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How Levelset Software Works to Avoid Payment Risks & Get You Paid Faster



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Experts in this video

Liam Duddy
Liam Duddy

Levelset software saves you valuable time and money by eliminating manual work and alerting you about payment risks and red flags in real time. Using tools like Risk Reports and Job Radar premium, you can pre-qualify your contractors and keep tabs on your in-progress jobs to ensure that you’re paid on time, every time.

Register for this webinar to learn how:

  • To send payment demands to get paid on jobs before taking more drastic measures
  • To use risk data to determine whether you want to work with a contractor (or not!)
  • To identify red flags on your job and avoid slow pay or non pay 
  • Growing construction companies use tools like Risk Report and Job Radar to take immediate action when there’s a risk of slow pay


Speaker 1 (00:04):
What we’re gonna do here is we’re gonna cover the basics of level set, who we are, what we do for some of those that aren’t familiar. And then we’re gonna do a deep dive into our tools that help you get paid faster so that whether you’re a customer or not you’re gonna be learning quite a bit. So before moving forward, I do just wanna say that we are recording this live session. You’re gonna receive a link to the recording in your email tomorrow, share that with whoever you want, whether it’s your mother, your boss, your supervisor, your sister someone else who is also in construction, who might be also experiencing some of the problems that brought you here today. I wanna also make it known that if you do have any questions at all during our presentation, go ahead and use that chat box.

Speaker 1 (00:55):
And we’ll answer them here at the end of the webinar. So make sure that you are asking those away now a little about myself, my name’s Julian Bustillo, I’ve been at level set for some time. Now I’m a construction payment expert originally from New Mexico. Now I live in the beautiful, but very hot and human new Orleans, Louisiana. I got interested in this space because my uncle was an electrician and growing up, I saw all the frustrations firsthand of what it means to be working in construction and not be getting paid. So I started working with level set here to help businesses like my uncles, like yours, get paid faster without experiencing some of these issues that are, you know, synonymous with working in construction. So that’s why I’m here. And that’s why I’m motivated to talk to you guys today.

Speaker 1 (01:47):
So if this is, you know, your first time at a level set webinar, or maybe your first time hearing about level set, just a quick overview of what it is we do and who we are. We’re all about getting contractors paid this problem, that plagues construction, whether it be slow payment, nonpayment, the opacity that is, you know, so prevalent on every single construction job we want to get rid of those problems. We want to empower everyone who works in construction to get paid. What they’ve earned, the work is not easy and that money that you guys are working for that belongs in your pocket. So that’s why we’re here to help you get paid. We leverage our lean rights management software to help you do exactly that. Whether it’s having to track lean and notice deadlines, verify the information that’s needed to send those out and basically just give you a tool to help you make it easy to manage all of that lean, right paperwork and headache.

Speaker 1 (02:53):
So while that’s one aspect of it, we want to give you everything you need to be empowered. So that might be a construction attorney to help you kind of navigate the whole legal side of things, buff up your contracts a little bit or maybe it’s insight into what’s going on on jobs or who these contractors are. If you haven’t worked with them, what their histories like all the way up through, you know, just checking out our website and the resources available there. Or if you go on our YouTube, there are lots of educational videos on that as well. So enough about us, let’s go on and get into why we’re here today. So I do wanna just remind everyone, go to the Q and a box put your questions in. We’ll be addressing them at the end. But I’m seeing ’em and we will certainly get to those now, just a brief little overview of what we’re doing today.

Speaker 1 (03:46):
We’re gonna be focusing on lean rights, the overview documents, how you can use those to set the right expectations, hold the necessary parties accountable, and have a headache, free job and work environment in construction. Something that might seem like a fantasy to a lot of people ways to identify payment risk on your job as well as tools that can help you avoid risky situations in the first place, whether it’s pre-qualifying contractors or having a way to pivot in case you do see that problems are happening on your job, as well as what to do. If you do run into an issue, right? How we can help you and give you advice and help you steer the ship on some of these complicated issues. And then at the end, we’ll get into the Q and a so kind of our crem dollar crem, why we’re here, how we started as a business, it’s helping you, you know, become lean rights experts while some of you might be this already others, this will give you a helpful insight into what lean rights can do to transform your business.

Speaker 1 (04:57):
So just a little bit of backstory leans, lean law. That’s something created specifically for construction, right? You don’t find it anywhere else. It’s only applicable to this industry because unfortunately, a lot of problems come up. Construction is one of those industries where you do the work before you get paid and it poses a lot of problems, right? Not to mention just the frustration and headaches that are involved with collecting. So whether it’s getting paid on time or speeding up the payment process or avoiding issues of nonpayment or write offs that’s why we’re here. That’s why our business started because the sad fact of the matter is that in construction, the average time to payment is 82 days.

Speaker 1 (05:43):
I don’t know about any of y’all, but I, one of my first jobs was in a kitchen as the bus. Boy, if you told me the day I was coming, expecting my paycheck, that, Hey, it’s gonna be here and just shy of three months, I’d be looking for another job. And so we wanna change that, that 82 days that’s daunting. It puts a tremendous strain on cash flow in businesses. Especially if you’re in a period of growth and just navigating everything that’s going on, whether it’s the rising cost of materials, the labor shortage or, you know, just the effects of inflation and the post COVID world. So this is a way to easily make sure that you are adhering to all the different pieces you need to do, and actually giving yourself a form of recourse, leveraging your rights so that you’re getting paid easily, right?

Speaker 1 (06:29):
Ensuring that you don’t have to take on more drastic measures. So one of the things that you know, I hear oftentimes when I am speaking with people about evaluating a process change is, Hey, you know, I, I, this sounds great. I understand the value of this, but I don’t, I, I don’t have time for this. I, I might not be wanting to, you know, be spending my time, sending out these different notices, tracking these deadlines finding all the correct information, driving to the county recorder’s office. Right? Listen, I understand that our job here is not to put more things on your plate, right? Most people are busy enough as it is. I know I talk to a lot of people on the business side of things who feel like they’re wearing so many hats, they just can’t fit through the door. And so what we do is we help get this process started, but without creating more work.

Speaker 1 (07:20):
So whether that’s, you know, helping get your data into level set having a way to automatically track and manage your deadlines, sending out the necessary requirements, to set those expectations, to show that you are professional, you understand your rights and you have a form of recourse, whether it’s one job at a time or notices sent out in bulk, it all depends on your personal preference. The other piece I like to highlight here is when it does come down to these, you know, high risk legal documents, we wanna make sure that everything is sent out properly, right? That they’re all valid. And so we go the extra step in this situation. We have a research team, one of my good friends here in new Orleans, he’s actually on it. And their job is to work to make sure that every single thing that comes out on your behalf through us is done so properly.

Speaker 1 (08:11):
Right? Making sure that you are protected in every single necessary piece of information that’s on there is there. And that’s one of the best parts about this, right? So while that’s all great, there’s still risk that’s involved with jobs. And so we wanna make sure that we’re getting out in front of that. So in addition to sending notices and payment reminders, you can use our risk reports to start your job off with some peace of mind. Right. I don’t know if any of you guys are Yelpers or you like to get on Google and do checks before you are working with a new contractor. I don’t know what your vetting process is, or if you have one or if you feel like there’s just not time. Well, maybe considering working with a new contractor and you just have no idea what their payment history is, how many disputes they’ve been involved in or you feel like you don’t have time to go ahead and do that, right?

Speaker 1 (09:05):
You can utilize our risk reports to essentially give you a report card on potential new customers you’re looking to do business with. So you’ll see things like if there was a payment dispute in the last 90 days a job disputes index, their typical speed to payment, right? So like when they’re saying, oh yeah, we’re net 30, we’ll pay you in 30 days. Are they actually paying in 30 days? Does it stretch out to 60, maybe 90, 120 plus, right. And then an overall payment score. So you can quickly understand, Hey, this is how this company works. This is their payment history. And you can get that at a glance. So it’s essentially a construction specific credit report so that you can go into new partnerships with confidence. You can build relationships with new contractors and know that, Hey, at the end of this, I’m gonna get paid in full and on time.

Speaker 1 (10:03):
So while risk reports are a great way, pre-project to vet new companies that you might be working with our job radar premium is a feature that helps you while you’re on the project, right. While the project is going on. Now that you’ve vetted everyone. Well, there are a lot of different parties, right? There are a lot of different pieces that play on a typical construction job. And you’re just one of ’em. So how do you know what else is going on? How do you remove that layer of opacity to finally get the transparency that you need to operate with confidence? And so that’s what our job radar premium feature does. So let’s say you’ve decided to work with a contractor based on information provided in your risk report. And you’ve sent out the necessary notices required through level set. So we wanna make sure now that we have the same level of visibility and can address any potential payment issues immediately in real time, while you’re working on a project.

Speaker 1 (11:01):
So this is gonna pro it’s a tool that’s gonna provide you with alerts that help you monitor the flow of payment on the job. So things like payment issues and potential payment delays, lean alerts, letting you know, if a lie has been filed on a job if a company on your project is filed for bankruptcy, if someone has been paid, and for those of you in states with notice of completion, you’ll get those alerts as well. And so I always like to point out to use the example of, imagine you’re a subcontractor on a larger commercial job, and let’s say you’re in the back half, right? Let’s say you do some things like you’re doing electrical work, something like that, right? You’re not one of the first subs on the job. Well, it’s a big job, big commercial job and the concrete and excavation sub they come on.

Speaker 1 (11:49):
And all of a sudden you see in here, okay, a notice of intent was filed or some other document that might tip you off at, Hey, there’s potentially a problem here. Well, now you know, that there’s a problem before that problem affects you. So instead of waiting for the contractor who hired you to say, oh yeah, checks in the mail or, oh, let’s reconvene in 30 days. Something like that, one of those classic push off excuses. Well now, you know, there’s already some sort of payment constraints here. Let’s go ahead and tailor our strategy accordingly to that. So maybe instead of waiting 10 or 15 days to send that first payment reminder, after our invoice goes out, let’s send it a little earlier. And let’s just be a little bit more assertive with our collection strategy in this particular case, because we already know that there’s some money problems going on.

Speaker 1 (12:41):
So that’s information, job, radar. Premium’s gonna let you know. That’s gonna give you, let you know what’s happening in real time. So you can make sure that your payment’s secured when it’s time for you to do your work and get paid. And so whether you’re working with the GC for the first time or for the 40th time, whether they like to send out notices or not, this is gonna be the tool that’s gonna help you keep tabs on your job together. All these things in tandem, that’s gonna be your comprehensive protection to avoid risk on your job, get paid in full and on time, avoiding payment issues altogether, and doing also without having to file one of those liens that could potentially put your relationship at risk. So all those tools, whether it be risk report lean rights management and the notice sending out job radar premium, all of those work in tandem to ensure that you get paid for the work you perform.

Speaker 1 (13:39):
Right? they work in conjunction with one another. So, but in a perfect world, right? That’s great. Unfortunately, some of you guys have come to us because you find yourself in the midst of a problem. Maybe you didn’t know about one of these preliminary notices in a state. You just started working in, or maybe, you know, you didn’t have a contract. And it was a good old boy handshake for someone you’ve been working with for a while. And they went up and they got outta town. Well, we wanna make sure you’re protected in situations like that as well. And so that’s when our legal guard tool becomes a tremendous asset. It’s going to give you a way to, if you are outside of your lie rights way to put together a strategy, to help navigate the complexities of the construction and lean law world. So you can put yourself in a position to get paid, or maybe let’s say it’s like the second situation where you didn’t have a contract, you were left vulnerable because of that.

Speaker 1 (14:39):
And you were smart and you learned your lesson. You said, Hey, I’m never gonna be in a position where I don’t have a contract, but I just don’t know where to start. And I don’t want to use these templates that are online. And I just, I don’t, I don’t know any attorneys or I don’t wanna pay some exorbitant retainer. Well, they can help you out there as well. Right. They can help you put together contracts with laded, with clauses to help put you in a position where you finally feel confident entering into new agreements. And so this L coupled with protecting your lean rights, that is how our contractors make sure that they’re avoiding problems. They’re getting paid. They’re not stressing. They’re sleeping well at night, right? That’s how everything finally comes together and works in tandem. And so I like to share one of the success stories we had with a, a, a recent partner of ours named Michelle who used these tools to help her do exactly what we’re talking about.

Speaker 1 (15:38):
And, you know, as a reminder, if any questions are continuing to pop up, I see some are still going out, put ’em in the chat box. We’ll go ahead and address ’em. But I always like to highlight the positives, right? A lot of this that we’re talking about, it’s okay. You ran into an issue or you’re not getting paid, but, you know, I wanna also look at the flip side of that. So let’s, I wanna draw your attention to the top alert here, notifying that someone got paid, right. Hopefully that’s gonna be you. Because when we’re talking about liens and risk management, our brains are going to the negative. What if this or that happened that will negatively affect us, but it’s important to acknowledge the positive that you can use. The tools mentioned here today to see the flow of payments coming in on time without liens.

Speaker 1 (16:22):
So Michelle came to us she was you know, supplying equipment, supplying lumber, which most of you know, is just getting more and more expensive to a job. And she was really apprehensive about it because she wanted to make sure that, you know, there were no liens. It was with the company that she’d taken a bid for. So she didn’t have a relationship with them. And she was in a particularly cash strapped position. So she really couldn’t wait too long to get paid. And she didn’t wanna dig herself in this hole that she felt she’d have trouble getting out of. So what she ended up doing was she she started leveraging our job. Radar premium feature, did a quick look at the job. She was about to start supplying materials for and saw, Hey, there are no liens, there are no payment problems on this job.

Speaker 1 (17:07):
I feel confident going ahead and starting this process, right, supplying these materials. I mean, when you’re talking about, you know, tens of thousands of dollars, it’s, it’s a risky thing. So she felt confident she had the peace of mind and she was able to make good margins on it and get paid quickly without having to potentially have that payment strung along, or put the relationship at risk demanding, you know, payment upon delivery. So that’s just one way that people like to use our features to help them end up, you know, getting paid. And so here’s, you know, I wanna share a couple of quotes from customers who are using these tools and, you know, using the software to avoid payment problems. So they found that it solves the vast majority of these like payment issues combination of risk reports, lean rights management software, and job radar premium.

Speaker 1 (17:58):
It’s gonna help you monitor your jobs that are in progress. So there are no surprises and that uncertainty with payment that probably pretty used to that becomes a thing of the past. Right. and so you can look at these you know, ILA says that they use job radar alerts as an opportunity to take a deeper dive into their own AR. And they’re using it as an early warning system to take a look at potential problems. And you guys can quickly glance over the other two, but I know there are a lot of questions here, so I want to go ahead and address them. And I know that was a ton of information. So I’d like to give you the chance to ask some questions I’m gonna start attack and the ones that are already in the chat. But you can go ahead and write questions for me in the chat box right now, if you haven’t already.

Speaker 1 (18:50):
So it looks like, let’s see. One of the questions here is when you are doing a pre call risk report on a potential client, will they know you ran the report? Great question. No, they will not. Right. You don’t want them you don’t want someone looking in and saying, oh, they, they think that I could potentially be risky. No, we use a database of information and the contractor will not be alerted that you’ve run a risk report on them. So you don’t have to worry about potentially, you know, hindering that relationship. Great question. Another one, can you still collect retainage after signing a final lean waiver? Okay. This is a, a great specific one. Yes, you can use a mechanics lean to recover retained money, but that lean would need to be filed within the necessary lean period. So you’d need to be, you know, adhering to all those steps prior to, and that deadline is strict. However, if you do wanna wait until the end of the project, likely you might lose that lean protection. So if retainage is never paid you’ll then have to recover it in some other way, whether that be, you know making payment demands, taking the matter to small claims court or potentially pursuing litigation.

Speaker 1 (20:11):
That’s another great question. And I love the specificity with that. Another one it looks like what type of information does job radar show that would matter the most to me. So, I mean, that really depends on your role. Most people I talk to, they say liens are the top priority. That’s a very clear cut, definitive sign. That there’s a problem on this project. But I know other things that are really popular as far as things that’ll, you know, tip you off to something bankruptcy and notice of completions, right. As far as bankruptcy goes, I was just working with a contractor recently who is out like $156,000 on a project. And they were weary to send something out. They sent out their preliminary notice, but they were weary to send anything else out because they said, Hey, you know we’ve started talking with the contractor again and we don’t want to do anything to, you know, get them upset at us and ruffle any feathers while I totally understand that, you know, relationships are the foundation of the industry, the lifeblood of construction at the same time when a bankruptcy does occur, basically what they’re gonna do is they’re gonna look and say, here’s the allotted money.

Speaker 1 (21:30):
And then they’re gonna start giving it out each person. And what you wanna do is you wanna make sure you’re prioritized you’re at the front of that line. If you imagine all the subcontractors lined up, like I was saying in an earlier example, so by retaining and leveraging your lean rights, what you’re doing is you’re protecting yourself and the event of these potentially unforeseen circumstances. And what that’s gonna do is then when you see in job radar, there’s a potential bankruptcy, you know, Hey, I gotta act fast. I wanna make sure I’m prioritized. And when they are doling out that money, I wanna make sure that I’m getting what I worked so hard for another great question. Okay. it looks like there’s another one here. Do you file the mechanics lean on the entire contract amount or only the outstanding amount? This is a super common question.

Speaker 1 (22:20):
And one that gives a lot of people trouble, because if that lie is filled out with the incorrect information, it could potentially put that whole claim at risk. So when filing a mechanics lie and taking it to court, the priority must be recovering the amount owed according to your construction contract. So the contractual amount includes the written and the signed change orders and any retainage that you’ve been billed for, but haven’t received payment on. So I hope that provides a little bit of clarity to the situation, right. Now looks like we have a couple other questions. One, what do I do with the information in a risk report?

Speaker 1 (23:06):
Well, so risk reports, right? It’s, that’s gonna be your vetting process, right? So they’re gonna provide a snapshot of your payment history how good of a partner they are, how quickly they pay. And it’s gonna be a really good indicator for payment reminders and demands. Oftentimes when I’m speaking with people and they don’t really have a way to vet new companies that they’re considering working with, this is really common. If you’re, you know, doing a lot of bids or if you’re branching into a new state risk reports are gonna be an invaluable tool because without taking any chance and without, you know, spending a lot of valuable time researching and cross-referencing companies this is going to be a pretty clear and definitive sign as to how they actually are. I mean, that we live in the age of the internet right now.

Speaker 1 (24:01):
We can send, you know, you can put just about anything out there. So it’s important to have something definitive. So last question from Donna about Utah, and then we can close it out. Hey, Donna, from Utah. The question is in Utah, we are required to go through the construction registry. Does level set take care of this? That’s a great question. So one of the important aspects about like, what level set does is it’s gonna be tailored to each state. So if you are in Utah, there are different requirements. Then you know, Florida, California, et cetera. So what we’re gonna do is we are going to help you in that situation, right. With Utah specific making sure that you’re doing everything according to the books, right? So whether that’s going through the construction registry in some states, you know, you have to get things notarized. You know, there are a lot of different things, so we’re gonna make sure that we’re adhering to all of those to ensure that, you know, everything is done up to code up to snuff and in accordance with your state’s specific guidelines.

Speaker 1 (25:13):
Well, it looks like we’re just about wrapping up here. So let’s go onto the last slide here. I wanna first say thank you so much to everyone who’s attending. Congratulations for investing like in yourself, in the business, taking time outta your day to learn a little bit more. You’ve had a great time here on this webinar. If you have any other questions, please reach out to me. You can email me. My name is Julian, J U L I a N level set.com. My phone number is (504) 285-4174. But if you don’t wanna write all that down, just go ahead and scan that QR code on the screen and I’ll reach out to you as soon as possible, but thank you so much to everyone for attending. As I mentioned before, you’ll receive a recording of this webinar and an email tomorrow.

Speaker 1 (26:08):
And I wanna say that, you know, today’s presentation, it was a high level overview of what it looks like to use the software to help you make data driven decisions for your business to avoid payment, risks and slow payment. But if you do want to dive a little bit deeper, scan that code, I’d be more than happy to talk a little bit more about your specific situation and everything. But thanks again, everyone have a great week, have a great weekend, have a great Memorial day weekend stay safe and enjoy the rest of may. Good luck for June.