Managing Maintenance jobs

How do I keep a good eye on the property manager and maintenance workers to make sure they don’t scam me for buying extra materials and pocketing them for there own use. The property manager will be responsible of buying material with a prepaid card that I monitor closely with no access to withdraw cash. Also how to assess a maintenance job? Can you rely on the worker to determine how many hours? Especially when they are hourly paid and sometimes have no work for days? I always thought about getting a bid but with no really no competition is that necessary? I know I will be making them take pictures and scan paperwork but there are always things they can get a away with. Let it slide?Basically how an absentee owner oversee all this. Much appreciated guys

sorry for typo suppose to be “no real competition”

Dropbox my friend.  We insist on photos of damage.  Those are either emailed to us, or uploaded to Dropbox depending on our Managers’ skill level.  One of our managers is inclined to say a home is ‘trashed beyond repair’ when a tenant moves out, and indeed he may legitimately view it that way, but in looking at photos we can often see that the only real damage is that the living room carpet needs to be replaced with vinyl, and that one piece of sheetrock needs to be replaced and repainted.  That’s a far cry from ‘trashed beyond repair;’ pictures truly are worth 1,000 words.  We’ll then get a fixed-price bid (or, rather our general contractor will), and we’ll pick the best bid.  ‘Best’ does not necessarily mean the lowest price.  Do NOT pay by the our.  There is virtually no job in a mobile home that should be by the hour.We never expect our crews to fund our business; we always pay for materials (but never tools) up front.  We do so with a corporate card and either call ahead to HD to order the materials to the Pro Desk for pickup, or our repair crew calls us from the checkout line (in which case, we always ask the checkout clerk ‘What are we purchasing today?’)Don’t let yourself get pushed-around by contractors.  Mobile homes are easy to repair.  The living room won’t magically increase in size 30% while the new flooring is installed, so don’t pay a vendor who tries to change price on you by saying "Wow, that job took 30% longer than I thought… I need 30% more money…"Then have your GC or Manager upload photos of the completed work, and pay your vendors in a timely manner (within a week).  Again, don’t get pushed around by contractors who say “Hey, I just finished the flooring job 15 minutes ago, and I gotta go get my payment at your bank right now…”  Make sure the job is done right.  Having it inspected, and seeing photos will be your protection that you are only paying for a fully completed job done right.Good luck,-jl-