Why effective vendor management is crucial for the property preservation industry
A recent Census report shows that residential vacancies were up 6.4 percent for rental housing and remained the same at 0.8 percent for homeowner housing. Reports also show that residential properties in the process of foreclosure are up 5 percent from Q4 of 2022 and up 29.9 percent from one year ago.
Property preservation and real estate vendor management services offer protection to these homes against the elements and damages, while also aiding to keep neighborhoods safer. This is why effective management is essential.
Why real estate vendor management partnerships are key
National field services providers offer many benefits. They help servicers and investors avoid violations and other costly repairs. They also support local and regional property preservation companies that perform many services to maintain assets. ServiceLink’s Field Services Vendor Management’s partnership-first approach employs the market managers and directors that are in place to support local and regional 'boots on the ground' efforts. The partnership philosophy allows for mutual success and accountability for both ServiceLink Field Services and its vendors.
“We’ve shifted to a much more proactive approach to vendor management,” says Anthony Scotese, vice president, field services vendor management office for ServiceLink. “Initially our vendor management teams focused on order management and getting in outstanding work as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to satisfy client timeline expectations. Vendor issues and concerns would be addressed as escalated by vendors, and relationships were managed at the leadership level. Without having someone take ownership of an issue or concern, vendors were left feeling frustrated and in need of a resolution. We listened to the feedback in the field and made positive changes.”
How vendor management creates growth opportunities
Part of that change was enhancing communication within the field by instituting a contact/escalation matrix into the process to address issues in a timely manner. The vendor management team also meets daily to assure the team is on alert of any urgent issues that may come up, even if it’s not in their respective region. ServiceLink’s team of vendor management directors also support the market managers for escalations and steps in as backup when needed.
Case study: The benefits of scorecards
Hawkeye Field Services is a full-service property preservation company based in Newberry, Florida that services the entire state of Florida with the help of the ServiceLink Field Services Vendor Management Office. “We started our property preservation company 15 years ago, working primarily for one client,” says Erin Kravitz, vice president of operations at Hawkeye Field Services. “Connecting with ServiceLink has helped us to grow our business and perform more efficiently.”
Having a reliable partner that takes the time to listen to issues helps elevate the overall experience. In an industry that’s constantly changing and challenging, having a consistent vendor management partnership to help aid everyone in coming to a mutually agreeable resolution when subcontractor or property issues arise is key.
Kindi Kinder is a market manager for ServiceLink’s Field Services Vendor Management Office and manages Erin Kravitz’s team as part of her territory. “The market manager role changed the culture for ServiceLink and its vendors,” says Kinder. “Through our support, our vendors now feel heard. I like to think of it as being a business partner with each of my vendors. They’re not in this alone - we’re here to make sure they’re successful.”
“Feeling a part of the solution gives empowerment to all parties and a renewed sense of wanting to do the job right, and often ends up with individuals going above and beyond the scope of what is expected,” says Kravitz. “A pipe bursting on a Saturday night in the middle of winter? Your chances of getting a response to a call for help are better when you have a good working partnership in place with the vendor whose help you need.”
A scorecard incentive program helps to ensure vendors meet quality and timeline goals. With positive performance comes greater volume. “Our subcontractors quickly discovered that by working hard and getting the work done on time and correctly, they would be rewarded with increased business,” says Kravitz.
How ServiceLink’s effective vendor management benefits you
Vendors appreciate the benefits of ServiceLink’s Vendor Management program and how it also works in their favor through fast pay and easy operating systems. “Many national vendor management companies are on a 30-60 day pay structure from the time a job is completed,” says Kravitz. “ServiceLink is very unique, in that they finalize their work and complete invoices three to five days after a job is completed. They also offer daily remittances for work completed. ServiceLink is the quickest paying national out there.”
ServiceLink Field Services clients benefit from having a network of willing vendor management partners ready to help in an emergency. By providing reliable support and creating a team environment, all parties have the same goal of protecting an asset the best they can.
“ServiceLink’s customer service is just number one - it’s what separates them from the rest of the nationals in the country,” says Kravitz. “They truly value their vendors and focus on long-term relationships.”