Choosing the right vendors for your HOA or condo association is no easy task. You’ve got landscapers, trash collection, pool management—the list goes on! With so many vendors to keep track of, and so many things to get done, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In this article, we’ve reduced the vendor vetting process to just 8 easy steps.
1. Begin with your governing documents
2. Decide between an employee and a general contractor
Depending on your documents, you may need to choose between hiring an association employee or engaging an independent contractor to fulfill your requirements. Each option has its pros and cons. Carefully consider your choices, consult with the board, and seek advice from your HOA management team on best practices for each scenario.
3. Establish and adhere to your budget
4. Conduct interviews and obtain quotes from multiple vendors
Once you have completed the initial planning phase, it’s time to explore your options. Avoid accepting the first bid you receive and exercise caution when interviewing individuals with personal relationships with board members, ensuring their influence doesn’t affect your decision-making. Interview multiple candidates and collect several quotes to have comprehensive information for the board’s evaluation and comparison of multiple bids.
5. Verify the vendor’s references
6. Validate credentials, licenses, and insurance
In most states, vendors are required to possess a valid license for their work. Without a state-issued license, vendors cannot obtain insurance coverage. Lack of proper documentation could make your association liable for accidents, injuries, and property damage that may occur. Minimize risk by working with pre-approved vendors vetted by your association manager or verifying current credentials with your state licensing board.
7. Look beyond price alone
While choosing a vendor solely based on the lowest bid may be tempting, it can lead to long-term costs. Licenses, permits, insurance, and other business-related fees come at a significant expense. If a vendor’s price seems too good to be true, consider all the factors mentioned above, including their work history and customer service, to make an informed decision.
8. Thoroughly review your contracts
Ardent Residential has been helping pair communities with high-quality vendors for decades. We know that every community is unique, with different needs to help you thrive. That’s why we use industry-leading software to help you get the best possible bids at the best possible prices.
Selecting the right vendors for your HOA or condo association requires careful consideration and a systematic approach. By following the eight easy steps outlined in this article, you can streamline the vendor vetting process and make informed decisions that benefit your community.