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Contractor Hiring 101: Tips, Tricks, and Red Flags to Avoid

Young couple talking to construction worker about housing design plans at construction siteHiring competent, trustworthy contractors to handle your property improvements and repairs can be one of the most difficult aspects of investing in Shoreline single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to waste on employing a contractor who would blatantly produce subpar work. However, the truth is that there are con artists and other people out there who will attempt to scam you of your money and then abandon you. It is fortunately possible to identify the trustworthy, fairly priced contractors you require for every work by being aware of a few basic tips, methods, and things to avoid.

Ask for Referrals

You need trustworthy contractors to complete the work if you’re a property owner. It’s a good idea to hunt for industry experts you’ll be interested in employing time and time again to complete work for you. This will help you save a ton of time and money. To find contractors with whom you can develop long-term business relationships, you have to start with research. Asking for referrals from reputable property managers, real estate brokers, and other property owners is a wonderful place to start. Additionally, you can look up prospective contractors online. Numerous websites attempt to assist users in vetting contractors through customer evaluations and even expert recommendations.

Ask for References

Asking for references is another trick for finding a fantastic contractor (or two). Top-notch contractors will be pleased to give you the names of one or more former customers who may share their feedback. Once you have a contractor’s name, be sure to find out about their dependability, expense, responsiveness, and flexibility. Did they honor the agreed upon price? How effectively did they address your concerns and make adjustments? It’s best to keep looking if you have any reservations about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Before committing to a hire, it is essential to conduct a comprehensive examination of their licenses and online reviews. Check with the state licensing board and local court records for the name of your contractor. Using unlicensed contractors could expose your rental property to considerable liability, therefore you should avoid doing so. A huge number of grievances or lawsuits is a very dangerous indicator. The same holds true if you have trouble getting the contractor to pick up the phone or return your messages. Even though a few missed phone calls are not necessarily indicative of trouble, if more than twenty-four hours pass without a response, you should move on.

Other red flags to look out for throughout the bidding process include the following. For example, look for negative online reviews or suspiciously low prices, and if you discover them, steer clear. Also, it is recommended to avoid employing any contractor who requires a large deposit up front. Concerns should be made for anything above 15%. The same holds true if the contractor indicates that they will require unlimited time and resources or makes sweeping claims about how much they can accomplish in a certain amount of time. Finding someone who is continuously realistic about project expenses and completion dates is as important to finding someone who can work efficiently.

Focus on Quality

Once you have evaluated several potential contractors, request bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of how much you may expect to pay for the service and how each provider determines their rates. Although it may be tempting, you should not accept the lowest offer, particularly if it is significantly lower than the others. Extremely cheap bids may occasionally be an indication that the contractor is attempting to get your business by offering a low price only to tack on extra fees later. This may also indicate that the contractor has no intention of obtaining the necessary work permits. Likewise, it is essential not to overpay for your contractor’s task. Aim for the middle offer because it will probably be the most reasonable.

It can take some time at first to find the correct contractors for your investment property’s repairs and improvements. But once you determine whom you can rely on to complete the task, this aspect of your property management strategy can become streamlined and effective. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Eclipse, who has established contacts throughout Shoreline. Call us at 425-209-0252 for more information today.

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