Managing multiple properties is a complex juggling act, but often the most difficult part is balancing the expectations and needs of different stakeholders. When it comes to property management, stakeholders are people with a vested interest in the property and the business of managing it.
These stakeholders come from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, all with their own (sometimes competing) interests. Neighbours, local environmental organizations, municipal governments, your own staff, and even local businesses can all be stakeholders, and it is up to you to manage their expectations.
By far the two most important (and often most vocal) stakeholders are property owners and tenants. As a property manager you’ll likely have the most contact with these two groups, and just to make things more complicated, their interests often contradict one another.
Property owners expect you to provide the greatest value for money possible; they want high occupancy rates, low maintenance costs, and a big return on their investment.
Tenants of residential properties want a safe, clean, secure, and aesthetically pleasing place to live. They want any issues to be resolved as quickly as possible, regardless of the cost and, like property owners, they expect a return of sorts on their investment. They are paying rent and want to ensure that money is repaid with the living standard they expect.
Your landscape contractor can help you balance the needs of tenants and property owners
The interests of tenants and property owners are not always at odds and there are some simple ways to find common ground and better manage divergent interests. Working with the right landscape contractor can facilitate this challenge:
1) Ensure your property is well maintained
A property that is maintained to a high standard will keep tenants happy, increase occupancy rates, and mitigate the costs of future repairs.
Go beyond the every-day landscape company to manage the expectations of tenants and owners. Look for a landscaping company that offers holistic services and features that will make a big impact in the property’s appearance and livability. Garden Grove offers holistic services including:
- Seasonal care packages
- Winter snow and ice management
- Property enhancements
In addition to increasing property value, these critical services ensure that your property is safe. In Canada, in the winter, you need to ensure that you are providing the highest level of snow removal possible, for legal reasons. Throughout the year regular landscaping reduces the risk of water damage, increases usability of spaces, reduces cooling costs, and plays a preventative role in property maintenance (by preventing issues like damage caused by tree roots or flooding due to poor grading).
2) Look for contractors who focus on customer service
Great customer service goes beyond showing up on time, leaving a property neat, and returning phone calls. Look for a contractor who focuses on a Total Care Approach. They should:
- Provide you with a Client Care Manager who is committed to giving you an immediate response to any concerns
- Follow up on your landscaping plan and review what’s working (and what isn’t)
- Provide same-day response in addition to scheduled, weekly maintenance visits
- Provide a monthly report for your property that includes a property walk through, incorporates your ideas and concerns, and provides real-time solutions and suggestions
- Be fully trained, experienced and certified
- Show proof that they are covered through WSIB
3) Hire tech-savvy contractors
Look for contractors who are taking the lead on technology to offer you transparent, on the spot solutions. From estimating seasonal maintenance and snow and ice services to online property profiles, contractors like Garden Grove are using technology to provide superior customer service, accurate estimates, and real-time solutions to landscaping problems.
Finding tech-savvy contractors will help take the guesswork and assumptions out of the management equation. With real-time technology the ability to communicate with teams in the field and get accurate job status reports is instantaneous, which makes for a more flexible and efficient working relationship.
Landscaping companies who work with technology are better able to increase efficiencies, offer competitive prices and provide high-quality services that will keep owners, tenants and other community stakeholders happy.
In summary then, to ensure both property owners and tenants remain satisfied ensure the property is well maintained and looks the best it can. Also, work with a contractor that is both strong on customer service and takes full advantage of available technology.
POSTAL CODE CHANGE: Please note that the Garden Grove Landscaping postal code has changed to L8B 1K5. Our 136 5th Concession location remains unchanged. Please edit our contact information accordingly.
Written by Paul Lammers
June 8, 2016
Paul Lammers is the vice-president of operations with Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. Paul may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-996-1099.