Whether you’ve been flipping houses for years or you’re just starting to dip your feet into the world of real estate investing, you should already know the value of a great contractor. Unfortunately for people like you and me, the best contractors are always really busy, so you can’t always count on them to be free when you need them. That’s why Christina and I work with a handful of really great contractors on our flips, and it’s why we’re always on the lookout for more quality people we can work with on our future flips.
If you’ve done any reading at all about house flipping, you’re probably already pretty familiar with the basic ways to find and hire a good contractor. When those traditional methods—asking friends and colleagues for references, looking for in-progress job sites, etc.—aren’t getting you anywhere, it can be really discouraging. Fortunately, though, I’ve found a few new ways of finding some really incredible contractors.
Take a Drive Through a New Development
So, you already know that you can usually find the best contractors on the job, right? Well, finding contractors working on jobs like yours and other renovations might be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find the best contractors on job sites. Instead of looking for renovation sites, which can take forever, go check out the latest neighborhood development in your area.
Find out who’s working on it, and either talk to the general contractor on site when you visit or over the phone later. There’s a good chance that his contract with this development is going to be up soon and that he’ll be looking for more work for himself and his crew.
Talk to Your Materials Suppliers
If you’re like Christina and me, you probably use the same materials supply stores and distributors for all of your flips, right? Well, those guys appreciate your business, and they love that you’re a loyal customer. They also have a lot of customers who are general contractors. Talk to them and find out who in the area is the best at what they do, who to avoid, and who’s likely to be too busy for a while or looking for work soon.
If you’re looking for really great contractors in your area, you can also get some pretty great tips online. Go to review sites like Angie’s List or Yelp and do a search for general contractors near you (or near the area where you flip houses). Read through their reviews and see who has the most positive reviews. Don’t stop there, though. Take a minute to really look at the negative reviews you see and determine if they look like a pattern of poor service or work, or if they’re just somebody having a bad day.
Reviews can also tell you a lot about the kind of work that a contractor does. If you read a lot of reviews by people who had their homes renovated by a particular contractor, you’re looking in the right direction. If most of the reviews are from corporate clients and commercial buildings, you might want to move on to the next contractor on your list.
These are the three best ways I’ve found to find and hire a really great contractor, especially when the traditional methods aren’t working. If your business is growing, you should be looking for more contractors who can perform to the standards that you expect for your flip houses. Follow these tips and see how fast you can find more great people for your house flipping team.