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leaf cleanup rate

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by DLCS, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,484

    I could imagine that since you are billing hourly, you probably clean all of your accounts to perfection? unlike me someone who gives a set price and really does everything in my power to go in clean up the leaves and get out within the time i had estimated or faster. I really crack that whip if we end up going over the allowed time, but when i finish on time or faster, people really are amazed at how fast and how clean everything is for the money. I go through my clean ups with speed over quality now. I used to do them with only back packs, much better job but unless you are billing hourly its not worth imo, and even if you are billing hourly I think most of my customers would feel very strongly against billing them 50 or 60 dollars per man per hour. especially when there are 2 or 3 of us on a single clean up. they would want to know how long it will take and whatever time i say they would try to hold me too it, some anyways. So i just give them a fixed price.
     
  2. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    I know believe me I know.

    I never give my rate either unless pressed and even then I try my hardest to stick with just the price I gave them take it or leave it doesn't matter what my hourly rate is.
     
  3. H & M Yard Improvements

    H & M Yard Improvements LawnSite Member
    Posts: 214

    I try to give just a flat rate if possible. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! I've noticed that the customers don't care that u are trying to run a business. They just want it done cheap as possible! I had one call from someone wanting his property cleaned and he only wanted to pay $30. I told him no way and walked away and left!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    The standard of detail I apply is based on the particular property and even different areas of the property. I am going to do it in a "workman-like" manner no matter what and I'm not going to milk it. Some properties I'll break out the shreder-vac at the end and get the last bit of leaves from corners, window wells and ground cover but on most I don't take it that far. The smaller the property the pickier I'll get, in general. Whatever standard I apply is usually more than the customer expects...most have done leaf cleanups themselves and leave a fair amount of debris behind when they rake.
     
  5. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,484

    I wasn't implying that are milking the fact that it is hourly, i just figured since you are being paid hourly you would get very very detailed. milking it in my opinion is working slow to get paid more. From what you have said in other threads it seems like you move at pretty quick pace. I agree with standard of detail, you can't polish a turd, to say it lightly, when a customer has a crappy lawn full of weeds, moss everywhere and just wants it cut 2x a month or less, I'm not gonna go out of my way, or even spend any extra time trying to make it look nice, I'm gonna cut it as fast as possible and trim as fast as i can walk, and blow the driveway off as fast as i can and leave. vs a nice account, i'll go a little slower so it looks nicer.
     
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I just do what I think is right for the particular lawn and customer. I used to say that you can't polish a turd too...until MythBusters ruined it for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJ9fy1qSFI

    But this is a lot of the reason I charge my cleanups hourly. What is the standard? What is the end point of a fall cleanup? What happens when your standard and the customer's don't match? What happens when you bid it as a lump sum price and you think you're done and the customer doesn't. When billing hourly the solution is simple....fine, I'll go spend more time on it.
     
  7. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,484

    i always exceed customer expectations. always, I used to be really anal about my clean ups like I would get every single leaf out of everywhere, every little twig, acorn, nut or berry, almost every grain of sand, i used to clean my lawns to damn near perfection, then i realized I was doing too good of a job for the money i was getting paid, and over a 5 year time frame i have lightened up and go a bit faster but with the newer equipment i have i can still be very detailed and exceed the customers expectations every time.
     
  8. dtford

    dtford LawnSite Member
    from 02338
    Posts: 80

    The bottom line is, this equipment and repair costs us a fortune. If Im running 2 backpacks,2 Walkers and a leaf loader, I'm charging a whole lot more than I would for 3 guys and wheel barrels. We spend a fortune for labor saving devices*(which we beat the crap out of and has to be replaced fairly regularly) so we can do more more jobs in a shorter amount of time. For a job that takes 2 guys 1 hour with thousands of dollars worth equipment as opposed to 10 hours for 2 guys with rakes,brooms and tarps. Its difficult to convey that to a customer.I'm always glad when they go off to work.
     
  9. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,735

    Two man crew, 45.00 per man hour so 90.00/hr billed to the quarter hour + dump fee of usually 10.00-15.00. That's what we tell all our leaf calls over the phone. We do not do leaf estimates. And of all the calls this year, maybe 2 people didn't call back.

    Everyone else wanted to hug us after we finished the work.

    Our average bill per yard seemed to be right at 190.00 (2 hrs typically)
     
  10. dtford

    dtford LawnSite Member
    from 02338
    Posts: 80

    I got no issue with that, way higher on the dump, even if in your back yard
     

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