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stevenf
07-29-2010, 11:27 PM
I have read on this site about some people suggesting ways to start bidding commercial accounts. A few guys said to just submit a bid that is good for one year.
I have a big list of commercials that I would like to maintain. Question is, what services do I bid? Should I just bid bush trimming, mulching, mowing, fert? Should I assume that they want all of these services or start with minimal services and mention that services can be added upon request?

shade tree landscaping
07-31-2010, 10:12 AM
would you use a painter who just droped off an estimate/bid in your mailbox? How about a plumber who does the same, and so on. Personally I never have and never will just bid w/o speaking to anyone. Stop in, call the property you want to bid. Find out what they are looking for, if they are un happy with current company and so on. Also keep in mind that you are going to need proper insurance(s) in order to do 99.9% of commercials.

stevenf
08-01-2010, 01:34 PM
It's hard to talk to the right people in this industry. If you do get to speak with them, odds are they won't give you the time of day.
The purpose of submitting a bid is to put my name and logo out on the market. Let people know I am a serious company that is submitting a bid that is comparable to bigger companies. Once the bid is typed, I plan to try and deliver it personally . If not, fax will be second option.
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patrick24601
08-01-2010, 01:37 PM
Contact the company that has put out the bid request first. Ask to get on their list to get notified in the future. But I'd avoid just submitting the blind bid. You may not have all of information about it. And I'd definitely never do one for an entire year. Your expenses may change over that year which would may put you in the red on the project before it even starts.

AintNoFun
08-01-2010, 02:56 PM
i think its a great idea, dont listen to the debbie downers. id start with the minimal services though they may actually being paying alot more for service and dont realize it. your quote may get them thinking about jumping ship, especially if they aren't happy. everyones trying to save money and if you think management companies are any different your wrong. and if i were a manager id be like wow, this guy took a couple hours out of his day to drive through here and put together this quote, he must really care.. im sure the bulk of them may go in the garbage but if you got the free time i think its worth it!

OrganicsMaine
08-01-2010, 10:41 PM
I am personally on the fence about this. On one hand, by doing this, you will get your company noticed, but not sure how it would be received. If you do submit a bid, you better have a real strong cover letter that you submit with it. Take a good amount of time to walk these properties so that if you do get a call, you can talk specifically about the properties. Especially if you find some problems with the existing conditions, you will be able to talk with some knowledge.

On the other hand, a property manager may take one look at it and toss it.

In the end, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I say go for it, and then follow up with a phone call. Which reminds me, you should at least find out who the prop. mgr. is so that you can address the cover letter directly to him/her.

Good luck!

starry night
08-01-2010, 11:36 PM
Here we go again with the term "commercial accounts." I would like to hear what the OP considers commercial. Local businesses, franchises, apartment or codominium complexes, corporate headquarters, doctor or dentist offices,????????
The approach would differ from one to another.

stevenf
08-02-2010, 04:16 PM
I plan to target apartment complexes.
My plans were to type a bid, call to find out the managers name and fax number. Cold call to explain who I am and that I am submitting a bid. Submit the bid.

starry night
08-02-2010, 04:50 PM
OK. In this case, I would not submit a bid yet. (And I would NEVER submit a bid by fax unless I was told to do it. You never know who might see the fax first. e.g. secretary whose friend has the contract now?)

I would visit the property to acquaint myself noting what has been done, well and not so well. I would then put together a good letter telling about me:
your experience, equipment if it's particularly good, copy of insurance coverage, copies of any licenses you have that are pertinent, and then some comments about what you have observed on the property. Tell the manager you will be calling and would like to schedule an appointment to talk about the possibility of your submitting a bid. Assuming you get an appointment, you can ask the manager to do a walk-around with you. The manager will also tell you at that time what to include in you bid.

Chilehead
08-02-2010, 06:01 PM
I am apt to believe that submitting bids unannounced is a bit like delivering direct mail, only that each piece is custom-made. I have done this before, and had no bites. I delivered over 500 pieces, and anyone who has done a direct mail campaign knows that anything under 5000 is not worth doing. I think you would be better served doing a direct mail campaign using a well-designed postcard or door hanger.

starry night
08-02-2010, 06:07 PM
Chile: The OP asked about commercial bidding specifically apartment complexes.
Doorhangers are not going to work for him.

stevenf
08-02-2010, 11:12 PM
Well, I called 10 places earlier. A few of them told me that I am welcome to submit a bid at anytime. A few told me that they are not accepting bids but I can fax them one and they will put it on file. One of them said they just signed a 12 month contract about 4 months ago but if I fax them a bid, they will put it on file.
I dont know if they are just telling me what I want to hear because Im a cold caller, or they are really interested in putting it on file... What do you guys think?

JB1
08-02-2010, 11:15 PM
Well, I called 10 places earlier. A few of them told me that I am welcome to submit a bid at anytime. A few told me that they are not accepting bids but I can fax them one and they will put it on file. One of them said they just signed a 12 month contract about 4 months ago but if I fax them a bid, they will put it on file.
I dont know if they are just telling me what I want to hear because Im a cold caller, or they are really interested in putting it on file... What do you guys think?



on file is the trash can.

jonny119x
08-02-2010, 11:27 PM
on file is the trash can.

were u there to see this?

starry night
08-02-2010, 11:36 PM
It'll be in the Cold Case File. Seriously, I would expect that the next time for bids, they'll just start from scratch without regard to any previous bids.

stevenf
08-03-2010, 12:00 AM
So I guess I have nothing to lose but a little time. Its not easy to find out when they are accepting bids. If they say not at this time, I ask them when and none of them have any clue(or so they say). Im really at a loss for the bidding process. They wont tell me when they accept bids, and I fear they will trash my bid if I send it to early.
Is this market all about advertising so they come to you when there ready? Because I dont know how to go to them any other way then submitting a bid for them to file... Even if its just for them to see my logo and I keep bugging them every few weeks.

clydebusa
08-03-2010, 12:12 AM
I picked a commercial account up 3 weeks ago on just a drop by and saying I would mow the grounds for a price. The LCO didn't show up for 2 1/2 weeks. The place was grown up and had mgmnt coming in two days. The manager stated it you mow it I will double the price of the first cutt and you can have the account for 12 months guarateed. So yes cold calls work. This was quit common in the 80's and 90's. I use to drive around and do yards all the time for a quick price in the 80's.

starry night
08-03-2010, 12:43 AM
So I guess I have nothing to lose but a little time. Its not easy to find out when they are accepting bids. If they say not at this time, I ask them when and none of them have any clue(or so they say). Im really at a loss for the bidding process. They wont tell me when they accept bids, and I fear they will trash my bid if I send it to early.
Is this market all about advertising so they come to you when there ready? Because I dont know how to go to them any other way then submitting a bid for them to file... Even if its just for them to see my logo and I keep bugging them every few weeks.

Sounds kind of like a brush off but only you know why that might be.
Looks like you have been in business for awhile based on your post count.
So what do you have to offer them other than a bid? Experience with similar types of properties? Good references? Professional standing (e.g. local civic membership or landscape association membership? You need something to get their attention.

stevenf
08-03-2010, 01:07 AM
It has nothing to do with what im offering or what someone else is offering. These places want proof of insurance and a good price. The things I have done in the past were cold calling, sending post cards, faxing business information with insurance proof, showing up door to door in a collard logo business shirt and dress shoes to discuss my interest in submitting a bid.
Regardless, you get the same response. Alot of them are Happy with the people they currently have.
My main purpose is to find out when they accept bids. That way I can sell myself with businesss information and professionalism. The hard part seems like it should be the easiest part but I get the same response from EVERYONE, (Im not sure...)

Big C
08-03-2010, 01:34 AM
You have to realize also that we live in Louisiana where the motto is "is not WHAT you know...it's WHO you know"....I have found that many contracts are awarded on the "buddy system". Face it you gotta know people in this state!

stevenf
08-03-2010, 10:52 PM
You have to realize also that we live in Louisiana where the motto is "is not WHAT you know...it's WHO you know"....I have found that many contracts are awarded on the "buddy system". Face it you gotta know people in this state!

I am beginng to think so myself. I often hear the usual comments like " A family member does it" or " We are happy with who we have"
I am going to try submitting bids anyway. I have nothing to lose and alot to gain if I end up getting one or two. I really need to start marketing commercials and I guess it will just have to be a learning process by starting the only way I know how.

Big C, Do you have any commercial accounts? I noticed on your website that you are off of Hwy 73(I recognize the zip code). I am not far from you at all! Actually have a few yars in a neighborhood off of hwy 73 in Pville. what type of equipment do you run?

Ocutter73
08-21-2010, 11:29 PM
I picked up 2 commercial accounts by using the walk in method. I simply asked the sec. behind the desk who could I send the bid to and got his/her business card with the address. Most of the bids were mailed in January and i called to follow up every 2-3 weeks till march/april. The one I picked up gave me 3 other residential properties so It paid to be consistent. Sure some simply said no as soon as I told them who I was but most gave me enough info on when to put in the bids (some in sept). Just keep plugging away.