As a real estate investor, you need to build a lot of partnerships with local contractors. You need an electrical guy, an HVAC guy, a drywall guy, a painter, a handyman, maybe even a builder… the list goes on and on.
Finding Great Contractors
Talk to other investors or real estate agents.
If you have a local mentor or a trusted investor who is willing to help you out, ask them for their take on local contractors. Real estate agents also have a high exposure to different types of contractors.
Talk to other contractors.
For example, if you already have a flooring guy that you know and trust, ask him about construction guys in the area. Chances are, he’s worked with several and he knows just who to recommend.
Drive around town.
If you see a building being built or renovated, you can either get the contractor’s information from their trucks, trailers, or signs out front, or you can stop and talk to them yourself.
Talk to employees at material supply places.
Visit a local supply store and see who they recommend for various contracting jobs. Since they sell materials to many different contractors, they’ll have a good idea of who is friendly and reliable.
Use online resources to find reviews.
Angie’s List, Google reviews, and Facebook reviews are excellent, quick, and easy ways to learn more about contractors in your area. Not every contractor will be online, but more and more businesses are developing online followings and getting reviews on various different sites.
Be a great client!
Be nice to your contractor from the get-go. Communicate clearly, ask questions, be easy to get along with. Don’t be demanding, rude, unfair, or difficult. This should go without saying, but it’s important. When you treat people badly, they won’t be inclined to put in good effort, and you won’t be building the long-term relationship that you want.
Narrowing it Down to Good Ones
Hopefully, the above tips will get you some great leads on potential contractors. Now, you want to choose a contractor who will really work well with you, someone you can build a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship with. That will take a little extra effort. Once you’ve found a few potential contractors, use this advice to make sure the one you pick is a good one:
Don’t go with the cheapest one.
You often get what you pay for. That holds true for contracting services just like anything else. Yes, you’re on a tight budget, but that doesn’t mean you should go with the cheapest guy. If he doesn’t put in quality work, it will cost you more in the long run.
Ask for referrals.
Ask the contractor to share the name and phone number of some of his recent clients. Then, call them up and ask them if they were satisfied with their experience. If he won’t give you any references, that may be a red flag. If he does give you references, you can get a great idea of whether he produces quality work and whether you’ll work well with him or not.