Leaf clean up prices are in the toilet here.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by delphied, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    Gave a customer a price of $50/ HR and I was $10 higher than his Fert and Squirt guy that gave him a price. I thought I was doing him a favor. I told him to give the work to the other guy. This business is really going down the drain in Michigan.
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,088

    Completely gone away several years ago in our area mainly due to people having the big ZTR that can mulch up stuff easily. Customers that always thought they needed leaves removed realized the low prices was much better.
     
  3. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,985

    delphied, I understand where you are coming from, but at the same time their is way to much competition (in my area, Balt-DC) to lose any jobs over $10 hr. imo. I would just hope to make up the difference at a later time. Did they ask for a total cost estimate? Who knows, the "Fert and Squirt guy" might end up charging what you would have or more, by working the numbers. :nono:

    ed2hess, "having the big ZTR that can mulch up stuff easily" We've been doing this for years but we still try to charge extra. payup
     
  4. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    I think some of it depends on the customer, and what they are looking for. We were doing a cleanup the other day, and the neighbor had mulched his own leaves (did a good job, but you could still see a brown tint due to the leaf debris in his yard), he came over to the yard we were working in, and commented about how nice the blowers had done, told me 'You just cant make it look that nice with a rake, or by mulching'. You cant mulch the flowerbeds, and a rake wont clean them out as nice. JMO, I guess.
     
  5. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    With leaf work you have to find the right clientel!The key element being people that need the service, executives,disabled people, seniors,an people with extra spendable cash! After you locate that cliche of people then ya need to know how to sell leaf work! I promise ya leaf work is a system that takes years to execute properly! have fun George
     
  6. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Leaf removal is a pain from beds and lawns.Weather has som much to do with conditions. Hourly is best, but most people shy away from the cost. The right client is where the money is at- good luck finding them now a days.
     
  7. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,784

    im surprised so many still give hourly rates for fall cleanup. think of it from a customers point of view. you say ill do it for $50/hr and show up with a tarp and rake and it takes you 10 hours. i tell them ill do it for $300, including the mowing. they dont care that im in and out in an hour and a half. htey are happy they know exactly how much it will cost they so they can plan ahead. people like to plan and the hourly rate is an open door policy for some to come in and clean out a persons savings.

    if you dont know how long it will take you due to lack of expericence, you'll have to guess. always guess a little hirer since things never work quite as we plan. after a bit you will figure how long a lawn will take just by looking at it. the hourly rate kind of bits you in the rear because as you grow and buy bigger and better equiptment, you become faster. customers are not going to want to pay more per hour even if you tell them you are quicker.
     
  8. Leaf Jockey

    Leaf Jockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 360

    This is a good post and pretty much answers every cleanup/pricing question I have seen here.
    Use the $50 hour as your estimating guide. Don't offer it as your rate.

    Scott
     
  9. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    Excellent advice,TY
     
  10. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Leafs are hard to figure. It can be done both ways.
     

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