Finding an ideal vendor to partner with your HOA can be a challenging process, but once you’ve found one with whom you know you’ll be able to have a high-quality long-term relationship, it is extremely rewarding, and a big relief. Having the right vendors means you’ll be able to benefit from high-quality work at reasonable prices and avoid potential legal difficulties and unhappy residents.
Here is some of the information you should consider as you go through the vendor selection process.
What you should look for in your vendor search
Any vendor from whom you request a proposal should have all of the proper insurance and licenses before you even consider working with them. This is for your protection – do not take this lightly. You shouldn’t go with a friend’s recommendation or give someone your business as a favor without first investigating whether they are properly covered and licensed. Otherwise you could be on the hook for some major financial liability if an accident occurs. It is also important for board members to disclose all personal relationships that may be had with the vendor prior to them being contracted at the community. Those board members with the personal relationship should recuse themselves from voting to eliminate perceived impropriety.
You should also carefully analyze all the bids you receive and make sure the scope of work outlined by the vendor actually matches what you’re looking for. You should look over everything that’s included (as well as excluded). Any time a vendor provides a ballpark or boilerplate quote, you should be wary—there’s a chance they haven’t carefully analyzed the scope of your project, which means they might not pay attention to the details when it comes down to doing the actual work of your project.
Ask to see samples of the vendor’s previous work. This will give you an idea of what you can expect out of the finished product for jobs in your community. In addition, you should ask the company for references beyond any testimonials they provide on their website. This gives you the chance to reach out to them and speak to them personally about their experience in working with the vendor.
Finally, take some time to talk directly with the vendor. This is especially important if you’re going to be working on a big-ticket project that’s going to cost your community a lot of money or take a lot of time. Schedule in-person meetings with a representative from the company and pay close attention to how you feel during the meetings. It’s the sign of a good future relationship if you feel like you can easily keep the conversation going and get timely answers to your questions. If anything seems “off,” or if any red flags pop up during the meeting, listen to your gut and begin looking into other options.
Once you’ve got a good group of vendors you know and trust, you can continue working with them for years to come and benefit from having an outstanding vendor partnership.
For more information about some of the key steps you should take in your search for high-quality vendor partners for your community, contact our HOA managers in Chandler, AZ.