From the Fall 2020 Issue
10 Ways a Contractor Benefits from an Experienced Property Manager
Your Condo: Trades
The buzz word these days is ‘Customer Experience’ defined, for the purposes of this article, as the quality of the daily interactions contractors have with their customers. The nature of these daily interactions can make life as a contractor or manager go much more smoothly, or entirely the opposite. We, as contractors, want the property managers we deal with to have the best customer experience possible. This will ensure loyal, dedicated and happy customers. If you have a positive experience with your contractor, you are more likely to be a long-term customer.
As an HVAC contractor specializing in the condominium market, I have spent many years meeting with board members and property managers. As a property manager, you are expected to be the jack-of-all-trades, and it is challenging navigating through so many different trades and disciplines in your buildings. I believe that if you hire
competent, reputable and trustworthy contractors, your job is much easier. Likewise, from our point of view, as a contractor, it makes our job easier if you are an experienced property manager, and things will flow smoother.
The following practices are something that any contractor appreciate in the daily interactions we have with property managers:
- 1. Please try to ensure that as we respect your time, you respect ours. Many times, I have gone to a site, and the manager has either forgotten our meeting or has ‘no time’ to spend with us. Please remember that we are both providing a service to condo corporations, whether property management services or HVAC services. Let’s try and respect each other’s time. Having said that, we also understand that in your business, just like ours, emergencies do come up. We understand that.
- Knowledge is ‘golden!’ Although we don’t expect you to know everything, please feel free to ask as many questions as necessary to help you understand.
- Paying invoices on a timely basis is something that we appreciate and will make your life much easier by not having to deal with follow up requests for payment.
- Create clear and concise guidelines on the expectations you have of your contractor. For example, sign-in/out methods while on-site; outline any ‘out of bounds’ areas for your contractors; who the main point of contact is while on-site; etc.
- Ask your contractor how you can help make their job easier. Of course, it is our job to make your hectic daily life as a property manager less hectic, but if you help make ours easier too, we all benefit.
- Don’t wait until there are issues. Clear, concise expectations and dialogue between you and your contractor makes things go much more smoothly. If there are issues, we want to hear about them before it gets to the point of no return.
- We are all in the ‘people’ business, so let’s treat each other with kindness, and our work will go that much smoother.
- Provide the resources we need while on site. For example, ensure that we have keys if required, available parking, etc. All of this may seem intuitive; however, an inexperienced manager might overlook these things.
- Let’s respect each other’s expertise - let us do our job, and you do yours, and everyone will be satisfied!
- The next time your contractor visits your site, remember these suggestions. We share the same goal to keep your boards and owners happy, and it’s our job as your contractor to help you do that.
Remember, happy contractors = happy property managers = happy board members and owners.
Linda Duttmann is a senior territory manager with Ambient Mechanical. Linda has been in the HVAC industry for over 25 years. She has worked for several OEMs and is considered an HVAC specialist in the condominium market.