Sep 27, 2016 7:14:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV

In South Florida, landscape maintenance is an essential year-round service to ensure the beauty and quality of your property—and to protect the significant investment in your grounds.

It’s a tall order because the “growing season” here is constant. Plants thrive 12 months out of the year. Sure, snowbirds who own residences at your Florida HOA might only spend a few months on the property. But constant care is required to keep the HOA landscape at their vacation homes in prime condition.

Their second homes in your HOA or condo association are designed to be turnkey, maintenance-free and ready to go when they arrive for vacation. (They don’t want to think about who mows the lawn.) That responsibility falls on you as the HOA or condo association.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone in this.

Ocean Reef Club Landscaping

When you partner with a reputable landscape maintenance provider to manage the grounds, you can focus on what you do best: provide an optimum experience for residents.

The right landscape maintenance provider will deliver seamless service, deploy crews of experienced professionals, and truly serve as the eyes and ears of the property. If they see a problem in the landscape, they’ll flag it and fix it. If they recognize an opportunity to enhance your HOA’s landscape, they’ll provide recommendations and offer workable strategies for completing projects (including the ROI that HOAs can expect).

The right landscape maintenance provider is a true partner.

Hire the wrong landscape firm, and your Florida HOA will wear the signs of neglect and residents will recognize that quality is not up to par. (By the way—the property value will decrease, too.) We know it costs more to replace plant and renovate landscapes than to properly maintain them, so an HOA that cuts corners with landscape maintenance will end up paying more to mend the effects of hiring a provider that is not committed to their landscape maintenance.

So, what should you look for when you hire a landscape maintenance provider for your Florida HOA or condo association? (Equally important: What are red flags that you are, perhaps, in the wrong relationship?) Read on for some advice on selecting the right provider.

What To Expect From A Quality Landscape Maintenance Provider

florida-hoa-landscaping.jpgThere are certain basics to keep in mind when selecting a provider to care for the landscape at your Florida HOA or condo association. First, you want to be sure the firm has appropriate insurance and holds certifications that indicate a level of industry professionalism. Years in business and properties the firm currently manages also will help you determine if the sales pitch your HOA board is hearing aligns with what the landscape provider can actually deliver. (Ask for references—and call them.)

  1. Your landscape maintenance firm should verify that employees are screened and background checked so you can trust the professionals working on your property. The landscape maintenance provider should have a rigorous training program in place and quality standards so everyone—their staff, and your board—understands what results are expected.

  2. Your landscape provider in South Florida should be a year-round partner that is committed to managing your grounds, from maintaining the irrigation system to mowing, pruning plants, and managing pests and disease. Additionally, the provider should have the expertise to managing high-tree trimming (palm trees), landscape design and landscape installation. Ideally, you want a turn-key solutions provider that can manage everything green and growing on your property, and then some. And remember, there are layers of maintenance tasks required to keep a Florida HOA property looking its best 12 months out of the year. If any services are cut, you’ll notice.

  3. Accessibility and open communication are critical, so you should ensure that the landscape provider assigns an account manager or single point of contact for your HOA property. This person should be readily available, honest and driven to do the best for your landscape. The account manager should serve as go-to, taking full responsibility for all services performed on the site.Things will go wrong. But a respectable provider will make it right every time.

Florida HOA Landscaping

Red Flags: Common Landscape Maintenance Missteps

There are typical signs that a landscape firm is cutting corners on your HOA’s maintenance. We see these all the time. What often happens is, price becomes more important than frequency of service or scope of work. For example, an HOA wants to cut down on mowing costs so a landscaper simply does less. (Remember, landscape firms are ultimately selling time. And they need enough time to properly service your landscape.) Cutting budget means sacrificing quality. Here are some common cuts we notice on properties that are not well maintained:

  • Inadequate irrigation
  • Lack of pest management
  • Poor lawn care practices: fertilization, weed and disease control

Preserve Property Value: Invest In A Committed Landscape Maintenance Provider  

We understand, your HOA has a designated landscape maintenance budget. And what organization isn’t seeking ways to reduce spending and better manage financial resources? This is why open communication is critical with your landscape maintenance provider. Help the company understand exactly what your goals are for the property. What results do you expect? (Remember, you get what you pay for.)

Agree on expectations: An experienced landscape maintenance firm will provide a clear, detailed contract that sets expectations for services. You should have honest conversations with the provider. For example, if you want green grass year-round and healthy, blooming flowers then cutting out irrigation maintenance and trimming back lawn care will not deliver the results you’re seeking.

Ask for a designated contact: Again, we can’t stress this enough: Your landscape maintenance provider should be accessible. That’s why at Reef Tropical, an account manager is assigned to every property as a direct contact, and maintenance quality control supervisors ensure that work meets our high standards.

Go beyond basic maintenance: Finally, your landscape maintenance provider should help you realize the potential for your property. Our team acts as the eyes and ears on your property. We identify opportunities to enhance spaces and increase the value residents will gain from the landscape. We’re on site to listen to your ideas, and share our thoughts for ways to ensure a thriving landscape at your Florida HOA or condo association property. It always helps when clients allocate a modest budget for minor landscape enhancements that do not require approval. That way, your landscape provider can move forward with necessary tasks to maintain the value of your HOA or condo association landscape.

Ocean Reef Club Landscape Maintenance

Uncommon Quality & A Dedicated Team

What makes a Reef Tropical property different is our high standards for landscape maintenance, experienced team of professionals, and deep understanding of what it takes to keep a South Florida landscape healthy. HOAs and condo associations that entrust in our firm know their landscape maintenance is taken care of, so they can focus on their homeowners.

Let’s talk more about how Reef Tropical meets the specific needs of Florida HOA and condo associations. Contact us any time at 305.367.2005, or fill out this simple form and we’ll get in touch with you.

Visit Our Landscaping Gallery!

New Call-to-action

Topics: Landscape Maintenance

Claude Kershner IV

Written by Claude Kershner IV

President Reef Tropical • Pool & Landscape

Subscribe to Email Updates

Free Pool Building Guide

New Call-to-action

Recent Articles

Free Pool Service Checklist
New Call-to-action