Choosing any sort of service provider can be difficult, let alone a landscape maintenance contractor. When you first get in contact with a potential landscape contractor, they’ll put their best foot forward as they attempt to win your business. On top of that, you may not have the experience - most people don’t - to detect warning signs or judge their previous work accurately. So how do you, as a commercial property manager, determine whether a contractor is going to perform up to par?
There are some critical signs and factors to pay attention to which will help you determine whether or not the contractor you’re considering hiring would be a good option for you.
Are Your Expectations and Contractual Obligations The Same?
The first thing to do is to make sure you’re familiar with the differences between the contract obligations and your aesthetic expectations because they can certainly be different.
The contract you likely have is a straightforward document that outlines the basics of what you need to be accomplished on your property. This includes services to be performed, the specific areas and square footage that need to be maintained, and how often your landscape professional will visit the property to provide maintenance.
This contract can be quite different from your actual expectations. For instance, during the rainy season, where there is added growth, how do you expect the contractor to maintain your grounds? Do you expect the contractor to take extra time doing everything, or would you rather he or she focus on only the high visibility areas first and return later to take care of the rest?
Alternatively, during the winter months, you may want your contractor to come twice as much due to added maintenance needs. This may not necessarily be in the contract, but you need to make sure you make it clear.
Therefore, when discussing the bid, you need to make sure that you discuss the ins and outs of the contracts and your expectations so that you can make sure you and your contractor are on the same page.
If you’ve done this - checking the contract obligations and communicating your expectations - and something still seems a bit funky, contact your landscape professional via phone to find out exactly what’s going on.
Communication is key here, and you want to give your contractor a chance to explain the full situation. If your contractor is clear, has a reasonable explanation, and has a concrete plan for addressing the issue and moving forward, you’re in good shape.
The problem comes when a contractor makes you a promise - like getting the job started or completed by a specific day - without fulfilling the obligation. This is a clear sign that your contractor is dishonest, disorganized, or having other issues, and it signals to you that you should begin to look elsewhere.
Is Your Contractor Proactive?
Another clear sign of a good vs. an unscrupulous contractor is this: are they proactive or reactive? If you’re noticing a problem every time you visit your property and your contractor scrambles to fix it, that’s an issue. But if your contractor is communicating with you frequently to update you on any potential problems and changes in the game plan or service, you know you’ve got a good one.
If you’re in the Iowa area and want to ensure the quality and timeliness of the landscape maintenance of your property, look no further than the professional contractor services of Earth Development. We pride ourselves on being proactive, honest, communicative, and efficient when it comes to the work we do on commercial landscaping properties. We’ll ensure that you not only have gorgeous grounds, but you’ll also have a stress-free experience with your landscape maintenance.
Contact us now to find out more information on how we can help!