Creating a remodeling company with sellable value continues to challenge even the best contractors in the business. Some remodeling company owners have turned to purchasing, rehabbing and selling or renting properties to grow personal wealth and ensure a comfortable retirement. Steve Jordan, former owner of Dirty Work Construction Company in southern California, has taken that model to the extreme.
After nearly a decade running a company that specialized in remodeling foreclosed homes and grew to 150 employees, in 1996 he decided to refocus his energies, Jordan told a group of listeners on a December telephone seminar. "I was depressed because I was earning a lot but paying a lot of income taxes, I didn't have a pension plan, and I was getting older," he realized.
Jordan closed Dirty Work and started a company called Rebuilding America, keeping just his office manager employed. He purchased affordable residential and commercial properties from the banks he knew, subcontracted the remodeling work to former employees who had started their own companies, and kept the properties for rental income.
Thanks to the rapid increase in value of single-family homes in southern California, Jordan has realized strong appreciation in his portfolio but also has branched out to Florida. He now teaches other remodelers his techniques in telephone seminars and three-day workshops titled "Retire Rich in 10 Years" (www.rebuildingamerica.com).
Some of Jordan's tips:
- Find the "truffle pigs": real-estate agents who find the good deals that aren't even up for sale
- When buying a property, have at least 10 percent for a down payment, plus the cash for any necessary rehabbing
- Consider finding a business partner to put up the cash and have your company do the work as your half of the investment
"In my mind this will become an industry," said Jordan. "There is such an opportunity for those who understand remodeling, building, and how to add value."