What is an RFQ? What kind of information needs to be included in your RFQ? When should I use an RFQ? And most importantly, how can you create an irresistible RFQ that will generate the most responses? All of these questions and more will be answered in this ultimate guide to RFQs.
An RFQ is a Request for Quote, a document that is used by property managers and their clients as an effective way of comparing multiple vendors when needing a project completed.
When a property manager has a specific task that must be completed, they will compile a list of possible vendors and send out an RFQ. When sent out, all chosen vendors will have a set period of time to respond with their quotes on how much it would cost to fulfill the task at hand.
If you are working with a number of vendors that are all competing for your business, it can be helpful to request quotes from each one.
An RFQ is used when you need multiple quotes on a specific item or service, but doesn’t involve purchasing an entire lot or stock of items. You can think of an RFQ as comparable to asking for bids on a project.
There is no set length that your RFQ “should” be, however it is important to make it long enough that all the necessary information is included.
If your RFQ is too short and does not list all the aspects of the job you need completed, vendors are less likely to respond with a quote since they do not have enough information to make an accurate assessment of the task at hand, or they will mis-quote as the RFQ was not complete. Below is a great list of everything you should include in your RFQ.
It’s important that you include all information that is pertinent to the task at hand. It’s also important to make sure the RFQ is straight to the point and easy to follow. For example, start with a high-level overview of your company and what you are looking for. Make sure to include pictures or drawings of the area that needs work done, or a detailed description, so vendors can make an accurate assessment of the situation and provide a correct quote.
It’s also important to add your budget for the project, for both your internal reporting and so that vendors know how much you are willing to pay for their service. Make sure to list anything that might be specific and important for your business, such as whether or not you have a preference for environmentally conscious vendors or if there is anything special about materials needed.
When filling out all sections of an RFQ, be sure to include key contacts within your organization (especially if it is a large corporation) along with contact information in case someone needs more clarification on something in their quote.
How you present the information is also important, make sure you have multiple line items detailing the work you need done. This makes the RFQ as simple and easy to understand as possible, which will then lead to more responses since vendors will be confident in their understanding of the task at hand.
Lastly, give some sort of timeline for how quickly you would like an answer from each vendor who responds to your RFQ. Put an exact date on when they need to get back to you by—some quotes might take longer than others; some will be submitted quicker; you don’t want to discourage anyone from applying, but by getting RFQs out early they will have enough time to respond. Generally the rule of thumb is to give a minimum of 10 days for vendors to respond, this gives them adequate time to access the project and provide a quote.
Even with this guide at your disposal, creating, sending, and responding to RFQs can be an overwhelming and time consuming process. If you want to give yourself the best chance of success when dealing with RFQs, it’s best to use a property management software to help you through this process.
VendorPM allows property managers to create and send RFQs quickly and to the right people, and allows vendors to easily respond to you so that you get the best person for the job in the shortest time possible. If you would like to learn more about how VendorPM can help your business, visit us at vendorpm.com