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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 Poughkeepsie single-family rental properties can be locating competent and dependable contractors for property maintenance and renovations. Few investors have the time or resources to squander on a contractor who would blatantly produce subpar work. However, the truth is that there are con artists and other people out there who will attempt to scam you for your money and then abandon you. Fortunately, it is possible to find the trustworthy, reasonably-priced contractors you need for every project if you know a few basic tips and tricks – and what to steer clear of.

Ask for Referrals

As a property owner, you require contractors you can rely on to complete the task. It’s a smart idea to search for industry experts you’ll want to rehire over and over again. This will save you a great deal of time and money. To find contractors with whom you can develop long-term business relationships, you have to start with research. Requesting referrals from respectable real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners is an excellent location to begin. Additionally, you can look up prospective contractors online. Many websites make an effort to assist in vetting contractors through client evaluations or even expert suggestions.

Ask for References

Another tip for locating an excellent contractor (or two) is to request references. A quality contractor will gladly provide you with the contact information of one or more former customers who can attest to their expertise. Ask specific questions about the contractor’s dependability, affordability, response, and flexibility as soon as you have their name. Did they adhere to the agreed price? How did they handle your issues and changes? It’s best to keep looking if you have any reservations about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

It’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive investigation of licenses and online reviews before making a hiring decision. Check with the state licensing board and local court records for the name of your contractor. Use of unlicensed contractors is not advised as this may expose your rental property to significant liability. Numerous complaints or lawsuits are an extremely negative 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 might not necessarily suggest trouble, but if more than 24 hours go by with no reply, it’s time to search someplace else.

Other red flags to look out for throughout the bidding process include the following. For instance, keep a look out for poor internet reviews or suspiciously cheap prices and avoid the site 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 limitless resources (time and supplies) or make broad declarations about how much they can accomplish in a short amount of time. It’s important to select someone who is realistic about project expenses and completion dates even though you do need someone who can work efficiently.

Focus on Quality

Once you’ve screened a few possible contractors, get bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of how much you may expect to pay for the service and how each provider determines their rates. Do not accept the lowest offer, particularly if it is substantially lower than the others. Extremely cheap bids may occasionally be an indication that the contractor is trying to entice you with a low price just to tack on extra costs later. Additionally, they can indicate that the contractor does not intend to secure the necessary work permits. Likewise, it is essential not to overpay for your contractor’s task. Aim for the realistic average bid.

It can take some time at first to find the correct contractors for your investment property’s repairs and improvements. That part of your property management strategy, however, may become a quick and easy procedure once you know who you can count on to complete the work. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Priority, who has established contacts throughout Poughkeepsie. Call us at 845-363-6776 for more information today.

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