Stay On Top Of Vendors With Proper HOA Vendor Management

shaking hands with contructor | hoa vendor management

Homeowners associations rely on vendors to conduct most of the HOA maintenance work. No wonder HOA vendor management is vital to a community’s success. As a board, remember to keep track of vendor relationships and ensure they deliver the highest-quality service. 

What Is HOA Vendor Management?

HOA vendor management is defined as developing vendor relationships and managing their performance and activities. The objective is to create a strong relationship that will encourage the vendor to provide only the best quality services during the contract period. 

How to Manage HOA Vendors

Homeowners association vendors need proper care and attention. HOA board members should manage vendor relationships and work properly to ensure the community remains in good condition. Here’s how to do it. 

1. Select the Right Vendors

HOA vendors are difficult to manage. Often, a homeowners association must hire several vendors to keep the community well-maintained. Moreover, each vendor will have different contract requirements, payment schedules, pricing, and communication channels. 

For this reason, proper HOA vendor management starts with the selection process. Try to select HOA vendors with a good track record. Look for vendors with experience and referrals that can give you an idea of how the vendor has treated clients in the past. Ask neighboring communities or your HOA management company for their feedback.

In addition, we recommend communities pick HOA vendors with professional and updated licenses and certifications. They also have to have the right insurance policies in place so the community doesn’t end up shouldering liability. 

Finally, it’s important to consider the contract inclusions and pricing before hiring a vendor. Don’t settle for the cheapest option just because they’re affordable. Instead, choose the vendor that offers the highest quality work at the most affordable price. 

2. Set Clear and Reasonable Expectations

HOAs should set reasonable expectations for each job they hire vendors for. Make sure to set a reasonable timeline. It’s also important to outline how the vendor can get the job done and what limitations there might be. Furthermore, remember to state the quality of work you expect from the vendor. 

We recommend clearly outlining all of these expectations in the written agreement. This will eliminate misunderstandings, poor performance, and missed deadlines. Moreover, adding these to the contract will ensure that the vendor has acknowledged the HOA’s expectations. 

If you’re having trouble setting reasonable expectations, we recommend learning more about the vendor’s work. Familiarize yourself with the processes, typical pricing, and terminology associated with their industry. This way, given the contract terms, you won’t set unreasonable expectations about the timeline or scope of work. 

3. Have Frequent and Open Communication

Communication is key to proper HOA vendor management. Keep communication lines open and frequently contact the HOA vendor for project updates. Consider establishing an official communication channel and appointing a point of contact for each vendor. This will allow both parties to know who to contact and how to get in touch with them. 

In addition, don’t forget to respond quickly to any questions or requests at each phase of the project. For instance, if the HOA’s capital improvement will affect a vendor’s work, give them a quick phone call to give them a heads up. This ensures no surprises or misunderstandings when the vendor needs to do their job. Communicating even the smallest details is part of maintaining a professional working relationship. 

4. Make Timely Payments

Maintaining a good relationship isn’t just about being friendly or accommodating to the vendors. In the end, the relationship is a professional one that involves money. Make sure to pay the vendors on time so they deliver the highest-quality service. Paying them late—or not paying them at all—is the fastest way to burn bridges with contractors. 

5. Address Concerns Quickly

Vendors will sometimes have concerns regarding the work. When they come to you with questions or concerns, pay attention to what they’re saying and address their concerns as soon as possible. Otherwise, the issue may interfere with the vendor’s work and push the deadline back. It may also lead to conflict that will damage or sever the relationship. 

6. Get Professional Help

HOA vendor management can be overwhelming, especially if the community hires dozens of vendors simultaneously. If the board needs help managing all these contractors, consider hiring an HOA management company

A professional manager can help you manage invoices, payments, and vendor communication. They can also provide access to software that can make vendor management a breeze. With the help of a management company, the board is free to focus on other important responsibilities.

7. Give Feedback

We recommend checking each vendor’s work periodically and reviewing their performance. Confirm that they are delivering the services outlined in the contract promptly. Review whether or not they’ve met your expectations and ask the community for feedback.

Let the vendor know if they’re doing a great job and if there are any areas for improvement. Giving them feedback allows them to adjust their work and meet your expectations. It also holds them accountable for any hiccups or mistakes they might have made. This will lead to lasting relationships and better-quality services. 

8. Keep a List of Vendor Alternatives

Not all vendor relationships will work out well. Some will miss deadlines or perform poorly regardless of feedback or how well you manage the relationship. We recommend keeping a list of alternatives ready for each type of job, so your community can quickly replace any underperforming vendors. 

The Bottom Line

Proper HOA vendor management is crucial to community success. After all, they are responsible for keeping the community in good condition and ensuring everything is in order. Take care of these relationships, and your money will not go to waste.

Are you struggling to manage your HOA vendors? 88 Doors is here to help. We provide premier management services to community associations. Call us now at (512) 348-8821 or contact us online for more details!