If you are interested in finding a high-quality reserve study firm, here are some top tips that you should carefully consider:
Set Up an Association Profile
A prospective firm that may consider working with you will need to first learn as much as possible about your association. Create descriptions and detailed information about your association and develop a profile used to showcase those references. Make sure that you include pertinent facts – including amenities, building descriptions, unit quantity, location and a recent financial statement.
Locate the Firm
The next step is to find the appropriate firm, which is typically an easy step to accomplish since most quality property management firms keep a list of available firms. You could even check with the Community Associations Institute or any local engineering organization that offers reserve specialist information.
Prepare a List of Questions
As part of this overall process, you should ensure that you have a list of appropriate questions to ask. Think about the specific criteria you will use to evaluate each qualified candidate. Focus on key questions about their background – such as how long they have been in business, how many studies have been conducted on an annual basis and the specific experience that they have accumulated with similar communities. Work with the leaders of your firm to identify the most significant factors to consider while reviewing your list of candidates.
Reach Out to Candidates
Once you have your filtered list of qualified candidates, you should not delay in reaching out to them as soon as possible to establish contact and get the ball rolling. As you reach out to the candidates, make sure that you highlight the standard informational resources that you have at your disposal – such as examples of past reports. You can then ask the appropriate questions that you would have gathered together in the previous step, but make sure that you pay close attention to the answers provided. It is highly recommended for you to record each answer carefully even if it means slowing down the pace of the discussion to ensure your notes are accurate. As you work to interview firm after firm, you may realize that your questions need to evolve right along with your expectations. There is nothing wrong with modifying your questions as long as they still appropriately target your end goal and guide the conversation in the right direction.
Do Not Hesitate to evaluate Candidates
There is absolutely nothing wrong with comparing your candidate reserve study firms against each other. One suggestion is to create a chart or spreadsheet with the criteria that you determined long before you even met with the candidates. You can then use your research and recorded notes from your candidate interviews to determine which candidates meet the criteria and exceed your expectations as well as identify the candidate firms that simply did not make the cut.
You may need to set up an additional round of interviews and discussions to narrow the list down to one solid choice, but at least these steps will provide you with a structured approach to eventually find the most suitable fit for your organization.