Re: Development budget (broad strokes)
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2015 06:45:31 -0800 (PST)
> On Feb 5, 2015, at 1:16 PM, Chris ScottHanson <cscotthanson [at] mac.com> 
> wrote:
> 
> I rarely disagree with Sharon but I do here.
> 
> I have found that banks are not a good source of referrals to local 
> development professionals.  It's very hard to find the right person at the 
> bank. No one wants to refer you up the food chain because they all want 
> credit for a new client.  They are inclined to sell you their loan product 
> and in doing so they are only inclined to tell you what they think you want 
> to hear. In other words they often don't tell you the whole truth as you 
> might see the truth.
> 
> When I parachute into a new location doing land search work, which I have 
> done all over North America, I start with a local lumberyard.  Why a 
> lumberyard?  Objectivity.   I ask to speak to the accounts receivable person. 
> Then I ask the A-R person if they can recommend a couple of really good 
> contractors, their best clients, contractors who buy a lot and pay on time. 
> Contractors who survived the recession.  They are very happy to share these 
> referrals to their best customers because it helps their business long-term.  
> I do this with at least two lumberyards.

Obviously, an excellent recommendation. In recommending banks, I forgot my own 
Janitor Rule that I posted a few months ago:

> When I was in college I learned that the head of maintenance knew more than 
> anyone on campus. He had overheard conversations for years because the board 
> members and heads of volunteer groups paid no attention to him. And he 
> emptied the trash. And he had been there longer than any of the 
> administrators. As head of the student council I often planned events. He was 
> the one who knew which constituency was likely to object and why. Many of the 
> administrators had not a clue. He could also tell me things without being 
> restricted by college regulations or status issues.

One community I worked with found a very good contractor by going to the bank, 
however. But the guy who did the research also had contacts at the bank. He had 
a lot of money and owned property so as Chris said, that probably influenced 
his ability and Gilda's as rep of the Cohousing Company to gain access. 

Good correction, Chris.

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
http://www.takomavillage.org





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