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Contractors: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid

Palmetto Bay Contractor and Property Owner Shaking HandsOne problem you might encounter with investing in Palmetto Bay single-family rental properties is hiring capable, reliable contractors for your property improvements and repairs. No investor will want to waste anything on hiring a contractor that provides anything less than high-quality work. Thankfully, you can avoid low-quality contractors and find the best ones. How? Here are a few simple tips and tricks.

Essential to your goal as a property owner are quality contractors who will deliver good work. There are many industry professionals you can choose from. If you hire them to do work, they won’t say no to the opportunity. This way, you can spare yourself additional and unnecessary expenses. But to find contractors you can build long-term business relationships with, you first need to do your research. If you know some trusted real estate agents, property managers, or even property owners, it would be wise to seek their counsel regarding contractors and whatnot. You can also research potential contractors online. If you need help with verification, you can check online for sites that vet contractors through customer reviews or even professional recommendations.

A referral is an excellent way to find great contractors. Quality contractors would gladly offer the names of people who can vouch for them and what they are capable of providing. Once you get a name, be sure to ask specific questions about the contractor’s reliability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Was a price agreed upon and followed? Were they professional in dealing with any concerns and changes? If you aren’t satisfied with the answers to these questions, keep looking.

Once you have several potential contractors vetted, ask them to give you a bid. The bid will provide you with a blueprint of how contractors usually calculate their rates, as well as how much you can expect to pay for the work. However tempting the lowest bid might be, it would be wise not to dive right into it, especially when it’s significantly lower than the others. Some contractors bait clients into going for very low bids at a low price, only to surprise them with additional charges later on. These low bids could also point to a red flag — the contractor might be evading the required work permits that need to be obtained. However, it’s also wise not to overpay for your contractor’s work. Aim for the middle bid, which will likely be the most realistic.

In keeping with due diligence, make it a point to be aware of potential warning signs that could spare you from getting into potentially troublesome transactions. Check with your state licensing board and search local court records for your contractor’s name. Contractors who don’t have a license shouldn’t even be entertained since hiring them could make your rental property a serious liability. A large number of complaints or lawsuits are troublesome. Just as it is a bad sign when the contractor doesn’t answer the phone or respond 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.

There are more warning signs to be wary of during the bidding process. If a contractor asks for a large deposit up front, that should stir suspicion. Anything more than 15% should be cause for concern. Also suspicious is when a contractor demands unlimited time and materials or makes big promises about how much they can do within a specific timeframe. Essential to your goals are project costs and completion times that are achievable and realistic. Look for a contractor who is capable of doing this.

Looking for the right contractors for your investment property improvements and repairs can initially cost you time and resources. But when you come across the right contractors, though, you can trust them to get the job done. Once you’ve passed this hump, property management should be smoother. Can’t be bothered? Not a problem. At Real Property Management Dade, we make sure you can still achieve the things you want to. Allow us to do the work for you. Please contact us online or call us at 305-501-1511 to learn more about how we can serve you.

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