10 HOA Commercial Landscaping Tips
Making Life Easier for Board Members and Property Managers
Homeowner association board members and property managers face multiple challenges when trying to oversee commercial landscaping projects and property maintenance. Ultimately you have the responsibility for retaining the value of the HOA’s property, sourcing for and managing vendors, keeping costs in line with the budget, and keeping your homeowners/clients happy.
Yours is not an easy job. BrightView has 10 recommendations that will make your life easier.
Find a commercial landscaping partner that can streamline processes and contracts by bundling multiple services into one service provider. This will significantly reduce your time with less paperwork, fewer contracts to negotiate and manage, fewer invoices to process, and fewer vendors to manage.
Here are the most important commercial landscape services to consider bundling:
- Landscape Design
- Shrub and Plant Care Management
- Seasonal Color Management
- Water Management
- Tree Care
- Snow Removal
- Parking Lot Maintenance
2. Local Knowledge
The better your team understands the nuances of your property the more beauty they can draw from it. Partner with an organization that employs local teams as they will have a better understanding of local weather conditions and the horticultural environment.
Your landscaping partner should advise on local trends/developments such as material shortages, diseases/insect issues, local ordinances as well as opportunities for operational savings and landscaping enhancements that drive property values.
3. Consistent Management and Employee Development
Commercial landscaping relies on the quality of the supervision & crews dispatched to clients and properties. In an inherently transient industry, the quality of service is dependent on hiring and employee development practices.
Effective employee development processes minimize crew turnover and reduce the time to train new personnel, resulting in fewer resident complaints due to inconsistencies.
At BrightView Landscape Services our employees have the ability to build professional careers through the BrightPath Landscape Development Program. Participants receive training and coaching with recognition and rewards for new skills learned. This helps us retain quality employees.
4. Use Qualified Experts to Reduce Risk
Partner with a commercial landscape team who has qualified experts with the appropriate training and experience for the services you need to be performed. The lack of experience or training could cost you significantly in the destruction of property or the loss of plantings and trees (one of your most expensive and valuable assets).
When choosing a partner check for credentials and experience in the following areas:
- Certified Arborists
- Pesticide specialists for plantings, trees, and ground cover
- Certified Irrigation Technicians
- Certified Snow Professionals
5. Get the Job Done Right First Time
Stop the frustration! With the job done right first, you can focus on the other thousand tasks demanding your attention. When choosing a commercial landscaping partner consider the following:
- Ensure employees are well trained and have necessary certifications
- Review safety procedures and standards
- Conduct a joint assessment of the property to develop quality and performance benchmarks
Use the following BrightView standards as a benchmark:
Training and Certifications
Formal training and certification through the BrightPath Landscape Development Program
Well-documented environment, health, and safety (EH&S) protocols. Our best-in-class Safety Management System is committed to continuous improvement and has resulted in injuries below the national average.
Quality and Performance
BrightView performs a Quality Site Assessment to capture your objectives and measure our success against your standards.
BrightView is relentless in its pursuit of excellence. Our team members participate in quality standards and continuous improvement training to ensure the service you receive is impeccable and efficient. Our service teams regularly check your property to ensure work is being done properly and proactively identify issues that may need to be resolved.
BrightView’s proprietary 7 Standards of Excellence promote best practices and standards that enable us to develop cohesive and consistent strategies for your HOA:
1. Site Cleanliness
2. Weed Free
3. Green Turf
4. Crisp-Edge Beds
5. Spectacular Flowers
6. Uniformly Mulched Beds
7. Neatly Pruned Trees & Shrubs
6. New Client Onboarding – 30, 60, 90-Day Plans
Successful partnerships start with transparency and a seamless transition. Having a well-documented plan will ensure everyone involved understands the scope of work, the timeline for completion, and the cadence of meetings and progress checks.
The 30, 60, and 90-day plans, should include:
- A clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of the HOA team and the commercial landscape team
- Outline who is expected to participate in progress checks and meetings
- An assessment of the property. BrightView performs a Quality Site Assessment
- Establish trackable plans with clearly defined goals and measurements of success
- Schedule progress checks. We recommend once a month minimally
7. Simplify Communications
The #1 reason HOA board members and property managers aren’t happy with their landscape maintenance team is the lack of communication. As far as your homeowners and residents are concerned, it is your responsibility to know what is going on with the property at all times. And, if there is a problem, how and when will it be resolved.
Your landscape maintenance team should keep you abreast of the happenings of your property without you having to walk it yourself — this is precious time you can use to complete other tasks. While scheduled meetings should occur monthly, issues or changes to the property, or time-sensitive matters should be communicated immediately.
A primary point of contact oversees your BrightView Landscape Services team, a dedicated Account Manager. They are responsible for ensuring your Customer Service Team is compliant in executing the services outlined in your contract to the high-quality levels we demand.
Your BrightView Customer Service Teams consist of:
- Account Manager (client liaison)
- Production Manager (manages the crew - training, safety, necessary equipment/supplies),
- Crew Leader (on-site manager)
- Crew members
8. Reduce Costs
We understand the pressures to keep costs under control, especially in economically challenging times. And while the easy answer might look to be cutting services that could cost you in the long run. Overgrown and unmaintained properties can cost upwards of 20-40% over regular maintenance costs to bring them back.
You can protect your HOAs investment by:
- Choosing a partner with local and national resources
- Reduce risk and liability by hiring qualified experts
- Implement sustainable practices to reduce waste and increase water efficiency
- Utilize natural resources
- Choose plant selections specifically for your environment to prolong the beauty of your commercial landscape
9. Storm Management
Storms are unpredictable but your response doesn’t need to be. Choose a landscaping partner that will monitor the progression of snow, hurricane, tornado, hail, and rain storms and update you on the plan for remedial action. A storm response should include a property assessment with recommendations for any property damage or required clean-up.
BrightView Landscape Services has a landscaping crew of over 20,000. We have the ability to reassign resources after major storms – including across state lines. Mother Nature brought a white Christmas to Washington state in 2021 and along with the snow came the logistical nightmares. Read the full story on how BrightView volunteers from CA and OH came to the rescue.
10. Understand Commercial Landscape Regulations
There are local and national regulations that impact the landscaping industry. Look for a landscaping partner who knows what they are and when they are changing.
Some of the legislations BrightView Landscape Services monitors both nationally and locally are:
- Water restrictions
- Chemical usages
- Fleet equipment
- H2B legislation (government visa programs)
Summary of BrightView’s Tips to Ease Commercial Landscaping Management
BrightView understands the complexities of Homeowner Associations and the intricacies it takes to manage them. We pride ourselves in partnering with you to make your life easier. Our goal is to reduce your workload and your stress by providing you with:
- Comprehensive contracts for all of your services
- Best-in-class service teams with local knowledge and expertise
- Certified experts for your more complex services
- Clearly identified goals measured against our 7 Standards of Excellence
- Proactively communicating opportunities to reduce costs, issues when they arise (and how to fix them before they become a problem), pending storms, and regulations (both national and local) that affect your community
About BrightView Landscaping Services
Property management means balancing the visual appeal of your property against the cost of sustaining and protecting your investment. Our partnership ensures your landscape needs are covered from landscape maintenance, fertilization, water management, weed and pest management, tree care, snow removal, storm preparedness, and response.
BrightView partnerships have provided high-quality, cost-effective, and consistent commercial landscape services since 1939.
Let us help make your life easier, reduce costs, and keep your residents happy.