If you’ve decided to outsource your facility maintenance to a third-party contractor, you might be wondering how to vet out the many companies that offer these services. Maintenance is almost always scheduled very far in advance, and establishing the scope of the contract can take a lot of time and effort. You don’t want to be stuck with someone you later find isn’t cut out for the job, because switching to another contractor can be a financial strain as well as a waste of energy. So how do you vet out the companies that won’t work out? Here are five tips to help you find the perfect contractor for you:
1) Focus on Areas of Expertise
You may not need a company that can do everything, but you know you’ll need someone that handle areas of expertise that fall within your specific needs. For example, is your property a residential complex? Do you have swimming pools or other kinds of facilities that may require special or seasonal attention? Are there special regulations in your area regarding energy use or upgrades? Make sure the company you select can handle the specific needs of your property first. It’s an easy way to vet out anyone from the get-go that can’t or won’t do the job.
2) Read Reviews Online
There are a myriad of online review sites, but you can always find verified reviews on Google to help you determine if the team you’re shopping for is the right one for your commercial property. Try not to focus on reviews that are vague or simplified. Skim through and read the longer reviews that focus on specific situations that the company helped its clients with or problems that came up during a contract.
3) Request Case Studies
You might be shopping for someone to take on the day-to-day maintenance of your commercial property, but what happens when there is a major emergency? How do you know the company you select will be able to handle the not-so-normal disasters that could occur in your building? Or maybe you think you’ll be renovating soon, and you want to know if the company can handle a larger, more complex project. Case studies are a perfect way to gain insight into how a contractor can handle the big stuff, in addition to the little stuff.
4) Ask for Referrals
Need something better than a review? Ask the company to connect you with a current client that you can contact personally. Having an informal conversation with someone who is currently working with the maintenance company will give you a better picture of their service and expertise than a short and sweet online review.
5) Pay them a Visit
Seeing how a maintenance company runs their facilities first hand will give you a great impression of how they will run things on your property. It might seem like a lot of effort or time to invest, but consider the amount of time or energy you’ll save knowing you picked the right contractor for the job. If their own business doesn’t look like a safe and clean environment to work in, then it is possible they operate in a very similar fashion when doing maintenance in the field.
In the end, you can’t always predict how a contractor will work out. But a diligent vetting process can help you select the right man for the job, while also establishing a good baseline of expectations.