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Hiring Contractors: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid

Two property managers hiring contractors and shaking hands Hiring qualified, dependable contractors for property improvements and repairs can be one of the most onerous facets of Greensboro single-family rental properties investment. Few investors have the time or resources to hire contractors with a bad track record. However, the reality is that there are con artists and others who will strive to defraud you and leave you hanging. Fortunately, it is possible to discover the reliable, reasonably-priced contractors you seek for every project if you know a few simple tips and methods — and what to avoid.

Ask for Referrals

You want dependable contractors to wrap up the job when you’re a property owner. It is a good idea to search for industry experts that you will want to hire repeatedly. This will help you save a ton of time and money. To discover contractors with whom you can form long-term business partnerships, you must first conduct research. Searching for references from credible real estate agents, Greensboro property managers, and some other property owners is an excellent starting point. You may look for prospective contractors online as well. Some sites make an effort to assist in screening contractors by using client feedback or industry recommendations.

Ask for References

Requesting references is a good suggestion for selecting an excellent contractor (or two). A quality contractor would gladly supply you with the contact information of one or more former clients who can testify to their experience. Ask specific questions about the contractor’s dependability, affordability, response, and flexibility once you have their name. Did they adhere to the agreed upon cost? How successfully did they handle your requests for modifications and concerns? It is in your best interests to keep searching if you have qualms about the answers you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Before settling on a contractor, it is necessary to extensively examine their credentials and online evaluations. Look up the name of your contractor in local court records and with your state’s licensing board. Using unlicensed contractors is not recommended since you risk taking significant legal responsibility for your rental property. It’s not good when there are plenty of complaints or litigation. The same holds true if you are having trouble getting the contractor to pick up the phone or return your calls. Even though a few missed calls may not necessarily indicate danger, give it more than 24 hours before following up.

Other red flags to look out for throughout the bidding process include the following. Consider keeping an eye out for things like bad internet reviews or eerily low costs, and avoid them if you find them. Also, it is advised to avoid hiring any contractor who requests a substantial deposit upfront. Concern should be expressed if the percentage exceeds 15%. The same holds true if the contractor indicates that they will require limitless resources (time and supplies) or makes sweeping claims about how much they can accomplish in a short amount of time. Not only do you need someone who can work efficiently, but you must also select someone who is consistently realistic regarding project prices and completion times.

Focus on Quality

After vetting several possible contractors, seek bids from them. The bid will indicate what you can expect to pay for the job and how each provider calculates their prices. Although it may be tempting, you should not accept the lowest offer, especially if it is much cheaper than the others. Very low bids may indicate that the contractor is attempting to entice you with a low price before tacking on additional fees. These can also suggest that the contractor has no intention of obtaining the necessary work permits. Likewise, it is essential not to overpay for your contractor’s labor. In order to be the most realistic, aim for the medium bid.

Initially, it can be time-consuming to identify the most qualified contractors for your investment property’s renovations and repairs. Yet, once you are aware of whom you can count on to complete the work, that part of your property management strategy may become a quick and easy procedure. Contacting Real Property Management of the Triad, who has connections all around Greensboro, will save you time. Give us a call at 336-355-6677 or 336-777-7444 to learn more!

Originally Published on March 27, 2020

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