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Shelman Yard works
07-07-2005, 06:06 PM
I have a question for those that work with high end clients. I have an estimate to do for a client that has a very large scale home. He spent in the upwards of 300k for landscape 2 years ago. He wants me to put it back in control. Everyone else he has hired can not fulfill his needs they promise but donít do. He was referred by a very good client of mine Here is my question with this type of job on a 12 month payment, how do you not loss your ass and not be insulting at the same time with price. This is what will be included in the whole job. Lawn maintenance fertilizer, mulch, tree trimming, weed control. This will basically be a full serves client. He just wants to come home to nothing but a beautiful landscape. I have never had to do a project like this and I know my expenses and all the bull that goes with it. I would just like some feedback from some of you that do this type of work. Maybe someone could PM me or give me a call. This is something I would love to do and do very well.

T Edwards
07-07-2005, 06:26 PM
Shelman...this is where you have to go into Production Planning mode and build your list of materials. Include on the list projected costs of equipment maintenance because this will eat right out of your gross quickly. Also plan on supplies costing an additional 5-7% next year. Good luck with it.

sheshovel
07-07-2005, 06:27 PM
1st you have to charge him for a "get it under control enough to maintain it"fee if it's badly let go then that can run to $400.00 and up.Then once it is under control,the beds nicely weeded and mulched,the water situation checked out and corrected if needed,the lawn mowed and edged.THEN you start with your charge for maintaining the landscape.It really depends upon how much landscaping and lawn there is to maintain.I really need to see pics or get some idea of how large the beds and lawn before giving a price But if he wants the hands-on twice a week maint to make it picture perfect at all times then
it's going to run him at least $100.00 a week that's two times at $50.00 ea,one mow and edge,the other maintain the rest of the landscape.Meaning prune,deadhead plants,replace plants,plant annual color,pick up leaves and debri,handle weeds,do walkways and drvway maint,ect,ect,ect.I'm talking labor only here.

dvmcmrhp52
07-07-2005, 06:38 PM
If you know your costs what is the question?
High end clients are no different from any one else, they just have a few more zeros in the numbers on their accounts.

Multi million dollar victims.........err....... I mean clients don't get billed any differently than Mrs. Smith from down the block, they are just more willing to go for the extras............

o-so-n-so
07-07-2005, 06:48 PM
Do your homework!!!!

Measure everything...mulch-fert-shrubs-trees.

The last thing you want is to go in...get things under control...things going good until about month 10 and you start working outa your pocket. Don't worry about insulting the customer. If he spent 300K on his landscape...I doubt you can insult him with a price. He wants a quality service...............Can you provide that????????? If so......price it to make good money and present it to him in a professional manor. Walk the property and show him what you will do for him.

Without seeing a 300k landscape........you could get up in the 1000.00 to 2000.00 monthly range real quick.

These are the properties that I would love to get but unfortunately there is not to many in my area.

hole in one lco
07-07-2005, 08:34 PM
all you have to do is call
What i do is fert up front mulch up front bill every thing els as you go .
You can bill the full year at ones 7 of my accounts are like that. One of them is 10,000.0 and he didn't even bat an eyelash

cpel2004
07-07-2005, 09:18 PM
I would begin by interviewing the client. Find out what his exact needs are.
I would carefully and tactfully ask about his prior maint companies, who, how long and why were the released. Did he fire them or they quit for non-payment. Have a contract drawn up so both parties understand exactly what is covered. I have a friend who manages two properties, he charges 5 & 7,000 a month for each property. I saw the checks; oh did I mention itís per month. Itís common in south Florida to get that type of money on high-end properties. Any pets, kids, does he entertain a lot. I would measure and take an inventory of his entire property, maturity of plants, size, and condition. Take plenty of pictures of the property, the more the better. I would also provide the customer with an feedback/report card monthly to get his thoughts on how your team is doing. I would hire a very efficient worker to manage the property. I imagine with your other accounts you probably wont have the time to devout on the property. Get an estimate from a pest control company; get their thoughts as to how much and what is needed (sub it out). I hope this helps. Wow! What a great opportunity I hope this helps

cpel2004
07-07-2005, 09:22 PM
Make sure you bill and rec. payment proir to work being completed.

Remsen1
07-08-2005, 02:09 PM
Like others before have said, charge the same amount as you normally would, but for a customer like this with more needs, there will be more on the list. Find out what their needs are. If there is anything that you're not comfortable with doing, get an estimate from a company who speciallizes. Find out why they weren't happy with previous LCOs, you may find that they require a certain way of doing things that you don't normally provide (ex. bagging, or no stripes, things that aren't necessarily the norm). The provide a cost for each item. I would recommend billing seperately for individual services that are large in scope/high in cost. Make sure to list what is included in maintenance and the weekly or monthly cost for said maintenance this way they know that they will be billed seperately for everything else.

BCSteel
07-08-2005, 08:58 PM
If you know your costs what is the question?
High end clients are no different from any one else, they just have a few more zeros in the numbers on their accounts.

Multi million dollar victims.........err....... I mean clients don't get billed any differently than Mrs. Smith from down the block, they are just more willing to go for the extras............


/\/\/\/\ What he said /\/\/\/\/\

If you actually knew your numbers, there would be no question. The only questions remaining would be to the prospective customer on what he wants done.

nocutting
07-08-2005, 11:18 PM
I have a question for those that work with high end clients. I have an estimate to do for a client that has a very large scale home. He spent in the upwards of 300k for landscape 2 years ago. He wants me to put it back in control. Everyone else he has hired can not fulfill his needs they promise but donít do. He was referred by a very good client of mine Here is my question with this type of job on a 12 month payment, how do you not loss your ass and not be insulting at the same time with price. This is what will be included in the whole job. Lawn maintenance fertilizer, mulch, tree trimming, weed control. This will basically be a full serves client. He just wants to come home to nothing but a beautiful landscape. I have never had to do a project like this and I know my expenses and all the bull that goes with it. I would just like some feedback from some of you that do this type of work. Maybe someone could PM me or give me a call. This is something I would love to do and do very well.
Hi, these kinds of clients are great, all they really want is Great Service, price is not generally a concern.Just present your recommendations written out, explain in detail how & what needs to be done.Give a time frame, set a budget if you are capable [ if not bring in some associates-an Arborist, irragation consultant, pool guy,ect]....Show your prospective client that you will have him & his family well in hand.A detailed restoration can run $1500-3500.00 easily and if written well, not even questioned.....Good Luck :) PS on this kind of work I like to generate $100 per man hour.

jameson
07-09-2005, 02:27 AM
My customer base is primarily, if not strictly with 'high end residential'. My only words of advise are to personalize your service to meet HIS/HER needs. I note that most 'high end residential' usually know what they wish to see re their landscape and the bottom line is not an issue. Confidence/knowledge is the key, don't B/S, know your strengths and weaknesses, if you don't know a fungus from a fern, stick to maintaining Mr. 9-5's lawn and trimming his boxwood hedge yearly.

Accountability is the most important factor....most of my clients are in a position to hire my company because they were and are accountable. What is wrong with my dogwood tree, what are those patches in my lawn from, why is my lawn yellow, why are my roses losing leaves, why hasn't the irrigation system been adjusted, don't I need mulch this year, when are you going to prune that laurel (shears or selective hand pruning).....???????? The list goes on ad nauseum.

Know what you are worth, bill accordingly, don't back down on price, be firm, accountable, and most of all, invaluable to all aspects of the landscape maintenance, if you don't know how to properly prune a tree, KNOW/have on file the name of someone WHO DOES, be INVALUABLE.

Knowledge is the key, acquire it and use it. The customer must BELIEVE that if you ceased maintenance on their property, their property would cease to be.

Grounds Control
07-09-2005, 08:49 PM
lots of great advice.

get over the mental block with the numbers you come up with, i'm sure it's alot more than your used to billing out for one client. add an extra cushion into your estimate.

Tvov
07-09-2005, 09:17 PM
Is your company large enough to handle the property? And still take care of other customers? Small small companies (solo ops and LCOs with maybe 1 or 2 employees) jump onto high maintenance properties thinking how great they are, and find they simply don't have the man power or time to take care of them.

Sean Adams
07-09-2005, 09:26 PM
I agree with both dave and cpel2004 - your numbers are your numbers. Just because it is a larger client does not mean you need to make more money off of him - if $40 a man hour is your rate, that is your rate....now in order to figure everything out, presentation is important, which is where cpel2004 gave some great advice - go the extra mile for this guy - be prepared, show attention to detail, keep communication lines open and perform like a champ!

Shelman Yard works
07-11-2005, 10:33 PM
Thank you for all the great advice. Everyone with the constructive advice is why I read this forum. It is good to have the help from who has been there already.

I have done a lot of homework on this one. I will be presenting it Wednesday night to the property owner.

I understand that my price is my price. What I was mainly looking for was some input so I didnít forget some thing. This is a very great opportunity to service a client of this nature. I will be treating him with the same respect that my entire client base receives.
My name is my business, I only do it right the first time.