Skip to Content

Contractor Hiring 101: Tips, Tricks, and Red Flags to Avoid

Young couple talking to construction worker about housing design plans at construction siteOne of the most difficult aspects of investing in Raleigh single-family rental properties can be locating competent and dependable contractors for property maintenance and renovations. Few investors are willing to spend time or money on a contractor that will merely do subpar work. However, the truth is that there are con artists and other people out there who will try to rob you of your money and then abandon 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

You need trustworthy contractors to complete the work if you’re a property owner. It is a good notion to search for professionals in your industry that you will want to hire repeatedly. By doing this, you can save a ton of time and money. But you must first conduct research in order to locate contractors with whom you can establish a long-term business relationship. Inquiring about recommendations from reliable property managers, real estate brokers, and other property owners is a fantastic place to start. Online research is another option for finding a contractor. Through consumer reviews and even professional recommendations, a number of websites attempt to assist users in vetting contractors.

Ask for References

Asking for references is yet another tip for locating a top contractor (or two). A good contractor will be pleased to give you the contact details of one or more previous clients who may offer input on their experience. Once you have a name, make sure to ask detailed questions about the contractor’s dependability, affordability, responsiveness, and flexibility. Has the price remained the same? How effectively did they address your concerns and make adjustments? It is in your best interest to keep looking if you have concerns about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Before committing to a hire, it is essential to conduct a comprehensive examination of their licenses and online reviews. Look up the name of your contractor in local court records and with your state’s licensing board. You should avoid using unlicensed contractors because doing so could expose your rental property to significant liabilities. A high volume of complaints or lawsuits is extremely unfavorable. The same remains valid if you cannot get the contractor to answer their phone or return any of your messages. 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, keep an eye out for negative internet reviews or suspiciously cheap costs, and avoid the business if you discover them. Additionally, it’s wise to stay away from any contractor who requests a sizable upfront deposit. Concern should be raised if the percentage exceeds 15%. The same holds true if the contractor indicates that they will require limitless resources (time and supplies) or make broad declarations about how much they can accomplish in a short amount of time. While efficiency is important, it’s as important to hire someone who continually keeps project expenses and completion dates in perspective.

Focus on Quality

Once you’ve vetted a number of prospective contractors, request bids from them. Your understanding of the cost of the work and the methodology used by each contractor will be based on the quote. Although it may be tempting, you should not accept the lowest offer, particularly if it is significantly lower than the others. Extremely low proposals may indicate that the contractor intends to add additional fees later. They can also indicate that the contractor has no intention of obtaining the necessary work permits. Keep in mind not to overpay for your contractor’s work. In order to be the most realistic, aim for the medium bid.

It can take some effort at first to find the perfect contractors for the upgrades and repairs you need to make to your investment property. However, once you determine whom you can rely on to complete the task, this aspect of your property management strategy can become streamlined and effective. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Raleigh, who has established contacts throughout Raleigh. Call us at 919-481-0008 for more information today.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details