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How Low Can You Go? Vendors, Contracts Affected by Downturn

Bad economic news is pretty much inescapable these days. You can’t turn on the TV without hearing about another round of layoffs or shaky consumer confidence. The stock market is unstable, retirement funds are shedding value, the housing market has slipped into reverse and uncertainty is hanging in the air.

Given all that, it’s no surprise that community associations throughout New England are taking a new look at the way they do business – and so are the service providers and vendors with whom they work. The signs of changingtimes have been on the horizon for months now and seem to be growing more prevalent and pervasive.

Signs of Change

Walt Williamsen, owner of Condominium Consulting Services in Torrington, Connecticut, says he is hearing about established vendors being vastly underbid on contracts by industry newcomers.

“I hear they’re losing good size accounts by substantial amounts to newbies, especially in landscaping,” says Williamsen.

Williamsen says that many boards in the past would have passed on newcomerswith lowball deals, but now “the boards are biting on it.”

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