Landscaping is about more than creating lovely and restful green spaces. It’s about helping your clients transform their homes into oases. After all, for your clients, their home isn’t just their castle. It’s their greatest investment, their primary source of wealth and security, their pride and joy. And that means that when they contract with you, they’re demonstrating tremendous trust.
If you own a landscaping business or work in the construction or real estate industries, you know that your clients deserve your utmost efforts and care, as all clients do — but, still, your client’s home is only one among many properties on your professional plate. For your clients, though, their home is the center of the world.
For younger homeowners, this is likely particularly true. And even for those in the older age range of the millennial generation, chances are most of your clients are just starting out. Perhaps you are being entrusted with the care of their very first home, the most ambitious purchase they have likely ever made.
But catering to millennial clients isn’t just about the special responsibility of tending to a precious first home. It is also about recognizing that these millennial clients are, in many ways, an entirely new breed of clientele. Their goals and expectations for their homes, yards, and gardens can be quite different than those of older generations. That means that the way you serve them should be different as well.
Loving the Green(Space)
Millennials love their green spaces, often considering their lawns and gardens as extensions of their homes. That’s, of course, terrific news for you, particularly if you focus on offering your clients unique options to help them truly customize and optimize their outdoor spaces.
For example, many millennials are looking for smaller homes in suburban environments. That means they’re seeking landscapes that function as a part of the living space — a compensation, perhaps, for the square footage they may be giving up in their homes. Your landscaping strategy will need to serve such multifunctional uses, giving your clients a place to relax, to entertain, and simply to be in the great outdoors.
In addition to providing your fellow millennials with outdoor spaces that are not only beautiful but also highly accessible for all comers, it’s also a good idea to design for functionality as well. With many millennials working from home at least part-time, the outdoor space you design may well end up serving as an extension of the home office. That means creating private outdoor spaces your clients are regularly comfortable working in.
You know better than anyone that millennials love green spaces not just for the opportunity to enjoy time in nature, but also because, for many, their homes’ lawns and gardens are simply manifestations of their commitment to the environment. Environmental sustainability is an increasing concern of the millennial generation, and care for their own parcel of Earth has, for many, become a labor of love. In many cases, this means ensuring that your clients’ water is of the highest quality. Poor quality water can lead to smells, bad flavor, and lack of growth for vegetation.
If your client is going to want a robust gardening space, the water they use for irrigation must be usable for gardening as well. For the most environmentally-conscious clients, you might consider installing a few extra bells and whistles, such as a composting area or smart irrigation.
Looking for the “Green”
When you’re working with fellow millennial clients, it’s also important to remember that finances may be a particularly acute concern. Though the millennial generation enjoys tremendous buying power and higher incomes for their age than any previous generation, the undeniable fact is that many of the clients you’re working with likely don’t have a lot of homeowner experience in regards to finances.
Odds are, for instance, they’ve turned to their parents with help in financing their home purchase and upgrade projects such as the one you’re contracted for. So cost-consciousness and transparency are going to be especially important for this particular client base.
Because of this, your millennial clients will likely be particularly interested in outdoor enhancements that increase their home’s overall value. After all, odds are that your clients’ first home won’t be their last.
In addition to focusing on their home’s bottom line, you’re also going to want to take particular care in invoicing. These cost-conscious consumers are likely going to expect itemized billing, with a granular breakdown of the costs of each service rendered. Providing such transparent pricing may seem an unnecessary waste of time at first, but it can prevent disputes in the future, while also helping you to build a strong and enduring relationship with your client.
As a landscaper, your passion for flora is your profession, and sharing that passion is undoubtedly a source of great professional pride for you and your team. Millennial clients require particular care, especially in the context of many of them being first-time homebuyers. When you are working with less-experienced clients, you may well be tending to their beloved first home. You’re also going to be tasked with addressing the unique goals and requirements of this rising generation, from using the green space as an extension of the home to embracing environmental sustainability and universal design in landscaping to maintaining cost consciousness and transparency throughout.
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in topics related to how education, business, and technology intersect with the personal. She enjoys travelling to beautiful places and learning more about her cultural and environmental surroundings. You can connect with Ainsley on Twitter and Contently.