Introducing Oscar Romero

Oscar Romero Maintenance Account Manager Cleary Bros. Landscape

We’d like to introduce you to our newest team member, Oscar Romero! He started with Cleary Bros. in September and is a great addition to our Account Management Team. Oscar has an extensive background in the landscaping world. He started as a whole sale distributor and really enjoyed the irrigation side of the industry. From there he fell in love with plants and now he’s in management! When Oscar is not in the field, he’s playing salsa music and performing with his buddy’s band in Sausalito and San Francisco! Welcome to the Team!

Maintenance Tips to Help Your Homeowners Association Prepare for Fall

 

With the dog days of summer behind us and the leaves starting to change, it’s essential that your community association begins to change its maintenance activities as well.  In fall, preparation for winter is key – after all, despite an occasional lingering warmth in the air, we know that in many parts of the country, cold weather is inevitably on the way. Whether your HOA is self-managed or professionally managed, getting started on your fall and winter prep will help keep your operations running smoothly as the seasons and temperatures change – and that will keep your residents happy as well.

Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your building or community at its autumn best.

1. Landscaping
Just because mowing season is over doesn’t mean you can sit back and ignore your landscaping. Fall is the perfect time to spray for bugs and weeds, and to plant annuals in your landscaping beds. It’s also time for your association to aerate turf, complete spot seeding in any patchy areas, and do your deep root fertilization.  But that’s not all – be sure to check your equipment, including your watering clocks and your irrigation system to make sure they’re in tip-top shape.  And don’t forget to remove all of the hoses from hose bibs, and clear away fallen leaves from bushes and drainage areas.  Your maintenance staff may be able to perform these activities, but if you need to find qualified landscaping firms, a good property management company can provide referrals.

2. Pool and spa
With the end of summer, it’s time to focus on your swimming pool and surrounding pool area. Check your motors and pumps and clean and replace the filters. It’s also a good time to take a look at the piping to see if you have any leaks or corrosion. Don’t forget to clean all the filter baskets and grease the pump motor and bearings.

If you live in a part of the country where your pool and spa will be shut down for the season, remember to secure the area for winter. Backwash the filer and drain the water from your filter tank, then drain your pool to the manufacturer-recommended level. Put all the pool equipment away and keep an eye out for any safety or performance issues throughout the winter. Again, if you need to find quality pool maintenance vendors, consult with a property management company.

3. Lighting
Now that the days are shorter, it’s a good time to check for bad bulbs and any broken lighting fixtures. Your HOA may opt to do a full LED conversion – a win-win for both reducing your energy costs and protecting the environment.  Check with your local utility company about any available rebates, or consult with a good property management company to learn about rebates and other valuable cost-savers.  And while you’re at it, double-check your emergency lighting as well.  These changes are well worth doing – lighting improvements easy to achieve and very effective for lowering costs and improving efficiency for your building or community.

4. Seasonal Décor
Planning on decorating for the holidays? Then get a jump start on the festivities by reviewing your decor plans with your management and internal staff, and create a decorating committee to set your ideas in motion. If you need help with electrical issues, such as stringing lights and putting up decorations, get your RFP process going with your vendor prospects. One very important piece of advice:  if you’re planning to decorate deciduous trees, be absolutely certain that they’re trimmed back before lighting to reduce fire hazards.

With the heat of summer gone and an approaching crispness in the air, it can only mean that fall has arrived – small wonder that it’s many people’s favorite time of year.  By following these four key maintenance steps, your community will be ready for the fall and winter – and your residents can enjoy the season’s bounties without leaving home.  For more information, contact FirstService Residential.

Featured Property: Lawrence Estates I

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Cleary Bros has maintained Lawrence Estates I since 2003 and works closely with property manager Bill Bavelas of the Bridgeport Company to maintain the landscape and keep the curb appeal at a high level. It’s a scenic and semirural community nestled in Danville,  with 33 homes and boasts awardwinning schools and amenities. The neighborhood has a rural feel with closetotownconvenience. 

 

Maintenance Account Manager Position

ClearyBrosTeam

Now hiring – Maintenance Account Manager

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 Account Manager is responsible for managing the interface between Cleary Bros. Maintenance customers, Cleary Bros. Administration and the Maintenance Supervisor within a designated area or job list.  This position should perform with effective leadership, communication, reliability, and salesmanship.

Click here for an online application
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…]

A closer look at the EPA’s WaterSense program

From Emily Schappacher’s article in Landscape Management magazine, see link below

The EPA’s WaterSense program has placed the topic of water conservation on the forefront for 10 years and counting.

In its 10 years, WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has helped save 1.5 trillion gallons of water and $32.6 billion in water and energy bills for consumers across the country.

The program has established partnerships with 1,700 manufacturers, retailers, distributors, state and local governments, utility agencies, home builders and trade organizations that have an interest in efficient water use. It has certified 2,200 irrigation professionals to design, install and maintain efficient irrigation systems. Perhaps most importantly, the program has placed the topic of water conservation on the forefront and has inspired irrigation contractors to make long-term changes toward sustainable water use.

“Very few people were taking about water conservation 10 years ago and a great many are talking about it now,” says John Taylor, president and CEO of Taylor Irrigation Service in Houston. “The WaterSense program has raised the bar and has created the momentum and synergy to allow the right people to put water conservation on their shoulders and carry it forward.”

The WaterSense program, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in June, was established by the EPA in 2006 with a mission to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering simple ways to use less water. Through water-efficient products, homes and services, the program helps consumers make smart water choices, which save money and maintain high environmental standards without compromising performance. The WaterSense label appears on products and services certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient than their traditional counterparts. Many people compare it to the EPA’s Energy Star label, which identifies energy-efficient products, homes and buildings

“I’m proud that the WaterSense label has become an international symbol that consumers and businesses can rely on for superior performing water efficiency products,” writes Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Water, in a recent blog post on the EPA’s website. “Through the power of partnerships, the WaterSense program has transformed the marketplace for products that save water, save Americans money and protect the environment.”

An EPA official could not be reached for comment for this story.

WaterSense offers programs and online resources for contractors looking to practice sustainable irrigation, including WaterSense certification programs. Contractors can be certified in three areas: irrigation system design, system installation and maintenance, and system auditing. WaterSense certification programs are offered by regional and national certifying bodies throughout the country, such as the California Landscape Contractors Association, the Texas A&M School of Irrigation and the Irrigation Association (IA).

“I think it has been a healthy and collaborative partnership,” says Brent Mecham, industry development director for the IA. The association was recognized as a WaterSense Partner of the Year award two years in a row.

Taylor, whose $1.2-million company offers 60 percent irrigation to an 80-percent residential clientele, was selected as the WaterSense Partner of the Year in 2013. The company was recognized for moving its entire business model away from traditional irrigation system installations and toward efficient systems and smart technology.

“If we are serious about water conservation we needed to stop offering systems that waste water,” Taylor says. “We were selected for having the vision and the courage to lead by example and to move forward doing the right thing, even if that meant changing the way we do business.”

The biggest challenge was learning how to sell these more efficient, more expensive systems. The company previously considered smart systems to be the top-of-the-line option. When homeowners were given the choice, Taylor says they would typically choose the mid-level option that was cheaper to install but more costly to operate in the long term. He had to focus on selling the return on investment to get homeowners to understand the benefits of the more efficient systems.

“We had to reevaluate how we sell and promote irrigation,” Taylor says. “One of the mistakes we were making was we were banking on people wanting to go green and care for environment. And I think people do, but the money speaks a lot louder than the green movement.”

Drastically changing the company’s direction seemed like a risk, but the company has since carved out a reputation for being water-conscious. It uses the educational programs and resources available on the WaterSense website, displays the recognizable WaterSense logo on the Taylor Irrigation Service website and has been a panelist during a WaterSense webinar. Taylor says the decision has been “beyond worth it.”

“Being associated with the EPA certainly adds to your reputation and validates you as a professional,” he says. “The WaterSense wave has pushed us forward. Without it we wouldn’t have the brand or the identity we have now. Our focus on water conservation and management not only sets us apart but makes us a well-respected company in our market.”

WaterSense has been very successful with its indoor water saving efforts, with products like WaterSense-labeled toilets, faucets and shower heads. So in 2016, WaterSense has taken its focus outdoors. The program has a new “Find a Pro” directory of certified irrigation professionals. It’s also drafting a WaterSense specification for pressure-regulating sprinkler bodies. “The impact of WaterSense has been helpful in creating a demand in the marketplace for better quality irrigation controllers that are capable of improving system efficiency,” Mecham says. “The market was going that way, but the EPA has been able to push it more.”

The IA works closely with WaterSense to develop protocols for how water-saving products are tested, and Mecham says that, as long as contractors embrace the new technology and commit to selling it, there is a lot of potential for contractors to make a big difference in water conservation efforts.

“We couldn’t have accomplished our successes without the strong partnership we have built with our network of partners representing all sectors of the economy,” says Beauvais. “Working hand-in-hand with these partners helps this nation protect our water supply and meet the challenges of climate change.”

Source: A closer look at the EPA’s WaterSense program : Landscape Management