Investing In Holiday Landscape Décor Offers Incalculable Returns
Since holiday decorating is not commonly the first thing people associate with commercial landscaping services, this season is an opportune time for sharing some expert insights on all the ways investing in holiday landscape décor can offer incalculable returns. So, we sat down with Ryan Kirkham, owner/operator of the U.S. Lawns Cincinnati East, Cincinnati Southeast, Columbus North, and Florence, Kentucky locations.
Kirkham has a ton of experience decorating his commercial customers’ grounds for the holidays. Over the years, he’s witnessed how even just a little bit of festive décor can be incredibly influential. Here are a few examples.
Decorating Your Grounds Elevates Spirits And Creates A Destination Place
One of Ryan’s larger customers is a Cincinnati CSA (Community Services Association) composed of 28 different neighborhoods. While he and his teams provide year-round landscape management services, they also enjoy decorating for the holidays, with Christmas being one of their favorites.
They decorate main attractions including major intersections, and entry signs which they’ll place wreaths on; they string lights, place holiday planters in common area spaces and there are even a couple of bridges (one covered bridge and one steel bridge) that they liven up for the holidays.
These festive decorations transform the community into a destination where people want to come and see the lights; the residents are happy to entertain friends and family; and they create an environment that will attract house hunters seeking a new place to live.
A Festive Landscape Encourages Fellowship And Supports Community Outreach
Kirkham also told us about a large community they serve where they decided nearly a decade ago to build a Santa mailbox which quickly became a favored annual tradition with all the locals. They install the specially built mailbox right after Thanksgiving and collect all of the “Santa mail” from the kids. It’s so popular that they receive countless pieces of mail each Christmas season, many with memorable and moving messages.
What’s more, Ryan’s wife spends hours responding to every single letter with a personal, handwritten note from “Mrs. Clause” to the pure delight of every recipient. The HOA pays the postage, but Ryan’s team donates their time to the efforts to the cause, and that personal touch speaks volumes to his customers and the community.
One “unseen” benefit of this combined outreach endeavor is that it provides U.S. Lawns with positive exposure to thousands of eyes, since passersby see Kirkham’s team hard at work setting up and maintaining the Santa mailbox.
A Strategically Decorated Landscape Can Strengthen Relationships
It also brings everyone in the neighborhood closer, as Ryan said he always enjoys watching as teachers bring their students on a short outing from the nearby elementary school so they can personally deposit their letters to Santa into the special mailbox, which is a powerful bonding experience.
Even better? Kirkham and his team have observed first-hand how their Santa mailbox and the other strategically placed holiday decorations have helped to foster positive relations between the HOA and the homeowners because they’re able see how their annual dues are being utilized to improve their community–and it just so happens that improving communities and improving lives is one of the major cornerstones of U.S. Lawns, making it a win for everyone involved.
Holiday Landscape Décor Sets A Higher Standard Regardless Of Your Business
Another good side effect is that the professional landscape décor sets a standard that motivates people to step up their game with their own holiday decorating because they want their property to be equally beautiful.
This is something that isn’t unique to HOAs either. If you’re in the hospitality industry, managing an office park or hospital campus, or you’re in charge of the grounds of a multi-family dwelling or an assisted living facility, decorating your landscape for the holidays brings out the best in your competitors too. Because smart business owners recognize that people prefer to patronize the most attractive places.
As Ryan so aptly says, “Whether it be creating a more friendly environment for the people who live there, be it assisted living, apartments or even the HOAs; or whether it be a benefit from a sales perspective (such as a in the case of a retail shopping center) people like to see nice things when they walk in the door. Most places are going to have inviting décor when you walk inside but it needs to look just as good if not better before you walk in too; after all, that’s your first impression area.” And we all know that regardless of your business, initial impressions are everything.
Landscape Decorations Are Not Limited To The Christmas Season
Another important point Kirkham made is that it’s a good idea to do holiday landscape decorating throughout the year. It doesn’t require as much as you’d think either because many items can be multi-purposed. For instance, he has customers that will have his team decorate their landscapes for Memorial Day and again for Independence Day, so they can use the same decorations for both holidays.
This is where advance planning is invaluable. By investing in the right decorations, you can stretch your budget to include multiple holidays.
Planning Ahead For Your Holiday Landscape Décor Can Result In Cost Savings
Additionally, planning ahead can be ever more cost effective when you work with your landscape services provider to make sure they’re incorporating seasonal enhancements with flowerbed changeouts. As Ryan explains, having the team do the decorating while they’re already on site performing other landscaping duties will ultimately save trip fees and labor hours.
A good illustration of this is having your landscapers do the decorating for Memorial Day while they’re on your property planting May flowers. Another affordable option is to repurpose the hay bales included in your fall color update by simply incorporating pumpkins, gourds, and a well-placed cornstalk or two, which easily creates a budget friendly holiday landscape that will take you through Thanksgiving.
One final tip here is that if you invest in decorations that can be reused year after year, Ryan Kirkham and his team will gladly store them for a nominal fee. Then you’ll only need to budget for storage and replacements as the elements demand, resulting in cost savings that can really add up.
If You’re On A Tight Budget, Even Small Things Can Make A Big Difference
Now, if you’re still concerned about holiday landscape decoration expenses, according to Kirkham, “Even small things make a difference. I think that something as simple as putting wreaths up and purchasing inexpensive décor that can be used year over year is a very small investment for the satisfaction that’s going to come from it. Because whether it be for community enjoyment or it be for employee morale or it be for people to come into your store because it’s more inviting, then from every facet there’s a positive. If you’re seasonal and you’re fun and you’re lighthearted it speaks volumes to the public in general.”
So, in a nutshell, decorating your landscape for the holidays can be great for business! Get in touch with your local U.S. Lawns today and start realizing the benefits.