PDA

View Full Version : Massey Lowballing?


Buck_wheat
11-14-2010, 09:20 AM
Treated 27 Fichus trees (avg. 60" trunk), 2,000 ft 10' Fichus hedge and 100' of 5' fichus hedge for whitefly this year; treatments @ $1,600 per treatment.

Contract up for 2011 now includes all the ornamental's on the commons, islands & including trees & hedges. Bid $1875 per treatment or $3,750 for the contract.

HOA Prez tells me Massey bid $1,800 for two treatments or $900.00 per treatment. Am I out of touch with the world or is Massey shooting themselves in the foot :confused: There's no way I could afford to do the job properly for $900.00 and even at my price the margin is small. Itold him let Massey do it and he was surprised I didn't want to compete.

By the way, no whitefly on anything I have treated... Fichus leaf drop all around us. Pray for colder weather :)

Ric
11-14-2010, 09:51 AM
Treated 27 Fichus trees (avg. 60" trunk), 2,000 ft 10' Fichus hedge and 100' of 5' fichus hedge for whitefly this year; treatments @ $1,600 per treatment.

Contract up for 2011 now includes all the ornamental's on the commons, islands & including trees & hedges. Bid $1875 per treatment or $3,750 for the contract.

HOA Prez tells me Massey bid $1,800 for two treatments or $900.00 per treatment. Am I out of touch with the world or is Massey shooting themselves in the foot :confused: There's no way I could afford to do the job properly for $900.00 and even at my price the margin is small. Itold him let Massey do it and he was surprised I didn't want to compete.

By the way, no whitefly on anything I have treated... Fichus leaf drop all around us. Pray for colder weather :)


Buck Wheat

Massey not only shot themselves in the foot but the entire industry. The Up Tight bean counters that run HOA will never learn they don't always get what they pay for and they dam sure don't get more than they pay for.

I see cycle over the long term with all HOA. They start off New looking great and keep paying the Landscape company that was with the builder. Then the board changes and Peter Pencil Pusher comes in and fires everyone for the Cheapest service in town. 3 to 5 years later the residents realize the place has gone to the devil and it costs them 5 times as much to bring it up to par as would of to of kept proper maintenance.

Oh!!! Sorry you lost the account. The old saying is a Commercial account will leave you for $ 10.00 a month and a homeowner for $ 5.00 a month.

Buck_wheat
11-14-2010, 10:39 AM
Ric;

You got that right, Massey will put down water & drop granular on top of the mulch around the tree rings & the planting beds, the LCO will blow all of it off after the first cut and if they don't, it may never make it through the mulch & into the ground in time for efficacy.

I'm not going to compromise my quality, proven performance or price. They "saved about $1900, but $150,000 of trees & ornamentals will be adios.

I think the place will be overun with whie fly come June of next year.

Too bad, could have used the money, think they'll call me next year?

Ric
11-14-2010, 11:08 AM
Buck Wheat

Having been there and done that expect a few years for the wound to start hurting before they call you back. Then kindly quote them a Price and forget the Vasoline. If you get the account back, you will earn every penny of your bid.

Florida Gardener
11-14-2010, 12:53 PM
What continues to amaze me is homeowner ignorance.

I went to a property this past week for a partial landscape design/install/redo,etc. Not a completely high-end neighborhood, but all homes are on an acre+, 300k-1.5M range.

Anyways, the homeowner has some hack doing the maintenance(Augustine cut too short, hacked Awabuki/Ixora,etc.). Low and behold Massey is doing the spraying. However, the turf looks like it hasn't been fertilized in a year and there were broadleafs everywhere.

This is why we get a bad rap in this industry. When the spray company can sometimes correct the yard boys mistakes, the big name companies make it worse. But b/c people see commercials with True Brown, Massey,etc. they think they are the way to go. I have never seen a yard treated by one of the big companies that looks good.

gregory
11-14-2010, 01:42 PM
ric,

not only will HOA o this but the county and city will do the same thing.i dont understand why these people dont question the huge price difference.to me kinda of goes back to common sense.if i put out 5 quotes and 4 come back within say 50.00 of each other and then one comes in at half the price i am going too ask that guy....

Ric
11-14-2010, 02:48 PM
ric,

not only will HOA o this but the county and city will do the same thing.i dont understand why these people dont question the huge price difference.to me kinda of goes back to common sense.if i put out 5 quotes and 4 come back within say 50.00 of each other and then one comes in at half the price i am going too ask that guy....

Gregory

It seem to me the richest guys are the cheapest. But in many cases being Penny wise can be pound foolish. A smart purchasing agent or person will automatically throw out top and bottom bid. They will also question bids that vary a great deal. The Service industry is not apples to apples, there can be a few rotten ones in the barrel.

BTW you got the Link to the 1592 sq ft 2-1-1.5 house on just under 2 acres. Not exactly a rich businessmans home. I would say it was more like a everyday working class home.

Oh Yes your Signature, I like it. Sounds Like something a real smart nice guy would of come up with.

Buck_wheat
11-15-2010, 05:22 PM
The mentality down here is amazing, like Greg said, if I got 5 bids and four were within range and one was 50% less I would want to know why. In fact, I would probably not go with the guy unless he had agood explanation.

In my case, it's not because my margins are exorbitant. The guy from Massey doesn't know his a$$ from a hole in the ground on how to properly treat whitefly, or he has no clue as to the cost of the chemicals and how much he'll need, and how long it will take him to do the applications.

It's hard to educate stupid people. They are like the Quebecians down here, price is all that matters. Couple years ago, when the dollar was king, one wanted to pay me in Canadian. I peed myself laughing in his face.

Ahh.. no Vaseline? No dinner, no drinks, no dirty talk... just the business; sounds fair.

Diamond: The LCO will always be blamed because they see your face more times than anybody else's.

it's MILLER TIME!!!! :drinkup:

Ric
11-15-2010, 08:17 PM
The mentality down here is amazing, like Greg said, if I got 5 bids and four were within range and one was 50% less I would want to know why. In fact, I would probably not go with the guy unless he had agood explanation.

In my case, it's not because my margins are exorbitant. The guy from Massey doesn't know his a$$ from a hole in the ground on how to properly treat whitefly, or he has no clue as to the cost of the chemicals and how much he'll need, and how long it will take him to do the applications.

It's hard to educate stupid people. They are like the Quebecians down here, price is all that matters. Couple years ago, when the dollar was king, one wanted to pay me in Canadian. I peed myself laughing in his face.
Ahh.. no Vaseline? No dinner, no drinks, no dirty talk... just the business; sounds fair.

Diamond: The LCO will always be blamed because they see your face more times than anybody else's.

it's MILLER TIME!!!! :drinkup:

Buck Wheat

We do have something in common.

Our mutual hate of Canadians. But then most Florida businessmen have the same Opinion of the Cheap F#@*er.

Landscape Poet
11-15-2010, 09:20 PM
I got mixed results from the Massey properties I am on - some they do a great job - nothing two major to be concerned about - others look like crap. I must admit that there a several that I have cared for over the last couple of years, that I watched go from good looking lawns, to lawns with big sections of dirt because of chinch bug damage, weeds everywhere. It amazes me though - the homeowners stick with them. I do not understand it.

bug-guy
11-16-2010, 07:22 AM
chaulk it up to uneducated sales people, wait till the tech has to deliver on the promise

just think this guy is probably being congratulated for doing a great job, and will probably not be with the company by the end of the contract

Ric
11-16-2010, 08:22 AM
I got mixed results from the Massey properties I am on - some they do a great job - nothing two major to be concerned about - others look like crap. I must admit that there a several that I have cared for over the last couple of years, that I watched go from good looking lawns, to lawns with big sections of dirt because of chinch bug damage, weeds everywhere. It amazes me though - the homeowners stick with them. I do not understand it.

Michael

Some yards are better than others because of the quality of the soil. a Healthy yard is a lot easier to care for than a sick one. Not all Homeowner irrigate properly etc. Any Route is bound to have a few good yards no matter what kind of work the tech does. Hey and even the best tech will have those yards he can't get a great response from.

Landscape Poet
11-16-2010, 05:29 PM
Michael

Some yards are better than others because of the quality of the soil. a Healthy yard is a lot easier to care for than a sick one. Not all Homeowner irrigate properly etc. Any Route is bound to have a few good yards no matter what kind of work the tech does. Hey and even the best tech will have those yards he can't get a great response from.

Ric,

Got a question for you - I have a newer customer that bought a forclosure - the turf was a wreck as it had not been watered for a long period of time. When I first picked her up she asked if we could fert it. I told her do start watering it first and seeing how it responded to just actually having water. It perked up pretty good. So I then proceeded to apply a 10-0-20 during September. That brought it out a lot more , but there are still spots it needs to spread more and could use another shot to get some deeper green. FAWN says current soil temps are 74 degrees - so 1. what is the min. soil temp I need get the break down of the fert? 2.) I was thinking the 10-0-20 again to feed the roots and get it storing for winter, it is a 90% slow release though - given our unusually cold fall so far - is it likely that I would just be wasting the fert since it will take two to three weeks to go into effect and the soil will most likely be much much lower at that time?

I know I may not have given you enough info to give a complete answer...so if needed just ask any other details you need.

Ric
11-16-2010, 05:59 PM
Ric,

Got a question for you - I have a newer customer that bought a forclosure - the turf was a wreck as it had not been watered for a long period of time. When I first picked her up she asked if we could fert it. I told her do start watering it first and seeing how it responded to just actually having water. It perked up pretty good. So I then proceeded to apply a 10-0-20 during September. That brought it out a lot more , but there are still spots it needs to spread more and could use another shot to get some deeper green. FAWN says current soil temps are 74 degrees - so 1. what is the min. soil temp I need get the break down of the fert? 2.) I was thinking the 10-0-20 again to feed the roots and get it storing for winter, it is a 90% slow release though - given our unusually cold fall so far - is it likely that I would just be wasting the fert since it will take two to three weeks to go into effect and the soil will most likely be much much lower at that time?

I know I may not have given you enough info to give a complete answer...so if needed just ask any other details you need.


Michael

I realize you cut Green Grass but the first piece of information I need is the TYPE of Turf. Is this Bahia, Bermuda, Buffalograss, Carpetgrass, Centipedegrass, Seashore Paslum, St Augustine, or Zoysia. These are all common turfs found in Florida.


Regardless of the type of turf the time of year must be considered also. While we have a year round growing season in South Florida, Our Present winter shorter days of sunlight and colder night do slow growth. Ground Temperature is generally related or similar to the Gulf temperature and Warm season turf does like 80 degrees ground temperature to really express it's self to the fullest.

Developing a thick healthy turf requires a little more than just fertilizer. Of course irrigation as you have pointed out is necessary. However proper chemical lawn care can help big time. Growth regulators can redirect lateral growth to grow in sparse areas. However finding a Pesticide company that is familar with them and will to apply them might be hard.

Landscape Poet
11-16-2010, 06:32 PM
Michael

I realize you cut Green Grass but the first piece of information I need is the TYPE of Turf. Is this Bahia, Bermuda, Buffalograss, Carpetgrass, Centipedegrass, Seashore Paslum, St Augustine, or Zoysia. These are all common turfs found in Florida.


Regardless of the type of turf the time of year must be considered also. While we have a year round growing season in South Florida, Our Present winter shorter days of sunlight and colder night do slow growth. Ground Temperature is generally related or similar to the Gulf temperature and Warm season turf does like 80 degrees ground temperature to really express it's self to the fullest.

Developing a thick healthy turf requires a little more than just fertilizer. Of course irrigation as you have pointed out is necessary. However proper chemical lawn care can help big time. Growth regulators can redirect lateral growth to grow in sparse areas. However finding a Pesticide company that is familar with them and will to apply them might be hard.


Ric,

The turf is S.A Floratam - the irrigation system is set to deliver a average of 3/4 of inch per cycle at this point. Is currently only getting that amount once a week because of watering restrictions during the winter months.
I have not pulled a soil test from this lot yet....but I can tell you it on the same block as several other houses I take care of with similar features such as trees, exposure etc and have pulled sample from.
All of them had a PH very close or in the 7 range. Most showed lack of Mg, Mn, B and CU. I would assume that this lot would show the same.
Pest Control is not something that homeowner is interested in paying for, she explained that her concern is pesticides effects on her dog. To be honest the rear of the home is all concrete or pool enclosure - and the front lawn is less than 500 square ft of turf so if needed it would be cheaper to replace the sod damaged by pest if damage was incurred.
Soil is of course sandy - and most likely contains less than 2% O.M as the rest of the homes on that side of the block.

Landscape Poet
11-16-2010, 06:39 PM
I changed my avitar for you Ric after seeing your sig.

Ric
11-16-2010, 06:53 PM
Michael

Be sure to look at SOM because that is what holds both Fert and Water in sandy soil. A top dressing of compost might be the best thing you can do now. However I also suggest regular top dressing until SOM is build up.

As previously stated this is not the best time of year to thicken up turf. However IMHO 3/4 inch of water on SA and Sandy soil is not enough. I feel you need at least 1 inche. I actually think every 5 days instead of a week is better but does not fit water restrictions. In the mean time pull a soil sample and try and maintain the turf until summer rains when you can pound fertilizer to thicken it up.

Landscape Poet
11-16-2010, 07:06 PM
Michael

Be sure to look at SOM because that is what holds both Fert and Water in sandy soil. A top dressing of compost might be the best thing you can do now. However I also suggest regular top dressing until SOM is build up.

As previously stated this is not the best time of year to thicken up turf. However IMHO 3/4 inch of water on SA and Sandy soil is not enough. I feel you need at least 1 inche. I actually think every 5 days instead of a week is better but does not fit water restrictions. In the mean time pull a soil sample and try and maintain the turf until summer rains when you can pound fertilizer to thicken it up.

Will do Ric -
I have tried the topdressing thing - works well on my own lawn - but found resistance to most homeowners willing to pay the premium so far. Lots of lookers but no takers yet.
Also finding a good, reliable source of a quality, consistent compost here has proved a little harder than I thought it would be. There is one location that will mix compost to your specifications - but you have to order 20 yards or more at a time - given our small lot sizes and my lack of a area to store excess compost it has not taken yet....but I am always looking for a solution. I think that adding the OM to our soils would be about as beneficial as any other input, at least that is the results I am seeing out of my own lawn so far. The issue as I am sure you know is maintaining the OM in lawns in our environment.

Thanks for your input.

cleankutlawnmaintenance
11-19-2010, 01:02 PM
You should see 1 yard that I acquired after TruGreen ruined it. It was beyond terrible. Since, I have worked a little magic and it is beginning to really come around. This place was completely brown, dead as a door handle. And the poor old lady was paying $150/month for the service.

She finally dropped them, and then I happened to knock on her door and now she is getting her $ worth.

Buck_wheat
11-20-2010, 09:18 AM
it's not just Massey, have a complex showing signs of cinch bug and or some form of pathogens in the turf. The Ixora were covered in sooty mold, the Hibiscus were yellowing and dying off, the turf... well let's just say it could have been cinch, grubs, brown spot, take all root rot & probably all of them.

Since I don't get paid to treat it, I advised the property manager. Hullet Turner came out and claimed to have "spot" treated the turf and "treated" the ornamentals. My company does all the maintenance except pest control so we are there almost weekly. Never saw a sign in the ground :realmad:

Look at the scale on the Hibiscus (last pic) and I don't know what burned the magnolia and the hibiscus, same kind of burn on the arboragola's. Forgot to take pictures of the "treated" turf, but it's still spreading... yellowing and burning out. Don't think it's all root rot or brown spot since I checked for it. Roots not black or stinky.... roots I checked have been eaten off the rhizomes, not much spotting on the blades.

That's the problem with HOA's who refuse to contract with reputable applicators for regular treatments but will manage themselves as needed. You can't expect proper performance for $375.00 per treatment for nearly seven acres. By the time they catch on it's too late.

I don't have these problems on the properties we treat... go figure.

Sigh, you know who'll they blame... :wall glad we have photos and a records of the e-mails.

Ric
11-20-2010, 04:05 PM
Buck Wheat

Typical of most Florida Yard Boys you are missing to boat. Maybe it is time to try and be half way professional and get the Limited Pesticide License so you can treat Ornamentals. If you are on the property once a week any way, it doesn't take but an extra 3 minutes to do an IPM inspection or spot treatment. OR COURSE Charge for it.

Yep Too many mow & Blow yard boys are missing the extra income and perceived value of being a professional by not using their Limited License to it's fullest ability. BUT DON'T START NOW, you would be taking my most profitable work.

Buck_wheat
11-21-2010, 01:07 PM
Buck Wheat

Typical of most Florida Yard Boys you are missing to boat. Maybe it is time to try and be half way professional and get the Limited Pesticide License so you can treat Ornamentals. If you are on the property once a week any way, it doesn't take but an extra 3 minutes to do an IPM inspection or spot treatment. OR COURSE Charge for it.

Yep Too many mow & Blow yard boys are missing the extra income and perceived value of being a professional by not using their Limited License to it's fullest ability. BUT DON'T START NOW, you would be taking my most profitable work.

YAWN... you just can't help yourself, huh?
:sleeping:

Please read the line below :waving:

Ric
11-21-2010, 01:18 PM
YAWN... you just can't help yourself, huh?
:sleeping:

Please read the line below :waving:

Buck Wheat

Yea well, Some people you have hit over the head with a 2 By 4 to get your point across. But what the Heck you won this round from Experience like you said in your signature.