Sure-Fire Signs Your Landscape Maintenance Provider is Underperforming on Your Bid

Ben Collinsworth

Sure-fire signs your landscape maintenance provider is not meeting your expectations.

Feeling a little pressure as a Texas commercial property manager?

We understand. It’s a tough job. You have tenants to answer to. You have a budget to adhere to. You have requests and complaints and suggestions coming at you from every direction. The last thing you want to do is waste time, energy or money by investing in a professional who isn’t delivering the results you agreed to. 

But, unfortunately, not every hire is going to meet or exceed your expectations.

Whether you are a property manager of a retail center, a homeowners’ association, an office park or an industrial site, you have specific needs of how you want your property exterior to look. You bid your job out and hire the best candidate to meet your needs and budget. As the work progresses, it’s natural for you to want to evaluate whether or not your needs are being met. This is when you should make sure you know these sure-fire warning signs that your landscape professional is not meeting your needs. If your expectations are not being met, it might be time to let him or her go and find a new service provider.

Contract Obligations Versus Expectations

First things first: It’s important that you familiarize yourself with the differences between contract obligations and your property’s aesthetic expectations. Yes, they can be slightly different in nature.  

The contract is a simple document that will state some basics of what you want done on your property, including services to be performed, what specific areas and square footage needs to be maintained, and how many times a year your landscape professional will visit your property to provide landscape maintenance services (every week during the year, for instance or weekly until November and then biweekly during the winter).

But your expectations may go beyond these contract obligations. For instance, do you want your landscape provider to take care of the entire property every week regardless of the weather conditions Mother Nature provides? Say it rains very heavily in spring and this brings tremendous growth to your lawn. As a result, your landscape crew will have to work twice as long to take care of the mowing.

So, sometimes a landscape professional will spend the same amount of time they allotted to your property to mow the high-visibility areas first and foremost and then return later that week or the next week to mow the rest. This maximizes their time on the site, giving your property the attention it needs, while adapting to the challenges Mother Nature throws their way.

The same thing can happen in November when you requested biweekly service versus weekly service. However, if you expect the entire property to be maintained in full weekly despite weather conditions or time of year, then that’s an expectation you need to share with your landscape professional and they will schedule their time and respond to your bid accordingly.

Communicating your contract obligations and your expectations with your landscape provider can ensure the work gets done right every time.

Sure-fire signs your landscape maintenance provider is not meeting your expectations.

Start With a Phone Call

So, you’ve checked the contract obligations and your landscape service provider knows your expectations, and still something seems off. 

Start by contacting your landscape professional to find out what’s going on. Give him or her a chance to explain the situation: it could be a labor challenge or a weather-related incident or something else causing a temporary setback in service. See if your landscape contractor has a plan for addressing the problem and fixing the situation.

As long as you are being reasonable with your expectations of time, a landscape professional should deliver. However, sure-fire sign No. 1 that your service provider isn’t meeting your needs is when they say they will address the problem by Friday and that day comes and goes and your problem remains ignored.

Whether your landscape service provider has trouble managing his or her time or crew, overpromising and under delivering is never a good sign. If this happens on a frequent basis, it may be time to start seeking a new landscape service partner.

Proactive is Always Better Than Reactive

One thing most people appreciate is communication. If you manage multiple properties, you’re not always able to check in on every site regularly. And it’s never a pleasant experience when you notice a problem on your site every time you’re visiting.

That’s why sure-fire sign No. 2 that your service provider isn’t meeting your needs is a lack of communication.

When your landscape professional updates you weekly on your property goings-on, as well as alerts you to any challenges, service updates or site needs, you know what to expect and you feel regularly in tune with your property’s affairs.

Proactive communication always trumps reactive communication, keeping you not only updated, but also headache- and stress-free.

Sure-fire signs your landscape maintenance provider is not meeting your expectations.

Pick a Professional Partner

No one said being a commercial property manager was easy. That’s why Native Land Design’s experts are here to help. We value weekly communication with our property managers to ensure they are always aware of what’s happening at their Texas commercial sites. Call us for a free onsite consultation at 512-918-2270 or fill out our contact form online today.

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Ben Collinsworth


Before Ben founded Native Land Design in 2001, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He’s an active member of ASLA, HBA of Austin, NHBA, PLANET, and BOMA. Ben, his wife and their three children reside in the Cedar Park area.

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Native Land Design provides all of our weekly landscape maintenance services at Forest Oaks Homeowners Association (Cedar Park, TX), which consists of 1,491 homes and a large amount of common area. We have been very pleased with the level of service and attention to detail provided by Native Land Design.

Keri Scott, CMCA, AMS, Community Association Manager, RealManage