Hiring a good lawn care company in Orlando can be tricky. Of course, there’s no shortage of options. There are tons of lawn care companies in Oviedo, Apopka, Deltona, and everywhere else in Central Florida. This only contributes to the problem though: how do you tell the good companies from the bad? What questions should I ask them before hiring?
It’s a common problem, and it’s one we’re trying to solve with LawnStarter (in the case that you’re in Orlando and want lawn care service, give us a call). First, let’s look into the reasons you should hire a lawn care company. There are many reasons to DIY, but for some, the time, energy, and stress you save from hiring a good contractor is simply worth the nominal cost.
- You’ll save time. DIYers have to go through hours of planning and research to find out what exactly their lawn needs. They must visit a couple different stores to buy equipment, fertilizer, seed, and tools. Then, they must invest some time into actually learning some basic agronomics so they don’t mess up their lawn. Finally, proper lawn maintenance will suck up a few hours of your time each week for the actual mowing, blowing, weed eating, and fertilization.
- Lawn care companies are steeped in expertise. Most have spent years perfecting their craft. There are subtle nuances with any craft that allow professionals to outperform novices. That’s why we hire professionals. If you really want a great lawn, then it’s intelligent to leverage the years of experience that good lawn care companies bring to the table.
- You’ll save money (really). Lawn care companies own really efficient, professional-grade equipment. They deal with hundreds (or thousands) of properties, so their purchases are subsidized by the large amounts of lawns that they service. For you to buy similar grade equipment and products (and expect the same results) would be foolish and expensive. Then you also have to ask yourself, what is your time worth? If you could save an extra 2 hours per week to spend with your family, relax, or even put in some extra time at the office, it would be worth the price.
- You’re safe from liability (usually). Good lawn care companies are insured and licensed, meaning if they break something (like a window) on your property, you won’t have to worry about paying to replace it. Now, if you’re on the riding mower and it hucks a rock into a window, it’s on you to buy a new one.
Now, if you’re set on hiring an Orlando lawn care company, make sure you ask potential lawn care companies a few questions before you pull the trigger. You’re going to want this to be a long term relationship for the best possible results, and like any long term relationship, you’ll want to do your due diligence. Here are 6 questions you should ask:
- “Do you have any reviews or references?” Any company worth their salt will have at least a few reviews online or some references if you ask. The important thing here is that they show transparency. No doubt they’ll give you their absolute best customers as references, but it’s important that they have these customers in the first place. If they’re hesitant to give you references, be hesitant about hiring them.
- “Are you licensed and insured?” Sure, you can pay someone under the table and get a cheaper price. In fact, that’s all too common. Problem is, problems arise. And when something gets broken, you’re going to want the assurance of some insurance. This is one thing we are absolutely strict about at LawnStarter. We won’t work with anyone who is not licensed and insured.
- “How many mowing hours do you go through before changing/sharpening blades?” It’s simple: dull blades make your lawn look bad. This question is an excellent way to weed out the amateur companies from the stellar ones. Look for a prompt answer, and make sure they say no more than 10 hours between sharpening/changing blades.
- “Do you require a contract?” It’s actually common in the lawn care industry to require contracts. We’ve never understood that. Sure, one-time jobs are a hassle for lawn care companies, but isn’t there a better way to develop a long term relationship with customers than tying them into a legally binding contract? Look for companies that don’t require contracts.
- “How long have you been in business?” This is probably the question you thought to ask first. Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn’t. Of course, being in business a long time could suggest that their customer service is adequate enough to do so. But ‘adequate’ in the lawn care industry doesn’t mean that you’ll enjoy it.
- “Can I pay with credit card?” Even if you’d rather pay with cash or check, if their answer is no, I wouldn’t recommend hiring them. Unless they are absolutely amazing quality, price, or service, the lack of debit/credit payments usually means their company has been left in behind in the technological dust and you won’t be able to do anything convenient (like changing your service, adding services, or changing payment options). Convenience is one of the reasons you ordered lawn care, remember?
- “How can I reach you if I have questions?” This might be the most important question you can ask. A lot of our customers are used to companies who are essentially invisible and unreachable down the line. It’s hard for many lawn care companies to provide consistent customer service being in the field most of the time. The best companies tend to use email and texting as a communications mechanism. This ensures that all of your inquiries are answered in a timely fashion (which will come in handy when you want to, say, cancel or add an aeration service, or ask about trimming your shrubs.)
Comments and suggestions are always welcome. If you’ve got a thought, shoot us an email or comment below!