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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 siteHiring competent, trustworthy contractors to handle your property improvements and repairs can be one of the most difficult aspects of investing in South Jordan single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to waste on employing a contractor who would blatantly produce subpar work. In actuality, however, there are con artists and others who will attempt to defraud you of your money and leave you stranded. Fortunately, finding trustworthy, fairly priced contractors for every work is possible if you know a few quick tips and methods as well as what to avoid.

Ask for Referrals

In order to complete the work, you as a property owner need contractors you can trust. It is a good notion to search for professionals in your industry that you will want to hire repeatedly. The time and money you save will be substantial. But you must first conduct research in order to locate contractors with whom you can establish a long-term business relationship. Requesting recommendations from reputable real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners is an excellent starting point. Additionally, you can look up prospective contractors online. Numerous websites make an effort to aid in the screening of contractors using client reviews or even expert advice.

Ask for References

Asking for references is yet another tip for locating a top contractor (or two). A good contractor will be pleased to give you the names of one or more former customers who can comment on their experience. Once you have a contractor’s name, be sure to find out about their dependability, expense, responsiveness, and flexibility. Did they honor the agreed upon price? How well did they address your concerns and implement your changes? Keep looking if you have any lingering concerns about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Do a comprehensive background investigation on a candidate’s credentials and internet reviews before deciding to hire them. Look for the name of your contractor by consulting your state’s licensing board and local court records. 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. In the same way, if you are having trouble getting the contractor to pick up the phone or return your messages, it is their responsibility to do so in a timely manner. A few missed calls here and there may not necessarily indicate difficulty, but if more than 24 hours go by with no reply, it’s time to go elsewhere.

Other red flags to look out for throughout the bidding process include the following. For instance, search for negative online reviews or suspiciously low prices, and avoid them. Also, it is recommended to avoid employing any contractor who requires a large deposit upfront. Anything above 15% should raise red flags. The same holds true if the contractor indicates that they will require unlimited time and resources or makes sweeping claims about how much they can accomplish in a certain amount of time. Finding someone who is continuously realistic about project expenses and completion dates is as important to finding someone who can work efficiently.

Focus on Quality

Once you have vetted a number of potential contractors, solicit bids from them. Your understanding of the cost of the work and the methodology used by each contractor will be based on the quote. Don’t accept the lowest bid, particularly if it’s substantially lower than the others. Extremely low proposals may indicate that the contractor intends to add additional fees later. They could also be an indication that the contractor does not intend to obtain the necessary work permits. Keep in mind not to overpay for your contractor’s work. Target the median bid, which will likely be the most reasonable.

It can take some time at first to find the correct contractors for your investment property’s repairs and improvements. But once you know who you can trust to do the work, that part of your property management strategy can turn into a quick and easy procedure. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Wasatch, who has established contacts throughout South Jordan. Call us at 801-889-1517 or 435-244-3394 for more information today.

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