Vendors-How to get in front of the right people

Landscape, pool contractors and handymen often ask “How can I get more business from the management company?”  The answer is sometimes complicated and sometimes not.  The complicated answer is make sure you have all the requisite liability insurance and business licenses, leave us some information about your company and the next time a contract comes up for bid we’ll let you know.  The simple answer is being in the right place at the right time.

The management company does not award a contract for services.  The management company only solicits qualified bids based on what the association or Board of Directors is looking for. Lets take landscape maintenance for example.  For a fairly large contract in excess of $1000 per month, if the existing landscape maintenance company performs adequately, that contract may not be bid out for some time. The same holds true for pool maintenance.  No amount of cajoling or enticements will afford you the opportunity to bid if the existing company is doing its job.

When the association manager does request a bid, he/she should make sure that all bids are uniform, meaning they all bid on the same specifications.  For landscape maintenance it should included “x” number of cuts per year, fertilization treatments, pest control treatments and irrigation repairs. Once the bids are received they are then forwarded to the Board of Directors for consideration at a Board meeting.  It is entirely possible that no decision is made or a Board member would like for ABC Company to submit a bid and it all has to wait for another month for a decision.  A low ball bid doesn’t help your cause much either as low bids tend to be scrutinized more.

For intermittent service, it’s more about being available and performing quality work.  Intermittent service or on demand service usually is awarded based on a relationship of some sort.  Either the manager knows you and your work or a member of the Board knows you and knows your work.  They’re willing to stick their neck out for you if you can resolve their crisis in short order. If you perform quickly and admirably with a price that’s acceptable, more work will come your way.

We will continue to visit this topic in the coming weeks and touch on insurance and capital improvements.  The bottom line is for contract vendors, start now developing relationships.  While association managers do not award contracts they hold the key to future projects.  Staying in constant touch with them could pay dividends down the line.

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