Don’t Let Your DIY Become An OMG

Whether you’re buying a vacation home or simply adding to your real estate rental portfolio, there’s a lot that goes into the decision to buy. Location, how much renovation is needed, and the overall cost are just a few of the important details. Something that often gets overlooked in the primary stages, however, is how you’re going to handle managing a property if you’re not living in the area full-time (or at all, in case of rental properties). Aside from collecting the rental check and making sure you’ve got insurance, you may not think much about the day-to-day aspects of property management. DIY is all the rage, so perhaps you’ll just pack up your trusty toolbox and try to fix any problems that arise if you happen to live nearby. Or maybe you’ll hire a local handyman who claims to be a jack-of-all-trades, because one guy who does everything is more cost efficient than six experts in their field, right? If it’s a clogged toilet, water damaged, chipping paint, or a broken door lock, these options are perfectly fine. The average person with a little bit of knowledge (or a quick internet connection) can usually fix simple problems. When it comes to major electrical, plumbing or natural disasters…DIY quickly can turn into OMG. Having a team of trusted, licensed contractors at your disposal can save you time, money and headaches. The key is to assemble this superstar team before you actually need them, lest you end up in the hands of an unscrupulous business that has no qualms about taking advantage of you in your time of need. If you’re using someone you know and trust, it’s less likely they’ll try to sell you on repairs that aren’t actually necessary, or upsell you on products that aren’t needed. Start off by asking around to find out which local contractors and companies others have found to be trustworthy. Go to local meetings and keep track of names that you continuously hear good things about. While cost is of course important, the cheapest is not always the best. You might save money in the beginning, but if the work isn’t done properly, you’ll end up spending more to fix issues further down the line. Do your online research – Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, and other website reviews can be extremely helpful in narrowing down reputable companies. Make sure contractors are licensed, insured and do a background check. Once you find a contractor that you work well with, you’ll realize that the relationship is worth its weight in gold. Having a property manager or management company to lead this team makes all the difference as well for keeping your life simple. Just like you would with contractors, do some background research before choosing a management company. Check the online reviews; ask around to see if anyone locally can recommend (or advises against) the company. If you’re buying a property that has a built-in property management (i.e. a condo or townhouse), make sure that they are using reputable companies and sub-contractors. Frequently, property management companies have their own handyman or maintenance staff that they use, which is convenient but could mean more money on your part, thanks to mark-ups on hourly rates or work that isn’t warrantied against further damage like it would be with an outside sub-contractor. When you’re a property manager, these tips apply to you and your company as well. Having a team of trusted resources makes your day easier when disaster strikes and lets your clients know they can rely on you to work quickly and efficiently when necessary. Happy clients make for a happy work environment. It’s also helpful to have backups in case on contractor is unavailable in your time of need. Creating a relationship with Distinctive Restoration 24/7 is a smart bet because when it comes to things like water damage and natural disasters, the average handyman isn’t going to be able to fix the problem. Being able to get in and quickly start the repair process can help save your home from further damage and get everyone back to their regular routine. Preparation is key in so many areas of home ownership and property management. Starting off by having a team of your own that has your back will make all the difference to your business.