5 cost cutting measures for property managers

Florida Property Managers Cost Cutting Measures For Landscaping

Cost Cutting Measures For Landscaping

Property managers have a thankless job. It can be incredibly difficult to oversee all details, whether of a luxury 18 hole golf course or a small community managed by a board of volunteers. Residents and customers expect well kept lawns, maintained trees, and blooming flowers year round but don’t want to pay through the nose together it.

Why is landscaping so important?
Ninety-three percent of real estate agents recommended landscaping as a top five home improvement recommendation responding that at an average cost of $540 a homeowner can expect a $1,932 price increase on their home for a 258% return on investment.*

It is also clear that having access to green spaces is important to many people.  The Husqvarana Global Garden Report 2012 showed that “63% of respondents reported being willing to pay more for an apartment or house if it was located in an area with good green spaces, compared with, for instance, 34% willing to pay more for an area with good shopping and 33% for good cultural venues.”

Landscaping can also lower heating and cooling costs, reduce noise, reduce dangerous chemical usage, and stem flooding. But it can be costly, especially if you are not experienced. In 2001 homeowners spent $37.7 billion caring for their property, according to the National Gardening Association.

So, we’ve come up with five ways to help those beleaguered individuals, and perhaps this will help you too.

1. Research
Using plants that are native and resilient to your particular context – are you considering a high traffic area or an area with other plants for example – will cut your costs immensely. Obviously native plants are cheaper to purchase as there are no additional transportation costs and they are more likely to survive, but without the correct care and maintenance, even the natives can suffer. Doing your research, knowing which plants are best for your landscape and how much maintenance they require will help.

2. Watch the Water
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 50% of water used for landscaping is wasted. Oftentimes watering is done a the wrong time, too much or too little; sprinklers are often damaged or moved unexpectedly. Now, you are spending money on water unnecessarily and your plants may suffer as a result. So, keeping up with the correct water schedule, ensuring any sprinklers are working correctly and your timers are set correctly will save money now and in the future. Of course, doing research will allow you to have a handle on the amount that plants need to be watered and can ensure you don’t plant a low watering plant next to a high watering plant.

3. Involve community
Many people claim to enjoy landscaping but don’t want to spend all day working on it. Many hands make light work. If you can pull together as a community, you can maintain the property together, or perhaps build a garden together. According to the Municipal Research and Service Center, a communal garden will “strengthen community bonds, provide food, and create recreational and therapeutic opportunities for a community. They can also promote environmental awareness and provide community education.”

4. Use flowers sparingly
Flowers can beautify a neighborhood faster than nothing else, but after the flowers are gone, the beds are a terrible eyesore. The constant replacing of certain flowers is costly both in plants and maintenance. The easiest way to keep your community looking beautiful year round is to avoid most flowers. Instead, try flowering bushes that look good even after the flowers drop. Crotons are always a great investment as well. They are hardy, colorful, and able to spread with minimum maintenance required. As you consider bushes with flowers, you may consider bougainvillea or hydrangea. Take care to do your research, flowers that are constantly dropping on cars and in driveways can annoy residents and plants that attract cats or rodents or are poisonous to pets or children should be avoided in communities.

5. Hire PALM.
The final cost cutting measure is an easy one! The problem with researching the plants, maintaining the landscape, keeping the flowers blooming, managing the water use and keeping the sprinkler heads in order, the lawn cut, the trees trimmed, etc is that all of this takes time. And time is money. If you hire PALM, you will never have to worry; you’ll save money through water usage, flower replacement, sprinkler system maintenance, your trees will be cared for by an internationally certified arborist, pest control will be taken care of… everything managed by one company, All that will be left for you to do is stop the residents picking the flowers for their vase!

Contact us for more information: (954) 938-1999 or admin@palmatlanticlandscape.com




Pool Landscape Design Ideas

Pool Landscaping IdeasIn South Florida, swimming pools are part of the landscape. While many pools are attractive in their own right, beautifying your property if you’re a pool owner is about accenting your pool – the centerpiece of your hardscape – with well-designed landscape elements.

Few things enhance the beauty of a swimming pool like an innovative landscape design. The right plants, lighting, hardscape and other accessories around your pool can be the difference between a mere watering hole and a breathtaking oasis.

Use Landscaping to Set the Stage

The right landscaping design can provide the perfect backdrop for your swimming pool. Want a tropical setting? Choose brightly colored flowers with lush greenery for a distinctly Caribbean feel. Lush palms grow well in South Florida and enhance that tropical feel. Add natural or artificial rocks as accents and to give the impression your pool is part of the natural environment. Consider adding a waterfall to introduce soothing sound and movement to your pool.

Here’s a tip: Choose plants that deter pests. Nothing spoils sunbathing like mosquitoes. Consider mosquito-repelling plants like catnip, rosemary and lemon balm.

Add Lighting to Enjoy Your Pool Day and Night

Landscape lights can turn your back yard into a serene and romantic nighttime sanctuary. Pool lighting can give your swimming pool a mesmerizing twinkle, while spotlights accentuate eye-catching flowers and landscape features. Consider versatile options like fiber optic lighting for your lighting design.

Build an Outdoor Kitchen or Bar to Add Sizzle to Your Splash

A built-in bar is the perfect way to attract guests and entertain friends. Mojitos and margaritas by the pool? This is South Florida, after all. The best back yard cooking area combines style and function. Consider how you’ll use the space, how much room you need, aesthetics and more.

Give Your Pool Character with the Right Interior Pool Finish

Your pool’s finish sets the mood. Prefer a crystal blue sparkling water? Select a light-colored pool liner to create a turquoise appeal. Want a mellower look? A dark-colored finish will give your pool a cool, relaxing tint. Ask your pool builder which finish materials and brands they work with and choose a pool finish that suits your mood.

Enjoy the Night – Install an Outdoor Fireplace

Even in South Florida, a fireplace is a perfect way to imbue your outdoor oasis with a warm, inviting ambience. You and your guests will enjoy evenings by the pool amid the crackle of firewood and the soft glow of firelight. Choose a fireplace design that reflects your yard’s style and suits your family’s needs. Whether it’s for warmth, open-air cooking, or ambience, an outdoor fireplace is an addition that will enhance your outdoor enjoyment.

Use Fencing to Enhance Safety and Privacy

A fence can help reduce the risk of children, animals and uninvited guests wandering into your pool. A good fence also creates a buffer so you can enjoy your pool in privacy. A well-designed fence also serves as a canvas against which your landscaper can design your yard.

 This post is a guest post from our friends at Hohne Pools. Gary Hohne is president of Hohne Pools, a residential and commercial pool builder specializing in inground pool installation and pool repair.

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