It takes a village to run an HOA community; there are many people whom the board will work with to keep things running smoothly. There are many tasks that are outsourced to vendors, such as landscaping or maintenance. In order to ensure high quality service and stay within the HOA’s budget, it is necessary to review bids and choose the right provider for the HOA’s needs. This can be a tedious process, but one that can pay off in the long run and lead to great relationships for the HOA.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting vendors:
Review the HOA’s governing documents. There may be rules or restrictions in place about vendor contracts, such as stipulations on how long a contract can last. Go over the CC&R’s and other documents prior to requesting bids.
Be specific. Determine exactly what the HOA needs done and what the expectations are for the vendor. Provide a detailed description of the scope of the project. It’s wasting your time and the vendor’s to only find out later that they can’t accommodate all of your needs.
Do your research. When reviewing bids, take the time to really look into the company and its service. Check out ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and online reviews, and verify licenses and insurance. Ask for referrals that you can contact and actually call them. Find out about their experiences using the vendor and what type of service they received.
Price shouldn’t be the only determining factor. The highest priced company isn’t always the best, and the lowest isn’t necessarily the worst. It’s a balancing act. Compare what each vendor has to offer for the price they’ve quoted and be willing to negotiate. It may be worth it to pay a little more if the company is providing a more comprehensive package.
Know your budget. While price shouldn’t be the only thing you consider, you do want to keep the budget in mind. Look at the value and quality of service you’re getting for what you will be paying. Remember that regular maintenance and upkeep can reduce the need for more expensive projects down the line. You may also be able to fine-tune the contract to establish a better price while ensuring you’re getting the services you need without unnecessary additions.
Good working relationships with vendors can greatly improve your HOA community and how it operates. Don’t forget to inform homeowners about any changes that are made to services to maintain transparency and keep them in the loop. If you’re having trouble choosing the right vendors for your needs, partnering with a property management company like Kuester can offer you more resources, guidance, and support. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!