THE HARDEST VENDORS TO FIND FOR YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY
When you own investment rental property, you’ll only be as successful as your ability to maintain your property. Whether you do it yourself, or hire a professional property management company, it is inevitable that there will be times when a third party, contract vendor, will be needed. The problem is many of these people and companies can be very difficult to connect with. Why is this the case? Who are the vendors that are most difficult to find and get a commitment from? What solutions exist?
WHERE ARE ALL THE VENDORS?
If you’re looking for a painter, someone to lay carpet, or a cleaning service, you’re in luck…they’re everywhere. These vendors are abundant and if that’s all you need, you can stop reading now. However, if you’re looking for a more skilled laborer, you’ll quickly find that supply is not keeping up with demand. For some, strict requirements for licensure, insurance costs, and extended need for training can limit the number of qualified experts in a given area. Because they’re in such high demand and there are so few of them, they’re also going to be able to charge higher rates and very often we see that they have regular, larger, clients that they can rely on. Even with the amount of work we can offer, as a property management company with over 1100 units under management, it is still difficult to find skilled vendors when necessary. It’s going to be even more difficult, and at times nearly impossible, for single building owners or investors with just a couple properties.
[ Learn More: WHY YOU’RE LIKELY HAVING TROUBLE ATTRACTING A MAINTENANCE VENDOR ]
WHICH VENDORS ARE THE HARDEST TO FIND?
As noted above, not all maintenance professionals are created equal and it’s the ones you typically need the most who are the hardest to pin down. Looking back over a decade in the property management business, here are our “big three” maintenance vendors that are the hardest to find when you need them most:
Most of Nexus’ offices have an electrician on their maintenance team, but from time to time they’re on vacation or are unavailable for some reason. In those instances, we need to reach out to a third party vendor. We’ve worked hard to establish strong relationships with real estate professionals throughout the region, but it’s especially difficult to find an electrician who can be there when you need them. If you’ve got one, you’re in luck…if you’ve got two, play the lottery.
Tiling is something you can do yourself, unlike electrical work, but you don’t want to if you can avoid it. Tiling is unexpectedly labor intensive and that is likely the reason it’s so hard to find many professionals. But heavy concrete and mortar aside, tile has high value because it is durable flooring that should last forever. One major issue is that there is not much room for markup on the vendor’s end. It’s tough labor but as a business it’s not terribly profitable. An available professional tiler is hard to find.
Roofing is difficult, messy, dangerous, and expensive. If you’re in Rhode Island or eastern Massachusetts, we’ve had great success with Nadales Roofing, but aside from them, best of luck. Finding roofers is challenging because it takes a larger team. It takes a skilled group to do this tough labor and it comes with plenty of overhead: high insurance costs, a fleet of trucks and materials, a dumpster and garbage removal.
RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS: SOLUTIONS
When supply is low and you’ve got demand, you need to figure out a way to separate yourself from the pack. You need to try to create and nurture strong relationships. If you reach out to someone and they don’t have any openings, let them know you’ve heard great things about their value and you’d like to be put on a waiting list because they’re worth the wait. If someone’s plans change and there’s an opening, your strong first impression could make all the difference. Ask to meet in person to talk about the job and take that opportunity to make an impression. Busy people don’t have time for strangers, but if you grab a cup of coffee and share a vision, you won’t be a stranger for long. You need to do what you can to establish relationships.
Also, keep in mind that bigger companies usually do bigger jobs so your best bet is trying to start with a smaller company or sole proprietor. You want someone with a handful of workers who will be responsive and who places great value and attention on every job they do. If you gravitate toward the big name, you’ll be paying for that reputation but your business will mean far less to them, and the quality of work and response could be disappointing. Once you do make that connection, remember to cultivate that relationship in an effort to create a win-win scenario. Be an effective communicator and make their job as easy as possible. Create conditions so that you are important to the person doing work for you.
[ Learn More: THE VALUE OF A WIN-WIN RELATIONSHIP ]
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE READING:
- WHEN TO FIRE A VENDOR
- CASH IN ON YOUR PROPERTY’S EQUITY BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
- THE HARDEST PART OF DEALING WITH MAINTENANCE VENDORS
Mick Lefort is the Vice President of Operations for Nexus Property Management®. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
Your Property, MANAGED®
The Real Estate Investing Authority®
Connecting You To Better Living®
You Could Own A Nexus Property Management® Office For Less Than You Think!