Selecting The Right Vendors
As a property manager the most important aspect of your job is to provide quality care to your client’s property. So the vendor you hire to do work on that property needs to be well equipped to do a valuable job and at a reasonable cost. The selection process should be precise and efficient so you can have reliable vendors for any future problems that may occur on that property or on another one of your properties. The vendor selection process can be a complicated and stressful undertaking if you don't know how to approach it properly from the beginning. These steps will guide you in choosing quality vendors.
Step One: Determine Your Needs
Define your vendor requirements. Figure out what kind of service you need for the issue at hand. In most cases a general in-house handyman can be the solution to your problems, but in other cases you will need a service that specializes in a specific service. (For example, roofing, plumbing, landscaping, etc.)
Step Two: Establish A Timeline
Establish a timeline for when you need your work to be completed by. Ergo give yourself time so that you’re not in a rush and forced to find a vendor that has the time to do the work you need. You may find out that the vendor was widely available because of the sub-par work that they do. Once you have a timeline, notify your tenants of the expected repairs. This gives them time to prepare for any necessary arrangements.
Step Three: Ask Around
Ask your peers or friends if they would recommend anyone for the service your property needs. The best vendors are the ones that you know will do an outstanding job. Who else is better to utilize to find a quality vendor than the people surrounding you?
Step Four: Research!
Even if a vendor is recommended by someone, you should always conduct your own research. If no one you know is able to recommend a vendor for the services you need, then research is twice as important.
Look up potential vendor reviews online.
Vendor reviews are the next best things to direct referrals from people you know. Some helpful services for this are Yelp, Angie’s List, or Google Reviews.Information to get directly from the Vendor
Following the vendor reviews, call around or browse their websites. Determine if they have the availability to work with your timeline. This saves you a considerable amount of time if you determine this first! After you have determined that they are able to satisfy your timeline, ask the potential vendors for samples of their work. This could be before and after pictures, or references to previous jobs they have completed. Also ask if they have the necessary documents and licenses to perform the work on your property.
Questions to ask company references:
How long ago was the service conducted? (If it was a long time ago, the employees could have changed, so ask for the names of the workers just to be sure)
How did the vendor treat your property? (Anyone that works on your property should treat the property as if it was theirs, meaning there should be no trash throwing or smoking inside the unit.)
Have you had any problems with the (insert the designated area) since the repair was completed? Or
Are the vendors consistent every week by the designated time you agreed on?
What do you wish the vendor would do better?
Would you rehire them if another problem occurred?
Lastly, after you are satisfied with your answers, discuss costs with the vendors you have narrowed your choices down to. Compare this price to the predicted time and quality of the work to make the smartest choice. If a vendor does an excellent job in a short amount of time, the higher price might be permissible!.
Step Five: Decide who you want!
By now you have all the information you need to form an informed decision. You can get started! Good Luck!