All posts by Mike Hurney

Contractors, here’s how you raise markups

If you’re a contractor that is looking to raise your markup, you probably fall under one of two categories. The first is the slow and steady increase of pricing over time. This is the safest option because you’re not alienating your client base, however, how do you know when to stop? It’s not a very accurate means of getting a feel for the market. The second, is the contractor who doesn’t really calculate increases and just decides on new prices. Then, when it’s time to collect money on a job, they lack confidence and are often negotiated down because they truly can’t explain where the numbers came from.


Below are the steps to calculating appropriate markups you can confidently stand behind in any transaction.




  • Decide it’s time to stop guessing about how much you should charge to be profitable
  • Take the time to calculate the markup you need to stay in the green, support your lifestyle and retire at a reasonable age.
  • Always keep records of your direct costs to build projects and then use those figures combined with the markup you’ve already calculated to establish your selling point.
  • Confidently offer your price to customers and stand by it, knowing your skills and due diligence of calculating prices has not been random.
  • If every time you try to sell something your price drops, accept the fact that you may need better sales training. There are all kinds of sales courses online that can help you.
  • Be open to finding a new market to work in if your current market isn’t willing to pay for the prices you’ve offered.



Check our Vendors & next meet Tuesday, February, 27, 2018 6:30pm

Good morning, (Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:35am)

1. Arcana Insurance It’s time to get a checkup on our Home Owners (HO1 and HO3) policies. In my case it is because MetLife said I’ve left an employer where I received a discount on one of my Policies (duh, I left in 2003…). So if you’re doing your annual checking, take your “Dec” pages (1st page of your policy is the Declaration page with the coverages and costs). What is important to me are the Personal Liability and Deductibles. I redact the costs of those coverages and fax that page to a different insurer each year, for a quick Policy review – If they are less, I consider them, if not… is a Vendor member and should be offering us a substantial discount on the cost of coverage.

Make sure you let me know how you make out with this new Vendor! Mike

2. ISC Tenant check – Who would let a stranger into a $200,000. apartment (average rental in this area) without knowing anything about them? I hear it all the time… However as the head of the Massachusetts Housing Courts, Judge Tim Sullivan tells us: Get on Hosing Court (no cost) and check to see if your Possible Tenant has ever been there. Needless to say you’ve already got an iPhone image of their government issued ID (Mass Drivers License) Then your final check is with another of our Vendors offering us a discount –

3. Home Depot – Contractors don’t forget to take advantage of our Number #1 Vendor, who has paid millions to research Commercial and Residential building material trends: What’s Hot? What’s Not? and When to find Buyers with their Tax Returns, Ready to upgrade! This can be your roadmap to what your Customers are looking to do!! Check out the online or instore flyer!

4. What’s involved in taking possession of a Tenants possessions (after a Housing Court Eviction of course)??? Kirill will give us the lowdown (2/27/2018) on our responsibilities and Liabilities because his company has successfully handled many of these important moves!

5. Doug Grady will be our very important Main Speaker with Reason #10 to attend next Tuesday, February 27th which is:

How to Let Go of What Isn’t Working! Some folks find it hard to even identify which areas of their business and life are not carrying their weight but once you do and Let go, your Life is completely different!

I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday! February 27, 2018 6:30 – 9pm Early if you want info on your “new” Kitchen, Bathroom or Floor with JR the manager of 47 Newbury Street (Route 1 North just before Sonic carhop) Peabody, MA 01960 No charge to Members of or NewHampshire Only $25 for Guests or Only $99./year to join!

Mike Hurney, Director & PO Box 307, Marblehead, MA 01945

BBQ/Rehabbed House Tour August 29, 2017 5:30 – 8pm

Email that just went out 8/18/2017 9:36am
Good morning,
We’re looking forward to see you at our BBQ/Rehabbed house tour, Tuesday, August 29, 5:30-8pm There’s a lot of talk, webinars, seminars but THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR ACTION! You’re welcome to join us and see how this Killer Deal came to fruition!
By the way, this Summer and our opportunity for outside construction is slipping away (my projects seem to be taking longer and longer) so you may not want to squander your time.
on the National scene…
Federal Court Approves Class Action on Ohio City’s Illegal Home Inspections
A lawsuit on behalf of property owners filed by Ohio’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law has resulted in a federal court certifying a class-action lawsuit against a Northeastern Ohio city that says “all homeowners who were forced to endure government searches as a precondition to the sale of their homes are entitled to demand refunds of illegal “Point of Sale” inspection fees.”
More Smaller Homes Being Built
A recent Housing Perspectives from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies says that even though overall construction is down, construction of smaller homes (under 1,800 sq. feet) has actually increased 20% in 2016.
U.S. Construction Spending Dips in June
The U.S. Census Bureau is reporting that total construction spending in June was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.2 trillion, which is 1.3% lower than May, but is 1.6% higher than June 2016.
ABODO: Nationwide Rents Trending Down
National apartment listing site ABODO recently reported that the median nationwide rent price decreased in July to $1,013 for a one-bedroom apartment.  Glendale, AZ saw the largest drop with a 10.7% decrease in August over July’s one-bedroom rents, to $744.
Profitably Investing in Farmland
The Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader is reporting that a group called American Farm Investors is buying up tracts of farmland in central Kentucky which they lease back to tenant farmers, who in turn farm the land and pay rent from their proceeds (not sharecropping).
Do Tiny Houses Have a BIG Future?
By now we’ve all heard of so-called “tiny houses.”  But are they a passing fad or do they really have a future.  Recently Curbed posed that question in an article “Tiny Houses: Big Future or Big Hype” where they looked deeper into the industry.
US to Experience Total Solar Eclipse on Aug 21st
On August 21st, the entire continent will experience a solar eclipse – some will even see a total eclipse which hasn’t been seen in the US since 1979.  During this natural phenomenon, the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere (the corona) can be seen and will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Outside this path people will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon will cover part of the sun.
Zumper’s National Rent Report for August
Rental information site Zumper recently released their National Rent Report for August showing that the median national rent for 1-bedroom apartment was $1,176 and $1,399 for a 2-bedroom apartment.
84% of Americans Say Purchasing a Home is Good Financial Decision
Infographic:  This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, however it is always good to see these numbers in black & white.  The National Association of Realtors’ recent 2017 Housing Pulse Survey found that 84% of Americans say purchasing a home is a good financial decision – the highest since 2007!
Mike Hurney, Director, PO Box 307, Marblehead, MA 01945

Material/Advice Directory: Southern NH, Home Depots

Salem, NH:

Storm Doors & Windows – make sure you see Shannon at the ProDesk, she’s that expert!

Decks – you’ll be impressed with Jim at the ProDesk, says he can do any deck in his head in under 5 minutes…


Flooring – Keri, Pro Department Supervisor, Knowledgeable and best prices on all flooring, especially wood, for our Pro members.


Estimates and Stock lists ASAP – Heather, Pro Department Super.


Appliances – Rich at their ProDesk, Extremely knowledgeable and unbeatable prices, especially on quantities.

Nashua, Coliseum Ave:

Corey will get you in and out of their store (with the right material) and back to your project where you’re making money!

Nashua, DW Highway:

Madaline, Store manager says she’s got the best ProDesk staff: Marie, Amy & Dave ready to help you at the highest volume Home Depot!

Don’t forget to make sure you’re cards and accounts are set up correctly… You can email me [email protected] and we’ll make sure you’re info is ready for your:

  • 2% cashback twice a year.
  • 20% off paint at the cash register.
  • Up to 25% off Appliance “Suites” (that’s a package of purchasing all four kitchen appliances at once.)
  • Access to the “Bid Room” for orders over $1,000.)

all these discounts and more for only $99./year at !

REDFIN Barchart on buying sight-unseen…

Remember laughing at younger Investors who think they can do everything from their keyboards, well guess what… (Let’s pay attention to this!)


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