How to find affordable and reliable contractors

help-wantedSpecial Report by Richard Roop

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If you own (or plan to own) investment properties, you need to build a list or affordable and reliable contractors. You want several people you can call on whatever the need arises, and for all types of work on your houses…

A great resource is Craigslist. You can find all types of work being offered and contact them for more details and bid estimates. The more people you find and investigate the more money you will save next time you need some work done… any type of work.

HandymanHowever, you can also run ads looking for contractors, and have them contact you. By having a bunch of folks asking you for work, and competing against each other, you can find the most reliable and affordable folks to use, at the best prices, and then use again.

I recently had a couple tenant-buyers move out. At a minimum I need to do some repairs, clean and haul debris — even if I’m going to advertise as a fixer upper and my “Sweat Equity” program for buyers. Worst case, I’ll need to do some paint, carpet and other repairs to fix them up real nice… to get a higher price or more money down.

handyman_business(Even if you prefer to wholesale or flip properties and contracts, getting bids helps you better estimate repairs to buy right, and you can pass on the info to help your wholesale buyer make a decision.)

So last night I wrote and placed an ad on Craigslist and by morning I had 16 replies!  It has been less than 12 hours and my ad stays active for 45 days, so this is just the beginning. And of course I can re-post the ad to get more responses if needed… all for free.

Here is exactly what I did:

Step 1

  • Create or log-in to your account
  • Under “Gigs” select “Labor”
  • Review the ads and verify this is a good spot to advertise
  • Select: “Post” to start your posting

Step 2

  • Select: gig offered  (I’m hiring for a short-term, small or odd job)
  • Select: I want to hire someone
  • Select: labor gigs (includes moving & hauling)
  • Use email relay. Do not include phone number or show real email

Step 3

  • Enter your headline
  • Enter “area” as a city, several cities, county, etc.
  • Enter a centralized “zip code” so your ad shows on map searches
  • Paste the body copy of your ad

Step 4

  • Select: Pay (verses No Pay)
  • Enter pay details — Example:  “We get bids for jobs and reuse the most reliable and affordable contractors over and over”
  • Select: Show on Maps (to be included in map-based searches)
  • Enter street, cross street, city and state (or just city and state)
  • On next page, move pin on map to show your central location

Step 5

  • Add up to 24 images related to hiring contractors. None is ok. I added the images you see in this article.
  • Your ad will be posted to: (craigslist city)>gigs>labor gigs
  • It expires in 45 days and can be edited whenever needed


Here’s the ad I ran. Use it as a template or create your own:


Contractors needed for our rental houses

Ad Body:

Our real estate investing company manages and owns many homes in Teller County. We need to build our list of reliable contractors that we can call on for:

* House cleaning – move in/move out
* Carpet cleaning
* Carpet, tile and flooring installation
* Hauling trash and debris
* Handyman work (doors, fixtures, decks, trim, drywall, etc.)
* Appliances: delivery and installation
* Kitchen and bath remodels or repairs
* Woodstove, fireplace, chimney cleaning
* Yard clean up, landscaping, tree trimming
* Dirt work, drainage, driveway grading
* Painting interior and exterior
* Deck repairs and staining/painting
* Glass replacement
* Posting signs, installing lock boxes and delivering flyers
* Roof repair and replacement
* Plumbing repairs, heat tape, etc.
* Electrical repair and upgrades
* Gas, hot water and electric heating repairs
* Anything else that a property manager may need

Our properties are in Cripple Creek, Florissant, Divide, Woodland Park and Colorado Springs

Please reply with your name, phone, areas of skill, etc. We will contact you for some of our immediate needs and put you on our list for future work.

I have included the first 16 responses below. This was a general ad to build our contactor list but you could be real specific:

“Need interior painting of my 2,700 sq ft home in (City) within next week for $1,500 or reasonable bid. Reply for more details”

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Here are the actual responses:

257am: Hi my name is [NAME], I am not a contractor, I have experience in construction and also remodeling. I went to job corps in [CITY] for Mason. I have also taken wood working. I have plenty of experience in landscaping and remodeling. I do not charge a pretty penny but my work is like new.  Please feel free to call me at [PHONE]. Thank you for your time and effort for reading this email.

144am: Hello, I own [COMPANY] handyman service and would be happy to help in any way possible! I help a couple contractors in Colo Springs w/ flipping houses and can do all forms of construction. Please let me know if I can help you out, text/call [PHONE] Thanks [NAME]!

1110pm: My name is [NAME] with [COMPANY] general services. If your still needing work done, I would love to help you out. I have over 15 years experience with all phases of general construction. From landscaping to interior remodels. Residential and commercial experience. We are very punctual and get the job done right the first time. As we are human, if there are any mistakes, we come back and fix them on our dime. If your still interested, please feel free to contact me via email [EMAIL], or contact me directly at [PHONE]. Thanks for your time and hope to hear back from you. [NAME]

933pm: Hello, my name is [NAME], myself and my husband recently relocated here from Mi. I just saw your ad on craigslist, we have experience in everything you have listed in the ad minus electrical, gas heating and roofing. We have reliable transportation and are currently located in co. Springs. You may contact me at this email or phone number [PHONE]. Thank you for your time.

946pm: To whom it may concern, I am interested in your position that you have for contractors. I own a small painting company. We do interior/exterior painting; deck staining/painting and small deck repairs; drywall repair, interior and exterior trim replacement; house cleaning for move outs (good deal goes along with any needed interior painting); can do fall/spring yard clean up . This winter will be offering snow removal (snow blower/shovel) Next year we will also be offering lawn mowing services. I am located in Colorado Springs and am licensed and insured. Please let me know if we can be of service to you and your properties. Respectfully, [NAME] [COMPANY]

945pm: Hi, I have several years experience in all phases of construction and cleanup, and have a crew of 3-4 more people if needed. Thanks [NAME] [PHONE]

 929pm: I’ve got 30 years of experience in all facets of residential remodeling and repairs. I’m dependable, do quality work, have excellent references, and carry liability insurance. I’ve attached my resume and a few pics of recent work I’ve completed.  Thank you for considering, [NAME] [PHONE]

 929pm: My name is [NAME] DBA: [COMPANY] Concrete and Landscaping we are license and bonded with BBB a+ rated fill free to call as we give free quotes @[PHONE]

919pm: Hello my name is [NAME]. I am a housekeeper, I have been cleaning for about 2 years. I do move outs/move ins and regular cleanings. I also am insured, my phone number is [PHONE].

905pm: Hello, My name is [NAME] I am the owner/operator of a small fully licensed and insured HVAC company in Colorado Springs I would like the chance to earn your business. Please let me know what you are in need of for your properties. Thank You, [NAME] Owner, [COMPANY] [PHONE]

855pm: Hi I’m [NAME], my partner and I have 25 years exp each, we have 1,000,000.liab ins policy, all our own tools, ladders, pressure washer, sprayers. we have extensive exp in staining, glazing, lacquering int woodwork. we also do ext, but we are very good at cutting a straight line, accent colors, custom int woodwork. thanks for your time and consideration. [PHONE]

845pm: My name is [NAME] and I own and operate [COMPANY] which is a small painting and wallpaper company.  While my schedule is usually full, I have found myself with no work for the next few days.  If you need something done, I usually paint an entire interior of approximately 1000 square feet in 3 days and my prices are very reasonable. [NAME] [PHONE]

840pm: Id like to get added to your list of contractors.  my main skills are bobcat and backhoe service. water drainage.  driveways. final grading.   landscaping   tree removal.  i also have a large dump trailer and dump truck for your hauling needs. i also build decks and fences and outbuildings.  [NAME] [PHONE]

834pm: My name is [NAME]. I do glass, framing, drywall and other odds and ends. Please call [PHONE]

822pm: Hello, My name is [NAME] and I own and operate a small glass company including but not limited to: windows, any/all broken glass, mirror removal and replacement, Shower doors and enclosures, new screens and screen repair, tabletops and many other glass related products. My small company means more savings for you, especially being a repeat customer. My rates are extremely reasonable and will match or definitely beat the next. Hope to chat soon. I appreciate your time and hope to gain a new business relationship with your company soon. Thank you, [NAME][COMPANY] [PHONE]

724pm: Hello, My name is [NAME] and I own a Property Maintenance and Contracting company, [COMPANY]. We specialize in landscaping and painting but have a much wider portfolio. Please contact me if you would like to discuss a future arrangement. Thank you for your time. Best regards,[NAME] Owner/Operator [COMPANY]  [EMAIL]  C: [PHONE]

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