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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 Oxbow single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to hire a contractor who consistently delivers subpar results. But in actuality, there are people out there who will try to con you out of your money and then abandon you. 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

In order to complete the work, you as a property owner need contractors you can trust. It’s a good idea to hunt for industry experts you’ll want to work with on a regular basis. 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. To get started, go seek out reputable property managers, real estate brokers, and other property owners for recommendations. Online research of prospective contractors is also possible. Numerous websites make an effort to aid in the screening of contractors using client reviews or even expert advice.

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 a list of references who can testify to their experience. Once you have a list of potential contractors, be sure to ask about their dependability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. 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 committing to a hire, it is essential to conduct a comprehensive examination of their licenses and online reviews. Look up the name of your contractor in local court records and with your state’s licensing board. You should avoid using unlicensed contractors because doing so could expose your rental property to significant liabilities. A high volume of complaints or lawsuits is extremely unfavorable. 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. Even though 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. For instance, keep an eye out for negative internet reviews or suspiciously cheap costs, and avoid the business if you discover them. Additionally, it’s recommended to steer clear of any contractor who requests a sizable upfront deposit. Concerns should be made for anything above 15%. 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. It is essential to discover someone who is consistently realistic regarding project costs and completion times, in addition to someone who can work efficiently.

Focus on Quality

Ask for a proposal from each potential contractor after you’ve vetted a few of them. The bid will indicate what you can expect to pay for the work and how each contractor calculates their rates. Don’t accept the lowest bid, particularly if it’s substantially lower than the others. Very low bids can indicate that the contractor is trying to get your business by offering a low price only to tack on extra 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. Aim for the middle bid because it is likely to be the most realistic.

Starting out, it may be time-consuming finding the highest-quality contractors for your investment property’s renovations and restorations. 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 Optimum, who has established contacts throughout Oxbow. Call us at 320-289-4649 for more information today.

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