September 9th, 2011 - Posted by Luke Whittaker
Most Paver and Synthetic Turf Companies in Southern California; more specifically San Diego, Ca, are simply Fantastic “Marketing & Sales Companies” in disguise.
Are you shocked by this? If so, read on to find out why.
Have you ever received a beautiful brochure in the mail, or flipped through a Lifestyle Magazine and came across an ad for a Paver and/or Artificial Grass Company touting their Unmatched Quality, Years of Experience, and Amazing Service that you will receive?
If you have, and you thought to yourself, WOW, this looks like a Great Company to do business with! They have gorgeous pictures, their craftsmanship looks incredible, and they state that they have been installing for decades. Seems like a no brainer, I’ll get an estimate and go with these reputable guys.
If you have felt a connection like this before, then the company succeeded in their mission, for you to pick up the phone or submit an email inquiry to setup your FREE Estimate. They are now 1-Step closer to closing the deal.
1. Once you make the call or email to setup your appointment, a salesman or “1099’d Independent Contractor” who hops around from company to company will be assigned to come out to your house to provide you with your FREE estimate or Sales Pitch (you take your pick).
2. If you fell for his or her charm and that “Urgent Special” that was going away if you didn’t sign up that day, then the company got the deal and now has to find a crew to install your job. The crew that will be assigned to your job, is most likely a subcontractor that also hops around from company to company and will receive a phone call asking if he is interested in installing your project. If the crew says yes, then that’s your crew that will show up to your job on day #1.
3. Now the company will need material, that being the Pavers and/or the Synthetic Turf. They will make a phone call and purchase your material from one of the major manufacturers upon your order.
4. The salesman’s job is done and he will most likely move onto the next potential customer to pitch.
5. The job will start hopefully on the day they told you and the company is now crossing their fingers that nothing will go wrong, so they can collect your money and move onto the next job…that’s it!
You are probably thinking, wait a minute, so you are saying that these companies do not have their own crews and/or have their own staff/sales-people and they do not own or stock any of the material.
You got it, at least for the vast majority of the companies, this is exactly what is going on. Now you can start to see why we state that a majority of the companies are simply “Marketing Companies” who are fishing for leads, and when they get one(potentially YOU) on their hook; they proceed to sub all aspects of the job out. (Do you Feel Special?)
This puts the responsibility on YOU, in terms of doing your due diligence when it comes to hiring a paver or synthetic turf contractor and knowing the whole truth.
There is a legal and illegal way to operate a Paver and Synthetic Turf Company and unfortunately for YOU as a consumer, there are far too many illegal companies out there ready to do whatever it takes to get your business.
Having salespeople work for you as 1099’d Independent Contractors is 100% legal as long as the company is setup accordingly and does not hold meetings, assign appointments, provide sales tools, etc. As far as we know, there is not a single company that would fall under this criterion to legally hire independent contractors.
The companies are operating illegal and are skirting the tax law(a.k.a. walking on pins and needles with the IRS waiting to catch them soon). The simple fact is, the company SAVES quite a bit on payroll and taxes in general with the 1099 Independent Contractor setup. Several companies have already had Class Action Lawsuits Filed against them for such illegal operations. Do a Google Search, you will find some of them there.
99.99% of paver and synthetic turf installation companies use subcontractors, due to more cost savings and relative efficiency.
A lot of “salespeople” will state that their company uses in-house crews as a sales tactic to get the order; however, don’t be fooled. If you do your research, you will find out that the crew is really a subcontractor at best, or worse yet, unlicensed illegal workers, which is the absolute worst case scenario (don’t be surprised, as this is more common than you might think in the construction world).
If anyone were to get hurt on your property during the installation, who is not covered, the burden reverts back to YOU and your homeowner’s insurance. This can be a VERY COSTLY oversight.
There is nothing wrong with utilizing subcontractors, in fact in-house crews (which is a crew that is actually on the company’s payroll) are really a dying breed, due to the overall cost. In order to have in-house crews, the company must have ALL the crew members covered on their worker’s comp, which is extremely costly. This can be upwards of 18+%, which can add a substantial cost to the bottom line.
If the company is using subs, it would be a good idea to do your research on whether the subcontractor is a legal entity. The sub would need to provide workers comp, general liability insurance and complete coverage on all his crew members that will be working on your project.
It is not enough just to have worker’s comp listed on the company’s license. A good thing to do would be to ask the company or subcontractor for a copy of their coverage, so you can ensure that the crew working on your property is actually covered under their policy. They should be able to provide you with an agent’s phone number.
We recommend that you do your own homework on the company’s actual coverage as opposed to their stated coverage.
The key takeaway here is to do your own research and take your time with this process. This is a big investment and you want to make sure you are making the right decision. Keep in mind that the majority of people coming out to your house to give you an estimate are “salespeople,” who are extremely good at what they do, which is to “Sell You!”
Here at Install-It-Direct, we do not believe in salespeople, in fact we have none. We are not going to sell you anything. We have the most knowledgeable professional designers who are here to help and provide you with all the information you need to make an educated decision on your upcoming installation.
As far as installers, we sought out the best paver and synthetic turf crews in the industry and recruited them to our team exclusively. We have both in-house crews as well as exclusive access to the most qualified paver subcontractors in the business. All our in-house paver installers are employees of Install-It-Direct, and have over 25+ years of experience.
In terms of material, we have installed it all and have done a tremendous amount of research as far as the positives, negatives and long-term benefits of each product. We can install anything you want; however, we will also provide you with recommendations for your particular property and explain HOW and WHY we came to our conclusion(s). We treat every customer as if it were our own house.
– To continue with Pavers 101: The Ultimate Paver Resource Guide Click Here to Continue Learning or
Luke is the Co-Founder of INSTALL-IT-DIRECT and Estate Weddings and Events .When Luke is not working on EWE or IID, his second passions are in health, education(obsessed with learning) and traveling the world(life is too short to remain idle). His favorite destination to date is Laos. Tuscany, Italy is next on the list for 2013…Follow him on Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin.
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