Your HOA Landscaping Bids: The Red Flags to Watch Out For

You’re on the home owners’ association board, and even though some people think that probably means leaving enough cookies out for the HOA meeting, you’re responsible for a ton! You make the neighborhood what it is, take care of the common areas, and most importantly, determine who takes care of the landscaping and maintenance of your HOA.

You know first-hand how tough of a job this is. Not only do you have to balance a handful of competitive bids, you have to do the research and have the know-how to fully grasp who best fits the job, how experienced the company is, and if their work ethic lines up with your expectations — after all, this is your HOA we’re talking about, and you want it to be the best.

Unfortunately, not every landscaping company is created equal, and more than that, not every landscaping company is going to be the right fit for you and your needs. This can be a hard fit to find, but if you know what to look for, you can easily determine some simple red flags that can steer you clear of the companies that won’t work for you.

We’ve been a landscaping company for a long time, we’ve dedicated our lives to caring for Florida families, businesses, and organizations that know landscape matters. But we know that we can’t always be the landscapers you choose! That’s why we want you to know what kind of landscaper to hire, how to tell if they’re working for you, and if your work ethics and expectations match.

Check out our list of landscaping red flags here to get a better idea of what kind of company to avoid:

No Prior Experience

This should be the biggest red flag out there. If a company is openly telling you that they don’t have any prior experience, then it might not be the greatest idea to trust them with all of your landscaping needs. Now, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t give hardworking, dedicated, ethical landscaping companies a chance just because they’re new – but if they aren’t able to offer you things like full project scope, detailed plans, and execution strategy, or a blueprint for your final results because they’ve never experienced those things before, you likely won’t want to trust your landscape with them. If a company is claiming prior experience but doesn’t actually have any, that’s even worse. The last thing you want to do is work with a company who claims to know what they’re doing but is really just one guy with a riding lawnmower. We respect all hard workers, but when it comes to correctly landscaping and getting the client what they want, you need to have the experience to get the job done.

No Clients or References

Speaking of experience, if your landscaping company isn’t able to offer you a list of previous clients or references that you can call and check in with, that’s a red flag right off the bat. If a company is proud of the work they’ve done, they’ll certainly have a list of people that you can get in touch with who will happily vouch for their services. But if they don’t have a single current or past client that you can get in touch with to ask about the type of work they did, it’s likely that they’re simply just not prepared to handle your business. What’s worse? If they’re trying to boast about the work they’ve done but still can’t provide you with clients’ information, it’s likely they’re not being entirely honest with you about their services. That’s a huge red flag right there.

No Realistic Pricing

If you’re reading over the prices that a landscaping company offers you and every single price is giving you a “this is way too good to be true” feeling, odds are, it probably is. Sometimes, landscaping companies will send out a price that beats the budget you’re looking at specifically to get your business, but in the end, they simply don’t have the resources or capability to get that done for the price they promised. Then, you’ll have to deal with the reverb and likely end up paying more — see how that price was actually too good to be true? Even if they do get it done, your landscape design, installation, and maintenance are going to suffer in order to stay true to that price, something you certainly don’t want or deserve. Always check on what services are being included in the proposed contract prices and lay them out, item-by-item, to compare them against other landscaping companies. If they seem too good to be true, like we said, they probably just are.

No Insurance or Loss Prevention Plans

What’s the first thing you should do when you’re looking to hire a landscaping company? Check out their proof of insurance and other credentials like loss prevention. Why? Because you don’t want to be deep into a contract or an agreement when something goes wrong and you realize you never checked in on their insurance. Also, because if a landscaping company is hesitant to or cannot deliver this proof, that’s the biggest red flag in the green industry. Listen, accidents happen – even to the most professional landscaper in the game, but if your prospective landscaping company does not have loss prevention or insurance, you’re going to be left with a lot of liability to deal with. Insurance is expensive, but it’s crucial, and if the company you’re working with doesn’t have it, it’s best to avoid working with them to save yourself the risk, headache, and responsibility if something goes wrong.

No Dedicated Contact Person

If you’re consistently getting the run-around from your landscaping company and struggling to find a single person who’s your main point of contact, that should be an enormous red flag. While this might not say anything about this landscaping company actual landscaping skills, it does say something about their professionalism, their organization, and maybe even their ethics. If you’re not working with an organized company who’s dedicated to keeping their clients’ needs on track, then you’re going to have an incredible time laying out what you want to be done, keeping your maintenance schedule correct, and getting and complaints (should you have them) resolved in a timely and professional manner. You need a landscaping company that’s going to allocate a point person to you who takes pride in their work and is happy to be in touch.

Was our article helpful? We hope so! Trusting your time and money to a landscaping company can be hard to do, so we hope that we made your process a little easier. Want to chat with us directly about what kind of landscaping company might best fit your need? Give us a call. You can reach us at 727-201-3947.

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