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View Full Version : Help with a bid, pictures included


CleanCutMowers
09-27-2007, 10:40 AM
I have been asked to put a bid in on these retirement/townhomes. A lot of this is trimming, it will take longer than mowing I think. I talked with the lady and from what she told me the people they got now are donig it for under $200. What do you guys think about this? What should I look out for and I understand it is hard from just pictures, but what price would this run around? Any advice would be great!! Thank You in advance.

One other question, Would you take a ztr(full size exmark) on top of that hill?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/weissracin/IMG_1319.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/weissracin/IMG_1318.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/weissracin/IMG_1321.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/weissracin/IMG_1320.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/weissracin/IMG_1322.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/weissracin/IMG_1323.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/weissracin/IMG_1324.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/weissracin/IMG_1325.jpg

STRINGALATION
09-27-2007, 10:53 AM
is that 200 per house if not how many homes
second thought i would not cut all that for 2oo

CleanCutMowers
09-27-2007, 10:59 AM
Come on.....per house at 12 houses=$2400:hammerhead:

It is 12 houses, I think it could be done with two guys in 1.5 hours.

ExclusiveLawnCare
09-27-2007, 11:08 AM
Looks like you landed a nice little something here. Good job.

MarcSmith
09-27-2007, 11:13 AM
take one house and bid it up to do all aspects of landscape maint. for a year, then take that figure and multiply by twelve(the number of homes), to get your Total contract price. Then divide by the months in the contract. and you have your monthly price.

Yes I'd put a ZTR on top of the hill, but Id cut a few strips with a wb first...

200 a cut for each property is great. but if it includes trimming the shrubs as well, it may not be that great, depends a lot on how much trimming needs to be done and the types of shrubs.

what kind of grass, Irrigated, How many ferts per year, all of these factors will affect your mowing price...

Also They say they are getting it done for 200 each....They could be price shopping. if they are not happy, what are they not happy with...are they a bunch of penny pinchers? What the other company is getting paid should have no bearing on what you bid....Different company, different profit margins.

All_Toro_4ME
09-27-2007, 11:19 AM
Ignore the $200 what the other LCO is getting for that. You have your costs, they have theirs. Sounds low to me, really low. Especially if you figure avg residentials yards run $35 each, you have 12 in that area, so theres your starting point. If they want shrubs, mulch, etc, go from there. Sounds like the lady is definately price shopping to me. Give her your bid and move on, unless you want to work for cheap. And yes, I would put a Z on that hill, just go slower. Another thing you might try is go to zillow.com to find out how many acres that covers. Base your starting price on your acre rates. May or may not be much of a difference, but its an option.

STRINGALATION
09-27-2007, 12:46 PM
see my post is not so dumb after all
12 houses at 35.00 is 420
and that is not counting common areas like that island. so your responce to me indicates your cutting all that for 200 am i correct?

STRINGALATION
09-27-2007, 12:54 PM
you will spend 1 hour edging alone i think. patios, walls, driveways, beds and sidewalks lot of edging captain.

All_Toro_4ME
09-27-2007, 02:08 PM
you will spend 1 hour edging alone i think. patios, walls, driveways, beds and sidewalks lot of edging captain.

I agree. Lot of edging and trimming. Not to mention takes more time to use the blower on it all to clean it up. You mentioned 1.5 hrs is all that would take. You might want to double that time limit, if not more. as we often underestimate the time it will take rather then overestimate.

topsites
09-27-2007, 03:03 PM
Giving inside information on the current bid is not very nice, that is confidential information.

Now...
The first thing that comes to mind is the rule of 3, which is to say it would appear that when a customer throws money figures around that the true figure is usually about 3 times that amount.

Then there's the 2x rule, which means anytime somebody influences the bidding process, the price just doubled.

So:
2x rule: 12 homes, 30 minutes each, 6 hours x 60 = 360 x 2 = 720.
Rule of 3: 200 x 3 = 600
Yup, more than likely 600-720, somewhere in that range is probably the right price.

And if I'm wrong so be it, tit for tat, next time please don't influence the estimate.

CleanCutMowers
09-27-2007, 04:44 PM
see my post is not so dumb after all
12 houses at 35.00 is 420
and that is not counting common areas like that island. so your responce to me indicates your cutting all that for 200 am i correct?


I am not cutting this....it is a PROPOSAL. I am looking for some help.

CleanCutMowers
09-27-2007, 04:51 PM
Giving inside information on the current bid is not very nice, that is confidential information.

Now...
The first thing that comes to mind is the rule of 3, which is to say it would appear that when a customer throws money figures around that the true figure is usually about 3 times that amount.

Then there's the 2x rule, which means anytime somebody influences the bidding process, the price just doubled.

So:
2x rule: 12 homes, 30 minutes each, 6 hours x 60 = 360 x 2 = 720.
Rule of 3: 200 x 3 = 600
Yup, more than likely 600-720, somewhere in that range is probably the right price.

And if I'm wrong so be it, tit for tat, next time please don't influence the estimate.


Topsites,

I usually like what you have to say. But where did I influence the estimate? I do not see anybody in my area paying that kind of money for lawn service. I recently read another post of yours about mowing 10 acres for something around 350 so why so much higher on this? Why are you saying to double it? I am still learning so thanks for the help.

mattfromNY
09-27-2007, 05:06 PM
Just my 2 cents, but I live in a town where there is NO economy, very few homes that look like the ones in the picture, lots of welfare, etc... With that being said, we mow a complex that is 5 buildings, approx. 3.5 acres, much less hassle AKA: trimming, hills, edging, etc. than what you are looking at, and we get $200.00 per cut, it takes 2 of us about 1.5 hours to do it. Just looking at your pictures, I would say 2 guys more like 3-4 hours to make it look good. My pricing, 2 guys, at least 3 hours, $100.00/ hour, no less than $300.00 or you'll be gritting your teeth about halfway through next season, wishing instead of doing this complex, you'd just picked up 12 more residentials for $35 a pop.
Hope this helps,
Matt.

topsites
09-27-2007, 05:25 PM
Topsites,

I usually like what you have to say. But where did I influence the estimate? I do not see anybody in my area paying that kind of money for lawn service. I recently read another post of yours about mowing 10 acres for something around 350 so why so much higher on this? Why are you saying to double it? I am still learning so thanks for the help.

Not you, the customer did, when the customer gave you that 200 figure it set a tone. Now if I'm giving that estimate walking around with this stupid 200 figure floating around in my head I can't for the life of me get clear-headed enough anymore to come up with the right price. That is a problem, because an estimating unit needs a clear mind to come up with a good price, even if the customer thought they were doing us a favor by helping us out, but unfortunately it doesn't help, all it does is throw us off.

Yes I know it was you who mentioned it here, but it's the customer who said it. I would never give you the wrong price because I think you're doing something wrong. I would instead advise how I might do it, but still give what I thought was the right price, regardless of your final decision in how it is to be approached... At this point there is little rhyme or reason, all I know is I have to bid high enough to make sure I don't get took, hence one angle on the disparity in the pricing schemes.

There is also a big difference between a big wide open 10 acre lot, and 12 town house 1/4 acres or whatever they are, the big 10 acre lot allows wide open runs because you got plenty of room to push things for time, and it won't take but so much trimming in comparison, and this is the other angle, trimming eats a lot of time.

It is sad, but it's just like when a customer flashes another Lco's estimate in my face, it's not fair to them and it's not clean competition anymore. I have no problem with a customer wanting the best deal for the money, but my take on it is let the cards fall into place, on their own.

Daddy Joes Lawn Service
09-27-2007, 05:26 PM
$60.00 per home

topsites
09-27-2007, 05:45 PM
That's from the highballing point of view...

You could, I suppose, if you need the work bad enough, bid 240 and tell her you'll do a much better job than the last guy, that's one lowballing tactic but it might not last... Soon as this one finds the next cheapest feller you're done, that or they expect a ton more for the deal all the time while you're doing your utmost to get outta there, it's not a pretty thing, me thinks...

Because one of these lots at my minimum is worth $30, I do give a $5 discount for multi-lots but 25 x 12 is still 300, how much of a discount are these folks expecting here... By the time that last Lco bid 200 we're down 33%, wow that's almost outrageous and the customer really wanted more like 35% off an already discounted 17%, so really half price... And we don't even know if that 200 bid is true, but it could be.

Just another in the long line of folks who want something for nothing if you ask me.
At least 3-400, but see I don't even wanna go there, all that does is start the haggling so that's why I would bid 600-720, then it's over.

That's after 6 years thou lol, but if you need the money try 240.

CleanCutMowers
09-27-2007, 06:04 PM
Thank you for the insight. I am not in a real bad need need for this. I ma here to make money though and just wanted to see what you all thought. Obviously they have a low bid at the present time. Well I will bid accordingly and careless if I get it. I am not trying to lowball at any point, and if they are price shopping i am sure they will be a pita anyway.

agm
09-27-2007, 06:06 PM
I would have to agree with Topsites. Most of the time when some one tells you the price that another LCO gave them, it is usually alot more than that. I had an apartment complex here that I was giving an estimate to, and they told me that the current company was paying only $300 per visit. My estimate came to something like (if I remember correctly) $875 per visit. I believe there was no way that they were paying that little for this property, considering that the current company had a minimum of 9 guys on this property for roughly 5-6 hours a week. Go figure. Bid with you think is right and stick to it! Don't go any lower..........LIKE EVERY ONE ELSE SAID, YOU WILL REGRET IT.

Lynden-Jeff
09-27-2007, 06:40 PM
Id bid atleast $450. Id want to do a good job, it isn't a shabby community and I belive that I could not do a proper job for less then that.

DEPENDABLE LAWN CARE
09-27-2007, 10:47 PM
if it is 2400 a month good deal a season you are crazy to even consider

d&rlawncare
09-27-2007, 11:11 PM
200/12 houses is $16.67 per house. ENOUGH said. With all that edging/trimming I would bid each house at $35.00 min.

capetan
09-27-2007, 11:32 PM
35 a house sounds fair because it looks like theres a few extra sections here and there ...... if the property is all ready being maintained and cut, why are they asking you to do it, they must be unhappy about something, ask questions see what the deal is, this will let you know how serious they are about the bid and getting work done, good luck

MarcSmith
09-28-2007, 07:23 AM
200 per house per month may be the price, if it included trimming and such....But again, you can use the other prices as a guideline, but if you don't know exactly what the other person is doing then the number means nothing.

All_Toro_4ME
09-28-2007, 09:24 AM
Topsites, I understand exactly where your coming from. When the cust tells you the price for what the previous lawn guy was cutting it for, they are already setting a tone in your mind that that is their range they are comfortable with paying and its implied on their part that you should honor that same price, and do the same work, if not more. Everytime I've ran into this in the past, these types of customers have ALWAYS been PITA customers. Its a nice retirement community, the homes are nice, the people obviously have money. They just dont want to spend it on lawncare and would rather work you into the ground

irocz106
09-30-2007, 06:57 PM
450/week sounds and looks fair. I wouldn't go near it for anywhere less than that. Maybe 400 if the Hawaiian Tropics swimteam suntanned on the porches topless.......

G.M.Landscaping
09-30-2007, 07:59 PM
200/12 houses is $16.67 per house. ENOUGH said. With all that edging/trimming I would bid each house at $35.00 min.

Agreed...With all that edging/trimming for under $200? These aren't lower end houses that you can just mow and go. If most look like the ones in the pics I would be asking at least $40/cut. I would bid $500and if I didn't get it OH well.

What kind of equipment are you running anyways?

CleanCutMowers
09-30-2007, 11:00 PM
Exmark Lazer Z XS 60" and phazer 34"