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Contractors: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid

Bixby Contractor and Property Owner Shaking HandsA particularly difficult challenge of investing in Bixby single-family rental properties can be hiring capable, reliable contractors for your property improvements and repairs. Investors will want to invest in hiring a contractor that provides high-quality work. Hopefully, you land yourself a deal with the best contractors with a few simple tips and tricks.

As a property owner, finding good contractors is key to getting work done properly. Tap into the pool of industry professionals who are ready to be hired to do great work! In so doing, you can set aside more money. But to find contractors you can build long-term business relationships with, you first need to do your research. If you have queries regarding contractors, you can bring them to trusted real estate agents, property managers, and even other property owners. You can also research potential contractors online. The web contains many resources that can vet contractors through customer reviews or even professional recommendations.

If you know people who have had experience in working with great contractors, feel free to ask them about it! Referrals provide you with a network of options. Quality contractors will have a good client list. Go over this list and, if possible, contact a few names to verify the kind of services these contractors provide. Once you get a name, be sure to ask specific questions about the contractor’s reliability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Did both parties agree on a price beforehand? Regarding any concerns and changes, did they take it well? If you’re still unsure even after these questions, feel free to keep looking.

Once you have several potential contractors vetted, ask them to give you a bid. The bid will provide you with a glimpse into the usual rates of what to pay for work, as well as how these contractors might calculate the expenses of their services. The lowest bid, especially if it is significantly lower than the rest, should raise suspicions. It might be tempting, but be careful when entertaining these bids — better to not consider them at all. Very low bids might be indicative of a contractor who is trying to get deals with a low price, only to include 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. Also, you shouldn’t have to overpay for your contractor’s work. Aim for the middle bid, which will likely be the most realistic.

In your search for good contractors, be aware of potential warning signs. This can come in the form of bad reviews or suspicious pricing. Check with your state licensing board and search local court records for your contractor’s name. Don’t bother considering contractors if they don’t have all the requirements and licensing. This will only bring potential serious liability to your rental property. A large number of complaints or lawsuits are a serious problem. 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. For instance, be wary of contractors who demand a large deposit upfront. Anything more than 15% should be cause for concern. When a contractor speaks of the need for unlimited time and materials or makes big promises about how much they can do within a specific timeframe, you should step back and reconsider your options. Project costs and completion times — these should always be set realistically. When a contractor does so during the discussion, that should show some form of promise and potential.

Seeking the right contractors for your investment property improvements and repairs can take a while. However, once you’ve found the contractor who can get the job done, property management will become significantly easier. Let us do what we do best, for you. At Real Property Management Tulsa, there’s never a shortage of competent contractors waiting to be hired. If you are interested in learning more or have additional questions, please contact us online or by phone at 918-532-7020 today.

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