credit checks on customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnboy82, May 16, 2001.

  1. hey guys. i am supposed to be doing a job for this guy. the job is 75,000 dollars if not more. i get 1/3 down up front. however i went to his house tonight to go look at the job with him and he wasnt home even though his truck was in the garage. you look in the house, the outside of the house, and you wonder where he is gonna be able to pull 75,000 + from. i tried calling the number supplied to me (home number) and got one of those number is temporarily out of service deals. the guy gave me his cell number cause he had mentioned about the home number. but i am just wondering if i should maybe do a credit check on him just to make sure i dont get burned. do any of you guys do that on big jobs to make sure you get paid? the guy is a builder by the way. i work for another builder who does a lot of work and is well known through the area. i asked this guy if he had ever heard of my present customer and he said no. so i am kind of worried here. first time i worked for this guy he paid no problem. but what do you guys do with big jobs? i am really thinking credit check. and then how do i do that?
     
  2. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    There are so many "RED FLAGS" popping up all over your post! Yes get a credit check. Make absoultely sure you have a signed written contract and receive a deposit large enough to cover your materials. Just the fact that he's a builder would make me "run", not walk away from this guy. Of course that's just my opinion. Let us know how thing turn out.
     
  3. it isnt so much the fact that he is a builder, because i do regular work for one of these guys (builders) and i can take a bill to his office and walk out with a check in my hands. however for that guy i do his private tree care at his homes and some properties that he owns. this guy is the fact that he is a builder and he lives the way he does. i mean the house he lives in, the front door is older than the house itself. and that is not a good thing because the house is maybe 5 years old or so. i mean really though, a bounced check is only what? 15 dollars. so if he cant make the down payment i am not gonna cut a single branch. and if i get done with the job and he wants to stiff me or make me wait on 50K then i have some people who i know in order to get that money. namely: lawyers, bigger builders, lots of contractors, etc. cant build a home if you aint got no supplies, right? but i mean really i get this way whenever somebody talks about giving me 10K+ in one shot if i dont really know them that well. maybe i am paranoid or something here. but it can never hurt to ask around about people who you are workin for if there are large sums of money involved. last year i did this same thing, with the background checks and sure enough the guy screwed me over. he got all pissed off that i was checking up on him. then he set me up with his septic tank.
     
  4. Mike (MLC)

    Mike (MLC) LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    When you start having a great deal of money involved you should check out the customer thoroughly. You defiantly don't want to get burned on a deal like this. Make sure he comes through on the down payment and signs a contract. But I would also do a credit check. If it is too bad then just walk away from the deal, no sense taking a chance.
     
  5. lawnboy82
    RUN THAT CREDIT CHECK!

    On any job that I do over $1000.00, I always run a credit check on that client. Our state law only allows me to take 10% down on signing of contract. I always break down a job into different projects. Upon completion of project, I get a check and immediately cash the check.

    You should be able to get a credit check done on this individual. Just do a search for credit checks.

    John
     
  6. i just did a quick search for credit reports and all it wanted to give me was for myself. should i maybe go to a bank? i also know some people who sell morgages, where would be a good place to do this where the guy wont be getting a letter to his home or whatever that somebody is doing a credit check on him? because i know that if i do something like that then i lose the job. and i dont want to go and sign myself into this guys debt or whatever. any thoughts on how i might go about doing this?
     
  7. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 416

    Matt,
    you got two choices.

    Run far away from this guy,cause he already is taking up too much of your precious time or

    Tell the guy you need 1/2 up front before you start the job.He has to trust you as much as you trust him.

    I just bid a job for $125,000.,but before I even measured the job I told the guy approx. what it would cost and told him I get 1/2 up front.He said not a problem.In fact all my jobs I get 1/2 up front.People say how do you do that? "I reply just ask for it."

    Good Luck
    Mike Nelson

    P.S. Sometimes it is better to chase the crumbs,than the whole cookie!
     
  8. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 490

    i went to his house tonight to go look at the job with him and he wasnt home even though his truck
    was in the garage.

    Many times, I am away from the house, yet my truck remains. Perhaps he has another car? Perhaps he went out in a friends car? Not something to worry about.


    you look in the house, the outside of the house, and you wonder where he is gonna be able to
    pull 75,000 + from.
    Don't judge a book by its cover. I recently learned that the neighbor of a customer, in his small ranch house, with his 15 year old car, owns several of the largest office buildings in the area. I thought that he was just a "normal working guy".

    i tried calling the number supplied to me (home number) and got one of those number is
    temporarily out of service deals. the guy gave me his cell number cause he had mentioned about the home
    number.

    And your point is?

    but i am just wondering if i should maybe do a credit check on him just to make sure i dont get burned. do
    any of you guys do that on big jobs to make sure you get paid?

    A credit check will not "make sure you get paid". IT will only tell you if this guy pays his bills ontime.

    the guy is a builder by the way. i work for another
    builder who does a lot of work and is well known through the area. i asked this guy if he had ever heard of my
    present customer and he said no. so i am kind of worried here.

    Do you know each and every lawn and landscaper in the area? There are plenty of reputable contractors out there that I have never heard of.


    first time i worked for this guy he paid no problem.

    I think that this is your answer.



    Just make sure that you are not acting as a banker. On a job of that size, you should be getting progress payments, each week, 10 days, 2 weeks, you get the idea. I would not float $50,000 for anyone. Now, if this job is going to take your crew a day or two only, then it is not that big of a deal, but I get the impression that this will take you a good bit of time, so make sure that you are getting paid regurarly.
     
  9. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 416

    Jaclawn,

    You are absolutely correct,I failed to mention my jobs usually last anywhere from a day to maybe a week.

    Mike Nelson
     
  10. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469

    Please one of you tell me how YOU have gotten a credit check on a potential client, I would like to know how YOU do it. I know I personally have no right to pull someone else's credit report, how do you do it???


    Maybe the easy thing to do is ask that the remainder be put into ecscrow until the job is completed.
     

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