Property Management Tips: How to Choose the Right Contractors
The property management market will be worth $22.04 billion by 2023. As the industry expands the demand for the best contractors is also on the increase. Property managers work hand in hand with contractors to provide their clients with home improvement services.
Finding the best contractor to maintain your property in good condition is crucial for your success as a property manager. The process can be risky if you don’t do your due diligence. If you’re a property manager seeking to hire the best contractors, this guide is for you.
1. How to Find the Best Contractor
When you start the process of finding a contractor, there are several places you can begin your search. Some of the sources are more reliable than others, and this is where due diligence matters most. The best place to start is to ask for recommendations from family and friends.
Other professionals in the same industry as you may have contacts of contractors they trust to do a good job. However, keep in mind that some of the best contractors are the hardest to find since many people want to hire their services. If your list of referrals doesn’t yield many results, your next best bet is to search online.
Google reviews for the best contractors within your area will show you whom to contact. Don’t forget to check the online resources like Home Advisor and Yelp. Make your search more specialized by looking up the specific type of contractor you need.
2. Contacting the Contractor
Once you’ve got a list of possible contractors you can hire, the next step is to call them. It’s always an excellent idea to gather the relevant information on phone before meeting them up. A short phone interview will help you determine whether the contractor is a good fit for your property management business.
Even after you find one who you think is the best, talk to another one. It’s always safe to know there’s another contractor you can rely on in case the primary one is unavailable for some reason.
3. Choosing the Best Contractor
After making phone calls to the ones you think are the best contractors, the next step is to make the final decision. This process is delicate as it determines the results you get in the actual maintenance of your property. In choosing the professional to work with, here are a few essential things to do.
Provide Clear Expectations
Let the contractor know what you expect of them and what the job entails. A detailed job description done in writing will go a long way in preventing future misunderstandings. The description should also indicate the required skills and compensation you’re willing to offer.
It’s also ideal to list the behavioral characteristics you’d like to see in the contractor and his team.
Weigh Their Analytical and Decision-Making Skills
When you hire a contractor, you want a person who’ll represent your company by offering the best customer service. They, therefore, must be able to make critical decisions on their toes. They shouldn’t have to consult you for every little thing during their work.
Their actions should always be in the best interest of your clients. Their ability to make wise and quick decisions in the face of a crisis is what will keep your tenants happy. Ask questions that test their analytical and problem-solving skills.
How Is Their Customer Service Demeanor?
The contractor you hire will work directly with your tenants. They, therefore, should have the ability to articulate matters in a positive and easy-to-understand manner. They also must be able to maintain calmness when dealing with argumentative or troublesome tenants.
If you’re choosing between several of these contractors, one with great skill and the other with excellent customer service, go for the latter. Your decision will save you more in the long run. Remember that keeping your tenants happy should be a top priority in your business.
Are They Loyal?
You don’t want to keep hiring a new contractor every so often. The ideal situation would be to get one who’ll stick with you for as long as possible. To determine their loyalty, check their work history.
Ask questions revolving their length of engagement with other property managers or businesses. Their reasons for terminating the contract will give you a hint into whether they’re loyal and can be trusted. If the contractor has too many currently active contracts, they may not be the best fit for emergency cases.
Watch Out for Red Flags
Before engaging a contractor, check if they’re listed with professional or other relevant bodies. You also need to be wary of contractors, who ask you for upfront payment for entire projects. It’s also a reason to get concerned if they only accept cash payments.
Another red flag is if the contractor asks you to obtain all the required permits. They should be the ones responsible for this task.
4. Closing the Deal
Once you’re satisfied with the outcome in choosing the best contractor, it’s time to close the deal. This is where you need to draw up the contract and agree on the terms and conditions of your working relationship. The document should indicate
- The start and finish dates
- Payment schedule
- Description of materials to be used
- Instructions for dealing with changes
- The person responsible for specific tasks
A solid contract document enhances your chances of ending up with a trustworthy contractor. The chances of your projects turning out right will also be high.
Hiring a contractor is a process that calls for a lot of scrutinies. The best contractors are not easy to come by since they’re almost fully engaged throughout the year. Whatever you do, you must ensure house maintenance and repair needs of your clients are met sufficiently.
You can find a contractor by asking for referrals or check with professional bodies. Once you’ve found one you can hire, ask all the relevant questions. The aim is to determine their professionalism, loyalty, and experience.
You also need to check that they’re licensed and have the relevant permits for the job. Once you’re satisfied that they can deliver, agree on payment details and the terms of working. If you get all these factors right, you’ve found a valuable contractor.
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