Self Managing Multifamily in Pawtucket advice?

5 Replies

I'm buying a 4 family in Pawtucket.  Thinking of trying to self manage for a little bit.  Anybody have any suggestions on where to find good contractors (plumbers/handyman/eletrician etc).  Maybe like an angie's list or yelp for contractors?

@An Duong congratulations on buying your 4-family!

I think the best source of good contractors is other investors who have used them recently and recommend them. I've had good luck asking other investors through the RI Real Estate Investors Group. If you're based in Mass. you could also check out Black Diamond REI for the same thing.

Second best would be that if you already have one or more contractors you like, you can ask them who they’d recommend, the theory being that good people know and recommend other good people especially since they may have worked together in the past. I think there’s some merit to this method but it’s not as good as a referral from another investor IMO.

Online sites like Angie’s list can be hit or miss in my experience. I guess I’m just skeptical of who puts the reviews up and why. But if you see overwhelming good reviews for a long time, I guess that’s something that would be hard to fake via family and friends posting reviews so it’s something to consider. I’ve had mixed results using this method, I feel like only a 50% success rate and of course I remember the bad ones more.

Someone once suggested going to Home Depot or Lowe’s at 6am to see who’s buying materials for jobs, and getting their cards. I’ve never tried it but always thought it had the veneer of a good idea, the concept being (I think) that 1) such people already have work and 2) they must be somewhat go-getters if they’re getting started first thing in the morning. I can see holes in this logic you could drive a truck through but I also thought it was a neat “outside the box” kind of idea.

Lastly, if it’s a bigger job and you’ll definitely be pulling permits, you could go down to the building department and try asking in person who are some companies or contractors for that type of work who have had permits approved recently. You’d have to do this in person and you have to phrase it very particularly because they’re not going to be willing to “recommend” anyone, but if you just ask who’s had some similar work approved recently they might be willing to give you a few names.

One thing I do strongly recommend is that you look up any contractor at the RI Contractor Review Board to see if there are any complaints on file, and also to check if they have insurance - though with the latter you should also confirm the insurance is current (still in place) since the CRB info is just as of their last license renewal.

AI hope this helps and good luck!

Thanks Anthony great tips.  I need to connect with more RI investors!  I do go to Black Diamond but they are more based North and West not South toward RI.  Def good tip to look up RI Contractor Review Board!!!

Hi @An Duong ,

Congratulations on your upcoming purchase!

In addition to the items that Anthony mentioned, a somewhat easy start is with the existing property owner.  I also own a 4-unit in Pawtucket, and the prior owner is also an investor and shared a couple of names with me for contractors he used, which I found helpful.  I didn't use all of them, but it's a start if you're comfortable asking at the closing or through the realtor.

I also keep a list of every contractor I've used, along with noting for which purpose and any notes I have from the experience.  You'll come across people you'll never want to work with again, and you'll find that your list of who NOT to use is just as important :)

Good luck on your journey!

Originally posted by @An Duong :

Thanks Anthony great tips.  I need to connect with more RI investors!  I do go to Black Diamond but they are more based North and West not South toward RI.  Def good tip to look up RI Contractor Review Board!!!

 I also own a 4 unit in Pawtucket. Besides what Anthony and Nancy said, I got a lot of good contractors through my real estate agent.