Down in the dumps!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Daren, Mar 21, 2001.

  1. Daren

    Daren LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    Well been out giving estimates all morning, weather is cold and rainy here. All estimates are going well getting jobs right and left. One of my customers from last year, has kinda got me upset. They (Husband & Wife Team) own one of the biggest local real estate agencies around here and are in the paper monthly for selling in excess of 1 Million dollars in property a month. well last year I did some clean-up and screwed myself with my estimate. Since then my prices have been adjusted. Mowed for them all year last year and they only wanted fertilizer put out in spring and fall,. that was fine. This year I sent out letters the first week of Febuary and told everyone if they need cleanup work or wanted on my new Total Lawn Care program to give me a call. Well 6 weeks later they call and aask me to go mow their yard. So I did. well as I was finishing up, they came home and I tried talking to her about her yard, she said To make it fast and was in a hurry, So I tried talking to him and ask him to what extent he wanted his yard to look like. Showed him my brochure for my new hydroseeder and he said measure it for overseeding. Then she came out and said They needed thier monkey grass trimmed (they have a bunch to) and also need leaves gotten out of 2 beds up front and put new mulch in. I told them that I would do it first of the week, She spoke up and said that would be to late we will just have to get someone else. Well husband said we should have called you in Febuary. So I went ahead and did the front part of the grass and left the estimate for the hydroseeding and told him I would get it all done this week, by working him in. So I call this morning to ask him about the estimate and he says I think we are going to bring CHEM-LAWN in,. They are considerably cheaper. So I told him that I am doing the Chem Apps and fertilizing starting this year, since I went through the cert program during the winter. He said well just do the mulch and we will get back with you ion the other. The thing Is I sent a letter in Feb. explaining all of this, i guess they were to busy to read it. Well Im about ready to tell them to find someone else to mow also. They have plenty of money and the act like when I charge them something that I am just way to high. Everyone else is happy with my work and the price.!! Anyway Sorry for dragging on but I just get frustrated and down sometimes!!

    Daren
     
  2. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    They use you, you just use them a little.

    If the income from cutting theirs is needed now, continue mowing. When you have a chance to get better full-service property to replace them, just notify them that you cannot continue.
     
  3. oneEXMARKfan

    oneEXMARKfan Banned
    Posts: 254

    Easy to get down and frustrated on days like this, but tomm. it's supposed to be sunny and 62.
     
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,949

    Professional people understand contracts and appointments. You need to make an appointment to sit down with them and go over your prices and if they agree with them then sign a contract. You just dont drop in on people or catch them when they are in a hurry or assume they read the mail you have sent. Most everyone wants the best deal they can get. Maybe they will find out cheaper is not always better and call you back. Just because you cut there grass doesnt mean you have a lock on all there other need and you shouldnt expect it. Just mow their lawn and that will give you the inside move when and if they ever need you for anything else.
     
  5. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    I agree with the posts you have gotten so far. I especially liked the idea Charles had about making appointments. Being in Real Estate they should realize they get what they pay for. Maybe they just forgot.

    Try to keep this thought in mind...
    They may have sold over $1 million in property last year, but that should not imply they earned $1 million of income. At the discretion of the buyer, the "selling" agents get on average 3% commission for the sale of a home. At the discretion of the homeowner the "listing" agent also gets 3%. If you do both for the same property you can get 6%. It may be a smaller percentage depending on what the buyer, seller or agent are trying to accomplish. An example would be Banks give less to the listing agent if they are trying to unload the house from a foreclosure, etc.

    Real Estate agents are virtually self employed. They pay for advertising, lock box rentals, association dues, etc., just like we do. I am sure your customers make good money and I am sure they also have substantial expenses. But they too are running a business.

    Now, this part could be helpful to you...
    Explain to them that realize in their line of work they therefore know the value of a homes "CURB APPEAL". (REMEMBER THAT PHRASE, Curb Appeal!!!) Remind them that with you maintaining their lawn last year their own HOUSE (house = just a place to live) looked like a HOME (home = the kind of place you would like to live) because of the CURB APPEAL you provided for them. Make them aware that because of rising fuel prices and other business expenses you have had to alter your prices and blah, blah, blah... I think you get the idea.

    I think you get the idea of what I am trying to say.

    Good Luck,
    Mark
     
  6. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    Well then... Ummmm..... Ummmm.... That changes everything!

    The more I think about it, the more they sound like they are not worth the hassle ...

    Mark

     

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