Choosing a contractor for your Montgomery County, PA, rental property isn’t as simple as choosing the most affordable option that shows up in an online search. It is better to ask for referrals from those you know who have used local contractors. Word-of-mouth from fellow property owners is the best way to find a contractor who will meet your needs. Of course, even with referrals, it is essential to do your own research and vet contractors online. Do your homework to choose a contractor you work well with and can build a lasting professional relationship. This way, they’re likely to provide top-notch service and even potential discounts down the road.
Steps for Choosing a Home Improvement Contactor for Rental Properties in Montgomery County, PA
#1 – Create a Detailed Description of the Project(s)
Before getting any quotes, create a detailed description of the project or projects you have to complete. Be thorough here — a full description of what is needed won’t get an accurate quote.
#2 – Get Multiple Bids
Gather several bids from different recommended contractors. Although you might not have the budget for the “top dollar” bids received, it also may not be smart to go with the cheapest. Sometimes the middle of the road quote is best. It truly depends on the situation. This is why research is imperative (and knowing your budget).
#3 – Check References on Each Bids
Any contractor you are considering should have references. Check those! Ask questions about the contractor’s punctuality, ability to stick to deadlines, and style of communication.
#4 – Compare Prices, References and Online Data
Pick the contractor who has favorable references (both the ones you called and online reviews) and is within your budget. Typically, a referral is going to be someone the contractor trusts to give a positive review, so online reviews can sometimes be more telling. Also, keep in mind that people are more likely to leave reviews when things go wrong versus when they go right. Take online reviews with a grain of salt and use your best judgment when determining what’s real.
#5 – Choose a Contractor and Close the Deal!
Draw up a detailed contract to be signed by both yourself and the contractor. Feel free to use those other bids to your benefit and negotiate. Make sure to do so before the contract is in place, as the price is firm once it is.
The contract should include the following information:
- Payment Schedule
- Start and Finish Date
- Any other pertinent items: who is responsible for the cleanup, what happens if the deadline isn’t met, etc.
Tips for Managing Contractors
The property manager/landlord must stay in close contact with the contractor and manage them/the project accordingly. A good first tip is to start with small projects to gain trust and make sure you approve of their work. Don’t just set it and forget it —check up on them often and be sure things are going according to the agreed-upon timeline. Pay at each project milestone and only after assessing the completed work. Lastly, leave nothing up to assumption. The best work results from you and your contractor being on the same page every step of the way!
Consider Hiring a Professional Property Manager
Follow those guidelines and tips to be successful in your contractor search and continued relationship with contractors. Using a property management company like Bay Property management Group of Montgomery County, PA can also be useful for hiring the right contractors for your property. Here at Bay Property Management Group, we handle all of your property management needs, including providing plenty of resources to help find the best contractor for the job.