Do You Want More Commercial Customers? 18 Tips for Selling Lawn Maintenance to Property Managers and HOA Boards

If you want to make local shopping and business districts the best-looking properties in town, you want to snag more commercial contracts.

If you prefer to stick to HOAs, apartment complexes, or townhomes to keep their curb appeal up to par, you need to target those property managers and HOA board presidents.

You can improve your bottom line when you play it smart in the commercial lawn care side of the business. Experienced commercial lawn care owners/operators will tell you to start small and get to know the person who decides to accept your bid.

What You Need to Know About Property Managers

A discussion thread about landing commercial maintenance jobs on Lawnsite, a forum for lawn care and landscaping professionals, will give you a clearer picture of commercial bidding. The writer of the thread asked why he doesn’t win any bids.

Other lawn and landscape business folks shared their wisdom. Here’s a summary of those thoughts:

  • Don’t compete with low-ballers.

  • Property managers for larger commercial sites hire based on dollars and cents than aesthetics.

  • Ask the property manager what their budget is before you send a bid so you can determine if you’re a good match with that company.

  • Property managers are spending someone else’s money, so they don’t have a personal stake in curb appeal compared to HOA boards.

  • Read more: What You Need to Know About Lawn Mower Spark Plugs


  • Work efficiency plays a big part in landing commercial property gigs.

  • Make money with commercial properties while cutting fuel costs by investing in fuel-efficient mowers and battery-operated landscaping equipment.

  • Plan on upselling your lawn services if you’re bidding solely on mowing work.

  • Read more: 7 Tips for Upselling Your Lawn Care Services


  • Realize that you need to outfit your crew to meet a commercial property’s needs. Commercial lawn care is different from residential lawn maintenance when it comes to crews.

  • Realize commercial work has a high turnover. A new HOA board at one of the communities you serve may want to bring in their favorite lawn service and break their contract with you. Also, property managers will continuously be on the lookout for cheaper lawn care services.

  • Consider servicing smaller commercial properties, such as a bank, a stand-alone grocery store, or an upscale restaurant. You’ll work directly with the property owners who’ll value your work and hold onto you longer.

  • Get to know the decision-makers through networking events, taking them out to lunch, and other ways of warming up your leads.

  • Always be professional. Your crews should wear their uniforms, and your trucks should have your company’s logo on them.
  • How to Bid on HOAs

    HOA boards are busy, so they’ll form a landscaping committee to receive bids and hire the lawn service to serve them for the next growing season.

    You have a better chance of winning the bid and forming a long-term relationship when you can offer four-season services: Spring, summer, fall, and winter. Some commercial lawn and landscaping companies install holiday décor, while others provide snow services throughout the winter.

    Here are six tips to win an HOA bid:

  • Walk the property and measure it. You’ll be able to accurately estimate the cost when you take the measurements yourself and observe anything that will slow your crews down.

  • Get to know the HOA president and attend some of their meetings, so you become a familiar face.

  • Learn more: Offline Lawn Care Marketing Strategies to Help You Acquire Clients Fast


  • Consider starting with townhomes and apartment complexes to get your feet in the commercial lawn service door.

  • Be flexible. Realize that you may only have an HOA account for 3-5 years.

  • Consider upscale HOAs that want quality over the cheapest price.

  • Make sure that you want to deal with the headaches that some HOAs present.

  • Final Word about Bidding for Commercial Property Work

    While you may not want to compete with the larger landscape companies for specific properties, consider ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. And use your unique selling proposition when bidding to commercial properties that value lawn and landscape management.

    Why You Need to Partner with MowMore

    As your commercial lawn service grows, you want a mower parts store to be at your fingertips, 24/7. At MowMore, we serve the professional landscaper with quality products, personalized service, and competitive pricing. 

    We’re your one-stop online shop for all of your commercial lawn care equipment needs. If you have any questions about your landscape equipment and replacement parts, call our customer service today at 1-800-866-9667 or fill out our contact form.

    Join our Cutter Club (scroll down to the middle of the home page). You’ll get unique product specials and discounts, free swag, and the latest industry news, equipment, and advice.

     

    Sources:

    HOAManagement.com, HOA Landscaping: Benefits, Budget, Cost, Requirements, and Restrictions.

    LawnandLandscape.com, Managing The HOA Accounts.

    ServiceAutopilot.com, How to Bid Your Next Commercial Lawn Care Contract.

    TotalLandscapeCare.com, Five Proven Steps to Landing Your First HOA Client.

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