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A quality commercial landscaper can enhance your business’ professional image, attract new customers and tenants, and eliminate dangerous obstacles like bramble and brush from your property.
However, with so many landscapers to choose from, how do you choose a landscape designer for your commercial property?
Essential Qualities to Look for in a Commercial Landscape Company
Before signing a contract for commercial landscaping services, see if the company measures up by asking yourself these questions:
Is the Company Experienced in Commercial Landscaping?
Make sure the company you hire is experienced specifically in commercial landscaping.
Most commercial landscape service companies should be able to provide at a minimum:
- Commercial landscape design services
- Commercial landscape install services
- Commercial maintenance services
A residential landscape company may be accustomed to working with only property owners; commercial landscapers understand the needs of property managers and other senior-level employees. This experience can enhance communication and improve the result.
Is the Company Professionally Accredited?
Accreditation programs require landscape management companies and employees to meet rigorous standards. Earning these distinctions speaks volumes about a company’s professionalism.
For example, the National Association of Landscape Professionals accreditation program requires a specific threshold of employees to have completed and passed a rigorous certification exam. The companywide accreditation demonstrates a commitment to ethics, safety, knowledge, and compliance.
Are Key Employees Certified Professionals?
A commercial landscape company is only as good as the employees running the day to day operations.
A Landscape Industry Certified Manager should supervise the team responsible for your property’s lawncare and landscaping.
Working with someone who has this designation helps ensure you’re getting professional management of your property.
An individual with this certification will have passed a 4-hour exam on topics relevant to the industry, including interior and exterior horticulture, leadership, corporate citizenship, contracts, and strategic planning.
What Do The Reviews Reveal?
Although professional recognition is important, some of your best insights into a commercial landscaping company are going to come from current and past customers.
While you can expect to find a few unhappy customers within a healthy mix of reviews, common complaints can signal a red flag.
Check company reviews on places like Facebook and Google. Ensure the company responds to complaints and addresses each one adequately.
Alternatively, go a step further, and ask for existing references and speak with the clients. Most professional commercial contractors will have a list of references ready to share, and may even provide a list during the bidding process.
Is the Commercial Landscaper Licensed and Insured?
Working with an unlicensed or uninsured landscape company puts your reputation at risk.
A professional commercial landscaper will carry General Liability Insurance and maintain all required licenses so that you don’t have to worry about on-the-job accidents. Since minimum insurance coverage doesn’t always fully protect a company against unforeseen events, ideally, your commercial landscaper will have excess liability policies to ensure the protection of the company and its clients.
Does the Company Offer Custom Commercial Landscaping Services?
From shrub selection to project scope, your lawn improvement and ongoing maintenance needs won’t be identical to those found on other properties.
A quality landscaping company will recognize this fact and provide you with a tailored solution.
Custom services your commercial landscaper should provide include:
- Lawn mowing/lawn maintenance
- Hardscape maintenance
- Sod installation
- Weeding and pest control
- Landscape maintenance
- Parking lot landscaping
- Sprinkler system and irrigation installation
- Snow and ice management
- Landscape lighting services
Do the Landscaping Employees Appear (and Act) Professional?
Landscaping is a dirty job, but the employees are still working on your property, and their appearance will, therefore, reflect on your business.
While employees of professional landscape companies don’t necessarily need matching uniforms, the company and its employees should appear appropriately dressed for the job.
When interviewing commercial landscape companies, be sure their staff is well trained and professional. Avoid companies that rely heavily on sub-contractors, since doing so can lead to inconsistent results, not to mention additional risk.
Is this an Environmentally Friendly Commercial Landscape Company?
Green or eco-landscaping is all about nurturing the natural environment with sustainable, Earth-friendly designs. A company that understands eco-friendly landscaping will offer:
- Native plant landscaping (in Whatcom County, we have some beautiful flowers native to Washington State, including lewisia, tiger lily, and beach pea)
- Water management
- Healthy soils
- Strategic planting
- Tree care
During your interview with the commercial landscape company, ask about their process for soil and plant selection, and whether they offer water-saving options to businesses.
Is the Landscaping Company Equipped with Plenty of Resources?
A quality commercial landscaping company should have plenty of resources available to service your property. The company needs resources to:
- Price competitively on your project
- Negotiate contracts
- Design your landscape
- Meet with you regularly for feedback
- Maintain your property year round
In short, make sure the company has enough employees and calendar availability to give your landscape the attention it requires.
Does the Landscape Company Offer Services Year Round?
Just because your grass is growing slower in the winter, doesn’t mean you should neglect your property’s landscaping. Find a company that works year-round and understands the specific landscaping needs of all four seasons.
In Whatcom County, for example, we experience falling leaves, snow, springtime foliage, and summer slowdown with rain sprinkled throughout the year.
Can You View a Portfolio of Landscaping Projects?
Seeing before-and-after photos will help you as a property manager understand the commercial landscape company’s capabilities, experience, and creative style. Ask to see a portfolio, or look online for examples of the company’s work.
Is the Landscape Company Invested in the Community?
Does the commercial landscape company volunteer in the community? Is it a member of local organizations? The company you work with should be part of the community. Community involvement shows a commitment to the local aesthetic, care for the community’s well-being, and an understanding of local culture.
These qualities are a good starting point for finding reliable commercial landscape services, but you also want to keep your budget in mind. An ideal landscaping company will provide you with all of the qualities above and adjust the project scope to fit your needs as a property manager.
Before You Hire
Get Your Free List of Interview Questions for Your Commercial Landscaper!