Homeowners associations, or HOAs, have reoccurring paint projects that often run on a schedule each year or few years. These projects are typically coordinated by property managers, who invite local painting companies to submit bids, then the HOA board discusses the bids in order to choose the right company for the job. In this process, HOAs typically only have numbers to go on – which is why the lowest bid tends to win the contract.
However, there are many other things to take into consideration when choosing the right company for HOA painting jobs. One technique for finding the right company is to allow (or even directly invite) representatives from the painting companies to the board meeting to get more information beyond the estimate.
Here are 4 reasons why having painting contractors at the HOA board meeting can help your HOA or property management company choose the perfect painter for your next project.
1 – You can dig deeper into the estimate.
Most of the time you will get a wide range of estimates for your HOA painting projects. Do you ever wonder why estimates on the same project can be THAT different? The truth is, you usually get what you pay for, so by being able to dig a little deeper you can learn the facts behind the estimate and make an educated choice that goes beyond price alone. Estimates can differ because of:
- The services included. Did that low estimate include everything you want covered in the project? Is that high estimate including something that wasn’t part of the plan?
- The problem spotted. An experienced painting company will spot problematic areas such as peeling paint, dry rot, stucco repairs, and other factors. The estimate may be higher because it includes a solid plan for taking care of these problems.
- The materials used. There is a huge range in the quality of paints on the market. What kind of materials are included in each bid?
- The experience of the staff. You want knowledgeable painters on your project, and extra training and experience typically translates into a higher wage.
By having painting companies at HOA board meetings, you can dig into the estimates to get a better understanding of what went into that final number.
2 – You can ask questions about the company.
In addition to the work performed and cost, you will want to know a little more about the company who will be performing work on your property. Will the staff be blaring music, swearing, or wearing no shirts when they are working on your project? Does the company have experience working on HOA projects? Do they have a good reputation – reviews, awards, project portfolios, and so on? When painting contractors are involved in the board meeting you can ask questions and learn about the company you’ll be doing business with, as well as what makes them stand out from the competition.
3 – You can establish rapport and trust.
Once again, the actual HOA painting project is more than just a price – it involves real people working in or outside of your properties. How do you know who you can trust when you blindly look down at an estimate? Seeing and talking with the painting contractor or representative will help you build rapport and trust before the project starts.
4 – You can negotiate.
So far, the presence of the painting company at your HOA board meeting has allowed you to get a lot more information about who will be performing the work and how the project will run. After explaining their bid – and learning a little more about the project from questions they may ask the board – many companies will be willing to negotiate the price a little in order to find a win-win solution for everyone involved. Don’t expect the price to come down dramatically (and be wary if it does!). However, after a board meeting, the painting company may be willing to walk the property again and prepare a revised estimate that comes closer to your budget.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why having painting companies at your HOA board meeting can be helpful. This small extra step will help you to better assess the bids and pick the painting company with the best ‘package’ for your painting project.