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View Full Version : Has anyone delt with these property maint. co?


PLS-Tx
01-19-2010, 11:46 PM
Level 1 Maintenance.

We started doing a small commercial property for them last month, they are a pain.

1st they want it serviced 52 weeks a year, not a big deal. In the off season I just have one of our guys go pick up trash and blow the walks 2 or 3 times a month, then we cut it 1 or 2 times.

They want us to have a manager sign a work order, again not a big deal. Problem is they have been calling or emailing us every week to make sure it was done on the day it was scheduled, uhh, isn't that what the work order is for. :dizzy:

We had to fill out 24 pages and fax it to them, contract, Insurance info. ect.

Then they tell us they want proof of commercial auto policy, that's a new one for us.

Now they are saying they want to be listed on our general liability, commercial auto and workmens comp. policies.

I could go on but this is long enough.

Also, REO Allegiance? They have been much easier to deal with.

MikeKle
01-20-2010, 12:20 AM
Seems like a huge hassle! I put a bid in for the Cincinnati intl. airport a few years ago for a relatively small area they had bought and wanted mowed 38 times per season, and they had around 25 pages of info to fill out too! They even wanted the serial numbers of all the mowers to be used?!! The big catch though, they insisted this area to be mowed, a little over 7 acres, had to be BAGGED!! That was it for me, I didnt even send it in, and have no idea who got it. NO ONE bags the grass around here. The mowers chew it up and disperses so well, you cant even see any clippings anyway.

I would look at how much you are making off this account and weight whether it is worth it or not.

R & R Yard Designs
01-20-2010, 01:03 AM
Cutting at an airport, and if its around the taxi or runways, had to be bagged when we did a bid for a small one. The chance of blowing up a jet engine is very high, not a risk i want

AzLawnMan
01-20-2010, 01:11 AM
Level 1 Maintenance.


We had to fill out 24 pages and fax it to them, contract, Insurance info. ect.

Then they tell us they want proof of commercial auto policy, that's a new one for us.

Now they are saying they want to be listed on our general liability, commercial auto and workmens comp. policies.

I could go on but this is long enough.

Also, REO Allegiance? They have been much easier to deal with.

Two things, everything your saying, all the Property management companies I work for are all listed on my policies. I always have my insurance company call them before I start work and get them listed, only because when its time for them to pay me I dont want any excuses. I send them insurance, w-9, w-10, a copy of my business license and a copy of my articles of organization.
But they may be looking for a reason to get rid of you, sorry to say. When a company starts asking for stuff all at once, usually theres a problem. Provide everything they ask for. None of what your saying is not out of the ordinary, IMHO.

PLS-Tx
01-20-2010, 01:22 AM
Seems like a huge hassle! I put a bid in for the Cincinnati intl. airport a few years ago for a relatively small area they had bought and wanted mowed 38 times per season, and they had around 25 pages of info to fill out too! They even wanted the serial numbers of all the mowers to be used?!! The big catch though, they insisted this area to be mowed, a little over 7 acres, had to be BAGGED!! That was it for me, I didnt even send it in, and have no idea who got it. NO ONE bags the grass around here. The mowers chew it up and disperses so well, you cant even see any clippings anyway.

I would look at how much you are making off this account and weight whether it is worth it or not.

Wow, that would do it for me too, bag 7 acres. :dizzy::dizzy:

We don't bag anything, surely not 7 acres.

newtostone
01-20-2010, 01:26 AM
all normal stuff well not the serial numbers on the mowers but everything else. Level 1 has asked me to do a few things I bid them and they then told me they were looking to pay less than 20% of my bid and that the mulching and fert was to be included.

PLS-Tx
01-20-2010, 01:27 AM
Two things, everything your saying, all the Property management companies I work for are all listed on my policies. I always have my insurance company call them before I start work and get them listed, only because when its time for them to pay me I dont want any excuses. I send them insurance, w-9, w-10, a copy of my business license and a copy of my articles of organization.
But they may be looking for a reason to get rid of you, sorry to say. When a company starts asking for stuff all at once, usually theres a problem. Provide everything they ask for. None of what your saying is not out of the ordinary, IMHO.

Why would they be looking for a reason to get rid of us, thy just hired us? :dizzy:

I told them we would check with our agent if he advised us not to do what they are asking then we are done.

Also, if they were going to tell me how to run MY business then they could find someone else.

MikeKle
01-20-2010, 02:07 AM
The area they wanted bagged was not anywhere near any runway, it used to be a small subdivision and once the airport bought the land, all the houses were torn down, just the streets and driveways remained, it was very far from their runways though, I have no idea why they wanted this area bagged? Im sure the whoever got it is making a small fortune on it, 7 acres-bagged, at least $750.-$800. per cut I would think?

PLS-Tx
01-20-2010, 02:15 AM
I think sometimes it just people on a power trip.

There was a local prop manager here a while back, he would get on the guys trailer and check to see if his blades were sharp. :dizzy::dizzy: Not us but another lawn service.

I want our clients to be happy with our service but come on don't be an idiot.

topsites
01-20-2010, 02:27 AM
No, I haven't.
Actually that's not true, I do believe they called me once or twice over the years.
If I recall things didn't get much past the initial greeting.

WARNING!!!
Avoid serious injury: Do NOT attempt to run my business.

CkLandscapingOrlando
01-20-2010, 07:35 AM
All sound standard but the bagging and serial numbers.

PLS-Tx
01-20-2010, 11:54 AM
All sound standard but the bagging and serial numbers.

Wow if all this is standard I have had it good for the past 18 years.

Mahoney3223
01-20-2010, 11:55 AM
I was approached by LEVEL 1, for the Dollar General stores for snow removal. I got the info and the specs and set it on my desk. That's as far as I got. I did not like the language and passed on a couple stores. There was wayyyy too many things in the specs that flat out screwed the prospective contractor. Long story short, a few weeks passed and I was like man, maybe I should have just taken them. I have a guy I met a few months back I became friends with and he took one of the stores. It's almost Feb. and he still hasn't been paid. Looking back, best decision I made, was not to accept the deal. STAY AWAY FROM NATIONAL MAINTENANCE COMPANIES!!!!!!!!!!! DON'T BELIEVE ME, GO TO PLOWSITE AND SEARCH USM!!!!!!!

BearWise Landscapers
01-20-2010, 03:23 PM
We started doing a small commercial property for them last month, they are a pain.

Then they tell us they want proof of commercial auto policy, that's a new one for us.

Now they are saying they want to be listed on our general liability, commercial auto and workmens comp. policies.

all the Property management companies I work for are all listed on my policies. I always have my insurance company call them before I start work and get them listed, only because when its time for them to pay me I dont want any excuses. I send them insurance, w-9, w-10, a copy of my business license and a copy of my articles of organization. None of what your saying is not out of the ordinary, IMHO.

All sound standard but the bagging and serial numbers.

TAC,

I don't know about all of the other things that they asked you about and I am not trying to defend the property management company, but I can let you know why they are strict about the insurance policies.

I agree with AZ Lawn Man and CK Landscaping that it is a pretty standard request to want proof of all your liability insurance policies and to be listed as an additional insured on the general liability policy. They may also want a waiver of subrogation on your workers comp policy.

From the management company's perspective, if they hire a subcontractor (in this case, your lawn care company) and that subcontractor has a lapse of insurance coverage or does not carry insurance coverage, then those lawsuits will be directly paid by the management company. That's why they want to know what insurance carriers you use, what limits you have, and if they are not cancelling.

If a lawsuit names the management company in addition to your lawn care business for an accident you caused, they want your policy to pay for those defense costs and not their own policy. That is why they want coverage under your policy through being listed as an additional insured.

Your insurance agent should be able to get those requirements over to them and it should not have much of an additional cost to you. The cost depends on your insurance carrier and it varies quite a bit. We typically recommend those carriers that allow unlimited additional insureds on their policies for no additional premium.

Let me know if you have any further questions regarding the insurance side of their request.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

MikeKle
01-20-2010, 03:39 PM
While I do not have that many commercial accounts, the ones I do have never even asked me for any info. besides the price. None of them even asked me for my commercial insurance papers! I was kinda surprised at this, as one place I mow has many high school staff and students parking in their lot during the day, when I am there. I have never had any incidents, but thats awful trusting on their part of me? And the apartment complexes I do were only interested in the price, nothing else. I guess it just depends on the company that pays you, some want everything, and some want nothing but a price!! Like Ive said before,in the many years Ive been in lawn care, NOT ONCE has anyone asked to see my proof of commercial insurance,and only been asked once to see my occupational license, but this was by a cop in a very high end area.

AzLawnMan
01-20-2010, 03:53 PM
I've heard of companies operating illegally and getting big contracts. I mean they dont have a business liscense, or pay taxes and not even insured. But the second something bad happens all that guy has to do is disconnect his phone! I got a call from Marriott Hotels to trim palms and trees at 3 locations. I gave them a price and all the info I mentioned above. There rep called me a few days later and said they decided to go with another company. I asked who and she told me the name, I have never heard of them ever! Well about a week later she called and asked if I was still interested in doing the job. When I asked what happened to the other company she said after they "dropped" a limb off a Ficus tree onto a brand new Chevy Tahoe, they simple packed up and left. That was the first tree the started on. I bet the hotel will always ask for insurance now.

BearWise Landscapers
01-20-2010, 04:15 PM
I've heard of companies operating illegally and getting big contracts. I mean they dont have a business liscense, or pay taxes and not even insured. But the second something bad happens all that guy has to do is disconnect his phone! I got a call from Marriott Hotels to trim palms and trees at 3 locations. I gave them a price and all the info I mentioned above. There rep called me a few days later and said they decided to go with another company. I asked who and she told me the name, I have never heard of them ever! Well about a week later she called and asked if I was still interested in doing the job. When I asked what happened to the other company she said after they "dropped" a limb off a Ficus tree onto a brand new Chevy Tahoe, they simple packed up and left. That was the first tree the started on. I bet the hotel will always ask for insurance now.

That's a great example. I think this is a big problem with so many 'fly-by-night' landscapers out there. It seems that it is relatively easier in the landscaping industry to get by with an illegitimate business. Here is a link about an article I read this summer (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/importance-of-hiring-a-professional-landscaper/) about similar types of businesses in Florida.

CkLandscapingOrlando
01-20-2010, 06:47 PM
Big property managment comps not only want proof but they will tell you how much you have to have. Alot of them want 1 mill liability, 1mill comer on the truck, and 1 or 2 mill in umbrela, workers comp, busi lisc, and tax id. If they dont want this their small and probly dont have a lawyer

PLS-Tx
01-20-2010, 06:49 PM
Thanks for the info guys.

Now We just need to decide if it's worth the headache for us.

I still have a problem with them calling and/or emailing us every week EVEN in the off season to see if we have serviced the prop YET. :dizzy:

As I mentioned earlier we have a manager at the prop sign a work order that was givin to us by the prop mgmt co. They require the start and stop time on the work order. I don't understand why this is not sufficient.

Thanks again

lawnjocky
01-20-2010, 06:54 PM
I would also agree what is being requested is pretty standard. I have worked for a few of these outfits over the years and they are a PITA. If this job was for a local company, government agency, etc.. I would do it. But for the most part these property management companies are not worth it to me. I have had to go to the property owners a couple of times to get paid. With that said keep in mind some are ok. Do a little research before you say yes or no to the job. They want info about you, get some on them and then decide.

topsites
01-20-2010, 07:05 PM
It may be standard but it just eats me that these Johnny-come-latelies think they can simply step in,
make the 'sales', have someone else do the work, collect all of their money upfront while they get to
decide if or when to pay me, then put in place all of these requirements that I have to follow...
Like it's my company but they're going to tell me how it goes, that part really bothers the crap out of me.

But the absolute worst part, the straw that breaks the camel's back?
Yes, the bit with the insurance and the liability.
Why?
Because they're not even willing to put forth any risk, no matter what happens they can't lose!
Oh how slick is that, I get to risk it all and they are putting nothing on the line, perhaps their worst fear is a paper cut.
*&%^ THAT !

Where the hell did these guys go to school where they teach "How to run a business off someone else's back?"

I've got everything on the line here, my money and my equipment and my own life I risk everything I have
every single day to bring home some lousy dollar and these jokers think they can just skate past without notice?
I don't think so. :waving:

You run with me then you got to put out too.
As they say, ass gas or grass, nobody rides for free.

dKoester
01-20-2010, 07:12 PM
:laugh:Who peed in your cornflakes!

MikeKle
01-20-2010, 07:48 PM
Topsites, I know exactly what you mean!! The bigger the company, the more they can get away with too. For instance, with the gas station chain I work for, there are the big vendors like Coke, Pepsi, and other big food companies that get to put their product on our shelves to sell to the public, and they normally pay us a percentage to put their products on our shelves, but they get to basically write all the terms of the contracts, and it is always to their benefit so they can never loose anything! Like if the station fails to get their product out on the shelf (and in the manner they want), by a certain time, we get charged a penalty, and they do not pay a dime to us, or if there is any minor errors in any of the paperwork, they can charge us for it, and not pay us a dime! Basically any teeny tiny mistake our chain makes with their product or paperwork results in them charging us a penalty and them not having to pay us!! It is ridiculous! but if they make a mistake, nothing is done and we do not get to penalize them? I have asked why we even agree to those kinds of terms, but the top brass thinks its OK??!! Plus the tobacco companies are much worse, since I am a rep, I am not allowed to even touch their product, not even the shelf its on, and if I do, they can charge us a penalty! But obviously the regular cashiers are allowed to, but not me or any other rep. It is so absurd the way big companies operate, I do not understand how they keep their business running, as it seems no one would want to even work with them? But money speaks volumes these days.

AzLawnMan
01-20-2010, 09:52 PM
If its not the terms of my contract then I wont bother. I get calls and ask to take a look at their contract. Mostly their contract is all about protecting themselves. If you violate any part, they simple wont pay you or hold you responsible, for ANYTHING! Like I said my contract or I wont work for you.

I do think its worth your time. If there calling and emailing that much, then there is a line of communication. Plus if they owe you money, you know there gonna call anyway! Take the job and be patient. After they get to know you it will get better. I provide all my customers with weekly reports, some monthly, but my big clients get it weekly. It contains what we did, any problem areas and start and stop times. I also put a reminder for the invoice that is due and when. They can never say they forgot or misplaced it.

Rivervalleylawns
01-20-2010, 11:24 PM
We made level 1 a certificate holder on all our insurance policies, filled out all the tax paper work, took a million before and after pics, sent all invoices in and never got paid. Worse thing about it is they pay so late that by the time you figure out they are not paying, you cant file a lean on the property. All you can really do if they or any other big company chooses to not pay you, go straight to the owner/ceo/big guy who actually owns the company. Tell them you have a contract and performed work for their property(address) and that the contractor has not payed you. Let them know you will be filing a lean on their prop. for non payment.
Again like a said usaully its too late as a mechanical lean in alot of states needs to be filed so many days from invoice day/due date.... We stay away from anything that we cant get ourselves, Good luck man.

Hoots
01-20-2010, 11:31 PM
Where is the property? You show your location to be in Texas, but where?

We maintain a Blockbuster for Level 1 and have zero problems. Yes it takes a long time to get paid but you have to remember, you send an invoice to Level 1, they send an invoice to Blockbuster (or whatever location it is) then they return a payment and then Level 1 pays you. They do this several thousand times per month. Yes it's a pain and they are the middle man but when you are dealing with a nationwide corporation with no individual franchise owners, that is the only way it can be done.

If you don't want the contract, by all means, pass it to me. We are growing by the day and love it. About to start another truck soon.

Storm the Patriot
01-21-2010, 12:33 AM
Yes and they were a huge hassle...always an excuse or something being wrong...we JUST got our first check from them after many months...a bunch of people have had problems with them.

PLS-Tx
01-21-2010, 03:22 AM
Where is the property? You show your location to be in Texas, but where?

We maintain a Blockbuster for Level 1 and have zero problems. Yes it takes a long time to get paid but you have to remember, you send an invoice to Level 1, they send an invoice to Blockbuster (or whatever location it is) then they return a payment and then Level 1 pays you. They do this several thousand times per month. Yes it's a pain and they are the middle man but when you are dealing with a nationwide corporation with no individual franchise owners, that is the only way it can be done.

If you don't want the contract, by all means, pass it to me. We are growing by the day and love it. About to start another truck soon.

Sure you can have it if you want to drive a few hundred miles for the change they are willing to pay.

And yes, it is a Blockbuster.

CkLandscapingOrlando
01-21-2010, 07:35 AM
A mang comp should'nt have to send your bill to the client. They should have an escrow account and budget and all that. You guy's need to add some payment terms or something. I have never waited more than 30days for payment and if I do I 'm charging for it.

Also, why would they take responsibility for your work? If you throw a rock into a car thats your fault. Sure the rock was on their prop, but it's your responsibility to look for that stuff, and probly in the contract that you remove the debrees and trash on a weekly basis. Any areas that are unsafe to cut you dont cut. Make a note as to the issue and what needs done before you can service that area

PLS-Tx
01-21-2010, 10:29 AM
A mang comp should'nt have to send your bill to the client. They should have an escrow account and budget and all that. You guy's need to add some payment terms or something. I have never waited more than 30days for payment and if I do I 'm charging for it.

Also, why would they take responsibility for your work? If you throw a rock into a car thats your fault. Sure the rock was on their prop, but it's your responsibility to look for that stuff, and probly in the contract that you remove the debrees and trash on a weekly basis. Any areas that are unsafe to cut you dont cut. Make a note as to the issue and what needs done before you can service that area

Good Advice

topsites
01-21-2010, 12:42 PM
:laugh:Who peed in your cornflakes!

Sorry, I guess I did go off the deep end a bit there lol

A mang comp should'nt have to send your bill to the client. They should have an escrow account and budget and all that. You guy's need to add some payment terms or something. I have never waited more than 30days for payment and if I do I 'm charging for it.

I don't even care about all that, I'm sending the bill to the folks I'm doing the work for and they could pay me
pronto and then I will see about sending a percentage to the management company, that is how it should work.
Yes sir, after their check to me clears the bank...

But I know, you don't have to tell me, believe me I got into mystery shopping some years back, I know ALL about
how these crazy corporations work, this mess is so rigmaroled and mucked up so bad it made me feel downright
sorry for what these folks have to put up with and go through just to eke out an existence.
Because that is some crazy m*&%^'ing BS!

Also, why would they take responsibility for your work? If you throw a rock into a car thats your fault. Sure the rock was on their prop, but it's your responsibility to look for that stuff, and probly in the contract that you remove the debrees and trash on a weekly basis. Any areas that are unsafe to cut you dont cut. Make a note as to the issue and what needs done before you can service that area

I don't have a problem with this, it's when they want me to add them to my insurance policy,
and they always say it's just a formality and like it's no big deal, fine but then why don't I just
add their homes and cars and family to my policy too, seeing how it's all just a formality to them...

Forget this nonsense, corporations are a type customer I can not deal with.
But I'm sure glad there exist Lco's who evidently find this customer a peach,
that works out for everybody.

creativedan
01-21-2010, 03:12 PM
USM got me for $550-$600 a few yrs back and will not do work for national companies like that any more.