Customer refers me to a pita yard!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by topsites, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Man, it just never fails, everytime...
    At least now I know why they didn't seem enthused about me wanting to look at it first, and of course the two are engaged...

    Anyway, it's this little thing hardly worth unloading for, most of it is dirt and weeds, hardly any grass... Mind you, it's not a perfect square smack in front of the house, we're talking go-kart track all around where in some spaces there's hardly enough room to get the mower through... In short, exactly the kind of yard I not only said I would no longer accept, but also the kind that I've been turning down left and right lately.

    They insisted it needed to be cut on the phone...
    I saw no such evidence, running my machine over this crap would do absolutely nothing other than perhaps choke me.
    Last but not least, I see the temperature gauge, too... I really don't care for calls late in the year because I know who took the icing off the cake, so there the price goes up again and we already know the answer seeing how someone had no problem cutting until now.

    I just don't want it, but am tired of losing my regular customers over this crap because of course as soon as I say no they want to know why, and there goes the relationship... I guess I could say it's not worth it, but I don't even want it for any kind of money.

    What would you do?
  2. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    my best client just referred me to her friend who had a house amongst hills, trees and weeds. Property was an embarrassment and as i got out of the truck, i was ready to leave. But, I met her and talked and came away feeling happy. i told her to be ready to spend some money for soil test, aerify, seed, fertility, mulch, tree removal and stump grinding. The lady couldn't be more pleased. I was shocked. Bad area of her yard mostly ivy, my be a quarter of the prop. she tells me cut it when it needs it.
    Basically, she signed up for everything, knows it's going to take a couple of seasons to get it where it needs to be, loved the price (I really loved it) and seems very reasonable to work for. I also make my other client happy. It's a win win...and i will be posting before and after pics as well.
    I look at these terrible yards as a true challenge. Taking something that nasty and making it into something sweet. It is something not every lco can do
  3. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    I turn down bad refferals, one time a long time window cleaning customer wanted me to give her neighbour an estimate. He lived in a shack and was in a wheel chair. It was storm windows and all kinds of crap, ripped screens, super dirty.

    I don't like doing storms just thermal panes for me, I told him I was too busy and am not taking on any more window clients. That I didn't have the time to do the job and it obviously wasnt a quick job.

    The opposite happens to. 6 years ago I met a old german lady who was looking after some rentals for someone. She called me up to clean an empty two bed apartment. I don't like that kind of stuff either, go all the way uptown and park for a $40 job... but then I cleaned her house and then her rich friend's house ($200 and 4 man hours) and another friends. all these jobs are good ones and I've been doing the bigger ones twice a year for 6 years.

    So I suppose teh lesson is that you have to at least look at what they are trying to get you into.

    another thing its pretty easy to get customers whats hard is looking at as losing money, lol.
  4. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 470

    I'll take any crappy yard that blows my way as long as it wont hurt my equipment. I make sure I charge accordingly for it though. We'd all love to pass them by, but a lot of us make 90-95% of our money from them.
  5. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    Lol, yeah food drops from topsites table and we fight for it:weightlifter:
  6. One of Three

    One of Three LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    LOL. It's funny cause it's true.
  7. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953

    The problem is that most of the lawns like this, around here are like this because the owner is a cheap pita.
    Occasionally I run into a crappy yard where the homeowner agrees to a renovation. I usually learn that most of the other lco's have written it off as a lost cause and never offer a renovation so the homeowner just lives with it thinking that nobody can fix it.

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