2017 Landscape Trends and How to Sell Them
Landscaping season is about to be in full swing, so it’s time to get familiar with the trends your customers may be asking for this season.
Combine our love for chilling out with a cold drink in great backyards—not to mention on decks and patios—with our appreciation of forward-thinking software solutions and you’ll understand why we were intrigued by the US National Association of Landscape Professionals’ (NALP) list of the top landscape design trends of 2017.
Technology and innovation play a big role in this year’s list, so we’re highlighting the 4 trends that speak to that theme and sharing tips for getting these ideas in front of your customers.
1. Smart lawns
Innovation has its place on our lawns, in the form of ever-improving cultivated grass varieties—cultivars—that are designed to be ‘smarter.’
They deal with the elements better, including holding up to drought, so that lawns stay lush and healthy with less fussing. These cultivars also represent improvements in irrigation technology, which conserves water, and they produce more oxygen to boot.
This trend is definitely of interest to your eco-friendly consumers.
2. High-tech outdoor kitchens
Apparently people are taking their backyard cooking seriously and we’re all for it. According to the NALP, the already popular outdoor living trend is getting kicked up a notch this year with more homeowners investing in exterior kitchens than in the past.
Think a step up from giant barbeques and dining sets, and picture actual outdoor kitchens complete with ovens, refrigerators, and mood lighting. Take it a step further by using mobile apps to control said ovens, refrigerators, and lighting.
3. A mix of hardscape materials
As you scroll through material supplier websites or stroll through tradeshows, be sure to note new and innovative material releases because your customers want variety in their landscapes.
At the very least, challenge yourself to think about new ways to pair traditional materials like wood, stone, pebbles, and iron, but we think this trend signals it’s a great year to investigate what’s new.
4. Getting past the ground level
Living walls and roof gardens are all the rage in office buildings, restaurants, and retail spaces, and homeowners are curious about incorporating these features into their spaces as well.
If residential landscaping is your bread and butter, then discussing these traditionally commercial options with your customers might open up a whole new category for your business.
Getting your customers on board
These year’s landscape trends are pushing the boundaries of traditional landscape ideas, so how do you share these possibilities with your customers before you do the work?
Post inspiration on your business Facebook page
Don’t have a Facebook page? Here’s why you should: With well over 1.5 billion users in 2016, Facebook has the most users out of all social media platforms. The demographics of people who use Facebook show that the majority of them are most likely the household decision makers who would be pursuing mobile services such as landscaping.
A Facebook page is the perfect place to show your customers that you’re interested in and knowledgeable about all areas of your industry and you can do so by posting relevant articles. Want to promote the outdoor kitchen trend? Find supporting articles with great photographs on trend-driving sites like Martha Stewart or Better Home and Garden and post them for your customers as information and inspiration.
For more ways to make the most of Facebook, check out our month of posting ideas.
Don't be shy about offering your expertise
Your customers are calling you to help solve a problem: their lawn or garden feels outdated or is overgrown, or maybe they want to get more use out of their backyard. Whatever the reason, you are the expert in this scenario, so keep this in mind as you consult clients on new projects.
You do the research into trends and best practices, and you know your stuff. If a client is having issues keeping their lawn lush, maybe a ‘smart’ grass variety is the way to go. If your customer seems open to discussing new materials for a garden bed upgrade, your ability to fill them in on the newest materials will most likely be met with interest.
And when you go the extra mile to provide your expert advice on new inquiries and projects, you’re showing off your upselling techniques in the most genuine way possible. A win-win. Worst case scenario they say no, but you still come off as an informed service provider.
Now you know the trends, and you have a couple of strategies for getting them in front of your customers. On that note we’re wishing you all a great spring season!