The appearance of your commercial property outside tells customers a lot about the quality of service and attention to detail inside. That is why your landscaping is such an important part of your property’s annual budget. Landscaping isn’t the place to skimp! You may be surprised to learn that experts recommend spending between 25 and 35 percent of your budget on landscaping. So how should you spend that money in your commercial landscape for 2022?
While every property is different, from shopping malls, to restaurants, to a commercial office building, LMC is here to advise you on the top landscaping priorities for your specific property. In general, these are the items that should be included in your budget for landscaping:
1. Seasonal Color – Never underestimate the impact of colorful, well-tended seasonal color beds and pots. Their presence is an instant “welcome.” It tells customers and tenants you care.
2. Inviting Entrances – A tidy, inviting entrance area with healthy plantings and lush green turf speaks volumes about the quality of service inside. This is also a great spot for large planters of eye-catching flowers and foliage. Oversized planters filled with trees, stunning perennials, and seasonal annuals make a powerful impact. Both pedestrians walking past and people driving by who see them from a distance can be impacted. Your entrance is your customers’ first impression, don’t blow it.
3. The Drive-By View – A potential tenant or customer may develop their first impression of your property as they drive by during their regular commute. That means you have just a few seconds to impress. Make it count by devoting part of your budget to developing a lush green lawn with crisp clean edges. Plantings can make a big impact as well. But remember, you won’t get much drive-by impact if you plant two of this and three of that. But rows of a few hundred ornamental grasses waving in the breeze can be a real attention getter. Money spent here can mean the difference between potential customers stopping in or just driving by.
4. What About the Parking Lot? – This is the spot that is often overlooked but every customer or tenant is going to see it! Making sure the parking lot is weed free and looks tidy matters. Is there a spot in this area where you can add a carefully selected tree or a landscape bed? Sprucing up the parking lot can make a big difference.
5. Planning for Mother Nature – From extreme temperatures to hurricanes, it is important to plan for whatever Mother Nature may bring. Adding dollars to the budget for potential clean up needed after a storm or if we experience a deep freeze will allow us to restore your property to its pre-storm look quickly. Don’t forget to include potential replacement of downed trees or dead plant material in this line item too.
Remember that having a beautiful landscape isn’t a one-time thing. Just like your favorite pair of jeans, landscaping eventually wears out. The pretty annuals planted in the Summer need to be replaced in the Fall. Mulch breaks down and gets thin in spots. It needs to be replenished. Yes, your landscape looks great right after the crew leaves, but it takes regular maintenance to stay that way. Think of your landscaping as a year-round work in progress and budget accordingly. Plan it out, a year or more in advance, and you’ll stay on budget and get the services your property needs to look great all year around.