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mowing4rlife
12-20-2011, 10:49 PM
I went to look at a POA job to day and was told they had a budget of $10,000 to do several jobs:

Weekly mowing all the public / common areas (outside the rock wall along the main road, the center island at the entrance and down a Blvd, around the pool), it also would involve trimming / shaping all shrubs / holly trees twice per year, weeding all beds, and keeping beds planted with annuals through the spring/summer. Also mulching and taking out some metal edging and replace with rock edging at the entrance.

Just by looking at the mulching and tree/shrub trimming i am thinking this $10,000 is kinda low.



I didn't bid yet but would like some direction on how to go about qouting this job.

mowing4rlife
12-20-2011, 10:52 PM
Here is more pictures to this job...

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-20-2011, 10:59 PM
Kinda hard for us here to tell you how much this is worth, but I'm positive they are looking for a flat monthly fee, 12 months per year, and by the looks of it, you wouldn't be mowing that dormant grass for a few months and this would be a great time to trim things up, etc.... so figure all these things out and make yourself a flat monthly fee you can't go wrong with...

mowing4rlife
12-20-2011, 11:03 PM
They want to pay me monthly and the contract would be from March-October 2012.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-20-2011, 11:12 PM
Well that makes it easy then, 8 months on, 4 months off, now figure out a price per week of regular stuff X how ever many weeks that is in 2012 and throw in the 1 or 2 times a year stuff add it to the total and make your 8 monthly payments schedule...

Dr.NewEarth
12-20-2011, 11:14 PM
So, can you do it for $1250 a month?
Questions I have: Does the 10,000 include taxes?
What about the leaves? Do people in expensive houses have special trees that drop leaves before the end of October?
Do they want you to fertilize? Aerate? Edge lawns and gardens?Weekly weeding?
How much do you make an hour? How much an hour do you add onto that for overhead and a return on investment?

Personally, I think ten grand is too low.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-20-2011, 11:17 PM
I wouldnt even take into consideration of their mentioned budget, which I doubt is their exact #, probably just lowballing you, but come up with a bid to where you make money and not lose or break even... I've had customers tell me their budget before and I've won jobs over what they told me their budget was, so don't let that discourage you...

mowing4rlife
12-20-2011, 11:25 PM
$1250 doesn't sound fair with all the services they want. The $10,000 does not include tax.They are no trees that require leave clean up. All flower beds will require weeding and then weed killer every onces and a while to keep weeds out of site. At this time i make $60-$70hr depending on the job and his parttime helper as need per job. All the mowing adds up to about half ancre to an acre at most. At the beginning i said i am trying to figure out how to bid this meduim is commercial job. My thoughs are to figure out supplies+man hours+gas+miles= the job prices?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-20-2011, 11:32 PM
$1250 doesn't sound fair with all the services they want. The $10,000 does not include tax.They are no trees that require leave clean up. All flower beds will require weeding and then weed killer every onces and a while to keep weeds out of site. At this time i make $60-$70hr depending on the job and his parttime helper as need per job. All the mowing adds up to about half ancre to an acre at most. At the beginning i said i am trying to figure out how to bid this meduim is commercial job. My thoughs are to figure out supplies+man hours+gas+miles= the job prices?

Of course you would calculate your bid just like any other bid....

Dr.NewEarth
12-20-2011, 11:35 PM
Go ahead and do it. Just get a contract

mowing4rlife
12-20-2011, 11:48 PM
Go ahead and do it. Just get a contract

You want me to take the $10,000 offer? I am going to wait to see what the actual contract says before i bid.

ReddensLawnCare
12-21-2011, 12:39 AM
Sarcasm
Posted via Mobile Device

FoghornLeghorn
12-21-2011, 01:17 AM
So, for 4 months, no one will be mowing or performing ANY service to this property? Are you sure about that? It doesn't sound right at all.

Bid what you want to bid to make your desired profit. Chances are, they wouldn't be letting this project go out to bid if their current company was doing a good job for $10,000/year.

If you're over their budget, who cares? You don't have the job to begin with, so if you don't get it, then at least you won't be stuck on a site for a year in a contract with no profit.

Lowballing hurts you and the industry. Bid fair, but firm. Don't lock yourself into a bad project just so that you're staying busy. You can do it, man.

mowing4rlife
12-21-2011, 01:43 AM
So, for 4 months, no one will be mowing or performing ANY service to this property? Are you sure about that? It doesn't sound right at all.

Bid what you want to bid to make your desired profit. Chances are, they wouldn't be letting this project go out to bid if their current company was doing a good job for $10,000/year.

If you're over their budget, who cares? You don't have the job to begin with, so if you don't get it, then at least you won't be stuck on a site for a year in a contract with no profit.

Lowballing hurts you and the industry. Bid fair, but firm. Don't lock yourself into a bad project just so that you're staying busy. You can do it, man.

Thank you for the great advice and being honest about things!

mowing4rlife
12-21-2011, 01:48 AM
They don't want anything done at the beginning and end of the year. The community is really small. Previous team was not reliable, didn't do all they committed to, not consistent. Even though there was a contract these companies or people took advantage of this POA from the start. They told me that they don't want to sue people, because then they have to put out more money.

ralph02813
12-21-2011, 08:30 AM
$1250 doesn't sound fair with all the services they want. The $10,000 does not include tax.They are no trees that require leave clean up. All flower beds will require weeding and then weed killer every onces and a while to keep weeds out of site. At this time i make $60-$70hr depending on the job and his parttime helper as need per job. All the mowing adds up to about half ancre to an acre at most. At the beginning i said i am trying to figure out how to bid this meduim is commercial job. My thoughs are to figure out supplies+man hours+gas+miles= the job prices?

I am trying to figure out who is confused, am I right in thinking your are calculating the lawn at between 1/2-1 acre and you will be doing the gardens in just the common areas, if this is the case start smiling and sign the contract.
The grass looks pretty straight forward so say $100 a week or 400 a month, that gives you $850.00 a month to take care of the gardens. Unless I am missing something.

clydebusa
12-21-2011, 10:58 AM
Most POA's are POS. If you notice they have a different LCO everyyear. It is always that LCO didn't do want was asked and blah, blah, blah.. Most of the time they have a person that wants to be a CEO type as the president, that doens't have a clue on running a business, and will say I have 10,000 dollars for the budget. When you bid it it is more like 20,000 dollars of
work and you will get so many jobs, blah, blah, blah. You do get LCOS driving by doing their jobs saying look at those suckers.

Not always true, but be so careful!

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-21-2011, 12:26 PM
I don't even bother quoting those anymore. After a couple quotes I realized their budget never fit my cost. They usually want gold for the price of tin. That's just me.

RigglePLC
12-21-2011, 04:53 PM
IMHO:
Figure out a standard rate for each machine and operator. (This covers payments, depreciation, gas oil, repairs, blades, and the cost of the man operating the equip (pay plus taxes and benefits)). Add a charge per hour for a share of the overhead, rent and utilities. Estimate the time needed to complete the mowing and routine tasks.

The big questions here are the beds, weeding and seasonal color flowers. You need to specify or get specifications on exactly what they want. How often the weeds are pulled ,so forth. Try to get them to talk about the last guy--it will give you an idea of what they expect and how easy they are to work with. Say it in big print ...ANYTHING...extra is at time and materials, such change orders in writing only.

Say your overhead at the office was $10,000 and last year your crews worked an average of 10,000 man hours. You should charge a dollar an hour to cover your overhead.

ralph02813
12-21-2011, 06:03 PM
IMHO:
Figure out a standard rate for each machine and operator. (This covers payments, depreciation, gas oil, repairs, blades, and the cost of the man operating the equip (pay plus taxes and benefits)). Add a charge per hour for a share of the overhead, rent and utilities. Estimate the time needed to complete the mowing and routine tasks.

The big questions here are the beds, weeding and seasonal color flowers. You need to specify or get specifications on exactly what they want. How often the weeds are pulled ,so forth. Try to get them to talk about the last guy--it will give you an idea of what they expect and how easy they are to work with. Say it in big print ...ANYTHING...extra is at time and materials, such change orders in writing only.

Say your overhead at the office was $10,000 and last year your crews worked an average of 10,000 man hours. You should charge a dollar an hour to cover your overhead.


I think the big question is what is your cost of doing the job and how does that compare with your busniess. Generally, your base overhead runs somewhere between 1.25% and 5% of your entire business so it is important to know what it really is. That is why it is very important to know your cost of doing business, and what kind of margin you need to work on to make money which allows you to show how much profit you can take.
If it is possible to seperate different types of long term jobs, you can turn them into individual profits centers and come to different decesions on where you want to make money - equally as important is to know when you are not making money.
That is also why it is important to know what your margin needs to be because your base overhead is part of that.
Short story, you cannot assign an overhead number based on dividing hours in sales.

GreenGuysLC
01-01-2012, 09:00 PM
Your lawn areas look simple. Hedges twice per week?? wont need it. Edging and what not.. so so... replacing metal for rock...labor sure but materials are extra. It is really hard to judge the work in these pictures but based on what I see .. 10k may not be bad. I was up to about 13k but I cant tell how much trimming you have, how much mulch you have and so forth so I was trying to look on the high side. 10k may be suitable. BUT i am also only looking at the shrubs once per week and that is not gonna be necessary the entire 8 months.

GreenGuysLC
01-01-2012, 09:09 PM
ok sorry reread. Twice per season. Makes more sense. My take... from what I can tell (and it is really hard to be accurate with the pics) can you Mow and edge for $120 per week? 120 times 36 weeks is @4300 Can the Shrubs be done each service for $1700 for a total of 3400. Mulch for $2000?. that is $9700 Figure how much you need for annual and add that to the $9700 . . . tell them the edging replace job will have to be a seperate deal.. not in the contract price. My numbers may be high but 10k doesnt look that bad off to me.

mowing4rlife
01-02-2012, 08:06 PM
Just got the exact email with exact thing they want done today. Please help by looking over all necessary man hours and supplies.

neighborhood POA must include:

~the irrigation system must be started, maintained through the year (directed into needed areas, and then
winterized)
~the grass mowed and trimmed weekly; in the front of the neighborhood, on the Peaks blvd, and at the pool
~all grass and trimmings will be disposed of or blown out of streets and off sidewalks
~weeding of common areas will be done weekly, this includes the front entrance, the peaks blvd, and the pool
~trimming of all trees and bushes in the front entrance, the peaks blvd, and the pool once in the spring and
once in the fall
~mulch placed in all existing beds once in the spring and once in the fall
~flowers planted at the front of the neighborhood and at the pool, once in the spring and once in the fall total
equaling $500.00
~berms maintained at the exit of the neighborhood
~all services will be performed on the same day, and if time runs short, it will be taken care of the next day
~payment will be allocated in monthly installments, the POA reserves the right to cancel the contract if dissatisfied

If there are any additional services that you believe are needed in the neighborhood, please make me aware of them.


This is the Exact email i recieve from the POA VP Operations.:help:

Dr.NewEarth
01-02-2012, 09:51 PM
I'm still concerned. It isn't specified how far up the tree you must trim. Check your Workers Compensation allowances. We are insured only to 12 feet off of the ground here. If you fall and you are higher than allowed, it can cause alot of financial problems for you. So, check that out.

The clients want the bark mulch topped up twice a year? How deep do they want this?

We have a landscape bible here called the British Columbia Landscape Standard. The initial installation of bark mulch is recommended to be 4 inches deep with landscape fabric under it and with a possible "one inch top dressing per year"

For reference a cubic yard of mulch will roughly cover an area 10 x 10 and three inches deep.

Research your annuals. I can spend your yearly budget planting a 3 x 25 foot bed easily, once a year. And your potential clients want it planted twice a year? Look for a plant wholesaler and get an account with them. Don't forget that you need to be compensated for the time it takes you to draw a planting plan, select the flowers, plant them and then remove and dispose of them each time. What about fertilizer and bone meal? Do you use Safer's Insecticidal Soap to control Aphids and other insects with an exo-skeleton in an eco-friendly way?

Tell them how many flats of and what type of plants. Consider buying a few extra and keep them at home in case some die. (Do you get wave petunias down there? They fill in large areas quickly and keep weeds down.) Also, you can find lists of how many of a plant you should put in a grouping ie: 5 per square yard....

Be specific about what you will give them for supplies and services.

If you do this, state in your letter and contracts how high you will climb trees

Sprinklers: start up and winterizing are normal, along with tweaking the heads.
What if some-thing gets broken? You need to cover your butt and tell them repairs and parts are extra. Remember to winterize, you need to rent one of those big tow behind compressors. A shop compressor will not do the job!

Can you apply a pre-emergent in the gardens for weed germination control? And my other questions are do they want lawn and garden fertilizing, liming, an aeration? What about edging?

In their requirements the potential client is coming across like they know what they want. In my opinion, they have left alot of holes for complaining.

If you already know this stuff then, excellent! Hopefully it helps others too.

mowing4rlife
01-02-2012, 11:50 PM
I'm still concerned. It isn't specified how far up the tree you must trim. Check your Workers Compensation allowances. We are insured only to 12 feet off of the ground here. If you fall and you are higher than allowed, it can cause alot of financial problems for you. So, check that out.

The clients want the bark mulch topped up twice a year? How deep do they want this?

We have a landscape bible here called the British Columbia Landscape Standard. The initial installation of bark mulch is recommended to be 4 inches deep with landscape fabric under it and with a possible "one inch top dressing per year"

For reference a cubic yard of mulch will roughly cover an area 10 x 10 and three inches deep.

Research your annuals. I can spend your yearly budget planting a 3 x 25 foot bed easily, once a year. And your potential clients want it planted twice a year? Look for a plant wholesaler and get an account with them. Don't forget that you need to be compensated for the time it takes you to draw a planting plan, select the flowers, plant them and then remove and dispose of them each time. What about fertilizer and bone meal? Do you use Safer's Insecticidal Soap to control Aphids and other insects with an exo-skeleton in an eco-friendly way?

Tell them how many flats of and what type of plants. Consider buying a few extra and keep them at home in case some die. (Do you get wave petunias down there? They fill in large areas quickly and keep weeds down.) Also, you can find lists of how many of a plant you should put in a grouping ie: 5 per square yard....

Be specific about what you will give them for supplies and services.

If you do this, state in your letter and contracts how high you will climb trees

Sprinklers: start up and winterizing are normal, along with tweaking the heads.
What if some-thing gets broken? You need to cover your butt and tell them repairs and parts are extra. Remember to winterize, you need to rent one of those big tow behind compressors. A shop compressor will not do the job!

Can you apply a pre-emergent in the gardens for weed germination control? And my other questions are do they want lawn and garden fertilizing, liming, an aeration? What about edging?

In their requirements the potential client is coming across like they know what they want. In my opinion, they have left alot of holes for complaining.

If you already know this stuff then, excellent! Hopefully it helps others too.


Thank you for the great advice! The $10,000 budget is a joke with all the work involved. For the tree trimming i plan to use a extended stihl hedge trimmer and a extend pole chain saw so i wouldn't need to use ladder to trim anything. The areas will only require 1"-2" of mulch, that is what the gentleman stated to me at the business meeting i had the other day. The only thing they want done for the irrigation system is to turn it on in the summer and if a head bust to replace it ( they just want a couple of head replacements in the contract). Also at the end of the contract to winterize the system. Agian the advice on the planting sound great to figure out. Emergency plant incase one dies is an aswome ideas too.

Keep the feed back coming!!:usflag:

ralph02813
01-03-2012, 06:55 AM
[QUOTE=mowing4rlife;4261330]Just got the exact email with exact thing they want done today. Please help by looking over all necessary man hours and supplies.

I cannot even think about the rest of the email, the following line terrifies me, in order to not be in violation of the contract you have to sell your soul to them fro 1-2 days a week:

~all services will be performed on the same day, and if time runs short, it will be taken care of the next day
.

FoghornLeghorn
01-03-2012, 09:31 AM
That's not that much work, man. Just get there at 7am with your crew if you're worried about running out of time. It looks like 3 hours of work max
Posted via Mobile Device

mowing4rlife
01-03-2012, 01:24 PM
That's not that much work, man. Just get there at 7am with your crew if you're worried about running out of time. It looks like 3 hours of work max
Posted via Mobile Device

I am a solo operation and looking into expanding this year to help me with this job. Not even sure how many extra people i will need to do all this work. This is why i post these pictures on here to see if some of your could help a little on figuring how much more i should charge over the $10,000 so call bugdet.

For the irriagtion system do i need to be licensed to repair and fix demages?

At this time my business is licensed as a business and will be purchasing a $500,000 to cover my self for this job.

Any comment on any part of this job will help alot, thank you all that post.

Dr.NewEarth
01-03-2012, 01:34 PM
http://irrigationtutorials.com

It doesn't hurt to start learning.

GreenGuysLC
01-08-2012, 03:00 AM
I see no reason you alone cant do this is one day .. and still have time to knock out a few others. Sprinkler repairs here require no licensing. Seasonal flowers can get high so you need to follow previous advice and specify how many flats and of what you will include. Two mulchings are not abnormal. Bottom line here . . . You are trying to acquire a property you dont seem to be comfortable with. You are questioning alot here. If you are new and starting out you may need to acquire some lesser jobs to build on. I think you could handle this and sometimes we just have to learn from our mistakes. If you have your insurance and the right equipment then go for it. You need to get comfortable estimating your time. I have been in business long enough I know how long it takes my crew to service different areas. That is key. How long you will spend on that property a week. If you think you will spend 4 hrs a week then figure what 4 hrs of your time is worth. Mine varies.. running mowers cost alot more than weeding beds or spreading mulch. You can be talking anywhere from $35 for weeding or general labor to $80 per hr to operate your mower. And Definitely clarify your tree trimming... as already mentioned.. insurance dont cover you on much. You are a lawn service not a tree service. You should start building relationships with tree trimmers, chemical applicators, and even irrigation contractors. Even though I perform irrigation work I still get in a bind and need some outside help to stay caught up . The worst thing you can do is lose a customer bc you were too busy. If you get it fixed timely even though you had a sub do it the customer is still happy . Your Bid range I am gonna suggest be in the 12k to 14 k range, but again, had to say on the pics alone.

mowing4rlife
01-08-2012, 04:40 PM
I see no reason you alone cant do this is one day .. and still have time to knock out a few others. Sprinkler repairs here require no licensing. Seasonal flowers can get high so you need to follow previous advice and specify how many flats and of what you will include. Two mulchings are not abnormal. Bottom line here . . . You are trying to acquire a property you dont seem to be comfortable with. You are questioning alot here. If you are new and starting out you may need to acquire some lesser jobs to build on. I think you could handle this and sometimes we just have to learn from our mistakes. If you have your insurance and the right equipment then go for it. You need to get comfortable estimating your time. I have been in business long enough I know how long it takes my crew to service different areas. That is key. How long you will spend on that property a week. If you think you will spend 4 hrs a week then figure what 4 hrs of your time is worth. Mine varies.. running mowers cost alot more than weeding beds or spreading mulch. You can be talking anywhere from $35 for weeding or general labor to $80 per hr to operate your mower. And Definitely clarify your tree trimming... as already mentioned.. insurance dont cover you on much. You are a lawn service not a tree service. You should start building relationships with tree trimmers, chemical applicators, and even irrigation contractors. Even though I perform irrigation work I still get in a bind and need some outside help to stay caught up . The worst thing you can do is lose a customer bc you were too busy. If you get it fixed timely even though you had a sub do it the customer is still happy . Your Bid range I am gonna suggest be in the 12k to 14 k range, but again, had to say on the pics alone.

Thank you all for the great advice!

ed2hess
01-08-2012, 07:55 PM
Irrigation is a significant exposure for you. You don't just turn it on and let it go. This is a very inexperienced HOA based on the specification they need a property manager. But irrigation needs to be checked monthly and fixed. Almost all problems could be blamed on you so you need to do an initial inspection to see what risk you have. The 10K budget is not a joke so you better figure out how to get close. Usually mulch is by the bag so there isn't any argument ab out you not putting it thich enough. Flowrs are also per tray. And flowers are a big maintenance item to keep them looking nice.
The main thing on trees is......they can't hit people riding on bikes. That is usually a no brainer and little cost. By the way you can't start at 7:00 usually not until 9:00 and you got to get off the property before they start coming home around 3:00. And the work should not extend into two days they hate the sound of equipment banging around outside.