Our guest columnist – Con Constantine – will present readers with a cleverly written send-up and an ironic imitation of the building industry.
Con hopes that by enjoying his articles – you will learn about the building industry and not fall into carefully concealed traps that can be costly, stressful and time-consuming.
Con strongly supports the concept of ‘buyer beware’ but at UltraCon Constructions – its more about what he doesn’t say!
Welcome back and thank you again for your support.
I am sure a lot of you are breathing a sigh of relief that the school holidays are over and that the ‘are we there yets’ have been put to rest for a couple of months.
I am breathing a (loving) sigh of relief because I have our UltraCon Dream Home to myself for a month as Mrs. Constantine has taken a group of Fruit Flan aficionados to the World Short Pastry Conference in Rio de Janeiro of all places! The conference coincides with the famous Rio Festival so I am sure the girls will be kicking up their heels and having a ball being free of their lesser halves for a month.
As you know – Mrs. Constantine is in charge of the marketing for UltraCon Constructions so she has gone equipped with a suitcase full of laminated business cards and my blessings to organise aerial drops whenever the opportunity avails her.
Mrs. Constantine and her friends have organised an UltraCon Constructions float for the famous Rio LBGTI Mardi Gras. The float – which is our Deluxe Dream Hope blinged up – will wind its way through the streets of Rio with Mrs. Constantine and the girls dressed in I can’t imagine what throwing UltraCon business cards like confetti – to the adoring (and probably incredulous) crowd.
Now that UltraCon Constructions has the Australian market stitched up – I am planning to take my business off shore and stitch up the international market.
Mrs. Constantine will leave indelible memories – and thousands of UltraCon business cards – in Rio so we are off to a good start.
Meanwhile – back at home – Inspector Mike is pedalling hard (not literally as yet!!) with yet another incentive for those clients who still insist on believing in the myth of building defects.
Inspector Mike is offering a Negotiation Service to his clients who wish to purchase their dream home but at the right price.
Inspector Mike and his new apprentice inspector and Termite Detector – Ace the Border Collie – inspect the client’s prospective purchase and Mike produces what usually turns out to be a shock/horror report.
The Real Estate Agent most likely passed the ‘Blind Eye’ course with distinctions so a blind eye was easily turned on defects such as collapsing rooves, asbestos, dangerous electrical wiring, slab heave, rising damp, mould and termites.
Ace the Termite Detector Dog can sniff out these harmless criters with his eyes closed. Sadly – Ace is not yet a Jainist Border Collie but he is only 11 months old so I am hoping he will see the folly of his ways – in due course – and refuse to sniff out termites.
Ace will then sit at the slipway to one of the termite freeways – lie down – and play dead as Inspector Mike has taught him but this trick is going to backfire badly for Mike in his crusade against termites.
Back to the negotiating service. Most people don’t know what they don’t know – especially when it comes to Real Estate Agents. Most people don’t know about the ‘Blind Eye’ course and those agents who do know risk lengthy jail sentences for disclosure.
Ipso defacto – most people think Real Estate Agents take a Hippocratic Oath – like new physicians – to uphold specific ethical standards. No way José – (Mrs. Constantine has said this relentlessly upon her return from the LBGTI Festival in Rio) – the Real Estate Agents vow to turn a Blind eye until their dying day.
Ipso defacto again – therefore most of Inspector Mike’s clients trust their Real Estate Agent implicitly and think their best interests are first priority. Inspector Mike almost has to get Ace to talk in Border Collie to convince the client otherwise and to leave the negotiating to him.
Inspector Mike lists the building defects in his client’s report and costs the subsequent reparation which becomes the negotiating leverage – down, down, down comes the property purchase price like a famous supermarket’s big red thumb.
Inspector Mike negotiates with the Real Estate Agents but what they don’t know is that Inspector Mike sent Ace on the ‘Blind Eye’ course at the beginning of the year under the guise of a therapy dog.
When the Real Estate Agents found it too hot in the kitchen trying to turn a blind eye to houses that clearly require demolition – Ace was sent in to calm the troubled waters and do his Therapy thing.
Unbeknown to those who organise the ‘Blind Eye’ courses – Ace is no ordinary Therapy dog. At 11 months – he already has a vocabulary in excess of 100 words and a photographic memory so he can relay to Inspector Mike minutia from the ‘Blind Eye’ course. This is enough information for Inspector Mike to completely disarm and baffle the Real Estate Agent so they have no option other than to drop the price like the big red thumb!
Ace conveying the dire circumstances of his inspection to Mike Heathcote.
I believe Inspector Mike prides himself on his success rate of his Negotiating Service so his clients can buy their dream home at the right price.
At UltraCon Constructions – the scenario is the exact opposite. We only negotiate up, up, up.
To clarify – a well known healthy fast food chain has purloined and plagiarised my mantra when I quote a price for my Dream Home, which is not ‘would you like beans with that ‘ – but ‘would you like floors, doors and windows with that’?
UltraCon Dream Homes come as a basic package and we negotiate up from there. The clients know we don’t believe in building defects so we don’t have that discussion, so the only way for us to negotiate is up! It works a treat!
I get calls almost everyday from clients who have an ‘avoir du pois’ problem and therefore need to go to the healthy fast food chain – telling me that when they are asked ‘if they want beans with that’ – they say it reminds them of their dealings with UltraCon Constructions!
Next time – I am going to share news of my estranged brother George and his business – Shark Infested Waters Inc.
I’m not going to give anything away – but I can tempt you by saying we have had a teeny weeny reconciliation, so stay tuned and keep laughing and learning.
Mike Heathcote is the founder of Building Masters Inspections and a veteran builder with decades of experience. Utilising his industry knowledge, Mike and his team of experienced Builders provide an Inspection Service offering expert opinion on the true condition of buildings, including estimated repair costs, helping home buyers find their perfect property, Melbourne wide.