Create Repeat Business for Your General Contractor
A huge pain point that investors have is finding a good, licensed general contractor. The key to finding a good contractor and retaining them is simple: create repeat business.
Finding a trusted and reliable licensed contractor improves the workflow of your home renovations. Each project has a unique plan that has its own time window and cost. While it’s nearly impossible to handle home improvement on your own as an investor, you have to be able to trust other professionals.
That’s why contractors make a living by providing a plethora of skills, knowledge, and utilize their expansive network. So how do you find and keep a trustworthy general contractor? Let’s find out.
How to find a licensed general contractor
Finding a general contractor requires plenty of due diligence. The right contractor is a valuable asset to your network and drives real estate success. As you search for somebody trustworthy and reliable, look for a contractor who services in your area. It’s best to start with asking people you know for recommendations. Dive deeper after asking friends, family, and colleagues by understanding their connection to their contractor.
Look to see if they have a portfolio and reviews where you can see before/after photos, go on Yelp, Google, and paint the whole story of their reputation. If you like everything that you see out of a general contractor, get in touch. Contact them by email, fill out a form online, or call them directly. Now, you can start diving even deeper by asking questions about your due diligence and see if they are available for upcoming projects.
Signs of a good general contractor
It’s important to create your own screening process with contractors to determine if it’s a suitable fit for both parties. Make a list of questions that you will be prepared to ask and be transparent with them too. A reliable contractor has experience and could prove it. They should have a list of references that you can talk to. A portfolio of before and after pictures, proof of licenses, and a transparent bid are also good signs in a contractor. While you prepare for an interview with a contractor, here’s a list of questions you could ask to narrow down your search.
- “How long have you been working in the industry?”
- “What local area do you work in the most?”
- “How quickly could we start the project if I hire you?”
- “How do you handle payment?”
- “Do you specialize in smaller renovations or larger ones”?
Finding a trustworthy general contractor is tricky when you don’t understand every aspect of work that they do. So what do you do? Educate yourself, learn about the cost of supplies, and speak their language. Unprepared real estate investors may get overcharged for labor or fall victim to a half-completed job. You can start by gaining valuable knowledge by comparing bids from multiple contractors, understanding how they value the cost of supplies, labor, and how long each project will take.
Know that contractors charge for flat-rate management fees and add the variable costs afterwards. Trustworthy contractors should never take only cash with a large down payment in advance. This is likely a scam and you should follow up by asking about their background, credentials, license, and so forth. When you receive a contract, make sure the structure states the cost of each task, the payment schedule, has specific dates, and has a termination clause if the project doesn’t go as stated.
Create repeat business
Be proactive when you find talent. The key is to create repeat business so your business relationship strengthens over a long period of time. As a repeat partner with a contractor, your system becomes efficient. Regular talks with your contractor are easier because they will prioritize you. They will respect the fact that you keep providing them with steady work. When you need a conversation about unexpected costs, they’ll be there so you don’t have to micromanage multiple projects.
Stay in touch and build a genuine relationship
Don’t just develop a professional relationship with your general contractor. Stay in touch, and build a genuine relationship with them. Engage with your general contractor and value them as a person. Everybody has their own motives and goals for working in the industry. You can start by thinking about how you could provide additional value to them. Greet your general contractor by their name, offer to bring their crew food or drinks on a strenuous day, or even simply compliment their work. Make sure your contractor is always paid on time, treat them the same way you want to be treated.
Perfecting your process
Finding an accredited and trustworthy general contractor takes research. Just like other stages of becoming a successful real estate investor, your contractor search will become a streamlined process with enough experience. You’ll learn how to verify, negotiate, and set deadlines with trustworthy contractors before building a long lasting relationship. Once you have a nurtured relationship with a contractor, don’t take it for granted! Provide value to them, give them more work, and mold your investing practice into a well oiled machine.