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Tips for Finding the Right Contractor for Your Rental Property Project

Collecting and comparing multiple bids for your next tenant turn can be a headache. Because each contractor presents bids differently, choosing the one that is in the best interest of your budget, without sacrificing workmanship and quality, can be tricky.  Here are five pro tips to help get your project started right.

1. Qualify Your Contractors

When it comes to contractors, do not make any assumptions. Ideally, your contractor will specialize in rental property projects. Those that do typically perform work for competitors in the marketplace. Call references to verify and validate their workmanship before moving forward. Those who specialize in rentals usually have an investor mindset and understand the quality most landlords expect in a rental.     

2. Get Multiple Bids

For bigger projects that involve more than fixing broken items, narrow it down to two bidding contractors. Qualify these two contractors ahead of time to ensure you get the right expertise, service, and price. 

3. Provide a Detailed Scope of Work

Not providing a detailed scope of work to your bidding contractors will usually yield large variances in the bids offered. To avoid this, be as thorough as possible in the scale of the project. By doing so, you mitigate the risk of receiving large pricing variances. If you don’t have the time or need guidance on how to do this, a third-party property management partner may be a good solution to help.

4. Provide Detail on Material Grade to be Used

The best way to ensure you receive an “apples to apples” bid is to provide your contractor with details regarding the quality of the product and materials you want used in your home. By not specifying the grade and quality you expect, the estimates you receive may be far from the actual cost. It’s important to qualify your contractor beforehand, so you’ll have an idea of the contractors who specialize in rental property maintenance. These contractors will often pick the right material grade in the event you do not specify.

5. Select a Winning Bid

Remember, facts always come before feelings. If one of the bids is lacking detail, then immediately escalate questions to the contractor for clarification. A big decision with a lot of time, money, and effort at stake, take your time during this stage, as it will give you the best chance of getting the job done right. Spending a little extra time questioning the contractors and getting the answers you need may save you from costly issues after the project has begun.


About the Author

Charles Riska is the president of rental operations at Associa. In this role, he oversees Associa’s SFR division, RHOME, the Vacation Rental Division, AA Oceanfront, and is responsible for driving growth strategies in markets across the continental United States, Hawaii, and Canada. His core focus is to help streamline, improve, and enrich the company’s rental strategies, with an emphasis on data-driven decision making, accountability, and collaborative execution.

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