First estimate

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Paulup, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    Well, i started passing out my first bunch of fliers today. It was more like a letter then a flier, put it in an envelope with my business card, and drove my 4 wheeler through a few neighborhoods wedging them between the mailbox and its flag.

    First off, expensive iron mailboxes with the push tab flag are a PITA, can't stick a flier on them without breaking the law and putting it in the box.

    Second, I got a phone call to give my first estimate, ever, before I even finished dropping my fliers(about 150 of them).

    So, who has some advice on how to handle my first estimate? I meet the home owner on Monday afternoon.

    This is an aerial of the property, at first guess I'm gonna say its around 3 acres, but I won't know for sure until I get out there and walk it.

    [​IMG]

    Let me know what you guys think. Comments on a fair price, etc. This will be my first house in a relatively upscale country neighborhood, so I'm leaning towards a slightly lower price so I can get myself working in the area and get my name out a bit.
     
  2. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,045

    Good for you.
     
  3. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Dont sell yourself cheap just because its an upscale area of homes. Charge what you want ,yet be competative. Looks like alot of line triming ?
     
  4. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    The neighborhood is deceiving, most of the trees you see have pine straw around them so i can hit the majority of it with the ZTR. House, flower beds and driveway will be most of the trimming.
     
  5. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Satalite pics do no justice ,as you stated you'll have to checkout the property yourself. If it is 3 acres what do you get in your area for this size ?
     
  6. JohnnyCuts

    JohnnyCuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 256

    "wedging them between the mailbox and its flag.

    First off, expensive iron mailboxes with the push tab flag are a PITA, can't stick a flier on them without breaking the law and putting it in the box."

    Is this actually legal?
     
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,328

    It certainly is not in our area.....someone will report it.
     
  8. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,239

    I would not recommend driving the 4 wheeler around a neighborhood. Most people find them annoying. I personally find them fun but it's not the place to be riding them. Buy some land or find some state trails. Your lucky someone didn't call the cops for the 4 wheeler and then the cops would see the letters on the boxes.
     
  9. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    what type of equipment are you using?how much help?how long will it take?what do you want to make a hour?once you can answer these questions,you can come up with a price.good luck & hope this helps you!
     
  10. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    Few answers.

    Between flag and mailbox, the way i understand it so long as i don't put anything in the mailbox, i'm in the clear. Thats what my mail lady told me, so i'll run with it. I'm WAY outside the city limits, they let a lot of stuff slide if its borderline.

    If i lived in town, I wouldn't have made it half a mile on the 4wheeler without a citation for using it on a public road. I covered 20 miles, and on public roads i passed 5 other 4 wheelers, 3 golf carts, and 1 go cart. Police around here don't usually bother people for minor stuff like that.

    As for the job itself, I'm solo. I have a JD 717A(48"), Stihl KM 130 with trimmer and blower attachment, and a truck and trailer to haul it. Tuesday I'll be picking up the edger attachment as it appears I am going to need it sooner then expected. If it is 3 acres, i figure i can do it solo in an hour and a half. I cut my parents 2 acres with very little trimming in under 45 minutes, so thats what I am judging it on.

    I was mostly making this post so you guys can give me advice on giving estimates. How do you guys act, dress. Possible sales pitches if the customer seems to be shying away from your service. If I quote what i feel is a fair price for the area, and the customer says no but would be willing to take the service for 10 bucks less, should I go for it. This is to be my first account that I am not related to by blood or marriage, so I'm just nervous has hell, and at the same time worried that if i screw up my first opportunity to land a job in a wealthy neighborhood with 150+ homes in it all with 1-5 acres lots, I might not get another opportunity to show off what I can do.

    Thanks for your replies and support. I got a second call today for a house outside of this subdivision, but right down the street, and will be giving this estimate before the big neighborhood, so I guess I'll get my feet wet sooner than I thought.
     

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