In the real estate industry, how do you find qualified local vendors for projects or services on your property? Making sure to look for specific and certain criteria can make all the difference.
1. Use a Real Estate Specific Vendor Network
Using a website like Angie's List, Yelp, or Craigslist can bring back results for a large varieties of vendors, but won't necessarily filter down the results to real estate vendors for your property. You'll want to use one that is easily searchable, so that you can search by vendor type, category, or by your location.
2. Contact References
Does the website offer reviews or references for each vendor? Instead of just basing your decision off of a review, follow up with the company that wrote or rated them. In order to perform due diligence, make sure that the total service offered was completely satisfactory from beginning to end. How did they follow up the project? If they did at all.
3. Make Sure they are Insured
It may seem like a weird question to ask a potential vendor, but being prepared is the smartest way to run a business. Do they offer errors and omissions, worker's compensation, property damage, or liability insurance? If so, what is the amount covered, and do they readily offer up policy numbers to verify?
4. What Types of Associations are they Affiliated With?
Many of you may already employ this tip. Being affiliated with a service specific trade association typically shows initiative, interest in furthering education, and great contacts for help with work, or professional advice on projects. If they aren't associated with any trade associations, I would ask "why?"
5. Do They Have an Internet Presence?
While some may disagree on this point, in this day and age online branding should be a main source of marketing. If the vendor you are researching does not have a website, or while one is being set up, research the company on Google. What comes up? Websites are they associated with, other companies they've done work for, etc. If they do not show up anywhere on the internet, hopefully they were referred to you by a very trustworthy source.
Make sure to perform due diligence when selecting contractors or vendors for your property. A lot of websites offer free directory searches for real estate professionals, so check them out today and get to re-paving that asphalt!
|About the Author: Elizabeth Whited is the Operations Coordinator at the Rent Rite Directory. She has written educational articles for multifamily magazines and Real Estate websites to help Property Managers and Owners improve their properties, in an effort to reduce crime in their communities. The Rent Rite Directory educates Property Managers and Owners at Crime Watch Meetings, and Crime Free Association Conferences, and works closely with law enforcement nationwide. For more information, visit www.therrd.com.|