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Large Residential vs Small Residential

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, May 18, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    One thing I've noticed is that all my low margin accounts have one thing in common: They're all larger properties.

    The stops where two men can get in and out in under 30 minutes are generally higher margin. But when we start crossing the 40 minute threshold, that's where the low margin stuff starts to rear it's ugly head.

    The blame is squarely on me. I'm the one who quoted the prices and I'm the one who's working for the lower margins.

    But I guess the point of this post is to point out that people with larger properties don't necessarily have larger incomes. Of course, I understand this, so when I bid these properties, I'm concerned with quoting a price that I think will be affordable for the customer. I want to hear them say "yes". I know it's stupid, but it's the way I think. Fortunately for me, there just aren't that many larger properties in my area (or I'd probably grossing even less $$/hr than I already am.) Most everything around here is cookie cutter and small.

    Does anyone else notice that the lower margin accounts are typically larger properties? Is it just me, or are others also victims of trying to throw out "middle class affordable" prices with more time consuming properties????

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    DFW, you are not stupid, I do the exact same thing, I want to hear the words yes, but over the years are have been burned many times and I learned, time is money and unfortunately for the customer this does not work out in their favor. I now price accordingly and later I have no regrets.
  3. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    i fall in your boat DFW

    totally want to give an "affordable" quote. especially because if i dont, Jose and his POS scag will.

  4. TRex

    TRex LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW ,TX
    Posts: 487

    I recall that the largest mower you guys were using was 32". That was last season but it might make a difference to let us know what mower you are using on these larger props and what is the largest you could use for most of them.

    My largest property has the highest profit margin and the only problem is the 4 mile drive to it. This is the only reason I ask what mowers you are using and what could be used.
  5. flam41

    flam41 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    I do the same thing. if I would charge 30$ per cut & get talked down to 25$ I just think to myself I'd rather have the 25= 100$ per month than not. I think atleast Im in a new neighborhood w/ potential to get some neighbors.
  6. hortboy

    hortboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    I am a huge fan of small properties, in fact there isn't a day in the week where my two man crew is doing 3 lawns an hour at least a couple times a day. Now lets see, 3 tiny props at 30.00 each or a larger lawn that brings in 60.00 for an hour. Seems obvious to me and further more keeps my over head less w/ less wear on larger ztr and more wear on 36 wb. less gas in the mowers etc. And to put the icing on the cake in my area huge competition for for larger props and very little competition for small lawns. In fact i have two large landscaping / lawn care companies in the area refering work to me because they only want big acounts. Hey I'll do 25 lawns a day be done by 3:00 pm .
  7. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    DFW, by the way, the smaller residential is definitely the money maker for us. Your theory is correct in my opinion. People with smaller props know they are going to pay a certain price and they can live with that, but alot of the larger prop owners always try to bargain with me.
  8. flam41

    flam41 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    what areas are trex & dfw working out of?
  9. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    I find I make more on larger residential accounts than smaller. I also think that I am set up better to handle larger accounts as far as equipment goes. By the time you deal with tight quarters and gates, larger open properties are actually easier to do. IMO ;)
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    32" Ferris hydro. But on all of the lower margin accounts, there's a back gate that wouldn't allow much more if any.

    I really think a 32" with true hydro would speed me up a bunch. I've heard someone makes one. Turning the Ferris 180 degrees is work and it's slow. It will turn on a dime, but it's hard work. Typically, when I turn 180 degrees, it's a three move turn...time consuming.

    DFW Area Landscaper

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