Vendors who stand out from the crowd will be first on the list for HOAs choosing service providers
For many property-management vendors, it can be important to secure recurring work from managed communities. Whether the worker is a landscaper, handyman, contractor, or other provider, a good relationship with an HOA can mean a lot of business. Regular, steady-paying work is sometimes hard to come by, and for many vendors, an HOA client makes a big difference for the bottom line.
Getting that dream HOA relationship may seem daunting, but the simple truth is that workers can cultivate an amazing relationship just by standing out and making a great first impression. These four strategies can distinguish a vendor from the herd and ensure callbacks again and again.
The power of a first impression
HOA communities and their managers are often working on a volunteer or part-time basis, and researching vendors can start to feel overwhelming. They will be in touch with multiple vendors to receive bids, negotiate deals, and figure out the best choice for their community.
A vendor that nails the first interaction with prompt response time, professional behavior, and great communication is guaranteed to stay at the top of the list.
After all, the old saying “you only get one chance to make a good impression” is more than just a ditty. Research shows that the conclusions we draw on a first impression hold up over time, even if we later see evidence that contradicts our gut reaction.
What does that mean for vendors seeking work? It means how they look and act at the first meeting will dictate the client’s perception of them for the rest of the relationship. Those who don’t make a great first impression right off the bat probably won’t get a call back. Here’s how you can be the one they remember.
1. Confidence is contagious
Start with your mindset. Your attitude toward yourself and your clients will signal how you’re going to show up for them. A warm smile, a firm handshake, and a sincere desire to help go further than any fancy marketing or glossy promotional materials.
People can tell if you’re confident, and they’ll judge whether you’re being honest about what you can deliver. A positive, self-assured energy will do a lot to build the client’s trust. They’ll be much more willing to put their faith in you if they sense you know exactly what you’re doing.
2. Have an easy website
Often, the first point of contact from a lead is via website. Before calling you, most clients will pull up a vendor’s site or social media profiles and take a look and availability and services.
It’s important to make it easy for customers to access information and navigate your online pages. If the experience is frustrating, they’re more likely to skip to the next person on their contact list.
While web design may not be in your wheelhouse, don’t be tempted to ignore this important step. If you need to, get some outside help so your site can bring in good leads and give you a degree of credibility.
One of the biggest complaints shared by HOAs, managers, and homeowners alike is poor communication from their vendors. Delayed response times, few or no callbacks, and one-sentence emails make them look unprofessional and lazy to their clients.
Often, the vendor who gets the job and repeat business isn’t the one who has the best rates or even does the best work – it’s the one who communicates well and often.
Getting in touch quickly via email, call, or text will put your clients at ease. And, if they know you’re accessible and stay in touch, you’ll be the first person they call when there’s work to be done.
4. Follow through
Lastly, always provide your service with excellence and thoroughness. If you rush through a project or just do the bare minimum, you won’t leave a good impression. Integrity matters, and your ability to follow through on your promises will make or break your reputation with a managed community.
Make it a point to deliver what you promise – if you say you can do something, do it. And do it well. This practice will consistently create a positive reputation.
Use these simple tips to make a killer first impression
With all the time, effort, and pride you put into your business, you owe it to yourself to give first impressions everything you’ve got. Making the customer experience easy and comfortable from the get-go with confidence, an easy-to-navigate website, great communication, and follow-through, you’ll wow them every time – and hopefully secure that dream contract right off the bat. VendorSmart℠ is a comprehensive web-based marketplace that connects vendors and community managers in one place. At VendorSmart℠, we understand that third-party vendor relationships are critical to the success of any association or condo. Our software and team of industry professionals guarantee full compliance vetting for every vendor employed by your management company at no cost to you or the vendor. Want to learn more? Schedule a demo today.