You know to be blunt: most home improvement contractors are terrible as a landlord. I deal with it all the time they don’t answer the phone they don’t show up when they say they’re going to they. Don’t do what they say.
They’re going to do, but there are gems to be found in the rubble. The problem is most people have no idea how to identify a great contractor from all the bad ones out there until after long after they hire them well.
My name is Brandon Turner, host of the Bigger Pockets podcast and author of these real estate books, and today I want to share with you. I will go with my seven step process to identify a great contractor before you end up hiring them.
You know whether you’re, remodeling, your own home or rental property, you’re flipping houses or need a contractor for something else. Follow these seven steps to land a great one, oh and hey. If you find this video helpful, can you do me a huge favor and just click that little thumbs up button below the video, so we can reach more people with this information.
Alright number one you’ve got to build your contractor list. What I mean is this: you need to get the names and phone numbers of a lot of different contractors in your area. I mean think about it. If we’re searching for a needle in a haystack, we first got ta get a haystack.
So you can find potential contractors a number of different ways, but here are my three favorite ways: number one referrals like ask people who they use number two referrals ask people who they use and number three referrals look.
Human nature is generally just to do what you’ve, always done right. It doesn’t guarantee a success with a contractor, but if you know it, contractors been great in the past it’s likely they’ll, be great again so get in the habit of asking your family and friends.
Often, even when you’re, not looking directly for a contractor, just ask people all the time who did this work for you? You know any good contractors and then keep track of those referrals. Maybe pull out a spreadsheet, keep track of them somewhere and then you & # 39.
Ll have your haystack. Now there are a few other ways to find contractors as well. I like to talk to other contractors on the job or at another job and ask them who they like working with, because rock stars tend to party with other rock stars right and good tradesmen tend to work with other good tradesmen.
For example, I got a great finished carpenter, so I can ask him: hey: do you know any good at plumbers right? You can build your list by also snapping photos of every time. You see a contractor sign on the side of a truck or maybe searching Yelp or ask an employee of a home depot or lowes or any other home store.
Who do they use? Okay step number one was building your list, but step number. Two now is all about pre-screening on the phone and in person you know just like a tenant. Our opinion of the contractor begins the moment we begin talking with them over email or phone or in person.
How do they carry themselves professionally? Do they respond to questions? Well, you’ll. Ask them some questions to get to know them a little better things like. So how long have you been in this line of work? What skill would you say that you’re, the best at what tasks you just really hate doing on a job site? What cities are what areas you typically want to work in? How far away is too far how many employees actually work for you or work in your company? How far out are you booked? In what case would I need to pull a permit? If I were to hire you, can you actually start knocking out tasks on this project, then set up a time to meet and show them the project? If you have one, it is set an appointment and be sure to show up a few minutes early to see exactly what time they arrive.
Are they on time or early or they late, how they look professional? How do they act if everything feels okay after this first meeting, then you can move on to step number three and that is to simply google them.
You know the first thing we do now when looking for information on a certain contractor is simply go to google and type in their name or their company name, and then you can find out a lot of information like red flags, especially about a person.
So maybe add the city name as well, because there’s, a lot of contractors. It was the same name and then add things like scam or ripoff or court, for example. If you want to find more about first-rate construction company in metropolis, we would search for something like first-rate construction, metropolis or first-rate construction, metropolis, scam, metropolis court.
Things like that will help us know a little bit more about any trouble. They’ve gotten into you know. These search terms can help. You discover major complaints about the contractor, but keep in mind.
Not all complaints are valid. Some people are just crazy. What it will do, however, is give you direction on what next steps to take next ask the contractor for references from previous people from whom they have worked.
You know, photos are nice, but names and addresses are better then do what 90 % people will never do? Actually call those references and if you can go, look at their projects and then ask questions like what work.
Did they do? Okay? How fast did they do it? Did they show up on time? Were they professional? Were they courteous any problems working with them, you know, would you hire them again? Can I take a look at the finished product but, most importantly, did they get the job done on time and on budget? You know these questions are gonna help.
You understand more about their ability and the history of the contractor, then, if possible, actually check out the work of the contractor did and make sure it looks up to your standards all right. Another tip recently given to us by Jay Scott was to ask the contractor to tell you about a recent big job that they & # 39.
Ve done. You know, contractors love to brag about their big job, so he or she will likely. You know regale you with the story of how much work they needed to do and how great it looked at the end, so then find out the address and the city and verify that a permit was pulled for that project.
If not, the contractor did all that work without a permit, which is a good indication that they’re, not a contractor. You necessarily want on your team all right step. Number five verify you know it’s, okay, to be trusting in life, but make sure that the contractor has earned that trust.
They’re worthy of it first to do that, verify that they truly do have a license to do whatever work you intended for them to do. If they’re an electrician make sure that they have an electrical license.
If they’re, a plumber make sure they have a plumbing license. If they’re, a general contractor make sure they have a general contractor’s license next, make sure they actually do have the proper insurance and the bond.
You could ask them to bring proof of that, but it’s. Also simple: to do: ask the name of their insurance agent and verify with that agent now either way, just make sure that they have it remember this protects you all right number, six hire them for one small task before you hire the contractor to tear out an Entire basement, or something crazy like that, I didn’t, do one small task for you under five hundred dollars, that’ll.
Give you a good idea of what kind of work ethic they have the quality of work. They do whether they show up on time if the work is done on time and on budget, and it meets your quality standards, then consider hiring them for larger and larger tasks.
You know, even if the contractor has passed through the first steps of this process, you know most of them will still likely fail at that last step. So don’t settle with just one contractor, hire multiple contractors for multiple small jobs and see who works out the best all right.
Finally, on to number seven, you got to manage them correctly. You know most of the time when I have a disastrous situation with a contractor. The blame lies on not the contractor, but myself, you know if I had managed the job correctly.
I wouldn’t, be caught in the position that I’ve, been in so here’s an example. I hire a contractor to paint a bedroom. He says five hundred bucks. I say great, he calls me and tells me he’s done. I send him five hundred dollars now I go and check out that job, and what do I see? Well, he didn’t paint the ceiling, despite obvious need for it, and then there’s.
A couple paint splotches all over the floor that are easy to clean, but now I got to do it. So I called the contractor – and I said: hey well, you didn’t. Do the ceiling you didn’t mess on the floor. He says: well you didn’t say I need to do the ceiling and they don’t say: oh, the floor was already bad, like that.
Somebody else must have made that mistake. I’ve. Had this situation happen a hundred times right now, you might be saying that’s, ridiculous, it’s. Clearly the contractors fault you know what it’s, my responsibility to manage them correctly.
Therefore, when you work with a contractor, always get a detailed scope of work that clearly lays out a hundred percent of what is going to be worked on what is included and what is not, then never pay anything until you’ve inspected the work And on larger jobs be sure to spread out payments over the course of the job, so they don’t, get too much money up front, but they’re, not starving for weeks or months at a time either.
You want to make sure they’re, always hungry for their next paycheck. You know to help with this. I actually put together a really simple contractor bid form over in the Bigger Pockets file place. This is 100 % free and it’s.
The actual form that I use when I work with a contractor, I haven’t, filled it up every single time to make sure we’re all on the same page literally so go to bigger package comes such bid form be IDF.
Orm and look for that there now, whether or not you’re, a real estate investor like myself or maybe you just need a contract or something else by following this seven step process that you’ll, save yourself time, stress and hopefully A lot of money now before you go don’t forget to click that little thumbs up button and subscribe to our channel for more content.