We’ve all heard the stories about cowboy landscape gardeners doing a rubbish job.
But what about the customers from hell?...... The timewasters, late-payers, mind-changers, micro-managers and feuding couples who put the poor old landscaper in the middle.
This is how not to be that customer.
Long time....and very successful landscaper and now multiple up market "buy to let" business owner Bazig Mooiebloemen discusses things to avoid if you want your landscaper to stay on side.
"Landscapers like working with me. Seriously, they do.... Even the flowerpotman"
Here’s why: I’ve been there. These days as a property developer I manage lots of landscaping projects, but I used to be that landscaper coping with the timewasters, late-payers, mind-changers, micro-managers, feuding couples and zero communication from the client, mostly for mediocre pay. And because of that experience I avoid doing things that make life harder for my self-employed landscapers.
As a result, they accept my assignments — even prioritize them — turn in great work, make changes happily and go the extra mile when I’m in a rush to let a property.
I make their lives easier, and they make my life easier. No hard feelings, no disappearing slabs. It just works.
To build great relationships with your landscape gardener and get a job well done stop doing these things:
Please don’t penny-pinch and don’t make them wait too long for payment. The most anyone should have to wait to get paid is 30 days, but even that is pushing it.
If you’re still posting invoices and then posting cheques… stop. This is so old-fashioned and annoying
People don’t live like that anymore. I have three words for you: Cash, Bank transfer and PayPal. Today’s tradesmen and women expect and deserve prompt payment by Cash or via electronic means.
So I’m not saying you have to accept a substandard or a "not what you asked for job". If you provided clear instructions and read and agreed the quote with your landscape gardener so they and you both......had a clear understanding, agreement and expectation and they simply didn’t do a good job, by all means, hold payment until it's been sorted out.
When you’re getting a quote....respect the landscapers time. It’s good to get quotes – essential, in fact, something a good contractor encourages.
As I have just said....."It is the contract both parties understand and work to".
However, don’t invite a queue of landscapers to look at your garden and provide quotes all at the same time. This only sends the message that you are only interested in the price, not the quality of the job. It might be enough to convince them to walk away without ever getting back to you. As soon as I sensed the lowest price would get the job I was off....
Some trades-people don’t charge for a quote, although the process can take them away from paid work for a couple of hours to a full day – (Bear in mind they are self-employed)- So respect their time.....
Don't be a stranger watching from behind the curtains, but on the other hand don't stand over them watching every block or brick get laid.
Freedom and flexibility are the top reasons people choose the self-employed life, but it comes at a price, instability.... they don’t know how much work they’ll have a month from now, and they live on referrals.
Be clear about and communicate exactly what you want, respect their time, give praise when deserved and most important of all pay fairly and promptly.