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Are you considering hiring a commercial landscape maintenance company in the Houston area? If you have already done some research on potential companies, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with narrowing your selections down even further. How do you know which company is going to be the best fit for you?
After your initial research is completed, we suggest asking some specific questions about communication, quality, and processes to aid in your choice. You want a commercial landscape maintenance company that is not only going to do a wonderful job but will partner with you to improve your property long-term.
Let’s dive into seven questions to ask any commercial landscape maintenance company so you can feel confident in the choice you make.
After researching commercial landscape maintenance companies in Houston, they all may start to sound the same. That’s why we recommend asking about what makes a company stand apart from the others. Whatever company you are interviewing should have a very clear answer to this question that is focused on you as the client.
For example, one of the qualities that make Monarch different from other commercial landscape maintenance companies is that we hire and retain team members that are certified or licensed, such as licensed irrigators and certified arborists.
While this means we usually pay our employees more than other companies, it results in the absolute best care for your property. Landscape mistakes are not going to be made because of inexperience. You can be confident that the team caring for your property knows exactly what to do to maintain a beautiful and safe landscape.
Quality is likely one of the most important factors in commercial landscape maintenance. When the job is done well, time after time, your property aesthetically improves. We recommend listening for a response that details a specific plan to ensure quality, not just we hire good people and train them. What is guaranteeing quality that lasts beyond the first 90 days?
One thing we believe that helps to ensure consistent quality is having a layered management structure in place. Several people should oversee the property and work together as a team. This management structure should then be followed up by some form of internal quality audit program.
At Monarch, our team members grade themselves on performance and the entire team is graded as a whole, from installation crew members to management.Our quality audit system impacts everyone’s score and performance review throughout the year. These controls demonstrate the importance of quality to the team and to our clients.
Communication can be one of the biggest frustrations when working with a commercial landscape maintenance company. If you cannot find a clear communication plan on a company’s website, be sure to inquire about it during the consultation phase.
A commercial landscape maintenance company should value and protect your time. Poor communication only makes your job more difficult. To ensure good communication, we practice the 5-10 rule. If you contact us between 8 am- 5 pm, we will return your call or message by the end of the day. If you reach out to us after 5 pm, we will contact you by 10 am the following day. We also provide an after-hours emergency line for situations that need immediate attention.
Follow-up is key for effective and efficient communication. When your property has an issue or you have an additional item you would like to be addressed, you want to know that it will actually be completed. Be sure to ask about processes or software in place to ensure projects are completed in a timely manner.
Break-down in communication occurs when there is no clear process of how to close the loop of communication when requests are made. Many commercial landscape maintenance companies have some type of landscape management software to assist in this process.
For example, our software, Aspire, sends out a ticket to the crew working at your property after a specific request is made. The crew is able to take a picture of the area after work is completed and send it back to the person who made the request. This software helps to prevent requests from falling through the cracks and allows for transparency, as everyone in the company can see what has and is happening on a property at any given time.
It is important to know who will be managing your account. Does the company have one account manager for all of its commercial accounts? Who do you contact or call with a concern? These are all important questions to ask.
When account managers frequently change, communication lapses are bound to occur. Many account managers for commercial landscape maintenance companies are overloaded with an enormous and frankly unrealistic caseload. Unfortunately, this results in poor communication and the inability for a true relationship to be formed between the property manager and account manager.
Price can be one of the trickiest elements to manage when trying to select the right commercial landscape maintenance company. That’s why we wrote an entire blog about factors that impact commercial landscape pricing. Overall, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. If what is important to you is simply lawn mowing, trimming, and blowing, the cheapest company might be worth it. However, if you want more than that, if you desire for your property to improve over time and work with a commercial landscape company that communicates well and are true experts in the Green Industry, you are likely going to be charged a bit more.
An additional question to ask related to pricing is how you are billed each month. It can be really difficult to budget if you are billed per visit vs. an annual contract that is billed with the same amount each month. Having a recurring invoice that is the same amount allows for you to effectively budget for all of the other services your property needs.
Typically, your property should be visited between 42-50 visits a year, weekly during the growing season, and bi-weekly when your turf is dormant. The frequency of visits can be determined by budget or individual property needs. For example, a property with heavy winter leaf drop, or one with through traffic and frequent littering may require 46-50 visits to maintain a tidy appearance.
There are so many choices between commercial landscape maintenance companies in Houston. While at first glance, they may all seem the same, taking the time to investigate and learn more about the differences can pay off in the long run. Focusing on addressing the issues that are most important to you throughout the selection process is key.
You want your investment of time and money to truly be worth it. Even though it takes some time to conduct research and ask these questions after you have made your choice you can feel confident that you have selected the best landscape maintenance company for your property.
If you are ready to partner with a commercial landscape management company that offers sustainable, long-term landscaping solutions and recommendations, then we are here to help. Get started by filling out our consultation form. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and work together to protect your investment.
Written By: Monarch Landscape Management