‘Tis the season for procuring landscaping bids for your HOA, office park, retail center, or retirement facility.
If you’re not satisfied with your current land management company, then it’s time to put together an RFP—a request for proposal—to find a landscaping company that will meet your needs.
What is an RFP & Why Does Your HOA or Multi-Family Property Need One?
An RFP is a document that includes your property’s four-season landscape problems or challenges. It includes the following
- A statement of work
- A list of tasks
- A timeline when the tasks need to be completed
- Instructions for the bidding process, including how to prepare and present the proposal
- The contract’s terms.
Unless you’re the sole owner of the property, you will meet with the property management or HOA board to discuss the challenges that you or residents deal with in your community.
What’s the Goal of an RFP Document?
The goal of the RFP is to find the best vendor available to solve your landscape problems and create outstanding curb appeal. You also want the landscaper to commit to one to two years, so you receive uninterrupted, consistent service.
Ideally, you want a landscape management company that will provide four-season property service throughout the entire year. For example, you want a landscaping company to offer snow and ice removal services. You can then expect consistent service 24/7.
The RFP helps you find the contractor who’ll bring you the most value while minimizing risks—such as weedy lawns, lackluster landscaping, and icy roads during a Nor-Easter.
The RFP also outlines your intent to contract with a landscape service that benefits the people who live in your communities or visit your retail space.
An RFP includes a list of questions that you and your board put together that address specific needs. You want bidders to answer those questions to see how they would solve your problems—or if they’re even qualified to handle those issues.
For example, if you want to add a pergola at the community center or outdoor space for residents, can your contractor provide the landscape design and execute it to create those hardscapes for you?
In summary, here’s the three-step process to creating a winning RFP:
- Write and send out your RFP. You can invite landscaping companies near you to send in their bids.
- Collect proposals and evaluate them to see which vendors will be the most beneficial for you.
- Select the vendor.
10 Steps for Creating an RFP Document for Landscape Services
You need a team of people to create the best RFP document for your community or retail space. For example, an HOA board will work together with input from members for putting together an RFP
Member residents know first-hand what they need from their landscaping company that mows and fertilizes their lawns and creates outdoor spaces that stay within the community’s bylaws.
Here are 10 steps that you and your HOA, POA, or other property board must include in your RFP:
- Brainstorm your property’s needs and desires if you wish to add hardscaping or a new flowerbed that needs board approval.
- Create a purposeful RFP using a template or RFP software.
- Include questions that target your property’s specific challenges, situations, and goals.
- Address how landscape companies should bid their services in response to your RFP or invite landscapers to send in bids.
- Ask bidders to respond by addressing how they’d solve your specific property problems, situations, and goals.
- Have bidders include how they train their crews and ask them to provide certifications, licenses, references, reviews, and case studies.
- Evaluate all proposals. Then, compare and contrast to narrow down the landscape management company that best meets your needs and desires.
- Negotiate with bidders to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. Be transparent about your expectations.
- Decide which company fits your property or community needs best. Inform the winning bidder and those who didn’t win to continue the process with other property managers.
- Sign the contract and begin to cultivate a long-term relationship with your landscape management company.
One last piece of advice: Make sure your landscaping vendor will visit your property in person to evaluate it. For example, you want your snow removal company to know where to put the snow after it’s been plowed.
Why BCLS Landscape Services is the Best Choice for Your Central VA Commercial Property
At BCLS Landscape Services, we visit your property during the fall to prepare for the upcoming snow season. Here’s why:
- We inspect your site looking for stormwater drains and other obstacles.
- We complete a detailed pre-season inspection, including taking pictures of critical areas.
- We lay the foundation for a customized snow response plan for your property.
- We do the above so that we’re prepared to be on-site when the snow starts to fall.
We provide the following landscape management services:
- Aeration and Over-Seeding
- Floriculture and Seasonal Color
- Irrigation Service
- Leaf Removal
- Mulch Installation
- Site Policing
- Snow & Ice Removal
- Spring Property Preparation
- Tree and Shrub Care
- Tree and Shrub Pruning
- Turf Grass Management.
BCLS Landscape Service’s headquarters is in Ashland, VA; we also have offices in Fredericksburg and Hampton Roads, VA. We serve the following commercial properties:
- Multi-Family Properties
- Offices and Office Parks
- Retail Centers and Shopping Malls
- Institutional Properties
- Industrial Properties.
We welcome your RFP invitation so we can send out a bid for the upcoming year. You can contact us by calling 804-752-0052 or fill out our contact form.
Investopedia.com, Request for Proposal (RFP).