Protect your property and your company. Most all management companies and independent property owners require their potential vendors to have certain documents, insurance, positive references and more, in order to work on your property. Many times this can be exhausting for all parties. You find the right vendor partner that has just the right product or service you need, but they are not an approved vendor. Do you give up and say – sorry, we cannot do business because you are not an approved vendor or do you provide the steps for the potential vendor to come aboard? We know not all vendors are created equal, but there are a few things that are critically important. Here are the top four:
# 1 – You need to protect your property and your company from selecting the wrong vendor. A vendor without the right credentials or lack of proper insurance can prove to be disastrous if something goes wrong. By utilizing a third party company to assist with keeping your vendors insurance records and information up to date, generally helps to keep your property protected. If you believe in the vendor and their offering, partner with them by giving them all the details and requirements of your company to become an approved vendor (using a third party that monitors the process). If they want the business they will understand and jump through the necessary hoops to make things happen. If they give immediate push back, this could be a sign they are not the right match for your property or your company.
# 2 – By only utilizing your existing vendor list, and just exploring other potential vendor partners, this could keep you from having the very best in products and services. There are always new vendors entering the multifamily / property management arena. Yes, this can be a challenge if they do not understand our business, but many times if they are a professional company, they have done their due-diligence and will quickly get up to speed on the industry. Therefore, coming from outside the industry they may bring fresh new ideas and solutions that we have been waiting for. This has proven successful on numerous occasions including technology for marketing and in the area of maintenance services.
# 3 – Always call on the references! Most vendors have a list of clients they have done business with. Great, ensure you pick up the phone or send an email for a candid conversation with their reference. In addition, social media is priceless when it comes to asking about a potential vendor. We don’t recommend discrediting a vendor online, rather ask about any raving fans of a product, service or potential vendor. Many times, nothing said is enough said.
# 4 – Go with your gut! The right vendor can make all the difference in your property or business. Many times, it is not about the lowest bid or about the proposal. Rather about that synergy you develop with a vendor that can take the product or service you are exploring to the next level. It is evident those vendors that really believe in their product or service, those that know what they bring to the table is unique and different, even if that difference is the level of service they will provide.
Always do your due diligence when selecting a property management vendor. It may be painful up front, but the end result will be well worth it.
About the Author: Lisa Young, CEO & Founder of Multifamily Zone, LLC provides Marketing, Sales & Project Management Services to the property management industry. MultifamilyZone.com is an all-inclusive resource, offering everything multifamily professionals need, including industry information and news, products, services, technology tools, marketing trends, training opportunities and much more! Our goal is to assist individual owners, as well as fee and national management firms in the operations of their assets. Contact Ms. Young at firstname.lastname@example.org