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View Full Version : Guys that do high-end residential..need your advice


Florida Gardener
10-05-2010, 10:23 PM
When I started my business 2 years ago, I knew I wanted to strictly do high-end residential. I have done good these past 2 years, but I want to keep on the path to my goal.

When I say high-end, I am talking accounts that range from 1-3k/month. Super high-end.

My question is how do I get my first customer?? I know door hangers and flyers aren't happening, so can you guys give me some advice?

The first thing I am doing is changing my business name from Diamond Landscaping to Chris Diamond Gardening and Horticulture b/c Gardening is exclusive and prestigious and gives the customer I am after the sense of high-end.

Chilehead
10-05-2010, 11:16 PM
Good luck with those numbers (sincerely). Most of my "super high-end" clients are in the $350-$450 range. That's everything: mowing, edging, clipping collection, trimming hedges, ornamental & lawn chemicals (8 rounds plus 3 disease control), mulch biannually, and annual color biannually. They pay 12 months per year.

Florida Gardener
10-05-2010, 11:22 PM
i have a $350/mo and a $450/mo full maintenance, NO chemicals except roundup, mulch extra.

We have that caliber of accounts around here and that's the market I want to serve.

ajslands
10-05-2010, 11:24 PM
My high end clients (only have 2) are like 300$ a month.

best of luck getting 1-3k a month!
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ajslands
10-05-2010, 11:25 PM
i have a $350/mo and a $450/mo full maintenance, NO chemicals except roundup, mulch extra.

We have that caliber of accounts around here and that's the market I want to serve.

you should take some classes on hedge sculpting into like animals and other things people enjoy.
Probably make some good money doing that.
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fobaum
10-05-2010, 11:33 PM
where in south FL are you from Diamond? Im in Davie. I have 5 accounts from 200-275 a month full maint. grass, hedges,date palms,weed control ect... but none I would consider real high end, more like lower high end 2-4 million dollar homes

Florida Gardener
10-05-2010, 11:34 PM
on palm beach island everyone has ficus in some stupid shape.

Florida Gardener
10-05-2010, 11:36 PM
im in jupiter.

2-4M is a nice home, but it must be a small property with St. Aug and low landscape. The homes on palm beach, jupiter island, lost tree have specialty grasses, tons of landscaping,etc.

fobaum
10-05-2010, 11:42 PM
Yeah very small lawns, some topiaries but they only take me alone about an hour

Az Gardener
10-05-2010, 11:50 PM
Their out there, I have several around 1-K, and 5 over 2-K when you get up to 3-k I don't care how much money they have they all have a problem with paying 3 -k for a monthly service you have to figure out how to do it for less. Check your PM.

TheC-Master
10-06-2010, 12:41 AM
They definitely are. But you have to offer more than the standard packages obviously unless you were to cover a lot of land. The general Country Club lawns don't pay that on average. I find that meeting the right people and establishing connections work best. It depends on what you want. Very exclusive neighborhoods are hard to "get in" but you are in there you're fine. Large estate lands are different, but at that point connections work best IMO. Just make sure you're still making the right amount for your time, that is what matters. Also not putting all your eggs in a basket or two. Best to spread it out. That kills businesses, 1 guy cancels and then it goes downhill fast. Best of luck though.

MR-G
10-06-2010, 08:04 AM
we have been in biz over 20+ yrs....i can tell you this....the type of high end you are looking for is shrinking...why? because for that amount of money these clients realize that for about the same cost they could have an "in house" gardener there 3-4 days a week....you will have much better luck with the smaller but still profitable 500-800 month accts....there is just not enough of that type available to build a good base in a reasonable amount of time.....high end isnt aways that great....do yourself and your biz justice...you are here to make money...be diversified....we do high end,low end mow and go, high and low end installs, tree trimming,commercial...ect..ect...dont focus too much on any one type of client...you would be limiting yourself and missing out on a lot of other ops...:usflag:but to really answer your question you will find clients on the golf course, at the country club, at their workplaces...hence direct mail to attorneys, doctors, ceo's of larger companies...you have to do some research to find them and even shoot them an e mail.....where would you be if you could afford that type of home and service....think about it....good luck.

TheC-Master
10-06-2010, 08:12 AM
Honestly what I find is that you have to focus on more about what you offer the customer than the area. I myself honestly tend to get the higher areas, but what I'm looking for is a person to build a relationship with and do year round service with. Even if they are 100/mo. I work in a 15 city radius so I want to keep work close to each other to make it efficient. It would be hard to find the 1k a month clients in such a large area to where it is constant work. We don't focus on mow, blow, and go and "tons" of people per se, just quality. The most successful people found a demographic, but made it to where it served the most people it could within it. Wal Mart, Dell, Ford, etc.

4 seasons lawn&land
10-06-2010, 08:20 AM
regular peoples money is green too.

olcllc
10-06-2010, 08:52 AM
regular peoples money is green too.

Exactly my thought.

Kennedy Landscaping
10-06-2010, 11:28 AM
I agree on the guys getting $400 per month. I have quite a few high end residential, most are in the close vicinity of the country club. And a few of them sit with their backyard butting up against the greens on the golfcourse. That's about what I get per month from those accounts.

domain311
10-06-2010, 11:44 AM
When I started my business 2 years ago, I knew I wanted to strictly do high-end residential. I have done good these past 2 years, but I want to keep on the path to my goal.

When I say high-end, I am talking accounts that range from 1-3k/month. Super high-end.

My question is how do I get my first customer?? I know door hangers and flyers aren't happening, so can you guys give me some advice?

The first thing I am doing is changing my business name from Diamond Landscaping to Chris Diamond Gardening and Horticulture b/c Gardening is exclusive and prestigious and gives the customer I am after the sense of high-end.

It really depends on your area, thats number 1 in my opinion...if its even possible. If it is, then sure, go for it. But personally I wouldn't cut it short there, at least not yet, in taking only high end clients. We have accounts that range annually from $900.00 to over $50,000.00. In the beginning I would suggest taking whatever you can get and then maybe slowly take on only nicer/bigger places if thats what you want to do. But for now..take what you get. Word of mouth is always the best for us...and once we started getting really nice places, we got more. That and getting connected with other business's that can give you more work and vice versa-builders, landscape architects, tree companies, irrigation companies, etc.

slave2lawns
10-06-2010, 11:44 AM
Wait a minute. You don't have your first customer yet. However you have an estimated figure of 1-3k a month per customer. How did you come up with that figure ( based on what from where )? I would try new developments first.


2 goats
1 push reel mower

Keith
10-06-2010, 12:27 PM
regular peoples money is green too.

Regular people seem to be the best at paying their bills on time, and they are less concerned with how long you are at their house. As long as you get the job done. High end residentials for me are $250-350 a month. They expect more, and I typically end up spending more than three times as long at one of these places. I have always said the $80-125 month lawns are gravy. I love 'em.

Florida Gardener
10-06-2010, 01:54 PM
My mom has about 20 of these clients and NONE of them have in house gardeners, they all have a contractor.

Why do I want these customers? They pay top dollar for the highest quality. I refuse to do anymore mow blow and go. A lot let you go in the winter and you barely get any extras from them. Would I rather do 25 accounts at 1500+/month or 300 at 80-100 month? Maybe some of you guys want that volume, I don't.

When you leave a property like this, it looks like nothing else. That is why I mainly got into this business and not Finance. I can make a property look outstanding. Yes, the $$ is great, but there is also a sense of satisfaction when you look at a 100K landscape that is jaw-dropping.

I don't want to have so many accounts where I have to have so many employees.

FYI, I have a $350 and $450/mo account and they are the easiest people I have dealt with. Anyone can be a good customer and anyone can be a bad customer. Just b/c someone's net worth is half a billion doesn't mean they are going to be a PITA. I have had worse customers that I was getting $120/mo from, way worse.

It is also a nice market as most companies around here don't want to deal with detail work, cutting with reel mowers,etc. This is better for me. This is what I want, so I am going for it. IF i find out it sucks, I can start over and have a different game plan.

Florida Gardener
10-06-2010, 02:11 PM
C-Master hit it on the head about building relationships. That is what I am looking for as well. IF someone is looking for someone to boss around, that is not for me.

Like I said, my mom has been working for a few of the types I want for 20+ years and they all respect her and look at her as a friend. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Hell, one couple came into a restaurant I worked at and called me over to their table to talk to me. They had never met me before, but knew it was me. That is the kind of client I want. You guys seem to think b/c these people are loaded, they are cheap and won't spend the $$. I completely disagree. They will spend whatever just as long as the job is done right.

Clark Griswold
10-06-2010, 02:19 PM
Hell, one couple came into a restaurant I worked at and called me over to their table to talk to me. They had never met me before, but knew it was me.

Pure genius man!

coolluv
10-06-2010, 02:26 PM
Pure genius man!

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:


Dave...

Az Gardener
10-06-2010, 02:52 PM
Thats why they call it a niche. I have a client I have scheduled today to do about 2-k worth of seasonal flowers. We had a bad storm here yesterday blew down 2 large trees on her estate. After I remove the trees and replace them and plant the flowers that were originally planned for today all today I will collect a 5-k check today. She didn't brow beat me about the cost, she didn't call in other bidders. I treat her fairly like I have for the last 14 years and she is thrilled we can take care of everything today.

It takes a very proactive organized person to stay one step ahead of these types of clients its not for everyone.

Yes they are big trees I will need a crane for one of them. Fortunately things are slow so I can get the crane quickly. Have to go pick up a tree now, see ya.

Florida Gardener
10-06-2010, 08:11 PM
^you just proved another point. With landscapes on these estates that range from 60-100k+, there are always things getting replaced. Your customer didn't even question anything. That is the customer I want.