Identifying The Right Residential Painter
A great relationship with a reliable painting contractor can be a major resource for residential property managers, especially ones with large portfolios of homes. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to find the right residential painter for your properties. If you are looking for a new painter, start your search by identifying potential candidates. Beyond searching Google or asking a colleague, try seeing if any painters are members of your local NARPM chapter or search the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America directory.
Cover The Basic Requirements First
Early in the process of selecting a new painter, make sure to request their pricing sheet, certificate of insurance, required licensing, and bonding capabilities. It is also a great idea to ask them for references from similar companies and read their online reviews. These are great ways to eliminate options that are not the right fit for your needs, without wasting anyone’s time. If you are comfortable after reviewing these basics, set up a face-to-face meeting at your offices.
Establish a Fixed Pricing Structure
During the initial review process, be sure to drill down on their pricing sheet. It’s extremely important to establish detailed fixed pricing because no two jobs are going to be the same. Detailed pricing makes it easy to call them when you have a painting need, send them to a property, and confidently know your costs in advance. Here are 5 important details to look for:
- Price per square foot by surface
- What is being painted
- How many coats of paint will be used
- Type and quality of paint
- Process for changes to standard pricing
The last point is an important one. Some homes will present unique circumstances, such as damage to interior walls or complex trim on a Victorian-style home, that will increase painting costs. Make sure your pricing sheet indicates the process for how these situations get handled before painting begins.
Ask About Their Current Capacity
This is the final hurdle in choosing the right residential painting contractor. During your face-to-face meeting, be sure to ask about their response times, current capacity, and staffing. Even if they check every other box, the ability to respond quickly to your needs and projects is important. If a painter is always 3 weeks out, and that does not work for you, they might not be the right fit for your properties. There is no “right answer” to this question for everyone, so make sure their answer fits your needs. The other important topic to cover during this phase of the selection process is their service area. Make sure they work where your properties are located, otherwise a relationship does not make much sense.
Putting the Right Residential Painter to Work
Once you have selected the right residential painter for your portfolio of homes, put them to work slowly. Your first call should not be a 20 home project requiring total exterior repaints. Start with small projects, maybe painting interior walls at 2 or 3 properties or an exterior repaint at 1, before diving in headfirst. This provides an opportunity for them to show you their responsiveness and quality of work while beginning to build a successful relationship.
If you need help locating a great painter to work on your portfolio of residential properties, contact Property Manager Insider and we will help you find a qualified painter in your local market.
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