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.”