It only makes good business sense that if something goes wrong and needs fixing at a condo or co-op, the board or managing agent is going to do some due diligence to choose the correct contractor, and this is normally done by gathering bids. After all, if you don’t compare the price and terms quoted to you by one vendor to those quoted to you by his or her competitors, how will you know if you’re getting a fair price, or being taken advantage of?
Michael J. Motelson, president of Dome Property Management, Inc. in Staten Island says factors he uses to bring in vendors include past performance at jobs at other properties, experience, license/certification/affiliation and reputation in the community. “The goal is to receive quality work for a price that is acceptable to the board, so it really depends on the statement of work (SOW) to determine the number of quotes,” he says. “For example, when planning a large project we recommend three at a minimum.”
Choosing a Vendor
Vendors can come from numerous sources—trade shows like The Cooperator’s, word of mouth from other managers, vendors or boards, and also from direct solicitation on their part, showing good old fashioned marketing still works.
The Internet has also been a great tool for managers and boards to locate specialty vendors thanks to review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, so they can see first-hand what other people thought of their work.
While board members are allowed to suggest vendors that they may have worked with personally or who were recommended to them, no one vendor should get any special treatment once the comparing and contrasting process comes into play.