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Subject: Request for Service Proposal
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DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:144


05/11/2021 5:42 AM  
Our community of about 400 homes (650 at completion) pays a landscaping service to mow common areas as well as individual lawns. They also refresh mulch in front yard flower beds, provide fertilizer treatments, etc. I joined the Board last fall, and at the end of this season we need to send out bids to local landscape companies to provide these services.

Does anyone have an example of this kind of request for service that I can use for a template? Our property management company, unfortunately, is surprisingly lacking in this kind of information.

TIA
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


05/11/2021 11:55 AM  
Your Property management company don't know how to solicit bids???? WOW

Quite simple I don't know if these companies read Want Ads in the newspaper, but you can do one of two things or both. Place an ad in your local newspaper for an Invitation to bid. Include the scope of duties
etc. In your ad be sure to include Sealed Bids accepted at xyz address and give a date bids will be accepted. Sometimes these companies might want to make an appointment to see the property before they bid.

Or, you can do it the old fashioned way, Open up the Yellow Pages and let your fingers do the walking. You can call as many landscapers as you wish and directly invite them to submit sealed bids.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/11/2021 12:04 PM  
Posted By LetA on 05/11/2021 11:55 AM
Your Property management company don't know how to solicit bids???? WOW



Not as funny as you think
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


05/11/2021 1:14 PM  
David

The association in which we reside uses a scope of work matrix as part of the package when seeking bids for landscape services.

You can develop the matrix using a standard spreadsheet format, array vertically in the left column in the first row after the document titles, each task you are asking to be included in the bid: mowing, edging, blowing, fertilization, trimming, pre-emergent, post-emergent, fire ant treatment, leaf collection, irrigation system testing, seasonal color, whatever.

Using the first row after the titles and all that 'stuff', place a number 1-52 in each column beginning with the second column. In each cell at the intersection of the rows and columns place a dot to indicate the week of the year in which you would like the service performed.

When finished you will have a spreadsheet which indicates mowing for the season will begin in week 12 and will cease for the season in week 44 or so. Continue to populate the matrix with the dots to indicate the weeks in which you desire the service(s) performed. In column 53, use an Excel function (Count I think) to indicate the number of times during the year each function is to be performed.

Using this format will ensure (hopefully) your bidders are all bidding on the same services to be performed and how many times annually the service is to be performed.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1806


05/11/2021 7:29 PM  
Here's a simple approach.

1. Write every service you currently enjoy from your current vendor.
2. Ask your property management company for names of companies their other communities may use (commercial groundskeeping).
3. Call those multiple companies
4. Tell those companies of the date the current vendor's contract expires, which tells them when they'd earn the business
5. Personally tour your potential vendors on a site survey that confirms the services you want.
6. Tell these bidders of a deadline by which you'd need to receive any quote they may offer.
7. Please know how long of contract (time-wise) your HOA board is seeking to enter. Longer terms are more stable.
8. Await those bids
9. Accept the "winning" bid well before your current landscape contract expires (unless you wanna keep your current vendor)
10. Give the ample notice of non-renewal to your current vendor
11. Sign your contract with the new vendor
12. Enjoy your new vendor.

You don't need to micro-manage their activities weekly. You're paying them to keep your property looking great for twelve months per year, not to be their co-strategist. You know the standards that you want.

HOWEVER, don't assume you need to change vendors. Vendor stability is good for your community's property and dues payers. If the service is good and acceptable, please keep the company you have serving your property. Many new board members feel the need to fire or non-renew a vendor to show "results." The fact is that your stable and cool leadership will build trust and response with existing and quality vendors, which pays intangible dividends. Stable vendors become true partners who'll help you solve problems and not feel threatened that you'll "fire" them for problems that arise.

Unless the vendor is auto-escalating your rates, not providing adequate service or is closing shop, as a 15 year veteran, I can tell you to dance with your current vendor team until THEY give you a reason to change.

Good luck and welcome to HOA service! Your question is definitely important!
DaveE4
(California)

Posts:6


05/12/2021 11:44 AM  
Hello Tia ~ that's a great question and in the spirit of offering you input you may find helpful, I apologize if comes off as a little self-promoting. I am proud of what we created and genuinely hope it helps not just your community but others who wrestle with the same thing you are.

While I know your question is specific to securing vendors for the common area spaces etc., I would like to share with you and the other readers a slightly different perspective with some unexpected additional value. (my hope anyway :-)

Vendors on contracts for HOA common areas are one thing, and home service contractors your "community residents" might be in need of for their personal projects (painting, garage door repairs, plumbing, etc.) is yet another.

We created a solution that addresses primarily the latter, but could very well offer you value for finding top-rated vendors for your common area needs too. (We've already done the heavy lifting so to speak)

It's called SavonServices.com and in short, is the result of over 2 years of development. We vetted nearly 1,000 home services companies, all of which are top-rated in their local areas. (nearly 300 US markets)

The purpose was to create a better way for consumers to quickly locate a top-rated pro without having to do lengthy internet searches, or calling those TV ads where you surrender your personal information and then 5 or more companies begin calling or texting you non-stop! Often times well after the job has already been completed.

Our goal was simple: Vet and allow ONLY top-rated companies, add them to our mobile app, and make it easy for homeowners to connect.

The benefit to the consumer?
1) Personal Data Kept Private
2) ONLY Top-Rated Companies Allowed
3) Guaranteed Discounts For Our Members (kind of like a Costco club)

We even created a program for HOA's so they could announce our service to their residents and we donate $10 for every homeowner who joins our club. Simply multiply the number of homeowners in your community by $10 and you quickly find out it is a WIN-WIN for all parties. Residents get our club member discounts, peace of mind knowing only top-rated providers are used, and most importantly their personal data kept private.

This results in homeowners saving hundreds or even thousands annually on common home repairs and maintenance they would normally be paying full price for.

Membership costs just $29.99 for the whole year! You read that correctly, an annual membership just $29.99

When we donate back to the HOA $10 of their club membership, homeowners are actually helping their own community in the process. The HOA can use the money how they see fit, be it an improvement on the dog park, children's play area, heck use it for your July 4th party! The HOA and residents mutually win and so do we.

We recently opened in Phoenix AZ and will be opening soon in nearly 300 markets around the USA.

You can learn more by watching a short video that explains it all:
https://savonservices.com/pages/homeowners-get-started

HOA's Boards go here to see if we're a good fit:
https://savonservices.com/pages/hoa

IMPORTANT: If you would like your community to be considered, let's talk first so we can give you an HOA code for your residents to use when joining.

In the end, I am sure many of our "vetted top-rated contractor vendors" would also be candidates for bidding on your annual contracts. Which in my opinion addresses the spirit of the original post as well.

Let us know how we can help and I invite your participation or questions anytime.

Dave Euse
Co-Founder/CEO
SavonServices
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:794


05/12/2021 11:49 AM  
DaveE4, you get the award for the longest spam message on record. Congratulations!
DaveE4
(California)

Posts:6


05/12/2021 12:04 PM  
Well John, as I stated in my message I was addressing the original poster and seeking ways to get a quality vendor for common areas and to get to that point share how Tia could get both.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:144


05/12/2021 12:08 PM  
Kelly - thanks for the thoughtful response. I am actually looking more for the actual verbiage that should go into a RFP, but your post does provide some good insight.

Personally, I would prefer to keep who we have. But we have a lot of complaints and I feel we absolutely have to consider other vendors regardless of my personal view.

On another note, you are not the first person to indicate these things should not be micro-managed. However, our Property Manager (which I have been unhappy with from the start for a number of reasons) always insists on getting hyper-involved. They tell all residents they must contact the property manager with issues so they can be logged, then the manager works with the landscaper to resolve the issues. Then the manager constantly complains that all of their time is being spent working on landscape issues. It seems to me that the easy solution is to stop getting involved! I would prefer residents deal with the contractor directly, and only contact us when an issue is not resolved. I'm not sure which is the normal way of handling it.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:144


05/12/2021 12:09 PM  
LOL!

"Hello TIA...."
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/12/2021 12:20 PM  
Posted By DavidG45 on 05/11/2021 5:42 AM
Our community of about 400 homes (650 at completion) pays a landscaping service to mow common areas as well as individual lawns. They also refresh mulch in front yard flower beds, provide fertilizer treatments, etc. I joined the Board last fall, and at the end of this season we need to send out bids to local landscape companies to provide these services.

Does anyone have an example of this kind of request for service that I can use for a template? Our property management company, unfortunately, is surprisingly lacking in this kind of information.

TIA



Curious, are you soliciting bids or has the Board authorized you to solicit bids instead of the PM?
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:144


05/12/2021 12:49 PM  
I am helping the Landscape Committee prepare their recommendation for an RFP that we will give to the PM. The PM will run it by whoever they run these things by, then submit it. We will also research potential vendors and provide the PM with that list; hopefully they can add to it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/12/2021 12:56 PM  
David

What is expected from an MC can vary widely depending on the service an association purchases from the MC. Some association BOD's want the MC to "run" the association. Other BOD's want a more hands on approach. It is not uncommon for there to be a "cozy relationship" with a vendor and the MC especially if the association chose a vendor recommended by the MC.

In our case, we are small patio homes with 40 duplexes and 32 single homes for a total of 112 owners. We have no amenities thus not a complex association to run. Our owners are told the only reason to contact the MC is for billing and payment issues. For all other issues they are to contact the BOD via an Email address we publish. Any mail sent to this Gmail address is automatically distributed to each (5) BOD Members. The BOD then decides how the issue is to be handled and who on the BOD will take the lead.

Landscaping is a Royal PIA. Our association is responsible for landscaping of common areas and each home. Landscaping is the costliest item in our budget and the item we get the most complaints about. Just this week we received Email from two owners. One complaining the landscaper cut the bushes around her house to low. The other complaining the landscaper did not cut the bushes around her home low enough. They are of equal height as we strive for a common look. You will never please all owners no matter how good your landscaper is.

MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/12/2021 1:43 PM  
Here is a link to download a sample HOA RFP.

https://blog.realmanage.com/guide-to-creating-an-rfp-for-your-community-association
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