AVOID THESE 7 MISTAKES WHEN SELECTING AN HOA LANDSCAPE COMPANY
Selecting a new vendor for your HOA community can be a daunting task at times. In particular, establishing a new working relationship with an HOA landscape company represents a substantial investment – both in terms of time and cost – making it a crux decision.
With this in mind, there are several key factors to take into account when weighing whether an HOA landscape company is the best fit for you. To aid you in your quest, we have compiled a list of seven potential pit falls that are best avoided.
Read on for effective strategies to help you identify your ideal collaborator!
1) AVOID SELECTING AN HOA LANDSCAPE COMPANY STRICTLY ON COST
Most people can appreciate a fantastic bargain when shopping at a grocery outlet, however a service is a more complex purchase than a tangible off-the-shelf product.
Of course, cost is an important factor to weigh within the equation of choosing an HOA landscape company.
However, your goal should be hiring a company that provides outstanding quality – delivering value through expertise, rather than corner cutting.
It is vital to prioritize selecting a company that can deliver the best possible solutions for your HOA community.
Chasing the lowest price can serve as false economy, placing your landscape service needs in the hands of a contractor who may skimp to keep costs low on your property.
For example, your site may require a two-person crew for a whole day, once per week. However, some contractors may cut corners by shorting the hours to 6, instead of a full day.
By doing so, they will be able to offer you a 20% reduction in costs, but the result will be a lower standard of maintenance. Without due attention, tasks may accumulate, leading to escalating costs in the long run.
As with so many things in life, the best way to avoid disappointment is to recognize that outstanding quality is usually in proportion to cost.
In the case of an HOA landscape company, a service of genuine value is reflected by long term results, rather than short term savings.
2) AVOID UNLICENSED, UNBONDED, OR UNINSURED COMPANIES
Because we can never know what's around the corner, ensuring safeguards are in place is always a responsible course of action.
To protect your HOA and its tenants, it is advisable to always go with an HOA landscape company that is fully licensed, bonded, and insured – and confirm that each of these requirements is in good standing.
You can check your would-be contractor's license status with the California State License Board. Membership of the Better Business Bureau is also an excellent indicator, as all members are required to comply with, and provide proof of, these standards.
3) BE WARY OF A COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPE COMPANY WITHOUT CERTIFICATIONS
The core team of any well-versed HOA landscape company will be able to demonstrate a broad selection of professional certifications and more. Such training and certification require rigorous study, followed by written exams.
When you hire a company with certified and trained personnel, you can rest assured that your commercial landscape company will provide a professional and contemporary service that can be trusted.
Fundamentally, certified landscapers are best positioned to provide the wealth of experience, and cutting-edge strategies, that can provide exceptional results within your HOA's exterior spaces.
Due to the low entry level within the landscape profession, it is easy for anyone to get started with a leaf blower, a mower, and a pickup truck.
While an unskilled gardener may be able to meet basic standards within small residential gardens, they will lack the knowledge to develop and maintain the sustainable and high caliber green spaces with year-round appeal that an HOA community requires.
Statistically, many of these entry level companies are out of business after 1-3 years, leaving their clients back at square one.
In contrast, a professional and established commercial landscape management company will have the resilience to weather the highs and lows of economic recessions.
4) EXAMINE THE REPUTATION OF YOUR HOA LANDSCAPE COMPANY
Strong marketing material can create the façade of a high-quality commercial landscape company. However, it's always advisable to check under the hood before committing to a test drive!
How do you know if your commercial landscaper is worthy of trust in the development and care of your property?
Just as we seek reviews before going to a restaurant or buying a product online, any company can be assessed thanks to the internet! Researching comments and reviews of past performance and quality of work can help you build an accurate perception before initiating the hiring process.
Another way is to check their references, or talk directly with their clients and hear what they have to say.
5) PAY ATTENTION TO POOR COMMUNICATION, SLOW RESPONSE, AND ANY LACK OF FOLLOW THROUGH
During the request for proposal – or RFP – process, you have an opportunity to get a feel for the responsiveness and pro-activity of the company you are considering.
Pay close attention to their response time for RFP documents, how quickly they answer questions, return phone calls, and email back.
A well-equipped HOA landscape company should be able to respond to and meet your needs as they arise, and offer flexibility in doing so – whether for your initial meeting, or for an urgent maintenance issue in the future.
If you are having difficulties in communication and responses in the beginning, can you imagine what it will be like after they become your vendor?
6) DON'T UNDERVALUE CULTURE, PRINCIPLES, AND VALUES IN AN HOA LANDSCAPE COMPANY
When sourcing services for your HOA, hiring a company with a lower standard of principles and operating habits is a recipe for conflict.
In contrast, choosing a highly principled commercial landscape company that leads by example can serve to elevate your HOA community through the standards they strive towards. Great indicators to look out for include a company that gives back to their employees and their community.
Is sustainability practiced in their work place operations? Is their business an equal opportunity employer that is run with transparency, and in good ethical standing?
An HOA landscape company should have values and a culture that is harmonious and in alignment with your own company’s principles, ethics and culture.
7) AN ABSENCE OF EMPHASIS ON SAFETY TRAINING SHOULD SET OFF ALARMS
The landscape business is a tough job. Meticulous attention to detail is required to assure the safety of operators and the people around them.
We work with dangerous power equipment such as lawn mowers, chain saws, and machinery – each calling for regular training and an attitude of safety.
The crews are exposed to harsh weather conditions, with adequate hydration vital in the summer, while cold wet winters bring along their own safety challenges.
Therefore, safety training, and responsible use of safety equipment, are not optional. Hiring an HOA landscape company that places emphasis on safety training is the best way to achieve confidence for you, your contractors, and your residents.
For the well-being of your HOA community, a service company that protects is a worthy investment.
IN CONCLUSION, SELECT AND HIRE THE RIGHT HOA LANDSCAPE COMPANY FOR ULTIMATE SUCCESS
Your selection of the right commercial landscape company should be based upon a full and comprehensive assessment.
Indicators such as reputation, values, ethics, principles, and knowledge can guide you to the perfect long-term collaborator.
By expertly navigating the seven potential pitfalls above, you can make a well-informed and unbiased decision when it comes to selecting an ideal HOA landscape company.
Call 408.275.1200 to Learn More – or Alternatively, We’re Just a Click Away!
FloraTerra and its affiliates are based in San Jose, California. As a leading commercial landscape maintenance contractor in San Jose Ca.
We specialize in multi-family developments, since our origin, our company and its affiliates have installed and maintain some of the most prestigious communities throughout the Silicon Valley, Metro area.
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