When it comes to maintaining your Tacoma, WA community, vendors are an essential part of the equation. Whether your amenities need repair or your landscaping needs maintenance, there are many vendors to hire, manage and coordinate as an HOA board, and it can be a deceptively complicated task.
Finding the right vendors for your community is essential for receiving quality service at a reasonable price. If you choose the wrong vendor, you could be left with poor workmanship, sky-high bills or even a legal headache. So how’s an HOA board to know who to choose? Consider these four tips for choosing the best vendor for your HOA.
1. Do Your Due Diligence
Adequate research is key to finding the right vendor for your needs. When setting out to find a new vendor, make sure that any candidates possess all current licenses and insurance. You should also review online testimonials and assess their overall customer satisfaction as best you can. Once you’ve verified their qualifications, request a proposal or quote for the project at hand.
Analyze each proposal and ensure that they are thorough and realistic in their details. Keep these questions in mind:
- Does the scope match your expectations?
- What is included and excluded from their service?
- Is their pricing realistic?
A proposal that’s too vague or sounds like a stock answer is something to be wary of, as it could indicate a lack of attention to detail or a lack of understanding of the project.
2. Get Multiple Bids
One of the biggest mistakes a community association can make is soliciting a quote from only one vendor. This may be acceptable if it’s a vendor that you’ve worked with before and the project is a small one, but if you have a project exceeding several thousand dollars or if you’re searching for an entirely new vendor, you should always collect at least three bids to compare.
Comparing multiple bids not only allows you to compare pricing and find a vendor within your budget, but it also allows you to see who best understands the scope of the project. Scheduling a face-to-face meeting with the vendors can also help you decide which one is the right match for your community.
3. Consult Your HOA Management Firm’s Approved Vendors List
If you have any doubts about your current vendor shortlist or if you simply want to make the entire process easier, you can select from your HOA management firm’s approved vendors list. Almost every community management company will have a list of approved or preferred vendors they have vetted for quality.
The Management Trust’s Trusted Partners Program, for example, brings together great vendors with the HOAs that need their services. The Management Trust’s vetting process only accepts vendors who deliver high-quality services, in a cooperative manner, for a fair price. By using the Trusted Partners Program, HOA boards can find a trustworthy vendor while saving dozens of valuable hours on research and other due diligence. The Management Trust even provides a $2,500 client satisfaction guarantee for work performed by enrolled vendors.
4. Work Alongside Your HOA Management Company
Whether or not you choose to use a vendor affiliated with your community management, your management team should work with you to find the right vendor. This includes analyzing and comparing bids, managing day-to-day operations of the project, and ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget.
Your HOA management firm should always be impartial and remain an advocate working on your behalf. If they pressure you to work with a vendor they’re affiliated with or fail to advocate for your best interests when utilizing an affiliated vendor, it may be time to find a new HOA management company with customer service and resident happiness at the heart of their operation.
With more than 30 years in the industry and over 1,500 communities successfully managed, The Management Trust has the expertise to guide you in all aspects of community association management, including vendor sourcing. To find out more about our comprehensive HOA management services or our Trusted Partners Program, call The Management Trust at (253) 472-0825 or fill out our online contact form today.