When considering technical managers in commercial real estate one of the most laborious and often frustrating aspects of the role is trying to make various quotes comparable in the pre-instruction phase of a maintenance or CapEx project.
For most managers receiving enough quotes is difficult and time-consuming in the first place, service providers often take a long time to produce their quotes and sometimes are unable to provide their quotes last minute on account of being too busy. Therefore, it is discouraging for a technical property manager to finally receive a sufficient number of quotes, only to find that none of them are comparable and as a result spend a considerable amount of time trying to make sense of all the information.
This no longer needs to be the case! Technical real estate managers can now enjoy immediately comparable overviews by issuing their preferred suppliers with digital bid forms and templates which generate instantly comparable quotes. Freeing up time to concentrate on the execution of the project itself as a result.
Ultimately, it’s the same process as before, simply digital and significantly less arduous. The managers still send out the same type of request, albeit through Proprli rather than by PDF. Contractors still quote in the same way as before and very easily upload a summary of their bid to the system. When all quotes are submitted or when the deadline arrives, the system automatically makes the comparison, saving the manager time and enabling them to make an informed decision then and there.
As a result of these quotes being immediately comparable users experience a substantial reduction in project delays and budget overruns – meaning they are able to offer a better service to their clients than competitors.
Case Study: Painting the façade of a warehouse.
Old way of working
The request for proposal (RfP) was drafted in an email and sent to four different painting companies. In the RfP, was a requirement for the number of coats to be painted. However, the areas for quotation were not specified to the contractors. The request stated that the painters should drive by the property and inspect the building for themselves, measure the necessary areas of the building to paint and assess if any rotten window frames needed to be replaced. The painters all immediately had questions for the property manager regarding the proposal, timeline and specification. Obviously, these questions overlapped each other and therefore many of the questions were answered more than once. After a couple weeks, there was a follow-up to check if the painters would still submit their bids for the project. Unfortunately, the client wasn’t aware whether all the painters drove by the property for an inspection, as there wasn’t an official visitation date scheduled. Finally, when after a couple months the bids came in, they were not even remotely comparable. All bidders used a different method to calculate and summarise the areas to paint and none of the areas were consistent with one another due to estimation and errors. Eventually, one of the painters was instructed based on the feeling that their quote was complete, which unfortunately was not the case. As a direct result, there were surprises and consequently the project ran over budget and behind schedule.
New way of working
Using a platform to centralise their workflows, the entire team worked together to finalise the request for proposal (RfP). This resulted in a clear brief to the painting companies, including a date for a site visit and a bid form. All painting companies confirmed their attendance for the site visit through the platform and all relevant questions were collected through the platform’s Q&A feature. The questions were quickly answered by the team, anonymised and returned to all bidders. This resulted in an equal provision of information to all bidders. The bid form included line items with specifications of the areas to bid for, renovation of window frames, hourly rates, exclusions and suggestions. When all bidders provided their quotes through the platform and bid form, all bids were immediately comparable. The team had a lot of confidence in the bids provided because the scope had been detailed much more clearly, the amounts were correct, and all painters attended the site visit. The result was that bids were lower, because there was less need for contingencies, and the entire process took place in a much shorter time frame.
Despite technology in the commercial real estate market evolving and enabling property professionals to work more efficiently saving both time and money, it is important to remember that people don’t simply change their way of working overnight. Therefore, we believe it is important to place an almost obsessive focus on the user experience and regularly ask how our product can improve the working lives of its end users, making their processes more effective and less stressful.
With Proprli’s instant bid comparisons, technical managers no longer need to spend valuable time going back and forth with contractors in order to understand what is and is not included in their quotes, as these bids are immediately comparable. This immediate comparison not only saves a significant amount of time but also serves as an effective analytics tool as managers are able to level and understand the details of bids in relation to one another. If you would like to experience instantly comparable quotes for yourself, please get in touch and sign up today.