CCI Newsletter 2 - 2021-2022

Working through a Landscape Bid Process By: S é an Eglinton, ACCI, LCCI, OLCM

At this writing, our City has seen half a dozen landscape companies close their operations since August 1 st . The reasons we ’ re hearing are insurance requirements and policies going through the stratosphere, but that ’ s a whole different kettle of fish for another time. Let ’ s assume that each one of these “ closed ” companies worked for a minimum of five condominium corporations, and that ’ s a low “ guesstimate ” in my opinion. That means that a bare minimum of thirty condominium corporations are likely to be scrambling for a replacement company as winter sets in. In a period where it ’ s already hard to find good, reliable, skilled labour this is an absolute mess.

true. We need to understand the wants and the needs of our community - both from a maintenance and from an ownership aspect. Does our ownership notice if the grass is green and weed free as best as legally we can? Do we have a high student population where litter is our biggest enemy? Are we irrigated? Do we want our gardens mulched every other year to help beautify them and reduce evaporation which will promote plant health? Let ’ s figure out what we want to reasonably have before we ask for any pricing. Far too often we see communities that have let their spring and summer extras fall away in lieu of other condominium needs. Quickly the turf is filled with weeds, gardens look sad and only the landscape team gets blamed for poor service. What we put into the property, whether it be mulching every spring, creating an annual display in the planters by the lobby, fertilizing four times over the growing season or using broadleaf weed killers such as Fiesta will only better the curb appeal and landscape health of the community. Understanding the needs of your community - winter The industry base line for service is snow gets ploughed upon 2” of snow fall and salt is applied when conditions warrant. This goes for roadways, parking lots and walkways. We can look to cut costs by using a sand - salt mixture in lieu of salt which is far less expensive per ton. Yes, we ’ ll save some money but we ’ ll have a very messy cleanup in the spring and even an extra spring cleanup invoice from our contractor to cover this work. If we are a high rise with hundreds of footsteps heading into the lobby daily the use of cheaper sand - salt will be a nightmare for

Séan Eglinton, ACCI, LCCI, OLCM is a Senior Condominium Manager with Thorne Property Management Ltd. Séan began his career in the landscape industry after graduating from the Landscape Design program at Fanshawe College. In November 2007, he made the career change to condominium management and started working for Thorne Property Management Ltd. Séan completed his RCM and ACCI requirements in January 2011. Séan was first elected to the CCI-London and Area Chapter Board of Directors in 2018 and re-elected in 2021. His association with CCI began even before being elected to the Board. He took the lead in CCI’s 1 st Annual Golf Tournament and has continued in that role since. He has participated as a presenter at educational events, as an instructor at the Condominium Course and a writer for the CCI Review .

Now let that sink in.

Many of us directors, owners, contractors and condominium managers may have been affected by this wave of closures. Some were fortunate enough not to be affected. Others were not, but were able to find a replacement company. Still others are scrambling, as both the leaves and temperatures drop. In a normal year we would all be in the final phase of signing our new fall landscape contracts by early October. For our sanities, let ’ s assume we have all signed our November 1 st landscape contracts and are moving on with life. But, what about those April 1 st landscape contracts which will be here in the blink of an eye? Well, let ’ s go for a ride. Understanding the needs of your community – spring, summer and fall Sure, we can have the age - old debate of if a condo looks the same it must be the same. But we all know that ’ s not

CCI Review 2021/2022 —November 2021 - 14

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