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How to Get Paid Without Having to File a Lien





Project Type


Experts in this video

Richard Kane
Richard Kane

We all know liens are incredibly powerful tools to get paid, but it’s always preferable to get paid without needing to file one. Fortunately, there are effective, reliable steps you can take to speed up payments without having to file a lien.

Sign up for this webinar where you’ll 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!)
  • You can stay ahead of payment problems with real-time alerts
  • 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 (00:03):
Welcome everyone. Today today’s wed. We’re excited to talk to you all about steps to take and tools to use, to get you paid without having to file lean. Now I know we have a mix of current level set customers here, as well as some people who may have just heard the name level set for the first time in the last few days, we’ll definitely cover are the basics of who we are and what we do for those of you that are new, as well as take a deeper dive into our tools that can help you get paid faster before moving on, just wanna say that we are recording this live session and you’ll receive a link to the recording in your email tomorrow, but feel free to share that recording with your team, your supervisor, or just feel free to watch it again, to refer back to for any information you may have missed or, or wanna hear again.

Speaker 1 (00:44):
And if you have any questions at all during the presentation, go ahead and enter that in the chat box and we will get to those kind of throughout the webinar. But then also block off a few minutes specifically at the end for some additional questions. Just do some quick introductions. You can see on the screen right there. That’s me. My name’s Richard and I am an account manager here at level set. And basically my job is to help our customers get the most out of their level set account using tools that we are gonna talk through today. And again, my job is to get you paid faster. So kind of moving on if this is your first time at a level set webinar, just wanna give you a quick overview of who we are in what we do. So we all know that the construction industry presents all sorts of challenges when it comes to getting paid well, level set is here to help you get paid.

Speaker 1 (01:30):
Our lean rights management software helps you track mechanics, leans, notice deadlines, verify job site information, and basically just makes it easier for you to manage your lean rights paperwork. We also provide access to construction attorney and other legal services, and we have all sorts of resources, you know, at your disposal, from our website, from profiles, outlining contractor payment histories to educational guidelines as well. So we have a full suite of products and whatnot and and help for you to make sure that your lean rights are protected and that you have all the information that you need.

Speaker 1 (02:04):
But specifically we’re here today to talk about how to get you paid without having to file a lie in the first place. And there’s a few tools that you can utilize within level set to make that happen. We’ve broken this down into three steps that, that when taken greatly reduce the need to file a lie. That first step in the process is to pre-qualify GCs and other contractors that you intend to work with using level sets, risk reports, maybe you’ve considered working with a new contractor, and you have no idea what their payment history is or how many disputes they’ve been involved in. Well, you can utilize our risk reports to essentially give you a report card on new potential companies. You’re looking to do business with on those risk reports. You’re gonna see they, like if they had any payment issues in the last 90 days what their payment speed is.

Speaker 1 (02:49):
So that can also show you how many days on average it takes the company in question to pay their subs and who they’re working with. I know most of the people probably in here have some type of net 30 or net 60 day payment period. So, you know, like the, the person of the, on the screen right there 142 days for their payment speed. Well, that’s something you’re gonna want to take a look at if you’re net 30 or net 60 working with them it also gives you basically just an overall payment risk score, giving you the ability to review a company payment history quickly and accurately. So it’s, it’s essentially, it’s a construction specific credit report. So you can build relationships with new contractors and feel confident that you’re gonna get paid in full and on time. Just a quick example.

Speaker 1 (03:32):
I always like to give with this, you know, I have a few customers that I use to use these on a regular basis. One that I was speaking to just a couple week ago it’s really helped them in a a variety of ways. One whenever they’re looking to do business with somebody new or maybe outta state, but run one of these risk reports on that company. And obviously if it comes back, well, it gives them peace of mind that they’re, they’re dealing with someone that’s, that’s honest and pays their people on time. But it’s also gone the other direction. It’s it’s come back where maybe they don’t pay their subs on time. Maybe they they’ve been difficult to work with. And then that’s allowed them to, to maybe skip that job or maybe do a little bit more due diligence or make sure that they’re everything is set up for them to, to make sure that they’re gonna get paid on time.

Speaker 1 (04:16):
So that is step one in the process. Step two, depending on what state you’re performing work in, there are documents that might need to go out prior to the start of the job. You can automate these documents within level set so that, you know, you’re always protecting your lean rights. Should you need to enforce them generally, that first document to go out is your preliminary notice. Now these can vary from state to state. Some states refer to them by different names that jazz pre leans or notices of furnishing. But they all do basically the same thing. They announce that you’re on the job and that you expect to get paid. You’re basically announcing that you’re there. And yeah, you’re you’re gonna be getting paid for that, that work you’re doing. After that simple payment reminder can be delivered. That’s something you send out after the job is complete as a friendly reminder that you are ready to get paid and then escalating it from, there are things like payment demands, which let your contractor know that you are serious about getting paid for the work you’ve completed.

Speaker 1 (05:12):
This is where, you know, we see most companies get paid if there’s a non-payment situation. So if you haven’t been paid in your terms, you send out that payment reminder, that’s that general little nudge, and then the payment demand follows there. And that’s where we see most people again, get paid is is with that payment demand letter. So it can be easy to ignore a friendly reminder, but that word demand does seem to get everyone to open up their checkbooks a little bit quicker. One thing we do hear though all the time that from a variety of customers is sometimes they might not wanna send out preliminary documents to customers because they’ve been working with them for years. That’s something that I hear on a daily basis. One thing that I’ll always say though, to those people is almost every single day that I’m talking to a new customer, a level set.

Speaker 1 (05:55):
One of the reasons why they, they came to us in the first place was because they’d been working with somebody for 15, 20 years. And that was the job that, you know, they decided not to pay. So we understand this is a relationship industry. Those are very important, but at the same time, you need to make sure that that you’re protected and sending out these preliminary notices will make sure that you’re keeping your lean rights protected and your company protected moving on to step three, job radar premium. So you’ve decided to work out work with a contractor based on information provided in your risk report. You sent out your proper preliminary notices through the level set platform. Well, now we wanna make sure that you have the same level of visibility and can address any potential payment issues immediately in real time, while you’re working on the project job, radar premium is a tool that provides you with valuable alerts that help you monitor the flow of payment on your job.

Speaker 1 (06:49):
With that, you’re gonna see things like payment issues or potential payment delays that are happening on your job. Lean alerts, letting you know that Alina has been filed on the job. That’s a pretty important one. If a company on your project has filed for bankruptcy again, great information to have at your disposal. And for those of you in some states that were notice of, of completions occur, you’ll get those notifications as well. I was speaking with someone just actually yesterday, excuse me who mentioned that having that notice of comp completion notification was very helpful because a job they were on, they were getting some of those notice of completion, but they hadn’t gotten paid yet. So they were able to contact the GC, see what’s going on and deal with it from there. The information the job radar premium provides, we’ll let you know what’s happening on your project real to time.

Speaker 1 (07:40):
So you can take those necessary actions on making sure your payments secured. If you’re like some of our customers though, that I referenced a few minutes ago, maybe some of you don’t always send out your preliminary notices to GCs you’ve been working with for years. Job radar is another set of eyes, basically for you on that job to make sure you’re keeping tabs on it. I like to think of job radar as a job radar premium as keeping like kind of a bird’s eye view on projects you’re on and consider it kind of getting inside Intel on your job. That’s not necessarily available to everyone unless you’re a subscriber of job radar premium.

Speaker 1 (08:17):
Also again, one of the things that you’re gonna notice when you click on it is a quick example is, you know, during construction, you’ll see new alerts and potential problems and risks that appear in your level set account. These will look something like what you’re seeing on your screen right there. A 2 million lean might have been filed. Well, that’s something you can click on and get more information going for it. Just last week, I was speaking to one of my accounts who was very interested to know if a lien had been filed on their job. They were about to start supplying materials for, for that project as well. Luckily there hadn’t been any liens or else they may have looked into options as, you know, getting upfront payments cash on delivery, maybe switching over to one of those models for that particular project. So luckily they did not have to do that in that case. But if there were liens, that’s something they may have looked to do into to make sure that their payments are protected.

Speaker 1 (09:14):
Well, you’re all here today because filing a lien’s a hassle requires money that you shouldn’t have to spend all these tools, risk reports, preliminary notices, job radar premium. They’re here to ensure that you get paid for the work that you performed, the work in conjunction with one another to keep you constantly informed and aware of any potential payment issues or any potential risks so that you can make the best decision possible for you and your company. As a quick reminder, we’ll answer any questions that you have at the end. So feel free to, again, throw those in the chat box. If you’d like to ask a question there. One thing though that I also wanted to share is that, you know, some feedback and success stories that we hear, so you can really understand how these tools would help you and your, your day to day work.

Speaker 1 (10:03):
And I’ll quickly, you know, as you can see on the screen right there, that’s a quote from Michelle White, from Wilson lumber that this helps me see if anyone else has filed a lie against a customer, or I can see if I might have payment problems with a certain contractor, because other people who have worked with that contractor can submit comments on their payment speed. I can also leave reviews myself if I’m having difficulties with a customer to let them know that feature has really helped with managing financial risk. So that’s really what it’s kind of all about. Y’all, it’s, it’s it’s risk management which sometimes can have a, a little bit of a negative connotation. We wanna make sure that we’re protected. But one of the, the cool things about especially the job radar for feature is like, if you look at that top notification right there, that it says that someone got paid.

Speaker 1 (10:50):
So I like to draw people’s attention to that as well, because when we’re talking about leans, we’re talking about risk management, our brains tend to go to the negative, well, what if this or that happened, but it’s also important to acknowledge the positive and that you can, these tools mentioned here today to see, also see that the flow of payments are on time, that you’re working with good and reputable, honest people that aren’t getting leans filed on them all the time or whatnot. And it gives you peace of mind. As I mentioned before, I I’ve worked with numerous customers who utilize these features and they, it really kind of helps ’em sleep a little bit better at now, knowing that they are, they’re dealing with, with good companies that pay their people on time within their terms. And they’re not experiencing payment issues that they’re gonna have to spend a whole lot of time trying to recover funds and whatnot.

Speaker 1 (11:40):
One thing I also wanted to share with you just, again, a couple more customer insights just a few more quotes from customers that, that use this three step method to, to, you know, avoid having to file a lane. We I think most of y’all have probably heard a trust pilot before. That’s kind of a contractor specific website that you can leave reviews on. One of the things that we’re rather proud of here at level set is we’ve got, I believe it’s over 3005 star reviews here now. So love seeing those come in. That’s, that’s a lot of people that are using level set and and getting value from it. But from one of those reviews before going into a job, wouldn’t you like to know if there are payment problems for those of us working in credit, knowing this information ahead of time is vital and allows us to make the best decisions.

Speaker 1 (12:25):
And this is what risk reports do. It helps level the playing field. So again, gives you that, that that inside in info to help you make good decisions. Another customer here that that’s featured on the screen there, Thomas box, the director of credit at Herby construction. We now have our preliminary notices going out automatically, and I just let him fly. I was hesitant at first, but it’s been very helpful. We’re all so busy. There’s never any downtime. So to have one less thing to do on our place is great. So again, that’s the customer that’s again, utilizing that lean rights management part that we talked about, our lean rights management software that can help actually automate sending out preliminary notices on your behalf, once you set it, it’s kind of a set it and forget it. You don’t have to to worry about it.

Speaker 1 (13:10):
So it’s sending it out there and making sure that you’re protected on those jobs. And then finally all you got Kirk, the credit and collections manager for waste connections. We always use job radar alerts as an opportunity to take a deeper dive into our own accounts receivable. We see this as an early warning system to take a look at potential problems. So again, it’s keeping an eye on what’s going on, the jobs that you’re on, monitoring the flow of payment just to make sure again, that you’re protected and that you have the information you need to take action if you have to.

Speaker 1 (13:44):
So kind of moving along here a little bit let’s see, I saw a few questions come in. If you have any others, it’s a great time to ask, but but yeah, we can move on to, to a couple questions. Let’s see, I’ve been working with the same company on jobs for the past three years, and there have been some slow pay problems. I’m worried that sending preliminary notices payment reminders will discourage future work together. Has that happened to any other customers and what was the outcome? Yeah, I mean, that’s pretty much what I referenced before. We hear that sentiment a lot. You know, you, maybe you’ve been working with somebody for 10 years, 15 years, something along those lines. You trust ’em, but as I mentioned before, those are sometimes the the, the working relationships that can get taken care of.

Speaker 1 (14:33):
It’s, it’s great to make sure that, you know, you still have those good relationships and we wanna maintain that relationship, but at the same time, you know, you always wanna make sure that you’re protecting yourself and your payment as well. So in my opinion, I always tell my customers that it’s, it’s solid communication, as long as you’re communicating with people that these are documents that you’re going out and that that you’re making sure that you’re you’re taking care of your, you know, your lean rights that it’s just business. Most of the time people understand that. So, so that’s usually the you know, a way to handle that, that, or navigate that conversation, which can be a little tough sometimes. Right. Another question here, what can I do with information that’s in the risk report? Well, that’s a great question. And as I mentioned before, you know, think of the, a risk report, like a construction specific credit report.

Speaker 1 (15:27):
Think about your own personal life when you are, let’s say going to buy a car, which I don’t know if anyone could do that anymore. Cars are getting expensive and gas is getting too, too crazy, but if you’re, if you’re gonna go buy a car or make any big purchase, what’s that what’s that company gonna do on you. They’re gonna run a, probably a credit report on you, and they’re gonna get a snapshot of who you are as a as, as a a credit and whatnot and what type of payment history you have, and then that’s gonna affect the type of terms they deal with with you and interest rates and whatnot. So that’s kind of what we do with these risk reports. It’s a snapshot of their payment history as a construction company. One thing I do wanna highlight specifically is that it is construction specific information. We have a lot of customers that my use other risk or credit reports or whatnot, which again, great information, not saying there’s anything wrong with those, but the levels at ones it is construction specific. So it really just details how good of a partner they are, how quickly they pay and just a good indicator indicator for, you know, payment reminders and demands and whatnot. All right, let’s see what else we have.

Speaker 1 (16:36):
What type of information does job radar show that would matter most to me will, I would probably say the one that I hear the by far the most are the lean alerts cuz that’s kind of the one that, that kind of gets everyone their hair raised a little bit. So they see that those liens are going out on jobs. And then that really makes you make sure that, that you’re, you’re set up from, from your end. So hopefully you’ve sent out your preliminary notices. I know they’re not required in every single state, but they’re, they’re required in most and knowing your lean deadlines or your preliminary notice or notice of furnish deadlines is pretty important because again, it’s different for every state. I know California, you have your 20 days, I think it’s Oregon or Washington. I wanna say it’s like eight or nine days.

Speaker 1 (17:24):
Like pretty, pretty quick. Like you, you gotta have your your ducks in a row pretty fast to make sure that you’re protecting your lean rights. So again, seeing those notices come through on job radar, like, Hey, there’s a lie being filed on my job. Well, you might wanna check into that because if, if you file a lean or something like that, to make sure that you’re getting paid, you want to get to the front of the line right there. So if you’re the last person to to take action, you’re probably gonna be the last person to get paid or maybe not even get paid at all. It also covers things like, again, I think I mentioned before bankruptcies that’s another one that I was speaking with a customer with just the other day because they had, they had got a notification that a company they were dealing with was filing for bankruptcy.

Speaker 1 (18:06):
Okay. That’s, that’s pretty crazy. So obviously they went, started communicating with that that contractor they were working with, they actually secured their payment, which was, which was great before the company file fully filed for bankruptcy and whatnot. So, so again, it’s, it’s, it’s just it’s information to help you kind of get out ahead of, of everything. So trying to keep it, trying to be mindful of everyone’s a time here today to make sure that you know, we get you out at at one 30. So I want to kind of quick, quickly condense all that information for you again. So again, you’re gonna get the email here tomorrow with all that information and this recording and feel free to reach out to us. If you have any questions at all, that’s what we’re here for. We wanna make sure that you’re protecting your lean rights, you’re protecting your company and whatnot, and you’re getting paid what you, what you earn on time and within your terms, thank you for joining us today. And again, appreciate your time.