Ever have a team project fall apart? Well in property management, this is unfortunately way too common. Property managers are responsible for seamless execution and delivery on all projects. This often requires hiring contractors and vendors that can be trusted. Knowing how to hire contractors for your whole project is not an easy task. To avoid the errors, mishaps, and wasted money from missing the mark early on, this guide will help you pick the right team for your project and wallet. We’re going to start this off by first defining who a property manager is and then listing their responsibilities before getting into the topic of discussion, finding the right contractor.
Who’s a Property Manager?
To keep it simple, a property manager is someone who’s been hired to ensure a particular real estate rental is being handled and operated per the guidelines drafted by the owner. The said guidelines are essential, as they ensure the owner meets his/her annual financial goals and/or provides attractive living conditions for the tenants.
An individual property owner won’t necessarily have the same guidance as a corporate owner. The former might only issue verbal guidance, whereas the latter may issue mission and vision statements.
Making sure that the property’s tenants observe the guidelines put in place by the property owner is not the only responsibility of a property manager. So let’s look at how property management works.
Responsibilities of a Property Manager
As the property manager, you’ll be handling all the daily tasks. That means if you haven’t acquainted yourself with the inner workings of the industry, delivering what is expected will be a tall order.
Familiarize yourself with the state and national laws if you haven’t already. Some states will require you to be licensed as a property manager; some will ask for a real estate broker license, while others won’t care as long as you don’t take advantage of the tenants.
To keep the property in a habitable condition, you have to double up as a project creator. Being a project creator means you’ll find yourself in a position where you occasionally have to look for contractors who’ll help you with emergency repairs and day-to-day property maintenance.
The Different Types of Property Managers
Commercial Property Managers
These managers specialize in property investments designed for business activities. That’s the reason why they’re often well versed in administrative-type spaces, housing authorities, and office buildings.
Single-Family Home Property Managers
Unlike commercial property managers, they usually work for private property owners who hold and rent out various investment properties for additional income. In hindsight, the one thing that defines a single-family home investor is their tendency to invest in properties located in areas that have a high residential turnover rate.
Multi-Family Property Managers
They’re accustomed to handling more than one unit, so you’ll find them managing apartment complexes and facilities with similar characteristics. Learning how to de-escalate situations is essential, and having impeccable customer service skills because you’ll be interacting with different personalities at work daily.
Construction Property Managers
They often play a vital role in every construction process, given their ability to quickly identify problem areas and find solutions to those obstacles without compromising the entire project.
Yes, that’s right. Our government also happens to be in the project management business since it usually hires project managers tasked with helping the American people. Those managers’ primary roles are to mitigate risks, plan, execute, manage resources, and even look for contractors for special projects.
Why Are Property Management Companies Looking For Contractors?
Plumbing is basically the installation, maintenance, and repair of broken systems that are responsible for the transportation of gas, water, or sewage in commercial and residential buildings. Only a plumbing contractor can effectively review the property’s plans and specifications if you’re looking for someone who can figure out your plumbing layout during maintenance.
Landscaping is not an easy job. It includes planning, designing, construction, and, more importantly, care. Planning is vital because, without a plan, the contractor won’t have a proper budget or the right materials to bring your vision to fruition. Designing and construction ensure the outdoor space suits your needs while care is all about maintenance. The contractor will help you take care of the trees, shrubs, water fountains, etc.
We don’t know why, but for some reason, property managers always forget about the roof during maintenance. If you want your roof to work in optimal condition, you have to carry out regular maintenance. That’s the only way you’ll save money, extend its life, and protect the property’s value. So now’s the time to reach out to a roofing contractor if you want those cracks fixed or that debris removed.
What are you going to do when you realize one of your managing properties is developing some structural issues? Are you going to bury your head in the sand and hope the problem goes away? Because it won’t. It would help if you started looking for a licensed contractor who provides that niche service.
Following Factors to Consider When Hiring Contractors:
You’re probably thinking, “Always go with the contractor who submits the lowest bid,” right? Well, you’re mistaken. You’re still mistaken if you also think that the highest bid represents a contractor who can deliver quality work.
In this industry, price doesn’t directly correlate to quality. And this is something that all property management companies looking for vendors should know. The smart move is to work with contractors that submit competitive bids.
Also, don’t forget to compare “apples to apples and not oranges.” You don’t want to hire a plumbing contractor thinking you were hiring a landscaping contractor.
It’s very risky to work with someone who hasn’t met any state-mandated qualifications for contractors. Things can go south really fast, and once they do, you’ll have wasted a lot of time and money.
But let’s assume for a quick second that nothing goes wrong and they deliver as promised. However, you’ll still face problems when trying to sell the property. Because any repair or maintenance work carried out by an unlicensed contractor will never be acknowledged in a real estate transaction.
Experience has, and will always be, an essential factor to consider in any hiring process. It’s the only way you’ll know if a contractor can deliver the quality of work promised. Don’t hesitate to ask them about the different types of projects they’ve worked on, how many projects they’ve completed, and how long they’ve been in the industry.
Looking for experienced contractors is a time-consuming process so that you know. And you really can’t rush it because if you do, you’ll end up hiring an unqualified contractor. It’s even more frustrating when you think you’ve found the right person for the job, only for them to leave you hanging for days, still waiting for a reply.
Reputable contractors understand these frustrations and usually try to make the whole process easier for property managers who reach out—A telltale sign that you’ve found your perfect match.
Simplicity is a huge deal, especially for construction property managers. Technology in this field has overwhelmed almost every player with so many hardware and software choices to a point where they’re now turning to contractors who opt to work with tech that’s simple, reliable, and yields a decent return on investment.
Why Is The Current Process Difficult and Outdated for Property Managers?
Looking for qualified contractors should not feel like a hassle, but the current process makes it feel that way. Property managers tend to waste a lot of time, especially when filing different Statements of Work required by the contractors. It’s not easy to get a bid, as they often find themselves making several phone calls and sending long email chains to people who don’t even appreciate the work they put in.
A lot of money is wasted in the process. We don’t know how long you’ve been in this business, but you should know it’s almost impossible to get a platform that allows you to post a gig without paying a small fee. And when the bids finally start streaming in, you realize most of them are either overdue or over-budgeted.
We can’t also fail to mention the fact that it’s challenging to find a contractor that can provide a niche service with the current process.
As a property manager, maintaining and finding the contractors to deliver on your projects doesn’t need to be a tedious task. Using the right tools and technology has streamlined the process. With the help of Ventract, the all-in-one platform, you can now quickly gain access to licensed and qualified contractors who can handle any project for you. It’ll only take minutes, and you’ll never have to spend hours on your computer, sending emails, or trying to get bids.