Aesthetics are an important part of creating a welcoming looking HOA community. Well-maintained lawns, shrubs, and outdoor areas can increase curb appeal and value within the neighborhood. Much of this comes down to hiring the right landscaper to do the job. Landscaping often accounts for a large portion of the annual budget since it encompasses a lot and must be maintained throughout the year. Therefore you want to make sure the HOA does its research before selecting a vendor to get the best deal.
- Decide what you need. How large is the community and how much common space is there that the landscape company will be responsible for? Are there irrigation systems that must be maintained or waterscapes? Is snow removal a necessity? How much has the board budgeted for as far as landscaping goes? It’s important to have a sense of what you’re looking for before vetting potential vendors.
- Seek several bids. You’ll want to choose from at least 3 or 4 bids if possible. Just because a company is the cheapest doesn’t mean they’re the best. Sometimes you have to weigh what all they have to offer versus the price. Take time to sit down and compare each bid and which will give you the best return on your investment.
- Ask for references. And then actually call them. The landscape company should be able to refer you other properties that they work on and possibly show pictures of some of their work. Call other clients and find out what they think. Is the company reliable? Is their work high quality? Are they good at communicating and responding in emergency situations?
- Check for insurance and certifications. You definitely want a company that is insured to reduce the HOA’s liability in the event of an accident. Make sure the company has all of the proper paperwork and is in good standing.
- Inquire about experience. How long has the company been in business? What are the requirements and training of employees? Choose a company that has built a strong name for itself and has a credible background. Make sure they keep up with the latest industry news and know how to effectively deal with any issues that may arise such as pests or diseases that could impact trees or grass.
- Read the contract. This should be obvious, but really make sure the HOA board does a thorough read through of the contract. Understand exactly what is included and what services are considered extra. Know how often they will come and what type of care they provide for each season.
When Choosing a landscape Company for the HOA Community, its critical for proper due diligence and research to choose the right one for your community needs and budget. Remember that sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little more if the return will have greater benefit on the neighborhood and cut down on future problems. If you’re not sure where to start, contact your property management company to see if they have a list of vendors they recommend or typically work with.