Years ago when i got into condo work, it was a difficult market to crack. I had a couple hundred residential lawns, a couple crews, lots of equipment, and it took me a couple of years pressing the management companies before I got my first invitation to bid. The management companies were very strict on who they would solicit and allow to bid on a property. It was a pretty closed club of only the few mid to large sized companies competing. You needed references for other jobs that size, which made it hard for anyone who wasnt already "in" You needed to provide an equipment list, employee list, and the property managers actually would physically come see it to verify. You needed higher than normal insurance coverage. You needed a few years experience on large properties. Overall you needed to prove that you we;re equipped and able to handle this job easily. Nobody would take a chance on a small guy, or a new guy. If you passed all of that you MAY be invited to bid. You would be bidding against other long term qualified contractors. And there was little price spread in the bids. You won the job based on your references and how good of a salesman you were. When you got the job, you had it for a long time. The contractors were all pretty equal, all did equally a good job, and all were close in price. The trend that I saw unfold is that the condo directors started putting pressure on the management companies to trim budgets. The management companies started taking many many more than the standard 3 bids and they opened up the bidding to anyone who called and asked to bid. The property manager would then present the board with 10 or so bids with a HUGE price spread and they would make their decision. I found they started taking the attitude, (Its just grass, its not life or death) So they started to take chances on less than qualified, less than proven, contractors who bid the job many times at half of what they have been paying. Their attitude was "If he does a good job, we save $20,000 a year, if he sucks, we'll get another guy, its just grass" So you saw this huge upset in the industry of the big guys losing the work and everyone who mows 20 lawns on the side is now fighting for the "big condo work" so they could live their dream of being a "real contractor" Now some of the guys who were under equipped did fall on their face. Others did a good job but didnt last too many years because they ran out of money not knowing they're working for a loss. Others lasted a real long time. Either way, the customer saved tons of money. The big guys held out and waited for the "little guys over their head" to fail and figured after the wave the work would come back. When that happened, it wasnt the qualified contractors that the customer went back to. Even though they paid $50,000 forever to have their place done, now that they hired this guy for $25,000, even though he failed, the customer now is not looking to go back to a qualified guy for 50k. They put it out for bid and look for the guy who is going to do it for $25,000 like the other guy but not fail. And this keeps repeating itself. Every year more and more guys wet their pants to get condo or commercial work, so every year the condo and property managers have a new pool of guys to try out. The job now will always be $25,000. It will never get back up to $50,000 where it belongs. The managers know they are dealing with eager starry-eyed guys and are able to put the squeeze on. They will even take that $25,000 bid and get the guy to drop $5000 and promise him the job. Most everyone says yes. The customer will keep trying the cheap guys, and eventually, more often than not, will find a company to do it that cheap, do a good job, and stick around for a few years. Where you used to see the guys around here that did condo work. It was 3 or 4 companies that had them ALL. You dont see that anymore. Now most condos are being done by the same guy you would see mowing your neighbors lawn with his pickup and 2 machines. The condo market is not much different than what everyone is seeing in the residential market. Except the costs of failure are much higher.