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online estimates

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Rufur, Sep 13, 2000.

  1. Rufur

    Rufur LawnSite Member
    from md
    Posts: 143

    I followed a link to instant insurance rate quotes and thought this may have some application to landscapers web-sites...that is an estimating system that gives instant quotes for potential customers...you could start with a minimum then have the customer describe his-her lawn from a list such as grade, hills, number of obstacles, drives to be edged,size of lot and the estimator would calculate a price there could be some wording to protect you from a binding contract say if the customer has falsified info.... do you all think this estimating system has any value?
     
  2. BUSHMASTER

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    I just don't know ........i have never seen a customer with the same eye that i have ......maybe if they could email you pictures.... but hopfully there in your town and probally would be eaiser to go look ,but they can always e-mail you to set up a time and date.But then agian they laughed at that guy who said he could cure alments with mold.

    [Edited by BUSHMASTER on 09-13-2000 at 07:09 PM]
     
  3. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,253

    that wouldn't work, but good idea though. Bushmaster hit it on the head. Most likely the customer sees alot of things totally different than the contractor.
     
  4. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    It won't work because your potential customer is being your eyes for you. The customer is actually doing the estimate for you and you are just adding up the costs. Plus...alot of customers wouldn't spend the time figuring all the factors to type in.
     
  5. Hello Everybody:

    Yep it would be nice but to many varibles. When folks are talking to others their house is twice as big & biggest lawn you ever seen. Then when folks got work to be done their yard shrinks & square footage also.

    Insurance is easy, because you have absolute questions & all answers can only be answered one way. Age well your either 45 or not! Get the picture?

    Then you got to put other factors in the bid also is this customer a Nit Picker, Whinner like I am when somebody gets nasty on this forum (LOL).

    All in all they don't see things the way we do. If they did they would be doing it. To many factors that you can't put in a form. I can spot a problem customer in most cases in the first few minutes. I always spent plenty of time on my year round bids because some of them I priced so high I could afford the extra headaches & deal with it.

    Way to many factors, is this customer one of the top realestate salespersons in town, does this customer own the one piece of commercial property that you have always dreamed of. Yes this is figured in the bidding also.

    Hey it would be nice & Bill Gate$ will probably come out with it. Then you pick which form you want, beginners, Scrubs, Big Time, The Pro & then you step up to the top of the heap "The GrassMaster Quoter Pro!" LOL
     
  6. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    It wouldn't work. Good idea, but it wouldn't work. I've had people call me and want an estimate over the phone, but I always tell them I must see your property first. Here's an example; a woman called me to cut her lawn. I cut a house close by her. I told her that if it's a fenced in yard I need a 63" gate. She said she has a large gate. I gave her the same price as the neighbor. I went there and her gate was about 36-40". I just told her sorry.
     
  7. Toddppm

    Toddppm LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 268

    I'll tell them my minimum for lawns, but my favorite all time question is how much does it costs to cut down a tree?
     
  8. I have my own spreadsheet in Excel that I use for estimating and quoting services. I enter the square footage of the lawn and beds , my estimate for shrub fertilizer and pruning,leaf clean up time, number of sprinkler zones and has I enter the information, the spreadsheet calulates everything . Gives me a total and monthly cost. I think I only have to enter 5 subjective varibles and the rest is precalulated for mowing time(edging included) for 21 inch mowing, 36 inch mowing, Walker mowing, fertilizing. The times that do not vary are entered as a formula and stay the same. For smaller accounts, we have a $ 175 minumum, next step is $ 265, next is $359 etc. All based on two men, for half hour, 3/4 hour, 1 hour, yadda, yadda.

    I will never miss my time or material quotes with this system.

    Includes my support time for chargeable time not spent on site at 80% labor efficency, includes 5 % dips--- factor for flaky customers.

    No phone quotes. They must understand the mininmum charge for year round complete landscape care, and they agree to that concept, then we schedule an appointment. I close over 60% of my appointments. I enter the numbers in my laptop, right up the contract proposal right there and usually close right then or the next day. I don't let the lead go cold.
     
  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    How to tick off a customer? Give them a "hiyawatha" estimate and then give em a higher price when you see it in person. No matter what the disclaimer, you could have it hung from a sheet of plywood from a hot-air balloon over the customers head, they will want you to honor the lower quote.
     
  10. BUSHMASTER

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    turfman can you zip file that spread sheet i think even those you have a set might even again more insite,two head are allways better than one...... stimpy77@excite.com

    [Edited by BUSHMASTER on 09-14-2000 at 03:13 AM]
     

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