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Contractors: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid

Airway Heights Contractor and Property Owner Shaking HandsSomething that might serve as a difficulty for you when you are investing in Airway Heights single-family rental properties can be hiring capable, reliable contractors for your property improvements and repairs. It’s rare to find an investor who is willing to take a risk on hiring a contractor who doesn’t provide high-quality work — it’s just a waste of time. Thankfully, you can avoid low-quality contractors and find the best ones. How? Here are a few simple tips and tricks.

As a property owner, getting good contractors is essential to getting good work done. Tap into the pool of industry professionals who are ready to be hired to do great work! That way, you can save some cash. But to find contractors you can build long-term business relationships with, you first need to do your research. One way you can be thorough and safe is by being advised by trusted real estate agents, property managers, and even other property owners. You can also research potential contractors online. Vetting contractors through customer reviews or even professional recommendations are easily accessible on the internet. You can use this to your advantage.

One way to get in touch with great contractors is through referrals. Quality contractors will be transparent about their service. One way you can verify this is by asking them for a name or two of previous clients who can vouch for them. Once you get a name, be sure to ask specific questions about the contractor’s reliability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Was there a thorough discussion before agreeing upon a price? If there were concerns and changes, how did they handle it? 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. Be wary of very low bids. This might be the doing of a contractor who is trying to hook a deal for low prices, to charge additional expenses later. Or, the contractor may be avoiding obtaining the required work 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.

Be thorough in your search for good deals, and be aware of potential warning signs such as poor customer feedback, or even questionably cheap rates. Check with your state licensing board and search local court records for your contractor’s name. At all costs, avoid contractors who don’t have a license. This will expose your rental property to serious liability. A large number of complaints or lawsuits are a serious problem. 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.

There are more warning signs to be wary of during the bidding process. As an example, don’t deal with a contractor who asks for a large deposit upfront. 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. In your search for a contractor who is both effective and efficient, don’t forget to set your project costs and completion times realistically.

Seeking the right contractors for your investment property improvements and repairs can take a while. But when the time finally comes that you come across the one person who can get the job done, you can be sure that your property management journey will significantly smoothen out. If all of these details are a bit too intimidating for you, let us know. At Real Property Management Spokane County, we work with you and for you. If you want to know more about what we can do to serve you, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 509-462-1042.

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