Need to Cut Costs? Start with 10 Landscaping Tips
In this week’s tip, we provide three tips to help you reduce your landscaping costs.
1. Do a request for proposal from landscapers. “Our greatest savings came from creating a four–page request for proposal for lawn care and snow removal,” says Patrick Hohman, a 23–year HOA president at the 40–unit Seneca Park Condominium Association in Louisville, Ky. “It helps, too, for the owners and residents to know there’s a tight plan since grounds maintenance is such a high–visibility issue. For example, we may get a few calls about the shrubs needing to be trimmed. But in the plan, shrubs are trimmed every April and September, so it’s ‘under control.’ Knowing of the written schedule helps keep owners happy.”
2. Band together with other HOAs to reduce costs. “My association saves money by teaming up with other associations to bid on multiple developments,” says Joshua Levitt of the Grove Pointe Condominium Association in Jersey City, N.J. “With Davit Weltz of the Portofino Condominium Association, we formed a group called the Joint Condo Coalition of Jersey City, consisting of some 15 separate associations in our town. We use collective buying power to command the best prices. As a group of 10 or more associations with 60–plus units, we can generally command a discounted price of 10 percent to 25 percent off any quote, which includes snow removal as well. We also share recommendations, concerns, and advice with each other.”
3. Choose areas to focus on. “Prioritize the areas of highest impact and visibility, and focus money and effort on those,” says Christopher Russo of Mariani Landscape, a landscape design, installation, and maintenance firm serving condominium developments and HOAs in the Chicago area.