you every time you turn on the news. Maybe you’d better duck behind those sand bags. It’s easy, just turn it off.
It’s been said that the brain is like a computer, and GIGO is the number one rule, Garbage In, Garbage Out. In the case of ingesting negative and pessimistic garbage, the garbage that comes out is the inability to believe and act decisively.
Over in the Real Estate Investing Stream, most seminar gurus will tell you, “Now is not a time for flipping, just buy and hold” and “just put in the minimum to make it clean and safe, you’ll never make a return on that energy stuff.”
The main stream in Building Performance is primarily occupied with building an industry around programs and the incentive monies which are flooding into our economy. Dont get me wrong, that’s not a bad idea. Its just not the input an Energy Wise House Flipper needs to be focused on.
To Summarize: If you want to be successful as an Energy Wise House Flipping Investor (or any kind of a contrarian,) a Media Fast might be in order. Or at least some critical filtering. One filtering question might be: “What was this “expert” saying 3 years ago?” If he missed it so bad then, why should I listen to him now? Another might be to listen to people who are actually doing what you want to do, rather than academics,media people, and other spectators who prognosticate and repeat each others’ stuff.
Next week I’ll have lunch with my friend. I think we’ll meet in one of my energy wise renovation projects. Maybe the real thing will be enough to counter all the negative he’s heard. Maybe he’ll jump in and swim upstream with me. Maybe. Maybe you’d like to be a contrarian and swim upstream. Email me. I’m looking to build anArmy of Contrarians…. and I’m willing to help anyone who will turn the TV off.
Additional Working with Contractors Information
Click a link below to view post
Download PDF Version View Property PhotosContinue Reading!
Home Performance Ninja Team Creating Ninjas from Novices Greetings PlanetSavers, Tonight we'll discuss a recent article I wrote on how with the right motivation and goals, tools and team consensus even those new to home performance can achieve remarkable results. Having listened to and spoke with many green building professionals I've noticed some seem to be satisfied with less than stellar results. With this mind, much of the discussion tonight will center around a question I invariably hear at energy conferences and seminars, namely: How can we get crews trained to do EXCELLENT work? After all, it’s not like they are working in air conditioned...Continue Reading!
Two Property Wrap Up 440 N. Homsy & 1207 E. San Madele About the Photo: My nieces got politically incorrect and put this still life statement together with some friends. The police called... the paper and it was on the front of the San Diego Union. Way to go girls! I'm back in Fresno, getting ready for family reunion over New Years. I'm going to tour two of our recently finished homes, including our Department of Energy test house located at 440 Homsy. From there I'll meet with Jennifer to evaluate the San Madelle property. I'll have new photos and comments about...Continue Reading!
DOE-IBACOS-GEE 13 Cedar Virginia Test House Wow! It's good to be back in the USA! Luelle and I had a great cruise on the Danube and I'll talk a little about some of the surprising Energy related things that I saw in Germany at the beginning of the webinar. BTW if you want to read the blog and see a bunch of pictures click here. Now it's time to get serious on my new project here in Virginia. It's going to be a lab house with DOE and IBACOS... like the one in Fresno. The problem is that for the tests to be...Continue Reading!
DOE-IBACOS Test House Set Up Part 2 Watch as the IBACOS, contracted by the Department of Energy, do the automation set up and commissioning GEE’s joint venture of the California empty test house located at 440 N Homsy. Rogelio (Project Manager) and Gary Richardson (Rare Service HVAC) join IBACOS’s David Stecher and Kevin Brozyna in calibrating the Carrier HVAC system and setting up over 200 monitoring devices. In Part 2 the team installs automatic door and vent controls for internet operation. [vimeo width="650" height="425"]http://vimeo.com/32605054[/vimeo]Continue Reading!
DOE - IBACOS Test House Set Up Part 1 Watch as the IBACOS, contracted by the Department of Energy, do the automation set up and commissioning GEE's joint venture of the California empty test house located at 440 N Homsy. Rogelio (Project Manager) and Gary Richardson (Rare Service HVAC) join IBACOS's David Stecher and Kevin Brozyna in calibrating the Carrier HVAC system and setting up over 200 monitoring devices. In Part 2 the team installs automatic door and vent controls for internet operation. [vimeo width="650" height="425"]http://vimeo.com/32592393[/vimeo]Continue Reading!
Budget Options Possible Cut Backs Dave is in Budapest Hungary celebrating his wife Luelle's accomplishment of being one of, if not the world's leading, Old World River Cruise travel agent for a second year in a row! We expect Dave back at the helm next Tuesday. Tonight we'll continue looking at energy wise remodeling budgets with an eye to flipping or an increasingly attractive buy and hold strategy. Rogelio Covarrubias, GEE's project manager, we'll be continuing our in-depth look at a couple of line by line budget options for the property located 1417 Beverly Court in 93611. Those wishing to review last weeks overview...Continue Reading!
GEE Team Extended Interview 2010 A one hour extended interview session with several members of GreenEarthEquities' acquisition and renovation team including Dave Robinson (Principal), Rogelio Covarrubias (Project Manager), Sam & Chris (Triforce Reality), Doug Constant (Fresno First Bank), Tony Gonzalez (Unique Designz Architecture) Ed Hernandez (Design Windows), Gary Richardson (Rare Service HVAC) & Terry Shelton (Advanced Energy & Solar). [vimeo width="650" height="425"]http://vimeo.com/32542960[/vimeo]Continue Reading!
Stucco Repair And Window Preparation Jessie Ortiz and the crew of J. Ortiz Plastering repair the stucco and prep windows for the re-dashing of 1810 Norris Drive East Fresno, CA. [vimeo width="650" height="425"]http://vimeo.com/32524236[/vimeo]Continue Reading!
Fresno Field Trip January 2011 Part 2 Join Dave Robinson and several energy wise house flipper enthusiasts on a Fresno Field Trip that includes 503 Scott Ave Clovis CA in the early stages of remodel. Bryan Martin, one half of GEE’s favorite real estate agent team, shows the group a new property were Dave discusses the do’s and don’t of making an offer for a potential house flip. [vimeo width="650" height="425"]http://vimeo.com/32487906[/vimeo]Continue Reading!