Dealing with service vendors is a daily necessity for any community association -- there are always things that need to be repaired, replaced, replenished, serviced, cleaned or renovated. Among the laundry list of vendors that associations should expect to work with are landscapers, painters, roofers, pavers, snow removers, elevator repairmen, boiler cleaners, and many, many more. That’s why it’s vital for boards and management companies to establish strong relationships with its vendors.
Elaine Warga-Murray, CEO and managing partner with Regency Management Group in Howell, New Jersey, says that when dealing with vendors, associations should always provide detailed specifications and be honest when requesting proposals, price quotes, or services.
"It is important to let vendors know if a board is truly seeking to select a bidder, or if the board is simply price-checking," says Warga-Murray. "Being truthful about expectations is essential in developing relationships. In addition, once a vendor is selected, a board should always make sure that every bidder is notified and advised as to why the selection didn't fall in its favor."
"If everyone is clear about their expectations and abilities,” adds Katharine A. Coffey, legal counsel with the law firm of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. in Morristown, New Jersey, “a lot of miscommunication, disappointment and drama can be avoided."
A vendor treated fairly can become an association. In fact, an association that maintains positive working relationships with vendors could benefit when it needs help the most.