Why maintenance contracts are priced differently

Here at Landscape America, our account managers often get questions like, “why does this landscape contract cost more than that one?” and “why is there such a big price difference?”

Sometimes, proposals from different landscape companies can be wildly different, especially when it comes to the price.

Of course, we all know that no two contracts are the same. Services and terms can vary. And while a smaller, less expensive contract might look like the better choice initially, this isn’t always the case. Here’s why.

Look beyond the price at the company’s philosophy

There’s a lot that goes into the number at the bottom line of your proposal. One of the reasons you might notice a “price gap” between proposals boils down to something very important: the mission, vision, values and philosophy of a company.

This might seem like a pointless exercise, as many landscape companies are providing what can appear to be a “basic” service. But we beg to differ. Whoever you hire should have your best interests in mind. And paying a little extra can save you money (and headaches) down the line.

A very telling question to ask any company offering you a proposal is, “why do you do what you do?” How they answer can be revealing. At Landscape America, our answer is a long one, and it’s all over our “About” page. In short: we have a passion for the outdoors, and that passion finds expression in beautiful and thoughtful outdoor spaces that reflect our clients’ values and ideas. And we’re driven for excellence, wanting to be the very best we can be.

What does that mean for you? It means you can choose with confidence, and that any difference in price is likely due to us not skimping on any of the details.

What to look for on your landscape proposal

As for the contract itself, here are some of the questions to ask while looking over a proposal:

  • What’s the scope of services? — Your contract should list the size of your property as well as the services required to maintain it. It should also be transparent with details. This can be on anything from their process, to staff credentials, to insurance coverage, materials used, and expected communication methods.
  • What’s the frequency of services? — Your contract should address the number of visits that will take place over the season. Since Massachusett’s summer landscape maintenance season is typically 38 to 40 weeks long, most of our contracts include weekly services for the length of the season. There are always variances, of course, as each contract is custom-tailored depending on your needs! Some landscape firms may visit less during the course of the season, which can result in a smaller number, but also a poorly-maintained property.
  • What are the company’s policies around health & safety? — You can’t put a price on safety. Companies that are cutting prices down to compete could be sacrificing important in-house programs that benefit you, the property manager, as well as tenants and guests on your property. Find out about your contractor’s safety record, and ask for proof. This is even more important today with the rise of COVID-19. We’ve written about safety before on our blog and it’s still a top priority.
  • Is the pricing fair for the services offered? — This might be the most important question of all because it involves weighing value vs. cost. As we mentioned above, keep the company’s mission, vision, values and philosophy in mind. And be sure that the company isn’t underbidding services to win a contract, only to increase the price later on.

How to choose a commercial landscaping company

No matter who you choose, we want to help you ensure your landscape company is a good fit for your property.

We’ve written about this at length on our blog before, with posts on how to choose and what to look for in a commercial landscaping company. Last year, we also tackled five things to look for in your commercial landscape maintenance contract. All of these posts, along with this one, are designed to help you make an informed decision about whoever will be looking after your property.

When it comes to commercial landscaping, pricing is important — but it’s not everything. Long-term vendor relationships begin honestly, and that includes transparency on how the price of a contract is built. It can be tough to navigate service providers’ contracts when you see gaps in prices, but it’s our hope that we’ve equipped you to compare agreements fairly.

If you’d like to schedule a site visit or request a proposal from Landscape America, please fill out our online form or give us a call.