Any property owner will tell you that finding a contractor to help you keep your property in good condition is crucial to a successful property business. Whether you’re looking to hire a general contractor for a major construction project or a maintenance crew to help with smaller jobs, here are some tips on how to find a contractor you can trust.
- Get referrals
Word of mouth is a very reliable source, and friends and family will love to tell you if they had a good or bad experience with a contractor. Social media sites like Nextdoor are also a good place to start. People tend to be brutally honest when they have the anonymity of a computer.
- Ensure they’re licensed, bonded and insured
Licensed – they’ve passed an exam proving knowledge of building codes and processes
Bonded – insurance purchased by the contractor to protect you in the event he/she does not complete the job properly or fails to pay for permits, subcontractors, etc.
Insured – covers property damage and personal injury of those working on your property
- Choose the right contractor for the job
From plumbing to carpentry, there are numerous types of contractors. Make certain the contractor you hire is an expert in the work you need to be completed.
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential contractors, meet them and ask questions to ensure they’re the right fit for the job.
- Get estimates
It is always a good idea to get pricing from 3-4 contractors, keeping in mind that cheaper isn’t always better. In addition to pricing, an estimate also gives you a project plan to work from, so you know exactly what needs to be done.
- Make sure they’re responding in a timely manner
Contractors are busy, but should still agree with you on reasonable response times. When your tenants need something repaired, they’ll expect the work to be done quickly.
- Get it in writing
Regardless of the size of the job, get your bid and project expectations in writing. This protects you and the contractor from any misunderstanding related to the job and is essential should a dispute end up in court.
- Use a property management company
If finding the right, trustworthy contractor seems like a daunting task, consider hiring a property management company. In addition to hiring contractors, they can assist with finding tenants, credit and background checks, collecting rent and overall maximization of your time and money.
Whether you’re planning a full remodel of your property or looking for a handyman for odd jobs, finding someone you can trust with your rental property is crucial. Take your time deciding on the right one and never let anyone pressure you into making a quick decision.
Established in 2006, Greyhaven Realty Management Company is the largest locally owned property management company in Chattanooga. Specializing in residential properties of all sizes, Greyhaven knows the local market and legal ordinances. Contact us for more information about working with our team of experienced property managers.