Welcome to the next best thing: a list of red flags to avoid when you’re considering landscape maintenance companies for your commercial property.
There’s a lot at stake here. You want the best.
You know that when customers approach your business, it only takes a few seconds for that important first impression.
It can be tough to choose. Let’s make it easier. If you see any of these red flags while vetting a commercial landscaper in Hudson Valley, back away.
Are you still waiting to hear back from the landscape maintenance company you called a week ago? Consider this a bad sign.
If they don’t reply promptly to a prospective customer, what happens when you try to contact them about a problem?
The Company Won’t Provide References
Be immediately suspicious about this. A reputable company that does quality work should be eager for you to talk to their customers. They know you’ll hear glowing remarks.
No references? What are they hiding?
There Are No Photos Of Their Work
Again, red flag. A quality company should have lots of photos that show examples of the landscapes they design and maintain. It’s one of the best ways to show off their impressive work.
No photos? Why not?
They Offer A Suspiciously Low Estimate
Chances are when you compare bids from a handful of qualified landscape maintenance companies, their estimates should be in the same ballpark. If they’re skilled and experienced, they know what it takes to care for your property and will price accordingly.
If one bid is significantly low, why? Are they cutting corners? Do they save money by not offering staff training or securing insurance?
No Proof Of Insurance
This is especially important. In fact, consider this worth two red flags.
If your contractor isn’t properly insured, you could be held accountable if a landscaper gets injured on your grounds.
Be extra vigilant about this. Ask to see proof of workers’ compensation and general liability insurance before you invite the landscape company to bid.
Lack Of Certification
Certification matters. Let’s take snow removal, for example. In the snow management industry, certification requires rigorous education, and it sets a high standard.
Certification from the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) means a snow and ice management company meets the highest expectations.
Snow and ice can create serious liabilities for commercial property owners if not managed with care.
Certification gives you peace of mind.
Neave Snow and Ice Management is a fully insured, ASCA-accredited, ISO 9001–certified service that offers the highest level of customer service. Our commitment to excellence made us one of Snow Magazine’s top 100 snow contractors in North America.
Certification isn’t just a piece of paper. It’s a mark of excellence.
Lack Of Training
A quality landscape contractor commits time and resources to training their employees.
You want the best care possible in all areas of your commercial landscape. You don’t want a one-size-fits-all crew who does everything OK, but nothing expertly.
At Neave Group Outdoor Solutions, we’ve developed a comprehensive training program for employees on all levels. We pair on-site learning with weekly training meetings on safe practice procedures, operation of equipment, horticultural practices, construction practices and a host of other topics.
Continued education and training matters.
No Drug Enforcement Policies Or Criminal Background Checks
It’s important to know exactly who will be on your property and if any of their employees have criminal records.
Ask what type of background checks the contractor runs on their employees, and make sure that list includes a criminal check.
And when you’re considering potential commercial landscape contractors, make sure they enforce a zero-tolerance drug policy. Drugs and heavy machinery are a dangerous combination for everyone.
A Fuzzy Contract
Your contract should be crystal clear and well defined, with no room for misunderstanding. Read it carefully.
It should include standard legal language, including the contract terms, amounts to be paid, and the payment schedule.
Look for a complete description of the services they’ll provide, as well as the time of year they’ll be provided. You don’t want any surprises.
Lack Of Year-Round Service
Your business is open year round. That means your property has specific and differing needs based on the season.
You want one landscape maintenance contractor who can meet all of your property’s needs — spring, summer, fall, and winter.
When one full-service company takes care of your property — from spring fertilizing to fall clean-up to annual color plantings to snow removal — they get to know your property inside and out. They’ll know exactly what it needs at what time and they’ll notice potential problems before they get out of control.
And when you need something, you have just one vendor to call.
Their Fleet Of Vehicles Is Poorly Maintained
The first thing you — and your customers — see when landscape maintenance crews are working on your property are their vehicles. What kind of image do they present?
The appearance of your contractor’s vehicles — and the crews that arrive in them — are a reflection of you and your property.
You’re In Good Hands With Neave
Our fleets are meticulously maintained and our crews wear professional uniforms. You’ll be proud to see us on your property.
Insurance, certifications, licensing? Yes, yes and yes. We’re happy to show you proof. Just ask!
No red flags here. Just exceptional service, attention to detail, skilled and qualified employees and an unparalleled reputation that has made us the first choice of commercial property owners for more than 40 years.
We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.