Once you find just the right landscaping company for your HOA, start the celebration: Bright, appealing flowers, healthy and tidy green lawns, stress-free landscaping.
But you have to put in some work first, in the form of three letters we know might cause you some anxiety: the RFP.
Trust us...write a thorough Request for Proposal, and the whole process of hiring the best landscaping company suddenly becomes a lot easier.
Do it right, and potential commercial landscape maintenance companies will have everything they need to know about your HOA property and can give you a thorough, detailed proposal.
That makes your task of choosing the right company a lot easier.
Time to write your HOA landscape maintenance RFP? Take some deep breaths. And check out these tips to help you tackle the task:
It’s About More Than Just Cost
Of course, cost matters. You want the best services at the best price.
But how will each vendor approach the actual work? That matters, too.
Your RFP is your first chance to ask detailed questions about the company’s work, so you can hone in on more than just who presents the lowest bid.
Are they efficient? Reliable? Do they have great communication? Are they proactive, looking out for your needs?
This is your chance to dive deeper than just cost. In fact, a lower initial price could end up being your highest-cost option later. If commercial landscaping companies don’t take the time to include probable add-ons from the beginning, you could end up blowing the budget.
Lowest price isn’t always the lowest cost.
Tell Them About You
What matters to you, beyond cost? What are your expectations for your HOA landscape maintenance?
What do you take pride in? What needs special attention?
What are your property’s strengths and challenges?
Here’s your chance to put your expectations on the table and invite bidders to show you why they’re the best fit — for you.
Be Sure To Compare Apples To Apples
This will really help you when the competing proposals start rolling in.
One of the most confusing parts of choosing the right landscaping company for your HOA is figuring out who does what service for what price.
If those proposals start rolling in with wildly different service options and prices, you’re facing a stressful mess. Your RFP should help you sort it all out so you can easily compare.
List everything you need done on your property and be specific. This will make it easier for you to compare apples to apples when you start reading the proposals.
Include every service you need — mowing, weed control, mulch, fertilizing, annual flowers — and request a price for each service.
Details matter. How often do you want these services done?
Feel free to attach maps of your property. Your goal is to give your bidders a complete picture of your needs, so they can give you their best — and most accurate — bids.
Then, when you review the proposals, you can easily compare.
Ask About Qualifications
This requires some homework on your part first. You should figure out what landscaping companies in your area are qualified to care for your HOA.
Don’t send your RFP to everybody and their mower-toting brother. Do you really want to be flooded with dozens of RFPs to sort through?
No, you don’t.
Submit them to a few select companies you already know specialize in HOA landscape maintenance. Three to five reputable companies is a good goal.
You already know they can do the job. Your RFP should give the companies the opportunity to offer details that set them apart from the competition.
Give them a chance to sell themselves. You can use that information as you narrow in on your top choice.
Definitely ask about insurance coverage, licensing, training and certification. What else matters to you?
Is it important that your landscaping company care about being environmentally friendly? Ask for examples of how they do that. Do you care how their trucks and employee uniforms look? (Hint: you should because your members will.)
Remember, the more information they offer, the easier your ultimate choice will be.
Pay Attention To How They Complete The Form
How the landscaping company fills out your RFP can offer you clues about them before they even step foot on your property.
Did they complete all of your questions, or leave some blank? Do they have a good grasp of the services you need and how they plan to complete them?
If they’re careless about completing your RFP, they might not be as diligent as you’d like when it comes to caring for your property.
Ask For References — And Talk To Them
This might seem like a no brainer, but don’t forget to include a section on your RFP asking for references.
Then, follow up and talk to them.
Do these customers have great things to say about the landscaping company’s skills, their professionalism, their customer service? Do they like working with them?
What are their biggest complaints? What could they do better? Would they hire this company again?
Consider visiting their other client’s properties. Do you like what you see?
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) if the commercial landscaping company doesn’t offer references, that’s a huge red flag. They should encourage you to chat with their satisfied customers.
Ask About Communication
Is there a go-to person who will oversee your HOA landscape maintenance? An account manager or client relations manager?
What access will you have to this person? How often will they be in touch with you? How quickly can you expect a response when you reach out to them?
If you have questions or concerns, you need to know you can get answers before the weeds take over, the flowers die or that looming dead tree branch comes crashing down on a common area?
Invite Them To Visit Your HOA
Your bidders should want to walk your property with you to get a good handle on your HOA landscape maintenance needs.
This also gives them a chance to really survey your property and suggest services you may not realize you needed.
Suggest a time frame for these visits and be sure to give them enough notice to fit it into their schedules. If it’s a successful company — the kind you want to hire — they’ll be busy.
The RFP: A B-I-G Deal
Hiring the right landscaping company for your HOA is a big deal.
This is your home, your neighborhood. It has to look great, be safe and make you proud to live there.
Your landscaping company should be an active partner, responsible for your curb appeal and your HOA’s reputation as a safe, appealing place to live.
Finding your perfect landscaping company all starts with a great HOA landscape maintenance RFP.
Send Your HOA Landscape Maintenance RFP to North By Northwest
We’re proud of the meticulous landscaping we do for our HOA customers and the great relationships we’ve forged with their boards.
Send us your RFP — we’re happy to answer all your questions, fill in all the blanks and show you why we’re a great choice for all your HOA landscaping needs.
We’d love to partner with you to make your landscaping impressive and your job hassle-free.
Are you ready for stress-free HOA landscaping? Schedule a time to meet with one of our experts today. We’ll gather the details, create a customized plan just for you, and you can stop stressing as we improve and beautify your HOA community.