Need help pricing a development

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by kc2006, May 11, 2005.

  1. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    Need some help here, did searches before about condo's but this is different. This condo development has 20 yards, each yard is postage stamp size (front yard has about 200sq foot of grass, one to two passes in between the houses and back yard is about 500sq foot and no trimming at all except around the house and driveway, in other words no trees or beds). Someone that lives there is giving me the scoup on what the current company charges roughly because the people don't like who did it last year and they dont have anyone set up yet and are looking for a more quality company rather then someone to bust it out and leave. Last years company was charging $145 per week for all 20 yards, about $7.25 a yard. Too cheap for me. From what I hear it only would take them 2-2.5 hours one guy cutting one guy trimming and push mowing to do it, now then you figure hourly and that is fair (not too far off for my area, its about 35-45 a man hour around here). I am thinking more on the lines of 12 a yard or $240 a week (alittle more but from what i gather the people are pains in the a$$'s so I figure the little extra will be since I'll take my time on the job to make sure its up to their standards.

    How do most of you guys price condo developments? Per yard, hourly? Any insight on pricing would be great. I figure for the size of the yards 10-12 dollars a yard would be plenty since it would take a total of 10-15 mins per yard, and since business isn't too well right now this would be a pretty good income for me, plus with mulch, shrubs and plowing it would be alot of good extra work too. What do you all think?
     
  2. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    bueler?

    heres another question. As with any shrub trimming job, or mulch install I am going to price this by the hour, and I openly say this in the proposal. I honestly think it would be way too hard to accuratly estimate mulch and shrub trimming. so i explain why i price per hour and how its more benefitical to the development and will save them money rather then someone coming in and over pricing the estimate to play it safe, i do it this way so they know exactly how long it took and how much it is. If i dont get this account its no biggie, i'm learning why so many people hate condo developments. Theres one guy there that is a royal pain in the ass, told me to leave the other day when i was figuring out the estimate for mowing, I guess he's the bitter old man on the council that doesnt like change, i told the other council members they need to get rid of him if he's like that because its not good for the rest of them, they laughed and agree'd.
     
  3. wacamaster

    wacamaster LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Posts: 198

    You can't believe what they say about taking 2 hours or whatever. And if you come in with that bid over the other.. they will stay with the cheaper... they always do. They also like to see a flat number as opposed to an hourly rate.... after all.. you could spread mulch slow as **** and rip them off.
     
  4. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    Most everyone around here prices mulch, leaves, shrub trimming hourly thats why i was going to submit it like that.

    So how do you accurately estimate leaf removal since you don't know how long it will take or how many times you have to visit and do leaves (normally have to hit everyone twice around here)? Or snow removal, how can you estimate when you don't know how many times its going to snow?
     
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    thats how, you will be wrong sometimes but you will learn
     
  6. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    so experience can tell you how many times its going to snow in the winter?

    not trying to be a d9ck or anything but I just don't see how you can estimate stuff like that, that you have no idea on how many times its going to need done. I used to estimate at my old job so I'm good on the mowing, shrubs and mulch, i just thought they'd prefer being charged hourly like everyone around here does rather then someone tossing a high estimate at them to make sure they cover them selves incase they estimated wrong.
     
  7. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    Well odds are I'm not going to get this one. Come to find out the head of the development is also the guy that is building all the condo's around here and is friends with the lawn care owner (ifyou want to call him that since he doesn't even have a registerd business). The one customer showed me their quarterly reciept and they have it as he got paid 250 dollars for 3 months but yet if you look threw the whole list of expenses he really got paid at least 3500. Figures I get pulled into one that is extremely shady, I'll submit my bid but doubt I'll get it. Thanks for the help anyway guys.
     
  8. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    will tell you how much to charge, how long a job will take, how to ask and answer a question without sarcasm......which jobs to walk away from ,,,,

    there is no pricing formula, what its worth in your area is different then what its worth in other areas....
     
  9. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    I wasn't answering you with sarcasm when i said experience can tell you how much it snows. I was being serious, I asked well how do I put a hard number in front of them for snow removal when you don't know how many times it will snow and you said experience. Just want to clear that up, I wasn't trying to be a d#ck I was just alittle confused. I have experience as i said before, this is my second year by myself and I had been working for a company for 3 years prior to that so I know how to estimate. I'm going to walk away from this job, it just doesn't seem worth all the bs that I'm already seeing while just putting together a bid.

    Sorry if i came off the wrong way Dave, just been a crazy week.
     

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