A Tell-All on the Costs of Telecom
The cost of everything continues to rise here in Canada, wreaking havoc on condo budgets and reserve funds from coast to coast. If your condo corporation has started to turn a frugal eye toward any and every opportunity to cut costs, know that you’re not alone. Cuts have been the name of the game lately in just about any industry you can care to name – but just because you’re looking to save some money doesn’t necessarily mean you need to slice into services or amenities to do so!
That’s where folks like Mickey Pendergast come in. Pendergast works as a Cost Reduction Expert at Schooley Mitchell. He identifies opportunities that help save businesses (and condo corporations!) money without compromising quality or service.
Three Telecom Cost-Cutting Tips Worth Phoning Home About
1. Find and Dust Off That Old Contract
The first thing you’ll want to do when it comes to saving money on telecommunication expenses is to educate yourself. Knowledge is power, after all – which goes double when negotiating with telecom companies for a lower rate!
“Telecom isn’t quite as big an expense category as utilities or waste handling,” Pendergast explained during our conversation on the subject, “but there are opportunities to save there, for sure.”
While most townhome-style condo communities won’t have a telecom system or payments to worry about, condo units in a high-rise configuration almost certainly will – as Pendergast went on to detail.
“There’ll be a phone in the elevator (it’s a legal requirement to have a landline in there), there could be property-based internet connection for the front desk or security, and there may be a phone-based intercom system. The building may also be supplying cellphones for onsite staff, which is another contract to keep in mind.”
Once you’ve got a round-up of all the different telecom systems and contracts to keep in mind, it’s time to pick up the phone and make a call – directly to the telecom company.
2. You Won’t Know Unless You Ask
Here’s the funny thing about telecom these past few years: while everything else has been going up in cost, enterprise telecom services have been trending in the opposite direction. Hard to believe, right? It caught us off-guard, but Pendergast confirmed this is indeed the case.
“Pricing has been super-competitive in the telecom world in general, and costs have come down across the board,” he told us, which led directly into his next piece of cost-cutting advice: to simply give your provider a quick ring and ask to pay less.
Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Well, in this case, it actually (usually!) isn’t.
“If your building is ten or even fifteen years old and you haven’t reviewed your telecom contract, chances are your condo corporation is probably paying way more than they have to,” Pendergast elaborated. “All you need to do is take a second to review your contracts and see if what you’re paying makes sense. You don’t necessarily have to switch providers to get a good price when it comes to telecom – just get a hold of your current provider and let them know you think they can do better, and they often can. There’s almost always room for them to offer you a lower pricing option – they just hope you keep paying the bill and don’t think to ask about it.”
3. Check Your Savings – And Then Check Them Again
It is as simple as just taking a minute to pick up the phone regarding telecom contract cost reduction. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll want to let your guard down completely. After all, that false sense of security allowed your telecom provider to get away with getting more in the first place – and while your contract terms might have changed, the overarching system certainly didn’t.
“Keep an eye out for autorenewal clauses first and foremost,” Pendergast cautioned. “Like in waste management, some providers will use these to lock you in for another term, hoping you just miss or forget that short opt-out period.
“Beyond that, you’ll still want to review those contracts regularly because of that cost reduction you just called your provider about, for example? But, quite often, it’ll just go back up before long because you were paying a six-month or twelve-month promo price. So the best advice I’ve got is to keep an eye on what’s happening and where things are. A condo corporation is a business, after all – and like any business, the smart move is to keep on top of your costs, identify any spikes or increases that might occur, and deal with them as they happen.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
A big thanks goes to Mickey Pendergast for taking the time to chat about cost-reduction strategies with us again – we couldn’t appreciate it more, Mickey!
Are you keen to learn more about saving your condo corporation some cold, hard cash? We’ve got a few tricks here at Catalyst Condo Management – give us a call today to learn more!