Commercial properties often utilize a laundry list of services. Getting quotes from a few different landscapers is one thing. Getting 3 separate bids for 10+ different services is a much bigger task. But it’s essential if you want your property performing at its highest level.
If you want your friends down at ABC Landscapes to manage your turf, by all means hire them. But don’t be so quick to accept their terms. Incorporate at least two other local landscape contractors to participate in the bidding. If your friends at ABC aren’t the lowest price, give them a chance to match it.
Competition has the ability to bring out the best in a business. Vendors that have no sense of urgency or accountability aren’t motivated to provide their highest level of service. When a vendor knows other service providers are waiting in line behind them, they will be putting their best foot forward. When they don’t perform and you need to make a change, there won’t be a gap in service. You refer to your other bidders and have a new provider fill right in.
When there is no competition, no one wins. Especially not the property or its ownership.
Some other recommendations for hiring new vendors:
- Always get a minimum of 3 bids, making sure each has the same scope of service.
- Discard outliers. If a price is too good to be true, it often is.
- Use reputable vendors that are sufficiently insured.
- Use attorney-drafted proprietary service contracts. Don’t leave your property at the mercy of a vendor’s service contract.
- Check references, dig in and try to get beyond the generic praise a reference usually dishes out.