Property Management Blog

4 Reasons Why I Do NOT always Get Multiple Bids for Repairs


System - Wednesday, September 11, 2019
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When you have something to repair, it’s common to get multiple estimates/quotes/bids. That’s what I did when I had to replace HVAC in my own home in the past. The cost differed drastically from less than $5,000 to more than $10,000. It would sound crazy then to just pick one company who ended up quoting you $10,000 and go with them. So why do I routinely get just one quote for my clients?

1. I know the cost: There are some differences between a homeowner like in the above example and the property manager. Chances are you only replace one HVAC system every 15 to 20 years. By the time you get to replace your unit, technology might be different, price is for sure different, so you basically have no idea what the price range would be. In that case, it would be wise to check out different quotes to be able to choose the best company that fits your need. But what if you run a property management company and have to change HVAC multiple times a year? You will have a good idea of what will cost how much. In that case, getting quotes from different companies may become unnecessary.

2. It takes time: Unlike homeowners, getting quotes for rental properties that the property manager is managing takes extra time. 

  1. It may start out by the tenant calling you about an issue.
  2. Then you might have to go there to verify the issue.
  3. Then you call a company to set up a date they can come to the unit.
  4. Then you call the tenants that the company is coming (hopefully the tenants won’t have an issue with that date.)
  5. Then the vendor goes to the property to get an estimate.
  6. You have to repeat that a few times to get multiple quotes.
  7. Then you talk to the owner to see which company they want to go with.
  8. Once the owner make a decision, you set up the repair date.

While the above steps are necessary, it creates an issue. By taking time, maybe the tenants may get unhappy with the fact that the repair/replacement is taking so long.

Regarding time, depending on the repair, you may need to get W-9 from the vendor, and that could be an added extra time.

3. I already know who is good: From experience, I already know who is good and who is bad. Trying to find a good vendor becomes unnecessary if I already know who is good and the price is reasonable.

4. Vendors will stop responding to you: Even if I have a vendor I always use, sometimes they are not available, and I need to use a different vendor. But what if I was always calling them to get quotes (just so that you can say to the owner, “I got multiple quotes”) but never used them? They will think that I am not serious and may stop responding to me. I can’t blame them.