In the flipping business, having a reliable contractor on your team can be the key to your success. Unfortunately, a great contractor who fits well with your vision and style can sometimes be hard to find. Nevertheless, you owe it to yourself and your business to keep looking until you find a good match. As you are taking the time to find the right fit, consider these five tips.
Networking isn’t just for making real estate deals. The same contacts who can help you find properties to invest in can help you find the right contractor to do the rehab work. While there are no guarantees, firsthand feedback from people in your network will go a long way toward finding the right person for the job.
The beauty of networking is that even if your immediate contacts don’t have anyone in mind for you, their contacts might. Ask those in your circle to spread the word and ask around on your behalf. Remember, this is just a starting point. Once you get a couple of names, you will need to do your own investigation to make sure whoever you hire is going to do great work for you.
When you are considering a contractor, you need to make sure he or she is capable of the type of work you need. A contractor who is great with kitchen remodels may not have the expertise you need to deal with roof damage. That’s not to say you can’t still move forward with a contractor who may be lacking in certain areas. But knowing strengths and weaknesses up front will save you from getting into trouble. Good questions to ask include:
Find the right people for the job, even if that means you need to have a couple of people who specialize in certain types of repairs.
Even if you have a great feeling about a potential contractor, you should always check references. Ideally, talk with at least three other people who have worked with that contractor in the past. If possible, check out the final product so you can get be confident the work quality is what you need. Poor craftsmanship can kill your profit margins on a rehab. Taking the time to investigate as much as you can before the work is started will save you in the long run.
Once you have found a great contractor for your project, you need a system to track the project details, budget, timeframes, and payments to your crew. When you find good people, you want to hold up your end of the deal, or they will go elsewhere. As the business owner, you owe it to your people—and to your business—to be accountable and organized. When you have devised a schedule that everyone agrees to, draw up a contract. This will keep everyone (including you) accountable to budgetary and timeframe expectations.
Just because your contractor works for you, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have ideas on the best way to approach the project. After all, a good contractor has many, many hours of experience with home renovations. An experienced contractor will have great insight you may not have thought about. He will also be able to work within the budget you set or justify why the budget may not be enough. This is especially helpful before the project starts since you have time to account for any needed changes. But in the world of home renovations, surprises are to be expected. A great contractor can help you navigate sudden bumps in the road. Whether the budget needs to be reworked, or you need to adjust the scope of work to free up money in one area to handle a surprise in another area, a great contractor can give advice on what will work best.
You will find your business needs several partners to be successful. The most important of these may be the contractor who is responsible for completing great work on a budget and a deadline. By taking time to find a great contractor, you will be setting your business up for long-term success.