The ContractorPosted on November 26, 2013 by
With the holidays here everyone begins to think about everything they are thankful for having in their lives. I did the same and came up with the same things everyone else thinks about like family, friends, having a roof over my head, a career I love, etc. Then I began to think about what I was thankful for having in my work life. When I was done with this list I noticed I forgot the contractor. Without a great dependable contractor, investing in real estate is difficult. Think about how much more work load you would have if your contractor was not dependable. You would have to drive to all your projects every day, you would need to supervise numerous tradesmen daily, order materials, shop around for the best labor and material prices, put up with all the laborers excuses, etc. I am not saying contractors are perfect but they can be trained to work perfectly for you as an investor.
First of all, the best way to know if you have a great deal is to have a contractor validate your estimated repair cost with a scope of work sheet along with the cost. Keep in mind that no one can see behind walls so make sure to have a reasonable cushion. The benefit about having a contractor you continuously work with is that he/she can adjust their numbers if need be to make your project a deal. They do this because they know you will have another project coming soon. I have had many tight deals become very profitable due to having the right contactor. I know what all the wholesalers are thinking, “How can I get a contractor to do this for me if I am still not buying houses and investing myself?” To accomplish this, start by teaming up with a contractor that has shown you his work and you have verified he/she is dependable. When you contract a property have him/her give you a written bid and include it in your marketing packet. If an investor purchases the home, uses the contract and the contractor performs, you are now the go to guy/gal with the right connections. Best of all, when it comes time for you to do your first investment you will have your go-to contractor ready to give you, the guy that gave them plenty of business in the past, a great price. This is the ultimate win-win situation if executed properly.
Secondly, having a dependable contractor that learns how you work saves plenty of time. I remember when I first began working with a few of the contractors I work with today and how they called me all the time about every small detail. I spent tons of time on the phone but now that they know what I expect they perform each task accordingly and make decisions fast to keep the timeline on each project. If you are looking to invest on a large scale and have multiple projects going at once you may consider turning one of these contractors into a project manager. You could also appoint one of your associates as a project manager and have them handle the day to day communication with the tradesmen. Many of the contractors that I worked with in the past and present have also become investors themselves. Some have taken on their own project and others have decided to joint venture on a few deals before doing it on their own. However, at the end of the day we all continue to work together.
Next time you see your contractor thank him/her for making your life easier. If they are not making your life easier it’s time to begin searching for someone new or debate whether he/she is worth training to be the contractor you need. Whatever your decision, keep the lines of communication open because you may find a way to work together again in the future.