The Right Maintenance Contractor is a Key Asset
Finding qualified, experienced, licensed property maintenance contractors is an important job for landlords or property managers.
For landlords with a sustainable business viewpoint, a good property maintenance company is money in the bank.
Properties don’t stay in good condition by themselves. And if property management is 75% maintenance, this is a key area of business optimization for you. We’ve found 10 tips to help you hire a better property maintenance provider below.
Repeatable Processes Key to Successful Business
Sourcing and acquiring a good contractor is so important that you’ll likely be looking to hire one as your own in-house maintenance professional.
In house maintenance staff are valuable because of systems and processes. They can do the work quicker, get more done, communicate better with you, all because they’re part of your system.
And that’s where a cloud based, next generation property management software really helps you get work done yourself.
Who are Maintenance Contractors?
They’re professionals in plumbing, heating and HVAC, electric, landscaping, paving, snow removal, janitorial, carpentry, remodeling (general contractors), painting, roofing, parking lot maintenance and more.
Finding the Needle in the Haystack
Many of the top maintenance contractors are too busy to take on new business while others don’t advertise. Your task might well to be find the best of those who are available.
This task of sourcing and vetting all of the different types of contractors takes up a considerable amount of time. How do you find maintenance contractors? Try local business associations, Google, and online directories such as Angi.
Your goal is to find maintenance professionals whom you can rely on consistently. One time fixes aren’t good enough. And if these contractors can fit in with your software guided system, you’re creating a repeatable, easily managed maintenance process.
10 Ways to Get the Best Maintenance Service
Here’s a detailed process to find the best maintenance contractors:
- have a clear, written, detailed description of your project or ongoing maintenance service needs and set a realistic budget
- get bids, not to lower price, but to learn more about local maintenance firms and how they work
- ask for their descriptions of their work and specifics about similar projects they’ve done
- ask them about properties they’re working on right now so you can drive to the location and watch their service people in action
- ask them for their estimate of their own potential capabilities and list their areas of experience and expertise — if they specialize their services in any way (e.g., plumbing, landscaping), it might mean you’ll have to hire another firm to do the rest of the maintenance work
- ask them about common problems with specific brands of equipment
- check their references regarding reliability, landlord relations, and staying on budget
- check their licenses and ask for physical proof, and check any validated complaints and disciplinary actions taken against them
- honest about their availability to do the work they’ve bid on?
- do they seem reasonable and willing to be accountable for any aspect of their performance and responsibilities?
Interviewing Maintenance Contractors
The questions you ask in an interview make all the difference. The ultimate decision point might be trust (if they possess the capabilities). We hate to mention fraud, however contractor scams are common.
In your personal face to face interview, you do need to check off all your must-haves, and drill down to issues they’ve had with similar clients. You’re digging in for potential trouble with reliability, cost efficiency, honesty, and how they describe incidents and issues they’ve had.
Do they treat their staff with respect? Do they offer detailed estimates? What is their description of your company’s needs? Do they offer a clear picture of how they will work with you? Do they ask questions of your business focus, properties serviced, and needs?
Follow a process for selecting a good contractor, and they’ll become a key asset in your sustainable business model.
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