24 Mar Hiring the Right Vendor for Your HOA Community
With Winter slowly fading in our rearview mirrors and warmer weather approaching quickly, making changes to daily habits can significantly impact your community’s overall health as well as your residents’ happiness and wellbeing. Keeping up with maintenance, landscaping, and other ventures in your community is a year-round task. Sometimes it can be challenging to choose vendors for these tasks, and if you aren’t careful, you could spend unnecessary amounts of your allotted budget that could have been put to good use elsewhere.
Take a look at these tips to help you navigate the vendor world and choose the best option for your community, especially with spring cleaning and upkeep just around the corner.
Review the Governing Documents of Your HOA Carefully
Understand what your rights are; certain HOA agreements have stipulations about which vendors you are allowed to hire for your community. By understanding these rules and regulations, you can make a better, more educated decision about which vendors you can hire. Contact your HOA management company if you are unsure of how to go through this. Companies such as Worth Ross Management Company have pre-existing relationships with certain vendors and know who is the best for which jobs and can even work out deals with them to get you the best prices possible.
Have a Concrete Budget in Place
When you have rotating expenses each year for tasks such as maintenance and landscaping, among other things, you should already have an idea of how much you should spend on each project. Be careful not to exceed this budget; you may need extra funds later on in the year if an emergency occurs, such as needing to replace or repair anything throughout the community. If you are unsure of how to set a budget up or if your association Board is finding it difficult to balance the task of financials, it may be time to enlist an HOA management company such as Worth Ross Management Company. WRMC helps associations all across Texas and the Denver metroplex find and manage a healthy budget. They’ll lend their unmatched accounting department to your community, help you find cost-saving opportunities, and help streamline expenses, such as vendors. And with their tenured relationships, you can guarantee they will get you the best price. You can read more about budgeting during a pandemic here.
Interview Many Different Vendors, and Get Quotes in Writing
When searching for the perfect vendor for the job, it can be a beginner’s mistake to sign a contract with the first vendor you interview. Speak with multiple companies and ask what their pricing looks like, how they operate, and ask for a quote in writing to reference later. Just like with any big purchase, your association needs to shop around before settling on one company to hire. If they do a good job and you enjoyed working with them, make a note of this so you can hire them in the future.
Verify the Vendor’s References
While you are interviewing each vendor, make sure you ask for references. Some companies can put fake positive reviews on their website to lure in business from associations. The last thing you want is to hire a company that ends up doing shoddy work, leaving you to spend even more money from your already-strict budget on hiring another vendor to fix what the first one did. Call at least two former clients to get an idea of the vendor’s work ethic and overall satisfaction from the business or another association. If any vendors fail to provide you with this information, you should consider it a red flag. Any company with excellent references should be more than happy to send them your way and most likely end up doing a better job to enhance your community’s quality of life.
Make Sure You Have a Contract in Place
Contracts make doing business a thousand times easier. There are no discrepancies or “he said, she said” banter – contracts make sure everything is documented, so the terms of business are followed as they were discussed. Ensure you write out pricing, work scope (precisely what is to be completed by the vendor), any time frame, and insurance needs. If you are searching for a vendor on your own, you’ll need this contract, no exceptions. It would help if you also had an attorney look over the contract before the work begins. If you have an HOA management company such as WRMC, they will take away the headache of the vendor contracts and will save you time and money since they may already have contracts written up with certain vendors. Lastly, pay attention to the professional appearance of the contract. Examine its overall aesthetic. Does it look well put-together, like someone took their time with creating it? Or are there spelling errors with no clean formatting? Contracts with written sections also often indicate a warning sign that the contract isn’t trustworthy.
Ask About Discounts and Bulk Pricing
You should never hesitate to ask for a discount on services – the worst thing the vendor can tell you is “no.” Getting discounts on bulk pricing can save you a lot of money, especially if your community is large and has multiple landscape areas that need tending. Receiving discounts now often translates into reduced fees for your residents, resulting in a higher level of confidence that the association uses its budget as allocated and is trustworthy.
Selecting vendors is not always an easy, cut-and-dry process. It takes time, dedication, effort, and sometimes money that an HOA Board does not have. Streamlining this process will only help your association, its team members, and its residents in the long run. If your Board is still having trouble finding a reputable vendor for any project your community might be taking on, it’s time to elicit the help of an HOA management company like Worth Ross Management Company. With their team of experts who genuinely care about the communities they serve, they can take the hassle away from association administrative tasks such as finding an outstanding vendor and maintaining that relationship for years to come.
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