Choosing a landscape management company to keep your property safe and beautiful is a big decision. Property owners or managers are very busy, and I can tell you, they have no time to chase after lousy contractors.

I know what you’re thinking… “well, of course, he is going to describe CSL as what to look for in a landscape management company!” Fit is essential. I am passionate about what this industry has to offer, but I am even more passionate about serving people – and want you to make the decision that’s right for your property or company, no matter who you choose. If it’s CSL, even better!

So what should you look for in a landscape management company?

A good track record and references: Always ask the company for references, and if possible, speak to them. A shiny website and well-spoken sales person may be deceiving. Your best bet is to ask other people about their experience before making a decision.

Positioning and expertise: If a landscape company works with businesses or properties similar to yours, chances are they have valuable expertise that will work to your benefit.

Wide range of capabilities: It makes your property manager’s job much easier when you can have one landscape company to perform a wide variety of services, rather than deal with multiple contractors. Look for everything from lawn mowing to snow removal to outside-the-box services like graffiti removal.

Outstanding customer service: Though I’ve been with CSL for five years, I worked in the hospitality sector for 20 years before that. You could say I’ve dedicated my whole career to the service industry. One thing I’ve learned is how important exceptional customer service is for clients, regardless of the industry. While it’s easier for smaller companies to offer more personalized customer service, a remarkable larger company can do the same. Do your research and make sure they treat their clients and staff right.

A reliable winter fleet: A bigger company can typically be better when it comes to winter services. When there’s a big snow storm, you want to know your landscaping company has the fleet size to service all their clients as quickly as possible. Smaller companies can be stalled if one of their ploughs or trucks breaks down, or if one of their staff members gets sick. A more established company will have contingency plans and perhaps a few vehicles or people on standby at all times.

Proper insurance: Make sure the company offers you a clear and rock-solid contract that outlines liability in the event of damage or injuries caused by crews doing work on your property. For winter contracts, make sure you read the fine print. Typically, companies providing a full service will assume full responsibility and liability — even long after they’ve left the site. A-la-carte or on-demand contracts will leave the responsibility in the hands of the property management or owner. Also, look for the amount of liability insurance a company has. The minimum is $1 million. CSL has $10 million. Airports want their landscape company to have aviation insurance as well. CSL has $5 million. Insurance is critical, and we will discuss in greater detail in another post.

Security clearances: This won’t be a factor for all clients, but it’s certainly important for some. Government buildings, airports and utility companies require special security clearances to be obtained. The process is timely and costly. Hiring a company that already has clearances or a process in place to obtain them can save you time and money. You will be able to learn about the different types of clearances needed in another post.

I wish you luck in your search for the perfect landscape management company, and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.