Get To Know Your Suppliers And Contractors
Apartment Supply Management - Getting to know your suppliers and contractors
5 MIN. READ
How well do you know your suppliers and contractors? Building great relationships with them is critical to maintaining a smooth-running multi-family property management. Get to know your apartment supply management partners and contractors so they will assist you when you are in a bind.
Who are your apartment supply management partners?
Being selective with your partners is critical. Only select players that can ensure the best pricing for you. Over time, this will enhance your portfolio and your supplier network.
Strategically choosing your partners will require you to frequently examine your contracts and agreements to ensure that you are getting the best pricing and terms for your property. Here are a few items to consider when selecting potential partners:
- Review references: Word spreads fast in the property management community. It may seem like a huge industry, but on a local level, it is a tight network where everyone knows everyone. Ask your peers who they use for certain services and get their feedback. Word-of-mouth reviews are excellent sources of information on prospective contractors and suppliers. If you hear a constant narrative on a supplier - negative or positive - take note and use this information as part of your selection criteria.
- Get multiple estimates: This should be standard practice. But many managers do not take the time to get additional estimates when starting projects. Get a minimum of three estimates. Look for value but note that value does not always mean the lowest bidder. Terms are important to consider as well.
- Verify documentation: Before any work is conducted on your property, verify that all insurance, licensing, and permits are valid. This will reduce risk to your company. Do not skip this step or take a contractor’s word for it - confirm their credentials.
- Interview potential partners: This does not have to be a formal process. But property managers should take the time to speak with potential partners face to face, or via phone, to get a feel for them and see whether they would make a good fit. People reveal a lot about themselves and their character when asked the right questions.
These are some areas to consider when trying to build your network of suppliers and contractors. These partnerships can improve the financial and physical performance of your portfolio, but only if you treat them as mutually beneficial.
One good turn deserves another
Good business is a two-way street, so look for win-win scenarios. For example, as you lean on your suppliers to help you out and give you the best deals, you should also reward them with continued business and give them access to your network of properties.
When you build trust with valued partners, it usually develops into a symbiotic relationship. They need you, and you need them. Suppliers and contractors love to work with teams that are fair and that respect them.
Knowing the worth of a good network of partners is crucial because it can save you from difficult situations. Here are a few suggestions:
- Drive spend where it matters: You can be strategic about building these relationships - regularly making deals, however small, puts you on the radar and makes future deals easier.
- Connect orders with people: Actually, taking time to connect and negotiate with contacts instead of treating your purchases as another record on the spreadsheet. This can help you know who to turn to when you are ready to make bigger purchases.
- Go beyond purchases: Social networks like LinkedIn make business relationships easier. You can announce requests for bids, join groups of like-minded owners in your area, or just research your partners and come to the table knowing more about their business than they do.
Once the business standard was face-to-face visits, special luncheons, and highly personal relationships. Today business has shifted, with developments in communications and technology, travel limitations due to the pandemic, and pandemic health concerns, business relies more on digital communications. Email, social, and video conferencing are the new digital tools to build relationships with clients.
It is still important to build relationships. Take the time to call, send cards and stay connected. Be authentic, and you will be rewarded.
If you have nurtured a relationship, when you need a favor, they are more likely to respond. Take the time to get to know your partners and reach out even when you do not need anything.
Use management automation to streamline the process
Managing contractors and suppliers can cause headaches and chew up valuable time for apartment managers. Multiple partners mean multiple contracts, agreements, documentation and personalities.
Raiven has an online platform that helps makes apartment supply management smooth and simple. Our platform will save your team time and turmoil because it gathers all the essential information from partners and houses them in a centralized location. It helps in several ways, including:
- Aggregation of spend: Raiven aggregates suppliers on one platform so property managers have quick and easy access to the routine supplies they need. In other words, you don't have to jump from site to site to purchase items. You can do everything from one universal shopping cart, making apartment supply management more convenient.
- Performance tracking: You want the best contractors, so you need to separate the bad from the good. With Raiven, you can track the performance of your contractors, examine metrics, and produce reports. You can also see how much you have spent, how much you have saved, which contractors are compliant, and which have held up to their end of the bargain.
- Compliance: Reducing risk is important. Raiven's platform allows you to gather all the essential documents, insurance, licenses, permits and W-9s in a central location. It also alerts you when contractor documents are expiring. The software does all of the time-consuming work and allows you to handle other business needs.
Apartment supply management is made easier with Raiven's software. Take some of the load off your shoulders and lean into the software that improves efficiency.
By taking the time to nurture your partnerships, you can create robust relationships that maximize value for the long term. And with the help of intuitive software, apartment supply management can be made easier. Raiven provides an advanced platform with an appealing interface that allows you to centralize your suppliers and contractors and save money on your routine purchases. To find out more, contact Raiven today.