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  #1  
Old 05-02-2010, 02:41 PM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Burlington County, NJ
Posts: 2,212
Ordered RealGreen software finally

Well i still think its overpriced.. but in the long run can surely simply all of the computer documentation end of the business. Since ive known things are just out of hand, and now getting someone other than myself to handle most of the paperwork/billing/invoicing/payments, i've realized no one can follow my process lol.

As simple as i believe it may be, there are still folders for snow, landscape, property management, invoices, bills, payments, then literally a dozen or two spread sheets with payments, payments due, snow invoicing, lawn accounts, landscape invoicing etc. .. its just a mess of documents everywhere and fairly easy to lose track of something, even harder to put lots of numbers together to find a bottom figure at any given moment.

We've severely cut down lawn cutting this year. Were almost 50% commercial, 50% residential at this point. Ive eliminated all of the towns which are not profitable just because of either their size properties, distance etc. If any "new" residential lawn is over a mile away from any of our other current properties, we won't take it for lawn service. I hate to turn away potential business, but theres no money in driving 4-6 miles out of the way adding time and resources just to compete for bottom dollar service which is already suffering with the economy.

I have a lot more time to dedicate now to landscapes and commercial projects that honestly eat up similar time than 50 thousand lawn accounts did last season. Although we've never had over 50 accounts at any given time, trying to deal with 50 clients, problems, recuts, lawn cut changes, scheduling, parties, late payment, complaining that the neighbor only pays $30 when they pay $40... in any business its hard to keep customers happy when they always think your charging too much.

Anyone else use the software? I think it will mostly simplify our snow operations more than anything but also help reduce the work hours required to handle the rest of the landscape business for the season.

I don't like how they charge a PREMIUM , and i mean a LOT of $$$$, and then i find out theyre scheduling a "trip" for the technician for 3 days in which you pay for their hotel, rental car, food, tolls etc for that time just to "train" you with the software.

That could be $1k+ easy, so im not sure what the expense in the software is really for other than they know companies will pay for it ?
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2010, 11:18 PM
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MacLawnCo MacLawnCo is offline
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Posts: 1,847
Im a user. If you want, you can take your computer to them and do the training there - its what I did.

If you are just looking for simplicity, I think you over bought. In fact, I think QX that I came from is an easier program to run maintenance out of. However, it does not even come close to the power the SA gives you in terms of lawn apps.
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:45 AM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Location: Burlington County, NJ
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Funny i found my old original post from a year and a half ago while searching on here :/

We're getting rid of the RG stuff.. after getting whacked with $1000+ prices for all kinds of options i stupidly assumed were included with the $3000 software to begin with, im told were paying $70 a month for support we've never used...well rarely b/c it seems nothing works the way i thought it should. You can't even let more than one person in the office use it at the same time.

My wife uses it at home to enter the invoices and print out the bills, she has it on her laptop and doesnt close it because it takes a bit to load and needs to check customer info sometimes... so when im at the office, i cant login because she is. Its another $1000 just for me to be able to get a signin account on my own and $3000+ for multiuser extra if another employee is entering any account info too... sure isnt like my "free" ms access database i built years ago where i can custom taylor forms and reports the way i need them at any time and i certainly had no restrictions for software that was minimal in cost. We still do most of the work through quickbooks because the software doesnt sync, it only exports to QB, so we've kept the majority of everything in QB anyway.

Everyone says RG will help with lawn routes, all its done was confuse the @#$%$ out of everyone from me the owner to the guys doing the lawns and when we did straighten out all the kinks, were still spending 3x more time "managing" the lawn route lists than before with simple MS Excel sheets

Explained to RG a couple months ago the issues, oh its because you don't have the Mapping assistant... well sorry, we have microsoft mapoint, and also free google earth, maps, bing maps etc.. it doesnt work with any of those? No, you have to pay $2500 more for that I give up, time to cut the losses. I sent my wife and sister in law that work doing a lot of the bookwork for us to Michigan in late March of this year "yeah RG software sat in our office for about a year before we used it", they went for 2 full days of training and still came back just confused on so many things. After we realize that my sister in law was entering things incorrectly "not like major mistakes, just honestly 100% were entered wrong for how RG needs them", square footages were off and its difficult to bill out by price per customer or per account. It wants to do everything by the size mainly. Had to back out tons of entered information because thats the only way to do it and manually re-enter it in the correct way for lawn account billing.

We're not going to use all their marketing "tools" because its too expensive to buy everything from them, evenlopes for $40 that we pay $8 for at officemax or staples... plus anything with a plastic window envelope, which are all of them, you cant run through our HP color laserjet 9500hdn printer that sucks in 30 envelopes at a shot....trust me i tried and ruined a $320 fuser assembly after the crap burned and stuck to it smearing all subsequent prints :/

I think their staff is very phony on the phone and since they sell marketing tools, its like talking to a marketing agent. They seem to act "too nice" like they're just not down to earth or sincere about anything, then they tell you about $1000 extra fees for anything different you want to do, as listed above. I tried to be understanding with them, but being in the computer field for so many years now prior to anything landscape business related, ive yet to EVER hear of a company selling software that DOESNT offer any support after your a paying client of their software. Especially since its $3,000, i stupidly assumed you get something more than a CD you cant install for that much money in the mail, at least basic support or a manual on how to use it? common
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2011, 11:47 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: District 9 CA
Posts: 18,318
Being a computer guy .... sounds like dotproject (or one of it's forks) is your solution to nickel and dime bullshiit companies/corps who's only purpose seems to be to take you for everything you are worth.

http://www.dotproject.net/
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2011, 10:24 AM
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jlouki01 jlouki01 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Liberty Twp. Ohio
Posts: 453
Dotproject would be confusing for a guy who has never used it before.

I use QXpress with the mapping and barcoding options. If I didn't need Quickbooks integration i would just use Groundskeeper Pro. I used it for a few years and loved it.

QXpress also has an online option I have never experienced but I hear it's pretty good. They have done a 360 with their customer these days. I'd check them out.

I like the software because of one very big reason.. I can rent it for 50.00 / month. NO LONG TERM COMMITMENT!

If I don't like it I can dump it. I did have to buy the mapping option and barcoding but my life would not be the same without that software.

I also have a copy of Real Green that came on a computer from a company we bought. It was ok but real complex in my mind. Geared very much towards lawn treatments.
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2011, 10:27 AM
Lawn Care Louie Lawn Care Louie is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Marietta
Posts: 17
Ramair,
I am surprised you are having trouble with Real Green. I have had their Lawn Assistant / Service Assistant for over ten years and I love it.

I got in with the minimum investment, limiting me to under 500 active customers, only one computer (at a time) and no "Mapping Assistant", which is their integration with Map Point. It sounds like you did the same. Were you surprised that your "Single-User" software can only be used by one person at a time?

As my company grew, thanks to their marketing, I increased the number of computer-users, increased my limit (to unlimited - I now have over 3000 customers), added Mapping Assistant (a MUST for routing, plus it helped my marketing immeasurably by being able to target neighbors).

I have used Quickbooks for a few years with LA/SA and have had very few issues with it. It only takes a couple of minutes and about six mouse clicks to transfer Real Green's General Ledger into QB. Were you promised anything more?

Maybe their software isn't right for your needs, like Mac says above. It has been great for me (my annual revenue now approaches one million per year - much of it due to them).
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2011, 12:53 PM
Bob Williams Bob Williams is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Real Green

As a long time Real Green customer I have to first say I drank the cool-aid and seen my business grow 5 fold since we started using their software. What is meant by "I drank the cool-aid" is that I totally believe in their software and the services they provide to my company. Without it I would still have 400 customers and be spending countless hours in my office with busy work. It is a very comprehensive program and takes time to learn, but well worth the effort because in the end your business will be better. If you attend one of the Real Green conferences you will find hundreds of people who have drank the cool-aid, and are growing their business's. If your business is more of a hobby or your are just trying to make a job for yourself then by all means buy something cheap because this software has way more than you will ever need. If you want to build a successful organization and grow you have the right software. 90% of all the larger business I talk to use Real Green, there's a reason for that. If all I used was their marketing tools it would be worth the price. Good Luck
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2011, 03:37 PM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Location: Burlington County, NJ
Posts: 2,212
Bob, Where did you get the figure of 90% of bigger business use Real Green? I know reps from several larger NJ landscape firms and nobody uses it here. Most use all various types of software, and none seem to think the idea of expensive software that you need to keep paying for after you've purchased it is a sound business investment. We hired a landscape consultant "manager" this year, hes worked for 3 other larger Landscape firms in NJ with a 30 year history and laughed when i tried showing him what we were trying to do with Real Green. He brought pre filled out forms, excel forms with estimate data producing spreadsheets that are by far better than anything ive used to date and are much faster than doing everything through realgreen. My previous main job that i left in 2006 to invest 100% of my time into this business was computer network engineering, network administration, email admin, software deployment etc. The instructions from RG for installing their software on our server for "one user" are absurd. If they divulged this information to us before we bought their $3000 software, i would have never purchased it.

The idea of their software is "marketing" and to cut down on office time, surely the marketing couldnt hurt, if you didnt do a great job of it yourself prior, which i believe we did. After our office time doubled and nearly tripled after using realgreen, its time to stop using it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Williams View Post
As a long time Real Green customer I have to first say I drank the cool-aid and seen my business grow 5 fold since we started using their software. What is meant by "I drank the cool-aid" is that I totally believe in their software and the services they provide to my company. Without it I would still have 400 customers and be spending countless hours in my office with busy work. It is a very comprehensive program and takes time to learn, but well worth the effort because in the end your business will be better. If you attend one of the Real Green conferences you will find hundreds of people who have drank the cool-aid, and are growing their business's. If your business is more of a hobby or your are just trying to make a job for yourself then by all means buy something cheap because this software has way more than you will ever need. If you want to build a successful organization and grow you have the right software. 90% of all the larger business I talk to use Real Green, there's a reason for that. If all I used was their marketing tools it would be worth the price. Good Luck
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2011, 01:22 PM
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2011, 06:47 PM
AndrewsLawnandLandscaping AndrewsLawnandLandscaping is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Chester, PA
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You guys use real green for full service landscaping? Or just fertilizing?
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