Get that Atmosphere your Tenants Love

  • By Jon Alexander
  • 28 Sep, 2016

If the tenants are happy, you're happy. It's your first priority to keep them that way. Here's a few features you can incorporate that will make your estate a better place to be in.

As a commercial property manager, your responsibilities lie with your tenants and, by association, their clients. While location, safety and easy access are top priorities in regards to your buildings and parking, creating a cohesive, comforting atmosphere where people enjoy spending their days remains a huge part of your job. Your estate becomes a place where the tenant will potentially bring his customers, and your property must give the tenant the confidence that it will support the customer in choosing to work with him. 

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it is important to set yourself apart from the crowd, while still maintaining a professional and well-defined appearance. When the time comes to hire a landscaping company, whether for a touch up or a complete overhaul, consider the following commercial landscaping ideas:

  • Make sure it links. The key here is to not go off the rails with your outdoor design. Ornate and exotic designs may very well capture  your  imagination, but if they clash with the buttoned-down aesthetic of your office complex, the result could prove to be off-putting for visitors. Take your cues from the geometry present in your architecture and establish tasteful – yet colorful –surroundings that complement it. We can help you choose.
  • Have a seat (or more). Coinciding with your architecture-influenced design, consider implementing outdoor furniture and benches. These, too, should share similar attributes to the seating that furnishes your property’s interior, which will lend to a cohesive feel. Strategically placed benches throughout your property will encourage visitors and employees to take breaks outdoors, enjoying your landscaping efforts and boosting morale in the process.
  • Create a welcoming entrance. This cannot be overstated. The unspoken goal of every property or building is to prompt others to take that first step across the threshold. Creating a welcoming entrance way is of the essence. Keep things simple, but memorable. The use of plants should be minimal, yet purposeful. Lush greenery planted or potted along a walkway can serve as an effective guide. Draw guests’ eyes to the door, and their feet will likely follow.
  • Keep things light. Proper illumination is part and parcel when discussing commercial landscaping ideas. Low-voltage LED landscape lighting can add safety and security to your property, while offering extended views of your landscape into the nighttime and giving a warming atmosphere. Consider spotlights to draw attention to signage and accent lighting to showcase the plants and flowers that you worked so hard on during the day.

Valley Landscape Management can assist you in your choice and design, and install your vision to our typically high standard. Call 01322 279799 or contact us here .

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By Jon Alexander 03 Oct, 2016
In the busy town centres of modern Britain, especially around London, it doesn't seem there's a square inch to be had without a tower block there already, being built, or due to start soon. With more and more open space disappearing, we may well be forgiven for wondering if there's anywhere we can go at lunchtime for a breath of fresh air, short of catching a bus tour to the coast.

The answer could be that we look upwards. For every tower footprint there is, that footprint is still there, only that its a few stories higher (please notice, this is not applicable to The Shard). Therefore central cities are awash with flat, open spaces on the top of their buildings. So why not turn them into communal seating areas?

Valley Landscape Management are able to offer a full design, installation and ongoing maintenance package for Roof Gardens and Communal Areas, working with our sister brand, Provincial Planters . Contact the team now on 01322 279799.
By Jon Alexander 30 Sep, 2016
Managing the extensive range of maintenance tasks on your commercial property is like running an operation that’s unrelated to your core business. If you’re a manufacturing plant, your focus is on producing goods—not tending to landscaping. If you’re a healthcare institution, you’re delivering patient care—not rushing to the car park to clear snow, or repair that fence that came down in last night's storm.

We’re guessing your company mission is not to create and maintain an attractive show-garden. Still, who can afford to cut corners on grounds management? Your property says a lot about who you are as an organisation and how any tenants may feel. (Unkept, Messy grounds send a negative message.)

So, how should you handle grounds maintenance?

We know there are pros and cons to outsourcing facilities ground management. When you hire a contractor to do anything on your property, you’re entrusting in an outside partner to appreciate your grounds like you do. You might be worried about quality—and of course, there’s cost. Perhaps keeping maintenance duties in-house is an effort to control expenses? 

On the other hand, what are you  really  saving by choosing to do your own facilities grounds management? And, how much time are you spending on maintenance that could be redirected toward core revenue-generating activities? 

In business, the savvy owners and managers recognize their strengths and focus on performing what they do best. They surround themselves with talented teams of people who complement their skills— professionals who are strong where they lack expertise.

We know you’ve got decisions to make concerning who and whether you hire out services like grounds maintenance. So, let’s discuss the pros and cons here.

Delivering Quality

No matter your business, customer experience matters. First, there’s the appearance or “feel good” aspect of your commercial property. Is it welcoming? Do tenants, customers and employees have pride in their decision to do business with you or work for your organization?

Is the property safe—free of debris, clear of snow and ice. Taking that a step further, does the grounds meet environmental services expectations? Cutting corners on landscape maintenance will compromise all of these factors that play into the customer experience.

When any business tries to do it all, details get overlooked. The benefit of hiring a professional facilities grounds management firm is that the company specialises in assuring your property looks and performs in the first-class way you want to present your business.

Cost: Will You Really Save Money?

Every business has a budget, and has to draw a line somewhere with spending. The question is, when determining whether to carry out grounds maintenance in-house or hire a professional, are you considering  all  of the costs associated with expertly caring for your commercial property? Believe us, they add up.

We have experience working with corporate campuses, manufacturing facilities and other institutions in healthcare and academia. Many of them who tried to manage their own grounds management at one time stopped because they weren’t saving money like they expected. In fact, some of them found they were spending more.

Of course, managing landscape maintenance in house (and don’t forget about snow and ice removal!) could cost less than a professional. But often that is only with cutting corners, and then you’re risking quality and safety. Cost, quality—it all goes together.

Keep in mind these expenses associated with in-house facilities grounds management:

  • Employee wages. This includes benefits, health insurance and disability. Estimate the total cost of keeping grounds maintenance employees on payroll. Remember, you’re paying them 52 weeks out of the year and potentially adding in overtime expenses during the busy landscaping or winter seasons.
  • Additional employee costs. What about training? And liability insurance? Also, the manager of your grounds team will need to earn more, so figure in those supervision costs.
  • Equipment expenses. You must also purchase the equipment required for your maintenance teams, and suitable vehicles to transport material or cuttings. Often the industrial sized equipment required costs thousands of pounds apiece. 
  • Personal safety. You’re insurance provider will need to know that you are operating a grounds maintenance program. Also, there are regulations concerning personal safety, such as requirements for equipment like safety glasses, earplugs, boots, gloves and other PPE.
  • Operating costs. Most equipment requires fuel. All landscape tools require maintenance and eventual replacement. Also, operatives will require training and licenses to use certain equipment. 
  • Supplies. Adding to your expense list are supplies such as mulch, fertiliser and irrigation parts. (And where will you store all of these necessities?)

Timing Is Everything: Scheduling Grounds Maintenance

having considered the costs, you may be prepared to work those expenses into your budget. Beyond what you’ll spend in terms of pound notes, an equally important factor is  time and scheduling.  Plus, someone needs to take responsibility for doing that (more money...). Scheduling is often a difficult aspect, especially when responding to emergency situations such as a fallen tree or fence blocking a road. These occurrences are regular on business parks, and when protecting client and employee safety is critical, they cannot be left unattended too. Will your maintenance team have the diverse skill set required to undertake these emergency tasks, when they are often very varied in nature? And have they got the equipment required to complete these varied tasks? You could be in a position where you have your in-house team employed, but still find yourself calling on professional companies to undertake more complex tasks.

Also, some property owners assign maintenance tasks to their grounds management crews that are completely unrelated to the outdoors. If in-house maintenance is tied up handling an electrical or plumbing problem, what happens to the exterior of the property in the meantime?.

The benefit of hiring a professional facilities grounds management company is that the firm is dedicated to enhancing your property’s appearance, safety and environmental services.

Conserve Resources By Partnering With A Pro

There are commercial properties that manage their own grounds maintenance and they are willing to dedicate the time, people and financial resources to get it right. But what’s your primary focus as an organisation? Consider the pros and cons of dedicating yourself to what’s most important and generates revenue vs. “doing it all yourself.”

Let’s talk about how partnering with a professional grounds management firm can help conserve your resources. Call us on 01322 279799, or  fill out this simple contact form  and we’ll get in touch with you.

By Jon Alexander 30 Sep, 2016

Using a commercial landscaper is a great way to ensure your premises or property always gives a brilliant first impression to customers, tenants and employees. 

The luxury of a beautiful, well-kept property serves as a subconscious reminder that your company offers quality work. An aesthetically pleasing commercial landscape and hardscape could also increase the value of your property, make it more desirable to tenants and enable you to add value to tenant fees.

But how can you be sure the company you're choosing can achieve this for you? Here are four important things to consider when choosing a commercial landscaper:

1. Professionalism
You wouldn’t hire an unprofessional employee, and it’s just as important to hire a commercial landscaper you can trust. Will landscaping team members be courteous to your tenants and prospects? Will they pay attention to the smallest details?

2. Wide Range of S ervices
Ensure the commercial landscaper you’re considering offer a range of services. From commercial landscape design to snow management, you want a commercial landscaper who can manage every aspect of your property. Valley Landscape Management offer all these services, including a Rapid Response service for when unexpected problems arise, such as fallen trees.

If you find yourself having to hunt for other companies to undertake works that your commercial landscaper cannot offer, you may not be getting out of them what you could.

3. Experience

Ask about the actual crew that would be doing work on your property – how experienced are they? Does the team hold certifications, and does the company have professional affiliations? These are good indications that the commercial landscaper follows best practices.

4. Cost

You shouldn’t choose a commercial landscaper solely based on cost, but be sure to consider return on investment. Does the company offer affordable, high-quality services? Ensure they provide clear invoices with proper documentation for each project?

5. Ability to Maintain Multiple Premises

Many of our clients own multiple properties and estates. It's essential if you are in this position to choose a commercial landscaping company that can serve all, or at least regional, locations. By doing this you will be making an overall saving, as opposed to dealing with each estate individually.

To work with Valley Landscape Management as your commercial landscaper, call us at 01322 279799 or let us know here .

By Jon Alexander 30 Sep, 2016

Here’s why your property estate will benefit from a commercial landscape contract:

Expertise

Let’s face it, you don’t have the expertise to deal with the landscaping needs of your commercial property. You probably don't have the time either. Landscaping can be complex, and you have your core business interests to focus on like assisting your tenants needs. A commercial landscape management company will provide you with the expertise needed to complete your landscape efficiently and beautifully, and will simply releave you of the responsibility of it. 

Look like you mean Business

Nothing says "I don't care" louder than a tangled, overgrown mess of an entrance to your property estate. It looks unpleasant to customers and tenants, giving the whole estate a negative feel. Our regular site visits ensure your grounds are always looking neat and at their best.

Resolving Problems

Currently if something goes wrong on your property its your problem - no one is responsible for sorting it out other than you. You've most likely got a full day scheduled, and that's going to be seriously disrupted if you have to spend the next few hours resolving this issue. Imagine being able to simply call 01322 279799 to pass that problem on to us! Clients of Valley Landscape Management benefit from our Rapid Response service, where we resolve onsite issues at short notice. 

Safety

When snow and ice plague your commercial property, a commercial landscape management company responds right away. No more slipping and sliding around the parking lot, worrying how you will get in the door. Snow removal is an important part of a landscape maintenance contract, and keeps your estate clear and functioning all winter long.

And what about springtime? Without commercial landscape management, your tenants will likely experience allergy symptoms on the short walk from their car to your building. Trimming the grass regularly filters pollutants and dust particles from the air. You will be the hero of the building come allergy season.

Sustainability

Sure, you can plant a few trees and bushes on your commercial property. But without proper commercial landscape management, those plants will likely wilt in a few months. Sustainable landscapes planted by a landscape management company can last year-round and provide unparalleled aesthetic appeal.

Give us a call now on 01322 279799 to discuss your outdoor solution, or fill in this form and we'll get back to you.

By Jon Alexander 29 Sep, 2016

How do you know when it’s time to part ways with your commercial landscape maintenance provider? These a few signs that may give you a hint.

  1. You’re feeling overwhelmed: As a property manager, you are responsible for so many things that the upkeep of the grounds around your building probably falls to around the bottom of your to-do list. The right commercial landscape maintenance provider can help you get back on track with a comprehensive plan to keep your landscape looking fresh and inviting—with minimal effort on your part. If you're having to get over-involved in the process it could be a sign they're not taking on as much as they should be.
  2. You’re feeling underwhelmed: Is it easy to ignore the plants on your property? Do you feel as if your landscape layout is a bit dated? Landscape designs go in and out of vogue, and while you don’t need to change your whole aesthetic with the changing of the seasons, it’s important that the grounds around your building look like they belong in this era.
  3. Your beds are full of weeds: You know your basic landscaping needs aren’t being met when weeds start consuming your property’s flower beds. Worried about potential Japenease Knotweed? Visit our dedicated brand, Elcot Environmental .
  4. You’ve been in the same relationship for a while: It can be comforting to work with the same people for a long period of time, but there is also one major drawback to any long-term relationship: complacency. If you’ve had the same commercial landscape maintenance provider for a while, you may not be aware of all of the options that are available to you
  5. You’re not getting the attention you deserve: If your current commercial landscape provider is not responding to your needs, it’s probably time to move on. Technological advances have made it so simple for commercial landscape maintenance companies to communicate and transact with their clients that  there’s no excuse for a provider not to offer options that make it easier for you  to manage your grounds keeping needs. 

Are you ready for a change? Call Valley Landscape Management now on 01322 279799.

By Jon Alexander 28 Sep, 2016

As a commercial property owner, one of your primary goals should be helping your tenants and their clientele feel good about coming to work day after day. Likewise, getting prospects to take that first step across the threshold should not be underestimated. Main entrance landscaping can help you make a lasting first impression.

To drive into and around a business estate with unkept bushes, fallen trees, long grass and litter everywhere, the message to a first-time visitor is pretty clear - this is a bunch of folk who simply don't care. If the outside maintenance is like this, what state of repair are the buildings in that I'm looking to rent? Do I want my customers to drive through all this to reach my business?

In contrast, a well designed and landscaped entrance sends as a strong a message in a positive sense. This business estate is a nice place, these guys care here, to have my customers drive past these stunning areas would benefit they're experience and impressions about me. I like it here.

There are a few things you could consider to create an entrance way that gives the impression you want.

  • Create a dynamic color scheme with foliage and flowers. Maintain beds of vibrant and sustainable shrubs, which can keep interest blooming throughout the year. Feel free to mix it up a bit, too. Plants of varying heights can lend visual appeal. To that end, consider large specimens to catch the eye. Innovative use of patterns can go a long way in crafting memorable aesthetic for your main entrance landscaping. We can help plot an arrangement of flowers to resemble your company’s logo.
  • Don’t forget the furniture. Be conscientious and creative at the same time. Employees appreciate a place to sit outdoors during lunchtime, or simply when they need a breath of fresh air. Aim for functionality, mixed with character that also complements the aesthetics and architecture of the rest of the building.
  • Pave the way with purpose. Whether brick, flagstone, concrete, or beyond, the walkway leading to your building will quite possibly be your property’s most heavily trafficked path. Ensure that it is clearly marked and maintained, and use this opportunity to infuse personality into what some may consider an otherwise mundane feature. Consider engraved stonework, or even incorporating color into the masonry.
  • Incorporate repeating elements. Tying the design of your entrance to the property’s overall aesthetic creates a compelling, cohesive theme. Consider the mirroring of geometric shapes and color schemes to bring everything together.
  • Lighten up. Your main entrance landscaping should be equally accessible throughout the day and night. Professionally installed landscape lighting can be customised to fit your needs, while increasing safety and adding personality and to your property.

Valley Landscape Management offer a full design, installation and ongoing maintenance contract to keep your entrances looking like you mean business. Contact us here .

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