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View Full Version : Another Commercial Contract thread (Numbers Inside)


Southern Pride
03-05-2011, 07:14 PM
So I post up an ad on craigslist the other day and get a call from the head of these run down apartment complex that wants an estimate (somewhat elderly lady)

Keep in mind as I walked the property with her she mentioned she would like to pay $700/month for cuts which is for 3 cuts a month because she wants it done every 10 days. So I went to the property assessors website and totalled the numbers of square footage and acreage. You guys tell me what you think

Total Square footage: 251,175
Total Acreage: 5.75

AND she's wanting to pay $230.33 a cut. and I can't see doing it for less than $373.75.

This includes edging/trimming

These lowball numbers for commercial propertys across the country are amazing. I'll submit my bid anyway I guess.

lukemelo216
03-05-2011, 07:29 PM
final number really is based on amount of trimming and edging and things like that. It could be a 5 acre site, with only 15 minutes of trimming, or have 1 hour of trimming.

the biggest problem is your really not set up ideally to be taking on these accounts, with a 48" stander if that s what your using. I would recommend at least 1 52" to 60" ztr. with a 56" ztr I could probably come in around $260/cut, which my cost on that is $175, so making 50% profit, which is ideal. The problem is, that most jobs right now arent selling at full price. You can still make profit, just not as much, ive been bidding at around 25-35% profit, so that would be 220-235, which would put me right where i need to be.

Also remember too, that those property assesment sites, take the total land for the entire place, building mulch beds everything. You need to actually measure that on google earth, your actual cutting area, might only be 225k which will help lower your cost too.

Are you selling this on man hours, or whats your method for determining your bid?

Southern Pride
03-05-2011, 07:40 PM
I charge roughy $65/acre including any trimming but I have a friend with big equipment im looking to split that account with. Good point about the google maps thing. I may not worry with this property though because I know she's just going to pick the tom, dick, and harry company that will do it the cheapest, cuz like I said it's a shizhole. Probably in all honesty it would be more of a headache than anything. It would be a good account to fill the early week for me as wed,thurs,fri are dedicated to good paying customers, my resi's.

JB1
03-05-2011, 07:59 PM
you said the key word "Craigslist".

lukemelo216
03-05-2011, 08:19 PM
its a good account, but they are setting there budget. Thats why I never go with an acre price, because theres simply way to many variables. You could have an acre of lots of turning, trees, trimming, etc, which would take 1.5 hours, and another site, thats wide open, with minimal trimming that only takes 40 minutes. Why should both those lots be the same? I sell man hours. I know how much i can cover in a hour with a dedicated piece of equipment. Multiply it by my hourly cost of business and then add in my profit. That first one I would get 45 or 50$ for it. Yes some people are going to be able to get 60/hour, but were bidding around 45-55/hour on these accounts and we are still making 25-45% profit.

kilgoja
03-05-2011, 08:23 PM
haha right on...craigslist should be called craplist...i see what you're getting at but people just will not pay what it's worth on bigger properties...for example you can cut 10 yards that are 1/2 acre each (5 acres) and make $500...but if you go cut a 5 acre place they aren't gonna pay you $500 per cut...they may pay you half that if you're lucky which is what this lady is doing

kilgoja
03-05-2011, 08:35 PM
i would offer $350 a cut and say $1000 a month...that would be reasonable and actually a highly discounted rate compared to the normal rate but they think that is an outrageous price...i did my parents yard that is 2 1/2 acres and it takes 2 1/2 hrs just to cut...and another 45min to trim it all....so this property would be at least double that making it an all day job for a one person crew taking about 7-7 1/2hrs and they wanna pay you $230.33 a cut?...or you can go cut seven 1/2 acre yards in the same amount of time and make $350....but it is harder to get 7 customers rather than just one...it's a toss up...i'd go $250 a cut at the very least...but i'd shoot more for $300 a cut

Southern Pride
03-06-2011, 12:39 AM
Yeah guys sorry I'm not more precise. Wish I was. I can estimate residentials perfect all day long but looking at huge masses of land is something new to me (even though I've been in landscaping since I was 11) I've always done residentials and I know commercial has gone to hell so I don't even know that I want to get into it ya know.

lukemelo216
03-06-2011, 10:51 AM
yup thats the biggest thing, is that when estimating larger amounts of land, you generally need to lower your price. Plus, when your doing more open land with less turning, your production actually goes up. On an average lawn residential or commercial, with a normal amount of turning, etc. I use the rate of about 50k per hour with a 52" ztr, when I get into wideopen multi-acre properties, like schools or sometimes even apartments and such I will bump that up to sometimes even 60k per hour because you dont have to turn as much.

New2TheGreenIndustry
03-06-2011, 10:58 AM
I would say pass when I heard "every ten days". Talk about a scheduling nightmare.

Southern Pride
03-06-2011, 03:33 PM
yup thats the biggest thing, is that when estimating larger amounts of land, you generally need to lower your price. Plus, when your doing more open land with less turning, your production actually goes up. On an average lawn residential or commercial, with a normal amount of turning, etc. I use the rate of about 50k per hour with a 52" ztr, when I get into wideopen multi-acre properties, like schools or sometimes even apartments and such I will bump that up to sometimes even 60k per hour because you dont have to turn as much.

Yes sir. The reason I am still drawn to this property is because the cutting is wide open. The tiniest fraction of turf is the one surrounding the buildings, and a main median that is hilly.

I have a friend with a 48" walk behind that I was looking to bring in as a partner on it, so we could split 60% me 40% him. I'll still submit my bid, but I'm sure it'll go for way less, which is fine.

grass disaster
03-06-2011, 06:06 PM
I would say pass when I heard "every ten days". Talk about a scheduling nightmare.

exact a mondo. NO FREAKN WAY 10 DAYS haha

i say no way 10 lady

it gets cut 7 days or charge 150% for 2 weeks.

djagusch
03-06-2011, 06:32 PM
How much grass is there in the 5acres? I had a apartment complex on 5 acres and was in and out in 2hrs. 3 large buildings, playreound 3 long garages, 3 parking areas. Maybe had 2 acres of grass. I was at $200 a cut. 10 day schedule is tuff but you can cut once on tues, then the next the following thurs, skip week, then tues again. Get another to alt and it fits ok in a schedule. Its not exactly 10 days but keeps the weekends open. On the off week you can do shrubs or upsells on other properties.
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Southern Pride
03-06-2011, 08:13 PM
Never in hell will I cut on a 10 day schedule. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. I couldn't even If I wanted to. Each week Thurs & Fri are dedicated to my top customers that request those days so eventually the apt. complex on a 10 day schedule would interfere with those two days. It is either Weekly, or Bi-weekly.

lukemelo216
03-06-2011, 10:48 PM
thats something you need to work out (the scheduling) but the biggest problem is that your not properly set up to do the account. Using WB's on 5 acres will be tough. Also, i wouldnt split it 60-40 with him, i would just agree upon a rate for him to work for you at, or a flat cost per service on it.

grass-scapes
03-10-2011, 09:04 PM
Wait until you see this.....

I bid on some municipal work last month. 7 parks, with the largest being 75 acres. Several buildings, shelters, and so forth.

The winning bidder......$675.00 per cut

They pulled one site at 30 acres so there is a total of 145 acres to mow weekly on 6 sites

1700 per week. Thats 11.72 per acre. My bid was 3 times his and I thought I was too low.

Southern Pride
03-11-2011, 12:09 AM
Like I said, I'm not equipped for it but my potential partnet has a big deck ztr that's why I was considering the 60/40 split. I can't have him come out and use his commercial mower and pay him $10/hr

I actually opted not to even bid on that property. I know it would end up becoming a headache. I don't like to deal with people who expect you to do everything for nothing.

Grass-scapes THAT does NOT surprise me in the least. It's terrible. How are we ever going to save the market from these sacks of sh!t

grass-scapes
03-11-2011, 08:30 AM
The guy who bid this has multiple crews...has a LOT of business. Mostly commercial and multi unit residential. He makes his money with volume.

Ive got some banks that Ive had for 3 years...renewal just came in, but they want me to take a 3% pay cut......Again. With what they pay now, 3% isn't much, but they told me they needed me to take the cut so THEY (national vendor who shall remain nameless) could stay competitive.

They wonder why they get such crappy service.......

ncknaklawns
03-12-2011, 08:48 AM
"Run down complex", they looking for quality work? doubt it, trim some time, no clearing.