How SubTrades can stand out to Serious Builders with Andrew Crapuchettes



Tue, 19 Mar 2024 08:00:00 +0000

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How SubTrades can stand out to Serious Builders with Andrew Crapuchettes

Some subcontractors fight for scraps, while others have consistent, predictable work.

It’s not a difference in skill or knowledge but in WHO they work with.

Namely, serious builders, general contractors, and developers who have pipelines FULL of work…

And while it may seem like they’re high-and-mighty and impossible to get in with - it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many are struggling to find solid subs right now.

Andrew Crapuchettes, is the definition of a serious builder. His ambitious 300-acre project was the largest in Moscow's history, where he committed to creating 50 jobs earning over $50,000 a year.

Originally a tech CEO with ventures spanning from 3D printing to student information software, Andrew made an unconventional shift to housing development. This transition endowed him with a fresh perspective, allowing him to share insights on how sub trades can stand out.

How Serious Builders Choose Subcontractors

Large-scale construction projects are not just about the numbers on a bid sheet.

Andrew recounts times when low-bidding subcontractors initially appeared enticing…

… only to reveal hidden costs through change orders later in the process.

So he is naturally skeptical of low prices and being change-ordered to death.

In his mind the cost-effectiveness of a project isn't solely determined by the initial bid but TRUST.

If during the bidding process, he detects ANYTHING that makes him doubt the subcontractor’s honesty it’s over.

Because after all - the most expensive building is the one that never gets built.

So how do you build trust with serious builders?

5 Ways To Build Trust With Serious Builders

1. Great References

Your past work speaks volumes.

So, a track record of great references is like a golden ticket.

Subcontractors who have consistently delivered high-quality work for others will naturally gain the trust of builders.

That’s why it's better to lose a job and maintain a positive reputation than to win a job and be remembered for cutting corners.

But what if you don’t have a bunch of awesome references, yet?

Keep reading for other ways to build trust.

2. Be Honest

Honesty is the cornerstone of trust.

Be upfront about potential challenges, costs, and limitations.

Especially in cases when doing so can seem disadvantageous to your position.

Your integrity reflects the integrity of your work.

And your good name is more important than that job because there will always be another job.

If your honesty is a deal-breaker, be glad you didn’t take on the project.

Sometimes the jobs you don't win are the most profitable ones.

3. Bring Value Upfront

Builders appreciate subcontractors who go beyond merely bidding on plans.

Help them identify potential pitfalls or cost-saving measures early on.

If you bring value before asking for money you’ll demonstrate yourself as a partner invested in the project's success.

That way they can see that you know what you’re talking about.

One subcontractor Andrew worked with followed this principle perfectly.

Before even discussing payment, they took the time to thoroughly review his project designs.

They pointed out three critical aspects that Andrew's engineers had overlooked - details that could have cost them significantly down the line.

This demonstrated genuine care for the success of Andrew’s project beyond simply winning the contract.

The subcontractor’s willingness to offer valuable insights upfront created a sense of trust that went above and beyond the typical client-contractor relationship.

So by demonstrating expertise and integrity from the outset, you can set yourself apart as a trusted partner rather than just another bidder.

4. Be Accurate

You can’t throw around numbers like confetti.

If your figures don't add up consistently, serious builders won't just brush it off.

When you quote $51,000 one day and $60,000 the next, they're going to raise an eyebrow. And can you blame them?

They are knee-deep in multi-million dollar projects partly because they've got a keen eye for numbers.

So, don't sugarcoat it or play fast and loose with estimates.

Be upfront, be consistent, and most importantly, be accurate.

But What to Do If You Don't Know the Exact Numbers?

When it comes to hearing "I don't know" from someone working on a project, Andrew’s reaction isn't black and white.

A genuine "I don't know" needs to be rooted in the complexities of the task at hand.

For instance, if you have to move a mountain of rock, and the answer is uncertain due to the unpredictability of the terrain, that's understandable.

A serious builder would be willing to invest in the process, whether it's through exploratory drilling or other means, to gain clarity.

But if it's a case of sheer laziness or incompetence, where someone just doesn't want to put in the effort to figure things out, well, that's a red flag.

5. Take Extreme Ownership Of Your Work

Extreme ownership is about doing what you said you were going to do even when it’s tough.

That means putting in the extra hours, even if you have to sacrifice your own comfort, because that's what builds trust.

So, if you say you’re going to do something, do it, even if it means footing the bill yourself.

You can't come to the builder at the last minute with a laundry list of issues because you didn't do your due diligence.

That's not just laziness - it's a lack of ownership.

Andrew believes in doing what's right, even if it's tough.

And he expects the same from those he works with.

Because at the end of the day, that's what builds a reputation, that's what earns respect, and that's what gets you more work.

How To Communicate With Serious Builders

Clear communication is the lifeblood of building trust and successful construction projects.

Serious builders are constantly switching between vastly different projects and expertise areas.

One moment, they’re discussing roofing materials or framing houses - the next they’re exploring lift stations.

So don't assume they’re experts in your trade.

Offer explanations (without talking down on them) and encourage questions.

Tips for productive meetings

Everyone knows meetings can easily turn into a total time-suck.

But here's the thing: when done right, meetings are opportunities to stand out and provide value.

Without them, trust starts to erode, misunderstandings crop up, and before you know it, you're swimming in problems.

But a good meeting? It's a chance to break down those barriers, to understand each other's perspectives, and to tackle issues head-on.

It's easy to start assuming the worst about someone when you don't talk often.

But when you sit down and hash things out, you realize there's usually a reason behind the delays or the hiccups.

And instead of pointing fingers, you can actually solve the problem together.

Now, here's where subcontractors can really shine.

When you show up to a meeting prepared, with solutions in mind, you set yourself apart.

It's not about finger-pointing or making excuses – it's about being proactive and focused on problem-solving.

That's the kind of attitude that serious builders notice and appreciate.

When Trust Begins To Erode Don’t Avoid Awkward Conversations

When trust begins to erode builders may send subtle signals…

If all agreements suddenly start to get put in writing (when previously a verbal agreement would do) you may be on thin ice.

So open, honest conversations are the foundation for rebuilding trust and salvaging the relationship.

If the need arises to put everything in writing and formalize communication, it's time to initiate a candid conversation.

It’s uncomfortable, it’s tough, but here's the thing: human problems, relational problems, they don't magically disappear with time.

They fester. They grow. And the only way to tackle them head-on is through those awkward conversations.

So, when you start seeing signs that trust is waning, that's your cue to sit down and have that chat.

It might mean grabbing a beer, going for lunch, or whatever works for you.

But the key is to be frank, to be open, and to address the issue head-on.

Ask the tough questions: "What have I done to erode trust? How can I make it right?"

Sure, it's daunting, but it's worth it.

You'll stand out from the crowd, you'll earn respect, and you'll pave the way for stronger, long-term relationships.

And in fact, those awkward conversations are not as bad as they seem.

They heal relationships, they foster understanding, and they ultimately lead to more work down the line.

Whether it's avoiding the pitfalls of deteriorating relationships, navigating awkward conversations, or standing out to serious builders, the common thread here is trust.

So keep in mind: success in construction is not just about hammer, nails, or roofing—it's about clear communication, problem-solving, and building lasting partnerships.

For a more indepth conversation on How Subtrades Can Stand Out With Serious Builders make sure to tune in for the full Profit Toolbelt podcast episode with Andrew Crapuchettes

Show Notes:

  • How Serious Builders Choose Subcontractors
  • 5 Ways To Build Trust With Serious Builders
  • How To Communicate With Serious Builders

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