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Does a Landscaping Company Add Real Value?

julio 03, 2020

Should You Hire a Landscaping Company?

It’s the peak of summer and a good time to consider the value of landscaping and gardening for your rental properties.

Some landlords say it’s too much work, creates low ROI, and is not worth the ongoing property management cost. Yet, others feel it builds curb appeal and attracts better tenants.

The popularity of garden apartments attests to the fact that many tenants consider low rise rentals more desirable. That’s why they cost more to purchase and rents will be higher.

Rise of the Low Rise Garden Apartment

A garden apartment is a unit in a low rise 3 or 4 story building that incorporates a garden-like haven. It’s the next best thing to a house with a yard, while keeping apartment dwellers free of plant and lawn maintenance.

For a property management company, such improvements provide more rental revenue thus creating more need for your services. These beautification improvements make it easier to acquire tenants for any vacancies you have in the years ahead. From higher rents to tenant comfort, landscaping creates compelling value for property owners.

Condo Townhouse Landscaping and Gardens

12 Essential Benefits of Landscaping in Rental Properties

  1. increases likelihood of lease renewal
  2. increases value of rental thus higher rent prices
  3. increases occupancy rates
  4. increases interest from high quality tenants
  5. improves lifestyle and living experience for tenants
  6. generates happier, more rested tenants
  7. adds revenue for property management companies
  8. modernizes and remodels outdated properties
  9. increases energy savings in summer and winter
  10. makes rentals more kid-friendly for young families
  11. gives demanding renter prospects what they want
  12. adds landscape lighting to improve tenant security

Landscapes and Gardens

Although they’re separate entities, landscaping and gardening often are grouped together. One without the other is not quite the full aesthetic experience desired by tenants or rental building owners.

Combined, they can change the trajectory of your business by raising your rental demand.

The costs of landscaping and gardening maintenance are cited frequently as a reason to have none of either. This attitude isn’t appropriate any longer as there are more landscape designers who can create a cost effective installation for you.

And right now, amidst the Covid 19 pandemic, the draw of garden apartments and landscaped properties is intense.

Renters are leaving the city to rural areas or even the suburbs where they can commune with nature. Why shouldn’t property owners keep those tenants by bringing the countryside to them?

A nice mix of new benefits for renters that includes landscaped gardens is going to help you keep your tenants.

Cost Vs Benefit of Landscaping

Perhaps the issue for property owners is a reliable, cost benefit assessment.  What if a beautiful, low maintenance landscaping design could be done quickly and efficiently? Does that change the ROI outlook?

The whole point with cost is to open up the conversation and actually get quotes for the work.

For a property owner and property management company who operate at scale, the marginal costs fall considerably. And maintenance can be handled via your rental management software.

Landscaping Expands the Living Space for Tenants

Renter demographics are changing with older renters demanding a comfortable home with outdoor enjoyment. And work at home workers need relief from a cramped apartment unit.

Landscaping and gardens extend the living space and provide psychological benefits many workers must have.
A properties external appearance is important, but today it’s more about the enjoyment of the property.  The landscaped areas might be more often used, given how many kids there are today and due to the Corona Virus social distancing rules and work at home situation.

Are renters expecting more out of their rentals? Are they willing to pay more to get these benefits?

Rental apartments offering the pleasant atmosphere of trees, ornamental bushes, beautiful lush lawns and flower laden garden areas are benefits not often cited by rental prospects. But it’s hard to argue that such features don’t appeal to interested renters and tenants.

Back in 2013, the American Society of Landscape Architects found that apartment renters wanted an easy to maintain landscaping and desired outdoor entertaining, benches and chairs, eco-friendly materials, and trees that grow vegetables and fruits.

In the inner cities, such amenities would be in big demand. These features lower street noise, clean the air, and provide a more humane place to live and rest.

The beauty of nature is rare in urban areas where cement and asphalt reign.

Such oases of nature can be a big drawing factor for certain tenant demographics. Particularly now during the Covid 19/work at home era where people are spending all day and night in their apartments/townhouses/homes.

These facts may launch a trend in property management for the inclusion of more green spaces where residents can relax.

How do you feel about the value of landscaping improvements? Is it something you can do easily at a reasonable cost, or will it eat up your property management budget with little gain in rent or equity?

Property Management Companies and New Services

If there is a trend to greener more natural landscaping in rental property and multifamily units, it’s a whole new opportunity for services and revenue for your property management firm.

If you can charge an additional $100 to $400 per month in rent for a newly landscaped property, and you have enough units, this could be financially viable for 2021 and beyond.

Given unemployment right now, this might be the time to get some bargain bids from good landscape design firms.
Some property management companies offer landscaping and lawn maintenance as part of their service mix. HOA managers needing to keep the grounds of a housing cooperative have to keep lawns and shrubbery trimmed frequently.

Those owners who manage low rise buildings must keep the grounds safe. On occasion, they’ll need to hire arborists and professional gardeners to manage these tasks and lawn cutting services to keep weeds controlled and trees and shrubs trimmed.

Automatic lawn sprinklers could be installed where possible.

What’s Included in Landscaping in General?

It can be defined as organic vegetation installations (softscaping), earth moving, retaining walls, fountains, lighting installations, and cement, rock, wood, and stone aggregate installations (hardscaping).  Plenty of features to consider depending on your landscaping budget.

Downplay the cost and consider the brand image that landscaping and manicured lawns creates about the property owners.

The first thing it says is that they care about their property, that the property is held in high esteem, and that the residents are worth it. And residents know it. The best maintained and enjoyable properties are usually command the highest rents.

Landscaping indicates the residents are educated, successful, tasteful, and follow rules. If you visit the home of a millionaire, you’ll know doubt see impeccable lawn care and landscaping. They wish to create a haven for themselves and make their visitors feel good.

Landscaping says a lot about aesthetic taste and culture, and about caring for people in general.

It also indicates that the owner cares about the property and likely takes care of the house or apartment building.
If you’re impeccable about one thing, you’re likely impeccable about most other things to. It’s brand image excellence and renters are often okay about paying a lot more to live in a wonderful home.

How to Choose a Landscaping Company

This is a serious project for your company or property so taking a systematic approach to ensure all the checks are made is important.

  • they help create an affordable solution you actually want
  • their landscaping and gardening services match with you need on your property
  • their landscape architect/designer is qualified and experienced
  • they demonstrate how it will achieve your objectives, not just give you a common solution
  • they explain and guarantee their choices of plants, trees, features, etc.
  • know how to adapt their services/products to your needs
  • have a good variety of projects to prove their skills and customer satisfaction
  • are properly insured and bonded
  • is certified with the National Landscaping Association
  • tells you how many employees they have and their roles
  • explains how the work will not get delayed
  • has good references from other property managers/landlords

Customized Landscaping Solutions

Just as it is with your property management software solution, you need the best fit for you. Standardized solutions could mean “cheap” resulting in shoddy appearance and higher than expected maintenance costs.

Ensure you’re fully educated on how the property will be maintained and how much that will cost yearly. They should know this if they’re professionals.

If the project requires more info and judgement, it might be wise to phone a couple of reputable property management companies. They may help you get a better bearing on what landscaping management costs and who you might hire.

While you’re enjoying our property management info, check out ManageCasa, a property management software platform you and your staff will find enjoyable to use.  It has all the powerful features you’d expect from a professional solution for demanding property managers.

 

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