We’ve been in the real estate industry long enough to see how quickly renovations, repairs, and restorations can go wrong when not properly supervised. Individual homeowners are not the only victims of this— corporate and government agencies can also struggle with finding a contractor crew that delivers quality work. If you’re considering hiring and managing a contractor crew on your own, these are three tips to help the process go smoothly.

1. Have a contract.

No matter who you hire, insist on a formal contract that stipulates the terms and conditions of the work. The contract should include time-frames, costs, and payment arrangements. With this in place, you’re ensuring that you and your contractor are on the same page. Should any disagreements or issues arise, you’ll both have a common reference point to help you move forward. You’re also ensuring that you have control of the time-frame and the cost. Of course there is some flexibility required here- unexpected problems can crop up and cause delays and new expenses- but overall, the contract will hold the crew responsible for their work, even when you’re not on site.

2. Use a project journal.

This is a place for you to track many aspects of the project. Anytime you visit the site, jot down the date and a few notes about the progress. Some jobs will have a longer timeline, and this can help you stay informed about the pace of the work over the duration of the project. It’s also a great place to store ideas and questions that you’d like to discuss with your contractor the next time you meet. This will help maximize your conversations and eliminate confusion. If you agree on any products to be ordered for the job, the journal is a good place to keep item numbers and prices as well as delivery dates. There is so much to keep track of, and while you hope that your crew is handling everything responsibly, it’s always best to stay informed. In addition to giving you a sense of the project’s progress, the journal can also come in handy for any disagreements. They more you record, the more you’ll have to look back at should you and your contractor have any conflicts.

3. Visit the job site often.

It might not be possible to be on site everyday, but it’s advisable to visit at least a few times a week. You’re visits should be on a random schedule so the crew isn’t expecting your arrival. You don’t want to seem like you’re spying or looking for mistakes, so simply establish from the start that frequent check-ins are part of your relationship. Let the crew see that you are involved in the work, care about the project, and are well-informed on its progress. Try to learn the names of the people you see there often, bring cold drinks on hot days, and let them know when you like their work. Creating an enjoyable environment for your contractor crew can really improve the quality of work.

For many, hiring and managing a contractor crew is an added workload and burden that they don’t have the time or energy to deal with. So, how can you find someone to manage the crew for you when you don’t want to do it yourself?

Hiring an REO Services Company

Full-time management of contractors and frequent site visits can be challenging, especially for banks and government agencies. Schedules don’t always allow for someone to make a site visit, and the management and maintenance of the property is not really the main focus of these businesses. Hiring an REO service company can be a huge help in these situations. Companies can keep their focus on the core aspects of their business by transferring the responsibility to an REO services company.

There are a lot of benefits of working with an REO services company. Most importantly, they bring both experience and professionalism. They understand what it takes to deliver what their client needs. From existing relationships with trusted contractors to knowledge about time-frames and costs, an REO services company knows how to get the best work for the best price. They also know and understand the issues that often arise and are prepared to manage them effectively.

Managing a contractor crew is a lot of work. If you choose to undertake it yourself, hopefully the tips above will help you get the best work possible from your crew. If you’re looking for a project to be completed efficiently, on-budget, and with quality work, but don’t have hours and hours to dedicate to proper management of a crew, hiring an REO services company could be a great option. Either way, management of a contractor crew shouldn’t be overlooked.