Vendor Relationships Cultivating a Board/Manager Partnership

Frequently, there are needs for repairs, replacements, services, cleanings, or renovations; thus, service vendors are necessary trade professionals for condo or association boards. Carmelo Milio, the president and director of property management for Trion Real Estate Management in Yonkers, says when dealing with vendors, you should treat them equally and compare apples to apples.

“You need to treat everyone fairly and professionally,” he says. “When you are going through the vetting process for a particular job, always use the same request for proposal for everyone. Keep the communication open and make sure they know what it is your board or owner wants.”

A vendor treated fairly can become an asset to a condo or co-op. In fact, a building who maintains positive working relationships with vendors could benefit when it is in most need of help. Steven Pinchasick, the president of AMJ Equites in Great Neck, believes strong relationships with vendors are built on honesty, fair treatment, and rational performance evaluation. “Performance, on the part of the vendor as well as the client, cements those relationships,” he says. “There may be times when issues arise, but dealing with them on a one-to-one basis, honestly, and in a timely manner will cement that relationship further.”

Peter von Simson, chief executive officer of Manhattan-based New Bedford Management, thinks a strong vendor relationship develops over time. “The secret to success with vendors is to provide them with as much information as possible for their bids and carefully review the proposed vendor services for price, scope of work, and proposed completion dates,” he says. “Then after the work is completed, to quickly review, and once signed off on, make sure the vendor is paid promptly.”

Smart Business

Depending on the building, vendors are selected by management companies, boards, or a combination of both. Generally, industry insiders agree that constructing solid working relationships means eliminating areas possible to cause ambiguity and disagreement.

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