10 Steps to a Successful Landscaping RFP

Posted on March 15th, 2019 by Mariel Nowack

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Here in New England, we’re gearing up for spring season and a shift in maintenance needs. The temperatures and weather are still notoriously erratic this time of year but that’s no reason to hold off on preparing for the upcoming season. It’s time to inspect, refresh, and re-energize your buildings.

A top priority to consider is landscaping. What are your landscaping needs, and do you have a contract in place?

This week’s blog post is a step-by-step guide to developing, administering, and awarding a landscaping RFP.

Step 1: Create a List of Properties where landscaping services are needed. We recommend also including aerial photos from google earth and outlining the area of responsibility.

Step 2: Develop a Scope of Work to be completed at each property. This should be very detailed and include descriptions of requested service and frequency of service.

  • Pro Tip: Identifying a clear scope of work will result in comparable bid pricing.

Step 3: Identify your General Requirements of the contract: service agreement, insurance requirements, minimum qualifications, submission requirements, pricing template, deadline, and point of contact.

Step 4: Research and build a List of Landscaping Companies to invite to bid on the landscaping services. Read more on how to find qualified contractors here. We recommend inviting at least 3 landscaping contractors to bid. Be sure to do a preliminary qualification to narrow down your list.

Step 5: Assemble your RFP packet and include: list of properties, scope of work, general requirements, and a cover sheet with your company, name, contact information, and a title or identification of the RFP.

  • Pro Tip: Identify a clear timeline and include deadlines. Contractors should have enough times to preview the property and ask questions. Give them a deadline to submit questions and date by which you will respond. Also give yourself enough time to review all the responses to the proposal, ask any questions YOU may have, and deliver an award in advance of the contract start date.

Step 6: Issue your RFP to your list of landscaping companies via email or mail. Confirm receipt of the RFP packet and make sure you’re accessible throughout the period of response.

Step 7: Aggregate all questions into a document and issue responses to all questions to all bidders. This is a good way to keep an even playing field.

Step 8: Review and evaluate all proposals for accuracy and completeness. Be sure all of the general requirements are met and the pricing is completed.

  • Pro Tip: Providing a clear pricing template will ensure you get back pricing structured the way you want and that is consistent among bidders.

Step 9: Award the contract to the winning bidder based on your criteria and budget. Set up a formal meeting with the contractor to review the terms of the service contract and make sure all administrative paperwork is complete and billing processes are clear.

Step 10: Review the performance of the contractor throughout the course of the season to ensure the scope of work is being completed to your desired level of service.


There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes in to the administration of a contract such as landscaping. Your keys to a success in running an RFP and administrating a contract are three things: clear communication, attention to detail, and diligence in upholding your standards.

ONE SOURCE has the expertise, resources, and scalability to manage contracts across a variety of trades needed in any building. Can you use our help? Call us today to schedule a FREE Facility Program Assessment.

203.741.8770

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