By Christopher Gomez

Whether you are a landlord or property manager, having an established relationship with an outside vendor is critical to running an efficient rental property. Issues are going to come up and a strong working relationship with your vendors can determine how fast and how well these issues get handled. The type of vendor you hire ultimately reflects you as a property owner or manager, so it’s best to build a relationship you can always rely on. Here are 4 tips to help you create reliable vendor relationships:

Properly Screening Vendors

Properly screening vendors can help you make the right choice from the start. Although most rental properties operate in the same manner, each property will require specific needs from different vendors. Understanding that not all vendors are the same and identifying the specific needs for your properties will help you choose the best vendor for the job. Kaycee Wegener post on RentecDirect.com that there are 5 things we should look out for when screening vendors:

(1) Accessibility - How close are they to the rental property? What are their hours of operations? What is their response time?

(2) Licensure - Are all their relevant licenses up to date?

(3) Insurance - Do they have insurance to cover any potential damage, injury or liability claims if needed?

(4) Experience - How long have they been working for? Do they have testimonials? Do they have referrals? 

(5) Employees - Are their employees properly screened?

Communication

Establishing open lines of communication with vendors will lead to increased efficiency. Misunderstandings occur because of the lack of or ineffective communication between the tenant, vendor, and landlord — most major issues can be avoided by properly communicating with your tenants and vendors. Mistakes tend to occur when the tenant is not made aware of what is to be expected and the vendor is not made aware of what is expected from them. Letting your vendors know what is needed and clearly communicating it to your tenant can lead to a more pleasant experience for all the parties involved.

Working Collaboratively

Creating a sense of teamwork builds a better overall relationship with your vendor. Treating your vendor as a partner, rather than someone you order around, will lead to a functional relationship where both parties feel appreciated and on the same level. Working collaboratively when problems arise will make it easier to be open to multiple points of view on how to solve said problems and resolve them much faster. The goal at the end of the day is to resolve issues in an efficient manner where all parties, including tenants, are satisfied. columbiarpm.com has an awesome blog on how strong communication and a teamwork-based system is important to developing vendor relationships. 

Referrals

Referrals to other property managers and owners lets vendors know that you genuinely care about their business success. Sending them constant referrals shows that you appreciate and value the work that they do and therefore create a stronger relationship between the two of you. Never underestimate the value of referring.

Bringing It All Together

Just because you hire someone to take care of a property does not mean that they are doing it in the best possible way. It is important that you create an address book with your preferred vendors that you have worked with before and meet your standards. Take a look at how Lucas Hall explains it in his post from landlordolgy.com. As a business (YES, rental properties are a business), your duty is to make sure that everything is running as efficiently as possible. By building trust and a strong connection with your vendors, you'll be able to create long-term growth for your rental property.

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