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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 Los Angeles single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to squander on a contractor who would blatantly produce subpar work. In actuality, however, there are con artists and others who will attempt to defraud you of your money and leave you stranded. Fortunately, if you’re familiar with a few simple tips and tricks – and what to avoid – it is possible to find the trustworthy, reasonably priced contractors you require for every project.

Ask for Referrals

As a property owner, you require contractors you can rely on to complete the task. It is a good notion to seek out industry experts whom you intend on employing on a consistent basis. This will save you a great deal of time and money. However, in order to locate contractors with whom you can develop long-term business relationships, you must first conduct research. Asking for referrals from reputable property managers, real estate brokers, and other property owners is a wonderful place to start. You can also conduct online inquiry on potential contractors. Many websites make an effort to assist in vetting contractors through client evaluations or even expert suggestions.

Ask for References

Another tip for locating a fantastic contractor (or two) is to check references. A good contractor will be pleased to give you the names of one or more former customers who can comment on their experience. Once you have a list of potential contractors, be sure to inquire about their dependability, cost, responsiveness, and adaptability. Has the deal agreed upon been honored? How successfully did they handle your requests for modifications and concerns? It is in your best interest to continue searching if you have doubts about the answers you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

It’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive investigation of licenses and online reviews before making a hiring decision. Look up the name of your contractor in local court records and with your state’s licensing board. Use of unlicensed contractors is not advised as this may expose your rental property to significant liability. Numerous complaints or lawsuits are an extremely negative indicator. The same remains valid if you cannot get the contractor to answer their phone or return any of your messages. While a few missed phone calls are not necessarily indicative of trouble, if more than twenty-four hours pass without a response, you should move on.

Throughout the bidding process, there are a few extra red flags to look out for. For instance, search for negative online reviews or suspiciously low prices, and avoid them. A contractor who requests a sizable advance deposit should also be avoided. Concern should be expressed if the percentage exceeds 15%. 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’s important to select someone who is realistic about project expenses and completion dates even though you do need someone who can work efficiently.

Focus on Quality

Ask for a proposal from each potential contractor after you’ve vetted a few of 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. Do not accept the lowest offer, particularly if it is substantially lower than the others. Extremely low quotes may indicate that the contractor is attempting to entice you with a low price before tacking on additional fees. Additionally, they can indicate that the contractor does not intend to secure the necessary work permits. At the same time, it is essential not to overpay for a contractor’s services. Aim for the middle offer because it will probably be the most reasonable.

Initially, it can be time-consuming to identify the most qualified contractors for your investment property’s renovations and restorations. That part of your property management strategy, however, may become a quick and easy procedure once you know who you can count on to complete the work. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Generations, who has established contacts throughout Los Angeles. Call us at 310-907-5646 for more information today.

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