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View Full Version : Bidding Questions, is it OK to ask how much they already pay?


punk_rockin2001
10-16-2006, 02:58 AM
I am getting ready to bid on some larger scale properties, both commercial and residential, but I really don't know what to charge. I have done smaller residential for the last 5 years and one larger 4 acre commercial property. Is it ok to ask the company/person what they are currently paying? Is there a way to find this out? One particular property is a 7 acre house out in the country. I have heard that they pay $300/cut from employees of the company doing it. I find this very hard to believe. I know I could do the property in 3 hours or less and I would probably charge around $120/cut. Am I way off? Other properties I have no clue about. So any help on how to know where to start would be great!

d&rlawncare
10-16-2006, 09:09 AM
I am getting ready to bid on some larger scale properties, both commercial and residential, but I really don't know what to charge. I have done smaller residential for the last 5 years and one larger 4 acre commercial property. Is it ok to ask the company/person what they are currently paying? Is there a way to find this out? One particular property is a 7 acre house out in the country. I have heard that they pay $300/cut from employees of the company doing it. I find this very hard to believe. I know I could do the property in 3 hours or less and I would probably charge around $120/cut. Am I way off? Other properties I have no clue about. So any help on how to know where to start would be great!

I am new BUT 65 for first acre and 20-25 for each additional. So 185min. with no trimming. Depending on trees/trimming etc. I have been bidding the bigger properties 10-12 unit Apt complexes at $1.50 a minute. I estimate my time to do it and times it by 1.50. 180x1.5=$270. That if you can do it in 3 hours. OR AM I WAY OFF?????????????????????

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
10-16-2006, 10:14 AM
It's the first question i ask, yes i know my cost, but in 12 seasons in this i have seen up and downs and i have been upside down on bids.

olderthandirt
10-16-2006, 10:28 AM
Don't matter what they were paying. Only thing that matters is what you need to cover your cost and make the profit you want

BSDeality
10-16-2006, 10:33 AM
Don't matter what they were paying. Only thing that matters is what you need to cover your cost and make the profit you wantthat is true, but if you find out they're paying more than what you want for it you can butter it up with better service and get them priced a little higher because they're unhappy.

punk_rockin2001
10-16-2006, 12:31 PM
Don't matter what they were paying. Only thing that matters is what you need to cover your cost and make the profit you want

I guess you're right olderthandirt. My costs are pretty low, so I can charge less but still profit more. I think my main thought is that if I could go up to an account already knowing exactly what they pay per cut, I would have a LOT more confidence on these first few accounts I go bid on. Knowledge is power, so I ask again does anyone know how to find out how much an account is paying? Can I just ask them?

olderthandirt
10-16-2006, 12:40 PM
that is true, but if you find out they're paying more than what you want for it you can butter it up with better service and get them priced a little higher because they're unhappy.

That can be true BUT how many large scale commercial properties or residentials are paying a premium price and want to change? If they want to change its to get a lower price and most pay way lower than what you would want anyway.

so I ask again does anyone know how to find out how much an account is paying? Can I just ask them?

State and federal props its on record, private props you can ask but what makes you think they will tell you the truth?

punk_rockin2001
10-16-2006, 01:20 PM
[QUOTE=olderthandirt]That can be true BUT how many large scale commercial properties or residentials are paying a premium price and want to change? If they want to change its to get a lower price and most pay way lower than what you would want anyway.



State and federal props its on record, private props you can ask but what makes you think they will tell you the truth?[/QUOTE

Can I get that state info at the courthouse? Online?

meets1
10-16-2006, 01:46 PM
First question I ask.
1. Was or is there a problem with the other guy?
2. What were they charging in regards to specific services?
3. I'll be more than happy to give you an estimate and by the way - we can also do this and that - gotta upsell the services.

In my area everyone is pretty close in pricing. There are few new guys every year that LOWBALL everything but they'll do the little house here and there. I have found that most commercial, high end residence & residence/commercial properties call reputable companies to base pricing on.

rodfather
10-16-2006, 05:46 PM
I always ask...if I don't get a reply, I don't bother with them.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
10-16-2006, 06:44 PM
LOL,okay then why don't all of us post our prices in towns so all of our others can see our prices,who's first.

topsites
10-16-2006, 07:07 PM
My 7 acre price for 2007 is on special at $220.00 / cut ...

Now that might be a bit on the high side but only a little, all I got is a 60" Warrior so it would take ~4 hours cutting, then it might involve some TRIMMING, too.

On the asking bit, I only do it to confirm some suspicions OR with a long-term regular whom I trust... Although I may ask someone out of the blue, there is no way I would bid based on just that information, it's just not guaranteed enough to be accurate, but I have asked and take the answer into consideration... It's one way to find out fast if someone is honest, thou again you'd be surprised how many homeowners don't know their lot size, but then if they don't know that should be their answer, and not '7 acres' when it's really a 10 acre lot, for example.

On large lots, you have to have some kind of way to figure it out, sheer eyeballing doesn't do much for me once we get past an acre, I feel as lost as the next guy.

topsites
10-16-2006, 07:09 PM
Can I get that state info at the courthouse? Online?

You can run most any property through at http://www.zillow.com/ but keep in mind that the results may include wooded areas and other parts of the property that do not consist of turf, still it's a helpful guide... I got to where I run EVERY lot through zillow, thou again you still have to look at it and be prepared to adjust the price accordingly.

punk_rockin2001
10-16-2006, 09:44 PM
I checked out the Zillow site. Central Illinois must not be worth much cause none of my lawns were on the site. Haha. Oh well. I would not base my price solely on what the account is currently paying, but I do think it could be a very important thing to know. At least for someone like me that really has no clue where to start bidding on a large lot.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
10-16-2006, 10:19 PM
True, if you know your cost or not, making the most is the bottom line it will it you hard in the off season with no work,i have been in this a long time it's like this a good friend of mine was doing a commercial property very small on a weekly cut,30 min top with one man he priced it at 35 for cut and trim and felt quilty.he gave it to a friend of ours who in turn priced it at $65 for the same service.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
10-16-2006, 10:20 PM
Oh yea the $65 man has cut it three seasons and smiling.

Josh.S
10-16-2006, 11:27 PM
You can run most any property through at http://www.zillow.com/ but keep in mind that the results may include wooded areas and other parts of the property that do not consist of turf, still it's a helpful guide... I got to where I run EVERY lot through zillow, thou again you still have to look at it and be prepared to adjust the price accordingly.

I went to that zillow thing and saw that one of my customers purchased his house for $450,000 in 2004... lol I'm glad he's a $40 customer or else he would get a raise :rolleyes:

LB1234
10-17-2006, 11:02 AM
I ask, I may not get an answer but I always ask.

Total.Lawn.Care
10-17-2006, 11:45 AM
I think it is okay to ask. You might not be able to do the same services for the same or lower price, so it saves you from wasting time if they already have a number that is too low for you to even get close to. Sometimes, it helps me see where I can get some things done in less time than I originally think that I can by knowing what the other guy was charging.