How to Find (and Screen) Awesome Vendors

How to Find (and Screen) Awesome Vendors

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2015
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Be Prepared When the Unexpected Happens It is not a matter of if a natural (or manmade) disaster will strike, but when. I suggest making a list of the vendors you will need if your property is affected by a natural disaster and have them screened now! For example, it is a well-documented fact that unscrupulous people crawl out of the woodwork as soon as the all clear is sounded and will try to take advantage of storm victims. This precautionary step may prevent you from becoming a victim for a second time.   How to Find (and Screen) Awesome Vendors So how do you find and screen vendors? Here are a few tips: Location and hours:You should start the process of elimination by the distance from your property, hours or operation (having the ability to reach someone 24/7 if you need to), and other aspects you like or don’t. Business and professional licenses:Has either license been suspended or revoked? Unlicensed vendors should be avoided. You want to know the status of the state, county, or city license if required by local statutes. Insurance and bonding:It is important to know if the vendor has insurance to cover any damages if necessary and who is the bonding agency and how much is the bond. Experience and dependability: How long the vendor has been in business and at the current location? You might want to go to the business, meet the owner, get feel of how the operation is run (is it clean, organized, etc.), and sign the necessary documents. I am suspicious of a business that only gives a post office box as a physical address. Civil and criminal history of the vendor:To get a full picture, it is necessary to search the records of the county and circuit clerk of court. Clearly a business that has been sued for breach of contract or has a criminal record for fraud, for example, is to be avoided. Background check and drug screening:Does the vendor require pre-employment background checks and conduct random drug testing? As the person hiring a vendor, you have a legal responsibility to show due diligence in the selection process to protect not only the property but the tenants. Inspection records:If this is a business that is required by law to pass regular inspection, when was the last inspection, and what were the results? Having unsafe or unreliable equipment is the last thing you want on your property! Professional network:A vendor who is a member of the Better Business Bureau or the local Chamber of Commerce tends to be more reliable and dependable — and have an established reputation.   Seeking Professional Help Now you ask: Why should I hire a consumer reporting agency like Gold Shield to conduct the screening? Can’t I just log on to a website? There actually are a few reasons: A consumer reporting agency (CRA) that conducts this type of screening has the expertise and resources to get the answers and can take time to verify the results. Some searches are, by their nature, better handled by hand. No vendor is going to brag about having a record of cutting corners, so the investigator may have to dig for that one.  …

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