October 1, 2017

At some point, every Property Manager will need to create a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Facility Services. A well-designed RFP can streamline the process of vendor selection. A poorly-written RFP can return confusing results and make clear comparisons impossible. This article will equip you with RFP knowledge that will help you avoid costly errors and secure the benefits you really need.

The Elements of a Good RFP:

The RFP must be concise, with redundancies removed and attachments clearly labelled. You must clearly define the schedule and form of response, walkthrough date, due dates, questions and responses and references. Don’t forget to tell your vendor whether the project is Union or Non-Union.  Ask your bidders to describe how and who is employed, and determine whether they have a sound history of good employment practices. There still are illegal employees at work in surprising places -- don’t embarrass yourself or your customer by being caught and prosecuted for back taxes, BWC violations etc. Also, be clear whether taxes are included or excluded from the price form.

Be sure to provide a thorough Scope of Work with frequencies and require specific pricing for all individual services. Require details such as sustainability certifications, hourly cost, equipment, and descriptions. Request square footage production rates and a labor breakdown. Clearly define the standard of pricing, and understand the implications. If the vendor cannot provide accurate specific pricing for individual services, it is likely they will not deliver quality services. Consider the form of pricing you want, whether: (1.) Building number and vacancy credit; or (2.) Cost plus contract. If cost plus, clearly define the formula by which price will be calculated.

Avoid Common RFP Pitfalls:

Often the Property Manager is asked to work with RFP materials that have been used numerous times before, it may help to be aware of some specific concerns. First, eliminate all language that is confusing or ambiguous and remove redundancies. Check for old and incorrect attachment names on files. Make certain there is a new clear schedule for response and walkthrough. Perhaps most importantly, be sure to qualify the bidders and ensure that they meet industry reference requirements. Correct any specifications that have changed since the last RFP. Make certain that clear and accurate square footages and stacking plans are provided. Make sure to include a price sheet that is complete and not confusing.

Consider Strategy:

In selecting the winning Vendor, you may wish to consider the breadth of services offered in addition to price. Also, the impact your selection will have upon your portfolio as a whole may be a consideration. Competition between capable vendors for the best possible service, both national and regional, may put you in the driver’s seat to receive the highest quality services.

This article was written by Will Wachs, President of RWK Services, Inc. BOMA Greater Cleveland is happy to have RWK Services, Inc., as one of our Signature Partners for 2017. You can contact Will at RWK at wwachs@rwkservices.com or 440-526-2144 and be sure to visit www.rwkservices.com for more information.

Category: Featured

Tags: Featured Article, Request for Proposal, RFP, RWK, RWK Services