As much as you may try, you can’t be everywhere at once. There are times when you need to lean on your team and trust that they are doing their job. Aside from your realtor, there may be no more important team member than your contractor. If you focus your investing business on rehabbing properties you will need the services of a quality contractor that you can trust. Unfortunately, finding a good contractor usually takes some trial and error, and at least a few jobs to establish a relationship. The best way to speed this process up is to get expectations and requirements out on the table before you start working together.
If you can find a contractor that you know has your best intentions in mind, it will make your job that much easier. Poor time management is one of the main downfalls for growing investors, as they tend to spend too much time trying to micromanage every deal. Similar to how you may have talked with a few realtors before moving forward, you should do the same with your contractors. Treat it like an interview process. Tell them how you operate and what your expectations are. You need to feel comfortable with your contractor. When you leave a property, you won’t have to worry about it again.
The biggest issues that constantly come up between investors and contractors are scheduling, quality of work and payment scenarios. You can’t expect your contractor to drop what they are doing and put your job on the top of the list, but if you give them ample warning they should be able to juggle things around. On jobs that aren’t necessarily an emergency, refrain from acting as such. Of course you want to get things done as quickly as possible, but when everything becomes a priority, nothing takes precedence. Secondly, do not try saving money on hiring a cheap contractor. The resulting sub-par work may only assist you in losing money. You would not be out of line if you asked prospective contractors for samples of their work or a reference to call. Finally, every contractor needs to know when and how they will get paid. You should pay your contractors as soon as the work is done. If you make them wait, you better believe they will make you wait the next time you call them for a job.
If there is something that you don’t like, you should be able to tell your contractor. Also, you should be willing to have them tell you if you are being overbearing or unrealistic with your budget. While there are other contractors you could work with, the longer you go without establishing a relationship, the more work you will have to do on every property. Once you find a good contractor, you should treat them as the important team member that they are and appreciate their work. A good contractor can save you time and money, but most importantly, they can give you piece of mind.