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Straight Up Chicago Investor Podcast Episode 182: How To Vet Contractors For Your Chicago Rehab

Straight Up Chicago Investor Podcast Episode 182: How To Vet Contractors For Your Chicago Rehab

We interviewed Bolanle Ogunmakin of Quality Builders on this important topic that affects all investors.   In my personal experience, even as an experienced flipper/rehabber, it is easy to get comfortable and not follow the process you know that works.  You might take a shortcut and skip a step, forget a verification, or maybe you didn’t get a contract signed correctly. Oversights like these can cost you thousands of dollars and severely mess up your time frame, ultimately costing you more money and/or opportunity costs.

Questions We Answer In this Show:

Q. Should I be taking into account online reviews when researching the background of a Chicago contractor?

A. Yes. There should be a total review of their online footprint including reviews.  In the reviews look for consistent messaging such as not showing up on time or comments on quality of work.  

Q. Should I still consider working with a Chicago contractor that does not have any online reviews or internet footprint?

A. Yes. Keep in mind it is common that many small contractors may not have any digital footprint or go to spot for online reviews like a Google page and that doesn't mean anything good or bad.  What that does mean is you must dig deeper in other areas of your due diligence.

Q. Are there red flags I should look for when meeting a contractor at a property before they are hired?

A. Yes. Here are just a few:

  1. Were they early or late for the appointment time? - If late you might consider meeting them again to see that they can get that “being on time” piece right?  If it is a Chicago winter storm that morning you might give them the benefit of the doubt that first time.

  2. What did they pull up in? - I am not talking about make or model but will that truck make it another year is the question I ask myself.  With vehicle breakdowns comes delays and cash flow disruptions that will affect you as the investor.

  3. Do they answer your questions? - Are they answering your questions directly or do they work around the question.  You want someone that is on point and knowledgeable so if they can't answer the easy project questions up front that is a concern.

  4. Is their work space clean? - Maybe you meet the contractor at another Chicago project or you walk close to their vehicle?  How is the project site kept?  A cluttered or messy work site translates to how they will run a project.  Peak in their front seat to see how messy their vehicle is.

Q. Is a large down payment to a contractor a red flag?

A. Yes. If your contractor is pushing for you to give them a large junk of money before a job starts, be aware.   It might be a valid request but make sure the amount requested matches the work that will be performed up until that second payment you have scheduled to make.  If you are paying your contractor every Friday and they have no material to purchase that first week, their only expense is their labor at the end of the next week.

Show Notes:

Chicago Investor Resources Shared

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