Prospective client %@% me off!

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by zedosix, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,272

    How do you like Dynascape, is it easy to learn? Do you need CAD experiece, which dynascape program do you have?
  2. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    Well think about it, you take measurements home, or to the office, you pull out the 11x17 drafting paper, and now you start with a ruler and pencil, marking out the perimeter of the house, then you take the plastic templates and draw the squiggly line to mimic the edge of the walkway and flowerbed, but wait a minute its not quite right, so a little bit of whiteout ok maybe alot of whiteout and that line is fixed. Oh damn spilled a bit of coffee on it, start over..... hahaha I remember those days well.

    Ya I love it, for more than that, its a complete tool, measures and makes it a breeze to calculate materials. As long as you follow those measurements and your original measurements are accurate there is hardly a brick left over at times. Clients love it as well, but now I'm real selective about who I leave a plan with.

    I had no computer experience when I started dynascape in '99 now its like putting a pen in hand.. only quicker. Here is an example of one drawing and then the real thing. Trees were just planted and next year its a gazebo and shrubery.


  3. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,771

    What does that one cost? I started using realtime landscaper pro (100 bucks) and you can also input costs and get instant updates with changes in design. I brought my laptop to an estimate today with a little predone drawing. We changed some curves and it put the price up a couple hundred. Changed it back real quick lol. But i can see how this thing (when accurate) can be an incredible sales tool. Facing a dilemma, she wants me to send her a screen shot :(. I hope its just to show her husband and not a competitor but at this point in my business i can't really afford not to.
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  4. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    Sending a screen shot may as well be the drawing, but sometimes you just have too trust people! I think I paid close too 3500 but it included a 3 day course
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  5. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,045

    Can u send me a screen shot?
    Sure as soon as I receive the check for the deposit or if u write it now I can email it right now. That is my answer all the time.
  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    This is hard to tell someone who you've worked for in the past, but that was the past and now its only a select few who I send a screen shot.
    Most people want to believe that they will be getting the same work, one contractor whom they know is good and reliable they are comparing to a new kid on the block and they want to believe so much that they are getting the same thing but for thousands less.

    A guy I know from karate asked me for a quote, I didn't even want to bother with it but I told him I'd go check it out. He had a patio done about 2 yrs earlier that he wanted me to extend and then another small patio where he could set a small bar. The existing patio was done so poorly so I recommended we remove it and redo the cutting as well, I mean there were 2" gaps between the soldier on the sharp curves and the cuts were literally pathetic. I didn't go on about it except to say with our attention to detail the two patios would clash. Long story short, he got someone else I never even heard of at almost exactly half price, his words to me were "why would I pay you x amount if I can get the same thing for half the price". Didn't bother me in the least.
    Funny part is he is a "friend" on facebook and he was showing off the patio from start to finish. This job I had accounted 2 days 3 men maximum. It took this company one week with 4 men and they made a mess of it. At one point they recommended that he remove the old patio because the base wasn't any good, so they had to charge him more for it, then they reinstalled the brick but parts of it were upside down. #%@%hilarious to say the least. You see if this company had any real hardscape time under their belt they would of know that even though you can lay some brick (brussels block) both sides, if the stone is sitting on stone dust for more than a year or so it takes on a very dull whitish color that is highly noticeable when installed "upside down". Just hilarious really, #%#^# hilarious.
  7. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    This is the problem right now with a lot of industries. It's truly NOT the same thing but some people just don't know and others I think don't care. I did some landscape maintenance for a friends parents and his dad was asking me about fixing his paver walkway. The pavers were just laid in straight lines next to each other, just like how the come on a pallet, and was as wavy as a lake on a windy day. I told him I wasn't doing hardscapes yet but could imagine it would be quite expensive to repair. I even pointed out the faults listed above. He wasnt shy about telling me he paid very little for it and almost seemed proud of that fact. Just like the person who wants a BWM and buys a rusted early 90's one. BWM? Well sure but not in the sense most would think.
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  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,064

    If he had told you it was a pre-bid meeting up front I think that would have been fine. In many businessess it's not uncommon for the customer to have a pre-bid meeting with all of the potential contractors there to present the scope of work and have a question and answer session. Competitive bids are a fact of life and getting at least 3 bids is SOP for many.
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    Darryl, which post are you responding to? You didn't quote it.

    Never heard of a "prebid meeting" in the residential world. Most residential contractors don't even fool with "bidding". We submit a proposal with intentions of turning out a top notch product and leaving with a profit. In the commercial world they have "prebid meetings" and yes, they "bid". And the margins are much much smaller. Usually the quality is not there.

    Just curious which post you're referencing?
  10. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    A per-bid meeting or whatever you want to call it is only about one criteria and that is finding the lowest priced contractor.. I would not likely so well in that situation, I offer a specific level of quality and detail that cannot be offered at a discount. Those situations are typical of government or commercial work projects, yet some homeowners believe they can do the same. In the end these guys are the hardest to please.
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