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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 siteThe hiring of competent, dependable contractors to handle your property improvements and repairs can be one of the most difficult aspects of investing in Central single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to squander on a contractor who would blatantly produce subpar work. In actuality, however, there are con artists and others who will attempt to defraud you of your money and leave you stranded. Fortunately, if you’re familiar with a few simple tips and tricks – and what to avoid – it is possible to find the trustworthy, reasonably priced contractors you require for every project.

Ask for Referrals

As a property owner, you require contractors you can rely on to complete the task. It’s a smart idea to search for industry experts you’ll want to rehire over and over again. By doing this, you can save a ton of time and money. However, in order to locate contractors with whom you can develop long-term business relationships, you must first conduct research. Inquiring about recommendations from reliable property managers, real estate brokers, and other property owners is a fantastic place to start. Online research is another option for finding a contractor. Through comments from customers and even professional recommendations, a number of sites attempt to help with the screening of contractors.

Ask for References

Another tip for locating an excellent contractor (or two) is to request references. A quality contractor will gladly provide you with the contact information of one or more former customers who can attest to their expertise. Once you have a list of potential contractors, be sure to ask about their dependability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Has the deal agreed upon been honored? How did they handle your worries and changes? If you have doubts about the answers you receive, you should continue searching.

Research Your Top Picks

It’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive investigation of licenses and online reviews before making a hiring decision. Look up the name of your contractor in local court records and with your state’s licensing board. Employing unlicensed contractors could expose you to significant liability in relation to your rental property. A high volume of complaints or lawsuits is extremely unfavorable. The same applies if you can’t get the contractor to pick up the phone or return your messages. While 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.

Throughout the bidding process, there are a few extra red flags to look out for. Consider keeping an eye out for things like negative internet reviews or eerily low costs, and avoid them if you find them. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid hiring any contractor who requests a substantial deposit up front. Concern should be expressed if the percentage exceeds 15%. The same holds true if the contractor says that they are going to need an unlimited amount of time and materials, or if they make exorbitant assertions about how much they can do within a specific time frame. It’s important to select someone who is realistic about project expenses and completion dates even though you do need someone who can work efficiently.

Focus on Quality

Ask for a proposal from each potential contractor after you’ve vetted a few of them. Your understanding of the cost of the work and the methodology used by each contractor will be based on the quote. Do not accept the lowest offer, particularly if it is substantially lower than the others. Extremely cheap bids may occasionally be an indication that the contractor is trying to entice you with a low price just to tack on extra costs later. They can also indicate that the contractor has no intention of obtaining the necessary work permits. At the same time, it is essential not to overpay for a contractor’s services. In order to be the most realistic, aim for the medium bid.

It can take some effort at first to find the perfect contractors for the upgrades and repairs you need to make to your investment property. However, once you are aware of who you can count on to complete the work, that part of your property management strategy may become a quick and easy procedure. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Baton Rouge, who has established contacts throughout Central. Call us at 225-389-6860 for more information today.

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