When it comes to property management, your vendors can make or break you when it comes to life safety and overall tenant satisfaction. How can you make sure you’re making the right choice? Work smarter not harder in your selection process with these tips.
As a property manager, you already know the vital steps of hiring supplier partners for building services, but how confident are you in your choices? How can you be most certain the vendors you choose are actually the very best at what they do? Have they been selected carefully?
Your supplier partners are representing your property; their services, and how they perform them, will affect how your tenants feel about you. Ultimately, it all boils down to the tenant experience.
A thorough screening of potential vendors may save you a world of heartache, as well as a possible reduction in chance of liability issues. The ultimate goal is to have a group of responsible, dependable, reliable vendors who have your back and you can trust with your property.
Prepare yourself: finding good suppliers takes work and time. The search will include Internet searches, referrals from associates, legal advice, and, yes, a gut feeling.
The payoff will be worth it. Being selective with your vendors can lead to savings in a number of ways, whether cost savings in averting re-do’s and corrections, as well as avoiding possible lawsuits and troublesome tenant issues.
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Consider this checklist when searching for the most effective vendors:
Map out your property and pinpoint where the need for key supplier partners are.
This will give you a comprehensive visual idea of what you need and where. It’s key to determine if a one-size-fits all or multi-service supplier is the best fit for specialized areas on your property. .
Determine which jobs you can do yourself.
The old adage, “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” can apply here. You may know exactly how to handle an issue, which can be done faster and better than taking the time to weed out vendors to to the job. For all other jobs, continue on your vendor search (but at least the list may be shorter!).
Do your due diligence.
Has the vendor been in business for at least a few years? What kinds of projects are their specialty? Ask for references, and research reader comments and testimonials, if available. Use Google, Yelp and the vendor’s website to get a better grasp. We all know a supplier will only include positive reviews on their website, but the benefit there is seeing if any of the value their current customers find in their service resonates with you and a pain point you have.
Search the Better Business Bureau.
This website provides vital vendor information as well as any complaints that were filed in the past.
Find vendors the old-fashioned way.
In the digital age, we often forget that recommendations and referrals can be as easy as asking associates. Ask why the vendor would come so highly recommended, and if there are any doubts or red flags that can be shared.
Compile an easily accessed vendor list.
The vendors you like may not always be available in a pinch. A well-kept backup list could help you bring in high-quality vendors when you need them. No frantic searching or last-minute fishing for referrals. Try to list three or four backup vendors for each service needed.
Look for accessibility and approachability.
Is the vendor you choose close by, and can they get to your property quickly or troubleshoot remotely (and effectively so)? Do they answer the phone on the second or third ring, and do they get back to you in a timely manner? Do they offer 24/7/365 services?
Make sure your vendors screen their employees and contractors.
A dangerous, inept, rude or irresponsible worker on your property or interacting with your tenants will not bode well for you.
Check your vendor’s liability coverage.
How are your vendors insured? Make certain that any damages, injuries or liability claims can be covered. Better yet, will they potentially name you an additional insured on their coverage?
Ask for proof of licensure.
A vendor should have a business license, and it should be current and valid. It may be in your best interest to avoid any unlicensed vendors.
Read our blog post on reputation management for property managers.
Is the vendor open to sharing?
If the vendor you’re investigating is reluctant to hand over important information (like licensing), you may want to consider that as a red flag.
Have your vendor sign a contract.
This could nip any problems in the bud ahead of time. Include how you expect a job to be performed, how to provide an estimate, the best way for the vendor to contact you, and typical service level agreement items such including timelines on expectation of service.
Ask yourself, “are my vendors giving my tenants peace of mind?”
For instance, Kings III emergency response service brings property safety along with tenant satisfaction. Kings III has professionally trained operators on standby 24/7/365, with unmatched emergency help phone monitoring for elevators, pools, stairwells, garages, parking, and more. Peace of mind comes with every situation. For instance, imagine how an elevator entrapment or a call from your property’s pool phone may require special call handling. Kings III staff is always there and prepared, despite a nationwide call center staff shortage.
Kings III’s call center is privatized, making for more favorable conditions, clear focus and higher standards in terms of a customer service and overall care factor . There is never a shortage of highly trained emergency dispatchers ready to take the call. Many of our operators are are Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatch certified (AEMD), meaning they are able to provide pre-arrival medical instructions when needed.
Contact us to find out all the advantages of having Kings III as a supplier partner.