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commercial property asset management“Anything tangible or intangible that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset. Asset management is a systematic process of operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets cost-effectively.” – definition of Asset Management, from Wikipedia.

I always like to start with a definition – I feel like if you don’t have a firm foundation to begin with, there is no sense in pursuing a task. As I sat down to write this blog post, I wanted to bring a different perspective to what the title says. Sure, I could talk about the basics, but I wanted to dig a little deeper. So here goes…

When it comes to commercial landscaping, it usually is part of the “big three” (along with janitorial and security) in terms of the greatest expense for a property. We could argue which is the most important, but for this exercise, let’s leave that debate for another post.

From the definition above, Let’s take a look at the basics of asset management as it relates to commercial landscaping.

Operating

Controlling operating expenses is a key component for any commercial property. While soliciting pricing through an RFP process is common practice, instead, why not ask your current commercial landscaping provider to offer suggestions to help reduce costs?

There may be existing plant material that is taking a great deal of time and resources to maintain (pruning, disease, water etc.). What is my ROI if I replace these plants? Are there areas on the property that don’t require intensive maintenance? Can I save money by changing the scope for these areas?

As a commercial landscape contractor, the more we are on a property, the more efficient we become. So, naturally, we’ll have ideas to help you reduce costs. Just ask us!

Maintaining

This is always a tough hurdle to overcome. By maintaining (“to keep in an existing state”) you are basically keeping things status quo – nothing sexy about that. However, it is still very important to look at ways to increase maintenance, without increasing costs.

Does this sound crazy? Consider this: How much are you paying for water? More plants die annually in Georgia from overwatering than under-watering. This year there has been almost no need to even turn your irrigation system on–we’re 14″ above normal rainfall! If this “asset” were being managed properly, you would be recognizing valuable savings that could be used in other areas of your property.

Upgrading

This is the “new and shiny” part of the business that we all enjoy. However, that enjoyment will go away quickly if your new landscape installation or enhancements come with a high price tag to maintain.

Always ask your landscape contractor to provide a cost to maintain new enhancements and plantings. Hopefully they have designed it in a way to actually reduce, or at the very least, maintain what you are currently paying for maintenance.

Disposing

A landscape, like any asset, has a life cycle. Most times, through a renovation, you can update your landscape without starting completely over (think a rest room renovation in a 30 year old building).

However, at certain times, it makes sense to completely overhaul your property. When doing this, be sure the space is updated with plants that are low maintenance as well as sustainable to the environment they will be living in. Do not skimp on infrastructure like proper drainage and the most up to date irrigation technology. These will offer great returns on your new investment.

As you can see, “landscaping” is much more than just cutting grass and planting shrubs. By consulting with your commercial landscape partner on the long term goals for the property, they can advise you on the best way to achieve a strong return on your investment. Over the short term or long term, savings can be achieved on every property. If this sounds like the type of partnership you’re looking for, please reach out to our commercial landscaping experts here at HighGrove. Get the conversation started by calling us at (678) 298-0550 or just fill out our handy contact form.

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This post was written by Gib Durden, Vice President of HighGrove Partners.

Image Credit: snre

Last modified: July 9, 2013