In a secluded area of Fort Lauderdale, FL - a coastal town with generational wealth building by the minute - there is a luxurious complex where Bentleys are daily drivers, and sit under carports.
All of America’s rich and famous have been there, and many have a mansion on the water for their yachts to be parked behind. The cost of merely owning the yachts is so stinking high it would make maggots gag. The cost of real estate in that luxurious spot probably attracts vultures in human form if you are picking up what I’m laying down.
I managed to stay there and work a large loss in one of the luxurious complexes where the “stinking high” costs are chump change to those living in the area.
I can’t imagine living that way, but dammit, I wouldn’t mind trying! I must admit, while I cant say its my cup of tea - I prefer mountains and countryside - I can definitely say that I was blown away by the luxurious accommodations.
And if you know me at all, you know that's a hell of a lot coming from me.
I feel like most talk of “luxury” is a crock of … you know what. Ever since Ford purchased the Lincoln and Jaguar brands, every company that feins luxury is easy to spot and the folks that generally buy into the faux luxury is often trying to be someone they aren’t (not everyone)
But this job in Fort Lauderdale was different.
Apparently, there was a filthy rich oil family that had a condo in the complex I was working in. The condo was a “getaway” home for them and it was unoccupied more than it was occupied. They were one of the people that had a Bentley that was stored in a carport outside of the condo.
We had to deal with multiple floors of water damage in the condo. We did everything perfectly within the scope of the job. The mitigation was expedient, the demo went great, the rebuild went according to plan. The adjuster was happy, the insured was happy. We were walking the property to get a CoC and the representative for the insured said that they noticed something.
Apparently this family with the Bentley was coming to town about a month after we finished the project, and the manager of the luxury complex was getting all of the checklist items completed for the family before they arrived.
The checklist where they clean the condo, get the car ready, and all that good stuff.
The stuff that rich people don’t want to have to deal with.
The only problem he found was that the cover on the Bentley had a tear in it. He said one of my guys did it during the large loss project at the property.
So, my Project Manager - who had the patience and forethought of someone decades older than he - apologized profusely and immediately set out to resolve the situation.
He gathered his crew to see if there had been any incident that he wasn’t aware of. He was assured that no one knew anything.
Then he looked into how much these pure silk covers were for Bentley’s. He realized that at $4000 for the cover it was a mere fraction of the profit of the job. From a financial perspective, it wasn’t worth haggling over.
So my PM - again, a wise beyond his years kind of guy that was a quick thinker - set out to replace this car cover that was not available in the local parts store.
Thankfully luxurious vehicle brands are in most of the major cities in the US. There is in fact a Bentley dealer right in the town of Fort Lauderdale.
My PM called me up and let me know what was going on after establishing a phenomenal plan. He was headed to the hotel to get cleaned up a little, then he was off to get a fresh silk car cover from the Bentley Dealership off of Sunrise Blvd.
Here’s the lesson in all of this.
You can charge as much as you want, as long as you're willing to walk into a Bentley dealership.
Here’s to Fort Lauderdale and more so to my incredible PM.
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