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coif_kid
11-17-2004, 11:23 AM
One of my accounts asked for a leaf removal quote. I estimated a 165 as I thought it would take approximate 5 -6 hours. She stated in a written message that she didn't feel that she needed the leaf removal, so I suspect it was perhaps too high for her. Would the fact that she rejected the quote have any bearing whatsoever on her decision to renew with me next season. Thanks in advance.

ztoro
11-17-2004, 11:49 AM
One of my accounts asked for a leaf removal quote. I estimated a 165 as I thought it would take approximate 5 -6 hours. She stated in a written message that she didn't feel that she needed the leaf removal, so I suspect it was perhaps too high for her. Would the fact that she rejected the quote have any bearing whatsoever on her decision to renew with me next season. Thanks in advance.


how big is this property that it would take you 5-6 hrs? sounds crazy...

MMLawn
11-17-2004, 12:13 PM
Possibly as it sounds like she is a price shopper so if someone under cuts your lawn price by a dollar if you don't have a contract she would probably leave. But that is also assuming that your price wasn't out of line. Six (6) Hours for leaves is a looong time so that means that this property would have to HUGE to justify six hours (or you don't have the proper equipment?) but if you do have the right equipment and the huge size is the case it sounds like a very good price. If it is not HUGE, and I mean huge or if you just don't have the correct equipment needed then you overpriced.

On the other hand that also works both ways. I have a customer that rejects every price I have ever given him for "other" work whether is was a good price in my opinion or not. This has proved to me that in turn my cutting price is too low and that he wants the professional lawn care that he is getting but wants it done at a lawn monkey price and as I'm not a lawn monkey, I am greatly increasing his price this next season thus effectively dropping him next year I'm sure and don't really care which option he takes as I win either way as I see it.

Norm Al
11-17-2004, 12:19 PM
based on the price she probably decided she didnt need it BUT i wouldnt read to much into it!

impactlandscaping
11-17-2004, 12:56 PM
Down here, 165.00 would be a bargain for 5-6 hours of leaf cleanup. Don't lose any sleep over it..

Mo Green
11-17-2004, 01:04 PM
Even if you have the right equipment, leaf removal can be time consuming and labor intensive. The average person just does'nt get this. They don't realize that when they clean their own leaves up, how long it really takes.

I wor solo and charge $45.00 per hour for leaf and debris clean up. The average yard, that has not yet been cleaned up, can easily take 3 to 4 hours to do. Then, if the customer wants the debris hualed away, I charge an extra hour of time, plus applicable disposal fees.

coif_kid
11-17-2004, 07:27 PM
Upon consideration I would have to say that I perhaps quoted too high. This customer is a great customer with a lot of wealth and has given me many jobs during the season. Im wondering if the fact that I priced too high for one job would affect me next year.

impactlandscaping
11-17-2004, 07:42 PM
Upon consideration I would have to say that I perhaps quoted too high. This customer is a great customer with a lot of wealth and has given me many jobs during the season. Im wondering if the fact that I priced too high for one job would affect me next year.


OK, she has " a lot of wealth".., and you think you were too high at 165.00 for 6 hours of leaf removal?? That's $ 28.00 per hour, that's a deal and a half.. I realize you're only 19, so you have a lot to learn over the years, but you can't worry about your prices on every job. Stick to your guns..Hey, you may have done that leaf job , and it may have taken 8 hours.Nothing ventured, nothing gained, no harm done. She likely will not drop your regular service b/c she feels the L/C quote was too high, so don't sweat it..

Lawn-Scapes
11-17-2004, 07:48 PM
I've said this before and I'll say it again.. I've never seen a leaf removal job for less than $150.

Runner
11-17-2004, 07:55 PM
call a plumber and see how much HE charges for a service call. He would get that to replace a $30 part and be GONE in less than a half hour. Call a furnace guy and see what he charges to change a filter. Carpet cleaning guys get 165 to clean 3 rooms. They are gone in an hour.
If you are going to be a business, you and everyone else needs to understand this. That includes existing customers.
Now, when I first read the first post, the first thing I thought was...Is this a regular customer? Have you had her previous seasons? Let me guess; you just picked her up this season, and cut her a decent deal on a spring cleanup. Some reading this may see where I am going. "I don't need a fall cleanup, because you can just get it when you do the spring cleanup."
There is a simple rule of thumb here that also equates to a labor formula: A fall cleanup and a spring cleanup do NOT equal one big spring cleanup. The stuff comes up ALOT easier in the fall than it does in the spring. If I step into a job in the spring that had no fall cleanup, it is the price of a fall cleanup + a spring cleanup (reasonable estimated amount) + some...not the equivalent. It is just way more work cleaning up this wet muck that has sat there all winter covered in snow.

Smithers
11-17-2004, 08:07 PM
i agree with the above posts. Just like tom said, no yard should be less than $150. even with the equipment and 2 people, a 60 x 110 lawn takes me about 1.5 hrs - $125-150 (maybe more depending on the amount of leaves). I make sure that there isn't a single leaf on the ground when i leaf (after one bad incident), but they pay for it.

I agree with the first post, she might drop you if she finds a cheaper price, which tells you she is a cheapskate. She does not want quality, just low price.

Lawn-Scapes
11-17-2004, 08:36 PM
I realized that I didn't really answer your question.. sorry. Even if you grossly over estimated your hours and it only took you half that time (2.5-3 hours).. you still didn't bid too high.

If it is bothering you.. you could always call her up and talk about it. Tell her you got her note and wanted to follow up on it.

SodKing
11-17-2004, 08:40 PM
5- 6 hours here would run the client about $800 plus disposal and fuel surcharge

paponte
11-17-2004, 08:52 PM
First off I would politely ask the customer if it were due to price. I would also explain that the reason you were asking is because you value her as a customer. As far as the actual cleanup, that is a deal and a haf, and I wouldn't lose sleep over losing it. As far as keeping a customer, I would make sure we were still in good standings with her. :)

Sam-Ohio
11-17-2004, 09:57 PM
Why be afraid to communicate with your clients ? Instead of setting around wringing your hands , worrying about why she turned your estimate down, and worrying about nexr years mowing for her - just TALK TO HER - not us !

I certainly don't mean that you should ever argue with a client. You don't need to be confrontational at all, but if you get a turn down of a estimate, it doesn't hurt to ask them why. If they have gotten a lower price from someone else they will probably tell you. If so, ask what the other guys bid is. If it is just a bit less than your estimate, offer to match it. [don't go under his bid cause then she's got an auction going between you] Since she needs to depend on you for her regular summer mowing, it's in her best interests to give the leaf job to you , not someone else, and she probably will. If the other guys price is way below yours, then you can gracefully tell her that this price is less than you can do it for and wish her well, tell her you'll see her in the Spring, when it's time to mow her lawn again.

You also may learn that, the grandkids have all voluntiered to come over on Saturday to clean up grandmas yard - or she has just decided to do nothing about the leaves - whatever, it may not be a competitor at all !

The whole point is, a little bit of open , straight foreward talk with your clients will end your wondering, and worrying about what is going on , and will usually buy you a second shot at a lowballer moving in on your customer. Even if you decide to abandon the client, because the other bid is ridiculously low - it will be your decision, and you won't be wondering what is going to happen.

Also, If you do decide to withdraw from a customer under these circumstances, do so in a casual friendly manor. Don't ever burn any bridges. You will sometimes have a customer want to return to you, if the lowballer turns out to do poor work. The mistake that many small businesses make is to take it as a personal insult if their customer buys from someone else. Always remember - this is business, it's not personal. If you have a particular L+G dealer that you buy most of your equipment through, and you one day decide to buy something like a trimmer from a different store because they have a terrific deal going on, would you expect your regular dealer to refuse to do any more business with you ? Of course not ! Yet I have seen over and over on this site, LCO's saying how they will not do anymore work for a client because they didn't get all the work that they think is their God given right to have.

Do excellent work -on time, and charge what excellent work is worth. Treat the customer in an open, friendly manner, and you will eventually aquire enough customers that you won't have to worry much about the occasional one that tries a lowballer for a while.

Stripe This
11-17-2004, 10:04 PM
5-6 hrs for $165? Sorry to be so rude, but get a clue....if I'm on a property for 5-6 hrs and not fetching 5 times that amount then something is seriously wrong. Stop giving your work away!!!

Kelly's Landscaping
11-17-2004, 10:27 PM
I think he was talking 5-6 man-hours and that is not a large clean up if that is the case. Now if it was a full crew for 5-6 hours that is a difference story. Tomorrow I am doing my worse clean up I am guessing it is going to be 30-40 man-hours thatís a big clean up.

Jamesgateslandscaping
11-17-2004, 11:23 PM
Minimum charge for me is $150 for cleanup, and Im there maybe 45min-1hr. I will not go lower than that, and the longer you wait, while, I can put it in simple terms, get the vasoline out...People know that if they wait, they are gonna get charged more, and they love it!

charlies
11-17-2004, 11:47 PM
Tomorrow I am doing my worse clean up I am guessing it is going to be 30-40 man-hours thatís a big clean up.

depends on your clientel

anyway, we are trying to get away from leaf jobs. there is no money in it for us, unless all your clients are rich morons. charge enough on mowing to make it through the leaf season on VERY few jobs.