Investor secrets for hiring contractors

Deciding to purchase a rental or home to flip is just the beginning. What’s difficult is finding people to execute the plan on time, without compromising on quality. Surely, you can’t do it all alone.

You need contractors, real estate agents, property managers, and more by your side to become successful. Let’s focus on the folks who will be instrumental in turning your dream into reality: contractors. You need to find a competent contractor who can manage your scope of work and doesn’t ghost you in the process.

Here’s how to hire a pro who could become your trusted partner for future investments, too:

1.      Start with a plan

You don’t start the hiring process by talking to contractors right away. Write out a detailed plan where you articulate specific details, such as what you want to be done in a certain room or what materials and fixtures you’d like to use for the renovation or remodel.

If you just write “redo the bathroom,” it can mean a range of things: tear the floors and walls down to the studs or just replace the faucets and lighting. Make sure you get granular enough on paper (and in your head) before you start interviewing potential contractors.

2.      Do background checks

Did we mention ‘hiring’?

Yes, that’s exactly what you’re doing when finding a contractor! This is the due diligence stage. You’ll want to establish minimum credentials, even if the candidate comes recommended by a close friend or family member. If it’s a firm, check to see that they have adequate insurance coverage and a state license. (Verify that the policy and license numbers are current as well.)

You’ll also want to determine if there are any current or past legal complaints against them.

3.      Secure at least three quotes

There’s a solid reason why most people advise getting multiple estimates when hiring. First, you can compare bids. But it’s not all about rock-bottom prices, of course; someone’s bargain rate could point toward marginal work, while a higher bid might indicate quality.

Ideally, up to five or six quotes will give you a better perspective on appropriate costs and caliber of work. Decide accordingly.

4.      Use online sites

How can we possibly leave out the internet?

There, you’ll find qualified contractors with impressive portfolios. Thumbtack, Google Maps, Craigslist, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, Houzz, Porch, Yelp, Pro Referral, Homeflock, and ServiceWhale are several websites that provide lists of local professionals.

5.      Ask for certification and licensing

To further narrow your search, ask prospects for certification and licensing. Legal requirements may differ by state. So calling your community’s licensing division is a helpful way to understand those specific requirements.

The contractor also needs to have liability insurance in the event that any damage is caused to your property.

Heed these tips and you’ll be in renovation heaven! If not, know you’re rolling the dice. You may end up with a contractor who doesn’t do a good job, takes a lot of time to finish it, or may even quit mid-project. Instead, it’s worth it to do the work upfront to find a professional with clear and detailed bids, a fantastic work ethic, and the required expertise to meet your goals.

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