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View Full Version : Just landed a big one


Florida Gardener
09-15-2011, 04:07 PM
Residential in between 1700-1800/mo! I start on monday. This is a huge leap for my company.
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KrayzKajun
09-15-2011, 04:21 PM
Congrats!
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Florida Gardener
09-15-2011, 04:22 PM
Congrats!
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Thank you!
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Patriot Services
09-15-2011, 04:29 PM
Congratulations. Post pics.
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Landscape Poet
09-15-2011, 04:50 PM
Glad to here you are getting where you wanted to be Diamond

RussellB
09-15-2011, 05:09 PM
Congrats.
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jsslawncare
09-15-2011, 05:11 PM
Sounds Great!

Florida Gardener
09-15-2011, 05:26 PM
Thanks a lot guys. This is one of the times where you know all your hard work is paying off.
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FoghornLeghorn
09-15-2011, 05:32 PM
Hell yea, brother! It's good to see your hard work and patience pay off.

Don't go do what some of us to and buy a new truck and start going out to eat all the time, save dem dollas!

fl-landscapes
09-15-2011, 05:54 PM
A single residential? That's huge, congrats. Not many residentials in this area commanding that kind of landscape maintenance fees per month.
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capelawncare.com
09-15-2011, 05:56 PM
A single residential? That's huge, congrats. Not many residentials in this area commanding that kind of landscape maintenance fees per month.
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Yep, what he said....

Landscape Poet
09-15-2011, 05:59 PM
A single residential? That's huge, congrats. Not many residentials in this area commanding that kind of landscape maintenance fees per month.
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Close to where Diamond lives on the Island is the 4th Highest concentration of wealth in the Nation I believe, that fact was accurate a couple years ago not sure it is still accurate but I doubt that much has changed. My wifes Insurance company only does high value homes on coastal properties and Jupiter Island is one of the areas they have several properties insured.

Florida Gardener
09-15-2011, 06:01 PM
A single residential? That's huge, congrats. Not many residentials in this area commanding that kind of landscape maintenance fees per month.
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Yup, one home. There is crazy money round here
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fl-landscapes
09-15-2011, 06:02 PM
Close to where Diamond lives on the Island is the 4th Highest concentration of wealth in the Nation I believe, that fact was accurate a couple years ago not sure it is still accurate but I doubt that much has changed. My wifes Insurance company only does high value homes on coastal properties and Jupiter Island is one of the areas they have several properties insured.

Wish we had that here, would weed out all the Sanford and sons. I have basically written off most residential maintenance in my area. Have a few 400/mo resi but most of my income comes from commercial properties
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fl-landscapes
09-15-2011, 06:05 PM
From your posts I can tell this doesn't apply to you but playing devils advocate 1800 a month sounds good at face value but doesn't mean it's profitable. I've walked away from bigger dollars because it wasn't going to be profitable.
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zturncutter
09-15-2011, 06:53 PM
Congratulations, The east coast of Florida is a very different market from most of the west coast. :cry:

j-ville native
09-15-2011, 07:03 PM
congrats!

how about a description of the property? size, landscape, trees, hedges, beds, fences, etc?

Florida Gardener
09-15-2011, 07:10 PM
congrats!

how about a description of the property? size, landscape, trees, hedges, beds, fences, etc?
Under an acre, almost no grass, fichus, podocarpus, viburnum, ginger, begonia, jatropha,etc. Larger palms that aren't included in the price. House takes up 1/3 of the property.
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Ric
09-15-2011, 07:36 PM
Congratulations, The east coast of Florida is a very different market from most of the west coast. :cry:

Allen

Yesterday I went to Juan's house (Ex Employee who bought my business) and had dinner and BS etc. We talked a good bit about our market compared to counties both North and South of our area. Our mutual conclusion was we are in a good (not Great) Market area. Now part of our conclusion comes from the longtime presents in the area. We have established customer base of Upscale retirees who come from a time when home up keep was important. The other side of the coin was the lack of any real competition. Oh we have tons of the grandma's Crapsman mower guys. But our customer have been there and done that and don't want any part of it. BTW he doesn't have a Pesticide license and we network. So we have many of the same customers.

I have few Medium size that I certainly enjoy. BUT most of my accounts are the everyday Water Front Properties with well under 5K in turf. To gain or lose one of even several of these type of account won't cause a missed Lunch like a the bigger account could. I know a LS member who doesn't post a lot but has only one Huge Account. I am really glad I don't have that.

gregory
09-15-2011, 07:43 PM
From your posts I can tell this doesn't apply to you but playing devils advocate 1800 a month sounds good at face value but doesn't mean it's profitable. I've walked away from bigger dollars because it wasn't going to be profitable.
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very ture its all about the GP........

fl-landscapes
09-15-2011, 07:51 PM
Allen

Yesterday I went to Juan's house (Ex Employee who bought my business) and had dinner and BS etc. We talked a good bit about our market compared to counties both North and South of our area. Our mutual conclusion was we are in a good (not Great) Market area. Now part of our conclusion comes from the longtime presents in the area. We have established customer base of Upscale retirees who come from a time when home up keep was important. The other side of the coin was the lack of any real competition. Oh we have tons of the grandma's Crapsman mower guys. But our customer have been there and done that and don't want any part of it. BTW he doesn't have a Pesticide license and we network. So we have many of the same customers.

Spraying is a little different in fl because the strict entry laws keep the riff raff out but maintenance in our area for residentials ia a joke for the most part. Every week I see five new home owner model zero turns and new trailer line trimmer going down the road pulled with a suv. Juan is smart because he has branched out to boca grande which is more like the east coast or north or south of us like you mentioned

I have few Medium size that I certainly enjoy. BUT most of my accounts are the everyday Water Front Properties with well under 5K in turf. To gain or lose one of even several of these type of account won't cause a missed Lunch like a the bigger account could. I know a LS member who doesn't post a lot but has only one Huge Account. I am really glad I don't have that.
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Landscape Poet
09-15-2011, 07:55 PM
Let me ask you this Diamond - How much of your time is this one property going to require? The reason I ask if it require say one 8 to 10 hour a day - 1700*12= $20,400 assuming 36 property visits are in order which I am assuming on a estate willing to pay in that range would require/demand more, that would work out to $556.66 per visit. 556/8hr = $70 556/10 = $56.66hr . My point being that is a lot of eggs in one basket for that rate. Just a thought if you are required to have that amount of time frame per visit.

fl-landscapes
09-15-2011, 07:55 PM
Hate when it doesn't post. Basically I was just saying that spraying is a little different because the strict laws keep out the riff raff but resi maintenance in our area is a joke. Every week five new home owner level zero turns brand new tiny trailer and line trimmer being pulled behind an suv. Juan is smart to have focused a lot of his business in boca grande which is more like the east coast or like noth or south of our area like you mentioned. Anyone with only one account better get off their ass and sell some work. We all have our biggest account and thats the one that hurts the most when we lose it.
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Florida Gardener
09-15-2011, 08:05 PM
Let me ask you this Diamond - How much of your time is this one property going to require? The reason I ask if it require say one 8 to 10 hour a day - 1700*12= $20,400 assuming 36 property visits are in order which I am assuming on a estate willing to pay in that range would require/demand more, that would work out to $556.66 per visit. 556/8hr = $70 556/10 = $56.66hr . My point being that is a lot of eggs in one basket for that rate. Just a thought if you are required to have that amount of time frame per visit.

Mike

This is a 2x/week property. But you have to remember that a lot of time spent is in the details like blowing leaves, pulling weeds here and there etc. 8-10 hours per visit is exorbitant for a place like this. I am thinking it will be 3-4 hours each visit. But remember again, almsot no turf and in the winter, the plants slow down in growth so again you are basically there to keep the place looking tidy.

Another point here is that these types of people know all the other richie riches. You make one happy and you have 10 more of these places. Plus, the $$ in extras is crazy. Mulch/flowers every year, re-do's, tons of tree work,etc.

I only have 20 accounts aside this one. 2 of those 20 are every week in the winter, but one is about 20 min in the off week and the other is about an hour or so in the off week. I have time to invest here and I will do so. You can't get accounts like this by knocking on doors or passing out flyers. You have to know someone. Again, this is the route I want my business to go. If I can get 9-12 more of these, I'm set.

Florida Gardener
09-15-2011, 08:09 PM
Mike

This is a 2x/week property. But you have to remember that a lot of time spent is in the details like blowing leaves, pulling weeds here and there etc. 8-10 hours per visit is exorbitant for a place like this. I am thinking it will be 3-4 hours each visit. But remember again, almsot no turf and in the winter, the plants slow down in growth so again you are basically there to keep the place looking tidy.

Another point here is that these types of people know all the other richie riches. You make one happy and you have 10 more of these places. Plus, the $$ in extras is crazy. Mulch/flowers every year, re-do's, tons of tree work,etc.

I only have 20 accounts aside this one. 2 of those 20 are every week in the winter, but one is about 20 min in the off week and the other is about an hour or so in the off week. I have time to invest here and I will do so. You can't get accounts like this by knocking on doors or passing out flyers. You have to know someone. Again, this is the route I want my business to go. If I can get 9-12 more of these, I'm set.

Another point to make is these people don't let you go for $5 less. They have the money and are for the most part loyal. You take care of them, they take care of you. Most just want the job done right and don't want headaches. They pay you for this.

You can say I am putting all my eggs in one basket, but if I were to lose this account, I would be totally fine. I own all my equipment, truck, trailer,etc. and make enough from the rest of my accounts. Like I said, this is the route I want to go.

fl-landscapes
09-15-2011, 08:10 PM
Another point to make is these people don't let you go for $5 less. They have the money and are for the most part loyal. You take care of them, they take care of you. Most just want the job done right and don't want headaches. They pay you for this.

You can say I am putting all my eggs in one basket, but if I were to lose this account, I would be totally fine. I own all my equipment, truck, trailer,etc. and make enough from the rest of my accounts. Like I said, this is the route I want to go.

Sound like you have a plan and your on your way to building the business you set out to build. God job.
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Florida Gardener
09-15-2011, 08:16 PM
Sound like you have a plan and your on your way to building the business you set out to build. God job.
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Fl

Thank you. Yes, before I started my business, I knew the model was going to be high-end residential. No commercial, HOA, mow blow and go. Just super high-end residential. That is why I went back to school for a Hort. degree and continue to take seminars and continue learning.

To me, there is no better feeling when you are working at a property that is picture perfect when you are done. It is an art form imo. I love it.

zturncutter
09-15-2011, 09:35 PM
Ric,

I agree, not really cryin, just some times miss the Sarasota market, particularly the keys. In some respects I enjoy the more laid back market I am in and after almost 20 years out here word of mouth is getting me all the work I want right now, not sure I want to go back to the employee thing again.

Ric
09-15-2011, 10:07 PM
Hate when it doesn't post. Basically I was just saying that spraying is a little different because the strict laws keep out the riff raff but resi maintenance in our area is a joke. Every week five new home owner level zero turns brand new tiny trailer and line trimmer being pulled behind an suv. Juan is smart to have focused a lot of his business in boca grande which is more like the east coast or like noth or south of our area like you mentioned. Anyone with only one account better get off their ass and sell some work. We all have our biggest account and thats the one that hurts the most when we lose it.
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Brian

Juan worked hard for me and made me money so it is only natural he works harder for himself. I am proud that I trained him, but he is a natural businessman that has done better with the business than I did. Maybe that is because he didn't keep expanding into different areas of the Green industry like I did. The Nursery really took a lot of money and time to get started. Juan only has one account in Boca and I got him that the same as He got all or most of Grassy Point when he bought me out. He only services that account every other week but gets big money for as you expect. But Boca is not unlike Long Boat Key etc to our North. The richer the client the cheaper they are. The reason they are cheap is because everyone chases after their business thinking it is good. Rich are not only cheap but also slow pay. Thank you but I will take our up scale working class retirees over the Rich and famous any day. I think others have made the point about the Bottom Line and not the Top Line.

BTW Thank you for leveling out my back yard this morning. That Mini Skid steer is great, which brings me to my next point. You cry about about our market when in fact you have purchased All kinds of equipment and paid for it in the last year or two. As we talked this morning in a good economy we would both be swimming in money. But Look at the toys & equipment you and I have bought this last year or so. We are in a serious depression here in Florida with higher unemployment and foreclosures than the national average. Yet we are both holding our own and even increasing our our bottom line from last year.

The History of Gulf Coast Florida development in the 1950's was Upper Management retired in Sarasota. Middle management retired in Venice and Labor came to our area. Now Meyer Lansky of Mafia Fame started the West Coast Land development company and sold Florida land deals to Union Members. Check out Martin St behind Tire Kingdom with the 800 sq ft retirement homes of the Early 1950's. Yep build with Mafia money and sold for $ 4,500 brand new. Of course West Coast Land development became General Development company which was also raped by the Mafia and went Bankrupt. By the 1960's Upper management Found our area and larger homes were build.

We are still a small town and if you pull the demographic numbers they are not good. But those poor demographic number are what keep the big boys out and our market still good. You can complain about the Grandma's loser with the crapsman mower, but they are not yours or my competitions. We are professionals and stand above the loser yard boys who are looking for beer money.


Allen

You know something I don't about the Sarasota keys. To me they want too much service for the bucks they spend. I am not saying there aren't a few willing to pay, but most will beat up on you for $ 5.00 a month and celebrate at the Country Club with a $ 200 bottle of vine.



..

zturncutter
09-15-2011, 10:20 PM
I had some great accounts, especially on Siesta, good pay and hardly ever saw them, they were always some where else. One guy was a newspaper owner from out west, usually would see him two weeks a year, sometimes would call me to let me know someone would be coming in to stay in the guest house.

Of course this is all ancient history from the 80's, I don't have a clue about the market today.

djlawncare
09-15-2011, 10:20 PM
congrats amen send some mojo to tampa fall is around the corner and the scary winters for florida boys

Az Gardener
09-16-2011, 12:21 AM
Good deal, I'm really happy for you. I know you have been pushing for this for quite a while. I know you will do a great job for them. Just remember to throw your perceptions about $$ out the window. if you would typically replace a dead/struggling plant with a 5-g plant quote them a 15-g chances are good they will do it. Get the best quality flowers and plant that you can find.

You are right they all know each other but they don't always refer. Not sure why just seems to be how it is. The people who also work there pool guy, personal assistant, groomer, auto detail-er they will refer you if you can develop relationships with them.

Florida Gardener
09-16-2011, 12:26 AM
Good deal, I'm really happy for you. I know you have been pushing for this for quite a while. I know you will do a great job for them. Just remember to throw your perceptions about $$ out the window. if you would typically replace a dead/struggling plant with a 5-g plant quote them a 15-g chances are good they will do it. Get the best quality flowers and plant that you can find.

You are right they all know each other but they don't always refer. Not sure why just seems to be how it is. The people who also work there pool guy, personal assistant, groomer, auto detail-er they will refer you if you can develop relationships with them.

Thanks AZ

Yes, I have been anxious to get into this market, and by the grace of God, I now have the opportunity. Getting the 1st one is the hardest part, it seems like the rest is easier and easier as you acquire more and more people are aware that you exist. Not sure about your neck of the woods, but a lot of companies that do the high-end stuff don't do that great of a job. Some have really nice showcase work, and others do shoddy work.

CkLandscapingOrlando
09-16-2011, 06:35 AM
Awsome bro. You been after these folks for years. Thats great man.

Plantculture
09-16-2011, 07:59 AM
I guess that conversation with the office assistant went well :)

Outdoors_Unlimited
09-16-2011, 08:16 AM
What a nice feeling when you land these jobs. This to is the model my business follows.

At the start of this season, I had one high end account. Now the neighbor to that account has hired us when his new 25k sq ft house is done. Also, one of my plow accounts that I've been trying to turn full service, informed me yesterday that they would like me to take over their maintenance starting next spring. Things are starting to look good!!

I figure if I can find 8 of these accounts, I will be happy.
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Florida Gardener
09-16-2011, 10:07 AM
I guess that conversation with the office assistant went well :)

It did! Thanks everyone for the congratulatory wishes.
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billslawn89
09-16-2011, 10:07 AM
congrat diamond! hard work does pay off!

Florida Gardener
09-16-2011, 10:57 AM
congrat diamond! hard work does pay off!

Thanks bill!
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greendoctor
09-16-2011, 01:16 PM
Congratulations. But just remember to remind these people that you will fire them long before they fire you. I have seen the catastrophe caused by homeowners thinking that they own the landscape professional. Been there, done that, and that is why I am self employed.

South Florida Lawns
09-28-2011, 10:16 PM
Good to hear Chris! Sounds like lots of detail in the property and knowing the quality of work you do, people will start talking and asking who maintains that property. Next thing ya know neighbors will start talking and asking for bids. Good luck and remember stay on top with these high detail properties, much easier to trim little bit every week (smaller cleanup too) then let things get over grown and then your in over your head and next thing you know people are calling and complaining. I have picked up a bunch of accounts from when people let their quality slip.

Az Gardener
01-15-2012, 01:54 PM
I know its winter and things are slower but I was just wondering how things are going with your first whale?

Florida Gardener
01-15-2012, 02:01 PM
I know its winter and things are slower but I was just wondering how things are going with your first whale?

Hey AZ

Really good. The owner came back in Dec. and will be here until April or so. We spent the first 2 weeks starting last mid sept. cleaning the place up. The clean-up bill was about $1-K. A lot of stuff the last company neglected to do. We also spent the next 4 weeks after that installing new plants and filling areas in. Installed about 950 flowers first of November. I have been spending the last 8 weeks basically watering pots and blowing leaves. I am still learning the property to get more efficient at things, but it is going well. It is not a hard property to maintain in the sense it has little grass and the plant material isn't difficult stuff.

I also picked up another account in the area thanks to a new colleague whose on this board that is about $400-$500/mo. It is all gardening, I don't have to do any mowing, big fichus hedges,etc. It is a weekly year-round account.

I also picked up another account 2 months ago that is $180/mo, every other week year-round, no grass, all plants(not a whole lot). We already did about $3-K in renovations.

I am gearing towards more of these "gardening" accounts. Lower overhead, no mowing,etc.

How are things in the desert? Have you been picking up any more whales or smaller stuff?