Steps to a Successful Amenity & Ancillary Service Program
Part 1: Getting a Handle on Your Agreements
In order to stay competitive in today’s marketplace many property owners/managers are looking to amenities and ancillary services as a fundamental piece of their overall management strategy. Those companies that do not have the resources to dedicate to ancillary services are being left behind when it comes to protecting their assets, and they are missing out on valuable opportunities to improve their bottom line.
Unfortunately, many companies that are making an effort do not realize that negotiating contracts is only half the battle to an efficiently run ancillary services program. In truth, negotiating contracts is only one step in the ancillary services management cycle and, just like an iceberg, the bulk of the work required to create a successfully managed ancillary services program is what goes unseen, below the surface.
There are steps to be taken to ensure a successful amenity and ancillary program. The first step is getting a handle on your agreements.
Start by creating a spreadsheet or “matrix”. The matrix should include, at a minimum, all your communities, current and potential services at each community, providers name, contract expiration dates, and services offered. If a property has no need for a product or service (such as laundry rooms) then notate it on the matrix.
This matrix will enable you to identify what services are missing at each property, which companies you are currently doing business with, and when the existing agreements expire; In other words – where your opportunities exist! While simple in concept, developing and updating this type of report is tedious and time consuming and with too many demands and not enough time, or staff, many companies plan on doing this but never get around to it.
In addition, it is critical to identify WHO will be responsible for coordinating this information. While you can have various people involved during the negotiation and execution of your contracts, and maybe others who will capture data and/or prepare reports, it is critical that one person have the responsibility to oversee all of the different aspects of tracking these types of agreements. Otherwise, you will probably overlook a number of opportunities.