Orland Park, IL 60467
(708) 532-4600

How to Choose the Right Vendor

How to Choose the Right Vendor





Here at APSI, we understand that selecting a vendor to work on your Association can
be stressful. As a Board Member, it is your job to approve this vendor and sign off on
contracts, warranties, and invoices. That’s a ton of pressure! We’re here to take the
load off of your shoulders…

When starting a project, whether it be a small one-hour job or a full seven days
worth of work, you’ll want to consider what is best for your Association. When
comparing proposals, you should not only compare the pricing; for the least
expensive vendor is not always the best. You get what you pay for. We recommend
that Boards should obtain at least three quotes for comparison of the project they
would like to complete. Once quotes are obtained, you’ll want to review each quote to
confirm it matches exactly what you want. With the help of your Community
Manager, you can consider the pros and cons of each proposal to help determine
which vendor best suits the Association’s needs.

Boards should evaluate more than just what is written in the proposal. They should
also consider the way the vendor interacts with them. Communication is key. How
fast did the vendor respond to your request? Did they break down their costs to
explain what prices are associated with labor or materials? Are they providing you
with an estimated time frame to complete the project? If the project is completed in
phases, will they be locking in their price through the duration of the project? If
needed, are they willing to negotiate a payment plan? There are several questions a
Board should ask themselves before agreeing to a contract. Questions a vendor
should have no issue answering. The moment a vendor becomes frustrated or
aggravated with a list of questions from an Association is the moment a Board
should realize they are not the right vendor to work with. Vendors who work with
Associations should understand that a Board may not be well versed in what needs to
be done to a property, and answering their questions gets them one step closer to
being awarded a project.

We also recommend Boards consider the time period it takes to obtain their quote
because chances are, invoices will need to be obtained the same way. What that
means is, did your community manager have to consistently follow up with a vendor
to receive their quote? Was the proposal shrugged off like it’s the bottom of their
to-do list? If that vendor invoices the same way, Associations could be sitting on
open work orders, incomplete payments, for a prolonged time period that can
ultimately result in hurting the Association. When vendors bill three, four, even five
months after the work has been completed, it could have slipped the Board’s mind
that there are open invoices that have yet to be paid. For example: If an Association
contracts a vendor for a roof replacement, say it’s $35,000.00 assuming there are no
additional charges for added materials, but then they decide they way to spend
$15,000.00 on asphalt replacement. If they only have $60,000.00 put away in their
reserves, they’ve now spent ninety percent of their reserves, not including what is
put away monthly, assuming they put away monthly. That depletes an Association’s
account and puts them at risk in the event of an emergency because it looked like
they had more money than they actually did.

Here at APSI, we take pride in ensuring our clients are protected and getting the best
service for the money they pay. Our staff is trained to pay attention to the behavior
and language that comes from a vendor so that they may give their professional
opinion, with your Association’s best interest in mind.

If you have any questions, or would like to look further into the services Advanced
Property Specialists, Inc. provides, you can contact our main branch at