As a landlord, you will inevitably need the help of a vendor or contractor.
You may hire many different types of contractors: landscapers, cleaners, builders, HVAC experts, carpenters, plumbers, electricians denver, painters, roofers, etc.
These individuals are professionally trained and have the skills to help you achieve your rental goals, whether those be growth, repair, or home improvement. You might need their help for big projects like renovations or even minor repairs that you want done right.
When it comes to contractors, you also want to get your money’s worth. This means ensuring your contractor is qualified and has the potential to form a lasting, loyal partnership.
Here are a few characteristics that make a good rental contractor for your business.
1. Good References and Testimonials
You should never hire a contractor without good references. A lack of any references at all is also a bad sign. The contractor you choose should be trustworthy, credible, and recommended by other landlords who have used their services.
A personal reference is a great way to find reliable vendors quickly. However, if you don’t have a landlord friend who can recommend a contractor, you can always use vendor listing sites to find an expert in your area.
Popular vendor listing sites include Houzz, HomeAdvisor, and Pro Referral. HomeAdvisor goes the extra mile by performing background checks on all contractors and verifying their licenses. Pro Referral is a Home Depo service that matches you with local professionals.
2. Licensed and Insured
Licenses, certifications, and liability insurance are non-negotiable. There should be no doubt about whether your contractors are qualified for the job.
It’s your responsibility to ask for proof of licensure. Established businesses will expect you to ask and have the proper certifications available quickly. If the company gives you a hard time about verifying licenses or insurance, this is a good reason to walk away.
3. Reasonable Estimates
Now that you’ve found a credible vendor, you need a cost estimate.
How does the job fit in your budget? Do you have a hard maximum expense limit, or is there some flexibility? Your contractor should know the answers to these questions up front.
You should also do your research to find out what amount is reasonable for the task. A good strategy is to get three different estimates and weigh them alongside the other factors listed here. Remember, cheaper does not necessarily always mean better.
4. No Red Flags
As you get to know your new vendor, watch out for any obvious red flags. For instance, if the contractor isn’t listed anywhere, asks for cash up front, or behaves disrespectfully toward you or your tenants, they probably aren’t a good choice for the job.
Likewise, if they can’t or refuse to provide the proper licensure or can’t pass a background check, these are also good reasons to find a new contractor.
5. Friendly and Trustworthy
Finally, your contractor should be someone you like and trust. This person will be working at your properties anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. You want to get along well with whomever you hire.
Your contractor will also be around your tenants, who won’t appreciate if the person you hired is disrespectful (unreasonably loud, tracks dirt, etc.).
A good contractor is respectful, conversational, and confident in their skills. They also show up on time and honor your and your tenants’ wishes (e.g., don’t use loud power equipment before 8 a.m.).
In your best-case scenario, the contractor you hire is an opportunity for a lasting partnership. By putting in the work of vendor screening up front, you are more likely to find a reliable contractor you can form a relationship with and call again and again.
Find Great Contractors for Your Properties
The people you choose to help you achieve your rental goals matter. Vendor, contractor, and tenant screening may seem like a lot of work, but the time and energy invested will be worth it if you find someone you can trust to help you grow your business. By being diligent in your research and asking the right questions, you are certain to find great contractors for your business.