3 Ways to Build Your Vendor Relationships
If you have decided that you would prefer the freedom of outsourcing your maintenance rather than, say, making yourself available at any time of the day or night to tend to your tenant’s needs, then you are now in search of maintenance vendors.
What you are NOT looking for: a “handy” family member or family friend, a “jack of all trades and master of none”.
What you ARE looking for: licensed professionals who are also covered by liability insurance.
Your maintenance vendors are a crucial part of your business. They represent you by interacting directly with your tenants and help you by saving time and money. Building a relationship with your vendors is imperative – here are three ways to do just that:
1) Select a FEW Vendors
It should go without saying that in order to build a relationship, you will need to choose a few go-to vendors for your maintenance needs. By doing this, you and your tenant benefit from consistency in performance, and the reassurance of a familiar face. Being a steady source of business for your vendor may actually get you higher on their priority list, as well.
2) Pay Your Vendors on Time
Recognize that the time and effort that you’re saving by not completing repairs yourself translates into dollars paid to your vendor. You are paying not only for the repair, but also their hourly rate. Remember that these are professionals that can not only diagnose the issue, but have it repaired in a timely manner that does not drag out the inconvenience to your tenant (which becomes an inconvenience to you!). Be respectful and pay your vendors in a timely manner as well.
3) Refer and Rate Your Preferred Vendors
Ratings are everything these days! If you love your vendor, refer them to other landlords like yourself! Getting your vendors more business is a great way to build a positive relationship. If they have a website, write a stellar review! Give them stars on Angie’s List or other online vendor search applications.
Keep in mind, this will be a matter of trial and error. You may find a fantastic vendor the first time you ever need a repair, or you may not. There are horror stories of vendors doing more harm than good, or upcharging exorbitant costs for what should have been a relatively simple repair. Also, as an extension of your own business, if they have a conflict with your tenant – you now have a conflict with your tenant.
Property Management companies like Frontline Property Management, Inc. have spent years vetting their vendors and building those relationships so that you don’t have to! If your property is hours away or out of state, that’s a huge impediment to having the face-to-face teamwork that we have with our vendors. With Frontline, you always know where your bottom line stands. Large repairs are never started without an appraisal of the work by a licensed and insured vendor, and we never EVER make a profit on the work being done. Our goal is a happy landlord and a happy tenant, and we do everything in between to make it happen!