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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 Torrance single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to hire a contractor who consistently delivers subpar results. But in actuality, there are people out there who will attempt to deceive you out of your money and then leave 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

In order to complete the work, you as a property owner need contractors you can trust. It’s a good idea to hunt for industry experts you’ll want to work with on a regular basis. You can save a great deal of time and money by doing so. But you have to start with research in order to choose contractors with whom you may develop enduring business ties. Requesting referrals from respectable real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners is an excellent location to begin. You may look for prospective contractors online as well. Through comments from customers and even professional recommendations, a number of sites attempt to help with the screening of contractors.

Ask for References

Another tip for locating a fantastic contractor (or two) is to check references. 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 list of potential contractors, be sure to ask about their dependability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Did they charge the agreed-upon amount? How effectively did they address your concerns and make adjustments? It’s best to keep looking if you have any reservations 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. 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 lawsuits is extremely unfavorable. 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.

Several additional red flags should be observed during the bidding phase. For instance, search for negative online reviews or suspiciously low prices, and avoid them. Additionally, it’s wise to stay away from any contractor who requests a sizable upfront deposit. 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. It is essential to discover someone who is consistently realistic regarding project costs and completion times, in addition to someone who can work efficiently.

Focus on Quality

Once you’ve vetted a number of prospective contractors, request bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of the cost of the job as well as the methodology used by each contractor to determine their rates. Don’t accept the lowest bid, particularly if it’s substantially lower than the others. Very low bids can indicate that the contractor is trying to get your business by offering a low price only to tack on extra fees later. They can also indicate that the contractor does not intend to secure the necessary work permits. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to avoid paying too much for your contractor’s services. Aim for the realistic average bid.

It may take a little while to start looking for the best contractors for your investment property’s repairs and improvements. However, once you are aware of who you can count on to complete the work, that part of your property management strategy may become a quick and easy procedure. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management California Coast, who has established contacts throughout Torrance. Call us at 310-535-2150 for more information today.

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