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Contractors: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid

Inglewood Contractor and Property Owner Shaking HandsA particularly difficult challenge of investing in Inglewood single-family rental properties can be hiring capable, reliable contractors for your property improvements and repairs. Investors will want to invest in hiring a contractor that provides high-quality work. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can get yourself the best contractors, as well as sparing yourself of anything less than what they have to offer.

Essential to your goal as a property owner are quality contractors who will deliver good work. There are many industry professionals you can choose from. If you hire them to do work, they won’t say no to the opportunity. That way, you can save some cash. But to find contractors you can build long-term business relationships with, you first need to do your research. If possible, seek the advice of trusted real estate agents, property managers, or even other property owners, if you know of any. You can also research potential contractors online. There are countless ways people vet contractors on the internet. They do this with customer reviews or even professional recommendations.

A referral is an excellent way to find great contractors. One mark of a quality contractor is transparency. They will typically give you names of previous clients they’ve worked with, in case you might want to verify their capability to deliver service. Once you get a name, be sure to ask specific questions about the contractor’s reliability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Did the agreed price satisfy both parties? Were they professional in dealing with any concerns and changes? Asking these questions shouldn’t tie you to a commitment. If you still have doubts, you can keep asking or keep searching.

Once you have several potential contractors vetted, ask them to give you a bid. The bid will provide you with a calculation of what to pay for the work, as well as the contractor’s calculation of the work. The lowest bid might seem tempting, but always take these bids with a grain of salt — especially when they’re significantly lower than the rest. Low prices attached to very low bids might be a sign that a contractor is trying to charm clients into a deal, only to hand them additional charges later on. Or, the contractor may be avoiding obtaining the required work permits. However, it’s also wise not to overpay for your contractor’s work. Aim for the middle bid, which will likely be the most realistic.

While you’re at it, be thorough in your canvassing and be aware of potential warning signs. This could save you a lot of potential trouble. Check with your state licensing board and search local court records for your contractor’s name. Don’t bother considering contractors if they don’t have all the requirements and licensing. This will only bring potential serious liability to your rental property. A large number of complaints or lawsuits are a serious problem. It’s also a serious problem when the contractor is avoiding answering the phone or responding to messages. While a few missed phone calls are not a sure sign of trouble, if more than 24 hours pass without a response, move on.

There are more warning signs to be wary of during the bidding process. For instance, be wary of contractors who demand a large deposit upfront. Anything more than 15% should be cause for concern. Similarly, it should concern you when a contractor tells you that they need unlimited time and materials or make big promises about how much they can do within a specific timeframe. Essential to your goals are project costs and completion times that are achievable and realistic. Look for a contractor who is capable of doing this.

Looking for the right contractors for your investment property improvements and repairs can initially cost you time and resources. But when the time finally comes that you come across the one person who can get the job done, you can be sure that your property management journey will significantly smoothen out. Let us do what we do best, for you. At Real Property Management Choice, there’s never a shortage of competent contractors waiting to be hired. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a ring at 310-928-9728 to know more about what we can do for you.

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