If you’re thinking about buying and selling real estate quickly, flipping real estate, there is a learning curve that you absolutely must follow. There’s no way around hands-on experience being your true teacher. You can prepare all Property Flippingyou want, scour the internet and read “how to” books on flipping houses but until you close your first deal, you won’t get the complete picture.

Part of this experience, a major part, is deciding what to repair, remodel or rehabilitate. That evaluation process also includes how much those needed repairs will cost and how long it will take to complete them. That’s why you need a good contractor on your team.

How do you find a good contractor? One way is to get referrals from others. Ask your friends and co-workers but one of the best ways is to contact an experienced real estate agent. Good contractors contact real estate agents for referrals. When a real estate agent sells a house, the buyers will typically start remodeling by updating a kitchen or a bath or adding square footage. A real estate agent, a good one, typically keeps two or three good contractors in a database. They have to be good or the agent wouldn’t refer them. An agent’s reputation is everything and one false referral and it can damage costly marketing.

You can also take a trek to a local hardware store or “big box” material retailers. Contractors visit these stores daily to get building supplies. Contractors who are in the store often are the ones getting lots of work. Their previous clients are handing out the contractor’s name because of the quality work they performed.

Good contractors have the ability to review a potential upgrade or rehab, quickly and accurately make cost estimates and give you a solid idea on the costs. You don’t need to pay a contractor to do this, the contractor’s payment is getting the work. In fact, if you find a good contractor and you’ve build a relationship, you should expect discounted pricing in exchange for all your business.

A real estate investor will work with attorneys and real estate agents and others but don’t forget about the contractor’s role in your business. It’s a critical relationship you need to foster.