Why are so many relationships between property managers and vendors confrontational?
While controlling costs is important to successfully managing properties, whether for yourself or for clients, the long-term benefits of building good relationships with your vendors cannot be overstated – or underestimated. If you seem to be in perpetual conflict with your service providers, someone is doing something wrong. Is it you?
Build a partnership with vendors
There is an old saying in retail that applies to all businesses: “Price is what you pay, value is what you receive.”
If you’re constantly shopping for the “best price” rather than quality service, you’re going to have problems with your vendors. If you focus exclusively on short-term gains, your vendors will have no vested interest in helping you meet your long-term goals. If you expect a reasonable rate of return and profitability for your own efforts, offering the same to your service providers can only benefit both of you.
If you want to build a smoothly running organization that will grow over time, you’ll need to form mutually beneficial relationships with your vendors; partnerships based on mutual respect for each other’s needs and goals.
Like any relationship, there are three keys to generating that respect and creating a partnership that will benefit both of you over the long haul:
Build Trust – between you and your vendors. This is the foundation of all lasting client/vendor partnerships.
Promote Honesty – understanding how necessary it is for both partners in the relationship, so that each of you receives the right answers to the tough questions, even when they’re not the answers you might be hoping to get.
Be Responsive – to each other’s needs, knowing that understanding your vendor-partner’s issues and concerns will foster a long-term commitment to the success each of you are hoping for.
Your most successful business relationships are no different than your personal relationships. Each requires a commitment from both parties to making the relationship work well for each of you. If your goal is to build a flourishing property management business, you must seek out vendors who are committed to helping you realize your goals and aspirations, while showing them the respect of returning that commitment to them. Your business, and your peace of mind, will thank you for it.
Are your vendor relationships confrontational or mutually respectful? What have you done to build partnerships with your vendors? Have they lasted over time, and what are the benefits you’ve realized?
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MultifamilyZone.com provides a listing of products, services and industry-related companies, technology tools, marketing trends and is a resource for information and news. Our goal is to assist individual owners, as well as fee and national management firms in the operations of their assets by connecting them with professional vendor partners.