HOA landscaping can be essential to the success of your community. Why? A beautiful, well-maintained community achieves two things. First, it boosts property values, which keeps homeowners happy. It also attracts more homebuyers to your association. But, in order to maintain your manicured lawns, blooming flowers, and green trees, you need to find the right landscaping company for HOA communities. Here’s a handy guide to help you out.
How to Hire the Best Landscaping Company for HOA Communities
HOA board members cannot take care of the community on their own. In order to maintain the community and its property values, the board hires third-party HOA vendors to perform essential services such as maintenance, landscaping, plumbing, and so on.
When it comes to maintaining your community’s green spaces, you’ll want to hire the best landscaping company. Here are steps that you can take:
1. Understand the Landscaping Needs of Your Community
Before searching for a landscaping company, take time to assess the community’s landscaping needs. Are you happy with the current state of your landscapes? You can also enumerate the different landscaping services that you are looking for. Do you need basic landscape maintenance, or do you have major landscape projects in the coming year?
If you have a good grasp of the HOA’s landscaping needs, you can be more strategic and purposeful in your search for a landscaping company. A preliminary scope of work will also let your potential landscape companies know what to expect from your community.
2. Shop Around for Landscaping Companies
There will be plenty of landscaping companies to choose from in your area. Narrow down your choices by researching these different landscapers. Perform an online search and choose the ones with the best reviews. Check each company’s website to learn more about them and to see which services they offer.
You can also reach out to your HOA management company or contacts from other HOAs to see if they can recommend landscaping companies as well. Based on the information gathered, create a shortlist of at least five different landscaping companies.
3. Request for Proposals and Work Samples
Now that you have a shortlist of landscaping companies, contact each one and request for proposals. You can request work samples to get a feel for their actual work. Moreover, ask the landscape company for references. Contact their previous clients and find out if they were happy with the landscaping services they received.
When comparing bids, HOAs must look at costs as well. While you would want the very best landscape company for your HOA, it’s important to stick as close to your planned budget as possible. But, that also doesn’t mean choosing the cheapest option. You want a company that will give the best bang for your buck.
4. Perform Due Diligence
As an HOA board member, it is your responsibility to perform due diligence when choosing a landscaper and other third-party vendors. Once you have chosen a landscaping company, check if they have the necessary licenses, certifications, insurance coverage, and so on. If your potential landscape company has adequate experience, they will have all documentation to prove so.
In addition, try to get to know the staff of your potential landscape company. What are their qualifications? If you only need basic landscape maintenance, certifications may not be that essential. However, if you have major landscaping projects, you should choose a company that has horticulturists or landscaping specialists. For example, if the HOA is planning to overhaul its landscaping, it’s better to choose a company with a specialist that can perform a landscape survey.
5. Read the Contract
A signed contract signifies the start of a working relationship with your chosen landscape company. It is a legally binding document so there’s no more turning back. So, before signing the contract, make sure you read it thoroughly and understand all the stipulations. Important things to look for include basic landscaping services and fees, the cost of add-on services, duration of the contract, an automatic renewal clause, and a termination clause.
The HOA should make sure that even with the add-on services, the cost of the landscaping company will still fit in your annual budget.
6. Have a Mid-Year Performance Review
A mid-year performance review is important to see whether your landscaping company is living up to your expectations. Is their service just as advertised, or are you disappointed with their performance? A performance review provides the HOA with an opportunity to communicate with the landscaping company. It’s still a good sign if they are open to your critiques and are able to improve their performance.
Having a mid-year performance review also provides the board with enough time to determine if they want to renew or terminate at the end of the contract. Most landscaping contracts have a duration of one year but you don’t want to make this decision just weeks or days before the contract expires. The auto-renewal clause might kick in and you’ll be stuck with the landscaping company for another year.
Other Things to Look for When Choosing a Landscaping Company
Landscaping experience and qualifications are non-negotiable when choosing a landscaping company. There are other considerations that aren’t as essential; but, having them could spell the difference between a good landscaping company and the best landscaping company for HOAs. Here are additional qualities to look for:
- Communication Skills — Is the landscaping company easy to talk to? Do they respond to your calls or questions in a timely manner? You want to choose a company that can effectively communicate with your HOA. If they do not make an effort to communicate, this will just lead to disappointments and arguments later on.
- Similar Vision and Best Practices — Choose a landscaping company that shares your vision. For instance, if you are an environmentally-conscious community, you want to work with a company that also has eco-friendly practices.
- A Proactive Approach — It’s good to have a landscaping company that follows your instructions. However, partnering with a proactive landscaping company can be much more fruitful. They can make suggestions for how to improve the landscaping in your community and provide input on which landscaping projects are worth undertaking.
Finding the Best Landscaping Company for HOA Communities
Aesthetics is just one of the many aspects of a successful community. However, it’s often the first thing people see when they enter your neighborhood. If you want to impress current and potential homeowners, make sure that you have a landscaping company that keeps your green spaces always on point. If you’re on the market for one, simply follow the steps we’ve outlined and you’ll find the best landscaping company for HOA communities.