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Disappointed with the fall cleanup outlook thus far

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by RLS24, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,601

    With my last round of bills I sent out, I put my usual letter in that basically says "hey fall is coming and winter isnt too far off, we offer fall cleanups for $XXX and snowplowing for $XXX please let us know if you are interested in either" and most of the ones I'm getting back want plowing but arent going for a fall cleanup. I know I'm not pricing cleanups out of the ballpark, but its frustrating that people don't want them done. I feel like I should call them and say "you do realize that if you opt out of a cleanup I will still cut the lawn but I won't bag it and whatever leaves are on the ground are going to get chopped up and wherever they land is where they land." I've really got a handle on landing landscape, spring cleanup, mowing, and plowing jobs but I always seem to struggle with fall cleanups, especially with my regular customers. What are some ways that I can secure more fall cleanups ESPECIALLY with my current customers?
  2. Hope Landscaping

    Hope Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    Could you work out a deal with them to charge a annual set fee? Like charge them x amount 12 months a year and continue to service their place on a regular schedule.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    We just continue mowing and bagging and charge more for this time of year. If you do contracts, just start making them part of the deal. Try mulching techniques for leaves etc. Many lawns would benefit from having the leaves mulched in.
  4. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,601

    unfortunately the properties that have the most trees are the ones that dont want a cleanup. no matter what I do with them, its going to look like garbage and its going to take more time.
  5. georgiagrass

    georgiagrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 971

    We don't charge extra for regular mowing customers to keep up with the leaves as they fall. That is one of the benefits of using Walker mowers during this time of year. Makes it easy.

    For us, a fall cleanup occurs for non-regular customers who want us to get the leaves up after they have all fallen. We charge anywhere up to several hundred dollars for this. It's still pretty easy, just blow out all the beds and get up the leaves with the Walkers.
  6. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    I agree 100%

    Leaf pick-up and removal is on large properties with tall mature trees is a waste both in money for the customer and the nutrients lost that mulched leaves give back to a lawn. All the equipment needed, leaf loaders, dump truck,tarps, large crews w/backpack blowers, travel time to and from the dump, unloading, dump fees, etc.

    It is not uncommon in the northeast for acre properties with a lot of tall mature trees for leaf removal to be priced out up to $1000.00.

    Several visits in October and November mulching the leaves and it can be done for 1/2 the price of leaf removal.
  7. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Posts: 1,382

    are u sayin that even though the grass is not growing you still come out and cut it to get mulch up the leaves? I used to do this for a company but it almost seemed like the customers didn't agree to this and he just did it and billed him. I guess I'm asking if you just kind of transition without concent too or?
  8. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,045

    Yeah I notice some customer don't want it done hoping the wind or snow take care of it.

    You have to focus in the rich area's where image means everything to each neighbor. I remember years ago when I worked for my old boss we had a rich customer that called like 5 times during the fall to keep every leaf off her lawn because the neighbors leaves would blow into hers. I am talking about a small amount of leaves but she had OCD or something. THOSE ARE THE CUSTOMERS YOU WANT! He made a ton of money off of her.
  9. CircleC

    CircleC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW
    Posts: 309

    Why are you not selling it at the beginning of the season.....sell them everything up front, then you dont have to worry about "trying" to upsell. When I take on a new customer or start the season they get pricing for everything and they are sold everything upfront. Dont beat around the bush....give them everything upfront.
  10. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Posts: 1,382

    That is very smart. There are for more likely to sign for my services than if you wait until season or wait for them to ask.

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