I hate waiting!

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by cutntrim, Oct 18, 2000.

  1. cutntrim

    cutntrim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 474

    I hope the weather turns colder soon so all the purchasing and property managers holding on to our bids will make up their minds. Pisses me off that they set deadlines for quote submissions and then sit on the bids until the last possible moment before the snow flies. We've got probably $75,000 in quotes just sittin' around in those bonehead's offices right now. Kinda hard to budget for the winter when you have no clue what your gross is gonna be. Anyway, just felt like venting.
     
  2. n y snow pros

    n y snow pros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    I agree its the worst part of the snow biz is waiting for these supposed professional property managers to make a decision.Most of the time snow is not important to these guys until Al Roker says its gonna snow!
     
  3. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    My biggest complaint about being left hanging is knowing when to stop bidding. Right now I've got enough prices out that if they all should hit (not likely) I'll be a bit overloaded. At the same time I hate to not bid on stuff and then end up having open time if I don't get the ones I have already bid on.
     
  4. JCurtis

    JCurtis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Maybe we can pool some money together and Bribe Al roker to announce a Blizzard in the next 5 day forecast.

    It might get the property managers off their collective butts.

    Al won't care if he is wrong, hes been wrong before.
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    Q How do you know if your weatherman is lying?

    A His lips are moving.
     
  6. cutntrim

    cutntrim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 474

    Well, maybe now that November is almost upon us the replies will start coming in. Today we got two return customers back on board so that's something. I wish people would have the courtesy to at least take 2 minutes to call contractors and let them know...even if they weren't the winning bid. As you know, a lot of time and thought can go into some of these contract bids and having to constantly pester people in order to find out "one way or the other" is more time spent. One of the bids we put out, to a property management company for several retail plazas, went without a response for weeks. We finally got a hold of the guy, and he said he found a lower price. We told him to remove us from his list for contract bids in the future if price shopping was his only priority. (He solicits new bids every year), because we are about professional service at a competitive price. We're not about shoddy service at dirt cheap prices.
     
  7. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    I started putting a date on my bids that we need to know by and that the pricing is good until, or else there is no guarantee we'll be able to fit them in the schedule. If the managers of the properties care at all about the service they'll usually get back to me by that date. I don't really care about the price shopper types anymore. I think Dino mentioned that he has a couple of his repeat customers wait until it snows every year to sign on and I have 3 every year that call the day before the first forecasted storm. From now on (if I can really fit them in the schedule) I'm bumping the price for the last minute guys (based on the fact that I gave them a price good til certain date in bid) and they can take it or call someone else. There is so much work in my area that its easy to have this attitude, and over time I'm weeding out the less profitable accounts for more profitable ones.
     
  8. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    I'm with BRL on this. I have a little "note" on my proposals stating:

    Note: This proposal may be withdrawn by is if not accepted within __________ days.


    I generally put in 30 or 15, depending on when I send it out to them. If they call. or mail it back after that amount of time, I decide then if the same price applies.

    On a side note, I use the same proposal for larger landscaping and maint. jobs. I wrote one up for a guy, to remove 3 pine trees on the side of his house, and 2 bushes out front. It had the note, with "30 days" on it. He called me the next <B>year</B>, and told me to do the job. Naturally, when I gave him the invoice, he freaked out at the "new" price. He said I gave him a quote, and brought out the original proposal. I pointed out the clause about "30 days". He gave me the check for the correct amount, and stormed off into the house. Hopefully, he learned a lesson from it! He was not a regular customer, and never called me again.

    ~Chuck
     
  9. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    I get a LS or SR proposal back after the date the pricing is good til, and the customer says to do it. If I decide that the pricing needs to be adjusted, I will contact the customer about the adjustments and rewrite the proposal for them to sign again with the correct prices. This is to avoid the problem you mentioned Chuck. Plus if you're up front about that type of situation the customer will feel better and you might get future work. What if that customer was thinking about redoing his whole landscape? Maybe you lost an opportunity to do a $15,000.00 job? I try not to burn any bridges because you never know what may come.
     
  10. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    Yes, you are right about that BRL, I agree, but not in this case. The thing with this guy, is that he was a penny pincher, and (no lie) 80+ years old. He was trying to cut back on maint. He was sick of trimming the bushes, and having to pay for anything having to do with the lawn. The pines were touching the house, and squirrels were getting onto his roof, or else he would have left them there as well. He had a guy doing the lawn for $17.50 a cut (every 2 weeks), and I wouldn't touch it for less than $25 a cut. I did plow his driveway over the winter before this job, and he was in Florida the whole time (Oct - April). Because of that, he only wanted me to plow 1/2 the driveway. Also, a path only 1 shovel width up to the door, and wanted it done last, or even the day after the storm. Basically, anything to keep the price down. Only so the house looked "lived in" and would deter burglers, as he said.

    Now, I do give price breaks to senior citizens. But I have little sympathy for one who owns two new Cadilacs, lives in a nice house, and has a beach house in Florida. If he wanted me to plow the whole driveway, it would have been $50. So I did it for $20, to do the 1/2. That was his break.
    Basically, this is the type of customer I didn't want, and do not want. He also didn't water at all during the summer, or want fertilizer/lime ever (Because then the grass would grow, and need to be mowed. He told me this.) So basically a customer that looks at price only, who doesn't care how the yard looks, which is the type I don't want, period.

    The guy also wanted me to do other work as well, when doing the trees and bushes. I replaced 4 damaged bricks on his front porch, moved a small red maple tree, and planted 2 tiny $5 shrubs (he supplied) where I pulled the other 2 from, so the bed wouldn't look bare. He complained about how much I charged to do all that too. Each customer is unique. I got involved with him through his sister, who was my neighbor. I did her lawn, and she wanted all the extras. I did her driveway, the <B>whole</B> driveway. She was not a penny pincher, and I gave her a break on everything. Maybe only $5 off here, $10 off there, but she always wanted extra services, and she even tipped me the same, $5 here, $10 there.

    This is the first person I had call me with a proposal over a year old. Had it been a different person, where I knew less about the person or possibilities, I may have put more into explaining things clearly.

    ~Chuck
     

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