Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal and Spring Tips

Research shows that people form a first impression within seven seconds of seeing something novel. Whether your concern is to maintain property values, increase occupancy rates or improve the overall experience for visitors/tenants, curb appeal is a critically important element of your success. Below are several ideas to ensure your property always puts its best foot forward.

  1. Pay particular attention to high visibility areas. Street entrance sign monuments, building entrances, and courtyards are the highest visibility areas and offer the best opportunity to make an impression. These are the areas to spend for high-impact items such as annual flowers, planters, and fountains. These areas should always be in immaculate condition. No weeds, debris, trash, or gum on the sidewalks. Remember, you have only seven seconds to impress your guest!
  2. Trees and shrubs should be neatly pruned to eliminate low-hanging branches, crossing branches, and any dead material. Associated beds should be mulched and weed-free.
  3. Turfgrass areas should be lush, deep green, and weed-free. Turfgrass areas should also be properly trimmed and edged to give a clean, crisp appearance.
  4. Does your choice of plant material complement your building structure? Plant shape, texture, and color can all be utilized to enhance the look of your building. While “looser” or “floppy” plants can be excellent choices for residential cottage-style gardens, they may not be the best choice for more formal sites such as office complexes or retail centers.
  5. Don’t forget the night! Just because the sun has set doesn’t mean people stop looking at your property. Consider up-lighting of specimen plants and/or building facades to make your property sizzle at night.

How to Craft an RFP

The RFP process can be a daunting task for property managers and community board members alike. The bid process contains many technical elements that can be a challenge to align with your needs, particularly for individuals with limited landscaping knowledge. The good news is that with a little planning, you can create an RFP that clearly defines your expectations and determines the best overall value in a landscape contractor.

First, it is important to determine why you are putting the property out to bid. Are you unhappy with the quality of service from your current provider? Are you bidding simply as a price check or part of due diligence? Do you need a landscaper who can provide more comprehensive services than your current provider? Whatever the reason, your RFP should address the reasons you are considering a change. For example, if you are dissatisfied with pruning but your RFP only calls for one occurrence, changing providers will not address your need.

Secondly, the RFP should help crystalize your goals, objectives, and priorities. Some common objectives our customers have shared include:

  • Improve landscape quality to improve curb appeal, increase property values or occupancy rates.
  • Create short- and long-term property improvement plans to effectively manage a fiscally responsible budget.
  • Establish a consistent landscape theme across the entire site or portfolio of sites.
  • Partner with a proven industry leader who can proactively manage all elements of your landscape: mowing, tree services, irrigation, snow/ice management, landscape designs, and installation.
  • Reduce time spent managing your landscape contractor.

Lastly, a thorough RFP will determine the bidder that best fits your needs. A qualified bidder should have and be able to prove the following:

  • Positive, quality references on similar types of projects.
  • Depth of resources, capabilities, and experience.
  • Quality, safety, and training programs.
  • Up to date licenses and appropriate insurance.
  • Tenured employees with significant industry experience.

A well-written RFP is a powerful tool in maintaining the value of your property. Chapel Valley is happy to review your current RFP and make suggestions on possible improvements. A little preparation now will pay dividends in terms of the time you save managing your landscaper and the overall appearance of your property for years to come.

Beautifully landscaped courtyard