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Florida LCO's compared to every body else!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KINGjosh, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    I read alot on this site about the prices up north and stop to ponder. ( If I could Charge that much I would be a millionaire) Prices on mowing down here consist of $20 mow and go. For the majority of us. I don't know if the snow has something to do with the price increase for yall, or whether its the off time you guys have in the winter.

    But what would happen if a Floridian would to come into a town where it did not snow as much. And offer, slightly higher prices than previously before.

    What i guess I trying to say is that, If you could survive in Florida and do well, then you could prabably reach great success in other states where the cost of living is not as great as South Florida.

    We would probably be consider a lowballer in many other states
  2. Mr. C

    Mr. C LawnSite Member
    from Miami
    Posts: 69

    Some of the pricing i have hear from guys up north does sound pretty spectacular. I guess you have to go by what the market will bare. I have a couple of properties that i charge a higher price for because it is in an exclusive area and the customer expects this.
  3. aries

    aries LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Posts: 334

    Here in jersey the cost of living is very high but at the same time you have to keep your prices competitive or you go broke! the amount of LCO's is high also but their is plenty of work!
  4. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Theres not many places where the cost of living will be that much lower, exept a few small southern towns (not big cities either). And dont just beleive what you read, there is a guy on here who has a $10/hour difference in his hourly rate depending on his mood that day, and some that post their hourly rate for extra things on their website, then tell how they make the big money on extras. It doesnt add up, work the #'s. You also have to realize they for the most part are the ones with the short seasons and higher costs of living.
    I started a thread once a couple years ago about an account, mow, edge, trim and blow, thats it. Every week in summer, every other in winter. Said I charged $140 a month (works out to around the magic $60/hour), and asked if that was about right. Everyone, regaurdless of area said they couldnt get that. I let them say it, then explained it. I think they chose to pick on my spelling (a sure sign that I got them).
    You just have to get out a calculater when people start talking money, and more times than not you can prove them wrong.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Just random thoughts, Does the age of the customer drive down prices? I have a few "fixed income"-"my grandson would do it for $5 but he is too busy" people that are not willing to pay a lot. I would think that it would be worse down there.
    Also I would think that you have more of a problem with cheap labor than we do. (but that is changing)
    From reading posts and threads on this site and working the business I think that we will be catching up (or down )with you as the pressure on the business seems to be downward.
    The trend in manufacturing is to outsource or move the plant to another country where workers are cheap. The trend in service business is to bring the cheap labor to the job.
    Is the future cloudly for the U.S.???
  6. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    Not to be disrespectful, but.... From what I've seen and heard, Flordia has a very low cost of living. Well alot lower from Michigan and other northern states. Hence, maybe thats why the older people who live on fixed incomes flock to florida.

    But for example, my grandpa bought a house in Flordia for $60k, without a basement, that SAME house with a basement would EASILY cost $150+ here.

    But again, they have websites showing states, citys, and countys for the cost of living, check it out ;)

    Again, im not trying to be disrespectful, just helping you out :)

    Oh and the reason we can charge more is the same reason cars, plows, mowers, and everything else have different prices from state to state. Most of us charge more because again, cost of living is high.

    The one thing that does piss me off are the elders on fixed incomes and expect us to do it for as stated above $5 as little johnny would. But theres only a few people like this. Most of my elderly people live in upwords of a million dollar homes right on the lake, and I dont think they are on fixed incomes ;) hehe. But then there is the people who are like 30 or so, they dont seem to mind as long as it looks good, and they dont even really care what you charge them and it looks good.

    Its all about the area and how much you can charge.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I would have to say that there aren't a whole lot of areas where the cost of living is lower then the Fort Lauderdale area and still have the population density that Fort Lauderdale has. Usually when you have a population like Fort Lauderdale the cost of housing and living in general is much higher particularly on the west and east coasts.

    For example:

    A starter home in a decent non-rural area anywhere from Washington DC to Boston is going to cost $300,000+. We're talking a 3 bedroom, 1/1.5 bath rancher. Just to qualify for this loan (based on 30%) you will need to make $5800 a month for 12 months or 69,600 a year. That would be as stated from line 12 of your 1040. Line 12 is the amount of money you made after deducting expenses. Just for the sake of arguement lets say that expenses run 20%. That would mean that you now have to gross $83,520 per year.

    Now divide $83,520 by 28 cuts (my average) and you get $2982 that you would need to make per week. Divide that by $20 per cut and you will have to cut 149 lawns per week solo. Given the size of the lawns in my area you would never do it.
  8. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 434

    NOt to rip on the Fort Lauderdale or WPB area but you guys I would venture to say are the cheapest LCO's in the state. But you have the highest population of millionairs and the highest cost of housing in the state.

    I had a lady move to a sub Im in and I quoted her 115. a month. She tells me shes from WPB and for this same size yard she had down there she said she was paying 50.00 a month for full service. Thats basic plus hedges, palms, weeding.
    I laughed and told her to move back. She eventually found someone for 70.00 a month. He's a local lowballer. The sad part he does nice work.

    My price is for 115.00 month x 12 = 1380. divide that by 40 cuts = 34.50 per cut and we can do 4 yards per hour. Comes out to 138.00 per hour.

    Dowm by F.Lauderdale you have a lot of Cubans working for almost free and they go to the Home Crapper and buy all their stuff.

    I too have thought of moving back to Wi. for greener pastures.
    It all depends on what area of the country you like to live in and deal with your current price issues.
    Not all LCO's in Tampa get the price I get. I had to work at it.
  9. muxx

    muxx LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    Also, not to be disrespectful, but I believe the cost is lower in Florida for 2 reasons. 1) It is more year round, and 2) you have way more foreign people willing to do the work alot cheaper, because the money they make is still alot better than it was in their home countries.
  10. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    Yes the majority of the state is low cost, But I said South Florida. $300 homes and up here too. Property values here go up every month. I know customers who have done this, You could literally buy a house and then resale it right away and make a profit. Now you could go to central florida and probably buy 2 homes for that. Im really debating whether or not to move to central Florida or not. I dont want to leave this state. The weather is great.

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