Green Acres Discovers the Key to Client Satisfaction

Read Time5 minutes

AuthorAbby Hart

PublishedMarch 6, 2024

Green Acres Discovers the Key to Client Satisfaction

“One thing I hate to hear is when a customer comes in and says, ‘Well, I thought…’”

Joseph Kautz visibly cringes at this phrase, remembering that a missing item or detail typically follows, translating to more time, money, and unmet client expectations. 

Kautz, founder and president of Green Acres Landscaping, a commercial property maintenance and construction company based in Wilmington, DE, grew up mowing lawns in his neighborhood. He’s had decades of experience managing clients from his neighbors to the commercial clients his company now serves. 

“We focus on quality and customer communication,” he says. “We’re managing their property for them, and they don't have to worry—we take care of it.”

PropertyIntel has been a valuable tool for Green Acres’ landscape management clients, including municipalities, HOAs, professional offices, and more.

“I've always been passionate about delivering a quality product and building our reputation that way,” says Kautz. “We’re proactive when something needs to be addressed and provide solutions for (our clients) as well.” 

Making the Impossible Possible

The Green Acres team is proud of their reputation for quality.

“We deliver things that clients have often been told they can't do or is impossible,” he says. “It is possible. You just need to think outside the box and figure out how to get it done.”

Kautz is well-versed in software solutions, having built his own CRM in the early days of Green Acres. RealGreen, LMN, and Arborgold followed. Kautz moved on from each when he shifted from residential to commercial work, discovering the solutions lacked essential functions like scheduling or robust financial reporting.

With each new software implementation came the headache of scrubbing customer data and manually entering it into a new CRM. 

Accelerating Processes with Technology

Kautz remembers a large job that required a significant block of time to measure the property and create the estimate. “I don’t have 20 to 30 hours to spare in my 4:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. day,” he says.

Capturing property maps and measurements with Go iLawn solved his time issue, and he could instantly standardize and create price charts and production rates without visiting the job site in person. Green Acres has used Go iLawn for more than 10 years.  

As the business began to move more heavily into construction, Aspire became a front-runner in their search for software. When Go iLawn and LandOne combined to form the PropertyIntel solution within Aspire, it streamlined the workflow for companies like Green Acres with maintenance and construction projects, eliminating a separate login and platform for each solution.

“It was built for a company much larger than we were then, but it had everything we needed. Everything was accurate and integrated—it was impressive,” Kautz recalls. 

Green Acres has been using Aspire for over two years, and Kautz praises the platform's immediate, accurate, and trustworthy insights. 

In addition to helping him communicate and develop his team, he can offload the responsibility of being the sole keeper of knowledge in the company, creating more autonomy and collaboration.

“It allows us to focus more on developing processes and structure the business,” he says. 

“On top of that, there's always people available, whether it's the network of other clients or Aspire staff,“ he adds. “They know and understand the industry, terminology, and how we operate.”

Kautz and his team eagerly awaited the release of PropertyIntel, which “Knowing what Aspire would bring, it was fun to think about the possibility. They wrapped everything together and pulled the best out (of Go iLawn and LandOne). And they're expanding on it,” he says.

“It’s taking a lot of the work off my plate and helping me focus on generating the estimate or making sure production rates are correct instead of clicking a curb line for seven and a half miles,” he says.

PropertyIntel Complete, PropertyIntel’s done-for-you measuring service, has also proven to be a valuable tool for Kautz, who finished his proposal with a tight 48-hour deadline.

He values PropertyIntel’s ability to bring in aerial images or record plans or drawings or sketches and bring them together on a property. 

“The way it's integrated with Aspire and pulls from catalog items, it takes a lot of weight off,” he explains. “We're not correcting anything after discovering what should have been done differently.”

Clarity and Communication Supported by PropertyIntel

PropertyIntel and Aspire have combined to ensure contractors like Kautz hear a client say, “Well, I thought …” less often.

Typically, the company uses PropertyIntel to:

  • Connect visual takeoffs from PropertyIntel directly to Properties and Opportunities in Aspire to estimate time, materials, and price automatically

  • Keep printouts of takeoff maps in the trucks/trailers for crew reference on-site

  • Utilize ShareView to send interactive, noneditable links of sitemaps to crews, clients, and prospects for alignment and communication

  • Leverage snow maps to detail the various pieces of snow equipment needed for the job and the areas each will complete, such as sidewalks, drive lanes, and parking docks.

“It eliminates almost all of the clients coming back at the end of the day saying, ‘Well, I thought it was going to be this, or I thought you were going to go all the way over to there,” he explains. “It puts the ball in my court that I've done everything I can to ensure the customer's clear on the scope of work.” 

Clarity and communication are vital, especially when complex jobs are concerned.

“We had an ongoing job that continued to develop as it progressed—there were so many layers to the onion,” Kautz recalls. “As a subcontractor on-site (I realized), somebody will lose track of what's getting done."

During daily inspections of the job site, Kautz opened up PropertyIntel and did takeoffs on upcoming work, what was completed, and finished and graded areas after tree removal.  

“Sure enough, we get weeks into the job, and people start asking what’s taking so long. Instead of playing defense, I have the data to prove it,” he says.

“It brings everything together and removes all the headache,” he adds. “It's turnkey and ready to use. Having the data and measurements and being able to provide that to the client—it's a no-brainer.”

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