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Braveheart
05-29-2010, 08:50 AM
Hi Everyone,

I am bidding on an gated community in Stuart, FL. The community has 700 homes. The bid is for basic lawn care 40 times per year. That's every week in season and every other week during off season. There are no extra's (hedging, fertilizing, insecticide, etc...), it's just basic mow and go.

My question is how many men should it take to complete these homes? They are all average size yards (80x100) and they are all next to each other. I would like to get it done in 4 days. Any ideas?

topsites
05-29-2010, 09:02 AM
Don't bite off more than you can REASONABLY chew,
I think that job is apparently way too big for you but if
it makes you feel better I would not bid it myself either.

MrRob
05-29-2010, 09:10 AM
we do a large mix of apartment, duplex, and condos in one day with 6 guys. They have 5 complexes that total 650 units. How many acres is your property you are bidding?

topsites
05-29-2010, 10:01 AM
we do a large mix of apartment, duplex, and condos in one day with 6 guys. They have 5 complexes that total 650 units. How many acres is your property you are bidding?

Man...
You do 650 in one day? :laugh:

You see how that comes across, you didn't per chance mean 650 total out of 5,
each one of those 5 takes one day, did you?

Either way you've also done this before, you know what you're doing, the part that
scares me is this guy is thinking of taking 4 days for one account and I'm sorry
but I don't think that's going to work out because too much eggs in one basket.

Then add inexperience, 6 workers and an inexperienced owner, what happens
when the workers start with the questions?

So my opinion is learn to walk before you run.

QualityLawnCare4u
05-29-2010, 10:38 AM
Wow, thats a nice piece of property! I was sitting here trying to figure how long and how many man hours this would take and could not come up with a answer I was comfortable with. Me being solo, I would have to turn this one down. What happens if you get the bid, hire x amount of employs then loose it. You then have 4 days with nothing for you or the other guys to do. Like one said above, I don't like to have all my eggs in one basket! Another thing that comes to mind is you are not dealing with just one homeowner or manager, you are dealing with 700 folks, vehicles, hoses, crap in the yard. Thats a LOT of headaches and you can be sure out of the 700 you will have several PITA.

Braveheart
05-29-2010, 11:09 AM
Last year I turned down a gated community with 1158 homes, I felt that was too big us. I'm not comfortable turning this one down because we already take care of two other gated communities. The only difference is that in the other gated communities we take care of, we only mow the common grounds. We do mow some of the homes in the community, however, in those cases we are contracted directly with the homeowners.

In one gated community there are 500 homes and we mow about 200 and in the second there are 600 homes and we also mow about 200.

In this new opportunity there are 700 homes and we will have to mow them all... The reason it is difficult to determine how long it will take is because in my other accounts the homes are all spread out and in this new account they will all be in a straight line. I'm sure this will save time, I just don't know how much.

mowerbrad
05-29-2010, 12:00 PM
How many acres is the property total? I'm assuming trimming and blowing will also be done.

Ron's TLL
05-29-2010, 12:05 PM
In one community, you are mowing 1 in 3 houses, in the other, you are mowing 1 in 2.5. If they are similar sized properties, you already have a basis for your bid. Say it tales 10 minutes per property at the 1 / 3 and 9 minuets in the 1/2.5. You can directly establish that the time savings per home is travel time. It takes about a minute to walk equipment 150'-300'. Eliminate the travel time loss, and you have your new number. Doing 1/1 homes would then equal about 7-8 minutes per, based off the original example of ten minutes.

I may be bidding on a gated comm. with about 650 homes and common areas. I will be very interested to see what you come up with. Also, will you provide your current production rates for your existing properties? Basic details on the landscape would also be nice. Feel free to pm me with this data.

QualityLawnCare4u
05-29-2010, 03:03 PM
In one community, you are mowing 1 in 3 houses, in the other, you are mowing 1 in 2.5. If they are similar sized properties, you already have a basis for your bid. Say it tales 10 minutes per property at the 1 / 3 and 9 minuets in the 1/2.5. You can directly establish that the time savings per home is travel time. It takes about a minute to walk equipment 150'-300'. Eliminate the travel time loss, and you have your new number. Doing 1/1 homes would then equal about 7-8 minutes per, based off the original example of ten minutes.

I may be bidding on a gated comm. with about 650 homes and common areas. I will be very interested to see what you come up with. Also, will you provide your current production rates for your existing properties? Basic details on the landscape would also be nice. Feel free to pm me with this data.


I'm also interested to see how this turns out.

Glenn Lawn Care
05-29-2010, 03:46 PM
i think i'm a bit lost here. are these townhomes or indivual houses?

LwnmwrMan22
05-29-2010, 08:00 PM
Read this thread....

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=160871

and then this thread...

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=210203

and lastly this one...

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=241379

It should help quite a bit.

topsites
05-29-2010, 09:06 PM
These may not be the answers you wanted to hear but it's the way it is,
one thing to help another man out, it's quite another to do their homework too.

Here's another good answer:

The best lesson that can be learned is to underbid a few jobs and loose your shirt on them..

Now, you sure you want to stick your neck out on a 700 home complex?
If so, go right ahead and take a chance like everybody else who has had to do the dirty.

Otherwise, seeing how nobody is going to bid it for you I suggest start out small.

nepatsfan
05-29-2010, 09:20 PM
Go big or go home. Dont ever be afraid....whats the worst thing that can happen. Do your homework, be positive and dont be afraid. Have a can do attitute. That is roughly 138 acres. It really depends on how much trimming and it also depends on what you are using for machines as to how long this would take you. I would say 4 guys could cut trim and blow this in 3-3/12 days with the right equipment just based on acreage.(could easily change based on hills and many other factors. Standers/surfers/ztrs...if you are using walk behinds maybe a little longer or another guy.

nepatsfan
05-29-2010, 09:26 PM
Wait a minute.....You have 510 weekly mows and you are asking us for help....do you just like to type???? thanks for the insight lwnmwrman.

Braveheart
06-06-2010, 07:57 PM
I did not win this account. It came down to two vendors, myself and a large national company. We both presented in front of the Board of Directors and the community and they choose the national company. I am hesitant to give details over the web, but I can tell you of the 14 bidders they were the very lowest! I mean low, low, low.

I ended up having a conversation with someone at Valley Crest about this vendor and they told me they are just interested in market share so they are out bidding everyone.

Although the community requested my services, the Board ultimately choose the national company 4 to 2. They send they couldn't ignore the huge savings. Like I said before, I don't want to give details over the web, but of all the vendors they were 20% lower then the second lowest company!!!

These idiots who keep under bidding jobs are KILLING us! Now, when they do a crappy job, and they will,. the Board will never want to go back up to a fair price for the service!

Thanks anyway for all your help guys, I tried!


Tom

Braveheart
06-06-2010, 08:02 PM
Go big or go home. Dont ever be afraid....whats the worst thing that can happen. Do your homework, be positive and dont be afraid. Have a can do attitute. That is roughly 138 acres. It really depends on how much trimming and it also depends on what you are using for machines as to how long this would take you. I would say 4 guys could cut trim and blow this in 3-3/12 days with the right equipment just based on acreage.(could easily change based on hills and many other factors. Standers/surfers/ztrs...if you are using walk behinds maybe a little longer or another guy.


Thanks for the encouragement! I am amazed how there are always a few guys who make negative comments on here. It's always the same guys making fear based decisions! If I thought like that I would never have done as well as I have. Last year we grossed 499k! I do find that it's usually the guys who are doing the work themselves, creating a job instead of a business.

By the way, if you haven't read "The E Myth" by Gerber, you MUST!!! It changed my life!

Good Luck

Tom

Braveheart
06-06-2010, 08:14 PM
Read this thread....

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=160871

and then this thread...

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=210203

and lastly this one...

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=241379

It should help quite a bit.

I'm not really getting your point here??? I was asking about the average time to mow 700 homes, why would I reread my old posts on other subjects???

LwnmwrMan22
06-06-2010, 08:44 PM
I'm not really getting your point here??? I was asking about the average time to mow 700 homes, why would I reread my old posts on other subjects???

One of two things. Either you already know how to bid the 700 homes, since you've asked how to bid a 500+ home community, OR you really don't know and, well.... whatever.

If you grossed 500k last year you hopefully know how to bid, meaning you know YOUR numbers.

I grossed just under 300k with 2 full time guys last summer with a 6 month growing season. I had a net of 25k because I was paying my guys 16-20 / hour and have a newer equipment that I'm writing off. I know I'm overhead heavy, and I'm okay with that.

I brought up the old threads because bidding is up to YOU. You keep making threads about these large communities. It's no different to bid a community, whatever the size.

It'd be like a guy making threads on how to bid a McD's, then two days later asking "how do I bid 3 Burger Kings".
Posted via Mobile Device

lifetree
06-06-2010, 08:55 PM
Braveheart -- Sorry I'm late to the party on this thread ... it looks like the answers were all over the map for you !! Anyway, I'm sorry you didn't get the job and just remember that the Board of the HOA will remember you.

LwnmwrMan22
06-06-2010, 09:03 PM
One more thing... if you were really looking for answers on how to bid this property, and you were the second lowest out of 14, and the lowest bid, in your words, was just bidding it at that price for market share, then you should probably be relieved that you didn't get the account.

I've had 3 friends go broke in this business by always trying to be the the low bid.

Hopefully you'll be truthful here... was low bid in the $12,000 / month range?

4 seasons lawn&land
06-06-2010, 09:53 PM
FWIW, I think I would go about pricing this one by pricing one lawn fairly well, without a minimum and times that by 700. 10 bucks each? $7000 per mow? $28k a month??? That sounds high... I think I'd do 21k a month and probably still lose.

Braveheart
06-08-2010, 03:44 PM
One more thing... if you were really looking for answers on how to bid this property, and you were the second lowest out of 14, and the lowest bid, in your words, was just bidding it at that price for market share, then you should probably be relieved that you didn't get the account.

I've had 3 friends go broke in this business by always trying to be the the low bid.

Hopefully you'll be truthful here... was low bid in the $12,000 / month range?


I am more then happy to give you all the in's and out's of this deal, I just don't want to do it over the web because I had the inside track on this account. Give me a ring anytime, 772 240-6038, I'm a very honest guy, I want to tell you the numbers because you might be able to give me some insight. I'm more the office guy then the field guy. I know exactly what everyone bid. Just don't call me if your business is in the state of Florida.

Braveheart
06-08-2010, 03:48 PM
How many acres is the property total? I'm assuming trimming and blowing will also be done.

Not sure on the total acres. It did included trimming and hedging once per month, but I didn't win it, went to a national vendor who way underbid it!

RECESSION PROOF MOWING
06-08-2010, 08:35 PM
4 guys should be able to knock out one yard every 5 minutes so figure that up. I've got mini-crews that knock out 1 yard every 10 minutes, that's two guys one on mower and other guy doing everything else. 600 yards is one helluvah lot of work so don't take anything lightly when you bid on this monster. Throw in a couple rain days here and there and you're in big trouble. Keep 4 working and 2 in the on-deck circle at all times.

Braveheart
06-08-2010, 10:45 PM
4 guys should be able to knock out one yard every 5 minutes so figure that up. I've got mini-crews that knock out 1 yard every 10 minutes, that's two guys one on mower and other guy doing everything else. 600 yards is one helluvah lot of work so don't take anything lightly when you bid on this monster. Throw in a couple rain days here and there and you're in big trouble. Keep 4 working and 2 in the on-deck circle at all times.

I ended up with the following:

1 Crew Chief
15 Laborers (3 small crews made up of the following: 2 mowers, 1 weed whacker, 1 edger, and 1 blower)
2 days to get 700 homes done

LwnmwrMan22
06-08-2010, 11:50 PM
I am more then happy to give you all the in's and out's of this deal, I just don't want to do it over the web because I had the inside track on this account. Give me a ring anytime, 772 240-6038, I'm a very honest guy, I want to tell you the numbers because you might be able to give me some insight. I'm more the office guy then the field guy. I know exactly what everyone bid. Just don't call me if your business is in the state of Florida.

I guess I don't understand.

No one knows where you're bidding or what you're bidding on other than those that you've chose to PM.

Sure, they could take your location, drive around the area to see if they could track down 700 homes that "looked" like they might be all together. Once they did this, are you worried that they would head to the board and say "hey, some guy with a forum name of Braveheart was talking online about bidding your property. I don't know his name or his company, but just wanted you to know"?

But yet you give out your name and phone number on a public forum for all to see, rather than say "nah, it was a bit higher", or "man, they would be happy to get $12,000 / month" or "yeah, that's in the ballpark".