Bedell Property Management in Michigan ordered to cease services

April 1, 2020 -  By

For Bedell Property Management in Milford, Mich., it is not business as usual, according to Michael Bedell, owner, horticulturalist and landscape designer.

This is because as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, all nonessential businesses shut down through at least April 13, and the Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer specifically stipulated that landscapers and florists are not considered an essential business.

“We aren’t to provide any sort of service and are basically to stand down and stay home at this point,” Bedell says. “We were a few days into getting going and had to quickly pivot and shut everything back down and we’re kind of in a holding pattern. If the safety will breed results, we just have to play by the rules here.”

Long term throughout the season, Bedell says he’s anticipating as much as a 50 percent dip in revenue.

While he says core services such as mowing, pruning and fall cleanups may pick up eventually, Bedell expects big hardscape projects, landscape design/build, annual flower installations, installations of perennial gardens and upgrades and changes to irrigation system will fall by the wayside.

“I think this’ll be how it played out for my business during The Recession, and we were very hard hit with that in southeast Michigan,” Bedell says.

To brace for that kind of hit, Bedell has started to reevaluate the company’s budget, which was originally written with growth in mind, and reached out to the company’s banker and insurance carrier to find out what provisions might be available.

“As an owner, this turns into how much or will I see a paycheck for the rest of the season,” Bedell says. “As someone who advocates for knowing your numbers and having a schedule and working with companies who provide those services to other companies, this throws me through a loop because I’m having to hit the reset button on a budget and on the schedule, too. Right now, we’re, in theory, starting back up on April 14, but will we? And what will it look like if it keeps getting pushed back?”

Throughout the process, Bedell says he has tried to be as transparent with staff members and clients as possible.

“(For employees), it was letting them know exactly what was going down and that it wasn’t a Bedell decision, it was a statewide, governor-based decision,” Bedell says. “I advised taking advantage of some of the additional benefits offered through the state right now, especially if this turns into a longer situation than just a couple weeks.”

For clients, especially those the company services in nearby states, Bedell sent an email or text letting them know that Bedell Property Management’s crews wouldn’t be by until at least April 13.

“I had a few clients who beat me to the punch and reached out to me, just checking in on the lines of ‘Seriously, they really shut you down’ and I had to say ‘Yeah, my hands are tied. It’s a lot bigger decision than any single individual in this industry,’” Bedell says. “It’s unchartered territory so other than communicating, there’s not much else anyone can do.”

This article is tagged with and posted in COVID-19, Today's Green Industry News
Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

1 Comment on "Bedell Property Management in Michigan ordered to cease services"

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  1. Ced Mar says:

    Mr. Bedell is a sought after green industry specialist, living and working in Southeast Michigan. He is known for his strong work ethic, thoughtful problem solving skills and “hands on” approach to project management. Michael received Associates Degrees in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design from Oakland Community College. A well spoken individual, Bedell’s work and business practices have been featured in industry publications, and he actively works alongside top industry manufacturers to develop the equipment of tomorrow. A plant health care advocate, Michael is an ARBORJet Certified Technician and a state certified pesticide applicator.