Getting Vendors Onboard

Oftentimes, all it takes to convince a property manager of the many benefits of Property Meld is a quick chat and walkthrough of our software. Once they find themselves onboard, however, their next concern usually shifts to how they’re going to convince their myriad vendors to see the light, too.

To help, we’ve assembled some tried and tested ideas with the help of Laura Donovan, our director of customer success at Property Meld, and Vicky Lampkin, a property manager for Real Property Management of the Triad — based in Greensboro, N.C. — who has been using Property Meld software since April to manage her approximately 750 properties.

What’s in it for me?

The most effective way to demonstrate Property Meld’s utility to vendors is to show them how it will make their lives simpler and wallets fatter. Using data gleaned from our software, we’ve found using Property Meld drastically reduces the time it takes a vendor to submit an invoice and, consequently, for a vendor to be paid.

How, you ask?

For one, the moment a job is complete, a vendor can use our software to upload a before and after photo of the work and an invoice for the job, no matter their location. Lampkin said she now processes about 40 invoices per day, more than three times the amount she processed before using Meld.

But that’s just the start. Speaking of the start, how about the mere act of scheduling an appointment that works for both vendor and tenant?

Our data found 85 percent of maintenance jobs scheduled via Property Meld take less than four minutes.

One way we facilitate such quick scheduling is the chat application, which allows vendors and tenants to instantly connect and find a time that works for both parties. The chat application also helps vendors instantly communicate with property managers when a straightforward job comes with an unforeseen surprise. Further, our software allows property managers and vendors to send and receive real-time notifications like when a work order or invoice is submitted into the system.

The result?

An 87 percent increase in tenant satisfaction and a 60 percent reduction in the time it takes to coordinate a maintenance job.

One size does not fit all

It’s important to understand what works for one vendor may not work with another. Some vendors may be tech-savvy and always searching for ways to streamline their processes. For them, adopting Property Meld is likely a no-brainer. Other vendors may be wary of change, clinging to their handwritten, hand-delivered invoices. In situations like the latter, an approach tailored to their situation is necessary. Maybe next time they drop in to deliver an invoice you comment on how much easier it would be for them if they could save time and gas by merely uploading the invoice through Meld software. It wouldn’t hurt to mention they’ll get paid quicker, too.

Lampkin stresses the importance of thorough communication with vendors before implementing the software. Some vendors may quickly get on board. Others may take a few in-person meetings before they understand how to effectively use it to reap the benefits. A positive side effect of this communication: stronger relationships with your vendors. For Lampkin, her business even received a few 5- star ratings from vendors pleased with how helpful she was in getting them to understand, adopt and use Property Meld to better their business.

“Stay patient and persistent and you will get the buy-in,” she said of the onboarding process in a recent Meld presentation alongside Donovan. “Once they realize this is how it’s going to be and they realize you’re willing to take the time to help them understand it, it is going to be a lot better.”

Reap the rewards

Another easy way to convince vendors that using Property Meld will benefit their business is to reward them. The types of rewards can vary as much as the types of vendors, from thank you notes for adoption of the software to gift cards for five- star reviews by tenants pleased with the vendor’s work.

But the most effective way, we believe, is to simply let vendors know that those using Property Meld software will be prioritized when work orders are sent out. It’s not coercion; it’s communicating to vendors that using Property Meld makes business easier for you. As the client in this relationship, that should be enough.

As the old adage goes, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. During onboarding, you may run into an issue with some vendors who are recalcitrant to change. During the onboarding process for Lampkin’s company, she was forced to end a relationship with one vendor who was unwilling to use Meld
software. As she explained, her first responsibility is to help the owners and tenants of her properties. Property Meld has increased the satisfaction for both. If vendors aren’t willing to assist in that effort, perhaps it’s time to move on.

You’ll never walk alone

One final point to communicate to vendors is that as questions, issues, and concerns arise, they are never alone and our support team is always just an email, call or online message away.

To contact us, simply email Support@propertymeld.com with your question or concern. You can also click the support button in the lower left-hand corner of the account page, use our help center to search for relevant articles related to your issue, or chat live with our customer service team.

Take the time to demonstrate the benefits of using Property Meld to your vendors, create open lines of communication, tailor your approach, reward adopters, and show them the avenues of support should difficulties arise, and in the end, everyone wins. It may take a bit of time, but as Lampkin found, “You can make the time. It’s definitely going to be worth it.”