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request for proposal

Request for proposal: If you’re a commercial property manager or have been appointed to the board of your homeowners’ association, you’ve probably heard the term.

RFPs, as they are casually called, come up when a commercial property or HOA is tasked with selecting a new vendor for work, such as landscape maintenance or installation and renovation.

It can be daunting for a commercial property manager just to send out RFPs with all the adequate details, but looking through all of the proposals that come in can be stressful, too. While price may stand out as the determining factor, how each vendor attacks the work detailed in the request for proposal matters a great deal when it comes to marrying the right property with the right vendor to complete the work in an efficient, effective and reliable manner.

To smooth the process for Atlanta commercial property managers, HighGrove Partners recommends the following pointers when creating a request for proposal and reviewing and responding to proposals.

It’s all in the details

There’s one way to get exactly what you’re looking for in the right vendor, and that’s listing everything you need when it comes to landscaping on your property. The more specific you are, the easier it’ll be for you to compare apples to apples when reviewing the proposals that come in.

For instance, every commercial property manager has been in that place where they receive different bids that range drastically between prices. An RFP that lacks details on specific scopes of work might have created these different perceptions of the tasks needed to get the job done. In this case, a commercial property manager is going to really want to compare the work descriptions to determine the true differences between prices.

Too many cooks in the kitchen?

Allowing more service providers to respond to your request for proposal doesn’t actually mean you get a better price or a better product. This just makes it harder to differentiate between all of the competing vendors.

Instead, carefully choose among the commercial landscape contractors who compete within your price range. Limit your RFPs to three to four of those landscape professionals who can specifically address your needs so you can purposefully compare the differences and make a sound decision.

Apples to apples

Comparing what different vendors offer as part of their standard agreements can be tricky. Typically, routine commercial landscape maintenance involves mowing, edging, blowing, weed control and other day-to-day tasks.

Seasonal maintenance services, such as seasonal color, pruning, aeration or overseeding, are separate requiring distinct, specialized crews to meet your needs.

Similarly, annual irrigation maintenance contracts usually cover spring start-up, managing the system throughout the season and winterization. Repair costs are addressed separately. Each repair need is individually assessed so quotes can be tailored to the specific issue.

Check out our “14 Things Your Commercial Landscape Contractor is Afraid to Tell You” report for more specifics to help educate you on landscape standards and terminology.

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Having a tough time choosing among the proposals that arrived in response to your request for proposal? Ask for references from each of the companies at the top of your list.

Then, call those clients and ask about their relationship with the vendor, such as how they would rate their satisfaction level on a scale of 1-10 and how the vendor handled challenges on their property.

We are your Atlanta commercial landscape contractor!

HighGrove Partners is always willing to help you answer questions about your RFPs for commercial landscape work. Give us a call at 678-298-0550, or use the contact form to the right — we’ll make the process a breeze. For more landscape tips, be sure to subscribe to our blog.

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Image credit: Chaiwat

Last modified: January 6, 2014