7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Landscape Provider
Here are a Few Secrets About Landscapers
When choosing a landscape partner, there is more to know than whether or not they can mow your lawn. From plant health to safety best practices, what your landscape partner does (or does not do) ultimately impacts you. That’s why we’ve created this guide based on feedback from our property, facility and portfolio manager clients to take the guesswork out of selecting a landscape partner. Their insights revealed seven key considerations for a successful landscape services partnership. Here’s what to look for in your search.
1. Uncompromising Safety
Your landscaper should have a safety program that ensures every person working on your property has been properly vetted, trained in horticultural best practices and equipment operation, and is wearing proper PPE. Do not be afraid to ask a potential landscape partner what their safety rating is. And safety goes further than making sure the landscape team does not get hurt. A good partner will ensure the safety of every person who steps foot on your property. Is your landscape partner protecting people & property?
2. Steadfast Sustainability
Your landscaper should be taking steps to protect the environment. Things like zero-emission mowers, waste reduction programs, and water saving initiatives have a positive impact on the world in which we live. Landscape providers should not be waiting for someone else to take the lead. They should be making positive changes now.
3. Unwavering Support
Does your landscape team have a dedicated customer service team available 24/7? In the event of an emergency, it is important to know what resources are available to keep your service without interruption. In today’s environment of labor challenges and equipment shortages, it is important that your landscape team is fully transparent about what they will do in the event people or equipment are not available.
For example, here at BrightView, our Customer Service Hotline is available around the clock, so there’s always someone to assist you, even after hours. Plus, in the event of a natural disaster or severe weather that threatens your ability to continue normal operations, we leverage our national footprint to bring in additional resources and manpower to get you back to business sooner.
4. Trustworthy Budgeting
Creating and sticking to a budget is important in all aspects of your business. With the right landscape partner, the budget cycle can be a breeze. The right partner can maximize savings without compromising curb appeal by reducing water use, recycling green waste, and converting unnecessary turf areas to sustainable shrubs and groundcover. They should be able to map out your needs and wish list items into a customized budget estimate with plans for one, two and three-year goals to help you allot funds accordingly and bring your objectives within reach.
5. Reliable Communication
You should not feel like you are in the dark when it comes to what is happening on your property. A strong partnership will give you a sense of confidence in the services you have entrusted them to perform. That means ensuring clear communication of expectations and how they will meet
or exceed them. It is not unreasonable to expect a dedicated point person, regular check-ins, and a clear communication plan. You deserve a landscape partner that is easy to work with and easy to talk to. It’s not unreasonable to expect the following planning exercises and touchpoints:
- Client Partnership Plan: This is an annual planning tool that outlines your priorities and budget.
- Strategic Planning Meeting: This is an opportunity to align on expectations and document a detailed statement of work designed to achieve the goals set forth in the partnership plan.
- New Client Onboarding: This is a plan that clearly defines goals and measurements for the first 30, 60, and 90 days of the relationship. It also identifies ongoing roles and responsibilities and scheduled progress checks.
- Quality Site Assessments (QSA): Conducted at regular intervals, the QSA sets forth time for you and your Account Manager to assess the state of your property together.
- Business Reviews: These quarterly reviews provide a formal process for evaluating how well your landscape partner met your documented expectations in the months prior.
6. Technology That Makes Your Life Easier
Tracking down your landscape partner, or important documents related to your landscape service, is one more thing you simply don’t need on your plate. Look for a landscape partner who has implemented thoughtful tools that make it easier to manage your landscape services.
At BrightView, we created our own private portal, BrightView Connect, to make it effortless for clients to stay in the loop, anytime, anywhere. Through BrightView Connect, clients are able to:
- Submit service requests
- Sign-up to receive notifications when services are complete
- View their regular maintenance schedule
- Receive useful news
- View their QSAs and proposals
- Reach out to their BrightView team
7. Quality People
Last, but certainly not least, is the people within the company’s employ– how they’re trained, how they’re cared for, and how teams are structured. For the best outcomes and the utmost safety, it’s critical to choose a partner who utilizes strict quality standards and continuous improvement training.
At BrightView, we don’t just train employees, we educate experts. We implemented the BrightPath Landscape Development Program as a career
development tool to give our employees an opportunity to advance their careers and cultivate the best teams for our clients. Our industry leading program not only promotes best practices in landscape management– like our proprietary 7 Standards of Excellence– but also sets a high bar for every property we serve.
Further, it’s important to work with a partner whose team structure ensures you’ll have year-round coverage, irrespective of vacations and time. On our teams, we employ a branch manager, an account manager, a production manager, and crew supervisor, so clients can feel confident their team will always have strong leadership and a clear point of contact year-round.
And finally, it’s good to know you’ve got experts who have your back. Always inquire about whether your landscape partner has on-staff specialists
like horticulturists and certified arborists, as access to this talent makes the difference in troubleshooting and preventing your toughest landscape issues in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible. Among our staff are:
- Certified Arborists
- Pesticide specialists for plantings, trees, and ground cover
- Certified Irrigation Technicians
- Certified Snow Professionals
- Dedicated Safety Professionals
The bottom line is this: a landscape partner should think strategically about the bigger picture for your property and have comprehensive capabilities that streamline your landscape services. They should do more than just “mow, blow and go”. A good partner for the long-term identifies potential risks and suggests ways to mitigate them; as well as opportunities to improve your property value by enhancing your outdoor environment. To put it simply, if your landscaper is not working hard to make you and your property look good, it might be time to shop around.
Great Service, Beautiful Landscapes
Benefit from a comprehensive landscape maintenance plan designed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations, all delivered by a team invested in your success.