7 Tips & Tricks to Make RFPs Easy
If you are reading this, you may be looking to learn all about RFPs: Requests for Proposal.
Perhaps you’re a real estate manager who needs to find a good new landscaping company. Maybe you wish your real estate software had RFP capabilities so you’re wondering how to create an RFP yourself. Where would you find RFP templates to even start?
Well you came to the right place. We here at Synlio see a lot of RFPs from real estate companies far and wide. Some of them are clear, detailed, and provide the right kind of information to help the providers quickly write a great response to their request. Others, not so much.
We get it. Writing RFPs can be daunting, especially since you need to worry about your own business and don't have the time to spend all day researching other industries or trying to understand the intricate details and inner workings of those businesses. However, with the right guidance, you can quickly create an RFP that's useful and concise.
An RFP is the face of your company to potential collaborators so it’s important to compose it well. Good ones lead to good proposals, good proposals lead to better working relationships, which leads to better projects and outcomes. There's no need for a real estate manager to become an expert in other industries to write an RFP if it can establish clear goals, provide the right details, and solicit useful information from vendors.
Writing a clear and sufficient real estate RFP for services will allow vendors to competently gain a good understanding of your needs and give you a higher quality response (and greater accuracy on items affecting scope and budget). A properly planned approach will also help to significantly ease the overall vendor selection process and greatly improve your chance for the best possible outcome.
Here some shared best practices we have encountered:
Quick facts about your RFP - Include a short bulleted list of important points not to be missed. Information such as the type of project, project overview, and response deadline should be highlighted.
Background on your organization - Provide some brief information on your real estate management company, like an elevator pitch.
Your contact information - Designate one point of contact, that way communication with all vendor participants shall remain the same.
Schedule for this RFP process - Give vendors (and yourself) plenty of time to visit the property and review the work necessary to properly provide what you are asking. Be realistic and considerate.
Criteria for making your decision/ the Scope of Work - Define and communicate what is most important to you and your team in making a decision as this information will produce your comparative matrix at the end.
Basic summary of the project, including overarching goals and timeline - Sum up the overall project and the most important points, including overarching goals, drivers, key performance indicators, and timelines.
Detailed overview of the project/initiative - The more insight and relevant information you provide about details of your project, the better equipped the vendors will be to respond intelligently with solutions that are properly aligned with your RFP. In short, be as specific as possible outlining your exact specifications of service expectations or in case of products, how many, how big, etc. For example, if you need windows replaced in your building, tell the provider how many windows, over how many floors, the various window sizes and if they open, slide or crank or are mere fixed panels.
Through our experience at Synlio in creating real estate RFPs, we have found that those RFPs that clearly outlined specific details and asked pertinent questions returned the best proposals. That’s why the Synlio RFP Software program automates most of these for real estate managers so they don’t need to waste time on RFPs. Thus, selecting a vendor for a successful real estate project is now easier and more efficient.