How Contractors Can Work With Property Managers to Gain Business

Property managers who need to solve home issues for hundreds of tenants can provide contractors with an endless stream of jobs.

Having a steady stream of business is a massive relief for any contractor. By working with property managers, who sometimes manage up to a hundred properties, contractors can significantly increase their volume of business.

When a tenant has a plumbing issue, electrical problem or any other home-related complaint, they reach out to property managers who compile a list of contractors to fix them. Establishing a relationship with property managers is one of the easiest ways to gain more business and increase your revenue. Here are some steps you can take to establish this mutually beneficial business relationship.

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Reach Out to Property Managers

The hardest part of your business relationship with property managers is establishing it. The first step is the easiest: Call or contact them through their website. You can do a search for property management companies in your area to find a list of potential clients.

Property managers are busy people, meeting and talking with dozens of tenants every day. David Richardson from PropertyManagemently, advises contractors to sell themselves, not their services.

“I already know how important your work is since I have angry tenants that tell me that already,” he says. “Tell me who you are, what you do, and your experience. If I like what I’m hearing and I need a contractor in your industry, I’ll set up a meeting where we can discuss further.”

Be Prepared for the Meeting

Because property managers need to confirm you’re reliable and professional, this initial meeting is of the utmost importance. Be on time, or earlier. Bring insurance papers and licenses, plus pictures and additional documentation of your work.

Also be prepared to share references, because property managers will ask for them. If you can show you have experience managing a lot of jobs at once, that increases your chances of being hired. And just because a property manager has a go-to contractor for certain jobs doesn’t mean they can’t use you as well.

“We keep multiple contractors on our list of contacts,” Richardson says. “If our main contractor is too busy with a job already, then we’ll reach out to our other contractors, especially for emergencies like water damage restoration or furnace failures.”

While negotiating and selling yourself, keep in mind that price isn’t everything. Mike Ortiz, a water damage restoration contractor, says response is more important.

“For our types of jobs, insurance covers most of it, so we focus our negotiations on how quickly we show up to calls,” Ortiz says. “Water damage restoration jobs need to be done quickly. The longer you wait the more damage it does to a home. There is a reason why most contractors in this industry offer 24/7 emergency services.”

How to Maintain the Relationship

Once you’ve established a business partnership with a property manager, it takes effort to maintain it. There are a few things you should never do if you want to keep the relationship going strong.

“One of the most common issues we have with contractors that causes us to stop working with them is showing up late to calls,” Richardson says. “I understand sometimes jobs take longer than expected, but if you’re consistently showing up late and tenants complain about it then we aren’t left with a choice.

“Even worse than showing up late is not showing up at all. If you’re too busy to do the job today, then simply let us know. We won’t stop doing business with you just for that, but we definitely will if you don’t show up.”

Establishing business relationships with property managers can take your business to the next level. Property managers need to solve home problems for their tenants, and you can profit from being there to offer the solutions.

Mark Soto
Mark Soto works for a family-owned company, RoofingMKE, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has comprehensive knowledge of roof installation, repair and replacement and gutter installation. Mark comes from a family of DIYers and has worked with landscapers, plumbers, painters, and damage restoration specialists.