As a member of a community run by a homeowners association, you pay to live in a well-kept space. Sometimes, the community landscaper isn’t able to maintain the standard of beauty your community deserves, at which point in time, your HOA will need to find a new landscaper. Other times, it’s not a landscaper issue so much as it’s a homeowner issue that can be prevented with the right weather-based lawn care, particularly in the fall season.
Either of these situations might appear distressing at first, but they actually provide opportunities to make your community’s beautification simplified and efficient, to the benefit of your community members and HOA.
Shopping for a New Community Landscaper
If you’re considering investing your community association’s hard-earned money into revitalizing the outdoor landscape of your HOA, keep in mind that not all landscaping companies are created equal. All too often, HOA board members and management companies simply choose the first company they come across, and then end up disappointed when the company they hired either can’t deliver on their promises or is troublesome to deal with.
It’s important to remember that most HOAs devote a large portion of their investments to landscaping; it’s one of the largest line items in the budget. Take time to review the main features your community needs and make a complete, comprehensive list of items you will require your landscaping company to do. We also suggest you always solicit no less than three quotes. Below, you’ll find points for your homeowners associations to consider when selecting a landscaping company.
Choose a landscaping company with extensive experience.
Chances are that the longer a landscaping company has been in business, the more dependable and capable they will be. Experience means a great deal when it comes to landscaping. Companies withstand the test of time as a result of acquiring and maintaining a dedicated and satisfied customer base. If their services didn’t make the cut, they would not have lasted long against the competition. Each situation is unique, but a landscaping company that has only had its doors open for a year or so is a higher risk, because they have not established a proven history of reliability and quality.
Another factor for your HOA to consider in relation to a company’s experience is the cost of their services. Less experienced (or less capable) landscapers will often charge less, but as with most things, you truly get what you pay for.
Go Big or Go Home
You also want to find a company that provides more than basic maintenance. Many landscaping companies advertise that they offer full service, but do little more than standard lawn maintenance. If your HOA plans on investing a substantial amount in the beautification of your landscape as a whole, choose a company that delivers on all fronts, from irrigation and lawn care, to lighting, hardscapes, waterscapes, and anything in between.
You’ll also need to find a company that fulfills all your requirements. Not only is it much simpler to work with a business who can provide all of the services that you require for the job, but it just might make your HOA’s wallet benefit as well. Contracting separate jobs out to multiple companies can cost you tremendously, compared with a single provider who will roll everything into a cost-saving package deal. This can greatly reduce confusion down the road if you need work corrected.
Choose a Management Company that Actually Does the Work
A problem many boards encounter when hiring their landscaping company is a lack of progress on the projects they were hired to do. Even though the board may be paying upwards of $20,000.00 a year for services, trees can go unkempt, grass un-mowed, and the community can fall into general disarray; this is something that must be avoided. Research testimonials on the company you are considering hiring, so you can be 100% sure that the company you hire will do the work you need. On top of that, make certain that your HOA management company is constantly keeping tabs on the progress they make on the projects you assign. If you do both these things, you’ll have a much better chance of not getting burned, when all is said and done.
Credentials, Credentials, Credentials
On that note, remember that credentials do make a difference. Practically anyone can start their own landscaping business, but many of them will not be able to furnish credentials upon request. Licenses and certifications are key indicators that the company is not only established, but is conscious about the need for proficiency and a continuing pursuit for excellence. A company that places value on the need for current certifications and licenses will ensure that personnel are both qualified and well-trained in their field, and work done for clients will be performed to exacting standards, with the most current methods.
Of course, there may be several other factors to consider, but if you follow these guidelines, you are more likely to find a professional landscaping company that will meet or exceed your expectations, and produce work that would make any HOA community proud.
The Key to Quality Community Upkeep
Keeping your community beautiful is no easy task, but choosing the right landscaper for your HOA, as well as performing general maintenance on your own yard, can make the process less stressful and more successful. Consult with your HOA management company or landscaping professional for more tips on fall lawn care!