Investing in real estate often requires an investment in either elbow grease or contracting services. While you may be handy with a hammer, it's impossible to do it all by yourself. Plus, if you own properties far from home, you have no other choice but to hire a contractor. Use the tips below to find the right contractors for your real estate investment:
Create a list of possible contractors – You have to start somewhere. Look for contractors online, ask other real estate professionals in the area for referrals, and get names and numbers from signs in the local neighborhood.
Pre-screen by asking the right questions – Start by asking each prospective contractor about their capabilities and experience. This is crucial in ensuring that the company you choose is capable of doing every part of the job. If the job is big, some parts of it may need to be subcontracted out. Ask each contractor specifically how they will handle areas outside of their expertise. Will they subcontract the work? Recommend another contractor you can hire directly?
Interview each contractor – Once you've found a few promising contractors, schedule interviews with each one to get a better sense of their qualifications and their commitment to meeting your needs.
Check references – So far, so good. You've found several qualified contractors. Now, check their references. Don't just ask for them, call each reference and find out about their experiences with the contractor. Ask about the quality of the work, timeliness, flexibility, cleanup, and other traits that are important to you.
Request an itemized bid – Itemized bids make it much easier to compare prices.
Meet each job foreman – As you get closer to making a decision, ask to meet with the actual job foreman. This is the person who will make the job happen, so it's important to build a relationship and make sure that there's a good fit between the foreman's priorities and yours.
Fortunately, finding contractors isn't as hard as it sounds. Numerous websites offer free contractor quotes online, taking all of the research out of the process.
- Some of these websites generate instant online quotes from trusted, pre-screened contractors.
- Some are free while others aren't. Try searching Google for “instant online contractor quotes” to find contractors in your area.
- Check out this list for investors of websites that offer online contractor quotes.
Whether you find a contractor online or by word of mouth, these tips can help you make the best final choice for your rehabbing and repairing your real estate investments.