Episode #3 with Ben Bell and Trae Anderson
In this episode of the Veterinary Start-Up Practice Podcast, Rob speaks with Ben Bell, the owner and president of Blackstone Building Group LLC, and Trae Anderson, the owner and principal of Blackstone Architecture. Blackstone Building Group LLC specializes in design and construction of healthcare offices, and Blackstone Architecture specializes in the design-build approach to commercial healthcare construction.
In this episode, they discuss the meaning of the design-build approach, the importance of having a small, expert support team while preparing a start-up, and the value of having aesthetically pleasing building designs in veterinary practices.
Ben Bell serves as the single point of contact for veterinarians, dentists and doctors and assists them through every phase of a project from the initial concept through getting open for business, and Blackstone Building Group has become an industry leading design-build company for healthcare projects in major markets including the Northeast, the Atlanta metro area, and south Florida. Trae Anderson is a registered architect in 5 states (PA, NJ, DE, GA, FL), and has over 15 years of experience in designing a variety of architectural projects. He also has almost 10 years of design-build experience.
Listeners who want to reach Ben can do so at (302)824-2627, and at email@example.com, and those who want to reach Trae can do so at (302)438-5839 and at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listeners who want to reach Rob can do so at Rob@RMontgomery-Law.com.
See the full transcription below:
Welcome to the veterinary startup practice podcast with Attorney Rob Montgomery, where Rob and his veterinary industry guests seek to demystify the process of starting up a veterinary practice. Since Rob is a lawyer, we need to tell you that this podcast is for informational purposes only, and shouldn't be considered legal advice. listening to this podcast does not and will not create an attorney client relationship. As is always the case, you should formally consult with legal counsel before proceeding with any legal matter. And now, here's Rob Montgomery.
Rob Montgomery 0:34
Hello, everyone. I'm Rob Montgomery and welcome to the veterinary startup practice podcast where as we like to say, we are seeking to demystify the process of starting a vet practice by bringing in experts and thought leaders from the veterinary world to talk about the startup process and what to do and sometimes even more importantly, what not to do. So today I have the team from Blackstone building Group. We are going to be talking to Ben Bell, who is the owner and president of Blackstone building group. And Trey Anderson, who is the principal of Blackstone architecture who works side by side and in hand with with the Blackstone folks. And Blackstone building group was established in 2007. And they specialize in design and construction of health care offices. Ben Bell, who is as I said, the owner and president serves as the single point of contact for veterinarians, dentists and doctors, and assist them through every phase of a construction project from the initial concept. Through getting open for business. Blackstone building group has become an industry leading design, build company for healthcare projects and three major markets. So they're headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, where they serve the Delaware, Pennsylvania and South Jersey markets. But they've also expanded into the Metro Atlanta and South Central Florida markets as well. And you know, as I said, they are a design build company. And we'll talk about what that means and why that's something that you may want to consider when you're doing your startup. And then Trey Anderson also on with us, as I said from from Blackstone architecture, he specializes in design build approaches for healthcare construction projects. He is a 2001 school of architecture grad from the Penn State University. And he's registered architect in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, and Florida. And for over 15 years, he's helped healthcare professionals design a variety of projects in the commercial, medical facility space. And for about 10 years. He's been involved as a design build, architect. And so Ben and Trey, welcome to the podcast, guys. And thanks for being on. Thanks for having us. Thank you, right. So I've had the pleasure of working with Blackstone, and a lot of our clients have worked on Blackstone work with Blackstone for their, their construction projects over the years. And, you know, this is, again, we're sounding like maybe at risk of sounding a couple of broken record. But we've said this in all the episodes, it's really important to work with people who know your industry, who have experienced in these projects. And while they're, it's important to work with in all these disciplines, where we're talking about lenders and realtors, and lawyers, when who have this experience, when it comes to construction, it may even be more important to work with somebody that's built these these types of offices before because I've seen where clients have worked with people who aren't experienced in the healthcare construction industry. And there's always some version of a problem there, which sure you guys probably gets to you anecdotally after the fact but you know, where if you don't know what to do or what is involved on these projects, then things kind of quote unquote, come up. And when things quote unquote, come up in a construction process, that usually means delays and further costs. So really, really important folks to be working with people like Ben and Trey who have this healthcare construction experience. So let's just kick it off. Tell us what is a design build approach? And then I guess maybe start with you Ben. And then then Trey maybe tell us why you think that that may be advantageous in a lot of situations.
Ben Bell 4:51
Sure. Well design build approach as we see it as basically we the relationship between the architect and the builder. So having everyone under one roof enables us to control the timeframe and to control the budget. And it eliminates finger pointing down the road. A lot of times when there are independence, relationships, you know, there, there can be some finger pointing some things that might be on the plans, that shouldn't be some, some things that were missed on the plans. And then ultimately, that becomes the responsibility of the of the client. So what we try to do is take ownership of the entire project, and we set a budget up front, we designed to that budget. And then we are responsible for everything in between. So it also it helps us with the timeframe. We can stick to our timeframes in terms of getting the plans complete, getting submitted for permit, and then we have direct access to working together throughout the entire project for cohesive projects all the way through.
Rob Montgomery 5:55
Okay, yeah, that makes that makes sense. And, and I think, you know, it's just common sense that if you have two guys that are on, you know, basically the same team, working together side by side, it's just there's efficiencies with that, instead of trying to schedule meetings with somebody who's in a different office or coordinate the transmission of information that is it just common sense, says that that's going to be tricky. Now. I mean, you mentioned to that, you know, it helps from a time standpoint. You know, in terms of how long the project is, I think, you know, I've obviously seen, I'm sure you guys have to, in the last year, year and a half, projects are just taking a whole lot longer to to complete.
Ben Bell 6:38
That is the case, yeah, and a lot of that is just a sign of the times, it's a lot of readiness of materials and lead times on materials. And, you know, I think is within every industry, you know, you're experiencing, you know, challenges when it comes to employees or not having enough employees or losing employee, you know, while COVID is in a sense behind us, you still do lose people from COVID, it's still very real and out there. And there's just challenges that we're faced with over the last year and a half, you know, two years that we didn't used to have. All of that has also increased costs in the industry. So you know, what, from subcontractors to the materials, you know, it works, we're seeing increasing costs, that while we're seeing a little correction and being able to get materials, the costs are not coming back to where they were, as well. So it all presents challenges. And, you know, at this point, we kind of know what we're up against, and can plan for it and better communicate with a client on what to expect. Whereas, you know, in cases before, we were kind of blindsided in many situations, and it just made life a little bit difficult going through, but definitely a valid, valid concern.
Rob Montgomery 7:55
Now, you know, going into it, it's gonna be difficult, right? We're just getting used to base but I feel like, again, for our listeners, that just underscores the importance of working with somebody who can do it as efficiently as possible. And who has that experience, because, as with anything, when challenges come up people that are less experienced or less capable of dealing with it. So just one more reason why working with somebody who's an experienced professional in this world, who knows and has done these projects, you can try to mitigate that that risk of of time and cost increasing. So super, super important in that regard. So yeah, I guess let me ask you, so what are some mistakes that you guys see veterinarians make when they're doing a startup? Trey, you want to start with us?
Trae Anderson 8:45
Sure, sure. From the design side, you know, we all naturally make the unwitting mistake of not knowing what we don't know, you know, you spend your entire career thus far being a doctor at this point in time, right? Now, you're required to wear a million different hats, from you know, the wielder to the accountant to the lawyer to the designer to everything. So that's just a standard issue that that it starts with. But from there, what we're able to do, and what we like to do is to pull the doctors, you know, down the path of, you know, not, you know, understanding that what they don't know, or understand is a variety of options are approaches that exist for their practice. So an example of that would be, you know, from your equipment, and your candles to the scheduling and the checkout options. There are so many different approaches that you can take in today's world. It's not just that whatever you did in the past, or whatever you're doing at the practice you're currently at.
Rob Montgomery 9:51
Right, and I think so that's an important thing. And a few of our guests have have talked about that on the podcast, you know that, specifically, as a quote you that you don't know what you don't know. But I feel like if you are working with somebody who has this experience, as you said, Trey, you can walk them through what their options are, and what the different approaches are. So I feel like, you know, sometimes people may feel like this is just such a monumentally daunting task, where do I begin? But you know, as Pete McCann, from Carr said on his, his episode, you know, you can break this down into smaller pieces. And if you've got somebody who's able to, as you said, pull them along, really show them, okay, now we're at this stage, you have these choices. Now we're at this stage, these are your choices. It's not, it's not some some crazy monumental undertaking for them anymore.
Ben Bell 10:46
Yeah, and I think to continue on that, you know, each layout that we do, and each layout for that is going to be unique. So what works for one doctor isn't necessarily what's best for another doctor, right. So they really have to think about how they want to function, what they've liked, in what they've seen in offices they've worked in, in the past, potentially, but not to get caught up into, you know, we'll do a floor plan sometimes and don't want to seek advice. Doctors don't want to seek advice from clients, from friends from other people in the industry, I would say to a certain extent, you have to trust yourself a little bit and trust those who are designing it, the more people you go to, the more people you ask for advice and opinion on the design tends to never come together. And there are constantly changes being made. I think it's okay to have one or two resources that you that you trust, or that you respect in the industry to kind of get their opinion. But the more you roll it out there to other people, it really slows the process and really starts to confuse the doctor.
Rob Montgomery 11:48
Yeah, it's funny, listeners are probably thinking like, Rob, you've planted this stuff and tell these guys to say this stuff. Because this is this, these are common themes. Among all of our guests yummy. What's good for one is not good for another is it's back to our conversation listeners that have heard people talk about the vision, everybody who needs to have and know what their vision is for their practice, not somebody else's practice. This is your practice. And you can't go to the to the design team and say, Build me a vet office? Well, you got to tell us what you want, right? I mean, so it's so important for them to have a handle on what they want their practice to be, what they types of patients, they want to treat, what their vision is, and then they can tell you, this is what we want. And then I assume then that's when you guys are able to provide meaningful feedback.
Ben Bell 12:43
Yeah, exactly. And then once that plan is solidified and done, so we, you know, timeframes are different for everyone. And every different approach, I'll tell you, from our perspective, once the floorplan is approved, and we're ready to move, the architecture on the MEPs that are done in house should take four to five weeks. And then we submit for permit, and you're pretty much at the mercy of the the municipality at that point. But it can take another handful of weeks there in itself. So throughout that time, you don't want to be thinking changes there either. You know what I mean? Because then you you know, your plans have already been submitted, now you're making changes to drawings that have already been done. And even when you get into construction, so it's okay to make certain changes if you have different thoughts, but changes add time and add money all the way through the process. Right.
Rob Montgomery 13:29
So you're saying like, roughly, if everybody's sort of cooperating and Responding promptly, everybody being you know, the, your, your client customer, you're looking at about four to five weeks for that, for that design process to be able to come up with the with the drawings and the plans.
Trae Anderson 13:47
Yeah, that's after that says that design that program has been vetted out. So the initial you know, when you first saw it, first of all, if that program, we first come up with Hey, how do your wants and needs fit within this space that we're looking at, got it. That's a real natural, like organic method for, you know, working through, you know, a design that works with what you want in the space you want and how you want that the function flow, right? Once that done, and then we end being designbuild utilize that to establish a budget for the construction side. And then when you're ready to go at that point in time, that's when you flatten that four to five week time period for your permit drawing, which then catapult you into permitting and then struction thereafter
Rob Montgomery 14:31
got it. So let's just back up them. When do you guys feel is like the the best and optimal time for people to get you involved with the project
Trae Anderson 14:41
as soon as humanly possible. So we like to work closely with builders and you know, in the clients right off the bat, so when there are different spaces that they're looking at, we can provide our feedback for what will work what won't work what what, you know, potholes and hurdles are We're going to have with one space versus another space, and it helps them decision making process. Right? You know, so?
Ben Bell 15:07
And can their design program there there must have fit within the envelope that they're considering? Yeah. Yeah. So doesn't allow for growth that they have future plans for growth. Does that space allow for that within the design? Number of that or when going into a space? So yeah, we like to get involved early. And it's usually the best outcome when
Rob Montgomery 15:29
we do. Yeah, that's exactly what I suspected, you would say. And it makes sense. And I think what people don't realize is like, either, as you said, different spaces, different buildings that present different challenges. So it's like, Okay, we're gonna have to put in all the plumbing in this building, how this one building may not lend itself to doing that as easily as another building, or, you know, we're going in and there's this, there might be a tenant or some other user that low the space that's being built, like, what kind of cooperation were you going to get? And we're going to get access to that space? Or is it going to cost more, or you're not going to be able to access that space during business hours, you're gonna have to do it at night, and on weekends, which becomes more expensive. These are the things that a lay person doesn't know, as they look at a space and say, oh, yeah, these three spaces look the same. But you know, imagine, you know, you guys will look at those three spaces and say, Yeah, but from a construction standpoint, they might all be very different. And feasibility and or cost could vary wildly.
Ben Bell 16:32
100%, right. Yep.
Rob Montgomery 16:37
Right. So, you know, again, folks, as you're hearing, this is all kind of a group project. This is why, you know, working with a team of people that understands this, who are actually working together becomes important because as you look at space, you have to know that you're going to be able to build the office in a costly way in a time timely and cost efficient way there to stay within the budget. That is the budget that has already been vetted and approved by your lender, so that, you know, when I signed this lease, this is what I'm going to build. And this is what it's going to cost. And this is how much money I'm going to borrow. Right? And, and so if you kind of, if you don't have a sense of all those things at the same time, then you leave yourself open for surprises that Oh, wow, the lender is not willing to lend all the money I need or, Oh, guess what, I can't build what I want to build here or, Oh, wow, this space I want, that I want to fit out that's, you know, 8000 square feet, it's going to cost this much more money than I'm then I'm prepared to spend. So if you really need to do all these things at the same time, and, you know, listeners, you've heard several guests say, we want to be involved at the earliest possible stage. And you're saying, well, Jaya, can how can everybody be involved at the earliest possible stage, but it's important to realize that, you have to do that, because all of these people on your team are working collaboratively. And so you have to get them queued up and introduced and working together. So that, you know, you're, you're putting yourself in the right place, and doing all the right things to ensure your success.
Trae Anderson 18:11
Yeah, I mean, the process itself, when you think about it, it's a convoluted tedious and complex process of finding of commercial space. Dealing with the the realtor side and the attorney side on that and converting that from design and construction standpoint into something completely different. And then marketing and selling it and staffing. You know, it's a long drawn out process. And our goal is really just to simplify that process from start to finish, you know, to have that one point of contact, or a few points of contact for people that can really walk you through step by step. So, you know, so you could spend your days being the doctor and not being something else. Whereas now, we want to be the architect and the builder. So that's why we, you know, streamline the process for ourselves as well.
Rob Montgomery 19:00
Right. Yeah. And I think, you know, there's another thing that you mentioned a few minutes ago that other people, other guests on the podcast have talked about, really, you know, avoiding the peanut gallery, you know, it's like, get the advice from the people that are your trusted advisors who have the experience here. And avoid advice from a well intentioned family and friends or, or colleagues who think they know what they're doing, but they don't, you know, like, there's, there's plenty to do in this project, just working with the people that know what they're doing, who can guide you, right? Without really spending a lot of time going outside of your core group, kind of pulling them for their advice. And it's one of the things that I see when I look at blogs and Facebook groups where people will chime in and say, Hey, what do you think about this idea for an office and people start responding like I don't know how you could even respond to that you haven't seen the the office you don't know what the floorplan is. But, you know, despite that, it doesn't stop people from putting in their two cents and then you know, I think sometimes you that that noise can be distracting for a doc and, and to their detriment drown out the the advice that they're getting from the people that actually know what they're doing.
Trae Anderson 20:12
Yeah, I mean, in the end designed by committee is really only is gonna get you, you know that the law of averages. So if you want to design for the average, you know then by all means you design by committee in the end though you're the ones gonna own it, you're the ones gonna live with it. So our goal is to make it to function and work the best for you.
Rob Montgomery 20:32
Right? Yeah, that's, that's that makes sense. So what are, what are some good things that you see, like best practices that veterinarians do with their startups that you think you'd like to impart on our listeners,
Ben Bell 20:50
you want to start with that go for it. I'll speak to it from an aesthetic standpoint, Rob, I think you're seeing this trend in a lot of the healthcare industries as well as like, you know, dental that where they're not these sterile spaces, that, that people are wanting to come to. So designing an aesthetically pleasing space, where people want to bring their pets. So now, you know, people want to go somewhere, bring their pet to somewhere that's instead of aesthetically pleasing, and nice and warm and friendly, just the same way they want to bring their kids to a pediatric dentist with the same vibe or they're, you know, a dentist themselves, you know. And to do that, you don't have to break the budget, we always recommend if we're working with a budget, certain budget, put those design dollars into that lobby into that waiting room, the front counter, many ceiling aesthetics or cool wall features you can do just in that front area. And as you get back more into the clinical area, you can scale back and get more into functional, you know, uses for materials, but you know, if you tie it all together with color, so you don't have to, you know, break the bank to make an aesthetically pleasing space. And I think one of the, that's one of the good things I'm seeing is that, you know, the veterinarians are want that look to their space, no one's looking to have a space that, you know, we kind of grew up bringing our pets to.
Rob Montgomery 22:15
Yeah, that's, that's an interesting point, I think that kind of, you know, sort of dovetails into, like, the overall theme and mission with with this podcast that I feel like with a startup of any healthcare startup, but especially in the vet world, there are so many new pet owners, especially over COVID, and recently, even before COVID, that there are a lot of people out there, you know, clients who are looking to start patient relationships with with a veterinarian, so you kind of have like a lot of like new people, that kind of free agents, so to speak, that are out there up for grabs. And if doing a startup allows you to build a you know, a modern office, that is, as you said, aesthetically pleasing, and it's more consistent with what you know, the world that we're living in now. I mean, people go to offices that we work or you know, work from home, or there's sort of this expectation that when you go to see the healthcare provider, that you're not going to the lab, so to speak, right. And, and that's, you know, and that, you know, if you're doing a start up, you have the ability to to build something like that, that's just so modern and relevant. It's got to be a good thing over buying some, you know, 50 year old sleepy practice that's in a home that's, you know, sort of an antiquated space to begin with, you know, if you're competing for new patients, I don't see how somebody doesn't go to that, that new, aesthetically pleasing, new modern space.
Trae Anderson 23:44
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, there really to two parts of that, and that's, you know, people want to win when they're when they're gonna go, especially, you know, it could be a stressful situation. They want to go someplace, it's going to feel more comfortable. You know, from that emotional standpoint, and mental standpoint. And then the other part from the doctor side, is that your reception area waiting in your exam rooms, that's your showroom. That's, that's what you're selling. That's how you're selling your service. Right now, like it or not, that's what people see. And that's what they get their first impression or feeling
Rob Montgomery 24:20
from? Yeah, yeah. And it's like it carries over because and that's also you know, the first impression when they walk in the door. But yeah, if you're going to take some pictures of the office to go on your website, which you will and should, that's what they see when they go to your homepage and they look and say Oh, this is what this office looks like. Wow. Like that looks like a place I want to take my animal you know like that. That's pretty cool. That looks like a place that I would enjoy going to. And you know, it's it's the it's the front door that when you walk in but again, your front door now is the becomes the photo that is your virtual front door. And as people are googling different vets in their in their neighborhood because they just adopted their first dog or cat. And they're trying to figure out where they're going to take their pet, they're looking around for what looks to be the coolest new place to go to. And so it really has a cascading effect. And I think, as you guys said this, and this is part of, you know, folks, but I think it's important, you know, when you're working to design the office, when you're working with somebody who has this experience, I think it was great advice, put your dollars, where you get the pop, you know, and make that front space look nice, because that's going to have return on investment, maybe spend a little extra money there, save a little money, little money someplace else, that isn't as visible. But, you know, ultimately, you want people to be attracted to, to the space. Yeah,
Ben Bell 25:49
there are always cost effective solutions to making a statement in the waiting room, that are that are not, you know, like I said earlier, we're gonna get a break the bank, there's always a way there's always a solution. So don't be afraid of making, trying to come up with an appealing aesthetic design for your waiting room.
Rob Montgomery 26:11
And as you say, you know, a statement, this goes back to the vision for your practice, and this is what is one of the coolest parts about doing a start up and owning your own professional practice, you get the opportunity to practice, where you want, how you want, in the way that you want, and design the practice to be, you know, yours, you know, you put your, your footprint on it, and, and that begins with kind of what the vibe is in the place, you know, and that carries through with how you treat your patients and clients and how you interact with people. And it all all kind of goes together that it's a really cool thing to say like, how do I create, you know, my professional practice. And some of that is, again, with, with the systems you put in place and the culture that you're implementing, but it also begins with the what does the place feel like when when people walk in the front door?
Ben Bell 27:07
Yep. And a great way to process Rob is to do some research online, find some pictures of offices that you like, or maybe send some pictures of offices that you've seen that you've been in the past. And, you know, just to let the designer know what's in your mind for what used to look you're trying to achieve, you know, and we always start with that, whether it be colors, or I like this floor, I like this type of counter front counter area, just something to start on to be able to get in their head and design something that's going to achieve what their what their vision for their spaces.
Rob Montgomery 27:42
Yeah, that makes sense. Good. So guys, what are some misconceptions that you see veterinarians have when it when it comes to considering doing a startup?
Trae Anderson 27:57
Well, I mean, we kind of jump through a lot of these already with the thought that there are rules of thumb for basically how everything's done. And when the reality is, it's really you know, what works best for you and your practice your clients. Right. But, you know, other ones that fall in line, you know, when when you do go out on your journey, and you start hiring all these professionals, that when you look at architectural services, there's you know, there's a general misconception of architectural services basically, is Oh, I get, I'm gonna hire someone, they're gonna, they're gonna design this for me come up with the drawings, basically, overnight, and it's an I have everything that I need, when you know, there's a reality is that they go, if you really do go to an architect's room, typically, that doesn't include, you know, interior design, engineering, you know, a lot of times there won't be coordination with equipment vendors, or the construction team, you know, nor is there any construction administration. So really be careful when you go forward with no harm separate services to make sure that you're either even gray area, or that there's enough overlap and communication between them.
Ben Bell 29:07
Yeah, I think to sum that up, I guess, the way I would I would put that is a misconception is the timeframe needed to get from point A to open for business. So some days I found a space, I'm going to be up and running in four or five months, but the reality is you have the architecture time permitting, as a construction time. So I think I always tell people from the time we speak, our initial conversation that is likely six to eight months if things progress, as planned and decisions are made as they are presented. But I'd say that's one of the bigger misconceptions that that I see is just the just the the lack of knowledge about how, how long this entire process takes.
Rob Montgomery 29:51
Yeah, and it's just like anything to you know, the, the more time you take and the further in advance you plan for you know, the the better it's going to be and the more input You're going to have, but uh, yeah, I think it's, I kind of as you guys are talking about, sort of what happens if you just go out and hire a standalone architect, you have to understand again, what they, what they're doing what they're not doing. I kind of analogize it to, if you're trying to, you know, kind of put together and, and be your own wedding coordinator and like, you're gonna have a wedding reception in a venue where they don't provide all the stuff and you have to make sure like, Okay, we need to have the floor, we need the chairs, we need the napkins, we need the plates, we need the booze, we need all this stuff that you have to, you know, and if you forget the forks, well, you know, what are you gonna do, like, you're not kind of a fork. So and back to you know, you don't know what you don't know, it's hard to, I think, try to manage a startup project. If this is your first, second, third, or even more times of doing it, you still haven't done it enough times to really appreciate all the things that you have to kind of deal with and coordinate. If you're kind of hiring people in a sort of discreet piecemeal fashion, as opposed to just getting somebody involved that has overall ownership of the project, as you noted at the outset, Ben? Yeah. So, you know, as we wrap things up, guys, what, what's a piece of advice that you would give to a veterinarian, that's, you know, considering a startup and, you know, in some ways, it can be construction, design architecture, or even just, you know, business experience. I mean, you guys are obviously out there, you're doing this a lot for folks. Sometimes you'll see people do things, right, that are not necessarily construction or design related or something wrong. It's not construction or design related, or you're talking to people early in the process, who have misconceptions or anything. But like, if somebody said to you today, like hey, you know, I'm thinking about doing a startup and I'm a vet, like, what would you tell that person?
Ben Bell 31:55
Yeah, I actually have a couple of things to offer on that. So from the perspective of your the way, you just phrased that question, I would echo a lot of the the conversation we've had today is assemble a trusted team, for your entire project. Get a reference, if you have a great relationship with the architect, ask him who he recommends that he's worked with in the other industries from your you know, your supply company, architect, builder, realtor, bankers, attorneys, Rob, you know, I would recommend you get approach it. As a team, you're this isn't going to be as you know, a six month to a year endeavor. So you want to work with a trusted team, who you want to be with you and by your side through the entire the entire way someone you can trust to get you through the kind of the bumps and the bruises along the way and direct you. I think if you approach it as more of, hey, I'm looking for a bid, how much can you give me a, give me a quote, I just think you open yourselves up, you open yourself up to a little, you know, it's not as personal the touch, you don't have the relationship, you know, you potentially open yourselves up for for change orders, because you haven't at that point established your details of your project. So I really would recommend you approach it as a long standing relationship and assemble a trusted team through every facet of the way.
Rob Montgomery 33:25
Yeah, that's great advice, and, and assembling that team does not mean Yeah, Googling each one of these people that you need on the team and then finding the cheapest person that does it. Tell you that, you know, it's some sometimes the the quote unquote, the cost of cheap can be pretty expensive. As you said, you know, especially with my you know, from my perspective, as a lawyer have been practicing for 27 years, I've seen situations where construction projects have gone bad and they've ended up in in litigation, or I've also seen situations where clients are out bidding, getting bids on projects. And, you know, there's some times that people will lowball bids to try to get the business and then know that they're going to add all these, as you said, change orders at the end. And, folks, if you're not familiar with that concept, that change order means deviations to what was originally planned, that would change the cost of the project. And so there are definitely people out there that have to get the business come in low and then guess what, after you get into it, you find out that it's going to be a lot more expensive. Same thing, even in the legal world, you know, working with the cheapest lawyer doesn't mean that you're getting an a product that's going to protect you. You know, with with all this stuff, there's no like uniform, sort of benchmark standard of quality that you know that hey, I'm getting the same thing and I'm paying less it's not like okay, I want to buy a Ford you know, F 150 pickup truck and if I can buy it for $5,000 Less Here, then, okay, you're getting a Ford f150 pickup truck and you got it for five grand less buy it there. But, you know, working with a cheaper contractor or a cheaper lawyer doesn't ensure that you're getting the same product at the end of the day.
Ben Bell 35:17
Yeah, I love that analogy, I think, you know, and then you don't have if you're working with someone who doesn't have experience, they think they are offering you the the correct number and then they get into the project and realize they've missed 90% of the mechanicals. And then you go into really, projects become what it is. And because they don't know themselves, so that's where you get yourself into trouble with the with the change orders as well.
Rob Montgomery 35:38
Yeah, and I see it, folks, it is what these guys are saying is absolutely real. And, you know, with these projects, you're doing this on a somewhat, you know, tight and it's a tight budget by like, you don't have a lot of extra money floating around for, hey, guess what, it costs an extra 90 grand to do your project like, whoa, Where's that coming from, you know, you can't go back to Wells Fargo at that point and say, Gee, I, I need more money, you know, like, it can be a challenging thing that could really put you in a in a bad place. But so working with the people that understand this, and I think too, you know, I see that working with trying to tap into your trusted advisors network is is a great tool to, you know, like, you don't have to wonder like, Gee, Well, who am I? How am I going to find this realtor? How am I going to find this contractor? How am I going to find a lender, like we all work with the people that do good work, and we want to surround ourselves as, as the team members, with other people, the team that are going to ensure the success of this project, because, you know, Ben, you may, P Dez, Doug, all these people that are involved, we want this to be a success, and you know, to ensure the success, you know, I want a good team around me. And I'm going to tell the client that yeah, these are people that we've worked with, that can do the do a good job for you who've done a good job for other clients, you know, and like, again, to go out and Google somebody who may or may not know what they're doing to save a few bucks, you know, the cost of cheap, as I said, can be extraordinary.
Trae Anderson 37:13
Now, you know, Rob with that, you know, I don't want to go to Canada. But you know, the reality of that is that no matter how well you plan, you know, issues will arise, stressful process. You know, that's what it is. And that's where it's another part where that having that good team, you know, they will a have the experience and know how to solve anything to do arise, as well, as you know, you'll you'll be at ease that it'll be okay, we'll get through it. But that's what we do. You know, not there's no, no, no problem is too big. And you know, the team is what's going to really pull you through.
Rob Montgomery 37:49
Yeah, that's, that's a great, great comment to try. And let me just take a minute to elaborate on that. When you're doing these projects, and frankly, after you open and you have your business, things will go wrong, that is just the nature of the beast. And, you know, even if you're working with the absolute best possible team, that doesn't mean that everything is going to go 100% smoothly, and that there will never be an issue. issues arise. But you know, as Trey said, having a good team surrounding you, it helps you to solve the problems and to overcome these issues when they arise. And so, you know, I think sometimes people do fall into this, this trap of, oh, we're gonna do this and everything's gonna be perfect, and there's not gonna be any problems. Nope, that's not the way the world works. That's not the way the business works. That's not the way that practice ownership works, you know, be ready for problems. But here's the thing, having the team around you that can help solve those problems is big. And then also there are things that you have control over. And there are things that you don't have control over. Working with the right team can at least ensure the success of the things that you do have control over so that you limit the problems and just deal with those unforeseen things that you have to not have like this whole mess of a situation where everything's upside down which again, if you're not working with the right people you're not getting the right advice or doing the right thing can happen. Exactly, guys, it thanks so much for for taking the time and being on the podcast and and chatting and I think you've got some some great information here and recommendations and counsel for our listeners. Tell, tell our folks how they can get in touch with you if they have questions or they want to learn more about your services or the process.
Ben Bell 39:37
Absolutely. And Rob thanks for having us. We appreciate it as well was fun. So to get a hold of us, you I will be your point of contact. That's been Bell is my last name phone number is 302-824-2627 email addresses Ben at Blackstone B. G as in building group.com And our website is WWW dot Blackstone bg.com.
Rob Montgomery 40:04
Okay, sounds good. That'll be, that'll be up on the on the show notes too. If people didn't catch that, or you can always contact me. I'm happy to put you in touch with these guys. They do great work for their health care clients of all kinds of construction projects. And thanks again for taking the time guys.
Ben Bell 40:22
Thank you. Thank you.
Thanks for listening to another great podcast with Attorney Rob Montgomery. And don't forget to tune in next time to have the process of starting up a veterinary practice demystified. For more information about today's podcast, or to contact Rob's firm, go to www dot your vet lawyer.com