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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 Gainesville single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to waste on employing a contractor who would blatantly produce subpar work. But in actuality, there are people out there who will try to con you out of your money and then abandon you. Fortunately, it is possible to find the trustworthy, reasonably-priced contractors you need for every project if you know a few basic tips and tricks – and what to steer clear of.

Ask for Referrals

As a property owner, you require contractors you can rely on to complete the task. It is a good notion to seek out industry experts whom you intend on employing on a consistent basis. 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. To get started, go seek out reputable property managers, real estate brokers, and other property owners for recommendations. You may look for prospective contractors online as well. Numerous websites make an effort to aid in the screening of contractors using client reviews or even expert advice.

Ask for References

Another tip for locating an excellent contractor (or two) is to request references. Top-notch contractors will be pleased to give you the names of one or more former customers who may share their feedback. Ask specific questions about the contractor’s dependability, affordability, response, and flexibility as soon as you have their name. Did they charge the agreed-upon amount? How did they handle your worries and changes? It is in your best interest to continue searching if you have doubts about the answers you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Before deciding on a candidate, it is essential to examine their credentials and online reviews thoroughly. Consult your state’s licensing authority and local court records for your contractor’s name. Employing unlicensed contractors could expose you to significant liability in relation to your rental property. Numerous complaints or lawsuits are an extremely negative indicator. The same applies if you can’t get the contractor to pick up the phone or return your messages. A few missed calls here and there might not necessarily suggest trouble, but if more than 24 hours go by with no reply, it’s time to search someplace else.

Throughout the bidding process, there are a few extra red flags to look out for. For example, look for negative online reviews or suspiciously low prices, and if you discover them, steer clear. A contractor who requests a sizable advance deposit should also be avoided. Anything above 15% should raise red flags. 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’ve screened a few possible contractors, get bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of the cost of the job as well as the methodology used by each contractor to determine their rates. Do not accept the lowest offer, particularly if it is substantially lower than the others. Extremely low quotes may indicate that the contractor is attempting to entice you with a low price before tacking on additional fees. 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 bid because it is likely to be the most realistic.

It may take a little while to start looking for the best contractors for your investment property’s repairs and improvements. But once you know who you can trust to do the work, that part of your property management strategy can turn into a quick and easy procedure. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Stellar, who has established contacts throughout Gainesville. Call us at 404-375-4639 for more information today.

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