Property maintenance of common areas is a primary responsibility of any HOA. Tree trimming, mulching, pruning, managing shrubs, keeping walkways clear, watering plants, and more all create a beautiful landscape. Of course, all that care comes with a hefty price tag. Landscape service consumes a big chunk of the HOA budget, yet many HOA’s do not take the time necessary to vet a landscape contractor before they sign on the dotted line.
The right landscaping company can offer a wide range of services from simple lawn care like mowing and lawn maintenance to landscape architect services to landscape installation and complete landscape solutions. Choosing the right landscaper is vital to managing landscaping maintenance, keeping property value up, and ensuring your organization gets the ROI you deserve.
You may wonder how it is that such an important activity is left up to chance. Why are many HOA’s hiring landscaping companies without even holding an interview?
The Time Factor
In the interest of saving time, typically HOA’s that are preparing for hiring for landscaping for HOA needs will put out a request for quotes, then hire based on the lowest price. Once the contract is signed, the HOA members assume that part of their property maintenance concerns are going to be met.
Unfortunately, the push to meet time restrictions often means that a vital part of the process is being skipped. The vetting process that ensures the best HOA landscaping vendor is getting the contract. If your HOA has Slatter Management Services as a partner the critical vetting process is done for you.
Interviewing HOA Landscaping Vendors
Interviewing a professional landscaping company and checking out reviews can be time consuming but it will ensure that you get the value that you deserve for your HOA. A beautiful landscape is worth the added effort of taking the time necessary to vet a landscaping service.
There is a difference between a lawn service and a comprehensive commercial landscaping company. Some companies have the equipment to mow the grass, edging grassy areas and blow around some leaves off the walkways but they are not landscaping experts nor can they offer the added value services that are required for complete exterior property maintenance. These types of landscaping companies fall short when it comes to truly managing activities like making suggestions for improvements, hardscaping options, managing ornamental landscaping, and more.
If your HOA wants the worry free results from a true partner in landscaping maintenance, then holding interviews with landscaping companies is critical.
What Should You Ask The Commercial Landscape Contractor?
Before you ever get started on the interview phase be sure that you are dealing with a landscape service that specializes in commercial landscaping. Residential landscaping companies typically are a great option for a homeowner, but cannot manage large commercial landscape projects.
Here are a few talking points for your interviews:
- What specific services does the company offer? Often an inexperienced landscaping company will be vague about their services. Asking pointed questions may be necessary. For example:
- Do they manage shrubs?
- Do they provide mulch care and replenishment?
- Can they install irrigation systems and manage those?
- Can they manage drainage problem areas?
- What added value services are offered? Added value service can help to get your HOA the best value when hiring landscaping for HOA needs. For example, having a landscape management company that also provides snow removal services, and sprinkler maintenance can be a win that helps keep costs down.
- Do employees of the company have to go through a background check? It is important that anyone that is on property can be trusted. Landscaping services that can manage everything from fertilization of grassy areas to water features is a great option but NOT if their employees are not vetted. You also will want to ask about whether they are insured or not.
- How often are the services provided under the contract? Can the company provide on demand services outside of the contract at a reasonable price? It is nice to have one vendor that can deliver complete landscaping services.
Reading testimonials on a website is not always the best way to get information about a landscape company. Ask the landscaping company if they can provide referrals, then follow up and call those referrals. Finding the reputable, dependable, courteous landscaping solutions that keep property owners happy takes time and work but the results are well worth the effort.
Hiring a Property Management Partner
The best HOA landscaping vendor will be a true partner in enhancing HOA property. They will deliver all the landscape services you need to improve neighborhood curb appeal, make recommendations for landscaping design, and give your community that effortless manicured look that keeps property value up.
We can make sure that you get the partner that you need, and that will exceed expectations. Call us today to learn how we make property management for HOA’s easy.