Michigan Firm’s New Software and Services Program Helps Cities Maintain Properties Amid Residential Foreclosure Crisis

More Cities Sign On for Code-V as Foreclosed Properties Rise

Clinton Township, Mich., January 22, 2009 – Lenny Schafer of Michigan-based Landscape Services, Inc. (LSI), knows his business’ newest offering may have a limited lifespan and he’s fine with that knowledge. That’s because LSI’s proprietary residential inspection service software, Code-V (for Code-Violation) was borne out of the country’s foreclosure crisis. Code-V software serves as an offshoot of a city’s property inspection
department and helps cities monitor properties that are vacant – and the majority of those vacancies are due to foreclosures.

“We’ve been in business more than 14 years and we have every intention of going another 14, but we need to stay relevant and productive to do that. Code-V was created from our experienced-based knowledge of the outdoor/landscape services industry, but also from our desire to continue to grow and diversify as a company,” says Schafer. “If Code-V serves only as an interim tool to help maintain our communities and support our company during the economic downturn, I’m okay with that. The goal was to offer a new service in our range of expertise that meets both our customers’ needs and our business’ needs. Frankly, though, I think Code-V will prove to have value long beyond our current economic crisis.”

Code-V allows cities to proactively address property issues rather than waiting for resident complaints to prompt an inspection. It works to maintain a city’s curb appeal, as well as watch for Code-Violations in rental, vacant and government-owned properties, with a Code-V monitoring program embedded into a Segway-type vehicle. The vehicle is operated by a uniformed LSI employee inspector and is used to monitor properties on a regular basis. The inspector generates a “walking list” for each property and scores the property in several standard areas. From these lists, comprehensive reports, with photos when helpful, are provided to the city’s inspection department. Cities currently using Code-V include Grosse Pointe, Michigan and its neighboring waterfront city, St. Clair Shores, but the service has no geographic limitations.

“This program can be available to any city or municipality in the country that has high standards for caring for its properties, vacant areas and foreclosed homes and wants to ensure its properties are up to code and safe for the community,” affirms Schafer.

Costs for Code-V are dependent on the number of property addresses serviced and the level of inspections requested. LSI does require a minimum of 500 properties be monitored for a city to enter into a contract for Code-V. However, the program is best suited to inspect and monitor an entire city, with assistance from an overworked existing Code Enforcement Department.

Landscape Services, Inc. (LSI) was established in 1995 and is headquartered in Clinton Township, Michigan. In addition to Code-V, the firm provides a variety of commercial and residential grounds maintenance and installation services as well as niche projects such as outdoor kitchens, rooftop landscaping, athletic field turf marking and holiday decorating. For additional information, please visit www.lsimichigan.com.

Facebook Comments