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!
My column this month is going to be about Building Inspections.
My estranged brother George – owner/operator of Shark Infested Waters Inc. and I only have one thing in common – we don’t believe in Building Inspections.
However – we believe there is a misguided belief in the community that anyone planning to build, renovate or buy a house should enlist the services of a registered Building Inspector.
In addition – there is another misguided belief that the Building Inspector should be a registered building practitioner with many years’ experience which would mean they would be middle-aged plus – like the venerable Mike Heathcote.
UltraCon Constructions is renowned for its one-stop-shopping approach to building so in order to satisfy a degree of community expectation, I have incorporated a subsidiary under my UltraSwift brand to cater for building inspections.
Brilliant Building Inspections are needless to say, carried out swiftly and with a minimum of fuss so my inspectors can move on to the next client.
I prefer to employ those coming to Australia on working visas as UltraCon Building Inspectors. It doesn’t matter if English is not their first language, all they need to work for me is a current driver’s licence.
I have a contract with Rent-A-Rust-Bucket which provides my UltraCon inspectors with vehicles. We have a no-doc arrangement whereby our building inspectors can go to the Rust-Bucket car yard – select a vehicle and drive off. Vehicles are returned at the Building Inspector’s discretion. All work carried out by UltraCon employees and contractors is done swiftly so my inspectors often find themselves with time on their hands to take the vehicles for a leisurely drive to a favourite destination.
When my Inspectors have completed their training, they are equipped with an UltraCon showbag which contains stickers for the rear vision windows of their vehicles. I give them an UltraCon Constructions Brilliant Building Inspections sticker which must be placed on the rear window.
The photo sticker of me is optional but I do prefer my Inspectors put in on the rear window because I believe it further inspires confidence in UltraCon and reinforces my brand.
Every month I hold a training day – on a Saturday – for my about-to-be Building Inspectors. Nobody needs to formally register for the training day – they just have to show up at the designated location at 11.30am.
Con’s patented window stickers: Inspiring Con-fidence since 1995
Upon arrival – I like to ‘meet and greet’ and ask everyone to write their own name badge. We all mingle till around 12 noon and then I give a short talk extolling the virtues of UltraCon Constructions and also give a short history of how my family have created such a dynastic empire.
At 12.15pm – I invite everyone to the lunch room where my wife Connie has prepared sandwiches, fruit flans, tea and coffee for us all to enjoy. Connie runs the UltraCon marketing department, so she can answer any questions about what we do and what we don’t do.
Lunch finishes at 1.30pm – then the training begins.
I tell my prospective inspectors that we don’t talk about building defects at UltraCon because we don’t know what they are – therefore our Building Inspectors need not know either.
“At UltraCon – we have such Con-fidence in our work, we believe looking for building defects is a complete folly.”
-Recent Graduate of Brilliant Building Inspections
The real benefit of this more blinkered approach is our inspectors can honestly say – when questioned by clients about possible building defects – that they are just not aware. And happily, if any disputes arise – my inspectors never attempt to diffuse tense situations – they refer the client to my legal team, the superbly slippery But-You-Never-Said Lawyers, who guarantee all disputes with UltraCon will be settled out of court.
There is no pass or fail at my training days, so anyone can become an UltraCon Brilliant Building Inspector.
The protocol for my Building Inspectors is to drive to the property address, have a swift look – stay no more than 10 minutes and then move on to the next client.
I have two report templates from which my inspectors can choose to send to the client. If they are not sure which to send – it doesn’t really matter – they are both very similar with a few words tweaked here and there.
At UltraCon – we self-regulate so my Building Inspectors can charge the client as they see fit. As long as it is win/win for both parties – I don’t mind.
Brilliant Building Inspections works like a dream for me. I leave my Inspectors to their own devices but ask when that they return their vehicles to Rent-A-Rust-Bucket – they remove the rear window stickers – but they can leave the sticker with my photo on it. This is excellent subliminal marketing and Rent-A-Rust-Bucket don’t seem to mind. They think my photo of the rear window of their vehicles adds status to their brand.
Printing the UltraCon Brilliant Building Inspections stickers is costly and time-consuming so the less wastage – the better.
I hope you have enjoyed this first of many articles to come about UltraCon Constructions and that you have been enlightened about our Brilliant Building Inspections. You can now see what you may have thought was a time-consuming process can be carried out swiftly. Most importantly – I hope you now have Con-fidence in my building inspection service should you decide to succumb to community pressure and expectation.
I do invite you to ask me questions – please address them to “Dear Con” – please not Hi Con. My wife, Connie, would also be delighted to answer any questions you may have about UltraCon Constructions – or indeed her famous fruit flans. Please also address Connie as Dear Mrs. Constantine – and not Hi or Hello Connie.
Until next time – your friend,