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hi_speedreed
02-08-2012, 04:26 PM
I was asked to submit an estimate to an apt complex. It is 6 buildings that have 16 apts each along with a clubhouse and fenced pool. Only 15% of the area can be mown with a ztr. The rest must be push mown and done with a string trimmer. The entire Northeast side of the complex is a steep bank that is 3hrs of string trimming alone. I gave the price of $2200 a month based on service from April to November but paid all 12 months. I covered my costs and I did estimate a little higher than normal as this would be putting a lot of eggs in one basket.that is a huge percentage of my time devoted to one customer. I found out later she had been paying her maintenance guy $8 an hour to do it last year. She meant to forward the email to a friend and she replied to it instead. I got the nasty little note complaining about my price, how she was going to buy mowers and sell her apts blah blah the whole nine yards. I was not supposed to see, only her friend. Should I reply to this email, let it slide and if I were to reply what would your response be?
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Lefet
02-08-2012, 04:34 PM
I would keep it to myself. She may be aware that she sent it to you by accident, so sitting on pins and needles. Either way, if you get it, great if not, no big deal right?
Unless she is a friend of yours what would you gain by letting her know her incompetence is showing?

orangemower
02-08-2012, 04:34 PM
I would forget it. Don't even take it on.

knox gsl
02-08-2012, 04:42 PM
Stay away, my first year doing this I had what I thought was a good customer at first. She had some apartments, rental houses and empty commercial properties. All went well the first year, I then buy some larger equipment to make things faster and then she starts to nickel and dime me on everything and then add slow pay on top of that. She actually wanted me to cut her 6 acre property for $100 per visit and justified it by saying that it only took you 2.5 hours last time. Just beware of old ladies with rental property.

jsslawncare
02-08-2012, 05:11 PM
I agree with the other's and it is bad to put that many egg's in one basket.

hi_speedreed
02-08-2012, 06:19 PM
Thanks guys, you reaffirmed my position to just take the high road. Nothing would be gained by calling her out. Too bad she couldn't have responded when I sent her the estimate three weeks ago. Had I not got this email by accident I would still be hanging so I guess that's the good to come out of it.
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orangemower
02-08-2012, 07:02 PM
Even if she calls to offer you the job, I would pass.

DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING
02-08-2012, 07:23 PM
Ignore the e mail, gladly take the job and do it to the best of your abilities. Good luck.
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MR-G
02-08-2012, 07:30 PM
dont take it...you wont get paid....just let it go...no great loss

martinlawn29
02-08-2012, 07:56 PM
I guess i would look at it in the way of you have to make money if its worth it to do the job take it on have you ever tought to get a reel mower on that hill side i mow some nasty hills with and exmark turf tracer and what i cant i whip and reel mow as for the mail i would play it cool and send i vary nice email asking if she had made a chose on the lawn mowing because if you did not ge the job you wanted to bid alot more lawns and if you did get it you would not want to take on to much i would not be afraid to let her know you got that nasty email just don't make it sound like you were upset about it sounds like kinda of a pain in the ass job tho good luck :)

orangemower
02-08-2012, 08:40 PM
I guess i would look at it in the way of you have to make money if its worth it to do the job take it on have you ever tough to get a reel mower on that hill side i mow some nasty hills with and exmark turf tracer and what i cant i whip and reel mow as for the mail i would play it cool and send i vary nice email asking if she had made a chose on the lawn mowing because if you did not get the job you wanted to bid alot more lawns and if you did get it you would not want to take on to much i would not be afraid to let her know you got that nasty email just don't make it sound like you were upset about it sounds like kinda of a pain in the ass job tho good luck :)

This has to be the longest sentence I've ever tried to read.

weeze
02-08-2012, 09:11 PM
i would say no thanks and move on even if you are offered the job. i doubt you will be because she probably knows she forwarded it to you by now. she wouldn't want to face up to it so she will just never contact you again.

martinlawn29
02-08-2012, 10:35 PM
This has to be the longest sentence I've ever tried to read.

its from my phone. I will make sure to work on that so you can read things i write sorry :dizzy:

Patriot Services
02-08-2012, 10:54 PM
So why is Ms Cheapskate looking to replace the 8.00 an hour schlub who doesn't seem to know any better?
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hi_speedreed
02-09-2012, 12:12 AM
Now that, I don't know Patriot Services. I would imagine he can't get it all done and finish his duties as the maintenance super. I went back and looked over my price again just to make sure I wasn't way out of whack. Each building is 100'x50' and there are 7 not 6. The buildings are on a loop. In front of each building is a sidewalk that follows the entire loop. So that is 300' of trimming around each building, 1400' of sidewalk, and around 1400' of parking because the clubhouse sets in the middle of the loop, the fence around the pool and the clubhouse itself. That alone is over a mile of linear trimming. Then you have the entire northeast side that must be trimmed or in some other way not cut with a ztr. $780 for each service. that comes to $2210 a month for a 12 pay. I am looking right at 14 man hours. That is one day totally devoted to one customer. I know she is not going to call me and I am not going to contact her. The tone of the email was her laughing hysterically at the notion someone would expect anyone to pay any more than a few dollars for lawn service. She will find some unlicensed, uninsured person who will agree to do it for a few bucks and then the weather will get hot and they will realize, hey, this ain't worth it. I don't think she will find a legal company to do it. I know what the bigger players around here pay and with a two man crew, the break even point for them would have to be around $450 each service and they didn't become prime time players breaking even. I know I never have this much trouble from a residential customer. I give them a price they say yes I mow. They say no, I move on.

DuallyVette
02-09-2012, 12:32 AM
I would have hit reply ALL and I would have had to explain life to her. similar to the spec's you posted above.. I'd be curious as to what she charged for rent in the x # of apartments. I would apologize for thinking that I too should be able to make enough money to eat 3 meals a day, and live indoors (unlike an $8 an hour worker) And thank her for wasting my time. :)

DuallyVette
02-09-2012, 12:42 AM
7 buildings with 16 apts each = 112 apts. just $20 a month per unit and the clubhouse is thrown in for free !!!

112 apts renting for $400 a month = $44,800 a month

hi_speedreed
02-09-2012, 12:45 AM
I would have hit reply ALL and I would have had to explain life to her. similar to the spec's you posted above.. I'd be curious as to what she charged for rent in the x # of apartments. I would apologize for thinking that I too should be able to make enough money to eat 3 meals a day, and live indoors (unlike an $8 an hour worker) And thank her for wasting my time. :)


I really wanted to. I even thought about it for a few hours trying to word it perfectly, but in the end I came to the conclusion the few moments of satisfaction I would get would not be worth the damage she could do if she started bad mouthing my company to everyone and forwarding my email and posting on Facebook. I will let it go.

PK Mows
02-09-2012, 01:04 AM
I wouldn't say anything. It would be unprofessional to get into an argument and you'd have nothing to gain. Plus, you have an insight into her thought process so why let on that you have that information.

Personally, these small rental property owners are always a red flag and default like nobody's business. Not saying never work for them, but they tend to always be operating on shoestring budgets and will be the first ones to not pay. And they'll drop you like a hot potato if someone comes in ten bucks cheaper. I'd be very leery of putting someone like that on a 12 month payment schedule unless you're loading the monthly fee during the cutting season. What's she going to do in the off season when she's still getting that bill but has it in her head she's paying for nothing?

DuallyVette
02-09-2012, 01:31 AM
I really wanted to. I even thought about it for a few hours trying to word it perfectly, but in the end I came to the conclusion the few moments of satisfaction I would get would not be worth the damage she could do if she started bad mouthing my company to everyone and forwarding my email and posting on Facebook. I will let it go.

I would be happy for her to post my reply on FaceBook, or on the front page of the paper.

Patriot Services
02-09-2012, 09:12 AM
I would bet dollars to donuts. Maintenance guy lives there rent free in a unit or maybe just a cot in the tool shed. Gets paid a couple hundred under the table. Kind of typical unfortunately. Think Carl Spackler from Caddyshack.
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