Just how do you find a good handy person or repair person? That’s a great question and one that’s not easy to answer. The search can be ongoing and very frustrating. I think part of the secret is that once someone finally finds a handy person they love, they never tell anyone because they are afraid to lose them! Both personally and with our property management company, I’ve definitely dealt with a lot of bad ones over the years and certainly have found some great ones too. Here are a few tips that will help you along the way.
- Go by word-of-mouth referrals. This is your best chance of getting the right person to do the job. Ask your friends and acquaintances often and frequently. You’ll find that people change handy people a lot, due to them going out of the business or getting too busy, etc. I also like to ask all the vendors I encounter. When I’m at Lowes or Home Depot or talking to an appliance repair person, I ask all of them and like to see who they recommend. You’d be surprised. Some of the best referrals I’ve ever gotten were from other contractors.
- Go by attitude. If you call around a lot (which I recommend), you’ll encounter a wide array of personality types. I’ve found that a lot of people flat out hate their job. Maybe they are good at it, but do you really want someone who is miserable in your house or business? I sure don’t! Look for that positive spark; that person who is grateful to have work in this economy. That’s the person that will give you the best deal and you’ll feel good about employing them.
- Licensed or not? It’s definitely a good idea to deal with a licensed and insured vendor. If anything goes wrong or they get hurt on the job and they are not licensed or insured, you could be facing all sorts of trouble. However, the reality is some may not be licensed, but do great work and some may be licensed, but don’t do great work. This one is up to you.
- Shoot for an hourly rate vs. a by-the-job rate. I’ve found you can save a lot of money if you get a good worker who will do it hourly vs. a flat fee. Most handy people will shoot for the flat rate knowing there’s more profit for them, but push for the hourly rate. Unless they are incompetent and slow moving, you’ll be very glad you did.
Finding the right person can be very challenging, but don’t give up. Keep hunting and they will come your way!
Gabe Mellein was voted a Top Real Estate Agent – Exceptional in Service and Overall Satisfaction by Gulfshore Life Magazine in 2012. He is the broker of Gulf Pointe Properties, Inc and has over 8 years experience in the SW Florida Real Estate Market. He is a member of The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Bonita Springs – Estero Association of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, The Florida Association of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors, and is nationally certified in Feng Shui for Real Estate. Need real estate help? Please contact Gabe at: 239.825.2234, Gabe@GulfPointeProperties.com or www.GulfPointeProperties.com