Selecting a partner to service the various needs of your community or property is a huge responsibility and could be LIFE YOUR DEATH. There are financial risks as well as the headaches that come from having to micromanage your service provider. In this brief article we want to help you by providing some “laws” of choosing a landscape company in particular (because duh, that’s who we are!). These can serve as guideposts as you go through the process of requesting bids, reviewing bids and choosing a new landscape company to service your property. Is it really life or death? Well have you ever read the book, “Death By Meeting”? It could be the difference between you enjoying your life, or simply wishing you could slip away to Bali and never think about it again… Or better yet, managing your landscapers FROM Bali… Now we’re talking.
Law # 1:
Thou shalt not… Make the final selection based on price alone. The “thou shalt not” might be a little extreme, but you should be suspicious of super cheap bid pricing. At LaBahn’s Landscaping our creed is ‘Excellent. Experience. Everytime’ because we want to provide our clients with an exceptional service experience from top to bottom. This means we have to train our team at every single level (competent) and we need to pay them well (confident). We want our service to your community to be the BEST, not the CHEAPEST and we think that’s what you want too (tell me I’m wrong!)
Ask about their company safety training! I know, seems obvious and not really your concern… But the culture of an organization is a true indicator of what your going to get when you work with them. Safety in the landscape maintenance world is HUGE! You’ll know a top notch company by the emphasis they place on safety and professionalism. The team who is going to show up at YOUR property from a top notch company will take pride in their work, they will speak and act professionally, and they take safety very seriously. This communicates to our team (and your property) that they are valued, cared for, and incredibly important which in turn creates an Excellent. Experience. Everytime.
Request the credentials and certifications. John Maxwell used to say, “everything rises and falls on leadership.” Who on the team is trained and educated in horticulture, water management, disease and pest control? Who is training the crew leaders and what are they being trained on? Certification and licenses are good indicator of a company that will provide an Excellent. Experience. Everytime.
Don’t hire a company that isn’t insured! This seems like a no brainer, but in many cases as an attempt to save money a smaller company that is not licensed, bonded, and/or insured will get hired. This just opens you up to all sorts of potential litigation and problems. It simply isn’t worth it. You can check up on your bidders by going to the California State License Board website and searching for the company. The licensed landscaping contractor is going to have a C-27 license. Just to make it easy on you, our license number is: 463488. Our corporate headquarters are located in the zip code 92020. And in case you are wondering, we are fully licensed, bonded, and insured. It’s part of the way we ensure we are providing an Excellent. Experience. Everytime.
Thou shalt understand the elements of your request for proposal (RFP). Getting 3 (or more) bids to review is time consuming, and in many cases confusing! The more specific (not complicated, specific) you can get your RFP, the more ‘apples to apples’ your proposals will be and the easier it is to make a decision. Some things to consider- ponder what kind of outcomes you are hoping to achieve by changing landscape companies. Do you want a performance-based, or an hours-based contract? Do you want to know an estimate for average prices like sprinkler repairs or annual color? Write it all down, and make it easy and specific so your landscaper can provide you an accurate proposal that is easy to follow.
Expect your landscape company to Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Does the landscape company work with you/your manager to communicate in the best way for YOUR community? Do they expect you to communicate the way they think is best? We recommend doing a walkthrough with your potential new service providers and assign some follow up tasks, see how each company does with following up with you. See what kind of suggestions each company points out while on that walk through and how do they incorporate that into their proposal for landscaping?
Can we help you in your search for a new commercial landscape maintenance provider? We view our relationship with our clients like family, we always believe the best, and work hard to always make it right! Contact us today to see if we might be a good fit for your commercial HOA, industrial complex, mall, medical facility, or apartments!