Rant: How stingy is too stingy when it comes to repairmen?

4 Replies

I occasionally get referrals for repairmen. An informal REI network I'm a member of used to be very good about giving referrals however they've been tightfisted lately in mentioning who works for them. Understandable that good contractors are hard to find and some of the REI investors started acting as middlemen.

One of these "middlemen" REI is difficult to deal with. From a couple of repairmen I work with, I've heard he promises he'll pay them $X but then after the work is done, tries to negotiate a lower price. Of course, these repairmen refuse to work with him again.

Recently, he recommended an awesome handyman who was prompt, reasonably priced, and got the work done. The tenants were happy with him because he worked around their schedule and he also got everything done ahead of schedule with pictures. However, the middleman refuses to give me his name or contact info because he wants him "exclusively." Although the final price was reasonable, the estimate was a bit lower. I didn't mind paying but the middleman made a big deal about it. 

I fear he's going to mess up with this repairman and he'll be impossible for me to find. 

Has anyone else had an experience like this?

I don't have answers, but understand your frustration. I have similar situations

I usually only refer the vendors within my network. my own vendor is outside of my REI network. i only started to refer him bc he and I have reached a level of trust I can refer him.

my fears are:

1. he can't handle multiple jobs as well as he thinks he can

2. what if he doesn't do a good job for my referal, or there is an issue and conflict. reflects bad on all of us. I don't want to be in that position.

also, just because one vendor works well with one person, it may not work for another. vendors treat me well bc I respect and treat them well. they sometimes assume my referal is same like me... and find out they don't have  the mutual respect and the relationship can't be salvaged.

but my vendor makes it easy on me now. I give them the option to say no first. my vendor has a radius he will work in. and has a minimum standard of craftsmanship he is will to do.  he doesn't want to do fix temporary fixes. he is do it right first time kinda guy.

@Karim M. , this is interesting. I just responded to you on another post. There are many investors/landlords who share quite openly with each other. The expectation is that those they share with will return the favor. When I opened your profile I saw that it was blocked. You also do not use your full name. You may find that people will be more inclined to be open with you once you begin being open with them.

Um, how can he stop you from getting info from this contractor if the contractor is coming to your properties? Even if you are not there you tenants should be able to ask for his card. 

Now I am not sure I would do this to cut out the middleman. But if he screws up the relationship you want a way to go directly to that handyman.

@Jennifer Lee @Ned Carey It's my fear he's going to screw up the relationship (he has a poor reputation with contractors). My contract with my PM say I may not directly contact my tenants so I don't even have the guys name. All I know is he does great work and the middleman wants him all to himself and his properties. I have a big job coming up on an empty property so I plan to get his info at that time. It's just frustrating and weird.  

@Jeff Rabinowitz Thanks for your advice! I took your advice about the profile!

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