How to get around estimates on fall cleanups?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kc2006, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    Since Friday I've been getting pounded with calls for fall cleanups and the fact that every person wants me to come out and give them an estimate is killing me.

    How do you guys go about getting the job without having to drive all the way out and give an estimate? I've tried explaining that we don't charge by the job its priced hourly and due to all the variables its difficult to give an exact price, then explain we're a very effiecent crew with quality equipment that gets the job done as fast as possible. But they still want me to come look....

    Back when I worked for the other company we didn't get too many new jobs, but when we would neither me or the owner would have to go out and check the job out first, the people would just automaticly want it done. I've had 2 people this year that said "just come and do it and bill me for whatever it comes out to" I wish they were all like that.
  2. competitiveimageland

    competitiveimageland LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    i have a sheet printed up that breaks down the pricing that i give the customers requesting estimates

    Competitive Image

    Estimate for leaf removal

    ______ hours of labor for Leaf removal from turf and
    flower beds.
    Volume of waste removal is tough be calculated prior to
    removal and estimates may vary .We can either curb your leaves for us to remove on a designated date or add them to your compost pile.
    We can add you to a weekly maintenance schedule or schedule random dates for removal.

    Below are the rates for leaf removal and labor rates

    Labor rates per Landscape Technician are $40.00/

    an hour.

    Rates for yard waste removal (grass, leaves, sticks and

    so on) are $27.00 per cubic yard. One Truck Load (4

    Yards) will be $100.00 and per Trailer Load (around 16

    Yards) $400

    Ron Christy Jr. Date____/___/___
  3. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 721

    i wish more people were like my dad if it needs to get done do it and bill me for it if only everyone did that
  4. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    we live now in the day where everyone wants something for nothing and for every 5 people that would do a job and bill accordingly there is always that one jackazz that will jack the price way up or charge for something they didnt do and screw it up for the rest of us . thats prob why every 1 wants a bid price . so they dont get taken .
  5. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    Thats what I hate, the fact that people feel they should get 10 bids for a 30 dollar job.

    I may have to experiment with something. I recall reading a post (I think bobbyg post) about a LCO that would tell people they were backed up for 3 months and it would cause people to think the LCO was so good and so backed up that they HAD to have them do the work at their house. I'm at the point where I'm going to start telling people I'm so busy that I don't have the time to drive out and give an estimate. Which is true.

    "Sorry sir, we're so busy right now that I don't have enough time to drive out and give estimates, you have to just trust that we are a professional establishment that charges accordingly to the market vaulue of our service"

    payup anyone else got suggestions on how to land a job without going out and giving an estimate?
  6. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Posts: 1,387

    Set a min. of how much you charge and then let them know that your prices start at.............. Or you can take all the yards that you do and average the prices out and tell them that your average price for yards is......... but let them know that it could be more or less and if they like that then go out and give an estimate and that will cut down on the price shoppers.
  7. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    That's what I do .... I have a minium of $150 (small .25 lots n we have little trees) ... fore us it's hedging, blowing out the beds n pile the debri ....

    perhaps something in the line of $150 fore a half day job n $300 full day job .... per person
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    I would say that you have a minimum price of $xxx.xx. And follow that up by saying that a different way like, The least we charge for a lawn is $xxx.xx. Then find out the size of their property and give them a ball park figure and a range it should fall in if there are not extreme circumstances. Then if they continue to hassle you a top figure for any lawn of their size has ever cost.

    example. Mrs. Jones, without looking at the lawn and the amount of leaves we really can't give an ironclad estimate. However, we can tell you that an average 1/4 acre property with average leaf coverage runs $245 including removal and disposal. This price can vary by as much as $100 in either direction depending on conditions." .... "No ma'am we can not drive out and give a personallized estimate. We are racing against the clock with this. When the snow comes we are done whether we have finished everyone or not, so considering the volume of repeat clients, the estimate I gave you is the best we can do." ... When would you like us to schedule your clean up?
  9. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    we just give them an hourly rate on phone and say we're the fastest around. we keep busy enough.
  10. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Apparently,your leaf services are in high demand.Since they are,take advantage of it and charge a leaf estimate fee.That should help cull the tire kickers,while at the same time,reimburse you for downtime away from jobs.Then,if you go out and price a job,but don't get the sale,you've at least made some money.Sounds like a good situation to be in actually,as a business owner.

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