by Jon Ciffolillo
As we are approaching what we hope is the end of what has proven to be an epic winter in terms of snowfall and the adverse affects of that snowfall, my colleagues and I have decided to put ourselves in your shoes.
The visible and invisible damage that occurs on your property as a result of snow and ice control: This ranges from broken trees and shrubs and damaged signage to excessive sand, compaction and turf damage caused by snow removal equipment, and stockpiled snow.
With snow budgets blown and landscape budgets being stripped, how can we meet the expectations of curb appeal that our clients and tenants demand?
Morale is low and patience is being tested. Parking spaces are a premium (and not just on city streets). With snow piles mounting, visibility is diminished, and the simple trip from their vehicle to the building has become a gauntlet of snowbanks. Now more than ever people simply want the inconveniences to be eliminated.
Normally, we can expect to see signs of transitioning from winter into spring. By mid-March we start to see the familiar signs of spring clean-ups and mulch being applied on our properties. At a time when we most need those signs of spring, the clean-up schedules are going to be impacted by lingering snow banks and excessively wet ground.
The true measure of a relationship is measured under stress. Has this snow season revealed strength and depth or capacity and communication deficiencies in your vendors? What levels are acceptable, and what are the true costs of such failures and value of successes?
The good news is that none of these challenges are new. Those of us who have been in this business for 20 years or more have seen this cycle several times before, and we will surely see it again. With thoughtful planning and prioritization, you can take control of these conditions and drive the outcome that you want. We are all largely in the same boat, and those of us who plan properly will be clear winners in the battle for curb appeal and balanced budgets. For those who may not have the experience, make sure to reach out to your landscape professionals to help you sort through the competing needs.
Jon Ciffolillo is vice president, business development at Greenscape Inc.