Monday, 7 November 2011
Who you gonna call....??
Yellow Pages, Google, the Phone Book, where do you find your tradesmen? Are you pretty skilled yourself and able to turn your hand to most things but when it comes to the gas safety certificate or new shower installation you are a bit out of your depth? These sort of repairs and maintenance jobs require skilled qualified engineers, the search pages are full of them but how do you know who is any good? Which one is going to turn up on time, do the job required and not look for extra work while they are there? More importantly, there is the question of cost, how do you know what is a fair price?
Through my business at ACE Property Management, I have used a lot of tradesmen over the years and it is safe to say the best guys have always come from referrals;
“Davey sorted the cooker for me. Give him a call, he’s great!”
Communication is key. Ask around, speak to people in the industry and be prepared to get a few quotes for comparison purposes when time allows. Where possible, get a reliable recommendation from people you trust or have prior experience. If a tradesmen knows that he got your call because he did a good job for a previous client, the chances are he will give you that same service as he will want you to recommend him to others.
Whatever the job may involve, ALWAYS make sure you get a price up front. Do not rely on the tradesman to play fair and surprise you with a cheap price once the job is complete. This can happen, however, more often than not the job takes longer than the time allocated and unexpected problems and/or costs arise along the way. An upfront agreed price puts you in control meaning it will not matter if the job takes longer than expected as the price should remain the same. If more materials are required or extra, unforeseen work occurs without warning, make sure you are on top of the situation. Do not just let the things fire on, make sure you are included in all decisions involving work, cost and timings and are happy for things to progress; this is crucial.
My landlords are in regular contact with me regarding repairs and maintenance to their properties. Providing quotes and finding the most cost effective solutions are an important responsibility for ACE Property Management. Being a landlord myself, I understand the importance of a proactive approach to repairs and sourcing reliable tradesman at affordable prices. This creates a positive working relationship with our current portfolio of landlords.
Good communication between agents, landlords and tradesman is a must. But most importantly your tenants should be kept up to date with any repairs and maintenance. Make sure a tradesman’s visit is co-ordinated and in agreement with your tenants.