Aaron Antis, Director of Sales & Roofing Professional Talks About the HOA-Vendor Relationship
What is the ideal community manager-vendor relationship?
Community managers rely on their vendors and their expertise to help guide the business decisions in maintaining and replacing assets in their communities. The vendor partnership is based on trust. One of the most significant assets in a community is the roof, but can be overlooked as it is not as visible as the pool and tennis courts!. Often roofing projects go two ways: there is either a pro-active re-roof – before big problems start – or the community implements a preventative maintenance program including repairs that helps the roofs to last longer than expected. A roofing professional is the partner that educates the community manager who in turn guides their board of directors to make informed and proactive decisions.
What is the best practice to address the challenges of choosing a roofing professional?
When HOA boards are deeply involved in the research of their capital item projects that require specialized expertise they become better educated. Informed board members and community managers make better decisions and in turn, manage their risk. It’s an investment of time, but I believe it improves the industry in the long run. It also minimizes decisions heavily weighted on price, and focuses the decision on what really matters – the ability to do a job right, the first time. We provide thoughtful advice on maximizing the life span of the roof of the asset and proactively making the decision to replace the asset at the right time.
What do you wish community managers and boards would consider during the vendor selection process?
Many business decisions are relationship based. We understand that, and we work hard with managers to be the vendor partner that is responsive, available, make their jobs easier so that their client, the board, is satisfied. The optimal bidding process for everyone is the opportunity for a vendor to meet with the ultimate decision makers which are the board of directors. It is time consuming to hear from 3-5 vendors – and it’s challenging in a typical time slot of 10-15 minutes to cover a lot of ground – but that’s the vendors job – to demonstrate why they are the right choice. Having a strong positive reputation in your industry helps a lot – and that is earned on the basis of good quality work.
Can you explain the difference between a construction manager and HOA manager?
Community managers are not typically construction experts. A construction manager has the expertise to manage projects on a board’s behalf. Boards will lean on the construction manager to manage projects and make decisions. Construction managers are involved for about 10% of the total contract. They may have limited control and visibility, and they don’t provide a warranty on the quality of the workmanship of the vendor they’re supervising. The actual vendor doing the work has more “skin in the game” so the question becomes “do you trust your vendor?” The construction manager and HOA manager are both going to rely on the vendor, so this question is vital, especially as it is often difficult to determine accountability.
How does Antis address the challenge of the negative reputation of the roofing industry?
Every day, Antis simply does what is right so we can raise the reputation of the roofing industry. It is important to not compromise on the quality of work and to ensure we adhere to fair labor practices, so our prices will reflect that. We do not underbid to secure contracts. We don’t believe in compromising safety or quality of work for competition’s sake. How would a community manager or construction manager or board know that we are doing quality work and not being taken advantage of? We photo document everything that we do – before and after - so that our customers are informed and can visually see that work. It is evidence that we’re not cutting corners and that our value promise is met. We know that these practices make the community manager’s job easier because they are also informed. Community managers that handle a portfolio of 5- 7 communities – or more in some cases – are only conducting onsite inspections a few times a month (and certainly NOT on the roof). The construction manager is on site more often than that – but still not inspecting every piece of work. Our approach builds a reputation of trust and a vendor they can count on that warranties their work.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I started working at Antis10 years ago when I just needed a summer job and I’ve been here ever since. I literally grew up “on the job”. I figured out early on that I love talking about the business side of the company. In fact, I changed my major at BYU Idaho to construction management and would work 6 months at Antis and study for 6 months, until I graduated. I’ve worked in every department at Antis over the past 10 years. When a sales position came up, Charles thought I would be right for the job and helped me to take the role on. I rose through the ranks and became the Director of Sales and built a great sales team from the ground up.
I am also an Account Manager with my own territory which keeps me engaged with the community managers, doing job walks, reviewing requests for proposals and talking out prospective projects. It is important to me to stay close and connected; literally “boots on the ground.” As the Director of Sales, I am planning strategic growth, onboarding new sales team members and scaling the sales team to grow into new markets. I can also be found dressed in ridiculous costumes at industry trade shows! “Aaron the Elf” is legendary to the community managers during the holidays and may be resurrected in the future. I also serve as an educator in the industry. This year, I recognized how boring a “lunch and learn” presentation on roofing could be, so I invented a game show approach with awesome prizes that has received rave reviews! Book yours now for 2018 – the calendar is filling up!