residential landscape maintenance crew cleaning up shrubs 1

How to Build Effective Communication with Your Landscaper

Michael Tomaino Michael Tomaino

Working closely with a professional landscaper in the Tampa Bay area can be the difference between a landscape that misses the mark in terms of aesthetics and function and one that excels. In many ways, your HOA community depends on the relationship you, as property manager or HOA board member, have with the landscaping company.

As with any relationship–especially professional ones–communicating with your landscaper is often easier said than done. Because communication is such an integral part of elevating your HOA landscape and maintaining a high standard of excellence, it’s important to build a reliable relationship with your landscaper. From hiring a landscaper to ensuring everyone is on the same page years later, effective landscape communication cannot be overlooked.

Communicating with Your Landscaper - What You Need to Know

Why Landscape Communication Matters

Before jumping into how to build a strong and communicative relationship with your landscaper, it’s vital to understand why doing so is imperative in the first place. While the general principles of professional communication apply, there are some landscape-specific reasons to focus on this aspect of your dynamic with your landscaper.

landscape crew cleaning up garden beds

  • Poor communication wastes everyone’s time. Without direct communication, the frustrations can mount, leaving everyone annoyed and jobs done sloppily–if they’re done at all.
  • Confusion is a common symptom of poor communication. If your vision is misunderstood, or you and your landscaper are not on the same page, progress can be impeded, results may not align with your goals, and a general state of confusion might descend on the situation. That benefits no one.
  • Expectations may not align. This leads to one or both parties being disappointed with the way things are handled and the outcomes that result. Conflict can ensue.

How to Establish Effective Landscape Communication

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building and growing a healthy professional relationship when hiring a landscaper, there are a handful of techniques you can adapt to your situation to help achieve the best communication possible. By applying these principles to your HOA community’s connection with a professional Tampa Bay landscaper, you can promote positive outcomes when communicating with your landscaper, ensuring a thriving property and mutually beneficial long-term relationship.

Have Clear Goals

A prerequisite to successful communication is knowing what you want. If your landscaping goals are still half-formed, it will be practically impossible to convey to your landscaper what it is they need to accomplish. So, before you strike up a conversation or begin building a relationship, make sure you know for certain what it is you will ask of your landscaper.

If you are struggling to solidify your HOA landscaping goals, there are ways to clarify your vision. Look to other communities for inspiration, discuss the possibilities with those you trust, and consider consulting your landscaping company for their guidance. Once you are confident and prepared, share your goals and watch your dream come to life.

Landscape maintenance crew mowing

Ask Questions

As an HOA property manager or board member, you don’t have to be an expert in landscaping–that’s precisely why you work with a local professional. One of the keys to effective landscape communication is the willingness to acknowledge your lack of expertise and ask questions that your landscaping partner can answer. This plays into the idea that communication is a two-way street–you should ask, listen, and learn as much as you direct.

A worthwhile landscaping company will welcome your questions and work with you to find solutions to your concerns. Mutual respect and feedback are key components of this aspect of communication–neither party should be hesitant to ask questions or provide feedback to the other.

Residential landscape account manager with homeowner

Make It Real

Sometimes, the barrier preventing you and your landscaper from enjoying streamlined communication is the lack of tangible context. Landscaping is more than conceptual ideas and theoretical techniques–it involves real-world locations, soil you can touch, and property you can walk with your own two feet.

Regular site walks can help you and your landscaper get on the same page. Together, take the time to walk the HOA community, discuss ideas or points of concern as you view them, and add invaluable context to your vision by sharing them in person. A little bit of physical context can go a long way, and performing these walks regularly ensures that any changes are noticed and addressed in a timely manner.

Show a Little Trust

Ideally, you should be hiring a landscaper you trust. They should be a proven, reputable expert in the industry who helps you attain the penultimate version of your HOA landscape while respecting your vision and honoring your relationship. That being said, trust is typically earned, and that’s okay–building strong communication involves a bit of give and take.

Showing your landscaper a little trust can go a long way in allowing them to do their best work. After all, you are hiring them because of their expertise and ability to transform and maintain your HOA property. The better your landscape communication, the stronger the bond of trust and the more efficiently they can work.

landscape crew planting new annuals

Be Entirely Honest

Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to high-value projects like HOA landscaping. Once you have a clear idea of the direction your HOA landscape needs to go, you need to have an open and honest conversation with your landscaper about those goals, including integral factors like budget and maintenance schedules.

From design themes to functional spaces for residents to use to ideas for the future (think new structures of amenities), giving your landscaper a full view of what you have planned is essential. Communicating with your landscaper doesn’t have to be hard, but it does need to be thorough and transparent.

The same principle applies when things go wrong. While it’s best not to be confrontational, a healthy relationship allows for thoughtful critiques and legitimate concerns to be voiced and discussed so that a positive resolution can be reached.

landscape crew planting flowers near entrance sign

Stay Informed

You aren’t a landscaping expert, and that’s okay–it’s why you’re hiring a landscaper. That being said, you should still do some research, establish a foundation of landscaping knowledge, and stay informed about your HOA property, its needs, the current projects, and the required maintenance. 

Not only does this facilitate effective landscape communication, but it also prevents potential moments of conflict by creating realistic expectations. If you are educated and aware of what works, what doesn’t, achievable timelines, and so on, it’s much easier for you to have meaningful conversations with your landscaper and approach projects as a united front.

Choose the Right Landscape Company

One of the biggest factors when it comes to communicating with your landscaper is choosing the right company in the first place. Some landscapers simply do not communicate well. Other times, it’s nobody’s fault–your communication styles just don’t mesh.

Do your homework before signing a contract. Make sure the landscaper in question has a good reputation, talk to current and former clients (if possible), and confirm that the company takes on projects such as yours. You’ll also want to make contact with them. Have a conversation, ask questions, and get a feel for their communication style and whether or not it fits yours.

Account manager walking with HOA board member around property inspecting weeds

With a little effort and intentionality, you can grow a long-term relationship that is open, honest, and transparent. With companies like Landcrafters that have over two decades of experience servicing clients in the Tampa Bay area, there are plenty of opportunities to find the perfect fit for your HOA community.

If you’d like to discuss your landscaping needs and visions with an experienced professional, we encourage you to reach out to us

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Michael Tomaino

Michael Tomaino

Head Gardener for Landcrafters, Inc. Michael Tomaino, a cornerstone of Landcrafters since its inception, oversees all aspects of business operations with a wealth of experience. With years of adept team management and leadership under his belt, coupled with a robust educational background, both within and beyond the industry, Michael is dedicated to steering Landcrafters towards becoming the foremost landscape management provider in the Tampa Bay Area.