Vendor Negotiations 101 Good Relationships are Key

You can’t operate a condominium or co-op without a myriad of services, which is why a well-run home association or building requires that it has strong vendor relationships. That means getting supplies and services smoothly and at the best price, which is why a board of directors or management company needs to stay on top of its vendors and the contracts it holds with them.

“The best negotiation tool is education,” says Mary Faith Nugiel, president of RCP Management Company in Monroe. “Boards need to know the going rate for services in their area. This information can be obtained from the property manager or directly from other associations. Boards also need to make sure they are getting a fair price. Having multiple bids also helps a board to find out the market value of a service and negotiate a better price.”

Establishing great relationships with vendors is an important component of any board’s financial and physical maintenance and maintaining solid, long-lasting connections will benefit everyone involved.

David J. Byrne, a Lawrenceville-based attorney with Stark & Stark, who is co-chair of the firm’s Community Associations Group, believes that a good relationship is essential to the process and will make things smoother for all people involved.

“It’s easy to forget that vendors are people, too and by taking the time to talk with them about issues and not erupting at the first sign of a problem, it can go a long way in establishing trust and understanding,” he says. “Working with vendors is a vital component of a board.”

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