Investment property owners know that finding good contractors and vendors to work on your rental home is one of the toughest parts of being a landlord.
At Solutions for Real Estate, we are always interviewing contractors to add to our preferred vendors list. We look for professionals who are licensed and insured, with great communication skills and a reliable work ethic. You want fair prices and you want a contractor who can be trusted with your tenants.
It may seem like you’re looking for a unicorn, but if you partner with a great property management company, you won’t have to worry about where to hire great contractors.
Look for Referrals from People you Trust
When you’re looking for a dentist or a hairdresser, you ask for referrals. You can do the same thing when you’re looking for a plumber or an HVAC tech. Talk to colleagues, neighbors, family members, and other investors. Find out who they use, and give those contractors a call.
One thing to note – if you do hire based on a referral and you’re not impressed – don’t complain about it to the referral source. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know it’s not fun. People make recommendations based on their own experiences; they won’t necessarily be the same as your experiences.
Conduct an Online Search
Get online and look for contractors in your area. Keep in mind that many of the companies that pop up first are perhaps paying for advertising. Dig a little deeper and look for companies that are established and reputable, with educational websites full of good information.
Another useful tool is to go to the larger hardware stores and look for contractors who are seeking work. You’ll run into them in the stores and you’ll see their work vans in the parking lot. Take pictures and look up the companies online. You have to do your due diligence so you can be sure you’re getting someone good. Look for lawsuits, disputes, and customer complaints. Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Work with Professional Property Managers
The best way to leave your investment property in the hands of reliable contractors is by working with a professional Columbus property management company. We screen contractors as carefully as we screen tenants. We ask for a copy of their workers compensation insurance, licenses, and liability insurance. We ask them to sign an agreement that covers our expectations, the scope of work they’ll do for us, and the responsibilities they have to us, our owners, and our tenants.
Even with all of our background checking and screening, we still run into issues from time to time. It can be difficult to find an excellent contractor, but we recognize the value of finding a company that’s responsive and well-trained.
If you’re having trouble finding contractors to work for you, please contact us at Solutions for Real Estate. We’d be happy to make a referral or show you how we can save you time, money, and headaches when it comes to maintaining your rental home.