Relationships with good contractors are crucial for fix-and-flip investors.
Contractors oversee and manage the entire construction project, and hire subcontractors as needed for specialized contributions.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to find a good contractor for your fix-and-flip projects based on your unique project needs.
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Why is a good contractor important for your project?
Real estate investors often are executing major renovations with their fix-and-flip projects — and they frequently have multiple projects going on at the same time.
For these extensive projects, many states require a licensed contractor.
Hiring the wrong person can lead to the following problems:
- Project delays
- Quality issues
- Budget overruns
- Safety concerns
- Legal issues
With fix-and-flip projects, time is money.
It’s important to hire a contractor with a solid reputation, strong communication, and past experience that matches your project needs.
What are your project needs?
Before you hire a contractor, it’s important to understand your project needs and define the full scope of your fix-and-flip investment, including:
- Property type, such as single-family, multifamily, etc.
- Property size and condition
- Long-term goals
Your project scope also includes your specific goals for the property, such as design elements and features, your target market, and the layout.
Understanding your project needs will help you effectively communicate with potential contractors, which in turn will influence your project quotes and your compatibility with a contractor’s skills and talents.
Qualities to look for in a contractor
Some contractors can talk the talk, but when it comes to executing your projects they fall flat.
How do you make sure the person you’re working with is going to operate with the same enthusiasm from start to finish? How do you know they’re someone you can trust with your projects?
Here are some of the qualities you should look for in a fix-and-flip contractor:
- Demonstrated experience in fix-and-flip projects similar to your own
- Understanding of the local market dynamics and buyer preferences
- Proper licensing for the type of work in your location
- Positive reviews and testimonials from previous clients
- Clear and transparent communication throughout the project
- Punctuality in appointments and meetings
- Creative problem-solving skills to navigate unexpected issues
- High-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail
- Clear and fair contract terms regarding payment schedules and pricing
Finding the right contractor is about more than technical skills. They must also demonstrate that they can adhere to your timelines and communicate promptly and openly throughout the project.
Now that you know the qualities to look for in this person, let’s talk about how you can find them.
Ask for recommendations
The first place to start looking for a good contractor for your fix-and-flip is to ask your friends, family, private money lender, or your network of fellow real estate professionals for a recommendation.
This method is among the most effective and reliable because your network can vouch for the contractor’s work and provide examples.
You also can get an idea of how well the contractor stayed within budget and if they respected the project timelines.
Perform an online search
If you aren’t getting any solid recommendations from your network—or if you’ve tried some of their recommendations and it didn’t work out—you can search online.
The following websites are frequented by real estate professionals looking for good contractors:
You can also start by searching “contractors near me” on Google and reviewing the businesses that pop up in the results.
Online searches allow you to read reviews from multiple people about their experience with a contractor.
Interview your prospects
Once you have your prospects, you’ll want to interview them to get examples of their work, pricing, timing, and communication style.
Generally, the interview process should go something like this:
- Ask for their portfolio of work
- Set up a phone call
- Meet in person
- Get a bid
You might find that some contractors fall off your list from the first few steps alone, especially if they seem uninterested in answering your questions or too busy for your project.
These interview steps also will help you evaluate how easy it is to communicate with a contractor and whether they will show up on time.
Clarify the scope of the project
As you’re working through the project details with a contractor, make sure you’re providing the full scope for the most accurate bid.
Schedule a walk-through with your contractor prospects, and create a list of every project and price.
Make sure to ask your prospects for a written bid so you can compare pricing.
Establish a communication plan
No news doesn’t always mean good news — don’t rely on the contractor to provide you with regular updates if you didn’t establish these parameters.
Determine how frequently you are going to check in on the project to make sure everything is progressing as scheduled.
It also will ensure that the contractor is not missing a project or adding on projects that were not initially discussed.
Don’t forget the final walkthrough
Remember, the process of finding a good contractor will benefit you for many projects to come.
Make sure that once the project is completed, you schedule a final walkthrough with the contractor to make sure you’re happy with the finished product.
The contractor’s responses to your questions or requests during the walkthrough also will tell you whether it’s someone you’ll want to work with again and again.
Submit your fix-and-flip loan scenario to Marquee Funding Group
Ready for your next fix-and-flip project? The process begins with a loan from a reputable, experienced hard money lender.
Marquee Funding Group offers quick, flexible fix-and-flip loans to borrowers who want to invest in these types of lucrative real estate projects.
Our expert team of savvy real estate investors and loan originators will quickly identify your needs and execute a solution.
If your deal makes sense, we’ll fund it — it’s that simple.
Photo by Christina Morillo