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Expert Advice: How Real Estate Investors Can Choose the Best General Contractor

Every real estate investor will come up against this critical question – how do I choose a general contractor? At Builders Trust Capital, we have an in-house VP of Construction who helps our real estate investors find the best GC’s for their projects. Take a look at some of the advice we’ve been giving our successful clients for years.

Make sure they’re legitimate. 

Every good contractor should care about his or her client’s feedback. So take a look online and see what reviews past clients have taken the time to share about their work. There are some fantastic ways to find this information pretty quickly.

  • Check Yelp reviews
  • See if they’re listed on Angi.com
  • Ask in local town-based Facebook groups for recommendations
  • Search for Google reviews
  • Ask your lender or colleagues for recommendations

When you’re reviewing their work, be sure to look for samples and happy customers who did the same kind of work you’re looking to accomplish. Thinking about a new construction project? Don’t hire a GC that specializes in cosmetic fix and flips, find someone who’s built from the ground up before.

Ensuring the legitimacy of your contractor also means checking that they are licensed and insured in the state you’re doing work. When pulling permits for your project, you need a license to pull them under or risk major fines and stop-work orders. The best way to find out if your contractor has the proper license and insurance is to simply ask them for proof, it’s a question they should be used to answering. Each state has its own online database and here is another great resource for you to search online for verification, https://www.angi.com/angi-license-check.htm

Interview the best candidates.

Your GC will be managing all aspects of your next project, hiring and overseeing subcontractors, checking the legitimacy of those subs like the electrician, plumber, and HVAC professionals, and ensuring you meet your budget and timeline. That’s a big deal! There are several questions you want to ask them to determine if they’re the right person for the job. 

  • How long have you been in business? 
  • Kind of work you do specialize in?
  • How do you typically communicate with your clients?
  • How do you handle problems when they arise on-site? 

You can start this process even before you have a project ready to start. Building your team now with professionals you can trust is probably one of the most important assets to your real estate business.

Start the bidding process. 

Now that you’ve got a few candidates it’s time to bid out your project. You should be aware that some GC’s give more of a round estimate that can fluctuate over time based on delays, weather, etc. While other GC’s give you a fixed price regardless of the material price fluctuations, changes in subs, etc, and they tend to cost a bit more. Always get multiple bids on your project and never go with the lowest. A bid right in the middle could be your best bet. All real estate investors need three core aspects to their project: speed, price, and quality. But, you can only have two, so consider what your top priorities are. Our advice? Don’t go with a bid cheap enough to make the “deal” work as it could end up being more expensive anyway!

Getting under contract.

Congratulations! At this point, you’ve selected your GC and now it’s time to make sure your project is protected. Your GC should supply you with a contract and if they don’t – that’s a red flag – only work with contractors who have an established contract ready for you. Here are some important aspects of the contract to look out for, 

  • A detailed description of the work and a projected timeline.
  • Remedies for any breach of the contract.
  • A detailed process for change orders.
  • A list of warranties and the details.
  • Disallowing liens by subcontractors.
  • What happens if acts there are of God, bad weather, etc?
  • Damages and liability.

A great way to mitigate or shift the risk of your project is to work with a GC who can give you a flat rate. While it may appear to be a higher bid than others, you’re saving your budget from all kinds of circumstances that can arise onsite. It’s up to you to negotiate the terms in your favor wherever possible. 

We’ve helped hundreds of investors save time, money, and frustration by providing construction oversight on budget review, inspections, and contractor vetting. Collectively, our team has delivered over $120,000,000 in real estate loans. Our process is simple! We handle the entire loan process in-house, and loans are closed in as little as 10 business days. Ready to discuss your funding needs? Just contact us by phone at 856-422-3232. 

Builders Trust Capital Client Success Stories

Partner with an efficient, personable team who has delivered $120,000,000 in real estate loans

Builders Trust Capital Success Story Photo: 1185 Route 9 South, Cape May Courthouse, NJ
  • Purchased $185,000
  • Rehab $150,000
  • ARV $475,000
  • Fix & Flip Philadelphia, PA
Builders Trust Capital Success Story Photo: 10 Anderson, Morristown NJ
  • Purchased $1,675,000
  • Rehab $450,000
  • ARV $3,955,000
  • Fix & Flip Cape May, NJ
Builders Trust Capital Success Story Photo: 10 Anderson, Morristown NJ
  • Purchased $550,000
  • Rehab $208,286
  • ARV $1,005,000
  • Fix & Flip Haddonfield, NJ

How to Finance Your Real Estate Investment

Our process is simple! We handle the entire loan process in-house. Loans are closed in as little as 10 business days.

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Fill in the form or call us at 856-422-3232 so we can contact you and begin working on your loan. We're local and happy to meet with you to learn your funding needs.

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Complete your application and provide supporting documentation.

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Your appraisal and title work are ordered. Your application documents are reviewed. Our in-house processing team will contact you with any questions or additional documentation required.

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After underwriting is complete, we make sure your closing docs are ready at the table and funds are disbursed timely so you can start your work without delay.

Testimonials

Photo of Alexandra Petruchenya

I appreciate your team's support during the entire rehab process for my property. This is my first deal, there were a lot of unknowns that came with that. The construction process intimidated me and held me back from doing real estate for several years. Kurt has been phenomenal, he was a wealth of knowledge. I appreciate how he gets in touch to talk through in-scope item completion and aligning on ways to ensure my construction draws are adequate. I'm thankful to have someone who has my business's best interests at heart.

Alexandra Petruchenya recommends Builders Trust Capital
Photo of Sharina Jackson

I recently completed a cash-out refinance transaction with Builders Trust Capital. I would like to say thank you to Anthony for your partnership during this process, your excellent customer service and professionalism made the process easy for me.

Sharina Jackson recommends Builders Trust Capital
Photo of Raphael Akinsete

If you are a newbie investor, I highly recommend Builders Trust Capital because your first few deals will impact your outlook on real estate investment. If you are a seasoned investor, I also recommend the company as they now offer products for both quick flips and long holds. This way you are covered in both your entry and exit strategy. As a longtime client of Builders Trust Capital I can testify that they are the real deal and there are genuinely good people behind this business.

Raphael Akinsete recommends Builders Trust Capital Oct. 2020
Photo of Kristian Latham

Just finished up my first project with the Builders Trust Capital team and wanted to share my appreciation for the good business. Success is often driven by effective relationships, and Builders Trust Capital’s partnership assisted me in strengthening my team all around. The process from beginning to end was smooth and efficient. They are a great partner to have to create opportunities for rookie and veteran investors.

Kristian Latham recommends Builders Trust Capital Aug. 2020
Photo of Timothy Rosenblum

Builders Trust Capital lives up to its name. They have truly been a partner to me with my projects. The process from underwriting to construction inspections has never wavered from their initial promise and Ive always been met with professionalism and efficiency. Rare in this space.

Timothy Rosenblum recommends Builders Trust Capital April. 2021
Photo of Mike Bonadies

Builders Trust Capital is an incredibly responsive and flexible lender for RE investors. They have been able to work with my unique situations and helped us close on properties no one else could. They know their local area well and can offer guidance. I highly suggest them.

Mike Bonadies recommends Builders Trust Capital

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