Landscape Planning: 6 Things Property Managers Can Do to Prepare for Next Season
By Brian Brueggemann
What steps does a property manager need to take to be prepared for the next grounds maintenance season? Here are 6 things you can do at year’s end to help your property look its best next year:
- Budget for Next Year. Create a grounds maintenance budget for the year, along with a dollar amount planned for enhancement (additional landscape) work for the season.
- Perform a Physical Review of the Property. Recall any landscape maintenance issues that may have occurred during the past season. What worked? What didn’t? Were there any distinct pain points that you or your tenants had that need to be resolved? Are there specific areas of the property that require special services?
- Develop a Scope for the Upcoming Season. Create a specific scope of work (a list of services with number of occurrences) that you want your landscape contractor to perform. Include clear expectations of what the results should be or look like when completed.
- Plan for Improvements. Note specific improvements that should be performed on the grounds that are outside of normal maintenance tasks. Ask for quotes for your improvement budget and plug in numbers each year. Some long-term projects may need to be planned for in future years so it’s important to review this regularly and keep a running list.
- Communicate! Discuss each of the above items with your landscape provider to make sure your property’s needs are being met with the current contract and scope. Adjust the scope if needed.
- Determine if Additional Services are Required. If there is a need to request additional bids, interview qualified landscape providers and get a feel for their company’s strengths. Are they knowledgeable? Do they communicate effectively? Is their staff educated? Experience their quality of service first-hand by reviewing/visiting some of their properties to see if they meet the standards you expect for your property.
By planning ahead now, you can improve your property while increasing efficiency throughout next year’s landscaping season.