If you’re really in the mood for tacos, would you head to a restaurant known for making great tacos, or a place that makes tacos and potato salad?
You’d pick the taco place, right? If they only make tacos, they’re experts. (Plus, everybody knows your mom makes the best potato salad.)
So if you manage a commercial property, and you’re weighing hiring a commercial landscaper vs. residential landscapers that also service commercial properties, the choice seems clear, right?
Or, it will, once we chat with Jenna Visco, a northern Virginia branch manager at Level Green Landscaping.
Why Hire Commercial Landscapers?
“It all comes down to the level of service we provide and the expectations the crews are trained on,” Visco says.
“When a company switches back and forth between serving residential and commercial
customers, the training gets blurred,” Visco says. “There might be one set of expectations for a residential customer and another for commercial customers. It’s hard to train crews to be jacks of all trades.”
At commercial landscaping companies, everybody from operations managers to supervisors to crews know how to improve commercial property landscaping to help further their business goals.
If an office building needs to lease space, we make sure they have something extra to attract new clients. If a warehouse property manager wants to reduce costs, we can suggest ideas, like replacing mulch with turf.
Commercial Landscapers vs. Residential: Equipment Needs
When a landscaping company is focused on commercial properties, they have the equipment to service large properties efficiently, Visco says.
“We mow huge fields that require 60-inch and 72-inch mowers,” she says. “We have more of those. If you’re doing a mix of residential and commercial properties, you probably have more 36-inch and 52-inch mowers. That means mowing your big property will take more time, which costs more money.”
That goes for large and costly snow removal equipment, too, she says. Commercial landscapers that focus on commercial properties, not residential, are more likely to own large machinery and have access to renting it than a company that also plows residential driveways.
Commercial Landscapers Know the Right Plants
Residential customers have different goals than commercial property managers, Visco says.
“A commercial property is always for sale, in some way or other,” she says. “They want to maintain their long-term investment.
“A homeowner might want to try out a cool new plant, just for fun. We advise against that for commercial customers. They want to make sure their landscaping is still there five years from now to maintain the value of their property long term.”
That requires knowing exactly what plant material will thrive for the long haul.
“Landscape designers love to call for coreopsis,” Visco says. “It’s pretty and bright yellow. But it only lasts a year or two. Our teams have seen it go in a lot and not do well.”
It might be fine for a garden-loving homeowner who will pamper it, she says.
“But commercial properties tend to get neglected more,” she says, “especially if there’s no irrigation.”
Experienced commercial landscapers like Level Green know what plants can handle some drought, she says.
“That’s why we do a lot of begonias. They can take neglect and still survive.
“We’re there to help customers strategize and prioritize to improve their property so it holds its value long term.”
Commercial Landscapers vs. Residential: Don’t Get Neglected
“Residential customers are a lot needier,” Visco says. “When you hire a company that does a mix of residential and commercial properties, the loudest customers get attention first. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Homeowners scream the loudest. So you might not get attention as quickly.
“Residential complaints derail a landscaping company from the bigger picture,” she says. “There are a lot of distractions in residential landscaping. They need more managers, so they have to charge more.”
Commercial landscapers that only deal with commercial clients are solely focused on their unique needs. No distracting squeaks.
Commercial Landscapers Can Offer Budget Strategy
Level Green account managers prepare an annual landscaping budget for commercial customers. It saves clients a lot of work. They pick and choose the services they need.
“We get budget worksheets out in July, before the busy budget season,” Visco says. “We have the experience and knowledge to know what standard enhancements cost. We know the cost of seeding and chemicals per acre. It helps commercial customers prepare year to year.
“We help prioritize what’s important to them.”
Commercial Landscapers vs Residential: Partner with Level Green
While homeowners often love to be involved in their landscape maintenance, chatting about plants and offering instructions from the sidelines, busy property managers don’t have time for that.
They want a landscape maintenance company that makes things easy. They want to sign a contract and know their property will look great, without any phone calls or hand holding.
That’s what happens at Level Green. We’re set up for commercial property needs, from specifically trained crews to account managers expert in commercial properties.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.