All commercial landscape contracts are not created equal. A landscape maintenance contract might be priced based on your property size (square footage), while another pricing services based on frequency. One service agreement might include seasonal color and mulch, while another lists these as a la carte services. That makes comparing lawn and landscape providers challenging for many property managers, and we get it.
Comparing apples to oranges can result in buyer’s remorse.
It’s always a good time to review your commercial landscape maintenance contract. We encourage clients to meet with us for a site walkthrough to identify areas that need improvement or enhancements they want to plan for future budgeting. We understand that your needs change, so we like to communicate with property managers constantly. We want to ensure you get the most value from their service.
If you are working with a lawn care provider that is falling short, you should most definitely review the contract and seek out bids. Are you in that position? Here is what to look for in a commercial landscape maintenance contract for your HOA, retail center, corporate park or place of business, so you get what you deserve.
Who’s Managing Your Account?
The results you get from a landscape maintenance provider depend entirely on the team delivering your service. Many providers do not include information like this in a contract, but you should ask whether a dedicated crew will mow and care for your property. This is important because this team gets to know the ins and outs of your property, and you’ll develop a relationship with the crewmembers. The labor market is tough – but frequent employee turnover is a red flag. A professional company that offers training, benefits and career opportunities keeps its people. And those valuable crewmembers will become an extension of your maintenance team.
Because a commercial landscape crew will be on your property frequently, you want to feel comfortable with the way they present themselves as professionals, the training they receive, and how they respond to your questions and requests.
Additionally, find out who will manage the account. Who is the quarterback you can call, and how will you communicate (text, phone, email, all of the above)? Communication is the key to a successful, long-term relationship with any vendor.
Nail Down the Scope
What commercial landscape services do you expect, and how often? Some companies will offer a cookie-cutter lawn care program. Others will customize a landscape maintenance package that is tailored to your needs. The choice is yours. But go into the bidding process with a clear idea of what results you expect.
- How often do you want your property to be mowed? And specifically, do you want clippings to be collected and does the contract include edging and blowing?
- What about landscape bed maintenance and lawn care like fertilizer, weed and disease control?
- If you see services like “clean up,” ask what that includes.
- For lawn care, find out how many applications are rolled into the annual service and ask about costs for aeration and overseeding. These are usually add-ons.
- If your contract will include enhancements like seasonal color or holiday decor, be sure the timelines and materials are specified, along with pricing.
Details, details, details…
If a service, scope or frequency is not spelled out clearly in the contract, don’t expect it to happen. Be wary of thin service agreements that lack essential elements like property size. Take every service your commercial property requires and ask about:
- Timeframe or frequency
- How the service is delivered
- Whether it is an add-on or included in your agreement
- What materials will be used – and how will the contractor handle supply delays or substitutes
- Who will perform the service
Capabilities – What If Your Landscape Maintenance Requirements Change?
During the bidding process, you might not be planning for a design/installation project like a seating area for your retail center or an updated entrance for your office park. But is the provider you’re considering capable of delivering if your needs change and you decide to pursue a project? Or will you have to seek yet another vendor?
When you work with a full-service commercial landscape firm with dedicated design/build, pool construction, lawn care, irrigation, holiday decor and maintenance teams, you already have the relationship and trust, so adding on projects that will improve your site is a seamless process.
It’s one thing to hire a landscaper that can mow and service your needs today – and another to partner with a professional landscape firm that can grow with you.
Request a Free Consultation and Site Visit
You can compare proposals while you review your landscape maintenance contract. Still, you’ll feel whether service will be delivered to your expectations when the professional meets you in person and walks your property.
At Neave Outdoor Solutions, we take the time to personally audit your site, discuss your vision and identify areas that could be improved. We listen and provide the best commercial landscape management services. And this is the foundation of a successful partnership.
We look forward to getting to know your property. If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800; from New Jersey, dial (201) 591-4570. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.