Do You Know How to Screen Your Vendors?

One of the biggestproblems most property managers and landlords have with keeping their properties in top condition has long been the vendors used for the work. Finding good quality vendors to handle maintenance and repairs on your property can be challenging. But, if you don’t, more than your tenants are going to suffer. Your bottom line is going to sufferas well as poor quality repairs cost more in repeat repairs and lost tenants. Consider these things you should look for:

1. Access

Consider the location of any vendor you choose. Are they located close to you? Do they have a phone number that is monitored24/7? Do they return your calls promptly and offer around-the-clock emergency response services?

2. Quality Staff

How does the vendor screen their staff? Do they run full background checks? Are the employees trained, licensed, bonded, insured? Keep in mind that as a property manager or landlord, you are the one who will be held liable should the vendor you choose or their employees use dangerous procedures that result in injury to your tenants, yourself, or damage to your property.

3. Time in Business

While the lengthof time in business is not always an indication of being good at what a company does, they can be usedas at least an indication that they know what they are doing. Look for references, number of similar projects they have completed, anything that can be used to verify the quality of their work. It can take a little extra time to do the research, but in the end,  you will be rewardedwith vendors you can trust to get the job done right the first time.

4. Are Your Vendors Fully Insured

Of the many things you need to verify when choosing a vendor, insurance may be one of the most important. You need to see proof positive that the vendor has sufficient insurance coverage to cover any injuries, damages, and liability claims that might arise as a result of their employees or their workmanship.

5. The Appropriate Licensure

No matter what state you live in, vendors are required to have a business license and professional licenses. You need to know that each of your vendors not only have the required licensesbut also that they are all up-to-date and valid.

If for any reason the vendors you are considering do not have this information readily available during your research, don’t hesitate to contact them and ask for it. A respectable vendor should have no problem providing you with any information you request along with access to references and more. Should any vendor you talk to refuse to provide this information, be sure you move on to another one. For those who don’t have the time required to do this kind of research, there are professional screening services available who can do the work for you, including running criminal and financial background checks on the vendors and their businesses to ensure you can count on their services to maintain your properties and keep your tenants happy.