There is an Special Sauce
I am not just a regular landlord, I am a property manager and manage several other properties.
If there is one thing on a contractors mind, it’s finding work. As a part time landlord, your top priority for dealing with contractors is making sure its understood that you are the property manager, have other properties, and are a potential source for repeat business – more so than the average residential homeowner. I used this strategy when I first started because it was just more comfortable, I ddnt have to take on the title of the “owner” of the property. Instead, I was the project manager, the property manager, controlled who performed the work and when they were paid. Besides, I did not want to let anyone know my actual position in the company / property.
Here is an excellent example, yesterday I had received two bids to replace the top tiers of my multi-unit apartment building. When meeting my contractor, he asked if I had other properties. I said yes, which made him even more motivated to reduce his price, throw in some extras on the job (window trim, gutter work, wood work) and just overall helped my position in negotiations.
In another example, I almost always try to get referrals from other real estate investors. When I first meet that refferal, in this case my rofing contractor, I am sure to mention that “John Markley” gave me your name and said you were “The Man”. I am also sure to reiterate that John is a very successful investor, has lots of properties and is a very close friend. This is all true and helps strengthen my position as an influential landlord property manager with good connections. If my job isnt done right, I will be sure to let John know and of course my contractor.
Again – this is a helpful strategy for property investors just starting out, as you get more experienced and confident, you build good report with your contractors and typically only have to go through the process once per relationship.
Finding The Right Person
I usually break up a job into three categories and have different levels of people perform each type. Once you get on your phone and computer you will quickly learn there are many many options in all these categories.
- Cleaning – This is level 1, it’s an easy, low skill and low risk job that pretty much anyone can do. Very simple to find someone to do this, just create a basic post on craigslist. (sign up for my insiders mailing list for free post examples to guarantee responses)
- Handyman – this is typically someone with their own tools, responsible and skilled in at least one trade but handy at others.
- Project based contractor – these are professional contractors who can provide an estimate to get a job done from beginning to end. For example, windows, roof, doors, remodeling, structural.