@Drew Osifalujo References, references, references. Also, don't take the lowest bid you find. Interrogate the bid to get a better understanding of how they came to those numbers and how realistic they are. Be sure to walk through some of their in progress properties and completed properties. This is a critical decision and can turn into a huge headache. Put the work in to find a good one.
Thanks for the feedback. Love your use of the word "interrogate" because it is a constant reminder that, as the customer, any contractor I do business with works for me and as an investor the expectation is that work to help maximize my investment. I'm pretty easy going by nature so one of my chief concerns with becoming an investor was being able to firmly negotiate with contractors. Will definitely look to find a solid middle ground between price, reputation and prior work. Looking forward to putting this into practice.
Lastly, you mentioned references. Is there a preferred source where you have found the most credible and helpful references/reviews for your ? I would expect the contractor to only provide their top clients for contact, while independent Yelp-like testimonials tend to skew negative. Hoping to source a middle ground for the most relevant feedback.