As a property manager or business owner, the responsibility lies with you to delegate your landscaping jobs in a way that leaves your grounds looking great. After all, it’s a reflection of your business and your brand, but it’s the kind of thing that’s “invisible unless it’s bad.” People may drive by your property or walk up to your door again and again and never notice the grass, but as soon as there are areas that are neglected or sloppy, you would be amazed at how quickly these same people form a lasting negative perception—not of your landscaper, but of your company. After all, it’s your sign out front, not the landscaper’s. If they have to look past overgrown weeds, that’s not the impression you want to impart.
This illustrates the importance of the relationship with your landscaper. You rely on the landscaping company to get the job done, do it on time, and complete it right the first time around. When that doesn’t happen, this relationship may end up being rocky, strained, or just plain toxic. You fire your landscaping company and have to start all over again. You’re back in the uncomfortable territory of having to research new companies, get quotes, and hope that you have a better experience this time around.
That’s why our commercial landscaping company in Lansing has put together this guide to help property managers get the best possible service out of your landscaping company. We’ve talked with Ryan Thomas, a business consultant in Washington who has a background in commercial landscaping, to get his insight on how property managers can successfully navigate the relationship with their landscaper.
When this relationship is thriving, you’ll receive the best service and the highest-quality work. When it breaks down, stress mounts, quality suffers, and tempers may flare. So it’s worth keeping in mind the following points that will help you to hire the right landscaper and then cultivate a positive relationship with them.
The best business relationships are the ones where you negotiate a deal that lets both sides come out smelling like a rose. The property manager wins because their grounds get taken care of with impeccable service. The landscaper wins because they get a client who provides them with the potential of stable, long-term work with a company they’re proud to add to their portfolio.
There are two areas where Thomas points out what the commercial landscaper wants.
These two forces are identical for the property manager. You can’t work with someone you can’t trust, and you’re definitely in business to make money.
If you, as the property manager, want the same thing as the landscaper, where’s the problem? Here’s where the tension lies. Where the rubber meets the road, these two forces look different to both parties. However, a lot of that tension can be cleared up simply by being transparent about it. So here’s a (perhaps uncomfortably?) transparent look at what’s going through the heads on both sides.
Thomas points out that the landscaper wants three things when it comes to trust.
On the other hand, the property manager’s version of trust looks more like this:
Now that both sides’ perspectives are out on the table, let the negotiation begin. The landscaper realizes that in order to earn that trust, they need to offer a fair price for great work that’s dependable, aesthetically pleasing, and consistent.
The property manager realizes that there’s no real trust if the landscaper feels mistrusted and suspected.
Here’s the basis for a strong, long-term relationship.
If you are a business owner, think about your best customers, the ones that make you smile when they show up. Do you roll out the VIP treatment for them? Be that customer to your landscaper, and you might just find that landscaper rolling out the VIP treatment for you. When there’s mutual trust and respect, it’s a surefire strategy to discover the landscaper’s best work showing up on your property.
Thomas states the goal of the landscaper in language so plain, some landscapers might squirm at the idea of being that transparent.
“Every business, including the commercial landscaper’s, is in business to make money. Nothing is worse than having a customer who is trying to squeeze every last drop out of you.
“Our best long-term relationships with satisfied customers are with property managers who recognize that we have to hit our numbers. We love working with property managers who are willing to come up with creative solutions to get the most bang for their buck while understanding that we’ve also got to hit certain numbers or we’re not going to be in business much longer.”
From the property manager’s point of view, you know your business has to make money, too. You don’t have unlimited funds to just hand out to every landscaper who wants to make more money. Your business has margins, and you have to hit your numbers just as much as anyone. That’s why you need a commercial landscaper who can come up with creative solutions to get you amazing landscaping services for a great price.
Now that those cards are on the table, the negotiation begins again.
Both sides come out smelling like a rose, and at the end of the day, both sides get what they really want: Trust, a recognition of the pressures that each party experiences, and a mutually beneficial solution.
A thriving, long-term relationship is in the making.
For more than 30 years, Sneller Snow & Grounds has been earning the trust of Lansing businesses for commercial landscaping services that go above and beyond the status quo. Our award-winning approach never sacrifices quality and never cuts corners. Learn more about what sets us apart, and contact us today for a quote. We look forward to serving you with transparency, dedication, and consistency. Call now!