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2022 Landscape Budgeting Tips

If you are responsible for managing property, chances are landscaping is an important factor to consider. So, what landscaping do you need? It's all about understanding the property, what landscaping maintenance is necessary to maintain the health of the plants, making the best use of your outdoor space, and choosing how to invest in the right features that will make your property stand out.

 

Preparing for Budget Season 

One of the most critical tasks for any business or organization is its annual budget. For homeowners associations (HOAs), budget planning involves a lot of projections, but it is much better to get accurate numbers. To accomplish this, HOAs look at their vendor contracts and send out requests for proposals (RFPs) to determine how much they plan on charging for their services within the coming year.

Your community’s landscape budget is undoubtedly one of your highest costs, with the average HOA in Florida spending anywhere from 10-50% percent of its budget on landscaping services. As the largest line item of your budget is discussed and decided, or as RFPs and bids are voted on, there probably is not a single landscape professional in the room. With many community professionals basing their landscaping and enhancement budget on previous contracts, de
cision-makers do not even know what they are paying for. Without becoming a landscape professional overnight, here are some tips to keep your landscape budget built for battle.

This Year's Impact

After 2020, it is clear that each year is unpredictable. While previous annual budgets may or may not have gotten you through those years, they should never be reused. Not only do a variety of costs fluctuate year by year, but your property's needed repairs and replacements will also be variable. While special attention should be given to building your initial annual budget, you also will need to pay just as much attention to revisions.

According to the Wall Street Journal, as of May 2022, landscape costs are up over 22.4% compared to the same time last year. There are many factors impacting this increase as landscape companies work diligently to absorb costs. When challenges of price increases occur, communities must understand how this can impact their current and future costs for services.

What can you expect as you reach out to landscaping companies for quotes? Pricing could increase from 10-20% depending on the services requested. The driving factors that are causing this increase in landscaping service prices to include fertilizer costs increased by more than 20%, gas up by more than 50%, and equipment up by 15%. Most landscape companies are now incorporating fuel surcharges in agreements. Typically it will be a percentage of your contract value or monthly invoice, you can expect anywhere from 2% to 8% depending on the cost of fuel. 

Use a Trusted Professional

Previous budgets and solicited RFPs can help give you an idea of prices and costs, but nothing can replace a trusted professional. Utilizing a landscape professional, whether it’s a business developer or a horticulturist, means having a point of reference for line items, extraordinary circumstances, and planning for future projects and renovations. 

Landscape companies that are confident in their work will always be willing to share advice without needing a formal RFP or verbal agreement. While there will be the odd person who is more concerned with prospecting than providing compassionate help, the best landscape professionals care for your property as if it were their own. 

🚩🚩🚩 Red Flags to Look for When Choosing a Landscaping Company: 

  • Pricing – Making sure it’s realistic. There might be a company that can cut down their prices, but it is important to not take the low-ball price and ask yourself if cutting down the price is worth cutting corners on the services provided. 
  • Clients/References – Check them! When a landscaping company provides their references, it is important to look into how long their references have been a client of theirs. Looking for any signs of a high turnover rate of references or employees is crucial. 
  • Experience – Who will be overseeing and performing your services? What types of certificates, training, or experience do they have? Did you meet with them? How do they communicate? How do they manage their partnerships? Who is your contact person(s) for your site?
  • Contract Terms & Insurance – Make sure they are properly insured and you know what your options are for termination if things don’t work out.

Conclusion

Budgeting for this year is just as important as every year previously, but this year does have increasing prices that do need to be considered when preparing an annual budget. If you are looking for a professional landscape quote from a team who cares, please contact us today!