A residential property manager’s guide.
A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that property managers use to solicit business proposals for a range of services, including janitorial.
Taking the time to develop an RFP offers a number of benefits, including:
- Evaluating your current procedures and protocols
- Documenting your expectations and needs
- Ensuring that you can do an apples-to-apples comparison of potential service providers
Identify Your Issues
The first – and best – place to start when developing your RFP is to identify your pain points so that bidding contractors can present solutions.
Some examples of business problems you might be trying to solve:
- Are your tenants’ demands around cleanliness increasing?
- Are you disatsified with your current cleaning company? Why?
- Are you facing budget cuts?
- Are you concerned your current provider is not properly trained and certified to meet the challenges of COVID-19?
- Are you struggling to interpret what the Center for Disease Centers’ recommendation for “enhanced cleaning and disinfecting” means for your building?
The next step in the RFP process is to document the facility specs that will help a potential cleaning company calculate bids. Relevant information includes:
- Size of the building
- Cleanable square footage, including room and floor types (i.e., leasing office, public restrooms, amenities, common areas, office, etc.)
- Building occupancy
- Any unique needs of the building or its occupants
- Frequency (number of times per day)
- Number of day porters (if known)
- Special requirements or services (i.e., recycling or changing light bulbs)
- Special cleaning products or equipment, such as green cleaning products and techniques
- Other project-based services (i.e., hard floor care, floor stripping and refinishing, carpet cleaning, pressure washing, window washing, etc.)
Require Verification of Best Practices
You’ll also want to understand what steps your potential contractor is taking to protect human health – including their own workers. Therefore, be sure to ask about:
- Specialized certifications
- COVID and PPE training and protocols
Other RFP Elements
Some other items to consider adding to your RFP:
- Overview of your company
- Submission deadline and requirements (i.e., submitted in writing or email)
- Dates and time ranges for site visits (if applicable)
- Work schedule (i.e., Monday – Friday, before, during or after work hours, etc.)
- Consumables (i.e., paper towels, toilet paper) and supplies (i.e., cleaning products) you will provide (if any)
- Industry standards or certifications required (i.e., OSHA or Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association)
- Preferred platforms for communication (i.e., email, phone, text, in-person, via an app)
- Payment preferences and schedule
- Evaluation criteria (i.e., qualifications, references, etc.)
- Contact information, including preferences (i.e., text messages vs. email)
Extend Site Visits
To ensure accurate quotes from your potential contractors, consider inviting them to visit your building to do a walk through. That way, they can take measurements, note areas that need special attention or pick up on items that might have been missed in the written RFP.
The bottom line is that, the more accurate information a potential service provider has, the better the resulting proposals – which means you have the information you need to select the best cleaning service for your building, your tenants and your cleaning goals.
To find out how WellNest can become your strategic cleanliness partner, book a free consultation or call 800-791-2878.