When you’re determined to follow all of the latest real estate investing tips, you might assume that having a do-it-yourself approach can help you succeed. However, in many cases, failing to hire a professional goes against any worthwhile guide to real estate investing.
That’s especially true when you’re talking about a home or rental property’s functional systems, such as HVAC, electricity, and plumbing. It might seem like these systems are easy enough to handle on your own—especially when so many fixes and how-tos are available on YouTube.
However, real estate buyers must beware: it’s not as easy as it looks! One wrong move and you could end up needing an even costlier repair. Let’s examine why you shouldn’t DIY plumbing issues in your investment property and how building a long-term collaboration with a professional plumber on your real estate investing team can help your business.
Got a Plumbing Issue? DIY Can Be Costly
A clogged toilet or drain can often be fixed without professional help. However, real estate investors shouldn't DIY for the vast majority of plumbing problems.
One of our top real estate investing tips is knowing when to throw in the towel and trust the experts. Going the DIY route is often only a temporary fix or exacerbates the problem further. Plus, if you’re stuck paying for utilities until a flip can be sold or you find new tenants, that amount of waste from a leak can translate into major costs, on top of additional costly property damage. Since you probably won’t be able to identify the source of the leak on your own, you may spend even more money on ineffective DIY solutions—all while the problem worsens.
For more pressing complaints, such as burst pipes or broken water heaters, it can be downright dangerous for you to attempt a fix on your own. You might even void your insurance policy if you try to DIY, in some cases. In others, you’ll make the damage considerably worse and risk your safety in the process.
When In Doubt, Hire a Plumber
Before you become overly familiar with all the top real estate investing tips, you might believe it’s best to DIY whenever possible. If you can use a plunger to fix a clogged toilet, you don’t have to place a call to the professionals—but for anything beyond a simple fix, it’s always best to go straight to the experts. Otherwise, you’ll risk wasting time and money while you jeopardize your well-being and the property itself.
The reality is that plumbing problems can spell trouble for your business, but they’re also inevitable. If you read any guide to real estate investing, you’ll soon learn that many plumbing issues are incredibly common. Sooner or later, for at least one of your properties, they’ll need to be addressed.
It’s also important to remember that in many cases, conducting plumbing repairs without a licensed plumber can leave you with city or building ordinance violations and unsafe conditions that could fail an inspection or force you to stop operating a rental property.
Small Problems Can Quickly Spiral
If and when plumbing problems occur, it’s best to hire a professional. A trained and experienced plumber can handle just about anything—from hidden water leaks and faucet replacements to clogged drains and water heater issues.
In many situations, plumbing problems go beyond a mere nuisance. They can quickly turn into an emergency if ignored or repaired with an inadequate fix. For example, a rental unit without hot water can land a property owner in trouble, while a burst pipe can easily devastate your property.
Unfortunately, emergency plumbers often charge a premium. If you don’t have an existing relationship with a plumber and you need one right away, expect to pay the price.
Why Add a Plumber To Your Real Estate Investing Community?
Most real estate investment professionals recommend adding a plumber to your growing real estate investing community. This ensures you’ll have someone you can always turn to for any plumbing problem.
Your ongoing relationship with a reliable plumber can also ensure you’re charged a fair price for their services. You’ll be able to protect your investment and bottom line, ensuring that tenants are happy or that costs for repairs are low.
When you add a plumber to your real estate investment community, you’ll be able to:
- Respond to tenant emergencies without delay
- Prevent additional damage from standing water (mold, mildew, property damage)
- Quickly address plumbing projects during the renovation process
- Perform routine maintenance on a seasonal or between-occupant basis
- Receive cost-saving and quality recommendations during crises (burst pipes, tenant damage)
- Protect your property and ensure the health and safety of all
As an investor, you’ll want to make decisions that will protect your real estate investments and keep costs low. While hiring a plumber will represent an added expense, you’ll ultimately save more in the long term by building a relationship with a professional.
How Real Estate Investors Can Find the Best Plumber
Of course, you shouldn’t hire “just any” plumber for every project. You’ll see a big difference in results and will have to endure a tedious process every time you need to find a new plumbing professional.
Instead, it’s better to nurture an ongoing relationship with a qualified plumber in your target real estate market or preferred markets. You’ll be able to count on this professional to handle any plumbing issue for your investment properties, and they’ll benefit from a steady stream of business. In addition, this kind of mutually beneficial relationship can protect your investments and allow for maximum growth while you delegate responsibilities to someone with expertise.
So, how do you find a plumber you can rely on? With so many options available for plumbers picking a name from a Google search might turn out well, or it could create additional issues.
Vetting well-rated plumbers in your target market before you need them is the best way to make sure you have an expert you can trust when you do need them. That way, you won’t have to scramble in an emergency. Instead, you’ll have someone lined up who can come right away and fix the issue promptly.
When evaluating potential candidates for your investment properties, ask yourself these questions:
- Do they have experience in investment properties?
- How long have they been working in the industry?
- What are others saying about their business?
- Are their services within my budget?
- Can I rely on them for a variety of services?
- Are they willing to provide emergency help?
If you’re able to find a plumber with the right answers to these questions, chances are that you can build a great working relationship with them that will benefit all parties involved.
For Real Estate Investors, Professional Plumbing Help is a Must
DIY plumbing jobs can make existing problems worse and be a costly way to maintain rental properties or rehab a fix-and-flip investment. If you don’t have a plumber on your real estate investment team, you might ignore the warning signs of a completely preventable issue. By finding reputable plumbers in your target investment markets, you can prevent income loss and unsafe living or working conditions.
There’s no shame in needing a team to accomplish your goals! It’s the smartest way to invest, including starting the process with Privy to find the best properties at the prices in your target markets. With Privy, investors enjoy investment opportunities delivered to their inboxes, along with investor insights to help them make smart decisions. Reach out soon to learn more about the Privy Advantage!
Surround yourself with the team you need for success! Start with a free copy of “Assemble Your Real Estate Investing Team: A Worksheet.”