You screen your tenants in order to protect yourself and your property, so it only makes sense the you screen your vendors too. Here are the top 3 things you should keep in mind when vetting a new vendor.
As a landlord, your property is essentially your own small business. And with any business you will have expenses. When most people hear value, they automatically think dollars and cents. However there are other factors that you should consider. For example, when choosing a plumber for an urgent repair in your property, picking the cheapest option might seem like a good idea, but if their work is subpar and needs to be redone again in a few months then are you really saving money in the long run.
Or how about an electrician that’s a no-show and you have to chase down. That time that you and your tenant end up waiting is time that could be spent doing more important things. So consider if paying that little bit extra could end up saving you more money in the end. Read online reviews from a few different sources to find the vendor that best fits your maintenance needs.
A little bit of research on a vendors service history can go a long way in making sure you get the best value on those maintenance services.
We often take certain things for granted, for example, the fact that maintenance vendors clock out just like us. This is something you might not realize, until that 3am frantic phone call from your tenant about a burst pipe. Yeah, Mike’s Plumbing might be your go-to because they do the best job, but they’re not open 24hrs. Having a back-up vendor (available 24/7) just in case, might not be a bad idea.
Speaking of emergencies, another thing to consider is distance. If the issue is urgent, you are going to want someone at your door ASAP, and not 30-40 min away. A quick Google map lookup can show you the driving time from their office to your doorstep.
For the same reasons that you screen your tenants, you should also screen vendors. You don’t only have to take your vendors word for the quality of service they’re offering you. Sometimes vendors may say one thing but their references and reviews can say another. Find out what previous customers have to say about the work the vendor provided. Reach out to your personal network and inquire about the vendor and see if anyone you know has worked with them. You can call around and even surf the web to try to find some reviews and hopefully some positive feedback from people who have chosen them before. You can also look them up on the Better Business Bureau site to see their BBB rating and if there have been any complaints lodged against them.
Maintaining your property is the most important part of being a landlord. Taking a little bit of extra time and checking off the items above may save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Keeping your small business a lucrative investment.