We were going to write tips for HOAs hunting for landscape maintenance companies, but thought you’d rather hear from an HOA board member instead. Although this is a positive testimonial for ArtisTree, the author – a board chairman in Sarasota County – makes several valid points that translate into tips you’ll find useful.

“The difference between ArtisTree and our last company is night and day. ArtisTree performs the work they are contracted to do, and if there is a problem, they take care of it. Our account executive is very likeable and knowledgeable; it’s a totally difference experience. We have regular walk-throughs and our work orders are monitored. Would love to find a problem but can’t.

“The AE who serviced us before could never give us answers and we couldn’t find anyone who could make a decision on anything. ArtisTree is a much bigger company and takes care of our community in a day — mowing and trimming and everything else. The other company took practically a whole week and made noise the entire time. ArtisTree is in and out in a day and does extremely good work. We also like the fact that they have specialized crews so the mow team isn’t pruning shrubs and vice versa. I would share this advice with anyone.” – J.S.

Yes, it’s challenging to make apple-to-apple comparisons when your homeowner association community is going out for bid. So make sure you’re getting specialists, not generalists. Forty bags of mulch, not 30. Answered phone calls, not a “voicemail box full” response. And heaven forbid your landscape provider takes a long, noisy week to complete your maintenance service. Not acceptable by any measure.

Our advice? Ask plenty of questions upfront and scour the proposal. Drive neighborhoods that aren’t on the reference sheet. Most important, remember you’re hiring people, not a company per se. Do they communicate? Do they accept responsibility for every service they deliver? Good people want to work for a good company and it shows. So look hard.

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