Hi, this is Steve Rozenberg, owner and co-founder of Empire Property Management Company located in Houston, Texas. As a property management company and as an investor myself, one of the biggest challenges you may have as a property owner is finding good vendors. We always are looking for good vendor partners to work with us because as you grow in size, you have to make sure that your vendors are growing with you, number one, and also you have to make sure that they’re doing a good job.
So a lot of people always ask us, how do we pick our vendors, what is the process for vetting them, and it is definitely a challenge to have a good partner because as all vendors, as they get busy, we have to make sure they can scale their business as quickly as we’re scaling our business model; but that they’re doing quality work; they’re providing customer service by showing up on time, being polite to the tenant and making sure that they fix the job the first time they are there, and it definitely can be a challenge over time to ensure that that happens. We always sit down with our vendors when we first bring them on and we let them know what our expectations are. Probably the most important thing is we verify that they do have liability insurance, that they’re bonded and insured. The last thing you wanna do is get a call from us saying that we tried to cut some corners and save money and hired the cheap guy in the truck, and he just slipped and fell off your roof, and now you’re getting a lawsuit because he didn’t have insurance. So we have learned that being cheaper and trying to save money and cutting corners is not being smart. It’s not a good business model. It’s not a successful business model.
So we make sure that we do have a copy of their insurance and if they need to be licensed for certain jobs, we see copies of their license. We copy them and save those in a folder on file. We also have them sign an agreement with us on what the code of conduct is when you’re at the property; what time we expect them to show up, what we expect them to do at the property. We don’t want a plumber going to a property and then telling the tenant that it looks like the roof needs to be replaced because the first thing they’re going to do is the tenant’s going to give us a call and say this has to be done. They’re there to do the job. Do the job. If there’s an issue that the tenant wants to discuss, they can call our office and we will take care of it by placing another service ticket. So we let them know that we appreciate them giving good service but do not go out of your scope of operation. You don’t need to advise the tenant what you think should be done. That’s definitely very important when you’re dealing with the tenants.
The other thing I would say is we make sure that we always check up on the work orders. We make sure the work order’s done and we send a survey to our tenants to make sure that they are satisfied with the work because we found that, if all of a sudden, a vendor’s not doing their job, the same vendor’s gonna come up on the survey when the tenant is not happy. Most of the time, tenants do not do a survey unless they’re unhappy, and when they’re unhappy, the same person may start popping up on our radar and we have to talk to that vendor and let them know that we’re having some challenges, and hopefully they can fix those challenges or we may have to stop using them in our business model. Because the vendors are a reflection upon us which is a reflection upon you the owner.
So having a good vendor is very important and is definitely something that you wanna make sure whoever you hire as a property management company has good vendor relations. I would ask them how do they screen their vendors, and how do they make sure they are getting the best vendors, because just because someone starts out as a good vendor does not mean they will stay as a good vendor. Because things happen and business models change.
Hope this helps. This is Steve Rozenberg of Empire Property Management. If you’d like to talk to us about services, we do offer free 30-minute sit-downs with us to just talk to you and see what your challenges are, and just see if we are a good partner for you. So you can email us or look us up online at empireindustriesllc.com.