5 Budget Tips For Commercial Property Managers

Each year, as a commercial property owner, you make a budget for landscape maintenance. And each year do unexpected costs arise? Even with careful planning, organizing and budgeting you may still be taken off guard.

 

Let Terracare help! Here are the benchmarks you need to make sure your budget covers to meet your landscaping goals.

1. Have strong guidelines

Be very critical when it comes to your bid. Make sure it is specific to your wants and needs. Ensure that it includes how many visits, how many applications needed, how many services are desired and provided. To receive the most accurate bid possible every single detail needs to be accounted for in the contract.

2. Include extra expenses

Have you ever had a sprinkler head break or have you wanted to add an unplanned enhancement to your property? Unexpected services are a common occurrence in the landscape maintenance world. There is no telling what may come up throughout the year so it is important to be ready when that time comes. Setting aside money now may be crucial down the road.

3. Ask questions

Don’t sign on those dotted lines until you ask some very important questions from your landscape provider. These can range from: What is the company’s safety record? Does the landscape provider hire certified, trained professionals? What awards nationally or regionally has their company won? It is very important to make sure you have all your questions answered before you enter a contract.

4. Prioritize enhancements

Analyze which services or projects need to take place this year. Does your irrigation system need improved upon or modified? Does a flower bed need renovated? Do you have a turf conversion project to be done? These different projects can help keep your property in pristine condition; however, they can also influence your budget. Plan now to avoid unexpected expenses.

5. Hire a qualified landscape company

Search for a landscape provider that invests in the training and education of their employees. A landscape provider that guarantees that their legal workforce is held to a high standard whether that be by drug testing or by background checking their team. A professional landscape provider has a crew that holds industry certifications and also adheres to strict safety guidelines. In addition, you want a landscape provider that cares about the project, not just the numbers. Simply put, these types of landscape providers are a step above their competition.

What’s next?

Whether you are clear about your commercial property landscape goals or you need help to define a plan, take a moment, and schedule a consultation with your Project Manager at Terracare Associates. We at Terracare will help you achieve all your commercial landscape goals.

Schedule an Appointment.

3 Reasons to Add Mulch to your Property this Spring

We have almost made it through the frigid months of winter! Now is a great time to get out and assess your commercial property’s landscape. When you are doing this, you might have realized that after months of moisture and colder temperatures your landscape beds need help. This is a great time to refresh and add new mulch to your landscape beds. Below are a few benefits your property receives when mulch is added.

Traps moisture in the summer:

During the warmer months of summer, mulch is such a helpful tool. One of the major benefits is the increased amount of moisture your plants receive. This moisture is essential to offset the water restrictions that are sure to come in the summer months. When applied, mulch helps conserve moisture in your landscape beds, keeping your trees, shrubs and flowers healthy.

Prevents weeds:

Weeds are a common and often unruly problem to your landscape beds. They steal the necessary nutrients and block much needed moisture. Weeds also make your property look unkempt. Using mulch however, is a phenomenal way to naturally combat this invasive weed. Just like other plants, weeds require light and warm soil to survive. When mulch is used, it creates a barrier that prevents weeds from sprouting because they do not have the strength to push through the mulch.

Provides a professional look:

You may have noticed that mulch loses its vibrancy and fades with time. Generally, your mulch has a shelf life of less than a year and after surviving winter, it is time to replace it for best impact. Although this is not the main purpose of mulch, the faded, dull coloring gives off a less than professional appearance. A few mulch options we recommend trying are pinestraw or wood mulch for a natural colorful look.

What’s Next:

Do you need help adding mulch to your property or deciding which type of mulch to add? Have a Terracare expert come out and assess your property now!
Schedule an Appointment.

5 Budget Tips For Commercial Property Managers

Each year, as a commercial property owner, you make a budget for landscape maintenance. And each year do surprising or unexpected costs arise? Even after careful planning, organizing and budgeting you may still be taken by surprise. You mean well, but you’re left wondering why you cannot stick to your budget? If this is you, you are not alone!

 

We are here to help. By following these five simple steps, you will not only meet your budget, but also come in under budget! Are you ready to write a budget you can count on to make it through the entire year? Let’s get started!

1. Have strong guidelines

Be very critical when it comes to your bid. Make sure it is specific to your wants and needs. Ensure that it includes how many visits, how many applications needed, how many services are desired and provided. To receive the most accurate bid possible every single detail needs to be accounted for in the contract.

2. Include extra expenses

Have you ever had a sprinkler head break or decided to include a property enhancement mid-year? Unexpected services are a common occurrence in the landscape maintenance world. There is no telling what may come up throughout the year so it is important to be ready when that time comes. Setting aside money now may be crucial down the road.

3. Ask questions

Don’t sign on those dotted lines until you ask some very important questions from your landscape provider. These can range from: What awards nationally or regionally has their company won? What is their company’s safety record? Does the landscape provider hire
certified, trained professionals? It is very important to make sure you have all your questions answered before you enter a contract.

4. Prioritize enhancements

Analyze which services or projects need to take place this year. Does your irrigation system need improved upon or modified? Does a flower bed need renovated? Do you have a turf conversion project to be done? These different projects can help keep your property in pristine condition; however, they can also influence your budget. Plan now to avoid unexpected expenses.

5. Hire a qualified landscape company

You may think that all you need from your landscaper is to ensure that your grass is cut and weeds are pulled. However, there is a lot more to choosing a quality landscape company. Search for a landscape provider that invests in the training and education of their employees. A landscape provider that guarantees that their legal workforce is held to a high standard whether that be by drug testing or by background checking their team. A professional landscape provider has a crew that holds industry certifications and also adheres to strict safety guidelines. In addition, you want a landscape provider that cares about the project, not just the numbers. Simply put, these types of landscape providers are a step above their competition.

What’s next?

Whether you are clear about the commercial property landscape goals or you need help to define a plan, take a moment, and schedule a consultation with your Project Manager at Terracare Associates. We at Terracare will help you achieve all your commercial landscape goals.

Schedule an Appointment.

Quick Landscape Enhancement Projects to do this Fall

Part 5

During the month of August, we will provide you a 5 part series on how to easily create your 2018 budget, with the help of your commercial landscape company. Below are the links to the previous blog posts in this series:

Many enhancement projects to a commercial landscape property are not only a quick and easy way to add curb appeal, but are also a great way to add value to a commercial landscape property. Enhancements serve as a reinvestment in the property’s existing features, upgrading sections of your landscape to improve the overall appeal. This autumn is the perfect time to complete these enhancements and have the property in pristine condition. Here are four great recommendations of enhancements projects to start this Fall:

Mulch

Mulch is any type of material – usually natural – serving as a cover and is spread over the soil. It can take many forms including bark, compost, grass clippings, shredded leaves, and straw. Mulch creates insulation helping reduce water from evaporating off soil thus reducing the need to water plants frequently. In addition, when thoroughly applied to an area, mulch is very effective in minimizing the growth of weeds.  Mulch also adds a sensational pop to the property.

Sustainable landscaping

Xeriscape

Xeriscape is a set of water-wise landscaping and water conservation principles. It’s the idea of maintaining both an appealing landscape through introducing low-water-use plants. With the increase of droughts and water scarcity, xeriscaping has become a very popular enhancement. In fact, in a recent report some xeriscape conversations reduce outdoor water use by as much as 70%.  There’s no better time than the Fall to have a landscape provider identify small areas that can benefit by water-wise planting.

Xeriscape

Planting Perennials

A perennial is a plant that grows for many seasons, unlike an annual which only lasts one season. This enhancement is growing in popularity not only because it’s good for the environment, it also saves money on water costs and requires less time needed for replanting. A great place to incorporate perennials are paths and walkways to ensure that guests enjoy their beauty. Interested in finding out more about perennials options? Click below:

Planting Perennials

Shade Trees

Path

Choosing trees that are known for providing shade and planting them strategically around a property near buildings can save you up to 30% on your heating and cooling costs. In addition, these shade trees can increase the overall attractiveness of the property and allow for an increase foot traffic. To learn more about your shade tree options, click below:

Shade Trees

Reasons To Consider Turf Reduction For Your Commercial Property

Sustainable landscapingDid you know that landscape watering accounts for nearly 50% of your water bill?

Property managers are constantly looking for ways to reduce water costs without compromising the appearance of their landscapes. What can you do to maintain the beauty of the landscaping on your commercial property while also using less water in your landscape? One of the best ways to accomplish this is with a turf reduction conversion.

What is turf reduction?

Turf reduction or landscape conversion involves replacing selected sections of turf grass with drought resistant, native plants or other landscape materials. Turf reduction conversion doesn’t mean covering your property in pea gravel or monkey grass. With the vast selection of beautiful native plants with low water needs, creative design and use of alternative landscaping materials, you will not miss the turf areas.

Hens and ChicksNative plants and xeriscaping

Based on the climate and layout of your property, you can use a variety of low-growing ground covers such as Asiatic Jasmine and Lamb’s Ear that can take the heat and have low water requirements. Water-wise perennials and ornamental grasses will also add color and texture to the landscape design.

bushes

Landscape alternatives

Crushed granite, mulch and river rocks are a few landscape alternatives to replace irrigated turf grass in

areas that are long and narrow or small and odd-shaped.

Why you should consider turf reduction conversion

  1. It uses less landscape water and reduces watering costs

Everyone loves the look of a beautifully manicured, lush, green turf area on their property. Because of the rising cost of landscape watering, many municipalities offer a rebate for reducing the turf areas on residential and commercial properties.

  1. Is turf grass the best choice for certain areas?

The best use of turf grass is on areas where people will be sitting or playing. Ask yourself: is it necessary to have turf grass in parking strips/islands or on south-facing slopes? Why pay to water turf in these hard-to-maintain areas, when that water can be used for the most valuable things in your landscape: trees.

  1. Sustainability and being green

Today, being water-wise and sustainable are not just buzzwords. Irrigation modifications, using native plants and xeriscaping design are not only good for business, but good for the environment as well.

Is turf reduction right for your commercial property? Contact Terracare Associates.

Reducing water usage in Napa Valley — A Case Study

With a state of California mandate to reduce water usage by 25 percent, many communities and homeowners association agree reducing water usage helps cut costs and protects this precious commodity. However, there are varying opinions on how to best achieve water efficiency while protecting the plants during hot climates. How do you build consensus, keep a property aesthetically pleasing for residences, and conserve water?

Silverado Springs-29

Nestled in the beautiful, world-renown Napa Valley, Silverado Springs, a quaint upscale neighborhood was facing this dilemma. The community boosts lush greenbelts, lakes, tennis courts, a swimming pool and spa, and a variety of open spaces. It provides residents high-end, low maintenance living in the heart of wine country. For more than 20 years, Terracare Associates — TCA has grown to be a trusted partner to the community and homeowners association by supplying high-quality recommendations, expertise, and landscape services.

Silverado Springs-34

 

The Situation

In 2012, before the statewide mandate, Terracare Associates (TCA) was actively consulting with the Siverado on water management enhancement to prepare for higher water prices and expanded water restrictions in the region, the homeowners’ association was eager to become better environmental stewards too. They wanted to overhaul the community’s look from a lush landscape to a more regionally appropriate xeriscaped environment with drought-resistant plants. While the community and homeowners association at large agreed they needed to reduce water usage and cut costs – there were varying opinions on how to best irrigate and achieve water efficiency. They turned to TCA to educate the community while developing a solution and long-term plan to lower water usage and costs. It became a partnership with the goal to dramatically reduce usage while keeping property value and desirability high.

 

Over several months of TCA employees attending board meetings and forums, TCA was able to hear and address residents’ and the homeowners’ association’s concerns, explain best water conservation practices, and build consensus among residents and the homeowners association on how to best tackle the problem. TCA recommended and completed a project that included:

  • Installing new upgraded Smart Controllers, which adjust to optimal sprinkler run time based on the local weather conditions.
  • Converting large areas of the communities turf to drought resistant plants.
  • Updating more efficient MP nozzles on the turf that remained in the community. Replace all community medians holding turf with mulch and xeriscape.
  • Upgrading all current water nozzles to ensure efficiency.
  • Continuing to educate the community and HOA on other initiatives to further decrease water consumption.

Silverado Springs-18Silverado Springs-26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making an Impact

The project has been wildly successful and popular with the community. Residents have loved the transformation and new look. The homeowners association has been highly satisfied with the service quality and changes TCA recommended and provided. From 2012 to 2014, the community reduced water usage by 23.5% allowing the 2014 annual water expenses to come in more than $15,000 under budget. This initiative took place prior to California’s restrictions. The community was prepared for mandate and was able to maintain their desired aesthetics.

 

With ongoing maintenance, continued monitoring, adapting to a new norm of water usage, Silverado Springs has transformed to an eco-friendly and sustainable neighborhood.

 

Can TCA help your community or city improve your public service, or commercial and landscaping services? TCA would love to help you find out. Why not send TCA a request for proposal?

3 Reasons You Should Consider Turf Reduction Conversion

Silverado Springs-33From California to the Southwest, the drought conditions continue. As we suffer through yet another year of harsh climate, property managers will find it a challenge to keep turf grass green and healthy. In addition, higher water costs and frequent water restrictions have us reevaluating landscape maintenance options.

With no end to the drought in sight, we have to think more proactively of ways to landscape with less water. What can you do to: Continue reading “3 Reasons You Should Consider Turf Reduction Conversion”