How to Get the Best Price and Value Out of Your Multifamily Renovation Bid


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Betsy Tyurin advises on what to share with your contractor and how to negotiate to get the best price and most accurate bid for your multifamily renovation project.

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How to Get the Best Price and Value Out of Your Multifamily Renovation Bid

  1. 1. How to Get the Best Price and Think Outside the Project. Chances are, if you are a property managerValue Out of Your Multifamily or developer collecting bids for a single project, it might not be the only project or bid your company is working on.Renovation Bid By looking at the bigger picture there are lots of ways you BY BETSY ELAINE TYURIN can save. Business Development Coordinator Perhaps you want to bid a job for exterior paint, World Builders Inc. and your company’s maintenance team has a great pur- chasing relationship with a major paint supplier like Sher- Expressions like “caveat emptor” and “you get win Williams because they routinely purchase paint forwhat you pay for,” have only become more poignant with interior make-readys across fifteen properties. Considerthe fluctuations in economic stability our country has using this supplier relationship to determine if you maybeen facing since the latter part of 2009. As companies get a better price on your exterior paint job by having yourdownsize, mechanize and restructure, it becomes harder company order the exterior paint through this channel andand harder to tell the difference between the professional asking your contractor to simply price out the labor fororganization that is running slimmer and smarter versus applying the materials you provide.the so-called “general contractor” that is merely a little Harness the Power of Relationships.guy with no overhead running his company out of the Don’t Be Afraid to Share. In any business arrangement, people areback of his truck. A lot of business people feel that showing your motivated in large part by their perception of the ability of However, one thing that has not changed in the cards up front can be a poor negotiation tactic because if the business relationship to grow and be profitable to bothlast decade, is the fact that choosing the wrong general you say what you are willing to pay for, you will get just that parties. Even if you can’t confidently tell your contractorcontractor to work with can be disasterous. Sometimes and nothing more. However, one point to consider, is that about the next up and coming project you have to workthe guy who gives you the lowest bid in order to get the if you don’t give your contractor a ballpark figure to aim on, you can network your contractor into your circle ofjob only does so because he plans to cut corners or blind for, you could be disqualifying a higher bid from someone colleagues in the business.side you with change orders once the job is already in that might have tried to meet your budget requirements Helping each other build relationships in theprogress and he can hold your property hostage in order had they known what to shoot for. industry leads to better production because your contrac-to exact payment. And the last thing anyone wants are You may also be able to negotiate a better deal tor aspires to live up to your recommendation, and bettersurprises. by letting your contractor know different work items and prices because they know that your relationship is solid Here are some tips to help you sort through the trades you want to address over time as budget allows, and and they have reason to be loyal because future work willchaos and find the right person or business, as well as get your contractor can help you plan the mose effective way come down the road.the best price for your renovation project: to meet your overall objectives. The best contractors can Keep the Communication Flowing. Develop a Solid Scope of Work for Your even help you meet with your banker to explain why and One of the biggest things that separates the men Contractor to Bid. how the investment will pay off. The price may very de- from the boys in the construction industry is customer Different people have different visions for the pending on whether you intend to contract one item at a service. A good contractor will be able to respond andbest way to handle a project, and therefore, different time, or can make a commitment to a full scale project. adapt to your changing needs in a timely will have different ideas about the approach Help Get it Right the First Time. This doesn’t mean that they can read minds. Ifthey would take to working on your property. Therefore, A lot of the unpleasant surprises that happen in you perceive something in a project isn’t meeting your ex-if you don’t give the contractors bidding your contract any construction project come from inaccurate pectations, contact the construction manager immediately.a clear baseline standard of information you want them measurements or oversight of the full amount of materials Often, the impulse is to just deal with the on-siteto provide, you cannot be sure that you are comparing and labor a certain work item requires. If you can provide superintendent on a project, but this person doesn’t alwaysapples to apples. your contractor with site plans or blue prints that include have the means or incentive to pass the information higher By setting certain fixed variables such as paint such information as square footage and number of units, up, so calling the main office can help ensure your prob-technique or gutter size, you can get a better view into your estimator can compare these against his own lems are heard by someone who has their eyes on the bighow the bids you are viewing compare. measurements to decrease the margin of error. picture and can better solve your problems.☐