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Do I have a no win situation?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by McNeal Lawn, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. McNeal Lawn

    McNeal Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    I maintain 5 different office sites for a property management company, last week I received a call from the property manager, stating that one of owners was not a happy camper, owner wanted to know the status of two work orders ( fall flowers and mulch, the other was a request to remove a number of junipers).
    On the 15th of October a proposal was submitted to the property manager covering these work requests for approval, with a 50% deposit required for the flowers and mulch. During the call with the property manager I told her I was waiting for approval to start the work. At this time she said that the owner was going out for other proposals for the work, plus weekly service. She told me to install the flowers and mulch and to submit a separate proposal for the shrub removal. The flowers and mulch were installed yesterday. During our conversation, I got the impression she was covering her backside with the owner of the office site. With the situation I have I can't go back to the owner blaming the property manager, with the fear of losing the other 4 properties
    I have to walk a tightrope with the property manager. I have had these properties for 7 years, I would hate to lose them. Anyone have a suggestion on how to handle this situation?
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    You have never met the owner? Is the property managers brother-in-law getting in to the biz? sorry only have questions.
  3. You can't please both the property manager and the owner.
    You'll have to pick either the property manager or the owner.

    I'd choose the property manager. Sounds like she might be sticking her neck out to keep the contract. She may have approved the work prior to getting the OK from the owner. It's kind of risky but it sometimes works.
    If you go talking to the owner behind her back it could blow up on her. She might not get paid.
    Your telling her that the proposal was already submitted was her notification that it was up to her. I'd sit back and let her do her job.

  4. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Maybe see if you can get a sit down or conference call with you , the prop. manager and the owner. All three of you htere at the same time. Say yuo just want to review the job and make sure you are keeping every one happy. kind aof a "planning for next season " get together. Let them know you want to make sure that the work is getting sone to there satisfaction. This way the owner can get to know you a bit wihtout you cutting the prop.mnanger out.

    Just an idea.
  5. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    If you've only dealt with the PM, stick with that contact. If you force a meeting/conference call you will most likely be looked at as a trouble maker.

    By the owner cause that's what he's hired a PM for.
    By the PM cause that's their job, a balancing act trying to please owner.
    In a meeting or conversation of the three, there could be something said that those two have either kept from the other or are dealing with without the other's knowledge.

    Like the coach at UT said years ago, "There's three things that can happen to a pass, and two of them are bad."

    All you can do is your best. Take PM for a coffee break or lunch and chat, could do you more good than a box of chocolates.;)
  6. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Posts: 554

    If the owner is taking bids, he already decided to get someone else. Just stick with the property manager,and do what she wants.
  7. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,218

    #1. Sounds like it could be a communication gap.

    #2. Something is wrong. The quality, price or neglect of service. If you've had this property for 7 years then I dought it to be price.

    I know we sometimes get caught up in the everyday hustle of the biz and sometimes get a little lacks in keeping our bread and butter accounts happy. YOU evaluate your performance for that property over the last year. Be honest. If the problem is your performance, you have to go get the account back. Be Bold but professional. Have the property manager set it up. Don't take No for an answer. If the owner is taking bids from other LCO's, then he has time to see you. Listen, listen, listen and he will tell you what the problem is. Then act on his concerns.

    Just my .02 Good luck and don't lose the other accounts.

    I may be way off base, just trying to get a feel of you situation.

    Oh, yes you can win this one. Be a salesman for a day.
  8. McNeal Lawn

    McNeal Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Thanks for all of your inputs, your comments and ideas are well taken. I meet or talk to the owner at least 4-5 times a year, during a service visit, he will routinely call me into his office or come outside to talk, to either ask for recommendations or to bring up a small litttle job to be completed. The procedure that I have used in the past has been small little jobs are done without a charge or going through the PM. On projects with expenses I always get the OK from the PM. On occasion she is a little slow in giving me the go ahead to complete a job. I am submitting another proposal for the work the owner has requested tomorrow. At that time I will try to gather more information from the PM on this situtation, to determine if is the service being provided or the owner just upset on the projects not being done. Regardless of the reason I will stay with the PM.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    the pm may have raised the rates 4 her service and then blame it on u try to hange in there and keep everyone happy but save what u can u may get the boot good luck

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