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JeffC
01-31-2001, 10:13 PM
we mostly mow residential lawns in the last few years it seems everyone one around hear is in to mowing lawns and many of them do a bad job in my opinion. I see a lot of uneven lawns in my area. They go to wal-mart or buy used mowers and the decks never seem to cut level and no one wants to take the time or knows now to level them up either.It seem some people are more interested in saving a few bucks rather than having a nice looking lawn (not all ).The county next to me is growing pretty fast lot of houses being built. I thougt of talking to one of the developers about the possibilty of do mowing and lawn care for one year on some of thier new house that they are builing meaning that they would offer this as a promotional deal to the first 50 or so homes sold.Free Lawn Care for one year. I would do the work and bill the developer once a month over one year.What do you think worth try or not.

Eric ELM
01-31-2001, 10:25 PM
If you need the work and they are having problems selling the houses, it just might work. It would be a good selling point for the builder and a good way for you to get some lawns. The thing is, it might not be a good way to build up a customer base if the homeowner didn't continue to use you when the year is up. You could always move to another section or builder the next year I guess.

A problem with this is, new lawns aren't the most fun to mow unless they are all sod. They are about impossible to mow right after a rain, compared to a mature lawn. It would be worth considering if you need the work.

Getmow
01-31-2001, 10:30 PM
If you can get a developer to go with an agreement like this and you still get a FAIR price then OK. Most developers (around here ) don't need to offer incentives to purchasers so they would not spend the extra money. Now there is always the issue of the common grounds that these developers eventually have to turn over to the HOA.

Ssouth
01-31-2001, 10:30 PM
Never though abouth doing this. My first though is you have to set up some serious guidelines. Regarding exactly what will be preformed at each site. It would help if you also perform the the landscaping and sod/seeding job. I believe to be able to pull this off you need to know all aspects of lawn maintenance, fert./ landscaping. Not only will you have to pass the homeowner inspection, you will also have to answer to the home builder.

I would try to just target these areas with flyers or some other marketing stategy.
Good Luck whatever you chose.

jeffex
02-01-2001, 09:43 AM
I think what you are experiencing is saturation
of lawn care in your area. your growth is limited.
your plan to move to new community is good idea.
don't let me stop you from trying your way however,
I would suggest trying to get builder to let you
take care of model home or common areas and allow
you to place a sign advertising your bus. as buyers
enter the new community. you may have to do the work
free or at discount but advertising is expensive.
I think builder would be reluctant to do paper work
of paying you monthly for services. I don't see
profit for him in that. but if you keep his entrance
or model in top condition that helps him project good
image of his homes. that will help you corner the
market in this neighborhood. I do pressure washing
also and have seen up scale neighborhoods that are
saturated with lawn care services drive prices down
to below what I get for a townhouse. while we are
cleaning thier decks they ask me for a quote on lawn
mowing and some are only paying $15 for a 1/4 acre
I wouldn't start my mower for that I tell them!!!
How many homes planned for community?
upscale houses or tract homes?
good luck TAKE OVER THAT NEIGHBORHOOD it's your turf!

Runner
02-01-2001, 11:57 AM
A firm idea, but a year wouldn't even be necessary. Even if you offered the service for a month or so - while the people got moved in and settled would be very helpful. Even at that point, they probably wouldn't be ready to take over themselves and would want to continue your services. Key phrase here; YOUR services - not the builders.

BUSHMASTER
02-01-2001, 07:20 PM
i have done somthing like this with my customers that are selling their homes ......they pay me at closing and i cut the property for one year after....works ok ...i acctually pick up their new property and most of the time the new owners get lazy and hire me on as well ....it can work...
just make sure that WHAT SERVICES YOU ARE GOING TO PROVIDE ARE SPELLED OUT CLEARLY IN THE CONTRACT...

GrassMaster
02-02-2001, 05:19 PM
Hello:

Sounds like a great idea!

At the Moment things are very slow here in Columbus, Georgia. When going from job to job look at all the business that are going under. I can name about 15 off the top of my head. I do very little driving around town too.

Between the Y2K scare a little before last year & the worst drought we have had in years, you are doing good just to be in business here in Columbus. Several Lawn Care companies went out of business last year & yes quite a few new ones popped up but very few made it because of the dry weather we had.

It's probably not going to get any better at all with all the layoffs & business going under here. Probably more new commers this next year than you have ever seen before in yo life! Bushmaster will see heaps of new faces in the Lawn Service business this year.

I read your post & you have very good business sense. You will do good & make it big time. Me myself I'm hoping on a early wet spring, it will not only help me out but a lot of folks. LOL, if not I'll be cutting Grass Too!

The people like you that look like a Pro, act like a Pro, work like a Pro, then you will get work & paid like a Pro! Can't worry about them folks with the Cheap Equipment, that are just doing it till things get better or they find another job. They in the long run will help you.

I had very similar circumstances my first 3 years in business. Everybody & their brother was cutting grass but not many lasted long. Just a little after my 3rd year, work started comming from everywhere. Way more than I could handle. Business more than doubled that year.

The folks that go with the Cheaper so called Companies, these folks are not ideal customers anyway. Just work those good customers over real good & ask them to refer you to others.

Example: Here in Columbus, Georgia & Bushmaster will probably agree. Lot more Money to be made in Castlewood & Hunters Point (Just guessing $80K to $200K homes maybe) (just examples), than in Green Island & Rocky Shoals (Just real facts on these folks & their up to Million Dollar homes). The Folks in Green Island & Rocky Shoals can't afford the best Lawn Service. Because most of them are 10 cent Millionairs, LOL! Castelwood & Hunters Point they can afford more because they are both working & need a professional to look after their lawn they don't have time to Bird Dog every move you make & talk to 10 different lawn Companies to get the Cheapest Price?

Always got to look for a better way!



[Edited by GrassMaster on 02-02-2001 at 04:31 PM]

lsylvain
02-12-2001, 03:45 PM
I too tried to do the same thing with a developer in pulaski, VA. I didn't have any luck convincing them to go for it. However, getting the develeper to recomend you and doing a great job on the first few homes, will almost ensure getting the rest of them.

VLM
02-12-2001, 03:57 PM
I like Jeffex's idea! Just think of all the people who will see your advertisement. If you bust your but and really make the model home look great, I think you would get a ton of refferals.

jrblawncare
02-12-2001, 04:41 PM
Jeff,I have the same problem over in my part of KY as you do,"I have a crapsman mower and trim'er,so I guess I'am a landscaper"...anyway..your idea just may work if you can sell it.You have alot of good advice above,good luck,JOHN