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How to Get a Healthy Return On Investment From Your Landscape

Three things to look for to ensure you continue to get good value from your outdoor spaces

path with garden
By Nick DiBenedetto

First impressions play a large role in how customers, clients and tenants view your property.

If your business looks good on the outside, customers will want to come inside. If your office has beautiful outdoor spaces around it, clients will love visiting. And if your condo’s gardens and lawns are clean and tidy, tenants will be happy and property value will go up.

Often this is simply called “curb appeal.” Here at ND, though, we like to call this the “preservation of your assets.” Your landscape was (and still is!) a significant investment.

In order for your landscape investment to keep giving you a healthy return — and keep impressing everyone who uses it each day — there are three things to look out for.

bush and sculpture

1. Safety & hazards — it should be safe!

One of the main reasons your landscape may need an update is safety. There are all sorts of hazards that can crop up over time. You might find a brick that sticks out, or a tree root that constantly trips people. In other areas, a tree branch might get in the way of larger vehicles or scratch the roofs of SUVs. Or even worse, a tree is clearly dying and on the verge of collapse when a strong gust of wind or a storm rolls through.

Safety is paramount, so we always look for hazards like these with you when we inspect your property to see what changes should be made.

It can be helpful to pretend you’re a customer or tenant. Put yourself in their shoes, then drive by your property and then through your driveway or parking lot. Walk down all of your walkways and sidewalks. Next, look for any kind of signage, whether it’s your company’s main entrance signage, directional signs, or even unit numbers for residential properties. Make sure nothing is overgrown or blocking sightlines. And make sure that everything is visible with proper lighting in the evening.

See if anything stands out as a hazard — because if a safety hazard exists on your property, you will likely be on the hook for liability.

path with garden and landscapers

2. Traffic flow & function — it should be useful!

I once visited a hotel and when I exited my car and walked towards the entrance, I quickly noticed that it made more sense to walk through the garden than walk on the main pathway to the door. It was faster, easier and more logical. Clearly, others had this very same thought, because a well-worn trail had been blazed through the garden bed already.

Here’s the thing: You can’t actually redirect people. When it’s cold out, or when someone is in a rush, they aren’t going to take their time walking somewhere or stop to smell the roses. They’re going to get where they need to go as fast as they can.

Do you have a part of your property that fits the above description or that has always puzzled you? The solution comes by updating your landscape. How? In the above scenario, plant in a manner that prevents people from walking through the garden. Or just accept that your existing hardscaped pathway may not make the most sense — build a journey through your property that’s intuitive and easily navigated. And that goes for both vehicles and pedestrians!

Beyond traffic flow, also consider function. Whether people live, work or shop at your property, it’s important to think about how they interact with the landscape. 

Function can be defined in many ways. Some ideas are…

  • An attractive outdoor space for employees to eat lunch outside on sunny days — like a patio or outdoor structure like a pergola.
  • An interlocking brick pathway with benches that gives residents and their guests the space to go for a stroll.
  • At a condominium, it may even be a space for residents to have a community garden.
curved garden and path with landscapers

3. Aesthetics — it should be beautiful!

Of course, any project meant to enhance your property should be beautiful. This part is where our team’s expertise really helps — we have decades of experience helping commercial clients and homeowners overcome issues in their landscapes, and do so in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing.

For commercial clients, first impressions are crucial. How your landscape looks, and how easy it is to navigate, can have a direct impact on sales and your bottom line. The beauty of your landscape can affect employee morale. And it can determine just how happy your tenants (and your board of directors) are.

Now that’s a return on investment.

When all three of these are checked off, we call it “hitting a triple.”

Enhancing or upgrading your property might seem like a luxury or an unnecessary extra that impacts your budget. But if you ask us, we’ll tell you that money spent up front ends up paying dividends on your bottom line — and that’s where the “preservation of asset” concept comes into play. Your investment is only as strong as the care and consideration you put into it.

Any update to your property should make it safer, more functional and of course, more beautiful. We call this “hitting a triple,” because realistically the only reason a client might say no to a project like this is simply budget constraints — the value is massive!

If you'd like to set up an enhancement project, we can give you immediate feedback on your property with a single property visit. All you need to do is set one up here.

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