When hiring a maintenance provider for your large property, there are many things you should look at to ensure that the vendor you choose is not only reputable but also capable of handling a campus as large as yours. You wouldn’t want to hire a landscaper who does residential landscapes to maintain your business’ property; you need a company with a large enough crew and professional equipment who understands the many needs of a large campus. To find the right provider, you have to ask a lot of questions.
Are you fully bonded and insured?
Any legitimate commercial landscaper will be. They should have up-to-date Workers’ Compensation Insurance, at least $1,000,000 of general liability insurance with an added umbrella policy, and their trucks and equipment must be insured. This kind of work does have its risks and you need to make sure your company is protected against any liability.
How many employees are on each crew and how many crews do you have?
Do they have 12 four-person crews or just two guys in a truck? You need to know that they have enough manpower to complete the work regularly on your property and that they’ll be able to devote the time to maintaining your large landscape to keep it neat and attractive.
Will I have my own account manager? How big is your office staff?
Having your own engaged, dedicated account manager will provide you with the personal attention a large property needs and will give you a direct line of communication if there are any issues with the work or if an emergency arises, such as fallen trees or unexpected damage. A large office staff ensures that your needs will not be overlooked and is a good indicator that the company is professional.
Do you have specialists on staff?
Anyone can mow grass, but a horticulturist will know which plants will grow best in the conditions in your property and will have the knowledge to take care of your trees properly. They will also be able to identify diseases and any issues with your plants. A landscape contractor that works with large commercial properties should not only have a horticulturist on staff but also a certified applicator, full-service irrigation department, landscape designers, and other well-trained staff. A full-service landscape company is best and will save you time and effort. Some landscape companies contract out some of these jobs, and if they do, you would need to get their information and check their reputations as well.
Which other large properties do you maintain?
Reputation is a key factor in choosing a landscape and maintenance company. While looking up reviews online can be of interest, they should be taken with a grain of salt. More people tend to take to the internet to complain rather than praise so there could be a disproportionate number of complaints instead of a true representation of their reputation. If you see complaints, see if there was a response from the landscaper. A professional will try to find out what went wrong and make it right.
The best way to check the reputation of a commercial landscape company is to ask people you know who have similar properties which landscape companies they use and what they think of them. A reputable landscaper will be happy to provide you with a list of satisfied customers and you should call them, but you should also take the time to look at those properties. A quick tour of the landscapes’ conditions should tell you a lot about the professional who maintains them.
What kind of equipment do you use?
To keep up with the maintenance of a large property, all equipment needs to be professional-grade, including ride-on mowers with an extra-wide mowing path and large trucks for hauling mulch and all of the equipment needed to work on your property. Look for a forward-thinking company. Their investment in the latest landscaping technologies can only benefit you as they newer technologies usually save time and energy costs, and it means they care about the future of their company.
What is your action plan for regular maintenance of my property?
A legitimate commercial landscape company will work with you to find out your needs and your budget and come up with a plan to maintain your property’s professional look. Is it reasonable that they will be able to maintain your property with the number of staff and the quality of their equipment? Make sure the quote includes a detailed description of the services you expect of them as well as a timetable that includes how often they mow, fertilize, apply weed and pest control, payment terms and guarantees on their work. Remember that quality work costs money and your budget should be reasonable. Landscape and maintenance companies have to pay their employees, pay for up-to-date equipment, and keep up with rising costs of fertilizers, chemicals, gas and propane.
Never hire a company solely based on their price. Generally, you get what you pay for, and if the price is too low, it means you’ll be getting a landscaper that doesn’t respond when you need them or does a hasty or shoddy job. A legitimate landscape contractor will offer a fair price for a complete and thorough job and be confident in their work, and they should also be eager to earn your business. If they are unresponsive or slow to respond during this part of the process, they’re likely to not be responsive to your needs once you’ve hired them.
By asking the right questions of your potential landscape company and doing your homework on them and their work, you’ll be able to find the right company for the job and save yourself the hassle of going through the process all over again in the future.
Do it right the first time and call Bluegrass Landscape and Maintenance today. We have the staff, the equipment, and the knowledge to handle even the biggest properties. Call us today at (314)770-2828 and let one of our account managers know what we can do for you.