Using the right vendor at your rental property is crucial to not only maintaining it but it also plays a huge factor in your profitability. If you use a property manager they should have a diverse and lengthy list of resources for any type of repair, service or need at your property. From the front yard to the roof to the back fence it will all need some type of attention along the way. Hiring a vendor for ANYTHING can truly be one of the most tedious but possibly the most important tasks on your to-do list if you self-manage.
We use these talking points and questions to vet and onboard a new vendor for properties we manage:
Is the vendor licensed, insured and bonded as required by their state/city?
- We require a minimum of $1 million dollars of liability coverage for any vendor to be onsite at one of the properties we manage.
How does the vendor prefer to communicate?
- In our industry, the faster the better, so we communicate mainly by email to ensure that our vendor request is delivered clearly and timely, so we need our vendors to do the same, communicate promptly and accurately.
Does the vendor have references?
- Another property manager or self-managing owner is the best referral source however we also use references from other vendors that have worked with the vendor we are considering.
What are the vendor’s payment terms?
- We negotiate this aspect if it does not fit our best practices. We find that most vendors are accommodating. Preferably we want 30-day payment terms to ensure that we have plenty of time to review invoices for accuracy before the vendor is paid.
What is the vendor’s hourly rates as well as emergency rates?
- We don’t like surprises but we are very good at managing them so we want to know upfront what to expect for our clients.
How long has the vendor been in this profession?
- This question is 2 sided – first we want to know that the vendor has the experience we need to get the job done, secondly we want to verify this with our secretary of state records, this is the first opportunity to build trust with the potential vendor.
How far out do you typically schedule work orders?
- Depending on the trade (plumbing, HVAC, etc.) we typically expect a vendor to schedule an appointment with a tenant within 3 to 7 days with the exception of emergencies of course.
If you have multiple properties, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount!
- When we vet out vendors we also make sure we get the best possible price for our clients without compromising our expectations!
If a vendor meets all those expectations…
We then collect proof of insurance, a W9 and we send a vendor out on a job. While we understand that mistakes do happen, our vendors are held to a very high standard of service. The time in which the work order is handled, prompt invoicing and tenant feedback determines whether we use that vendor again. Each job, property, and tenant is unique so choosing a vendor that has the skill set, knowledge, and versatility to handle the situation is vital.
If you have more questions about this or you want to find out more about our services and how you can have LESS HASSLE. MORE HAPPY when it comes to owning an investment property, visit our website at www.rentwisepm.com or give us a call at 208-949-3083.