For many property managers, the phrase “you only get one chance to make a first impression” is more than just sound advice, it’s strong business acumen.

The curb appeal, or “physical attractiveness of a property as seen from the street,” is the first thing a prospective tenant, resident, or customer notices about your business.  This is true for any type of property, should it be commercial, retail, office, shopping centers or residential communities and apartment complexes.

What can a properly enhanced and well-maintained landscape offer you? A properly designed landscape can make spaces feel more comfortable and can draw in prospective residents, tenants, and end users to your site. A properly maintained landscape is free of all debris, all the plants are pruned properly, and the turf is lush dark green all year round. A resident will see this attention to detail as a sign that someone cares about their residence and their well-being.  To a tenant of a shopping center or commercial facility, a well-maintained landscape offers them a sense of stability and comfort in knowing they have a partner who cares about the success of their business.

A site’s landscape is a prospective client’s first impression of the desirability of that property. The ongoing costs of landscape management can be mitigated while maintaining (or even increasing) curb appeal. We’ve included a list of a few enhancement opportunities that can greatly increase your property’s curb appeal.

Lawn & Turf renovations are an inexpensive method of keeping turf healthy and green while simultaneously saving money on water usage. Healthy turf naturally utilizes less water, fertilizers and pesticides while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Turf renovations are primarily aeration, topdressing and seeding.

Irrigation System renovations and audits can discover and alleviate the inefficient use of water on a site by replacing and adjusting irrigation components. With many restrictions on water usage and rising water costs, the consequent savings from reduced usage are realized almost immediately.

Mulching landscape beds promotes water savings and reduces plant replacement costs. Perhaps the biggest benefit comes from the increased curb appeal a freshly mulched site offers. It is typically the most significant change in a landscape for the dollar.

Seasonal color changes and containers have always been favorites for creating great curb appeal. It can also be one of the first items cut from the budget when things are tight. Keep in mind, however, that the cost of seasonal color can be much lower than many forms of advertising, and if it brings just one more tenant in the door or keeps an existing one from leaving, it will have paid for itself several times over. Seasonal changes can bring varied colors and textures to key focal point areas.

Plant replacement offers several benefits. Large and crowded plant material is costly to keep pruned and ages a project. Replacing these plants with smaller, lower maintenance varieties takes years off the apparent age of a site and keeps maintenance costs in check.

Ongoing maintenance like replacing dead plants and addressing drainage issues are all typically less expensive if performed on an ongoing basis as opposed to letting them add up over time. An additional benefit to handling these issues in a timely manner is that the site will look well cared for throughout the year.

In short, landscape maintenance – while often one of the first things on the chopping block for reduction in a tough economic climate is – in many cases actually less expensive than many traditional advertising solutions and has the additional advantage of benefitting your existing clientele, the environment and your future cost structure, by creating that first impression.