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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 siteOne of the most difficult aspects of investing in Auburn single-family rental properties can be locating competent and dependable contractors for property maintenance and renovations. Few investors are willing to spend time or money on a contractor that will merely do subpar work. But in actuality, there are people out there who will attempt to deceive you out of your money and then leave you. Fortunately, finding trustworthy, fairly priced contractors for every work is possible if you know a few quick tips and methods as well as what to avoid.

Ask for Referrals

You need dependable contractors to complete the work if you’re a property owner. It is a good notion to search for professionals in your industry that you will want to hire repeatedly. The time and money you save will be substantial. But you must first conduct research in order to locate contractors with whom you can establish a long-term business relationship. Requesting recommendations from reputable real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners is an excellent starting point. Online research of prospective contractors is also possible. Numerous websites attempt to assist users in vetting contractors through customer evaluations and even expert recommendations.

Ask for References

Asking for references is yet another tip for locating a top contractor (or two). 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 price remained the same? How well did they address your concerns and implement your changes? It’s best to keep looking if you have any reservations about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Do a comprehensive background investigation on a candidate’s credentials and internet reviews before deciding to hire them. Look for the name of your contractor by consulting your state’s licensing board and local court records. 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. In the same way, if you are having trouble getting the contractor to pick up the phone or return your messages, it is their responsibility to do so in a timely manner. A few missed calls here and there may not necessarily indicate difficulty, but if more than 24 hours go by with no reply, it’s time to go elsewhere.

While the bid process is underway, there are a few other red flags to look out for. For instance, keep a look out for poor internet reviews or suspiciously cheap prices and avoid the site if you discover them. Also, it is recommended to avoid employing any contractor who requires a large deposit up front. Anything above 15% should raise red flags. The same holds true if the contractor indicates that they will require limitless resources (time and supplies) or make broad declarations about how much they can accomplish in a short amount of time. While efficiency is important, it’s as important to hire someone who continually keeps project expenses and completion dates in perspective.

Focus on Quality

Once you have vetted a number of potential contractors, solicit bids from them. Your understanding of the cost of the work and the methodology used by each contractor will be based on the quote. Don’t accept the lowest offer, even though it could be alluring, especially if it is substantially less than the others. Extremely low proposals may indicate that the contractor intends to add additional fees later. They could also be an indication that the contractor does not intend to obtain the necessary work permits. Keep in mind not to overpay for your contractor’s work. Target the median bid, which will likely be the most reasonable.

Starting out, it may be time-consuming finding the highest-quality contractors for your investment property’s renovations and restorations. 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 Thrive, who has established contacts throughout Auburn. Call us at 603-255-4100 for more information today.

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