Thursday, July 7, 2016

Investing In Real Estate – Building The Right Team #6: Contractor/Handyman/Trades

Not very handy? Don’t feel bad…we aren’t either. But that shouldn’t discourage you from investing in real estate. By building a team that includes a contractor or handyman to handle your renovations and repairs, you won’t have to slave doing manual labor jobs that you either don’t have the time for or the skills to do properly. Today we are going to talk about how having the right guys for the job will help make your investment properties more successful in the long run. We are using the terms contractor/handyman/trades interchangeably, as who you need can vary depending on your situation.

Why Do I Need A Contractor/Handyman/Trades?

If you are truly good with your hands and know the ins and outs of construction, including trades, pulling permits, etc, then maybe you don’t need a good contractor. But for the rest of us, they are very important. They will carry out necessary renovations to your rental properties that will attract the right tenants for top rents and keep your real estate values high. Time is money in real estate investing. The longer a job takes the more potential vacancy you have and the larger the hit to your potential rent. You should also be doing routine maintenance to your property, so the improvements you have will last longer, ie. servicing of the mechanical.

What Should I Look For In A Contractor/Handyman/Trades?

You should look for an experienced contractor that can handle the type of jobs you need done for your properties. Check references and assess their work with due diligence. Having a contractor that has rentals or has a background in them is a bonus. They will understand where you are coming from when it comes to smartly investing in your properties. You are not making decisions the same way you would if you were renovating your own home.

What Else Will My Contractor/Handyman/Trades Do?

They will give you advice on general updates that need to be done. Sometimes things can wait another year or two. Sometimes, an item needing repair can be a money pit and a full replacement is better in the long run. They should also have good referrals for you. For example, if you were renovating a basement and had a leak in the foundation, they should be able to refer you to some potential specialists outside of their expertise.

How Much Will My Contractor/Handyman/Trades Cost?

As with most team members in our series, the costs will vary depending on the person and the job.  Make sure to get multiple, detailed quotes in writing so you fully understand what is included in the price. Also, you usually get what you pay for in construction, so choosing team members solely on who is the lowest price isn’t always the best idea. Sometimes they are the cheapest for a reason and getting the job done right can save you money in the long term.

So there you have it, real estate investors. Do you have a team of construction experts for your properties? How has your experience been in finding the right help?

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