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kgcs
06-13-2011, 09:09 PM
I am trying to compile a list of National Property Management Companies. I have not had much luck. So far I only have USM. If you know of any can you please chime in? Thanks

nobagger
06-13-2011, 09:20 PM
I know a bunch of them but I think I would be doing you a favor by not telling you the names! They are QUICKLY becoming our least favorite customer's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nobagger
06-13-2011, 09:24 PM
I am trying to compile a list of National Property Management Companies. I have not had much luck. So far I only have USM. If you know of any can you please chime in? Thanks

Unless you update your equipment list and double it along with being insured for 8 bazzillion dollars you wouldn't make it past that part of the application. I don't mean any offense but thats how they work.

kgcs
06-13-2011, 09:24 PM
I know they have bad reps but I want to look them up and research them.
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kgcs
06-13-2011, 09:26 PM
Yeah I know where you are coming from. I am getting a new mower next year and I am already licensed and insured. Probably will need to up the insurance though. It is only $300,000.
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nobagger
06-13-2011, 09:42 PM
I know they have bad reps but I want to look them up and research them.
Posted via Mobile Device

Why waist your time. Put it this way....say you did get in, got a Target or some other "big" place to do, your thinking holy crap! this is awesome then comes negotiating pricing, they get you for x amount and it seems ok at best and after you mow it a few times thinking it will get faster after I do it a few times you realize I could go mow 3 or 4 residentials in half the time and make the same IF NOT MORE! Then they start calling with stupid complaints like A sidewalk weed growing "somewhere in the parking lot", so they have you run all the way over there hunting for A sidewalk weed that may or may not even be there. Whats that time worth. Then they insist you give them a bid for all this landscaping the store needs and assures you, you can make a lot of money on this job and need the bid by tomorrow and then you don't hear from them about it for weeks, even months. Should I go on? How about suspending payment because they didn't receive any site tickets....ok we'll fax them AGAIN! after 3 weeks they call again asking for the same tickets you faxed 3 weeks ago, meanwhile your ars out with payment and oh wait "we found them" we'll send out payment with the next month payment. WTF! Should I keep going? I could write a book on this and one day I might! Unless you are absolutely starving and even then I wouldn't, stay away!!!:waving:

kgcs
06-13-2011, 09:51 PM
It seems if you had some bad experiences with them. I know I have heard all the horror stories but I am still interested.
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nobagger
06-13-2011, 09:58 PM
It seems if you had some bad experiences with them. I know I have heard all the horror stories but I am still interested.
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EVERYONE has "bad experiences" with them at some point. Sorry man, I'm not going to bye an alcoholic a drink. Do more homework and you'll find what your looking for.

kgcs
06-13-2011, 10:05 PM
I understand. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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kgcs
06-13-2011, 10:37 PM
Anyone else?
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mattb84
06-13-2011, 11:40 PM
Its not worth your time unless you already have a customer base that requires the extra insurance. Make sure that you get a weekly or bi weekly contract so that you do not have to fax paperwork to them each time you cut. Even then it is propably not worth your time. These companies are a PITA.
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kgcs
06-14-2011, 12:02 AM
Its not worth your time unless you already have a customer base that requires the extra insurance. Make sure that you get a weekly or bi weekly contract so that you do not have to fax paperwork to them each time you cut. Even then it is propably not worth your time. These companies are a PITA.
Posted via Mobile Device

I understand it may not be worth my time, but I would like to give it a try. I believe when I checked with my insurance agent earlier, the extra coverage was only 200-300 hundred more. Do you know the names of any other than USM?

Kelly's Landscaping
06-14-2011, 11:04 AM
You really need to listen to Nobagger he's not the exception he is the rule. These companies are parasites on our trade. You say MAY not be worth your time nooo this is an absolute it IS not worth your time. My own experience is very similar to Nobagger's Worked for a disgraceful company called Genesis and they had the contract for Babies R Us we wanted to grow and a 5 k account sounded good so against every instinct we took it on. First off it took 5 months for our first check they also still owe us $400 plus interest from 2006. What ever you guess the job will cost you in time you are way way off. They ask for you to price picking up litter course it will be in winter when they ask so you can not believe you will fill 2 44 gal bags of trash a week. They require you to get a managers signature how hard can that be you think well turns out it's very hard. One you need to find a manager before you can start work and if they are in a meeting and they always are you need to wait your turn. So 5 mins at the least and 20 on the high end just to tell them you are there then you get to go through that all over when you are done. So we would lose 30 mins times 2 men a cut getting a signature plus the litter plus they demanded to have you fax over this crap with in 12 hours or as they put it you will not get paid. One Sunday after a raining week I decided to mow them first figuring I can start at 9 am and be out of there for 10 am well the managers showed up and 10 am came but the store didn't open till 11 am take a wild guess what time they made me wait till to get a useless signature.

They will ask for spring clean up prices on a Lowe's after its been done by the poor guy getting fired for no reason and how the hell do you price the sand removal for next years winter storms. They ask you to do items most companies are not skilled with we have a fertilizer license. We do not trim trees in parking lots I do not even know what that means and they won't tell you. We do not do irrigation perhaps if we did we would be rich that's really a separate trade. They will accept a contract signed by you through a fax but when you cancel the contract somehow that fax is no longer good enough despite giving them 10 days notice. In other words they are dishonest and do not deal with you fairly in fact I wish most idiots would stop working for these companies so they would go out of business and stop hording the big commercial accounts. But since you want to experience what it would be like in a San Fransisco prison shower armed with a tube of KY I can not stop you but I can tell you when they contacted me yet again last year they had a new name caused landscapers wouldn't take their calls.

Iv also been contacted for Red Roof Inn and the manager was of all things Davey Tree. They must do the ones in their area and sub out the rest anyways the contract was like 5 pages long actually telling you what areas had to be mowed with what. The F U clauses were so bad we passed in half a heart beat. But on the other hand these companies go for small operations such as your self who don't know better so perhaps you can share some new horror stories with us next season.

topsites
06-14-2011, 11:19 AM
Oh hell yeah I remember that was like the time at the doctor's office, I thought oh cool, I get to do the lawn at a doctor's office!
Well turns out this doctor apparently serviced folks on government support, lets just say this wasn't the Taj Mahal but now I can't
be picky and it wouldn't be right so I started to estimating when I ran into the fence...
With double gates, that had a chain and padlock around it.

So I went inside to start inquiring.
The doctor was not in, would I like to wait?

Yes I am serious, they acted like I must be a patient and even if I wasn't they didn't care.
I didn't want to be rude to these folks, I knew they just work there, so I went on to inquire about the gate to the fence.

Turns out one of the workers has the keys and they'd be glad to unlock it, be a few minutes before they can get to it.
Sure, no problem.
Right?

Several minutes passed, 5, 10...
You are thinking wow this TS guy is such a jerk, but I am telling you when I smell a rat my patience runs short anyhow,
now I wasn't that bad, I knew these folks just work there but I also know I am not going through this every time I come out.

I don't know how much later (wasn't that long, I give you that) the guy comes out and says he can't find the key at the moment.
So I explained to him why I was there, and that if I was to cut the grass in the future I would need ready access to the fenced in area.

Some back and forth talk ensued, I basically gave them my business card and told them that for me to even give
an estimate I would have to have some kind of a GUARANTEED way to get inside that fence.
That I understood this wasn't their fault but that I had gotten a call from the doctor to give an estimate (so all that was clear)
that if they wanted to make a duplicate I could pay for that, but I would need some kind of a way to get inside that fence within
minutes of my arrival and preferably not be at someone else's mercy over it and the problem was that I couldn't just come out and
wait around for an hour while someone might find the key...
* I didn't make a big deal of it at the time but the key word here is might.

They said they wouldn't want anyone else to have a key...
Well it's just a fence, there was nothing else there but while I can understand their concern, please...
Understand mine.

They were nice to me, and I never heard back from them (or more accurately said, the doctor).
It wasted almost an hour of my time, but that's our job and I don't have a problem with that part,
I was just glad I noticed that double gate locked or I could have been in for it.

Now...
When these guys here on LS say "trust me you don't want that?"
I think you should take their word for it.

kgcs
06-14-2011, 02:15 PM
So I guess they aren't really any good management companies to deal with. So let me revise my question, are there any national business that hire locally and not through a management company?
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Kelly's Landscaping
06-14-2011, 06:33 PM
Forgot about the Walmart bid this was a local management company that did this plaza everything sounded good to we got the contract. They wanted all trees and plants on the property warrantied how willing would you be to warranty diseased and winter damaged plants on a 4 acre plaza that you didn't plant. They wanted a walk through before the season even started to see what plants we would need to replace LOL noooooo thank you.

JB1
06-14-2011, 06:51 PM
Unless you update your equipment list and double it along with being insured for 8 bazzillion dollars you wouldn't make it past that part of the application. I don't mean any offense but thats how they work.


and the cycle continues.

nobagger
06-14-2011, 07:04 PM
We just went round and round with a company today. "give me an estimate for replacing xyz and mulch the rest of the beds".......WE HAVE GIVEN YOU THESE PRICES 4 TIMES NOW! Fortunately the guy who we deal with with all of our properties was a landscaper and gets it. But how many times can you loose the same estimate?

Forever Green Landscaping
06-14-2011, 09:02 PM
Run as far away as fast as possible. I thought the bad things I read were just those companies who did things wrong but I am finding out the truth first hand. The relay from store to management company to contractor and back gets old and rediculious. I have learned to appreciate my residentials and the ability to upsell to them or just do the work and bill them to have their property look good. The contracts are written that you can never take the store or management company to court and have no say or leverage in anything.

I was contacted on 4.4.2011 about putting a bid on some stores with property maps attached. I went to the properties and had questions for the management company. "We have no idea we have never seen the property" (Located in another state) By the time I put the bid in and it was accepted we did the first cut a few days later on Easter. We started mulching that week, met the store managers and asked about another location to be cut attached to the store along the highway not specified on the property map. I was advised it is part of the contract. Opened the email with map on my phone and showed it to the manager and said we can set a new price to include it. Every week I would talk to the manager about the new area. I finally emailed the management company and it took 2 guys about 5 hours to cut and clean up.
Sprinklers were all busted up and a main line was busted and didn't want to pay to have them fixed.
6.8.2011 I get an email to cancel all services.
I call to see if there was a problem and I was told I was 2x-3x their budget and if I could do it for x amount NO
To make a long story short listen to what everyone is saying or you too will become a victim.
I will honestly be suprised if I collect all the money I have billed out.

ed2hess
06-14-2011, 10:43 PM
We ran into a new twist.....a national company out of the east is taking over all the maintenance of one of our resturants. They do this for nothing and take 50% of teh money they save the resturant compared to last three years.
So everybody that does work for the resturant immediately has to rebid. The insurance requirements are high and you have to clock in and out from the property. If you need to repair something you have to turn in a bid to the east coast. We were informed before bidding that our contract would be cancelled. So we fired a nice letter saying geees you should have come to us if times are tough we have been reducing our normal prices from $650 per month to $250. We waiting to see how that goes down. Since they pay no sales tax they get half of the Texas tax.....4% right off.

nobagger
06-14-2011, 10:55 PM
We ran into a new twist.....a national company out of the east is taking over all the maintenance of one of our resturants. They do this for nothing and take 50% of teh money they save the resturant compared to last three years.
So everybody that does work for the resturant immediately has to rebid. The insurance requirements are high and you have to clock in and out from the property. If you need to repair something you have to turn in a bid to the east coast. We were informed before bidding that our contract would be cancelled. So we fired a nice letter saying geees you should have come to us if times are tough we have been reducing our normal prices from $650 per month to $250. We waiting to see how that goes down. Since they pay no sales tax they get half of the Texas tax.....4% right off.

Your right on the money about their take. I know for a fact a few properties locally the prices a management company pays out vs. what they get for it. One is 50% and the other one is about 55%. Luckily for us a lot of the properties we do for a management company are right in our route and very, very close together, otherwise not worth it at all!!!!!

eco.lawns
06-19-2011, 03:30 PM
I have had a good experience with the property manager I work with. It is a fairly large PM company but its a local company. The PM I work with is very understanding of things like the weather. He does however always try to get the best deal possible.

ed2hess
06-19-2011, 05:58 PM
Well don't get me wrong we couldn't do without property managers but we deal with independent locally owed guys. At the present we are trying to get our property manager into an HOA so.....he can help us get the maintenance. This HOA keeps rejecting us even though we are about $7K below their guy. And we know he is ripping them off in what he does but he has built a loyalty. Only problem was property mgr let the insurance elapse for 7 years. Why don't we all become property managers? This HOA pays $15K a year.

GreenCloverlawnCare, LLC
06-19-2011, 06:20 PM
I am grateful I read this thread...some hard earned wisdom has been shared, no doubt. Thanks to the original poster...It sounds like you got the opposite of what you were asking...but it may have been more valuable information. Thanks to the guys who shared their experiences.

Kevmetro
06-19-2011, 06:53 PM
I just had some dealings with this company a couple months ago for a major company. They were going to take over some of the service's such as landscaping, parking lot sweep, snow removal. I want say no name's, let's just say I stood up for what I thought was right. I was happy with the outcome. This company was removed from taking over these service's, I believe threw out the states.

I was requesting quotes to bid on certain sites and after 18 times they finally sent me the right information and requested that I have my bid returned in less 12hrs with many issues within the contract. And it goes on......!!!!!

TurnGreen1
06-21-2011, 01:11 AM
There are plenty of property maintenance companies out there that are perfectly sound to work for. However there are many facets to look at when even thinking of attempting to take on a decent property. Many of the posts hit some key points about Insurance and your dramitic increase in liability claims. what you need and what they are telling you is you do not try this out to just see what happens. Most cases this is an essential component for name recognition, offset insurance preimium, or labor. I tell all my contractors you need to be fiancially prepared to operate without funds for 120 days. Many of the hidden fees can tie you up financially. Therefore if you are not prepared then it could bankrupt you. As far as the bidding process goes there are many steps to help eleminate the back and forth of quotes. For one send in your best quote first, give more than enough for pricing variations. You need to be as detailed as you possibly can within your estimate. I deal with a ton of BOA properties and every quote goes through ALL possible scenarios. I offer several different options for them to choose from. However all of my options are the best price I can offer.
To answer your question one company is Camedon. They own properties all over.

TJLANDS
06-21-2011, 09:46 AM
The one thing I have learned from working with national companies, and we have worked for several, is that there is ZERO loyalty. We have lost properties after several years of complaint free work for pennies per cut. Their sole purpose is to make more money, they will drop you at anytime to make an extra dollar.
We have in the past made good money working for them , but overall after getting burnt in a snow contract this past winter we have lost all faith in national companies.
The problem is as long as they can find people to work for less and less they will not go away.

Agape
06-21-2011, 11:06 AM
I think the OP should work for as many PM's as possible. he's young and that's the quickest way for a moth to learn, is to fly on into the blue light and see what happens.

ed2hess
06-21-2011, 10:13 PM
The one thing I have learned from working with national companies, and we have worked for several, is that there is ZERO loyalty. We have lost properties after several years of complaint free work for pennies per cut. Their sole purpose is to make more money, they will drop you at anytime to make an extra dollar.
We have in the past made good money working for them , but overall after getting burnt in a snow contract this past winter we have lost all faith in national companies.
The problem is as long as they can find people to work for less and less they will not go away.

Don't they give you an opt to match? If not then they are not just trying to get a lower price.

vencops
06-22-2011, 12:05 AM
Don't they give you an opt to match?

Would you ever submit another bid to a company you KNEW did this?

Potomac Lawns Inc.
06-22-2011, 07:54 AM
I have many stories I could add as well but if you want to be paid 30 days or less stay away from the national chains, We have had some that pay well and on time but most are 45-60 days