As any experienced property investor will tell you, finding a crew of reliable, expert home-improvement professionals to help you keep your property in good condition is crucial to your success as a landlord. In fact, many people choose to use property managers because they typically have longstanding relationships with a variety of contractors, and are often able to negotiate the best prices for their services.
Whether you're looking to hire a general contractor for a major construction project, or just putting together a basic maintenance crew to keep your rental's systems in top shape, here are some tips you can use along the way:
When looking for a home improvement professional with a solid reputation and extensive list of references, one of the best ways to start your search is by asking your family, friends, colleagues, and other service professionals you like and trust for recommendations. Ironically, some of the best contractors are often some of the hardest to find, because they often get so much business through word of mouth that they don't need to advertise. In fact, according to Money Magazine's Josh Garskof, contractors who solicit business door-to-door or send flyers in the mail are contractors you should be skeptical about hiring.
If your word-of-mouth search comes up empty, your next best bet is to look online. Google reviews, Yelp reviews, and other website comments can be a good source of information and feedback that will help you find and evaluate potential contractors. In addition, depending on what kind of project you're hiring for, some contractors may have online portfolios displaying photos of some of their completed projects.
Once you've done your research and made a list of the potential contractors you think might be right for your home-improvement or maintenance project, taking the following steps will help ensure you get the best results for the best price:
Once you've identified the perfect contractor for your job, it's time to draw up the contract. This document should include start and finish dates, the payment schedule, a description of the materials to be used, and instructions for handling any changes to the project plan. It should also specify who is responsible for things like securing permits and handling clean-up tasks.
With a good selection process in place and a solid contract in hand, you'll stand an excellent chance of ending up happy with your contractor and with how your project turns out.