On its way to becoming a large and successful management company, United Property Associates always strived to do whatever it could to protect itself and the communities it manages from the unforeseen. UPA’s President and second-generation owner, Debra Young, learned early how easily things can go wrong on a property at any given moment.
“United Property Associates has had its share of accidents but there are not many times where there have been major problems because of our quest to protect ourselves,” said Debra.
Prior to partnering with VIVE, UPA devised and implemented a vendor compliance program (VCP) with the help of their insurance expert, and it has been successful in protecting UPA and its clients from facing liability when an accident occurs due to a vendor’s negligence or oversight.
“Fortunately, because of the documentation and vetting we require,” said Young, “we have avoided very costly lawsuits.”
A recent accident reinforced the importance of a good VCP, when a painter who fell and injured himself during construction ended up suing the property, UPA and the contractor. While it took more than 10 months and some expense, UPA’s risk management policies resulted in the company being dismissed as a party to the potentially $3 million lawsuit.
Implementing a policy this good is resource-intensive, however, and Young decided in 2021 to seek out a partnership with VIVE so she could better utilize her internal resources while enhancing her company’s vendor management efforts, all at no cost to UPA.
“We chose to move vendor compliance to VIVE to ensure consistent compliance amongst similar vendors, speed up the review process, and remove the tasks from our employees involved in the process,” said Young. “VIVE’s system allows the managers to have real-time information and not rely on an electronic version of a ‘vendor book’ that was only updated once a year. My hope is that payments will be processed in a timelier manner and the service we provide to vendors will be in line with our expectations. VIVE’s software integration is also helpful.”