Hello Everybody, Sunny with Synergy Real Estate and Property Management back with you. Today we’re going to be going over working with subcontractors. As property managers and real estate brokers we work with a lot of different contractors and subcontractors.
It’s very important for us to have a very clear system and layout that we work with to make sure we are professional about it and we don’t end up in these arguments that a lot of people will have if they are not clear about what’s going on and how to move forward.
Where do we begin?
The first thing for us when working with a subcontractor or contractor is to make sure that we are very clear in what we’re looking for. For us, it is very simple, we want to make sure the work is done correctly and on time. We want to make sure that if anything does happen where the repair does not work correctly that subcontractors come back and have to fix it for free for a specific amount of time.
Now that becomes the basic framework on how we work with our subcontractors. We want to make sure that they are professional. We want to make sure that they do things correctly and that they are licensed properly, as needed. In doing that, that’s kind of our starting point.
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From there, we go into documenting. We want to make sure that when working with people we have our contracts in writing. The reason is because that gives us something to go back to and say “Hey, this is what we agreed on. This is what you delivered. There’s a difference here so how are we going to reconcile this difference?”
In some cases with people who are more unprofessional you will notice that those differences, maybe, cannot be reconciled. Sometimes you take a loss and that’s part of the business. It happens. But a lot of the time those differences can be reconciled because you are able to physically show somebody “hey we did agree on this, and this is what we actually came back with. Here’s where the discrepancy is, if you cannot see that then we have to be able to fix this.” So it’s definitely important to have things in writing.
That’s something that’s really important for us and even for our smaller owners. Smaller owners tend to want to do things on a handshake and make verbal agreements. That’s great, we do love that way of business and think that should be the way of doing business. We shouldn’t need all the paperwork, contracts, or lawyers. We should be able to just shake hands and agree that “this is what we’re going to do.” Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works.
So, the contract is just something that is unchanging that we can come back to as a set of rules and ideals that we want to make sure happens and we are able to take care of.
The next thing is the insurance. We want to make sure whoever is working on the properties has correct insurance, no matter how big the job is. He may be going just to fix a sink but if the dog gets out of the yard and the guy gets bit, we want to make sure that he has his insurance and we have our insurance .
Or let’s say he’s going to fix the stove and is using a box cutter to cut some package open and slices his finger. We want to make sure that he has proper insurance to help him take care of that. We want to make sure that he’s covered and we are as well.
Finally, we want to make sure that we have some form of standardized agreement. It’s not only by what we expect from you on the job but also we want to have an agreement as to what we expect from you personally. For example, we want to make sure that when you’re going to our properties you are dressed in a specifically professional manner. We don’t want to have you showing up with your tattoos all out with your tank top on and your shorts and flip flops coming to fix a lady’s house. We want you to show up in professional shoes, nice working pants, with a polo or T shirt on that’s presentable.
Dressing professionally will make people feel comfortable while you’re there. We want to make sure that you speak to them in a professional manner. We want to make sure that you explain to them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Also, we want to make sure that you act as a professional person inside of another person’s home because you’re representing us as well. Although you may not be directly employed by us as a subcontractor, we property managers look for people who are going to make us look good as we partner with him, as well.
How can you utilize this information?
As a smaller landlord you can take these tips and use them yourself. Ideally you can have somebody come in that does property management. Now you know that this is specific to the way that we do things. We have thought about this. We don’t just manage your property because we want to collect money every month and then not do anything. Our goals are to create systems and processes and make this a good experience for landlords, tenants, and ourselves.
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Thanks for your time,