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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In the Nation

Survey Finds Consumers Wary of Using Landscape Services

Wednesday, March 6, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chuck Bowen, Editor, Lawn and Landscape Magazine
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Is Your Sales Approach in Tune with These Findings?

ALE Winner 2013RICHFIELD, OH - Last year, Lawn and Landscape magazine conducted the first major post-recession survey of homeowners’ perceptions of the landscape industry.

The magazine asked more than 850 homeowners across the country why they buy landscape and lawn care services, what they think of contractors, and how they decide what to spend on improving their green spaces.

Their answers could surprise you.

The initial report focused on three major topics of interest: homeowner perceptions of the cost of landscape services (too high), their expectations of service (also high), and the impact they think landscaping has on the value of their home’s eventual selling price (again, high).

Here are the key findings:

- About 85 percent said maintenance and lawn care contractors are too expensive
- 70 percent said landscape installations are prohibitively expensive
- A third of homeowners who fired a contractor – or never hired one in the first place – said it was because of price
- About a quarter of all homeowners have increased the amount of landscaping and lawn care they do around their house; 9 percent of them are hiring more contractors
- 76 percent of homeowners cut their own grass
- 89 percent treat their own turf or don’t apply anything
- 30 percent of homeowners are planning a major landscaping project in the next two years
- The most important source of information when selecting a contractor is recommendations from friends and family, followed by online reviews and seeing trucks in the neighborhood.

So what does this mean for you?

These data make it pretty clear that homeowners need to be coached past the price question and shown the value that a new landscape or lawn care program will bring them. That value for many consumers means more time spent with their family or more enjoyment of their landscape.

A majority of respondents said they value their outdoor space and see the value that a landscape brings to their neighborhood. The challenge is to find that value and drive it home, especially when yours isn’t the cheapest bid.

The survey also makes it clear that homeowners often feel taken advantage of – nearly half said they don’t trust what contractors tell them. That means you have to make sure to communicate clearly and effectively to manage your clients’ expectations. You know that you’re juggling hundreds or thousands of clients, running your own business and your family life, but customers tend to think only about their patio that you’re building.

Communication also comes into play when consumers choose a landscaper. By almost a three-to-one ratio, homeowners rely on recommendations from friends and family when they hire someone. A happy customer with lots of friends is your best source of new business.

Read the full here:

For information on the benefits of home landscape improvements, go to

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