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Old 03-28-2013, 05:43 PM
DragonflyGardening DragonflyGardening is offline
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I'll let you help me figure out condo bidding...

You're welcome.

I'm looking at bidding some condos for the first time through a management company owned by a guy I have some acquaintance with. We have been primarily a gardening company but I have been slowly growing the lawncare side and have a few commercial customers, but not really in the same mold as condos and developments (for ex. I do some group homes and there is a maintenance head who I deal with - it isn't a bidding war situation it's a relationship more akin to residential).

Anyway, I am looking to grow and know I would like to be in the commercial/condo game eventually. I'm insured etc... but am currently just solo except when my wife (who runs the gardening side of the company) helps me, which is basically only when her stuff is slow in the dry months). But, I can and will hire as needed.

Anyway, I just was looking for some general advice I guess.

One thing I'm wondering about is bidding stuff you can't do. Which is to say, I'm handed a list of 50 properties, most of them being pretty decent sized (say an average of 20 units per property but in the area I live they don't always pack them in - some places that have 5 units will be on a 2 acre property, so suffice to say there is a lot of work there). So any one, or two, or three I can do sure, but if I got 10 there is just no way I could get the equipment/manpower together to service them all that quickly. I'm assuming hte ettiquite is that it is fine to bid more than you can do and then if by some odd chance you get them all (or just more than you can do) you say you can't do some of them? That sounds like the only thing that makse sense, because I can't imagine that any company around here could take all of those one, you would need 15 crews and no other customers.

It seems a little sticky to me I guess because it seems odd to bid something and then say you can't do it, but also seems like the smart thing is to bid 10 even if I only want 3 and hope that I get 3 out of the 10. If I only bid three my guess is I would be lucky to get one out of the 3, you know?

Some of them are, for example, different quotes for building A, B, C, D. If I got 2 of those I would be good. If I got all 4 I just don't think with my current equipment I could reasonably do them in a reasonable time. But it's the same "property" and it would be kind of wierd to say I'll only do two places at the same address, even if they are seperate bids. Ugh.

Thoughts on that?

Another question is on pricing. Several of them are developments with fairly small little lawns packed in together. I love the idea of that - I drive a lot currently (a lot of cottage country). My minimum is generally $30/lawn but I'm okay with doing a $25 lawn if it's real small and real handy (i.e. right next door to current customer). So I guess I was thinking, in a situation like this $25/lawn makes sense. I guess I'm just looking at the range of thoughts on this (but I'll be making my own decisions and yes I know my cost of doing business etc...). In a situation like this do people call it nice and cheap (maybe $20/lawn) because of the volume and ease of work (I think it would be mostly push which I find convenient and easy on my back) and lack of driving, or stick with your normal minimum or ...?

Again, I'm not looking for prices per se but on what might be a normal swing away from normal pricing when doing bulk like this, particularly if it's a volume thing that you feel like fits your business well.

Thanks for any thoughts at all, as this is new to me. I don't suspect I'll get any of these bids, and I want to make darn sure I don't mess up and under-bid myself, but it's a good learning experience for me knowing that i want to move in this direction.

Thanks all.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:50 PM
DragonflyGardening DragonflyGardening is offline
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Or, am I off and people dont' even do individual lawns for a development but just price it on how many hours you think it will take to do the whole place? Frankly, even at $25/lawn it seems a bit high to me for how long I think it will take...but again, I don't really know....
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:55 AM
orangemower orangemower is offline
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The way I see it. Either you're all in or you pass.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:01 AM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonflyGardening View Post
Thanks for any thoughts at all, as this is new to me. I don't suspect I'll get any of these bids, and I want to make darn sure I don't mess up and under-bid myself, but it's a good learning experience for me knowing that i want to move in this direction.
You answered your own question. Bid high or decline to bid if You're worried about coming in low.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:15 PM
Jimslawncareservice Jimslawncareservice is online now
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Condos/town homes are filled with old picky people who have nothing better to do than complain about you, your work, your machines, or your help. Hell, I get complaints about stuff that has nothing to with me or my company. Like paint falling off the mail boxes. Grass the county or city doesn't mow in the ditches behind their homes or on the way home. Dumb stuff like that. I make a ton of money off them to put up with that crap. Most of the time I laugh at the dumb stuff they complain about. I'm sure I'll be that way when I'm 80-100 too.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:42 PM
DragonflyGardening DragonflyGardening is offline
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Originally Posted by orangemower View Post
The way I see it. Either you're all in or you pass.
Yah? Any other thoughts on this? I mean, that make sense to me but at the same time, they have lots of different companies doing these properties and NOBODY could handle all of them, again, it's a management company with a lot of properties.

Any other thoughts on bidding a Phase of a condo development? Do you go by a price per lawn, since they are seperate lawns, or a price for the whole phase? Lets say you think it will take you 8 man hours to do the whole thing, but when you add that up it comes in $200 below a price of $25/lawn. On the one hand, I'm bidding the whole area as one, but on the other hand, I'll be cutting x number of lawns so I would price it per lawn...you know what I mean? Just wondering how other people look at such situations - as one whole (as is put in on the bid) or as a bunch of individual lawns adding up to one whole. I could look at the whole thing and say it will take x amount of time and therefore cost x amount of dollars and end up well under my normal cost to cut any of the lawns individually.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:45 PM
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CreativeLawncareSolutions CreativeLawncareSolutions is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonflyGardening View Post
Yah? Any other thoughts on this? I mean, that make sense to me but at the same time, they have lots of different companies doing these properties and NOBODY could handle all of them, again, it's a management company with a lot of properties.

Any other thoughts on bidding a Phase of a condo development? Do you go by a price per lawn, since they are seperate lawns, or a price for the whole phase? Lets say you think it will take you 8 man hours to do the whole thing, but when you add that up it comes in $200 below a price of $25/lawn. On the one hand, I'm bidding the whole area as one, but on the other hand, I'll be cutting x number of lawns so I would price it per lawn...you know what I mean? Just wondering how other people look at such situations - as one whole (as is put in on the bid) or as a bunch of individual lawns adding up to one whole. I could look at the whole thing and say it will take x amount of time and therefore cost x amount of dollars and end up well under my normal cost to cut any of the lawns individually.
You're not making any sense to me. Figure out how long it will take you to do. Figure out all your costs. Add in what you want to profit. Give them a price. Simple.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:01 PM
DragonflyGardening DragonflyGardening is offline
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I guess my point is, if you did that and got a certain number and realized it came to $17/lawn do you stick with that number of stick with your "I'm not doing any lawn for less than $25" policy? I'm sure the answer is variable but I guess I was just looking for opinions.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:17 PM
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Colaguy Colaguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonflyGardening View Post
I guess my point is, if you did that and got a certain number and realized it came to $17/lawn do you stick with that number of stick with your "I'm not doing any lawn for less than $25" policy? I'm sure the answer is variable but I guess I was just looking for opinions.

I stick with "my" policy. I never let the client dictate what they'll pay. I set my own prices. Pay it or get someone else. Simple.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:17 PM
Dave does lawns Dave does lawns is offline
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It sounds to me like your a little overwhelmed by the scope of work? If that's the case, then step back relax and get back to basics.

Every job is cost + profit + pita = Price

I too have been overwhelmed by such opportunities. If I could not relax "get back to basics", then I pass every time. There have been some I could get focused on and placed a bid. I can not be everything to everyone all the time.
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