What to Expect From Your Landscape Maintenance Contractor
The process of hiring a landscape maintenance contractor varies significantly depending on the property type, especially in the commercial arena. But, regardless of property type, there are a few things you should expect when contracting a commercial landscape company. We’ve outlined the process for you, to eliminate any guesswork and give you a well-rounded picture of what a successful, long-term partnership looks like between commercial properties and landscape providers.
- Property Assessment
Every new landscape opportunity begins with an assessment of the property to be serviced so that the provider has a clear understanding of the property’s size, landscape requirements, current conditions, and how much time will be necessary on-site by crews, in order to meet the property’s needs. This is usually accomplished with a thorough property walk, performed by the landscape company’s business development team.
- Professional Proposal
After the initial property walk-through, the business development team has a clear understanding of the landscape requirements and can then accurately estimate monthly landscape maintenance costs. This will be presented to you, the client, in a professional proposal that includes information about the company – including relevant certifications and client testimonials – water management and quality control programs, maintenance specifications, emergency service information, and service costs. Your business developer will answer any questions you have and work with you to ensure budget expectations are met.
- Turnover Walk
In most cases, if you’re hiring a new landscape contractor, you’re ending a relationship with another one. This situation may necessitate a property walk between all parties – client, current landscaper, and new landscaper – to discuss property needs, identify deficiencies, address client preferences, and identify irrigation controllers or components. This is also a great time for your new landscape company to introduce key team members dedicated to your property – account manager, production manager, foremen, etc.
- Comprehensive Landscape Management Plan
From the initial property assessment, turnover walk, and/or any other property evaluations performed, a detailed plan is developed that includes all relevant property information – from irrigation to trees, turf, slopes, etc. – unique characteristics, challenges, horticulture calendars, documented communications between departments, and punch lists (addressing concerns and/or requests) – prior to the start of service.
- First Day of Service
At this point in the process, you’ve likely agreed upon the terms of the new maintenance agreement and the property is ready for service. The crew assigned to your property will begin work, sometimes joined by a key manager to oversee the process – a production manager and/or account manager – who will then follow up with you in the weeks to follow, to ensure expectations are being met.
- Transition Period
With any new maintenance contract, there is a transition period. In the beginning phase, high priority items should be addressed, and crews and managers should spend time getting familiarized with the property. This can include property assessments and reports related to all areas of the property, that should be delivered to and communicated with to clients.
The next phase of new service centers around long-term planning, looking ahead to address future landscape needs, with detailed plans, enhancement recommendations, and/or renovation opportunities.
- Ongoing Quality Control & Innovation
An experienced, professional landscape company should have benchmarks in place to measure the quality of work provided to clients, throughout the duration of the partnership. To ensure your property is getting the attention it requires, managers perform regular quality checks – in addition to monthly landscape walks. Areas of concern, if any, should be addressed promptly and communicated to clients.
In addition to quality, innovation in commercial landscape (methods, products, equipment, etc.) is a fundamental characteristic you should look for in your landscape partner. Companies that strive to continuously improve their proficiencies should offer highly-trained, qualified crews and managers, and utilize the most efficient and effective products and equipment – keeping property costs related to landscaping down and adding value to your property.
If you are in need of quality commercial landscaping services, contact us today for a complimentary property assessment and maintenance proposal.