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Contractors: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid

Shelburne Contractor and Property Owner Shaking HandsAn issue that you might encounter when investing in Shelburne single-family rental properties can be hiring capable, reliable contractors for your property improvements and repairs. High-quality work contractors are what investors are looking to hire. An investor would want nothing less than that. A good thing, though, is that you can avail of the best contractors on the market, by just following a few simple tips and tricks.

As a property owner, it would serve you well to get in touch with competent contractors who will keep their end of the bargain. Tap into the pool of industry professionals who are ready to be hired to do great work! By doing this, you’re able to mitigate your costs by sparing yourself unnecessary expenses. But to find contractors you can build long-term business relationships with, you first need to do your research. If you have queries regarding contractors, you can bring them to trusted real estate agents, property managers, and even other property owners. You can also research potential contractors online. Some websites can vet contractors through customer reviews or even professional recommendations.

Another piece of advice would be this: don’t count out referrals. They’re a good place to start when searching for great contractors. Quality contractors will have a good client list. Go over this list and, if possible, contact a few names to verify the kind of services these contractors provide. Once you get a name, be sure to ask specific questions about the contractor’s reliability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Was the agreed price followed? If there were concerns and changes, how did they handle it? Asking these questions shouldn’t tie you to a commitment. If you still have doubts, you can keep asking or keep searching.

Once you have several potential contractors vetted, ask them to give you a bid. The bid will provide you an idea as to how much to pay for the work. It also gives you an idea as to how the contractor calculates rates. The lowest bid might seem tempting, but always take these bids with a grain of salt — especially when they’re significantly lower than the rest. Very low bids might be indicative of a contractor who is trying to get deals with a low price, only to include additional charges later on. It could even be that this contractor is trying to find ways to obtain work without the required permits. It’s also just as important that you don’t end up overpaying for your contractor’s work. Aim for the middle bid, which will likely be the most realistic.

In your search for good contractors, be aware of potential warning signs. This can come in the form of bad reviews or suspicious pricing. Check with your state licensing board and search local court records for your contractor’s name. Don’t bother considering contractors if they don’t have all the requirements and licensing. This will only bring potential serious liability to your rental property. A large number of complaints or lawsuits is an automatic red flag. Another red flag is when the contractor rarely answers the phone or responds to messages. While a few missed phone calls are not a sure sign of trouble, if more than 24 hours pass without a response, move on.

Other warning signs can be observed during the bidding process. Contractors who demand a large deposit upfront can be problematic. Anything more than 15% should be cause for concern. It should also be questionable when a contractor speaks of the need for unlimited time and materials or makes big promises about how much they can do within a specific timeframe. In setting your goals, work with a contractor who can realistically estimate projected costs and completion times with common sense.

Seeking the right contractors for your investment property improvements and repairs can take a while. But when you do find a trustworthy contractor who can get the job done, you can expect your property management to become less difficult and demanding. If all of these details are a bit too intimidating for you, let us know. At Real Property Management Sterling, we work with you and for you. If you are interested in learning more or have additional questions, please contact us online or by phone at 802-861-6468 today.

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