Elderly Customers ???

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GardenDoorNW, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. GardenDoorNW

    GardenDoorNW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I have a few 55+ neighborhoods around where only people over the age of 55
    can purchase a house. My mother in law lives in one of these. It's been my experience that there are plenty of residents over the age of 70. Some still work in there yards trimming and cutting flowers, some have businesses take care of the yards.

    Does anyone have any words of caution, or advice in offering services to the elderly.

    P.S
    I don't consider a 55 year old perdon elderly
     
  2. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,245

    Yeah, they are cheap and will nickel and dime you to death. Especially in a senior community.....
     
  3. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    I have a bunch of seniors on my route theyre the ones that really need our help, yea some are cheap but alot of times theres extra work there too and Ive never had too many problems, yea they squeek some. But Ive gotten tree trimming, hedge clipping, driveway sealing, and snow plowing from them. Just remember alot of them are on fixed income!
     
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    We have quite a few elderly customer's on our routes and its a split. Some are decent customer's and some are, well not that their cheap, they just don't have the money to spend on extra work. You will get very tired of hearing "I'm on a fixed income". The majority are pretty much a mow and blow type lawn, but if they live in a community type area you might stand a better chance of having more good customer's than not. One nice thing is, they are from the time when people paid bills on time so they tend to follow suit, not like it is today with "baby boomer's" and the attitude of well it will get paid when it gets paid (not all "baby boomer's" but a lot of them)
     
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,916

    Thank you!
     
  6. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    there are good and bad in every age group, but it's been our experience that the elderly pay their invoice at the end of the month lightening quick.
     
  7. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    We have tons of elderly clients, they always pay on time. If they are in a lower income neighborhood then yes, many will be on a fixed income. In a middle/upper class area they will be great clients. This rule is not absolute, we've had a few elderly clients in low income areas that spend a lot, we've had 1 elderly client in a $800,000 home that had problems paying their bill, but the rule holds 98% of the time.
    1 down side is that some of them are lonely and will tend to pester you and your workers. But on the other hand, they are usually very trusting, we have a lot who pre-pay for the season, we have a few who will send us a blank, signed check when it is time for renewal, with a little note to just sign them up for whatever we feel they need for the year.
     
  8. RedMax Man

    RedMax Man LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,053

    Like the others have said, they're usually on a fixed income so they don't always need or want lots of other work done. They just want the basic maintenance most of the time. Yes they are at the top when it comes to being paid, I've never had any big issues with not getting paid on time or paid in full. they seem to got out fo they're way sometimes to make sure you get your money.
    Be aware that they may ask for small favors here and there like," could get my mail out of the mail box" or "would mind grabing the trash can" but they sometimes will offer you a cold drink on a scorching summer day too. Most of the elderly i've found to be great clients but you will get a bad one sometimes that you would rather give up.
     
  9. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    that's the key, we provide service for the middle class elderly, and going on 9 yrs in biz, I would have to say this is the best group to work for.
     
  10. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    I agree with Jodi, the middle and upper class elderly are (for the most part) the best to work for. On the maintenance side. They aren't the ones going for the 40-50K landscape installs.
    I've had some nightmares, but have a good group now that are great payers and appreciate the work we do for them. I think the older folks have more respect for working people, and we get more tips and gifts at Christmas time than from anyone else.
     

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