Pricing?

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Dr. Cornwallis, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    As some may know, I ran a lawncare business about seven years ago for a few years until I went into the military. I didn't know nearly what I know now and I think my pricing may have been off then. I'm currently a solo operator and I charge $50 an hour. I target high end residential properties, mostly between 1/2 and 3 acres. All my equipment is commercial Shindaiwa and my mower is a new Pro Turn 148.

    What I would like to know is, is my pricing fair or am I too high? Last week I got a call to go quote a one acre irrigated St Augustine lot with lots of trimming, edging and surfaces to blow. There were also tons of shrubs and other ornamental landscaping that would need trimming. The home that sat on the property is estimated at $460,000 fwiw.

    I bid $80/cut for mow/edge/trim/blow with an additional $30 a month for weed control in the beds and $150 to trim the landscaping at the owners discretion. The guy sounded a little thrown off over the phone and said he would get back to me, which I've learned means no.

    I know it's hard to say without actually seeing the property but is $80 a cut fairly inline with what le normal for high quality basic maintenance on a one acre lot? I know a guy with a sixty could do it quicker than my 48 but I wouldn't think THAT much quicker. I have another one acre lot I do that I charge $55 a cut for which is basically the same deal and I feel I way under bid it. It takes me between 1.5 and 1.75 hours to complete so I based my estimate on this property off what I'm currently doing.

    Any help is really appreciated! Don't want to be the low baller on the block.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  2. southerntide

    southerntide LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Alabama
    Posts: 3,826

    About 95% of my jobs are 1+ acre, highest I have ever went on a 1acre job is about $50, multi-acre yards usually price around $30 per acre sometimes more depending on terrains.

    1 acre takes me about 30 mins cut time usually gone 40 mins max unless some freak jungle yard with decorations all over the place like a hoarders yard lol

    Of course you have to add on trimming expense then and how many obstacles are in the yard, I count the full property grid as full acre house, trees all that crap slows you down have to figure that in. Some clients don't get it their like I have 3 acres but my house is big blah blah I still have to cover all of it with your obstacles which slows me down more.

    Florida has nicer incomes housing though
     
  3. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,204

    Out of that $80 explain to us what all you are doing and how long each thing takes. He might not be getting apples to apples bids and you need to explain that.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    Mow, edge, trim, blow. I also double cut all my irrigated St Augustine yards this time of year for a better appearance. Everything together should take about 1.5 hours. So $75 plus a little wiggle room on top. $80.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,204

    Well 1 acre should not take that long. 45 min would be a long time. So you must be paying attention to every detail.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Hard to say without seeing the property...but I don't think $50/hr is outrageous.

    I personally don't care for the acre plus homes. Most companies do them for peanuts. Places that should be $500-$600 month go for half of that. It's not about the mowing, that's easy. It's all the trimming, edging, etc.
     
  7. Florida is very different. There are usually tons of things to edge plus the trimming. An acre lot where you live is way different than here.
     
  8. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    If you don't mind me asking... What would/do you charge per hour as a solo operator? Being my first year in business I'm not 100% sure what my costs are, all I have are estimates. I plan on losing about 20% in taxes and I figure it costs me about $9/hr to turn my mower (fuel included) plus hand held wear and tear and fuel and the same for vehicle. But if people in my area are charging $55 for a one acre lot then I can't exactly charge $80 and expect to get away with it, however I have to make money.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,826

    How true. In Hawaii, you just about need a chipper and box dump because hedges, shrubs, and palm trees are part of the work. An acre lot usually means all of the $T crammed into a 5,000 sq ft lot x8. An acre lot is easily 8-10 man hours because of that. I have yet to take care of a clean property with only grass on it.
     
  10. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,204

    What are you averaging for the whole day per hr? I just know from my employees if this is your first year out and haven't worked in this industry at a professional pace then you are only going at 60-75% of the pace you will be going after you got 1 to 1.5 yrs under your belt full time. Example I now a 10 acre lot. Employee took 5.5 to 7 hrs to mow. I went put there and showed him how to do it under 4 hrs. Other kid on my 12 acre lawn went from 9hrs to under 6.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

Share This Page