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I am hoping to bid on a 48 unit complex after the first of the year. This is a new development and they are in the process of forming the association. I am wanting to compile a list of all of the things that many of you may provide to a group like this. They pretty much want a complete package such as snow removal, mow, shrub maintenance, annuals around the main entrance and so on. I feel like my application program will need to be flexible somewhat as to weather or not they want the full package or if their requirements will be less. Hopefully I would have some influence on that as I present the package. Can you list some things that I may overlook that differs from a standard residential property?
12-19-2004, 11:33 AM
Here is is what is in our typical package (for the clients that have no idea what they want). Mow, trim, blow off hard surfaces, leaf removal, bed weeding control. Spray program for lawn and plants, Small tree pruning (under 15ft), plant pruning, mulch for the beds (this may be seperate depending on thier needs), Sprinkler systems start-up and shut down, annual color twice a year. No Snow removal here. Everything else is extra. Hope that helps.
And I should add that we try never to use this basic package since clients may get tons of bids and they are then comparing Apples to Nuts, For instances our bid may be 20K over or under the others depending of the services offered. We really try and train the client of the services offered compared to the price.
12-19-2004, 11:42 AM
HOA are a pain,you will have different people on the board every year.get a high price and stick to it.
12-19-2004, 12:02 PM
Turf doctor is right h.o.a. are a pain, make it worth your while
Any time you deal with a committee, you have problems. Let alone a committee that changes from year to year. Now HOA go two ways. First is the BMW thinking that is very rare, They want everything first class and are willing to pay a fair price. However Most times you will run into the Bean Counter Mentallity that wants it done cheap.
This last year I was hired by one committee with BMW thinking, but the committee changed and Bean Counters came into power. After the hurricane blew their condo apart they expected me to repair everything at no additional charge. Needless to say they are no longer my customer. I had 4 months left on the contract and they made my life a nightmare with BS.
12-19-2004, 01:02 PM
HOA are a pain in the a__ new members every year or two and they know a buddy that can do it cheaper. :realmad: been in this for 27 years weeded out all HOA that price shop every year.
12-19-2004, 01:02 PM
As of December 31 we will end our contract with the last HOA we have. It was a 3 year contract and they wanted to renew it. I said no. There is no way and not enough money to make us deal with HOA's again. Apt. complexs are great. All other business is great. But not HOA's. To many chiefs and they all want something extra for themselves.
12-19-2004, 01:05 PM
I am currently , and for the past 5 years, servicing 2 HOA with 8 common areas for maintenance. These are single family homes, not condos. They are a pain is th butt because of the different people on the boards. It is easy work with good money. Good out weighs the bad.
Tn Lawn Man
12-19-2004, 03:00 PM
Apt. complexs are great. All other business is great. But not HOA's. To many chiefs and they all want something extra for themselves.
You said you were bidding on a 48 unit complex. Get ready for 48+ different bosses.
Everybody wants things done differently and something "special" for themselves.
I would pass.
12-19-2004, 03:23 PM
These types of accounts are not mow/blow/go accounts you have to work the directors a lot! Once you can get a foothold into this type of account there is a lot of extra money to be made. You have to bid carefully because price is the only thing on start-up. Most of the time you work for a property manager and he controls what you include in the bid. Try to keep flowers, mulch, insect spraying, and irrigation on a as requested. For example we quote flowers at $25/tray, mulch at $3 per bag, irrigation repair at $35/hr, etc. You are toast if they want everything included in the bid. We had one account that wanted everything included...even anticipated irrigation repair, and dead plants replaced etc.
12-19-2004, 03:30 PM
An added bit of HOA joy comes into play when there is a 3rd party management company invloved. All parties invloved on the customer side of the fence RARELY know anything about landscape management and what it takes to produce the manicured look they want...and are not willing / able to pay accordingly. The management company squeezes you like crazy becouse they profit from saving the HOA money. (They would request a proposal for an install and then hire a lowballer to do the work) :realmad:
We are joyfully parting company with a $50K account becaouse it is no longer worth the hassle for a marginally profitable account.
I would check to see how long they retain a vendor on average and ask one question. DO YOU WANT SERVICE....OR DO YOU WANT CHEAP?
YOU CAN NOT HAVE BOTH!!!!
12-19-2004, 07:43 PM
we have several condo complexes. they all have HOA's and a property manager.
we have a good relationship with these people and have had one account for 25 years.
12-19-2004, 08:01 PM
Worst HOA ever.... Was a Active Adult community.... 55 + to buy a home in this community. We maintained all common grounds.. and had several clients in the neighborhood BUT...We had to deal with about 250 retired people.... they had nothing better to do but watch every blade of grass and weed grow.... We had the place for 3 years under the developer then the HOA took over and WOW what a pain!! The last year we were asked to bid and went up 15%.. I call it PITA(pain in the a$$) fees!
HOA's can be profitable but can be a BIG headache also.... Don't underbid get your fair whare from them!
12-19-2004, 09:41 PM
Do not go through any trouble writing their bid specs. Review their specs and bid accordingly if you so desire. Many are correct in that you'll never please all members of the HOA. Should you Ifdecide to bid, just make sure you price it accordingly to provide a quality service. Most HOA's request occasional on-site meetings. At those meetings, make sure that you cover all of your work and see if they are satisfied or if additiojnal services are needed. If their concerns and requests go above your written contract then you may have to re-negotiate your contract, but as long as you're covering all the bases in the original proposal, the ball is in their court to authorize additional work (in writing).
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