Negotiating With Vendors Getting the Best Bang for Your Buck

 Regardless of whether they’re self-managed or employ a management company, a co-op or condominium board of  directors will at some point have to make decisions about how and from whom the  building gets its supplies and services.  

 Maintaining a good relationship with a vendor is Business 101. It is based on  mutual respect, clear communication, and responsiveness.  

 “Vendors with a willingness to establish a lasting, mutually-beneficial  relationship are available when we need them, provide the personal cell phone  and contact information of their decision-makers or front-line representatives  so they can always be reached, and demonstrate a genuine interest in helping us  grow our businesses,” says Michael Berenson, president of Manhattan-based AKAM Associates, Inc. “For our part, prompt payment and reasonableness in negotiations help keep the  relationship strong.”  

 Bill Jebaily, owner of Aggressive Energy & Mechanical Group in Brooklyn, says the key to keeping a good relationship is  communication.  

 “You have to communicate to the client what’s going on. I call it putting my clients in a comfort zone,” Jebaily says. “The liaison for vendors should be the property manager. I think that boards  should allow the property managers to run the building because they are the  point-man. To have 12 people trying to run the building could get confusing.”  

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