Yep, I said it.
I absolutely, in no way, enjoy working with contractors who do work on my house! I understand that a lot of you do, and that is totally fine. I can see the appeal and where it could be fun to rehab or fix up a property that you’ve bought, but personally, I can’t stand it.
A lot of real estate investing revolves around fixing up properties. One of the best things that fixing up a property can do is force appreciation. On a more minor scale, people fix up properties just because they need some work done on them due to normal wear and tear or whatever other reason.
Hear Me Out
When I talk about contractors in this article, I’m putting more emphasis on the former as I’m thinking more in terms of doing improvements to properties than I am repairs. Contractors doing repairs for me rarely bother me, because the item is either fixed or it’s not. If it’s not, I tell them to come back, no problem. But improvements, such as anything requiring specifications of any level, is where I have the problem.
It’s fixing up houses, i.e. doing these improvements, to either sell or rent the property out that plays such a big role in real estate investing. I get it, I get why people want to do that, and it makes total sense to me. Do I want any part of it? NO.
Don’t get me wrong, contractors are far from the only people in the industry that can be frustrating to work with.
For example, property managers especially have a bad rep and can be difficult to deal with. For me, though, property managers are easier to manage than contractors because it’s the management style or technique that has to be dealt with. It’s a slower-paced managing of those guys, whereas contractors are a fast-paced group because they are working project by project — and get paid per project rather than a slow and steady on-going pay structure.
Then, of course, the big one with contractors is that you can see the results, visually! If a contractor paints the side of your property, you can see if he did a good job. If he fixes a leak in your roof, you can see if it still leaks. The latter is more of an example of repairs, but you get the point. I guess if you want to get technical, you can “see” a property manager’s work too, but in this case I’m thinking more in terms of the complication of needing a contractor to redo something versus just telling a property manager to adjust something (which isn’t necessarily a redo, and especially not a redo that could potentially cost you more money, as could be the case with a contractor).