Building a list of reliable tradies
We recently spoke about 5 signs that you have great tradies in your network, and how important that network is to your business. As a Property Manager, or even an agency Principal – having good tradies can increase work efficiencies and decrease stress, confusion, and extra paperwork.
It’s a good idea to have a roster of good tradies you can call on, so if one is unavailable you already have someone that has been vetted that you can rely on. If you don’t already have a robust list of tradies in your network, here are a few things you can do to fill it out:
Ask for references from family, friends, colleagues and other tradies – ask them questions about the work that was done: the timeliness, the quality, the cost etc. You also might be able to find them on review forums online, like ReviewaTradie.com.au. A simple Google search is a great source of information.
#2. CHECK LICENSES
Check their licenses online, read any reviews you can find and chat to previous clients of theirs. Ensuring your tradie is adequately licensed is imperative.
#3. GET QUOTES
Get at least three quotes to compare rates. Keep in mind that with price (usually) comes quality, so you’re looking for an experienced tradie who does good quality work, but doesn’t cost the bank. Finding these tradies can be like catching a unicorn!
Test their work. After you have a detailed quote including estimated time frames (all in writing), get them to do a job for you. Providing constructive feedback is a good idea if you want to keep them on the books. If they’re their job wasn’t to your liking, try the next one!
I have a great list, now how do I keep them?
A good tradie that does great work and doesn’t cost the earth is pure gold, so if they pass muster add them to your supplier network, and work on establishing a solid working relationship with them so that they will also want to keep working with you. Here are a few things you can do to retain good tradies that you find:
- Pay them on time: Respect that they too have a business to run, bills to pay and families to feed and make sure their invoices are paid on time. A good payer is a good client and they’ll want to keep working with you for sure
- Keep in good communication: From the get-go, find out what they need to know in order to provide an accurate quote, get the tools and supplies they need, and get the job done to a high standard. On the flip side, also let them know what you need – set clear expectations of what you require from them, like detailed quotes, arriving to jobs on time, being polite to tenants, prompt invoices etc. A good online tool or app to help you and the tradie keep track of jobs, issues invoices etc will go a long way in keeping the lines of communication open between both parties.
- Respect their expertise: They are qualified at their jobs, so respect their opinions and recommendations when it comes to how a job should be completed
- Invest time into the relationship: Get to know them, be professional but friendly. People want to work for people that they like
- Thank them: Maybe host a tradies BBQ for your network, buy them a coffee or a drink, or send them a Christmas card each year – a little bit of social interaction can go a long way!
Nothing will make your job easier than having reliable people to look to for help, so having a network of trade suppliers you can call on is imperative in property management. So when you find a tradie that ticks the above 5 boxes, keep them and treat them like gold.
A good roster of reliable tradies will help you increase your efficiency so you can focus on more important aspects of your job, and your property owners and tenants will thank you for it.