NOTES with Jay Conner Success
How Real Estate Investors Find Reliable Contractors
I ’ve discussed this topic many times before, but today, I want to do a deep dive. Strap yourself in, because today we’re going to learn how to find a contractor and how to work with the contractors you hire, whether they are general contractors or subcontractors. Over the years, I’ve developed a strategy for finding contractors I can trust, putting the right agreements in place, and seeing that my project gets done right. The WORST Time to Start Locating a Contractor In order to identify the best time to start locating a contractor, I’m going to point out when you absolutely don’t want to be looking for a contractor: After you have closed on a house. If you have bought a house that needs rehab, renovation, or repairs, and you don’t already have good relationships with contractors in place, then that house is probably going to sit there for a while. Maybe you’ll find yourself under the pressure of having a house just sitting there, and you’ll lower your standards. Now you’ve hired the wrong contractor and have a whole new mess of problems. If you decide to not just do pretty house business, but also go into rehab, then you need to start locating and nurturing relationships with contractors now. You should already be looking for contractors at least 30 days before you think you will be closing on a deal. Where to Find a Contractor In my career, I have identified eight different places you can search to seek out a good contractor. If you do all eight, you’ll open yourself up to a large selection of contractors to choose from. 1. Local Builders’ Association Some of you may have heard me talk about this suggestion before, as it’s one of my favorites. What’s great about your local builders’ association is you don’t need to be a contractor or subcontractor yourself to visit or join the association. Anyone can join. Now, you might be the only real estate investor in a room full of contractors, plumbers, electricians, and landscapers, and that’s a good thing.
real estate investor looking for a general contractor to do business
with. Meet as many people as you can, contractors and subcontractors alike.
2. Local Real Estate Investor Association (REIA) or Monthly Meetings This one is sort of obvious once you think about it. Whether it is an REIA group or a meetup group, go to where people are meeting once a month. And when you’re there, the people you want to ask about contractors are the people who run the meeting. Chat with the president or the person in charge of education. These are the movers and shakers actually doing business. 3. Realtors WhoWorkWith Real Estate Investors Find Realtors who are listing agents for bank-owned properties. We have a realty company in our area that specializes in bank-owned property — it’s practically all they list. They see real estate investors all the time, and in all likelihood, these Realtors will know the contractors the real estate investors are working with. Networking with these Realtors is a good way to learn about reliable contractors who have experience with real estate investors. 4. Subcontractors When you are networking with plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, roofers, and other subcontractors, ask them about the reputations of general contractors. Subcontractors will know which general contractors are the most reliable regarding finishing jobs on time and whether or not they pay on time. 5. Home Depot Pros Desk/Lowe’s Pro Services Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement both have contractor or commercial desks where you can go for recommendations on general contractors. The hardware stores will know who good contractors are because they are the ones who repeatedly buy products from their store. (As a side note, you can also go to other places that supply contractors, like lumber yards.) The reason the people at these businesses will tell you about the best general contractors is because, by hiring the contractor they recommend, you are indirectly bringing more business to their store when that contractor needs more supplies.
When you attend meetings, which are usually just once a month, and you are networking, let people know who you are. Introduce yourself as a
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