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Old 11-21-2013, 11:49 PM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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System(s) for handling estimates

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Going into 2014 I need to develops a systematic approach to handling estimates. I have a full-time office manager* who handles phone calls and takes down client info but during the spring especially, I am always out with my crew. I like to address estimates as quickly as possible so people can get a sense of our professionalism and sense of urgency.

Currently when an estimate comes in, my office manager takes down their information, contacts me to see when I can meet the person, then calls them back to give them a time for us to meet.

Some thoughts I've had:

Mowing estimates: have my office manager measure the property online and gather details from
The client (ie are there any hills, ditches, swing sets etc) then using our numbers my office manager could give them an estimate over the phone then send out all the paper work (service agreements and invoice for deposit)

Fertilizing and weed control- have office measure the property online and give them a price over phone based on square footage of lawn. Have her let them
Know if they have any special needs (ivy,grubs etc) we
Will discuss options in person.

Landscape installs- schedule for on day out of the week to do these, and do them all in person.

We use Measure Maps app for property measurement.


Any thoughts or help, gentlemen? Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:17 AM
Olympia Olympia is offline
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Sounds like you have a plan.. I think it is a good idea!
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:18 AM
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123hotdog 123hotdog is offline
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I am nowhere near as large as you are but I will tell you this, there is no way in the world you can price mowing a lawn without your human eye on the property. Way too many variables to consider. A potential customer is not going to tell you how difficult their lawn is over the phone either. If it was easy they wouldn't be calling, they'd be outside mowing it. I try to give my potential customers the minimum cost to operate based on how far they are from the shop. That way if they are not willing to pay that, I saved both of us some time.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:10 AM
Middle Tennessee Lawn Middle Tennessee Lawn is offline
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[QUOTE=123hotdog;4906781]I am nowhere near as large as you are but I will tell you this, there is no way in the world you can price mowing a lawn without your human eye on the property. Way too many variables to consider. A potential customer is not going to tell you how difficult their lawn is over the phone either. If it was easy they wouldn't be calling, they'd be outside mowing it. I try to give my potential customers the minimum cost to operate based on how far they are from the shop. That way if they are not willing to pay that, I saved both of us some time.[/QUOTE
We have had very few problems pricing lawns without looking at them we priced at least 50 this year and only two tomes was there a problem one yard was just too hilly literally not mowable with a walk behind. Estimates cost at least 35.00 each to give so even if you are off 5.-10. You can adjust them with ease as you go forward.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:12 PM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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[QUOTE=Middle Tennessee Lawn;4906912]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 123hotdog View Post
I am nowhere near as large as you are but I will tell you this, there is no way in the world you can price mowing a lawn without your human eye on the property. Way too many variables to consider. A potential customer is not going to tell you how difficult their lawn is over the phone either. If it was easy they wouldn't be calling, they'd be outside mowing it. I try to give my potential customers the minimum cost to operate based on how far they are from the shop. That way if they are not willing to pay that, I saved both of us some time.[/QUOTE
We have had very few problems pricing lawns without looking at them we priced at least 50 this year and only two tomes was there a problem one yard was just too hilly literally not mowable with a walk behind. Estimates cost at least 35.00 each to give so even if you are off 5.-10. You can adjust them with ease as you go forward.
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Good point
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:49 PM
dnc19694339 dnc19694339 is offline
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[QUOTE=Middle Tennessee Lawn;4906912]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 123hotdog View Post
I am nowhere near as large as you are but I will tell you this, there is no way in the world you can price mowing a lawn without your human eye on the property. Way too many variables to consider. A potential customer is not going to tell you how difficult their lawn is over the phone either. If it was easy they wouldn't be calling, they'd be outside mowing it. I try to give my potential customers the minimum cost to operate based on how far they are from the shop. That way if they are not willing to pay that, I saved both of us some time.[/QUOTE
We have had very few problems pricing lawns without looking at them we priced at least 50 this year and only two tomes was there a problem one yard was just too hilly literally not mowable with a walk behind. Estimates cost at least 35.00 each to give so even if you are off 5.-10. You can adjust them with ease as you go forward.
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I agree. I used to go look at all of them. Not anymore. We bid most all of our new work this year online and had very little problems. Base price plus x$ per 1000 after that then we add for fences, pools. Worked out pretty good. Some days I would come back to the office and my secretary would say "I signed up 3 lawns today" all set !!
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:29 AM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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[QUOTE=dnc19694339;4907323]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Middle Tennessee Lawn View Post

I agree. I used to go look at all of them. Not anymore. We bid most all of our new work this year online and had very little problems. Base price plus x$ per 1000 after that then we add for fences, pools. Worked out pretty good. Some days I would come back to the office and my secretary would say "I signed up 3 lawns today" all set !!
That's what I like to hear!
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:26 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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[QUOTE=dnc19694339;4907323]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Middle Tennessee Lawn View Post

I agree. I used to go look at all of them. Not anymore. We bid most all of our new work this year online and had very little problems. Base price plus x$ per 1000 after that then we add for fences, pools. Worked out pretty good. Some days I would come back to the office and my secretary would say "I signed up 3 lawns today" all set !!
This is probably your most efficient method, you can use the tax maps for your sq/ft or goilawn I've heard works well also, which most of your larger guys use. The thing to keep in mind is you want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to do business with you,
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:28 PM
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TriCityLawnCareLLC TriCityLawnCareLLC is offline
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[QUOTE=cpllawncare;4907501]
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnc19694339 View Post

This is probably your most efficient method, you can use the tax maps for your sq/ft or goilawn I've heard works well also, which most of your larger guys use. The thing to keep in mind is you want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to do business with you,
Very good point
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:31 PM
newguy123 newguy123 is offline
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We use google earth to measure properties almost exclusively. It's too time consuming going to a property, measuring and looking at the terrain for just mowing or fert.

The key to success for us has been knowing our service areas well. We know what areas (in general) are relatively flat and what areas have more slopes, etc.

Knowing this had made Google Earth work well for us. It probably won't work in every part of the country, but it does for us.
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