PDA

View Full Version : Anyone from San Diego?


mr.q
06-28-2010, 02:18 AM
Originally from San Diego then moved to Tennessee for about 3 years now in Japan but will hopefully be heading to San Diego in about a year or so.

StoneFaced
06-28-2010, 03:09 AM
My brother lives there and wants me to move there also. My other brother is moving there soon. Until this past year I was happy where I was. The thought of walking away from snow removal would be a serious change after so many years. I don't even know what it's like to be someplace warm during the winter. I think if I left, I would be having flash backs of past snow storms. Competing w/ all the mexicans is a big concern also. Do you think a modestly above average designer/contractor can make a reasonable go of it out there? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

MikeKle
07-03-2010, 11:37 PM
I seriously doubt any mexicans make enough to live in San Diego!!!! The cost of living is ridiculous, but the weather is nearly perfect all the time, all year.

Dnryan
10-30-2010, 03:28 AM
oh there is plenty of mexicans here. just take a look at the san diego craigs list in the services page and you will find tons of them everyday posting they will cut your yard for 15 bucks. Crazy cheap and they are everywhere. Lucky for me i found my nitch in getting people who are fed up with not being able to communicate with their landscaper. I'd say 80% of the "companies" here are mexican and most are uninsured and toting around 1 mower in a old beat up nissan or toyota. Just sad sometimes seeing the shotty work on beautiful yards but the grass gets cut to short, summer rolls in and then theres dead spots everywhere. Beautiful yard to crap in less than a month.

mr.q
10-30-2010, 08:29 AM
How hard do you find it to compete with the prices down there? Do most people prefer quality vs cheep?

Dnryan
10-30-2010, 10:39 AM
It really depends where your markeying to. If you go to coastal communities, i'd say most of them care more about quality. If you start going inland more its the other way around. Of course there are hoa's and other communities that still care about quality but by in large, try to stay near the coast. and another thing i found that matters, appearance. I have a black 07 ranger and a black haulmark enclosed trailer and they are both vinyled out in graphics. No scratches or dents anywhere on the vehicles. People that are paying more would rather have that in front of their house while your there than some p.o.s leaking oil everywhere looking like it just came across the border or was revived from a junkyard. Once you get in with a few people that ahve been in those communities for awhile, your golden. I have to elderly widows that have lived here for over 30 years and they are my best salesman. They know people on the city council and throughout the community and they have gotten me over 6 more jobs just this year and all for free. Now you can't beat that.

mr.q
10-30-2010, 11:13 AM
Dnryan sent you a pm

orlawncaresvc
10-30-2010, 11:11 PM
oh there is plenty of mexicans here. just take a look at the san diego craigs list in the services page and you will find tons of them everyday posting they will cut your yard for 15 bucks. Crazy cheap and they are everywhere. Lucky for me i found my nitch in getting people who are fed up with not being able to communicate with their landscaper. I'd say 80% of the "companies" here are mexican and most are uninsured and toting around 1 mower in a old beat up nissan or toyota. Just sad sometimes seeing the shotty work on beautiful yards but the grass gets cut to short, summer rolls in and then theres dead spots everywhere. Beautiful yard to crap in less than a month.

It's the same here in Fresno, Ca. We've been in the business for 6 yrs now and this year I have to say is the worst year for trying to pick up on a lot of work. Like you said, they are everywhere. Operating from the back of their trucks with their wooden ramps. Little Nissans, Toyotas even nice new Chevys, Fords. You know, every day drivers. Personal vehicles. Its like now and days everybody wants to be a gardner. That's what they call us here. So many of them and I know that they are not Licensed or insured and also charging very cheap.

Dnryan
10-31-2010, 02:35 AM
i reread my post and i dont want to come off as a racist. its not just the mexicans but everyone. Even tho they outnumber other ethnicities in this area doing yard work by about 10-1. Its just the whole mindset of "i have a mower, i can do that." It is frustrating for me because i have paid my way through college and will be graduating in december with 3 degrees all in horticulture. It just makes it difficult to break into a new community when just to pay insurance on the truck and trailer, liability insurance, take money out to cover wear and tear on vehicles and equipment, buy supplies, and still make a living, i have to charge twice if not more than the people advertising on craigs list. There is no way to compete with $15/visit. I know that they are not truly the people i am trying to compete with because i do QUALITY work, but it's sad to see the rep it gives the industry when people have no experience, no schooling, no pride in what they do to someones yard as long as they get paid.

desert rose gardening
10-31-2010, 10:00 AM
I'm born and raised in San Diego. Been a LCO out of East San Diego county for about 29 years now.

Az Gardener
10-31-2010, 12:18 PM
There is no way to compete with $15/visit. I know that they are not truly the people i am trying to compete with because i do QUALITY work, but it's sad to see the rep it gives the industry when people have no experience, no schooling, no pride in what they do to someones yard as long as they get paid.

My bids range from 30% higher if I'm bidding against another legit company that is what I call high end provider. If I'm bidding against scrubs I do end up being 50-60 even 70% higher. Mostly because none of them budget enough time to do all the work that needs to be done and they don't know their true costs.

I had a woman call last week and said you do the house across the street and it always looks so beautiful and mine looks like complete sh*t, can you fix mine. She was paying 400 per month my bid was just under 1,000 per month and her husband said no way. She said we're spending 400 and it looks like crap. She won that battle and hired us, 2 weeks later the husband loves the changes and is even wanting us to do improvements/plant additions.

Btw The house across the street that always looks so beautiful was paying 1300 per month and my bid was 2300 and I have sold him a fertilizer injector, saved a 3-K tree that was going south and his over seed and flower bill for the fall was 7-K. They are happy as can be and so is his install contractor and his Landscape Architect I make them look good.

I just shake my head when I read all the whining about lowballers. I am blessed to be where I am but I didn't get here by accident.

You just have to get in front of the right people and you have to be able to deliver what you promise. At those rates there is not much margin for error, they are paying for perfection and you better be able to deliver.

Dnryan
10-31-2010, 02:08 PM
now i dont know if ur refering to me and my statement as "whining" or other people in general on the forum but don't mistake my frustration as whining. Thats what it is, frustration because so many responsible business owners take the time to do things right, get educated and do what they say, that when these other hacks come in they give the industry as a whole a bad name. and there are by far more hacks out there than there are legit companies, probably more than any other industry in this country. I know we dont compete with them but everyone knows the effects it has on the industry as far as prices and reputation goes as a whole.
Posted via Mobile Device

Az Gardener
10-31-2010, 04:13 PM
No not referring to you as a whiner. Sounds like you are going about it the right way. In fact the I am impressed that you have stuck to your pricing structure, most don't.

Just a lot of guys never educate themselves and don't provide any service beyond mowing, and those are the guys that complain about the lowballers. They probably have opportunity and call those clients pitas because they want more service than most are willing to deliver.

We can only control our actions, not those of our competition or potential clients. Just make sure your actions are not the cause of your problems and do your best to ignore the challenges that are prevalent in our industry.

Dnryan
10-31-2010, 05:31 PM
i completly agree. I went to school because i want to be different and set myself apart. I want my clients to have the best possible service and i can't do that if i do not educate myself in school and in the field. i feel you always have something to learn and its when u feel you dont that you become stagnant.

hey az, are you in arizona or is that short for something else?
Posted via Mobile Device

Az Gardener
10-31-2010, 05:49 PM
I'm in Phoenix

Dnryan
10-31-2010, 07:20 PM
man what i wouldnt do to get a few of those accounts here that u have in the 1000 dollar range. i think above u had said they were residentials too, right? mind if i ask how long u are at those jobs and how big the lots are?
Posted via Mobile Device

Az Gardener
11-14-2010, 12:18 PM
Those are 1/2 to 3/4 acre lots with half of that covered with house, guest house, pool, driveway etc. We target $40 per per man hour so we might spend 5-6 man hours in the summer and 3-4 hours in the winter. Mowing is only about 30% of our time. Lots of blowing cleaning granite areas and pruning, diagnosing and treating plant problems, fertilizing, dead heading flowers, watering pots, checking irrigation, checking replacing low voltage lights cleaning fountains/ponds.

Our clients see their landscape as an investment in their home and quality of life, a resort that is right outside their door for them to enjoy at their will. We make that happen.