Nearby neighbors who use competitors for lawn mowing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    Is it just me, or are others perturbed by this as well?

    There is no way in the world that after three years in the business anyone who lives within five houses of me in either direction wouldn't know that I'm in the business. They would have to be blind and stupid not to notice.

    I am very deliberate about not keeping any signs or trailers or equipment parked around my house, so I know they are not upset becuase the "dirty contractor" lives a few houses down. If you drive down my street 99% of the time there is nothing around my house that would lead anyone to believe I'm a "dirty contractor". But the crews check in and out every morning and night and they are there enough for neighbors to know I'm in the business.

    Yet, these people, with the exception of my next door neighbors and two homes directly across the street from me, are hiring competitors to mow their lawns. Out of the 10 homes across the street from me and 10 homes on my side of the street, I'd guess 12 are using a service and 8 are doing it themselves. Of the 12 who contract out, I've got two.

    It just drives me nuts. I know I have lawns right down the street from one of my competitors. In fact, I have a bunch of lawns on his block. But I am perplexed by these people. I know if it were me, and if I were in the market to hire a contractor and I knew that someone just a few houses down from me was in the business, I would hire them. At least I think I would.

    Are others as frustrated by this as me?

    I just don't get it.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    Well... There is 3 landscapers on my block. One landscaper doesnt cut anyhouses around here. I cut 7 on my block. And the other guy cuts ALOT. I think he has like 60 just in like 5 blocks. So if someone on the block doesnt get me, its the guy with 60 accounts. Hopefully I'll have more then the other guy in a few years. LOL
     
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    DFW I feel your pain (in the head) I lost a pretty big landscaping job (well big for us) by way of friends of the family thought I was too busy to do the job, can you bleive that! I asked them roughly how much $1450.00 for 5yrds of mulch and 2 shrubs planted and aprox 200ish feet of new edges around the beds. OUCH!! They asked me how much I would have done this for so I told them, about $800.00 tops with a friends and family discount. I loved his expression after that! I told him to call me next time.

    My next door neighbor definetly I own a LCO but instead he has a guy who lives up the street 4 houses who has no insurance etc. do it for 20 bucks a pop and it turns out looking like a typical home owner job. Oh well. ;)
     
  4. SHOWCASE LAWNS LLC

    SHOWCASE LAWNS LLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    some people are smart enough to know that doing business with a neighbor can be the worst thing you will ever do. if the situation goes bad you could end up with an enemy for life..........i think the old addage goes something like ...dont s**t where you eat vice versa dont eat where you s**t !!!! it may drive you nuts but at least you are on good terms with the neighbors
     
  5. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    I wouldn't want to do business with a neighbor that i know really well. They will think that they deserve some special price or extra service just because we know each other well. And if they are close by, they are in a prime position to give me hell over some small thing i may have missed. Just my 2 cents!
     
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    No one on my street knows their neighbors. That's just the way it is in my neigborhood. Everyone knows the neighbors directly next door and across the street and that is pretty much where it stops in the DFW area. Once you get into the $300K homes people seem to know their neighbors a lot better. But in the middle class no one knows their neighbors.

    As for relationships going south, I understand your point a litte bit. But the home owners do realize it's just lawn mowing. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to do this. Its either gonna be my hispanic laborers or someone elses. I just can't figure out why they won't do business with a nearby neighbor instead of a total stranger.

    The thing that prompted this thread was I noticed the guy who lives two doors down from me across the street just hired a competitor. He came over and asked me how much to mow his lawn about a month ago. He was very clear that he only wanted it done one time. It had been fertilized heavy, very dark green and it hadn't been mowed in at least a month. He asked me how much and I said I would charge by the hour for that one and estimated $60 or $70 on a one time. He politely thanked me for the price and returned to his house. I saw him out there with his wife about five days later. The two of them worked for at least two hours and it looked like schit when they were finished. Then today one of my competitors shows up to mow his lawn. I assume he is on a regular schedule with them.

    Oh well. The guy never asked me for a price to do it on a regular basis. I just think it would be "neighborly" to hire a contractor who lives just a few doors down if you are in the market for a service but it doesn't work that way at all in this area. I guess they want us to cold call them for their busines....something I refuse to consider.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I wouldn't take it personally. People are just weird sometimes...neighbors, friends, family, you name it.
     
  8. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    I just walked outside and inventoried the situation that I am aware of.

    Of the 17 houses within four doors of my house in either direction, 13 of them hire a contractor for a service I offer...either weed control or mowing. My next door neighbor uses me for weed control and my neighbor across the street uses me for mowing. I have two of the 13.

    Right or wrong, it frustrates the hell out of me. Really pisses me off. I understand if the home owner has been using the same contractor since before I entered the business. But that is not the case with any of them. Every competitor who is working on one of those 11 homes was hired long after I entered the business.

    I just think these people are incosiderate azzholes. That's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Are you absolutely 100% certain these 13 neighbors of your's know all about you and what you have to offer?
     
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I'm in this 11 years full time and I still hear, "really, you do that do too?" Something doesn't add up for ya though IMO.
     

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