Unless you are the world's best handyman, landlords need to rely on contractors to help get the job done.
While finding a contractor is generally an easy task, finding one who is reliable and affordable can be a different kettle of fish.
To stay on top of your property maintenance obligations and promptly respond to unexpected repair issues, you need a network of contractors on speed dial that you can trust.
After years of property management, you do become somewhat a jack-of-all-trades. But often, we don't have the time or expertise required to complete complex repairs.
It is much easier to find quality contractors in your area and keep them around...
A quality contractor is someone who has a good reputation and the requisite skill required to complete the job to a high standard.
They are easy to contact, show up on time, are respectful of your property and your tenant's rights whilst on the job, and clean up after themselves.
They also are competitively priced. Although we acknowledge you often get what you pay for, the amount charged has to be reasonable.
A quality contractor will often have a good understanding of the landlord/tenant relationship and will work around this when coordinating repairs.
It is best to ask friends/fellow landlords for referrals when it comes to selecting contractors, but short of this, you can read a contractor's reviews online before engaging them. Be wary of fake reviews online - look for specific details that suggest the person writing the review is genuine.
Remember, the relationship between the contractor and the landlord is a two-way street.
These days, there seems to be a shortage of contractors in some areas, so not only can they charge a premium, they can be picky about who they choose to engage with as a customer.
Make sure you give your contractors clear instructions and pay them on time. Treat them with respect and give thanks for their work. The best way to do this is by sending your contractor referrals or repeat business.
Don't forget that contractors often share information with other contractors: if you are unpleasant or untrustworthy in your business dealings, the news will spread fast. This may seem basic but it is so true.
We recommend getting to know your contractors - ask about their family, send them a Christmas card and offer juice and snacks while they are working on big jobs. In these cases, a little goes a long way.
Start making a list and have your go-to contractors on speed dial. Hopefully, if you have done your groundwork, your contractor will value the relationship as much as you do and will prioritize your job over other call-outs.
Once you have built rapport and trust with your local contractors, you can also start putting into place systems that revolutionize the property maintenance and repair process.
By leaving a key in a secure lockbox, that only your contractor knows the code to, you can provide your contractor with easy and safe access to your property (without having to be there yourself). Just remember to change the lock combination on an annual basis, or if you think the code has been compromised, for added safety.
We hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that it should not be used as a substitute for competent legal and/or other advice from a licensed professional.