In these difficult economic times, it can be challenging to find ways to maintain occupancy rates, not to mention budgeting for promotion to attract new tenants. While economizing is par for the course as this decade begins, savvy business professionals realize that solvency relies on the creation and maintenance of cash flow. Curtailing expenditures must be tempered with prudent spending on promotion activities to assure income.
A site’s landscape is a prospective client’s first impression of the desirability of that property. The ongoing costs of landscape management can be mitigated while maintaining, or even increasing curb appeal. Following are some of the many opportunities available to make maximum use of your budget.
Turf renovations are an inexpensive method of keeping turf healthy and green while simultaneously saving money on water usage. Healthy turf naturally utilizes less water, fertilizers and pesticides while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Turf renovations are primarily aeration, topdressing and seeding.
Irrigation audits and renovations discover and alleviate the inefficient use of water on a site by replacing and adjusting irrigation components. Many local water districts offer rebates for these services so the expense to the customer can be quite minimal. With rising water costs, the consequent savings from reduced usage are realized almost immediately.
Mulching landscape beds promotes water savings and reduces plant replacement costs. Perhaps the biggest benefit comes from the increased curb appeal a freshly mulched site offers. It is typically the most significant change in a landscape for the dollar. To help keep the cost of mulching in check, consider applying mulch to fronts of buildings and common areas as opposed as opposed to eliminating it altogether.
Signage is key to marketing, but it can be costly to replace outdated and inadequate monuments and signs. Consider renovating existing signage by updating landscape plants and installing ornamental boulders around them. Signage can also be enhanced at a relatively low cost by installing cultured stone around the base of the sign.
Plant replacement offers several benefits. Large and crowded plant material is costly to keep pruned and ages a project. Replacing these plants with smaller, lower maintenance varieties takes years off the apparent age of a site and keeps maintenance costs in check.
Seasonal color and containers have always been favorites for creating great curb appeal. In can also be one of the first items cut from the budget when things are tight. Keep in mind, however, that the cost of seasonal color can be much lower than many forms of advertising, and if it brings just one more tenant in the door or keeps an existing one from leaving, it will have paid for itself several times over.
Ongoing maintenance like adding new playchips to play areas, replacing dead plants, addressing drainage issues are all typically less expensive if performed on an ongoing basis as opposed to letting them add up over time. An additional benefit to handling these issues in a timely manner is that the site will look well cared for throughout this time.
In short, landscape management, while often one of the first things on the chopping block for reduction in a tough economical climate is, in many cases actually less expensive than many traditional advertising solutions and has the additional advantage of benefitting your existing clientele, the environment and your future cost structure.