Is the recession over?

As I write this it's August of 2009 and my area has been in a deep recession for 24 - 30 months (depends who you ask). But lately, I do see signs of improvement.What do you think, is the recession over?

You need to be a member of Land Surveyors United - Surveying Community & Forums to add thoughts!

Join Land Surveyors United - Surveying Community & Forums

Email me when people reply –


  • Eric, Your original post was dated August 2009. It's now April 2010. My answer to the question is... Yes, the recession is over. This is the new normal.
  • Not by far! The new element appears to be writing checks to pay for your services, then stop payment on the check and file bankruptcy. This has happen twice in the past two months. We call them flippers! They take an option on a parcel of land and/or project, find another party to sell to, close on the project, then file bankruptcy. Both are from out of state, totaling approximately $10,000.00, before court, attorney, bank and any other fees associated. So please be careful! Make sure you have a strong contract and all "i's" are dotted and "t's" crossed.
    • We had a very similiar issue. On a hand shake to keep the men working over the winter months we embarked on a hugh job. Needless to say, the days of men being as good as their word are gone in most cases. The agreement was in Feb. - March. Its now early september and we are still unpaid with NO return calls. The amount owed is in the six figure range. The impact we just had to layoff 3 of our men to manage payroll. This out fit was no "Rookie" outfit ether.
      Recessions are made by this type of poor foresight and the lack of accountability and integrety. not to mention pride, loyalty and fortitude.
      These words are not used anymore as basically the decision makers are all dogging each other because of practices like these mentioned.
      Are the days gone when Men could agree on a contract bind it with a hand shake and make it happen in all aspects? Or have we become so self oriented that we believe a peice of paper will bind us to a legal agreement that equally is exploited by lawyers and the like? The recession will be over in due time the question is what brought it on.
      Theodore Roosevelt:
      It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

      From a speech given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910

      The recession will be over when men think like this again...
    • Jim,

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I'd like to tell you that I was smarter than you and have avoided these types of situations, but I'd be lying. My observation over the years is that surveyors are far too trusting, myself included, and take on way too much risk, payment wise. I want to believe there is good in everyone, but what I have found is there is good in everyone only when it's convenient for them to be good. If they're short on cash or want to keep it for themselves, they are not going to pay you.

      Contracts help, but you must be willing to take legal action to enforce that contract. This takes more money, courage, and will most likely result in a retaliatory lawsuit claiming your work was somehow incorrect. It's a great world we live in.

      The only thing that I have found that works is to never release any work until you are paid in full. This also takes courage and sometimes results in your client going into hiding for a while, which still doesn't get you paid, but at least they are not completely benefiting from your work. It's funny how the most demanding and nagging client, who can call and email you several times a day pushing you to finish your work, will become so silent and will disappear completely (for a while)when presented with a bill and letter saying "your work is available, enclose your payment and let us know the best way to deliver it to you" ( I offer several options, like mail, they can pick it up, or I can deliver it to wherever). Eventually they will show up and ask to pay a portion of what is owed. This is the hardest part - Stick to your guns.

      Imagine going grocery shopping and just walking out without paying. I bet that wouldn't go over very well, now would it.

      I think that this pay-as-you-go system, coupled with a suitable retainer, should become the industry standard. The notion that we, as land surveyors, can and should be in the lending business is a misguided business model foisted on us by outsiders whose main interest is getting work for free, whether it is to delay payment or not pay at all. In either case, your business will not survive having money on the books, but chasing it all of the time.

      Clients who don't pay their bills in a timely manner, if at all, is one of the biggest problems to the land surveying industry.
This reply was deleted.