As a director volunteering on a condo board in Ontario, your responsibilities are multifaceted, including maintaining the property and ensuring the satisfaction of residents. One of the most important aspects of this job is selecting and managing vendors who can provide the services necessary for maintaining the property. Like many other things in life, this is easier said than done.
Finding good vendors, managing them effectively, and maintaining positive relationships with them requires skill, knowledge, and experience… but the result of a positive relationship is truly invaluable.
In this post, we'll share a collection of 30 tips and insights from experienced directors and property managers on how to select good vendors, manage them effectively, and maintain positive relationships with them. We'll also explore how combining these skills can help with preventative maintenance and ensuring quality service, as well as the overall well-being of your condo community.
☑️ Be Proactive: Do Your Due Diligence During the Pre-Selection Process
Look for vendors who have experience working with condos, insured, and (if relevant) licensed.
Research and investigate potential vendors before hiring them. Ask your trusted contacts, check their references and online reviews/ratings.
Consider the vendor's reputation in the industry and their track record of completing projects on time and within budget.
Look for vendors who have good communication skills and who respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.
Consider the vendor's level of professionalism and ability to work collaboratively with other contractors and members of the condo board.
Ensure that the vendor has a clear understanding of your expectations and requirements for the project. This is often achieved by providing vendors with a detailed and accurate Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quote (RFQ).
Set clear and reasonable deadlines for project completion.
Request multiple quotes from different vendors to compare pricing and services.
Ask for a detailed scope of work and a timeline for completion before signing a contract.
Ask the vendor to provide regular progress reports and updates on the project.
👀 Don’t Sit Back: Be Active and Keep an Eye Out!
Once you’ve chosen a vendor, clearly define the scope of work and expectations in the contract.
Establish clear lines of communication and a point of contact for the vendor.
Ensure that the vendor has the necessary permits and approvals before starting work.
Monitor the project progress and hold regular check-ins with the vendor to ensure that everything is on track.
Keep all documentation and communication related to the project organized and in one place.
Address any issues or concerns promptly and work collaboratively with the vendor to find a solution.
Provide clear and constructive feedback throughout the project.
Conduct a thorough review of the project and the vendor's performance once the work is completed.
Ensure that the vendor is paid in a timely and fair manner.
Maintain a professional and respectful working relationship with the vendor.
🤝 How to Maintain a Positive Relationship with the Vendor:
It should go without saying, but it’s a must to treat vendors with respect and professionalism.
Keep the lines of communication open and encourage vendors to share their ideas and expertise.
Foster a positive working relationship with vendors by being approachable and responsive.
Provide feedback and constructive criticism in a respectful and professional manner.
Recognize and acknowledge the vendor's hard work and contribution to the project.
Show appreciation for the vendor's efforts by providing testimonials or referrals.
Consider vendors for future projects based on their performance and quality of work.
Pay vendors on time and in accordance with the terms of the contract - we’re repeating this for a reason!
Attend industry events and tradeshows to stay informed about new vendors and services.
Continue to build and maintain relationships with vendors even after the project is completed.
Working with vendors can be a challenging task, but by selecting good vendors, managing them effectively, and maintaining positive relationships, you can ensure that your condo community receives quality services, and preventative maintenance is taken care of. By following the tips and insights shared in this post, you can cultivate a healthy and productive relationship with vendors, and ensure that your condo community thrives.
So, go ahead and put these tips into practice, and enjoy a hassle-free experience working with vendors!
P.S. Volunteering takes time, and we don’t want to see any of it go to waste! Register with Stratastic to stay on top of the information, tips, and tricks that help you achieve the best for your condo community!
Tags: condo board, vendor selection, vendor management, positive relationships, property maintenance, Ontario, due diligence, professional communication, Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quote (RFQ), project management, vendor reputation, industry events, vendor referrals, timely payment, organized documentation, project progress monitoring, constructive feedback, tradeshow attendance.