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Advertising Landscaping on Craigslist

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JimLewis, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Our company is positioned so that we're a little more expensive than most of our competitors. And my experience to date with advertising on Craigslist, in the service area, is you mostly get pikers who are just looking for a cheap bid.

    But DVS recently made a comment in the hardscape forum that he actually gets some good jobs from CL. So I'm wondering if any of the rest of you have had success advertising on Craigslist for general landscaping. And if so, what is your price point compared to the other landscapers in your area? Have you found it difficult to sell jobs to CL people? Or did you actually find some good customers?
  2. BIGRIG755

    BIGRIG755 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I have gotten most of my work from CL and I charge more than some of the larger companies. You are going to mostly get people who like to talk to the owner not a salesman. The people who want low bid will ask you upfront what you estimate is before they let you come to their house cause they cant say no in person. Hope this helps it has been great for me. Doing a leaf job today for 4 guys all making 32-38$ and hour. Thats good for me.
  3. S&S Outdoor Services

    S&S Outdoor Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    I've gotten some good work off of CL but it's usually smaller jobs in my experience. I've had a couple people call me for 40k plus jobs and then some fly-by-nighter will do the job for dirt cheap. One in particular was a retaining wall I bid for 50k and someone else bid it for 20k. I don't know how the h*** this guy thought he could do it being that it was 17k just for the blocks.
    It doesn't take too long to put up a new post and you will get calls. Should that be your only form of advertising? Probably not. Just write up a post that sounds professional and people will probably know pretty quick that you're going to be more expensive than the laid off construction worker looking for side jobs. I've also found it's great after storms for clean ups or plowing when we get 6+ inches.
  4. Outdoors_Unlimited

    Outdoors_Unlimited LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 449

    I've landed several jobs from Craigslist. Be prepared for huge amounts of spam, and price shoppers, but it comes with the territory of free.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Outdoors_Unlimited

    Outdoors_Unlimited LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 449

    Ok. I got a second now.

    I make a ad that contains several pictures. I do this by uploading pics to photovucket, then linking them in my ad. This will set your ad apart from the under employed construction worker. It helps screen them. To weed out spam, I'm gonna encourage text messages, with name address and phone. I will then return a call promptly. I just seem to get wayytyyyy to much spam when I put my email out there.

    I will make a dummy ad later tonight, to give you guys an idea of what my ads look like. Last time I posted one of my true ads, a bunch of the LS trolls found it funny to prank call.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    I have had good success wih it last fall. I landed 4 lighting jobs (3 of them were $4,000+) and about a half dozen irrigation installs, all but one was over $3,500. Plus probably 45-50 blow outs. I didn't place my forst add on CL until september, it definetly worked for me and I will be utilizing it alot this year.

    But like others said you will get a lot of spam. It's been 2 1/2 months since I ran an add with them and I'm still getting spam. i think this season I will set u a second email just for CL adds, so that spam wont beflooding my inbox for my regular business mail. Deffinetly a lot f tire kickers to, i would say 3 out of 5 irrigation or lighting calls I didn't even justify going out to run an estimate as you could tell they were looking for cheap work
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Yah, I've made really nice looking, professional ads on there before with photos, descriptions, HTML styles, etc. No problem there. And I've sold enough stuff on Craigslist to know that I'd NEVER put my email address into a post. I just use the anonymous craigslist email link. And I'd probably list our phone number since we have a full time office person who can easily weed out sales or spam phone calls if they come. But I wouldn't ever list any email address on there.

    I was just curious if people were actually landing decent sized, profitable jobs via Craigslist. Because the reason I stopped several years ago was because it seemed like every call I got was some price shopper who didn't have nearly the budget they needed to hire a professional to come in and do a nice job. So I wanted to know if that has changed over the years or if it was still the same. Sounds like some of you, at least, have had a little success with it. So that's encouraging.

    The other thing that sucks about CL is you have to constantly be changing / refreshing your ad every day or two because it gets buried down the list too quickly. And I just don't have the time for that. So I guess if we were going to add CL advertising to our existing methods of advertising, I'd have to find a way to get our office manager or someone else in the company to stay on top of this every 2 days or so. Cuz I definitely don't have any time for that during the busy season.

    I think we'd have to get a little better are pre-qualifying and screening calls that came in from CL too. Because I still think probably at least a high percentage of people who would call would be just price shoppers, who are definitely not what we're looking for.
  8. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    When you guy's say you blow off the tire kickers do you politely tell them your to busy or just not show? See I go to every lead and submit an estimate for the fear of bad publicity and plus you just never know. I need to figure out a way to weed out the window shoppers and save some time and fuel.
  9. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    Usually what I do before ever going out on site is discuss the proposed job with the customer over the phone, while I'm talking to him/her I am online looking at overhead and street views of the property, property value and what not. The satalite pictures are often years old so if the landscape and property doesn''t look well kept i ask questions along the lines of "how long have you lived here", "what other changes have you done to the property", "why are you looking into doing this now". Often you'lll find while the house doesn't look great online the ho had recently put on an addition, added a pool, etc and are now looking to finally do the landscape. If I don't get the feeling that this is a good sale then I just tell the ho i'm backed up and can come out in 3 weeks or so, and that we will call to schedule a time. If it seems to be a good sale then I'll go out with in a coupple days to give an estimate.
  10. Outdoors_Unlimited

    Outdoors_Unlimited LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 449

    I straight up explain that I am not the cheapest on Craigslist when they call. But I tell them I will compete with the best.

    I can't really speak from a landscape sale, as most of my calls are for tree removal, and maintenance services.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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