Good news for the landscape industry: For the second straight year, Americans name real estate as the best long-term investment over stocks, gold or savings accounts/bonds, a recent Gallup poll reveals.

Real estate leads with 31 percent of Americans choosing it, followed by stocks/mutual funds at 25 percent. Meanwhile, gold dropped to third this year, a significant change from 2011 and 2012, when it was the runaway leader.

What’s more, Gallup found real estate is either the top choice or tied for the top choice as the best investment among all major gender, age and income groups.

Real estate took a pounding in home values and consumer confidence after the subprime mortgage crisis that started in 2007 spurred the financial crisis of 2008, deepening the 2007-2009 recession. A return of Americans’ confidence in real estate as a solid long-term investment was first evident a year ago, and its continued strength this year indicates that was no fluke.

How can your clients improve their top long-term investments? With curb appeal, of course. This is on most home improvement lists as a top 10 renovation that increases property value. In fact, a poorly maintained front yard can result in up to a 10 percent drop in home value, according to Houston appraiser Frank Lucco and

Now’s a great time to remind your clients that a little landscape TLC and improvement can do wonders for not only their home value and salability, but also their outdoor comfort and enjoyment.