Any landlord will soon find out that no matter how handy they may be they may still need the services of a good contractor. Some landlords need a contractor for everything, while others may need a contractor on a rare occasion. In either case the need for a good contractor is necessary.
There are different classes of contractors that a landlord can choose from when he needs a job done. The first kind of contractor is the professional contractor that is fully insured and does this kind of work for a living. The other kind is a guy who does this kind of work on the side. There are many sub classes in these two categories based on price, quality, experience, etc…. The question is who do I need for a certain type of job.
A professional contractor has a big advantage in that they will get the job done right. I say that in most cases, however there are exceptions. Professional contractors are usually more expensive and geared to the larger more difficult jobs. Most professional contractors that I have talked to do not really want to do the small jobs that come up in rental activity. Jobs like small repairs that take a couple of hours for example. I have found that for small jobs like these a contractor may be willing to let one of there employees do the job in there off hours to keep you happy. This way he can focus on the larger jobs while still keeping you as a customer happy.
The moral of this story is that there really is no one contractor that can service all of your rental property needs properly. They may be able to do it but they may not be the best value to you as the landlord. That is why I have built a team of contractors over the years. The team that I have set up is very specialized and they get there particular jobs done quickly and they know what they are doing. This team is made up of professionals and some guys that do side jobs. Some of the specialties include a electrician, a drain guy, a roofing company, a plumber, a block guy, a furnace installer, and a employee of the furnace installer for small repairs to the furnace. I can do all of the other jobs myself.
It took many years to put together this team by hiring and talking to contractors and people I know from the real estate business. Contractors get a reputation among the real estate investors in your area very quickly. It is basically a process of elimination trying to find the best people for the job.
A quick note here. I have seen many people in the rental and real estate investment business try and cut corners on electricians by getting a non licensed electrician to do some work on the side. I have found that it is best to get a licensed electrician with all permits to do your electrical work. I have found that you really don’t save a whole lot getting a electrician on the side if you shop around for a reasonably priced electrician.