PDA

View Full Version : Getting In With Builders


garnersgardening
10-22-2008, 06:39 PM
I am a fairly new company and have been trying to get in with the builders in my area. Unfortunantly they are all very loyal to their current landscaper (good for the other guy). Any suggestion on how to get my foot in the door with them?

Green Team Landscaping
10-22-2008, 06:51 PM
Do you have any new companies starting up like Waitt? Get in tight with them so you can hook eachother up.

Casey21
10-22-2008, 07:45 PM
Builders are cheap, cheap, cheap! What kind of landscaping are you doing, commercial or residential? High-end residential builders wont be as cheap, they will pay for quality. Spec home builders doing front yard only will want it for almost free. And there is rarely loyalty among spec home builders its all about the cheap. Commercial builders need to trust you and you still need to be very competitive on your prices.

My suggestion to you is become a member of a local regional plan center in your area(if your not)for commercial work. This will allow you to see all jobs up for public bids and be able view the plans online at your pc or at the plan center. You also can post that you are a bidder and other GC's on the plan center network (they handle most of the landscape contracts) will see you are bidding an may call you for a bid as well. If other GC's post they are bidding also, and they will. Then call and fax them your quote. You need to be seen, may take awhile but sooner or later you will get your shot. So bid every job you can thats posted on the plan center for landscape.

Contact an irrigation supplier in your area and find out if they are members and which one they are a member of if there is more than one plan center.
They most likely will already have a parts bid for the projects on the plan center. Most Landscape plans are design build irrigation. They want to sell you they parts for the job, so most of them will have it quoted for materials already. They help you,and you help them.

LOL I dont normally spill my guts on stuff like this... guess i just feel like being nice ;) hope all that helps. Again lol

Mike33
10-22-2008, 09:26 PM
[QUOTE=Casey21;2567257]Builders are cheap, cheap, cheap! What kind of landscaping are you doing, commercial or residential? High-end residential builders wont be as cheap, they will pay for quality. Spec home builders doing front yard only will want it for almost free. And there is rarely loyalty among spec home builders its all about the cheap. Commercial builders need to trust you and you still need to be very competitive on your prices.

I agree 100% of what you said. Also a good way not to get paid.
Mike

robtown
10-22-2008, 10:00 PM
This might help.
All subdivisions and comercial projects have to be reviewed by the county.
If you vist the county office and ask real nice the will give a list of all approved projects in a certain period ...like a 3 month period. Give them a time frame.
It will have the project ... the attorney....lot block...address...owner....all the cool info.
After a while all you have to do is call and have them email you the list.
You take the list to the town ask to see the plans and bamm you know what you are working with.
If it is a a gas station or office do some proposals for them and see if you can come up with something that stikes them.
I would do this in the winter when you have the extra time.
good luck.

steve5966
10-23-2008, 12:14 AM
If you want to get in with builders, you will do better by meeting the superintendent. If they are very loyal that is a plus and a minus. In my opinion you need to try to be his emergancy work guy, if he needs something done right now, you need to be able to get it done. It may be something small like a remulch for a new buyer or a foundation dig for a water problem.

If you really want to work for builders, you need to make sure your aware of the pitfalls. There are a lot of builders going bankrupt or letting their vendors carry their debt. Check with other subcontractors to see if they get paid in a timely manner. Some builders want to pay when the house sells and the longer it sits on the market, the less profit they will have to pay the bills.

Builders can be a great source of work or a huge burden for you. We have had both.

Lawnworks
10-23-2008, 12:23 AM
I didn't think there was a whole lot of building going on right now. It seems with builders you have to run a tight efficient job. Get in and get out.

P.Services
10-23-2008, 12:50 AM
Do you have any new companies starting up like Waitt? Get in tight with them so you can hook eachother up.

yeah the waitt company seems to really be busting out the jobs, they have a TON of equipment so i guess they need to.

garnersgardening
10-23-2008, 01:29 AM
I didn't think there was a whole lot of building going on right now. It seems with builders you have to run a tight efficient job. Get in and get out.

Luckily the builders in certain parts of central texas are still doing alot there is alot going up closer to austin from what i have seen

Third Day Creations
10-23-2008, 09:36 AM
Try using advertising for landscape renovations and adding perrenial gardens, walls, decks, stone patios and such. Brochures stuck in front doors of high end neighborhoods may work for you. Many of these jobs will be negotiated, not bid jobs.

Sunscaper
10-23-2008, 12:34 PM
Steve is right on. I would recommend keeping builders no more than 20% of your business. You may have to wait 30-90 days for payment if ever and you will be doing the work at a discounted rate. Here is a great example.

A builder I have had as a customer for 3 years, good payer, reputable, and stable etc. I always throw in small extras like hauling unneeded dirt off the site for free, small things that add up but keep him happy also. He wanted a lot cleared that is 2.5 acres of heavily vegetated mature pines live oaks and pepper trees. I was going to clear it for $7k, very fair price right? WRONG!!! Some other moron bids it for $2k. WTF??? The guys shows up with a bobcat mini ex and a 5 yard dump truck. It takes him a week and probably $2k in dump fee's alone, not considering fuel. Basically he wanted to get in with the builder. Then on top of it he buys the builder an expensive bottle of cabernet to sweeten the deal even more. The poor guy never got any more business from the builder and we continue to do all the site work. Moral of the story is this. Builders have limited if any loyalty. You will become their go to guy, they will expect small extras, and count of financing the work also. All this at a discounted rate to boot. Is it really safe? No. But it can become good filler work for you and your crew. Ask the other subs on the job how they like working for them and how long they have been working for them. You're better off staying away from bigger companies like Lennar, or Mercedes. Stick with a smaller localized builder who does high-end custom homes. Spec house builders are a corporation without a face and you will have very little to any knowledge how financially stable they really are. Hope this helps you out.