6 Tips for Finding an Awesome Rehab Contractor

July 28, 2015 | By | Reply More

2015-7-28-260Hey Guys, it’s JP here –

One of the questions we get a lot around here is how to find an awesome rehab contractor for your fix-and-flip deals. Or even to handle the renovations for your rental deals.

Where are those contractors hiding?

Now, most of you know that Patrick and I prefer wholesale deals more often than not. But we’ve each had our share of experiences with rehabs. When you’re in this business, it’s always going to come up from time to time that you’ll need to hire a contractor.

Between the two of us, we have more than 20 years of cumulative experience in the real estate investing trenches. Drawing from that experience, I’m going to throw out 6 quick, but very useful tips for finding that awesome contractor. (After all, you are going after awesome, not mediocre. Right?)

Tip #1
The Giver’s Gain Investor

My #1 way to find any team member is by referrals. I love referrals. It just helps weed out the bad eggs. This is far and away the best way that both of us have found our best contractors.

These are referrals from other real estate investors… These will be investors who’re willing to share their contact information for a contractor who has worked well for them.

Many times, the person who’s in charge of your local REIA club acts almost like the hub of all the activities. That individual can refer you to a lot of good contacts.

Networking is hugely important in this business, and it can lead you to the best investor-friendly contractors out there.

Tip #2
The Realtor Referral

This will include local Realtors who specialize in the small niche where your property is located. Let’s say you have a house in a specific zip code that you’re going to rehab, and there’s one agent whose signs are all over the neighborhood… he eats, sleeps, and breathes that neighborhood.

2015-7-28-romeThat’s the local experienced marketing expert that you’re looking for.

This is not the new Realtor who’s hungry and will offer to do anything to get your business.

You’re looking for the one who’s experienced in your neighborhood. They often have relationships with contractors that they use on a regular basis and are willing to make those referrals.

Obviously, this is just another part of networking.

Tip #3
The Random Drive-By

When you’re out driving around the neighborhoods, and you see where someone is fixing up a house – it doesn’t even have to be an investor – stop and talk to the workers. Find out what they do and who they’re working for.

I can attest to the success of this tip, because I have absolutely done this. When you’re just out driving the neighborhoods and see the activity – stop, ask questions, get information and develop a relationship. It works!

There’s nothing unethical about this because they’re just out there working. Try it and see.

Tip #4
The Donuts at Home Depot Maneuver

Most serious contractors get started early in the day. They’re the first ones to show up when the doors open at Home Depot. They’re buying their materials for that day…

So you head out to Home Depot and wait at the contractor’s desk with a box of donuts. There you can strike up a conversation with contractors and develop contacts. (And hand out the donuts of course.) It’s a great way to win favor with these hard-working individuals.

And while I’ve not tried this, I’ve heard this works with paint stores as well. Contractors might need to hit the paint store early in the morning before starting work, so you could catch them there was well.

Realize that this tip is addressed only to those who love to get up early – which by the way, doesn’t include me. But those who have used this tip, swear by it! (Don’t discount it – or laugh – ‘till you’ve tried it.)

Tip #5
2015-7-28-parkingYour REIA Leaders

I mentioned your local REIA group in Tip #1. This tip can also apply to that group.

Your local REIA may have members who are vendors who pay a sponsor-level membership so they can advertise. Oftentimes there’ll be contractors who’re one of these sponsors. They’re there specifically because they also are looking to make business contacts. So that could be a great starting point as well.

Check it out and see what’s popping at your local REIA. Your contractor may be right there!

Tip #6
Ask Angie (Angieslist.com)

This is a paid online service, which is a social network of consumers who rate, rank and give feedback on contractors. (This can be compared to the reviews you might see on Amazon.)

The contractors on Angie’s List consist of a wide range of services, such as plumbers, landscape and lawn services, tree services, cleaning services, remodel contractors and so on…

These are businesses that care about their Angie’s List reputation, because good ratings on this site can convert in to healthy business growth. I used to have a subscription to the List and used it regularly, so I know this is a great place to find your rehab contractors.

You can at least browse the site and see what’s cooking there. It’s easy to do a localized search.

There You Have It

Every investor knows that getting a bad contractor can quickly eat up time and money – and in this business, loss of time and money can be the difference between making a profit on a deal and barely breaking even.

It’s not worth it to take chances on this member of your team. But if you follow these 6 tips, you should be on safe ground as you move forward in your investing business.

Now it’s Your Turn

Tell us how you’ve found your contractors. What worked; what didn’t work so well. We’d love to hear from you!

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Category: Fix & Flip, Rehabbing

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