PDA

View Full Version : Low ball information


pete scalia
01-01-2008, 02:38 PM
I'm reading an article in the 12/07 issue of Lawn and Landscape mag.

Some guy is saying he offers a lighting service package for a $30-$50 charge per monthly visit depending on the # of fixtures. This is what it includes- inspection of the voltage,wiring,fixtures and transformers,lens cleaning and bulb replacement as necessary.

It costs me more than $50 just to drive to a home, park the truck in front and step one work boot on the asphalt. Once the second boot hits the ground it's gonna cost a customer at least $100 unless it's a warranty call.

This is a great example of crap information disseminated within this business from a "reputable" trade mag. What is going on here. Is it any wonder why many involved in lighting can't make a profitable go at it?

BrandonV
01-01-2008, 03:08 PM
where was that guy located?

pete scalia
01-01-2008, 03:22 PM
where was that guy located?

Orlando, Fla.- Looks like he's been spending too much time in Disney world.

Claims $50K a year in lighting is presented as an "expert" and gets featured in an article. Disgraziado!

Lite4
01-01-2008, 03:23 PM
That is so true. does that 30-50 include the price of bulbs? I can't imagine that could be acurate. He probably is just saying it for the publication, and actually does something else. He probably hasn't taken a good look at his P and L lately.

pete scalia
01-01-2008, 03:26 PM
That is so true. does that 30-50 include the price of bulbs? I can't imagine that could be acurate. He probably is just saying it for the publication, and actually does something else. He probably hasn't taken a good look at his P and L lately.

If that's so then the mag should be savy enough to pick up on it since they are an industry mag, realize he's a loser and find another 'expert" to feature or at least ask the guy how he stays in business charging prices like that.

niteliters
01-01-2008, 06:28 PM
I think i read that article, lighting is not his only source of income if i remember correctly. I am not sure why the magazine doesn't reach out to more compitent individuals. It could be that they aren't aware of contractors more experienced. Maybe you should call or email them and make them aware Pete.

steveparrott
01-01-2008, 06:58 PM
I think the point missed here is that the guy seems to be charging $30-$50 per month x 12 months per year. That's $360-$600 per year - a typical yearly maintenance fee. I'm guessing his monthly visits probably average about 15 minutes each. If the customer is local, then driving time is insignificant since he probably does rounds and services several clients per round.

Charging monthly may be more attractive to homeowners who may balk at a big yearly maintenance fee.

There's also the additional face time it gives him with the client - a lot of upsell opportunities when you're at the home.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-01-2008, 07:37 PM
Steve, are you suggesting that $360 to $600 is "a typical yearly maintenance fee"? For whom? For what type of system?

This begs me to ask the rest of you: What are your clients spending for "typical annual maintenance" of their lighting systems?

NightScenes
01-01-2008, 07:45 PM
My maintanence programs come out to around $20 - $30 per fixture, per year. Some of these projects are in excess of $2000 per year.

Chris J
01-01-2008, 08:03 PM
I can see where this guy has some kind of angle or hidden agenda. This is probably just his "hook". He probably offers this as long as you are within a 10 mile radius. If not, there are additional charges. Then he probably has other things in mind when he gets there like offering relamps (at an above average cost). He also has the first hand opportunity to suggest redoing the entire system, citing that the system is old and out of date (or wired improperly).
I agree with Steve on this one. If he has enough of these clients at $600 per year, it doesn't take too long before you have a very lucrative service business with a steady stream of paychecks coming in. Not to mention the fact that you can group these people by neighborhoods (which is what I do) and service a bunch of them in a single day. If your doing it every month, your not going to have to do much more than simply see if all the lights are on. Like the man said, most stops are going to be 15 minutes and then your off to the guy next door or across the street.

Chris J
01-01-2008, 08:11 PM
By the way, my maintenance programs are about $17.50 per fixture, per year. Because the program is so affordable, my retention rate is enormous; therefore I now have hundreds of these clients. You can easily do the math if your interested.

pete scalia
01-01-2008, 08:11 PM
I think the point missed here is that the guy seems to be charging $30-$50 per month x 12 months per year. That's $360-$600 per year - a typical yearly maintenance fee. I'm guessing his monthly visits probably average about 15 minutes each. If the customer is local, then driving time is insignificant since he probably does rounds and services several clients per round.

Charging monthly may be more attractive to homeowners who may balk at a big yearly maintenance fee.

There's also the additional face time it gives him with the client - a lot of upsell opportunities when you're at the home.

Here's some more bad info dispensed

Tools required- shovel, screw drivers, wire strippers, crimpers, drill
(That's all huh- how bout a freakin' multi meter at the very least?)
Demonstration kit- About $4-$600 from manufacturers. (You tell me where you can get a decent demo kit for this price? The trans alone will almost take the whole budget)

His standard package approximately $2,300 installed which consists of six pathway, four spotlights, two wash lamps (whatever that is- I assume a wall washer?) and a 600 watt transformer added lamps charged at 30% over his cost of the fixture. (that means if he pays $70 he's gonna charge approx- $100. what about extra cable, connectors, labor to install additional trans etc.?

With Pricing methods like this I'm sure this guy cannot afford to attend AOLP this year or any other.

If I where Cast I'd never have contributed a photo to this trash article. It's perceived that they condone the content even if they don't. However by the comments made here I'm not so sure.

Additional face time? When I do a maintenance call 80 percent of the time nobody is home as most of my customers are two income professionals. Furthermore I'm not there to sell I'm there to service. the whole thing is rancid and stinks to high heaven.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-02-2008, 10:58 AM
My maintanence programs come out to around $20 - $30 per fixture, per year. Some of these projects are in excess of $2000 per year.

Maintenace programs per se have always been an issue here. Because I work in a seasonal, recreational residential market, the lighting systems are not used as they would be in a typical market. Here we have full time residents, summer full time residents, year round weekend residents, summer weekend residents, occassional international residents, and on and on. As such the lighting systems are all used differently and cannot be grouped together and assigned annual or regular service interval. (Hence my use of digital hour meters.)

Here I service systems on an as needed basis. Basically a T&M proposition for the clients. I provide the client with the choice of complete system 'restoration' maintenance or we can just deal with the fixtures that require attention.

It is not uncommon for a complete system restoration maintenance to run between $1500 and $2500 depending on the system. These generally take two men 6 to 10 hours on site to complete.

Chris J
01-02-2008, 01:55 PM
James,
What is it that is being done to these lighting systems that require so much time and effort? I understand that very large jobs will take a great deal of time, as was the case a few weeks ago when I had to service one of my 250 fixture installs.
Do you guys spend this much time on, say, a 40 light job?

Lite4
01-02-2008, 02:15 PM
a 40-60 light job to clean, re-lube, re-lamp and re-aim will take me by myself about 3-4 hours.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-02-2008, 05:27 PM
Chris and Tim. Remember we have very different sites here. 80 to 90% of my fixtures are located at heights of 30' and more. If I had 40-60 pathlights, uplights, and deck lights installed I could easily do that in 3-4 hours. Try servicing 40-60 fixtures mounted in trees... It takes time to do safely.

Lite4
01-02-2008, 10:21 PM
James, I totally understand. I still do all mine as time and material just as you probably do. I can only imagine how many trips up and down a ladder you must make in a season.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-02-2008, 11:52 PM
James, I totally understand. I still do all mine as time and material just as you probably do. I can only imagine how many trips up and down a ladder you must make in a season.

Tim, the ladder work here is insane. I would really hate to accurately figure out how many trips a year I make up the ladders, my guess would be somewhere near 2000. I actually wear out a Class II, 32' ladder each year. (anyone looking for some 'used ladders'?? I have 4 32 footers sitting beside my shop)

Now that I am 40, and actually feeling the difference, I am in the market for a personnel lift and am making the purchase of a Teupen Leo 12G a priority for this coming year. Besides being much safer, it's a really cool piece of equipment.

Have a great day.

pete scalia
01-03-2008, 12:34 AM
What does it matter how long one company takes to install or do service work compared to another. As long as said company is happy with the profit and homeowner is happy with the job then it doesn't matter.

Company A takes 8 hrs to install 25 lights and their profit is $1,000

Company B takes 16 hours to install the same and their profit is $2,500

Both customers are happy. Which contractor do you think is happier A or B?

Capisce?

Chris J
01-03-2008, 09:44 AM
Yeah, I guess that tree work would eat up a lot of time. I didn't think about that.

Pro-Scapes
01-03-2008, 10:53 AM
What does it matter how long one company takes to install or do service work compared to another. As long as said company is happy with the profit and homeowner is happy with the job then it doesn't matter.

Company A takes 8 hrs to install 25 lights and their profit is $1,000

Company B takes 16 hours to install the same and their profit is $2,500

Both customers are happy. Which contractor do you think is happier A or B?

Capisce?

I made the mistake at first of doing that. That price per fixture structure dist and manus push is a bad idea. Sure its a guideline so you dont burn yourself on materials. I think if your not smart enough to price a job according to what you need to make your prolly not smart enough to be doing lighting.

That being said I have been everywhere from 125 a light to 400 a light. One required 30 feet of 12ga wire... handful of fixtures and a 300 trans.

My maint programs are dictated by many factors... up and down trees... do i gotta crawl in the thorns...how much irrigation hits them for water deposits and the frequency in which we come.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-03-2008, 12:22 PM
Tim, the ladder work here is insane. I would really hate to accurately figure out how many trips a year I make up the ladders, my guess would be somewhere near 2000. I actually wear out a Class II, 32' ladder each year. (anyone looking for some 'used ladders'?? I have 4 32 footers sitting beside my shop)

Now that I am 40, and actually feeling the difference, I am in the market for a personnel lift and am making the purchase of a Teupen Leo 12G a priority for this coming year. Besides being much safer, it's a really cool piece of equipment.

Have a great day.

Here are a couple of pictures... "Going the extra mile" for a great client in the off season. You guys in Cali, Texas, Miss, Fla might enjoy these! :)

extlights
01-03-2008, 12:42 PM
Uhhh...is that a moose crossing sign I see there?!

Pro-Scapes
01-03-2008, 03:24 PM
least ya driving a chevy... good boy.

I would beilive thats a moose crossing sign.

Lite4
01-03-2008, 09:05 PM
Good Lord man, is that like a 72' tall ladder. That thing looks TAAALLLLL. I think my legs would be doing the shaky, shaky, if I were in your spot at that moment. I worry about slippery ladder bottoms.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-03-2008, 09:48 PM
Good Lord man, is that like a 72' tall ladder. That thing looks TAAALLLLL. I think my legs would be doing the shaky, shaky, if I were in your spot at that moment. I worry about slippery ladder bottoms.

That is a 32' ladder Tim, my tool of choice for downlighting. No worries about the foot slipping out from under, it was stuck down into about 2' of snow.

Lite4
01-03-2008, 10:02 PM
Good for you going out to take care of a client in that weather. My luck, I would pull out the old aluminum ladder with slightly wet hands and have a dumb and dumber cold metal moment.

Lite4
01-03-2008, 11:08 PM
James, Since I know you are probably monitoring this thread, just wondering when you are sending out your info on interior illum.
Thanks

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-03-2008, 11:13 PM
James, Since I know you are probably monitoring this thread, just wondering when you are sending out your info on interior illum.
Thanks

Sorry Tim... I havent had the time to write it up yet. It will probably be this weekend or early next week before I can get to it. When I do, I will send you the info direct.

Have a great day.