Martin Cleary in 2010 interview

From Dan Jacobs of Landscape Management Magazine in 2010:

It’s a matter of accountability. “Our people have a clear understanding of what they are supposed to deliver and are measured on that,” says Martin Cleary, owner along with his brother Mike, of Cleary Brothers Landscape, Danville, CA. The Clearys have built a successful enterprise by rewarding decision makers and letting them make decisions that affect their rewards. “They are given power to make decisions and also make mistakes,” Martin Cleary says.  “As an owner, I am always available for council but I expect my people to take action. I have high expectations, but I don’t expect absolute perfection.”

» Sustainability. There is a real movement toward sustainable and responsible landscaping. Our industry has matured and so have our customers. Commercial customers expect to deal with professional firms.
» Mutual Growth. Property owners expect more from their landscaper than just horticultural care.  They expect a partner, a company that will give them support and input that helps to meet their goals.
» Accountability.  We don’t micromanage our managers.  They are given power to make descisions and also make mistakes.  When mistakes are made I only expect action to fix the mistake. .

» A Down Economy. Most landscape companies are small and are going to have a hard time competing with the larger firms. If a company has sales under $5 million overhead is going to be very difficult to dilute. To thrive in this economy, the landscaper has to have people focused on sales, marketing, production, customer service, and accounting.
» Expertise. To be on top, the landscaper has to be expert in a variety of topics: advanced irrigation systems, pest control choices, sustainable landscaping processes, management information systems, and compliance. Without a strong staff, this is a huge challenge to the landscape contractor.
» Downward Push. Pricing pressure is going to continue to get worse for the next two years.

» Water Management. In many parts of the country water is in short supply.  Being expert in managing that resource is a huge opportunity for the landscape contractor.  Getting educated through trade groups and vendors on technology and techniques is a key to success.
» Rennovation Work. In order to keep property values up in a tough market, the property has to look better than the competition. Renovation will always be an opportunity, particularly in the smaller commercial arena.
» The Proper Attitude. Being positive in a negative world. People, it’s a buyers market right now for top talent. While others are putting the brakes on, this is the time to recruit.


Company: Cleary Brothers Landscape
Headquarters: Danville, CA
Year founded: 1987
Employees: 165 full-time
Annual revenue: $11 million
Services offered: Landscape construction, landscape maintenance, arborist services
Key to being a maintenance leader: Our key has been the same since day one. Do great work and love our customer. We make every effort to provide a top-level experience for our customers. We don’t accept shoddy work.  Every person in our company is trained to respect our customers in every action that we take. This is a primary part of our culture.  All of our employees consider themselves as professionals and take pride in the work that they do. We have great people on staff. Great people attract great people.  Great people also attract great customers.

CACM 2015

We are looking forward to seeing you at the CACM seminar 2015
We are in Booth 815

Drop by, say Hi, and Win!



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Ferol Arce

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Hiring Irrigation Manager in the Bay Area

Irrigation Manager! Thrive with support and autonomy

Cleary Bros Team

Cleary Bros Team

Give us a call. We would love to speak with you…you have nothing to lose. We are not replacing anyone, we are adding capacity for our ongoing growth.

The Irrigation Manager is responsible for managing ….

You Get:

The chance to work with the best landscape team in the Bay Area, Base Salary, Commission, Bonus opportunity, 401k with match, health benefits, education opportunities, challenge, a place in a stable company, a vehicle, iPhone, laptop, solid office support team, Autonomy, and fun. This position is expected to earn a salary and incentives in excess of $100,000

[Read more…]

Certified, Does it Matter?

This article was written by Martin Cleary and published on Linkedin:

Is there a difference between a Tree Guy and an Arborist?

I see one of my primary jobs as a team builder. Being a bit on the lazy side, I look for a need and hire someone that is expertly qualified and highly motivated to fill that need. Frankly, most of these people are much smarter than me.

One of our service lines include Tree Care. On last look, we have 12 different certifications specifically related to Tree Care. Does it make a difference? I say yes. In fact, we pay a premium in salaries to get these people.

Trees are highly valuable assets in the landscape as well as potentially loaded with risk. A proper long term view on the care and selection of trees can go a long way to the overall value of a property. Bad advice can be costly.

If you want a tree cut down, a Tree Guy may be appropriate as long as he can provide insurance protection if he makes a mistake.

Bad advice from a non-certified Tree Guy, may sound good, but may end up being a big problem. Trees that are damaged by the wrong treatments may not die right away. It may take a few years. I saw a recent example of a Tree Guy repeatedly selling a Plant Health Care treatment to a large property that was increasingly poisoning the soil. This was from one of the larges tree companies in the Bay Area! The Tree Guy is a skilled salesman but actually has no certification.

I mention this because I’m seeing ‘Arborists” being hired by well established tree companies that are not certified at the most basic level. Next time the Tree Guy is trying to sell you something, ask him/her about their certification. You may be surprised by the answer.  Many of the tree companies hire unqualified salesmen and present them as arborists.  Ask lots of questions.

This is from the International Society of Arborists:

Certified Arborists are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through experience and by passing a comprehensive examination developed by some of the nation’s leading experts on tree care. Certified Arborists must also continue their education to maintain their certification and adhere to a Code of Ethics. Therefore, they are more likely to be up to date on the latest techniques in arboriculture.

Becoming an ISA Certified Arborist is a voluntary process through which individuals can measure their knowledge and competence required to provide proper tree care. ISA Certification is not government-sponsored or government-endorsed; it is administered by the International Society of Arboriculture as a way for tree care professionals to demonstrate their commitment to the profession and the industry.

Certification is not a measure of standards of practice. Certification can attest to the tree knowledge of an individual but cannot guarantee or ensure quality performance.

Hiring Maintenance Business Developer

We are looking for another Sales Representative for our Landscape Maintenance Division.

The target income for this position is $100k+.
Cleary Bros. Landscape, Inc., a leading contractor in the Landscape Construction industry, is currently seeking to add another skilled Maintenance Sales Representative. Cleary Bros. has been is business 27 years and has 185 employees.

You will be taking over an area that already has tremendous momentum, a large data base, and hundreds of previous bids to re-visit with people that already know us.

Position Purpose: 
Generate new landscape maintenance service contract sales for Cleary Bros. Landscape, Inc. (CBL). Our work includes landscape services of commercial real estate types . . .Office, Large Corporate Sites, Retail, Resort, Home Owners Associations, and related landscaped sites. The ideal candidate must be a self starter that possesses a passion for success, and a proven sales record in the San Francisco Bay Area. The regional territory for this position is the South Bay. Representative must have the ability to meet the assigned annual contract sales goals. 

Job Title: Maintenance Sales Representative 
Department: Maintenance 
Reports To: Division Manager 

The qualified candidate will possess effective personal leadership, inter-personal skills, time management, and recognize needs of the customer, and successfully sell landscape maintenance contracts with integration to (CBL) operations. The position requires the candidate to exercise leadership within a team-based environment. Also, effective sales process, interpersonal skills, prospecting and follow-through with prospects, co-workers and clients. Other skills required of the position include organizational, computer (Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and Outlook), and mentoring. 

• Plan, prepare, carry out, and report landscape maintenance sales efforts. 
• Preparation and presentation of proposals to prospective and existing clients. 
• Develop leads and work resources for landscape management contract sales and secure appointments. 
• Maintains records on all prospects and profiles of their organizations and business holdings. 
• Develops and maintains sales data base. 
• The ability to work independently and consistently provide timely and detailed follow up professionalism. 
• Conduct estimates or gains information from operations for prospective clients. 
• Work with operations’ field managers on regional sales and special projects as assigned. 
• Establish and maintain long term client relationships for additional business growth. 
• Complete start up contract administration forms and follow up with customer service representatives. 
• Review contract details with clients and CBL staff to assure expectations are clear and attainable. 
• Other duties and special projects as assigned
• 1-3 years of experience in sales development and lead generation. 
• College degree or related experience. 
• The ability to work independently and consistently provide timely follow up with prospects. 
• Advanced presentation, interpersonal, organizational and negotiation skills. 
• Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously. 
• Confident and professional phone, mail, and electronic prospecting skills 
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
• CRM knowledge is a plus
• Must be available for periodic evening presentations
• Must have strong computer skills

Our company offers a very competitive salary and commission structure with a comprehensive benefits package including bonus, 401(k) plan, vehicle, training, and many other benefits. To learn more about CBL’s exciting career opportunities.

Please send resume with cover letter & salary history

Link to our Application
Click Here to Send Your Resume