Losing a good contract......

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Husky05, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Husky05

    Husky05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    I know everyone on here tells storys about how they get lowballed or lose out because of price increases. I just want to briefly tell you guys what happened to me today. I have this 44 unit townhouse assocation that I have been doing now for the past 2 years. Its a nice little community and very close to my business location, actually like 1/8 of mile. It takes me and 1 other guy to cut it about 2 - 2 1/2 hours depending on the time of the year to do everything, mowing, trimming, and blowing. And for working down there these past two years I have become friends with alot of the homeowners, I have done odd jobs for alot of them.

    Well the first year that I got this contract I cut the complex 3 times a month. The 10th, 20th, and 30th of each month April-October. I did this for 200 dollars. The 2nd year, I did the same schedule and cut it for 215 and that year the assocation asked me if I could start a fertiliztion schedule/program as well. That was pretty nice its approximately 74,000 square feet. Well I have taken a likening to this place, I just feel that I do a great job make the place look great, do little extra things because the people there are always telling me how great everything looks and they are very pleased. So I submit my bid for this year, I dont change the price of the fertilizer, but I increase my mowing from $215-$225 a ten dollar increase and I get word today from a lady I know that lives there that the assocation is looking and accepting other bids. I am so mad, like come on, dont they realize the cost of doing business and I realize that is only an additional 10 dollars or $210 dollars for the entire year which is basically nothing. That just ticks me off to no end that they want to get some lowballer in there that will do it for like 10-20 dollars less then me. Its not fair! People are so freakin cheap. I figured this out it cost each person $5.11 to have me cut thier lawn each time including the common areas. How crappy!
     
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Its a townhouse ASSOCIATION. Thats the problem. Dont ever consider townhouse/condos a permanant thing. Just look at them as extra income because they never last long.
     
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    most of the time it's like having 44 people in charge, screw that
     
  4. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 446

    I just picked up a 66 unit with a ton of pine trees, pine cones and leaves, limbs this week. I was pretty happy about landing this account, even though it was going to take alot of clean up to start. The first two days I must have met 1/4 of the residents, who all had some special request. I told my helper son, "I hate to seem pesimistic, but they will probadly be looking for someone else next year.
    Gary
     
  5. spazfam

    spazfam LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    Where is this Independence square in hopewell?
     
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Exact reason I don't even bid HOA's anymore.

    You'll learn soon enough. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I wouldn't get to freaked out about it. HOA's have rules they must go by and getting bids every other year may just be one of them. It is unlikely they will get a significantly lower bid so you are probably just getting worked up over nothing.

    The travel time does make that an attractive account but as you are coming to realize as much as we all like to think we have a relationship with our clients in the end it does come down to the almighty dollar.

    Before you submit your bid for next season I would take a close look at your costs and make sure this account is pulling its weight financially.
     
  8. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    There is a reason why we don't have a Federal Government that runs by Mob Rule... haha
     
  9. Rougher83

    Rougher83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Husky05,

    Is the price increase you are assessing really worth losing this job? Did your cost of doing business really increase enough to warrant this increase? If yes to one or both of these questions then you have to move on and accept it for what it is. HOA's can be a pain, but they are limited to there yearly dues. If you are in fact getting other side jobs as a result of this one, then I would have to seriously consider whether a $10/cut increase is really worth what it may cost you. Just my opinion but I hope it works out for you.
     
  10. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    Probably one of the members (possibly a new member) of the association raised a stink and now they have to do things differently to please everyone.
    The NEW 'head honcho' at one of my accounts is an attorney, all of a sudden I have to carry Workers comp. on myself to do any work at the place. Thankfully, I was able to raise my price to adjust for this, but for a little while it really put a thorn in my side.
     

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