Landlords, Property Managers, and Rehab real estate investors will need to call on an investor friendly handyman at one time or another. If you have income properties or cash flow real estate investments and don’t want to manage the repairs and maintenance yourself – the best bet is to invest the time to get to know and trust an investor friendly handyman. Working with a handyman on your real estate properties can save you time and money in your real estate investing business.
A contractor or handyman can perform the necessary repairs on our properties (actually recent studies and polls show that investors prefer working with a handyman). It is critical that the person or persons, especially if they are contractors, you use are licensed and insured to protect you and them. You need to find someone you can trust and someone who can give you bids and manage the subcontractors if necessary.
You can find contacts for the services you need through you local home improvement store’s pro desk or bulletin board. Often times, a referral from another investor or individual you know who have had experience working with a investor friendly contractor or handyman is where you would likely find the best match to help you with your property management or fix & flip deals.
When Do Investors Need a Handyman or Rehab Team
In my experience as a real estate investor with income properties, there are three levels of fix-up or handyman type of work that goes on with property management and rehabbing. The first level is clean it up and shine it up. The second level is bringing in a handyman and fixing it up. The third level is to bring in a contractor and rip, replace, or build a new one.
Level 1 Handyman Work – Clean/Make-Ready
Clean up can be done in many ways and means very different things to some real estate investors. Here is an example out of a seasoned investor’s playbook that is fast and when using a handyman producing big results:
Ken had been an investor for some time and buys about 2 homes a month. For clean up, the first thing that Ken does is send in his handyman clean team. They start at the ceilings and work their way down. They test all basic functions of the home – stove, light switches, locks, etc. The remove all trash, secure the perimeter, clean the yard. Once the home is clean then Ken goes in and decides what repairs need to be done if any. He has observed that cleaning a home can have a huge impact. He can then turnaround and list the property “as-is” on the market below value. In ken’s experience there are several people who would rather have a home that needs a small amount of work so that they can fell like they are building up equity than paying full price for a perfect property.
Level 2 Handyman Work – Fix it up
You really want a handyman who can deal with the minor-fix-ups like carpet replacement, sheet rock replacement, light fixture mounting, install appliances, patch roof leaks, painting, and minor plumbing repairs. When your real estate investment property need some work but not enough to justify hiring a contractor, you need to bring in an investor friendly handyman.
Level 3 Contractor Work – Major remodeling or construction
You will find great real estate deals will that have structural problems or need major renovations. This is when investors need to call in the big guns. When you want to rip out rooms, add bathrooms, and add walls – you will need to bring in a licensed contractor that can deals with all kinds of problems including those that need to have a permit and a license, and especially subcontractors.
Key Qualities of an Investor Friendly Handyman
Prompt and accessible
Completes repairs quickly and with a “service guarantee” attitude
Able to do multiple types of repairs
Can provide an estimate before the work is started
Does not require payment in cash
Provides receipts/invoices if necessary
Questions You Should Ask Handyman or Contractor
How long have you been a handyman?
What types of repair work can you do?
Are you licensed in any areas>
How quickly can you start a job on short notice?
Will you guarantee your completion date?
Do you service you work if something goes wrong?
How much do you require up front? How much when you’re finished?
Best method of payment?
Are there any areas or repairs that you will not work on?
Finding a Investor Friendly Handyman
Ask members of your power team for references
Looks in the newspaper – Green sheet, local free paper
Talk to contractors who have subs that are laid off or work on the side
Always make sure you have multiple options in case you have an emergency on your property
Perform a local YP & Google search for “Investor Friendly Handyman”
There are many contractors and handymen who advertise on craigslist as “Investor Friendly Contractors” and they at times specialize in income properties like duplexes and understand how to work with tenants, repairmen, housing permits, and long distance owners. Lastly, ask for referrals from other investors in your REIA or local real estate clubs for investor friendly handymen or do an online search for “Handyman that works with investors”.
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