condo vs. commercial / mall

Discussion in '<a href= target=_blank ?>Sn' started by Santa, Jan 15, 2001.

  1. Santa

    Santa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    We have been doing snow removal / plowing for 21 years. We service only condominium's.(1565 units)It seems to me that over the last 2-3 yrs. people have become almost impossible to please, even though the management companies we deal with stand behind us 100%,and we have never had an insurance claim against us, we are tired of the whining tennants.We are thinking of getting into commercial and/or shopping center snow plowing/removal.

    What do you think??? anyone been there,done that???

  2. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 611

    I hate plowing my condos. No matter what they want you to return multiple times and clean all the parking spaces. Neve anywhere to put the snow and nobody moves cars like they are supposed to. Since I have picked up commercial I think this is my lst year with condos.
  3. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    Good God.... 1565 units !!

    I think Santa is a saint.
    Or... sado-masochistic (sp)
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,422

    We dropped all our condos about 15 years ago, you wouldn't believe how enjoyable life is without them. Ditto what JAA said.
  5. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Got to watch out for business parking lots. Lots of traffic and there are always stray cars from employees who were too chicken to drive home. Also in supermarkets, watch for cart corrales. I personally stick with manufacturing company lots. I'm lucky as all of mine only work 1st shift. Cars are there 7am to 5pm and the rest of the time they are completely empty. When it snows during work day, all of mine are happy to come out (stop working!) and move their cars to the area that I just cleared. Takes about 5 mins, but is worth it to get the lot cleared properly. Sometimes the cute secretaties let me move their cars for them, so they dont get snow in their high heels!

  6. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    Sorry guys but thats why I like them, No one wants to do them any more so my prices go up plus all the extra loader work and trucking (even with a light snow year) make for some nice contracts.

    Now if I was n JA area no way, can't see plowing for 50 to 60 days straight.
  7. Rcgm

    Rcgm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 314

    Never plowed condo's drive's before.But sure have did the mowing part.They all nag all the time.Calling head office before u get finished about grass on the walks.I got a buddy who does condo's he plows the street's and drops off 3 local college kids with blowers and lets them do the drive's but this park only has 55 units.
  8. DanG

    DanG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 234

    I used to help my brother in law do condo's near us.
    About 350-400 units plus the main walks and steps going to them.
    They had three big parking lots. And also a car-port for each unit.

    I'd never go back to them unless they pay big bucks.

    It's just like you guys say, people won't move their cars or
    you'd get all done plowing and cleaning and some Yahoo would shovel their spot where their car was or shovel their patio etc... and throw the snow into where you plowed/cleaned.

    And later that day/night you'd get a call from the condo association saying they've had complaints.

    Way too much BS.

    And we had to back drag each carport since you couldn't push the length of them due to poles being in the way.

    The whole job sucked..

  9. Michael Fronczak

    Michael Fronczak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    We do townhouse complexs, simliar idea only all have garages
    the one we had last year is great, very few complaints if any, may be 5 all last season. The other one down the street from the first is a totally different story, we had several snowfalls durring morning this season(9-11am) their the first on the phone complaining, why arn't we done? ect., in this case before noon I'll get a call.
    On the flip side, we do parking lots that had specd out in their contract, that they wrote, plowing done only between 8-11am, I bid at off peak times, they pay per trip, that called and wanted us there durring same event. We did stuff bid at peak times first then them, their specs, put them at end of our route sheet thats where they stay.
    Bottom line know your customers, I have some customers that are perfectly happy with the times we come, others that will never be happy. I explain at the begining of each season it takes us 6-8 hours to complete our route you will be done in that time frame.
  10. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    I do condos, and I love them, we are there at no more than 1" and continue to plow as needed for the duration of the storm. I do not subscribe to the idea that the route takes x # of hours to complete and I will be then when I can.
    In fact we have picked up accounts just ofr that reason. During long duration storms we will dedicate equipment just for that account. They pay for the service, but being able to provide that level of service is what separates us from others in our market.

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