Tips for Hiring a Homeowners Association Landscape Maintenance Service

December 2011

Lawn Care Front YardCommercial landscape maintenance for your homeowners association does more than just preserve property value by increasing curb appeal; a beautiful landscape also sets a positive first impression for residents and guests. Portland-area HOAs can successfully hire a professional landscape maintenance service by following a couple of steps:

1. Figure out what you want.

Spend some time brainstorming about what you will need a commercial landscape maintenance service to do. Is your Portland or Hillsboro landscaping in need of a major overhaul? Or are you just looking to keep up HOA property with an ongoing landscape maintenance service? You should have a solid idea of what kind of services and landscaping features you want before choosing a landscape maintenance company.

2. Create specifications for desired landscape maintenance service.

It will be much easier to compare offers from different landscape maintenance service companies if you have a consistent set of specs. The items outlined in specifications for landscaping services could include:

  • Fertilization needs.
  • Are large trees on the property included in the bid.
  • Do you want chemical or hand weeding.
  • Parts of the HOA property that should be mulched.
  • A schedule for regular maintenance visits and tasks.

Be sure to also include any special areas of concern for your organization. For instance, a certain HOA might specify that their commercial landscape maintenance should include sustainable services such as organic lawn care.

A very complete specs package would include a written description of landscaping requirements, a plot map of the property in question, a references request, and an information card for the appropriate contact person within your organization.

3. Collect bids.

There are dozens of landscape maintenance service providers in the area around Portland and Hillsboro. Landscaping companies vary by price, service quality, professionalism and more. To find the best landscape maintenance service partner for your HOA, it’s important to send out for bids on your specifications.

As always, it takes some time to find a stellar vendor. A good rule of thumb is to select your HOA’s landscaping partner at least a month before you’d like the services to start – which means you should receive all bids at least two months in advance to give your association plenty of time for consideration.

Gather three bids and meet with a representative of each landscaping provider to walk your property and clarify any questions. This face-to-face meeting will help you get an intuitive feel for whether each landscaping vendor would be a good “match” for your HOA and the needs of your property.

4. Choose the winner.

Your first step in selecting the best bid is to follow up on references. It’s also smart to look at other HOA properties managed by each commercial landscape maintenance company. If no red flags come up, arrange another meeting with each company to ask questions such as:

  • Will the same contact person or foreman be assigned to the property throughout the contract?
  • Will employees wear uniforms and arrive in a clean truck displaying the company logo?
  • On which day of the week will maintenance occur?
  • How quickly can you expect a return phone call or response to an email?

After this considerable vetting process, you should have enough information to select the best landscape maintenance service for the needs of your local HOA.

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