View Full Version : Canceled

11-02-2001, 08:29 PM
Well... it happened.

I received a letter from a property manager saying that the contract was canceled. I am totally surprised as I haven't had any complaints from them concerning my work. I don't know the reason why yet. I am still waiting for that. I know one thing, I am a wreck because of this. It was completely unexpected. I am seriously thinking about not doing any more commercial props because of this. I have never experienced this and I am completely freaked out about it.

Background: It was the first commercial property I ever bid on and I have had it for 3yrs without having to bid. In fact I had just sent a letter thanking them for the great service and business they had provided me and asked them to sign me for 3 more years. The two letters apparently crossed in the mail!

I am so tore up I could ______ :blob2: !!!

What have you all done in this case? I really need some other points of view. I will post when I find out the reasons.

I am, oficially, off the soap box now.


11-02-2001, 08:39 PM
Was your contract coming to an end any time soon? If so you were probably out bid.

Join the group. This occurs alot with property managers. Only one thing is usually on their minds and that is the lowest price.

11-02-2001, 08:48 PM
That is actually a fairly common practice when businesses change their management structures ....

We serviced multiple Bob Evans restaurants around this area for years and years ... in fact, they received numerous beautification awards from the township/cities that they were in respectively! Well last year, the management changed ... and they were looking to cut - CUT - CUT!!!! expenses! Well, we were the first to go (at least from my point of view :)) and lemme tell you .. we don't miss 'em a bit! I don't miss having to take 10 minutes picking up trash prior to cutting (and worrying about pricking myself with a used hypodermic needle!) I don't miss having to deal with all of THEIR customers who are constantly in the way! I don't miss having to smell that horrible, rancid dumpster smell that I grew so accustomed to!

Don't fret over it, man ... pick whichever you enjoy doing more and stick with 'em (commercial or residential) .. we prefer residential .. and therefore we do about 95% res/ 5% (+/- 1%) commercial!


11-02-2001, 10:05 PM
Things like this happen... Somebody beat your current offer, that's all. Have no fear, you can always find a new client and ones that pay better, too.

CSRA Landscaping
11-02-2001, 10:26 PM
Yeah, it does happen. You may find out that the new maintenance folks, while well-meaning, may not be as good as you were. And you may get it back. Don't turn down commercial just because you got blind-sided. Press on.

11-03-2001, 07:43 PM
sorry 'bout your being put in the can.

as this is a dog eat dog business, you deserve to find out what's going on.

you'll feel great respect for yourself if they have gone with a lowballer and you can tell them that you hope they are happy because there aint no way you're gonna work for lowball money.

good luck.


11-03-2001, 10:07 PM
Dont take it personally, all i do is commercial work and this happens every year. When i first started it was hard to stomach but now i know its just low ballers givin the work away.

Loosers make excuses!!!!
Winners Make it Happen!!!!

11-05-2001, 09:36 AM
Hey Rick it happens. Its hard to swallow at first, and it doesnt get any better. So cheer up.
I lost my frst complex to a low baller, but I still havnt given up. I go by the prop every week. The property manager asked the site forman why I cam by every week, she is friends with the low baller. So I guess I am making her nervous. I call the owner to complain about the low ballers work ever so often. Maybe I will get it back maybe not but I am still trying.

11-05-2001, 12:18 PM
We've all been through this. Another landscaper came in and probably offered a better price. That's business. If the leaves was included in the contract or anymore lawn cuttings, then bill them for them. They have to honor their contract. Don't get burnt, burn them. Good luck.

11-06-2001, 01:53 PM
Lonestar: They typically have not bid until Feb or March. For the last 3yrs no bids at all.

Thanks everyone for your support. I do appreciate it very much.

I still haven't heard the reason why yet. I will post when I know.

Thanks again.


Paradise Yard Service
11-07-2001, 02:49 AM
You may never know the reason. Could be a friend of the management needed a new job and you got the slip. Unless you are doing lots of commercial accounts you will need to stay with residentails until you win more commercial bids. If you are fighting heavy influx of commercial lowballers then maybe you should stick with residentails that pay high with lots of seasonal upsells. In the long run you will do better.

Just my 2$


11-07-2001, 03:02 AM
All good comments above. I will just add this;

This is one of the reasons our company avoids most commercial maintenance jobs - they have no real loyalty. Most of them just care about the cheapest price. Conversely, we experience very high loyalty on the residential side and as long as we continue to do great work, another LCO can't touch one of my accounts, even with a lower price. I find upper end residents don't care about money nearly as much as they do about dependability, professionalism and quality.

A few of the other reasons I don't do commercial;

* With commercial jobs you often have many people to please. With residents, there's only one or two

* Commercial accounts like to pay late. Things have to go through their "accounts receivable department" first. Residents have no excuses to pay late.

* Commercial jobs in our area are way less profitable per hour than residential jobs. In the 3 hours it may take me to maintain a commercial property we could have stopped by about 7 or 8 residential houses. Yet, in order to stay competitive we'd have to bid the commercial job at half what we'd make at those 7 or 8 houses per month.

* If I lose a commercial job, it's a big hit. If I lose a residential job, it doesn't hurt that bad. We still got another 149 of them.

It is different everywhere. But in my area we do very well just staying away from commercial stuff.

11-07-2001, 07:15 AM
Like Jim Lewis said, try and focus on the residentials for great reasons however I have had great luck with small commercials which are like residentials anyway.

The local dentist or doctors office or the plumber or heating guy all have lawns that have to be mowed. These people know what working is and they are busy, they also know what getting a fair rate for service means so they usually don't haggle about price. Do good work and your name gets out there. Good Luck

11-07-2001, 12:24 PM
Thanks again for all your support and comments.

New update: I have my personal and business checking accounts
with this particular credit union. I have a pretty good relationship with the branch manager. I talked to him yesterday and in a nutshell there are a couple of things that I neglected and some gray areas in the contract that have contributed to this.

Bottom line is they want someone to do a perfect job for the same amount of money.

This was my first bid on the first commercial job. I didn't ask to look at the contract or to get a list of required items. These things all contributed to my being the cheapest bid and they jumped on it.

As my wife said" one door closes and another door opens" Its no wonder I married her:D

Talk to ya all later


11-07-2001, 11:24 PM

I just want to add that you might consider putting something into your cover letter that you send out with your bids that you offer several package options so that budgets fluxuate(sp) that you can comply with their needs.

It also helps to have a spec sheet. One thing that you can do is take a trip around to some of the larger commercial sites in your area and just ask for a copy of their requirements. If they tell you that they are not taking bids just explain to them that you have gotten your first commercial bid and are looking to optimize your effectiveness so that you can branch into larger sites in the future and any help they could lend would be greatly appreciated. This often helps to soften them to at least let you look at a spec sheet if nothing else.

Good Luck in the future.

lawn and stump
11-09-2001, 09:20 AM
Rick - last year I lost a nice small condo acct it was 14,000 a year
it was close to my shop and we did pruning in winter and bed maintance in our slow times it was a great resovior of work to keep my 2 guys busy. I was under bid by a guy that worked
out of a used schoolbus van that was a former friend of mine.
he knew somebody on the board, they pay him as a sub I think
so they save 6% sales tax and his help is under the table w/no
workmans comp. the were blowing out tall gutters with backpacks
on real steep roofs! I was under cut by a scrub!
that was the salt in my wounds.

Albemarle Lawn
11-09-2001, 11:37 AM
What was the renewal date, Dec 1?

Or was it around Feb and they are trying to chintz you out of the last three payments since winter is approaching and they will no longer need you?