Managing property is a busy job with a long and varied task list. Property managers can save on time and staffing costs by hiring specialized expertise from outside vendors to perform electrical maintenance, stormwater management, and pest extermination. According to a 2021 maintenance trend study, 90% of commercial facilities outsource various parts of their building and industrial maintenance.
Knowing how to find commercial property vendors that perform high-quality work reliably, consistently, and at the right price is critical. The following methods can assist you in finding reputable partners to outsource your maintenance tasks and review them before making a hiring decision to free up your time so you can focus on your core work.
How to Find Commercial Property Vendors
Here are four ways to find commercial property vendors to get the outsourced service providers you need.
1. Referrals from other business owners: This is one of the best ways to find providers because you can get recommendations from people who have seen first-hand the quality of the provider’s work. The person making the referral already vetted the vendor, and now you can reap the benefits. You must trust the business contact who provides the referral in case they have any hidden motives for making their recommendation.
2. Business rating and social media sites: Check out potential vendors using online sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot to gain information on a company’s reputation from independent reviewers. Navigate to social media location-based sites like Yelp.com, type in the service required, and read reviews and ratings on local providers. Trust is a critical component of hiring the best vendors. Reviews on social media can fill in some blanks about company ownership and employees, responsiveness, work quality, and more.
3. Industry-based referral sites: Check USABluebook online to find industry associations for the type of service you need. These associations often have service providers that advertise with them, or they list vendors in resources or directories. Alternatively, search by location and required service type using online industrial services provider directories like ThomasNet and MerchantCircle. Consider checking Angie’s List for vendors who perform commercial services in addition to residential.
4. Online searches: Reverse-engineer your vendor search by asking a question relevant to your maintenance problem online. For example, perform an internet search for an issue like “How to get rid of roaches in an apartment complex in West Washington.” Many vendors have blogs on their websites with informational articles. Choose a few and explore their websites, checking to see if they offer the needed services. Narrow your search to a few vendors and check their reputations using the sites mentioned in step 2. Additionally, search each company’s name online to find their pages on sites like Yelp, Facebook, or LinkedIn, to find reviews, customer comments, and other helpful information about each service provider.
Choosing the Best Commercial Property Vendors
One thing cannot be emphasized enough, and that is trust. Asking for referrals from business contacts you know and trust is one of the best ways to find commercial property vendors that deliver quality results. Once you have a few potential companies, perform some due diligence to ensure that the business can perform at your required quality level. The following steps will help you sift through potentials and find the cream of the crop.
Interview several companies – although this takes time, it’s a worthwhile investment. Interview potential vendors onsite and walk through the job with them. Discuss specifics of the work and their repair or renovation plans to gauge their level of capability and experience with your particular situation.
Review previous work and testimonials – Ask service providers for photographs of past projects from other clients. Ask if their company has a precise niche, too. If you’re hiring a plumbing contractor, do you need one that can also expertly repair water damage and fix plumbing issues? Request to speak to some of their previous customers who’ve had work performed similarly to your project.
Check references – Ask the business for references and follow up. Most people will provide feedback on the project budget, quality of work, timeline, and outcome. However, you must also know how the vendor handles the daily workflow. Did they show up on time every day? Did they always have the necessary tools, materials, and staff to complete the job?
Confirm licenses – If you hire vendors assuming their staff is licensed, it’s better to check with the city, county, and state to verify. It’s helpful to confirm that contractors like plumbers performed work up to code and had the required inspections performed. Depending on the vendor type, you will also want to verify that they are insured and bonded.
Privacy and security concerns – Ask how the company handles security and privacy concerns. This step is essential if the workers enter offices, apartments, or other spaces containing personal belongings, business equipment, other assets, or sensitive documents.
Communication and responsiveness – Do the vendors have the ability to communicate their services in layperson’s terms? One of the challenges for property managers is to be a Jack of all trades. They don’t have time to become experts at everything, and vendors that use confusing jargon to explain what they do can cause feelings of overwhelm instead of trust. If a vendor can explain complex work in non-technical terms, it’s also a sign that they have a solid handle on the job. Ask potential vendors about their average response time for emergency maintenance requests.
Price quotes – Be wary of disclosing your budget upfront, as some vendors will match it just to secure the work. A vendor needs to see the property, understand the job details, and build a relationship of integrity before discussing your budget range and other parameters. If they don’t ask for additional information before quoting a price, steer clear.
Outsourcing Commercial Property Maintenance
When you wonder how to find commercial property vendors that can deliver the quality service you need at an economical price, there are several ways to go about your search. If you’re looking for an outsource partner with deep expertise to maintain your property’s stormwater management system, CatchAll Environmental delivers. We will devise and implement a maintenance program specific to your system’s needs.
With over a decade of experience, our patented Catch-All® filter, and other specialized equipment, you can put your stormwater system maintenance on autopilot when you partner with our experienced staff. Call the professionals at CatchAll Environmental today and see how we can help.