There are numerous tools on the property management toolbox, but one of the most important ones is a thorough contact list of reliable, quality HOA vendors; it is not only important to be able to contract work to outside vendors, but, ultimately, it is necessary. What’s more, it will save you a lot of headaches down the road if you find vendors who will make you and your community shine.
There are a couple of big reasons for why having a corral of top-notch HOA vendors is so important, chief among them being the fact that residents want to feel like you’re taking care of them. This is, after all, a big part of why they pay rent, HOA dues, or whatever else—at the end of the day, they want to know that their money is serving them well, that should any issue ever arise it will be taken care of as promptly and as professionally as possible. Consider also that you job, as a property manager or HOA board member, is to protect the value of the property itself; ultimately, contracting the right HOA vendors at the right time will save a lot of money in the long run, and minimize the chances of the property being devalued.
What this means for you, right here and now, is that it’s important to have that list of HOA vendors all ready to go. If an emergency problem arises, the last thing you want is to be frantically scrambling to find a suitable contractor. It will be much easier on everyone involved if you already have someone on file, someone to whom you can place a quick call. Moreover, if you have a prior relationship with the vendor, it could well save you money and keep you from being taken advantage of.
This means, of course, that you’ll need to anticipate future emergencies or issues; starting your list of community association vendors now can be a little tough in this regard, simply because it’s hard to imagine what the future could hold. Still, you will at least want to make sure you have contact information for a good plumber, an electrician, a handyman, and, as appropriate, a heating and/or air conditioning repairman.
And how do you create your list of HOA vendors? Get recommendations from friends in the property management field, or else from local realtors; realtors frequently deal with clients who need repairs made and who need maximum value, so they tend to have a lot of good contacts. Give these folks a call and inquire about their previous job history, their clients, and, of course, their rates. When you find contractors you feel comfortable with, make sure to put their information on file; you never know when it might come in handy!