Forest Oaks HOA: Taking a Proactive Approach to Large Property

It might not specifically be mentioned in the contract, but one of the main jobs of a commercial landscaping company is to take away the stress and worry about the project at hand.

The company needs to be proactive, reliable, responsive and easy to work with to keep property managers happy and the landscape looking pristine.

When all of that comes together, you have a successful partnership, like with the Forest Oaks HOA.

Large, Diverse Property Areas

Forest Oaks Clubhouse

Forest Oaks is located in Cedar Park, Texas, and has about 1,500 single-family homes, says Keri Scott, senior community association manager, RealManage.

The association includes common areas, playgrounds, basketball courts, two pool areas, alleyways and detention ponds that need to be maintained.

“There’s quite a large area of work,” Scott says. “It’s not just a mow-and-blow association.”

RealManage turned to Native Land Design to manage this HOA property in 2009, and the partnership has since been beneficial to both sides.

“It’s hard to find a client genuinely interested in developing a long-term relationship with a vendor,” says Ben Collinsworth, founder and CEO of Native Land Design. “That is evident in the respect and professional communications we receive from Keri and RealManage. She is a consummate professional, working with us as a partner on properties and helping to make us better each step of the way.”

Most Important Company Quality

Pond in Texas

When RealManage was searching for a commercial landscaping company to maintain the HOA, there were several things to look for and consider.

There are so many characteristics that can describe a good company, such as experienced, friendly and timely. But for RealManage and the HOA, they especially wanted the landscaping company to always be thinking ahead, instead of just reacting to situations.

“For me, it’s about being proactive,” Scott says. “I want a company that doesn’t wait until everything is brought to their attention. The crew should notice things and bring them to our attention instead of the opposite.”

Availability is another important thing they looked for within a landscaping company. The association wanted a quick response if something went wrong, no matter what day or time it was.

“When we contact Native Land — whether it’s during or after hours or even the weekend — they are very responsive,” Scott says. “They turn in monthly irrigation reports, they are easy to deal with, easy to get ahold of and just proactive. It makes all of the difference.”

That’s important especially if an irrigation system is running too long or there’s a main light out on the property, for example. Native Land is also quick to work on upgrades or any other projects the HOA suggests, she adds.

Offering a Different Perspective

Pool Plants

Not only does Scott work for RealManage, who manages the HOA, but she also lives in the Forest Oaks neighborhood.

So, she has a unique view of the maintenance company partnership, seeing both the property manager and homeowner’s perspectives.

“I would expect for the property to look well-maintained,” says Scott, putting on her homeowner hat. “The association isn’t trying to cut costs or anything like that, so we expect to get what we’re paying for — and I feel like we are.”

There’s another member of the HOA that can provide a unique and educated option on the landscaping services. The landscape chair owns a landscaping company, so he knows what to look for with the maintenance work.

“He has the eye for it, and he’s pleased,” Scott says.

To make sure everything on the property is up to the HOA’s standards, they have an assistant drive through the community to do landscape inspections.

Building Strong Relationships

It also takes good account managers to have a successful partnership with a landscaping company.

The account manager should be transparent, available and proactive. Building a strong partnership with those types of traits will really benefit both parties. Not only does the HOA have their expectations exceeded, but a good relationship also pushes the landscaping company to continually better itself.

“We thoroughly enjoy working with Keri and have for many years,” Collinsworth says. “When we find a client like that, we want to do everything possible to make them look good to their board members and colleagues.”

 

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Highlights

  • 1,500 Single Family Homes
  • Two Pool Areas
  • Basketball Courts

Testimonial

Keri Scott

“When we contact Native Land — whether it’s during or after hours or even the weekend — they are very responsive. They turn in monthly irrigation reports, they are easy to deal with, easy to get ahold of and just proactive. It makes all of the difference.”

Keri Scott