By Jon Alexander 09 Oct, 2017

Commercial property owners understand the importance of value, and the possibilities of making a small fortune as property values increase. However, whatever the market is doing, there are ways to enhance your property's value and it's attractiveness to tenants. So, what are these secrets to giving your property a value boost? It’s not as difficult as you might think, and you can even push up the rental value in the process too. Read on for 5 simple value-boosting tips for your commercial property owners.

 

1.   Expand

Much like a conservatory adds value to a house, extending your commercial property can have a serious positive impact on its value. Either you have more space to rent out to businesses, or space for new features and amenities such as meeting rooms, a café or a gym. The choice is yours, but whichever way it’s an investment that will pay off.

 

2.   Parking

As well as expanding, consider repurposing land around the property. Adding or extending car parking facilities to your commercial property is a recommended and very popular improvement. We’ve all, at times, known the stressful necessity of having to leave the car parked somewhere it shouldn’t be, or blocking someone in. This is especially important for inner city commercial promises, where parking can be tricky and expensive. It’s a serious benefit which can hugely increase the desirability of the premises. That desirability can be reflected in rental prices, as well as the building’s sale value.

 

3.   Modernise

Heating, lighting, super-fast internet access and Wi-Fi – these are all areas which can be improved in commercial properties. They require some investment, but will stop your property from falling behind others in its appearance and its function. Prospective tenant's will appreciate this too - free Wi-Fi is always a popular perk to staff, whilst rapid and stable internet access is, of course, important for a business to operate efficiently. Some features, such as energy efficient heating and lights, can also save you money in the long run.

 

4.   Don’t forget the exterior

As much as you improve the inside of the building, there’s no getting away from shabby surroundings. Overgrown hedges, patchy grass and litter make even the best facilities look second rate. To avoid this, and maximise your property’s value, consider improvements to the building’s exterior and ensure it’s well maintained.

These improvements will also benefit the impression of your business – or those using your building. With well-maintained grounds, your property will boost business’ reputation, increasing the chance of relationships with more established clients. That’s not to mention the benefit to local wildlife and enrichment for the local environment.

 

5.   Safe and secure

Security is paramount with all properties, but it’s often overlooked by owners. A good alarm system, CCTV cameras and security staff are three good options, which have the added benefit of lower insurance premiums. You could also consider security fencing. This increases the security of the property, as well as giving it a more exclusive appearance.

 

Commercial property management

If you’re looking to improve the value of your commercial property, Valley Landscape Management can help. We are landscaping specialists, offering a range of improvement and maintenance services for commercial properties.

Whether it’s waste and pest management grounds maintenance, pest control, tree management, or soft landscaping to enrich your surroundings – we provide an expert service that covers all bases. We even offer a comprehensive fence installation service, giving your property that extra level of security. Get in touch today for more information on our services and how we can help you.

By Jon Alexander 28 Sep, 2017

Invasive weeds are an eyesore, an inconvenience and, in some cases, a danger. Some plants can cause serious irritation to skin upon contact and even anaphylaxis. But what happens if they’re left, and allowed to grow untreated? The truth is – they will cause even more issues. Read on to see how invasive weeds – if ignored - can become progressively worse for your property.


Introducing invasive weeds

So, what are invasive weeds? Quite simply, they’re weeds with a tendency to spread. But not just standard growth though. They spread very quickly and very thoroughly to an extent which can damage their surroundings, and cause substantial damage to grounds and property.

Japanese Knotweed, for instance, has a strong, rapidly-growing network of roots – known as ‘rhizomes’ - which can stretch up to three metres below the ground and seven metres around the plant. It is described by the Environment Agency as ‘indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant’, and can grow at the astonishing rate of up to 10cm a day (20cm at its most prolific). This stretching growth can penetrate cracks in walls, drainage and even house foundations. Needless to say, when it’s left untreated it simply gets worse.

With a reputation as the most aggressive and destructive plant in the UK, the presence of Japanese Knotweed – along with other invasive weed species – can have a serious impact on the value of a property, making it very difficult to sell or mortgage.

 

A developing problem

This is the case with other invasive weeds, such as Giant Hogweed. Growing up to 4 metres 20 feet in height, the weed has phototoxic sap. If it gets onto the skin, it removes any UV protection and can cause serious inflammation and burning in the sun. The risk of this becomes far greater as it spreads.

Giant Hogweed seeds are dispersed easily by the wind, animals, water or even by humans incorrectly attempting to remove the plant. When spread, the seeds establish quickly and soon lead to more Giant Hogweed plants with a greater risk of skin irritation. That’s why one of the first steps in controlling it is stopping the spread of seeds.

 

Harder to remove

Understandably, as these weeds spread through gardens or public spaces, they become much harder to remove. Removing weeds is quite literally a case of ‘nipping it in the bud’. Identify the problem early and it could be a relatively simple job. Let it spread, however, and you could have a big problem on your hands. Another reason why regular maintenance is so important for commercial properties.


Last call for 2017 – the season for treating Japanese Knotweed is almost over, but a correctly applied herbicide treatment before the first frost can be very effective.

 

Planning for 2018 – dealing with invasive weeds such as Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam should commence in early summer. We are able to offer comprehensive treatment plans to control and eradicate these weeds, with cost spread over the full period of the treatment plan, avoiding large capital outlay.

Our experienced team can assist with urgent herbicide treatments to start getting control of Japanese Knotweed growth, or discuss available options for ongoing treatment of a wide range of invasive plants.


Don’t wait – act today

Having problems with invasive weeds on your commercial property? Valley Landscape Management can provide a swift and effective solution. We offer a wide range of landscaping and maintenance services for commercial sites that can make your life a whole lot easier – as well as protecting the value and safety of your property. Contact us today to discuss your needs and how we can provide a solution – before it gets even worse.

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 to learn more.

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:


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?


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.


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


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?


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 submit a contact form.

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.

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? Don't risk leaving it, get in touch today!
  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.

More Posts

Invasive Weeds; A Growing Problem

  • By Jon Alexander
  • 28 Sep, 2017

Invasive weeds spell trouble for commercial property in a number of ways - and if left ignored can become progressively worse.

Invasive Weeds; A Growing Problem - Invasive Weed Treatment & Eradication for Commercial Property | Valley Landscape Management
Japanese Knotweed can grow up to 20cm per day at it's most prolific.

Invasive weeds are an eyesore, an inconvenience and, in some cases, a danger. Some plants can cause serious irritation to skin upon contact and even anaphylaxis. But what happens if they’re left, and allowed to grow untreated? The truth is – they will cause even more issues. Read on to see how invasive weeds – if ignored - can become progressively worse for your property.


Introducing invasive weeds

So, what are invasive weeds? Quite simply, they’re weeds with a tendency to spread. But not just standard growth though. They spread very quickly and very thoroughly to an extent which can damage their surroundings, and cause substantial damage to grounds and property.

Japanese Knotweed, for instance, has a strong, rapidly-growing network of roots – known as ‘rhizomes’ - which can stretch up to three metres below the ground and seven metres around the plant. It is described by the Environment Agency as ‘indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant’, and can grow at the astonishing rate of up to 10cm a day (20cm at its most prolific). This stretching growth can penetrate cracks in walls, drainage and even house foundations. Needless to say, when it’s left untreated it simply gets worse.

With a reputation as the most aggressive and destructive plant in the UK, the presence of Japanese Knotweed – along with other invasive weed species – can have a serious impact on the value of a property, making it very difficult to sell or mortgage.

 

A developing problem

This is the case with other invasive weeds, such as Giant Hogweed. Growing up to 4 metres 20 feet in height, the weed has phototoxic sap. If it gets onto the skin, it removes any UV protection and can cause serious inflammation and burning in the sun. The risk of this becomes far greater as it spreads.

Giant Hogweed seeds are dispersed easily by the wind, animals, water or even by humans incorrectly attempting to remove the plant. When spread, the seeds establish quickly and soon lead to more Giant Hogweed plants with a greater risk of skin irritation. That’s why one of the first steps in controlling it is stopping the spread of seeds.

 

Harder to remove

Understandably, as these weeds spread through gardens or public spaces, they become much harder to remove. Removing weeds is quite literally a case of ‘nipping it in the bud’. Identify the problem early and it could be a relatively simple job. Let it spread, however, and you could have a big problem on your hands. Another reason why regular maintenance is so important for commercial properties.


Last call for 2017 – the season for treating Japanese Knotweed is almost over, but a correctly applied herbicide treatment before the first frost can be very effective.

 

Planning for 2018 – dealing with invasive weeds such as Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam should commence in early summer. We are able to offer comprehensive treatment plans to control and eradicate these weeds, with cost spread over the full period of the treatment plan, avoiding large capital outlay.

Our experienced team can assist with urgent herbicide treatments to start getting control of Japanese Knotweed growth, or discuss available options for ongoing treatment of a wide range of invasive plants.


Don’t wait – act today

Having problems with invasive weeds on your commercial property? Valley Landscape Management can provide a swift and effective solution. We offer a wide range of landscaping and maintenance services for commercial sites that can make your life a whole lot easier – as well as protecting the value and safety of your property. Contact us today to discuss your needs and how we can provide a solution – before it gets even worse.


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