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How To Deal With Vendors As A Property Owner

Property Owners: When To Fire A Vendor

The Proper Way To Address Missteps By A Hired Third Party

 

 

Regardless of the business you’re in, your reputation means everything.  Companies put millions into their own branding (and advertising), but all that is wasted if you’re not able to deliver consistently in establishing your reputation.  As a property owner, you want your tenants to appreciate that you’re dedicated to adding value and ensuring their comfort (in exchange for them helping you pay your mortgage...and more), but if you rely on third parties to handle issues, most commonly maintenance, then your reputation is often only as good as that of your hired help.  So what are your rules/standards should a vendor fail to deliver or meet your expectations?  Do you have a set of guidelines to make your decision easier when conflicts arise?

 

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A GUIDING STRUCTURE:

 

Based on our professional experiences from a decade in the business, Nexus Property Management® works off of an easy to digest THREE STRIKES model.  This is simply a structure to build off of as there can obviously be more egregious errors, where firing the vendor shouldn’t even be up for debate.

 

STRIKE ONE: OVERSIGHT

Conflicts and unplanned issues, especially when you’ve hired someone else, are often stressful and annoying.  Most commonly, the first issue that will arise will be OVERSIGHT of some kind.  The vendor misses something or forgot to do something.  The job wasn’t completed, or communication broke down and something was overlooked.  We recently hired a mold remediation company that had a two day job but for whatever reason only came for day one.  Was this stressful?  100%.  Should it have happened?  Absolutely not.  But we know it’s difficult to hire a maintenance vendor (due to COVID and its effects on the job market) so we can’t let emotion get the best of us.  We can’t take it personally.  We can’t lead with anger.  We asked them to double check that their team made it out to the property that day and put the ball back in their court.  Things were then resolved once they were aware of the oversight.

 

We’re all human and from time to time we forget or miss something. Usually the company will catch it themselves.  If not, contacting the vendor and sharing with them that you feel “they may have made an oversight” is a great way to turn the cards so they feel they owe you thanks to your gracious attitude.  You’ve successfully pointed them toward the mishap so it can be remedied and you’ve potentially strengthened the relationship, rather than severing it due to your displeasure.  For strike one, we recommend giving the vendor the benefit of the doubt.

 

STRIKE TWO: MISTAKE

The issue might be bigger than just oversight or it may have happened for the second time.  In this case, the company has made a MISTAKE.  Maybe they’re ignoring you (i.e. if the mold remediation company didn’t get back to us).  It feels like you’re at the bottom of the priority list and the company is not taking your needs seriously as they’ve now erred twice.  One issue can warrant the benefit of the doubt, but two is a clear mistake and you need to take action to reverse the course.  Remember, we’re talking about your reputation with your tenants.

 

Depending on the situation, this action step could be a visit to the office, a call to a manager, or depending on the job, discussing or threatening some financial or legal recourse.  Mistakes are not OK and they shouldn’t be tolerated.  That being said, you still have a job that needs to get done...so firing the vendor at this time is not recommended.

 

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STRIKE THREE: A TREND

If the issue still isn’t fixed after you’ve taken action due to a mistake then it is apparent this response is who this company is.  This has become a TREND...It’s how they operate and they’re not worthy of your business.  They’ve shown they’re not trustworthy and unreliable.  You and your tenants deserve better.  It’s time to cut the cord: time to say bye bye… “your services are no longer needed (and here’s why)”.

 

Just like the advice we give when it comes to evictions [ Don’t Pay For Stories ], you cannot afford to accept excuses at this point.  The evidence is in and you can’t allow yourself to become subservient to poor service.  Looking at it through a larger lens, you’d become a beacon of their inefficiencies and excuses.  That’s not healthy for you, for them, or for the market.  You firing a vendor can be uncomfortable but it’s the feedback that company needs so they can be fully aware that their poor workmanship is not going to cut it.

 

[ Learn More: The Best Landlords Are Firm But Fair: Learn Why ]

 

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CONTACT OUR TEAM:

 

Learning more about the property managers in your area is a great first step so you don’t have to go it alone when something like this arises.  At Nexus, we have our own in-house maintenance teams, so more often than not we do not need to contract out to more expensive third party vendors.  If you’re not interested in property management but still have some questions or seek advice, please reach out to our team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Our vision revolves around breaking down barriers for all property owners so we look forward to helping you out in any way we can.

 

[ Learn More: Nexus = Largest Residential Property Manager In Southern New England ]

 

Mick Lefort is the Vice President of Operations for Nexus Property Management®. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.

 

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Nexus Feedback

My property manager was really helpful. I didn't think I would even have a chance to get my appartment but he helped me through it. Very fast at responding and if I have any questions or concerns he's there immediately to answer them. My appartment is beautiful and they take good care of the property and there tenants. I want to say thank you to the owner and to nexus for making a grear christmas come true for me and my kids

13 Dec 2018

My girlfriend and I recently moved into our first apartment through Nexus Property Management. I could not be any happier with their services. Greg has been incredible, as he is friendly, personable, and professional. He has gone out of his way to meet with us on various occasions and has just been all around pleasant to work with. Any issues we have had with the apartment were fixed either the day we reported them or the very next day and the maintenance staff members are also extremely friendly and easy to work with. The Nexus portal makes everything very quick and simple. We use it to contact Greg with questions or concerns and to file maintenance requests. If you are looking to rent an apartment run by Nexus, I would strongly recommend you do so. They have displayed professionalism, kindness, and efficiency beyond what I have come to expect from landlords and property management companies.

01 Sep 2014

Outstanding service. I'm happy that whenever I have a problem, someone is able to come and fix it to a high standard in short order. Tom M. most recently came and checked out a leaky pipe under my kitchen sink. Ended up replacing the whole set up with something better and repairing the faucet that I hadn't noticed was leaking as well. What's more, he also noticed an issue with my backdoor being stuck and spent an extra few minutes to help get it so it would open again. His genuine concern that no one get hurt was commendable and his actions were above and beyond the call of what I expected when I just asked about help with a leaky pipe. Delighted to be renting with this company and its wonderful employees!

06 Jul 2021