Topic: Lien waivers can be complicated and time consuming, but by embracing a cloud based platform and software integration, lienwavers.io has simplified the process. Built by developers for developers, this platform is ready for you use.
Guest: Geoff Arnold, CEO of lienwaivers.io
Luke Rideout, contractor and lienwaiver.io user
Phone: 844 258-1818
3 Points for Success – Geoff Arnold:
- Know your rights.
- Understand the process and understand what your signing.
- Seek out contractors that are adopting efficient technology and practices.
James [00:00:00] Hi I’m James and it’s great to have you with us on another edition of CareyBrosPros.
Morris [00:00:04] You know as professionals were always looking for ways to help you are pro listeners improve your business and give your customers the best possible experience. On this edition we’re going to learn how to simplify the construction process by showing you how to make it easier to do a lien.
James [00:00:23] And we’re joined on the CareyBrosPros hotline by a guy who knows a lot about liens he’s Geoff Arnold the CEO of lien waivers.io welcome to the program Geoff.
Geoff [00:00:34] Hey good to be here. Thanks for having me.
James [00:00:37] So who conceived of lien waivers IO.
Geoff [00:00:39] Yeah. So it’s really a collaboration between myself my co-founder Louis Trejo Louise was in the construction industry. I’m a technologist and Louis was responsible for managing all their disbursements for his construction firm operating out of Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska. He was talking to me about the process and I said hey look either we can write some software to help with that and the rest is history.
Morris [00:01:06] You know Geoff many of our listeners aren’t aware of how to deal consistently with lien documents and how to keep track of them. Could you please tell us how you got started doing that and help our contractors learn how you do it?
Geoff [00:01:22] Sure thing. So we really focus on the Lien waiver and payment process so you know during progress billing in a construction project there’s a lot of documentation that trades are dealing with in order to just get paid for the work that they’ve done in the materials that they supplied. And so what we’ve done is we’ve built software to help streamline that process, collect documentation, make it all digital, and make it like an escrow exchange of documents for payment.
James [00:01:53] So let’s use our design build remodeling company as an example. We’ll order a lumber package will get a pre lien by the lumber yard. They’ll send a copy to the homeowner. We may or may not get a pre lien by special contractor or a roofing contractor windows supplier. But in general it’s kind of a good thing if they pre lien because it gives them a certain level of recourse that they otherwise would not have. So when it comes time to get a payment from our client for whom we’re doing work for we deliver a conditional release of lien which becomes unconditional once the funds that the check have cleared the bank. That’s kind of a standard scenario yes.
Geoff [00:02:47] That’s right. Yeah for sure.
James [00:02:49] So how do you make this old process which is you know typically something that’s pretty paperwork intense easier for folks like us. And do you focus on small businesses like roofers, stucco contractors, lumber yards, and different suppliers. Or is this something for high end builders and commercial builders?
Geoff [00:03:13] Yeah great question. So we really Our start was in the custom home building and luxury home. So you know we were working with builders that were building you know 10 to 20 gorgeous homes per year. We got into production homebuilders that are of course are building much larger and now we work with general contractors that are doing you know up to a billion in annual construction value every year. And so really the process whether you’re a small custom homebuilder or large commercial construction company the process still remains the same. And our software really applies. So the other thing to note is that we focus really from the perspective of the general contractor. So you know a general contractor whether you’re paying your subs once a month or twice a month you’re dealing with a lot of paperwork in transferring that back and forth and then from the subcontractor side or aspire side there’s really a chicken and egg problem right. Nobody really wants to sign an unconditional lien waiver until they have that payment in their bank account. But of course you know the general contractor needs to ensure that any time that they send out a payment they are getting that lien waiver in return because often you know the homeowner the the developer will be requiring all these documents to process the next straw. So really what our software does is we start with your accounting system then we hook into your accounting system and we are using the information that you’ve already entered into your accounting system on the invoices and payments to create all the necessary compliance documentation particularly lien waivers are required for progress like prior. Software is able to send that out to your subs and trades to suppliers who have freely in the job, right? and facilitate the exchange of that document for the actual payment. And so what we do is we’ll send that document out, the trade we’ll sign the document that the software will hold onto it. It will facilitate the movement of funds and when those funds clear your bank account it will release the document.
James [00:05:28] This is really great for guys like us who deal with a lot of smaller trades people who don’t like a lot of paperwork but who do great work and who I think this would be something that they would respond quite well to when somebody is doing all the work for them in getting that lien release which makes a lot of sense. You know we are going to open it up to one of your users. He’s a contractor user His name is Luke Wright out Luke. Welcome to CareyBrosPros.
Luke [00:06:01] Thanks for having me I really appreciate it.
James [00:06:03] So what kind of work do you do Luke.
Luke [00:06:05] Yeah. You know my dad and I are builders here in beautiful Pasadena California. So my my dad really got to start working in a lot of green and green homes. You guys are place Mary with the Green and Green Brothers and the the architects and made some beautiful home screens have here in Pasadena. So we do a historical renovation but also a new home construction and kind of custom homes luxury homes things of that nature so so yeah my dad and I partner up on that and we absolutely love it.
James [00:06:33] How did you learn about this solution and how has it benefited your business?
Luke [00:06:39] Yeah. You know I like to preface it by by kind of saying this a lot of builders become builders because they didn’t exactly love school growing up. Yeah. Yeah and my dad is especially one of these guys who is extremely extremely bright didn’t love school. So at some point we have a teacher or a mentor that tells us hey you know what school maybe is interesting. Maybe you should go work with your hands you know like we kind of get this message at some point which is good. That’s a good message to get sure enough. We’d go and work with our hands and we love it. Whether we become you know finish carpenters or framers or electricians plumbers we’d go into the trades. It’s great. Then there’s the kind of natural evolution of that process that is to become a GC to become a general contractor. And as soon as you do that you find out very quickly that your fourth grade teacher has been replaced by an architect right. Yeah math has returned in the form of estimating you know not too much accountability that comes with with making an estimate and pop quizzes and homework have kind of revisited in the form of of lien waivers and liabilities certs and even are wondering a few months or a few years down the road like what I was trying to escape this and I’ve just come right back into it. So that’s the experience of so many builders out there. And finally I think the past five years especially technology is finally kind of coming into the construction world. And as I was telling Geoff one day to thank you so much for developing this software because if you can do anything that makes it look and feel this easy for guys that this is just a headache and we need to get back to loving building again not resenting it it’s worthy good work. It’s righteous if I dare say so lien wavers.io it’s been we’re just getting started and it’s been such a cool program to get into. And it just takes such a burden off of us we love it.
James [00:08:36] Yeah. Morris and I we’re finding that to be the case with other bits of technology in our business where we’re converting paper forms that we use 35 years ago into mobile friendly bits of information gathering that just make the job easier. And I think more than easy it really creates information that’s accessible to everyone instantly.
Morris [00:09:02] 35 year ago when we started using lien releases because our attorneys said you ought to have lien releases and on and on and on and they need to be notarized otherwise the signature is no good. And you could end up getting hit twice by the subcontractor. So right. We had at the time about 35 subs that we regularly used. And I started notifying one at time I need you to start sending me notarized Lien releases for both the conditional release and then the final release as the trial progresses and if you can’t do that I can’t pay you and I can’t hire you.
Morris [00:09:40] I got a lot of hemming and hawing and this and that but finally I sent my receptionist out to a notary school got her a license to be a notary and for those Subs who didn’t have that facility they’d bring their bill in and we would let them sign lien release and we’d notarize it for them for free. There you go. Shortly after about three and a half months we got them into the habit of filling out their lien releases and getting them notarized and after that three months there were no questions. And ever since it’s been you know Oh okay yeah no problem.
James [00:10:21] Luke right out thank you for joining us. Thanks for sharing your experience we’re going to shift gears and go back to Geoff and talk a little bit about how he deals with the notary challenge and ask him to give us his three points for success for our pro audience. But thanks for taking time to share your experience Luke.
Luke [00:10:41] A thank you and thanks Geoff and we wavers and you guys and we wavers I owe central call saying thank you guys.
James [00:10:47] Cool. All the best to you.
Luke [00:10:48] All right. All right bye bye.
James [00:10:50] All right Geoff so what about notarization and Morris’s comment about having a document notarized. How do you deal with that?
Geoff [00:10:58] Yeah. Good question. So you know first and foremost it’s actually only three states in the U.S. that require statutorily leave waivers to be notarized. So that’s Texas, Mississippi, and Wyoming.
James [00:11:11] Wow.
Geoff [00:11:12] So now that said we see it all over the U.S. areas like Florida you know New England you know and even in California we see people you know owners and general contractors requiring lien waivers notarized.
James [00:11:27] So how do you address it.
Geoff [00:11:28] We have a couple partnerships with companies that provide electronic notarization solutions. So we work with doctors you sign and also a company called notarized dot com notarized dot coms actually been if you follow this stuff they’ve actually been all over the press as they’ve kind of systematically gone through and picked off state by state and helped change notarized Haitian laws to enable things like remote online notarized.
James [00:12:00] I’ll be darned.
Geoff [00:12:00] Really. Yeah. Really really exciting stuff.
James [00:12:03] It’s a different world man.
Geoff [00:12:05] Yeah that’s right. And you know you mentioned or Morris mentioned smartphone and you know all of this stuff works just as well over your smartphone as it does on your desktop computer in fact you know for the first few years that we’ve been we were around the majority of lien waivers that were signed through our system or actually signed electronically over mobile devices.
James [00:12:31] Wow. Awesome. OK. Listen this has been an exciting and I know you have a terrific Web site at lien waivers.io there’s so much to learn there and we want to invite our pro audience to check it out.
Morris [00:12:42] Geoff you know we ask all our CareyBrosPros guests for three points for success. What would you like our fellow pros to take from your visit with us.
Geoff [00:12:52] Yeah for sure. So I think first and foremost know you’re rights. Right? And secure you’re rights. So every state that you’re working in is likely to get going to have different laws and legislations around lien rights. Some states like California very well define other states like where we’re at in Iowa a little bit more of the Wild West. OK. So knowing your rights knowing you know you’re filing deadlines for pulmonary notices pre lien notices really important stuff.
Geoff [00:13:24] The second thing is to really understand the process right and really understand what you’re signing in and don’t be afraid of you know moving to electronic documents and a lot of ways. You know we work with customers and they you know people are concerned well you know I like paper because it’s it’s got this paper trail but in a lot of ways the electronic stuff the digital trail is maybe a little bit more.
James [00:13:53] It’s like it’s 100 times better. Your preaching to the choir. I don’t even want to talk about that if you haven’t and if you’re listening and you haven’t adopted technology you’re a thousand years behind. You’re working harder than you need to and you’re not working as smart as you can. And whether or not you decide to do electronic lien waivers is your business. But as Geoff says technology and the documentation the digital documentation is just amazing.
Morris [00:14:27] And number three Geoff.
Geoff [00:14:27] Yeah. Number three I think you know general contractors what’s kind of funny is you know the people that tend to sign up and use our software are really the guys that you want to be working for. You know General Contractors tend to adopt technology because they care about their business. They care about their people. They just want things to be more efficient. So you know again I guess it’s kind of related at number two. I would say you know if your working with a general contractor that saying hey look we want to run the process this way and use this software. They’re probably doing that with the best intentions. And it’s really important to, you know, understand why and really seek out contractors that are trying to implement these technologies because chances are they’re probably just trying to get everybody paid faster.
James [00:15:25] Good information. Thanks to Geoff Arnold CEO of lienwaivers.io for spending some time with us on this episode of CareyBrosPros. You may learn more about Geoff’s products and services by visiting his Web site. It is lianwaivers.io.
Morris [00:15:45] But remember if you’re looking for information about any of our guests as well as other podcasts videos and articles just check out our Web site at CareyBrosPros.com.