Properties Magazine March 2017 : Page 77

CREATING SPACE The Akron Art Museum’s Bud & Susie Rogers Garden provides an outdoor arena for community events and concerts throughout the summer months. Growing Connections Improving the relationship between landscape service providers and property managers By Richard Haury Suncrest Gardens which encompasses 3,000 square feet of open manicured lawn inviting users to picnic, play and relax. “The Criss Cross” is a series of ramps edged by Corten steel raised planter walls, which are filled with many of the 2,565 ornamental grasses and 644 seasonal perennials throughout the gar-dens. The upper “Art Oasis” is also paved with soft decomposed granite, offering an alternative to the harsh sur-faces found across the city. The “Art Oasis,” which housed several long-forgotten building foundations and utility culverts, is peppered with Swamp Oak, Stellar Dogwood, Hophornbeam and Japanese Stewartia. The entire southern edge of the garden is planted with 38 mature Franz Fontaine Fastigate Hornbeam trees. The success of the garden is apparent as users flock to the space to spend a few minutes or more, enjoying this lush oasis that is a natural extension of the Akron Art Museum. The $5 million project – including $3 million toward design and development, with an additional $2 million set aside for ongoing maintenance – was made possible by a lead gift from Rick and Alita Rogers. Alita Rogers sits on the museum’s board of directors and is chair of its Governance Committee, while Rick Rogers was president of the board when ground was broken for the John S. and James L. Knight Building in 2004. P Jeffrey O. Conn, RLA, ASLA is director of landscape development with Suncrest Gardens. For more info, visit www.suncrestgardens.com. A s a seasoned colleague once told me, the very best way to get on a property manager’s good side is to take his or her pain away. He said, “Property managers deal with all kinds of stress and problems throughout their day. It’s part of their job description. Your goal as a service provider is to make certain you and your organization don’t add to their stress.” and stress which can lead to a poor review of a service provider. These type of situations require speed from the vendor. The vendor who responds quickly and accurately will win the admiration of a property manager and their remembrance when new proposal opportunities come about. Landscape maintenance providers would be well served by keeping that point central when working with potential and existing clients. How to realize that goal? Here are some basic tips that apply to any service vendor, be it a janitorial, HVAC or grounds maintenance provider. Get the job done Simply put, if a service vendor does the job it is hired to do, the property manager is happy and pain-free. You will score points with them as a vendor if you do your job efficiently and within the specifications of the service contract. A service vendor who requires the property manager to con-duct quality control reviews is just adding to their time – and pain! Go above and beyond How else to stand out? Don’t just fulfill con-tract specifications and conditions – go above and beyond. A really good service provider can see beyond the scope of work and provide a property manager with valuable insight on how to improve the property. Huge accolades can be won if a service provider sees something to increase value in a prop-erty – especially if it doesn’t involve added costs. In summary, great working relationships with property managers and service providers can and should be value drivers – in many cases more so than pricing. A good service provider who brings added value and takes the pain away from a property manager will win more business in the end. P Maintain timely communications Another effective way to maintain a good relationship with a property manager is to commu-nicate in a timely manner. Property managers live in the present day and need immediate responses to their inquiries. Any unusual delays cause grief Suncrest Gardens, a landscape contractor near Hudson, has been providing a large variety of professional landscape and grounds management services for commercial properties since 1976. Its staffing includes in-house registered landscape architectural design services to fulfill all aspects of design, build, install and maintenance of commercial properties, which have a high regards to “curb appeal” and beautification of the grounds. For more info, visit www.suncrestgardens.com. www.propertiesmag.com 77 Photos courtesy of Suncrest Gardens Photo by Shane Wynn

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