I have been seeing a lot of questions lately from our members and subscribers about how to find good, qualified contractors. These are coming from students who are just starting out AND from students with experience who have just been burned by a bad contractor in the past.
We know the profitability of any rehab is directly correlated to the contractor. Therefore, hiring a dependable contractor is not only critical, but also essential to the success of any flip.
Whether it’s a light rehab for a significant full rehab, a good contractor is what you need to make the project profitable.
Never be satisfied with just one. Always be on the hunt for new contractors – especially when you are doing as many deals as we are at one time. We need several general contractors and lots of subcontractors going at once, so we’re always on the lookout for new recommendations.
14 Simple Methods
To help solve this issue, I have put together these 14 methods that myself, my coaches and faculty use on a regular basis to help find quality contractors.
- Home Depot and Lowe’s contractor desk between 6-7am. Grab a coffee (sometimes they even have it there for free!) and go hang out at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s to meet all the best contractors who are showing up early to buy supplies for their jobs.
- Your local REIA club. Heading to your local Real Estate Investor Association Meeting is a great place to find contractors or at least get leads on a good one. If you aren’t currently a part of your local REIA Club, find one here. If there isn’t one near you, go to any and every real estate function you can attend, and while there, find out who the rehabbers are in your area and who they use for contractors.
- Drive through neighborhoods. If you see a crew working at a house stop in and see if you can check out their work and maybe get their contact information.
- Fundamental Groups. Look in your area for local Amish groups that do really high quality carpentry.
- Your local building department. Here you can find a list of contractors that are already approved to work in your city. In cities where this is a lot of renovation work happening, contractors have to get approved and submit their paperwork to the city to be able to do work there. The city will have a whole roster of plumbers, electricians, carpenters, roofers, etc. that are all approved and ready to work.
- Advertising on Craigslist. Make sure to specify in your ad that if they are going to respond, they MUST send you a resume and samples of work they have completed in the past.
- Material Supply Houses. Places like Building 9 or Menard’s that just sell materials usually have a roster of contractors that buy materials in bulk.
- Builders. Builders use subcontractors to do a lot of work under them. In the winter or during slow seasons, the builders can’t keep all their subcontractors busy, so they will usually gladly refer you to them.
- Realtors. If you know a realtor who does a lot of REO work or lists a lot of HUD homes, they can probably refer you to contractors they use when they get a bank-owned home that needs work.
- NARI.org. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry is an organization of high-quality remodeling professionals connects homeowners with its professional members and provides tips and tricks so that the consumer has a positive remodeling experience.
- Your Local Home Builders Association. Your local HBA’s mission is to enhance their members’ ability to meet the housing needs of the general public by providing superior services and benefits to those engaged in the home-building industry. If you are a full-time real estate investor who works on big rehabs, you should seriously considering joining your local HBA chapter.
- Call Posted Signs. Anytime you see a sign in a front yard from a company that says they just completed work there, call the number on the sign and find out who did the work.
- Angie’s List. You can register for an account on Angie’s List, which you can pay for a basic membership monthly ($3.75) or yearly ($9.99) and have access to a variety of service providers in your area.
- HomeAdvisor.com. It’s a service like Angie’s List, but HomeAdvisor.com is free! They make it easy to find local pros who specialize in exactly the type of work you need done. Just give them a few details about your project and they will match you to the best pro for the job. They also offer a detailed True Cost Guide that helps take the guesswork out of budgeting and most pro’s on the site have reviews you can read to see feedback of their past jobs.
Another great resource to find quality contractors is Facebook. Everyone owns a home and has things that needed to be updated or fixed. Just put a post on your page that says you just bought a house you are looking to renovate and you are looking for good quality contractors.
Your social network is so ready to make recommendations and let you know who has done (or bad!) work for them.
If you are a newer investor who is just starting out or you have a few flips under your belt, but all the information you need to keep straight to have a successful, profitable flip overwhelms you, don’t worry, you are NOT alone.
That was me when I first started and that has been many of my students that I have personally coached over the years. I invested in a personal coach who helped me figure out exactly how to find the best deals in my market, how to create reasonable timelines and scopes of work for my projects, where to find the best contractors, etc.
I have a coach/mentor myself currently and I’ve mentored many students, including SREC’s newest Head Coach, Kyle Garifo. He went from being a full-time Clinical Therapist to absolutely killing it in his market of Chicago, Illinois.
If you are a serious investor who really wants to streamline and automate your business with a mentor by your side – then consider filling out this application to be part of our next class of students. Each coach will help you design a business plan tailored exactly to your business and your goals.
I’m not gunna lie to you…it’s hard work and only for investors who seriously want to run a successful real estate investing business.
CEO Strategic Real Estate Coach
CEO Freeland Ventures and Freeland Lending
CEO Yellow Jacket Properties