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Contractor Hiring 101: Tips, Tricks, and Red Flags to Avoid

Young couple talking to construction worker about housing design plans at construction siteOne of the most difficult aspects of investing in Portsmouth single-family rental properties can be locating competent and dependable contractors for property maintenance and renovations. Few investors have the time or resources to hire a contractor whose work is merely substandard. However, the truth is that there are con artists and other people out there who will try to rob you of your money and then abandon you. Fortunately, finding trustworthy, fairly priced contractors is achievable if you are aware of a few straightforward methods and ideas as well as what to avoid.

Ask for Referrals

You need dependable contractors to complete the work if you’re a property owner. It’s a good idea to hunt for industry experts you’ll be interested in employing time and time again to complete work for you. This will help you save a ton of time and money. To find contractors with whom you can develop long-term business relationships, you have to start with research. Requesting recommendations from reputable real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners is an excellent starting point. You can also conduct online inquiry on potential contractors. Numerous websites attempt to assist users in vetting contractors through customer evaluations and even expert recommendations.

Ask for References

Asking for references is another trick for finding a fantastic contractor (or two). Top-notch contractors will be pleased to give you the names of one or more former customers who may share their feedback. Once you have a name, make sure to ask detailed questions about the contractor’s dependability, affordability, responsiveness, and flexibility. Did they honor the agreed upon price? How successfully did they handle your requests for modifications and concerns? Keep looking if you have any lingering concerns about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

It’s crucial to conduct a complete investigation of a candidate’s credentials and web reviews before making a hiring decision. Check with the state licensing board and local court records for the name of your contractor. You shouldn’t employ unlicensed contractors, as doing so could expose you to significant liability with your rental property. A high volume of complaints or litigation is a very negative sign. The same applies if you can’t get the contractor to pick up the phone or return your messages. A few missed calls here and there might not necessarily suggest trouble, but if more than 24 hours go by with no reply, it’s time to search someplace else.

While the bid process is underway, there are a few other red flags to look out for. For instance, keep a look out for poor internet reviews or suspiciously cheap prices and avoid the site if you discover them. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid hiring any contractor who requests a substantial deposit up front. Anything above 15% should raise red flags. The same holds true if the contractor indicates that they will require limitless resources (time and supplies) or make broad declarations about how much they can accomplish in a short amount of time. Not only do you need someone who can work efficiently, but you must also discover someone who is consistently realistic regarding project costs and completion times.

Focus on Quality

Once you’ve vetted a number of prospective contractors, request bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of how much you may expect to pay for the service and how each provider determines their rates. Don’t accept the lowest offer, even though it could be alluring, especially if it is substantially less than the others. Extremely cheap bids may occasionally be an indication that the contractor is attempting to get your business by offering a low price only to tack on extra fees later. This may also indicate that the contractor has no intention of obtaining the necessary work permits. Likewise, it is essential not to overpay for your contractor’s task. Target the median bid, which will likely be the most reasonable.

Initially, it can be time-consuming to identify the most qualified contractors for your investment property’s renovations and restorations. But once you determine whom you can rely on to complete the task, this aspect of your property management strategy can become streamlined and effective. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire, who has established contacts throughout Portsmouth. Call us at 603-343-2202 for more information today.

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