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RealGreen Rep was at the office today, Pro and Cons

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ben fritz, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. ben fritz

    ben fritz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 114

    Well the Real Green rep was here today and looks like I am going to go with them. I used service autopilot for about 3 months and didn't care for it, Who uses real green and what can you tell me about it?
  2. Joel D

    Joel D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    What kind of rates do they charge?
  3. ben fritz

    ben fritz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 114

    $1200 up front then $275 a month
  4. Joel D

    Joel D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    Thanks. That's too rich for my blood.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,840

    I looked into it before, along with several others like it. There were at least 3 dozen services just like this at GIE+ this year.

    In the end, we ended up not using any of them. Aside from the huge up front expense (which, I may have paid for, if that was it), there is the exorbitant monthly fee. And with almost every company it's a per-user fee. So that means one day if you grow and have an office manager - now you're paying one fee for them and another for you. If you end up having a service manager for your company too - then you pay 3 service fees. What? Your crews want access to the program so they can check their schedule every day? Doh! There's a fee for every crew who uses it too!

    The fees are just ridiculous.

    The key benefits seem to usually be:
    • Routing Software
    • Record Keeping / Service Data - per client
    • Automated Invoicing

    I like the routing part. That could be a key benefit if your routes aren't fully optimized. And for the last few years, ours definitely were not. But we ended up figuring out a great way to do the routing on our own without a program and now have solved that problem.

    The record keeping part is pretty cool. These programs often help the service tech. or the crew who is working there look at the entire history of service for that client. That's sometimes beneficial. Our crews and techs have other ways of doing this that aren't quite as good. But it's not as beneficial as it sounds. Most of the time, our workers can remember what they did there in the past. And when they cannot, they can always call the office for a reminder, as all the customer records are on file. Seems to be an answer to a problem that really isn't that big of a problem.

    Automated invoicing doesn't have any appeal to me. Although I do see how this could be nice for some companies who send out invoices for the work they do. We do not. For one-time service calls (irrigation service, repair services, one-time clean-ups, or any other one-time job) we always collect payment from the customer at the time of completion. So there's no need to send an invoice. We're collecting as we go. For maintenance, we bill a flat rate every single month and our clients are on AutoPay. So again, no invoices. So for us, this is no benefit.

    I like programs like this. I keep looking at them. And this is one of the better ones. I have a landscaper friend in Omaha who uses this system and last time we talked he really liked it. His wife (bookkeeper), on the other hand, did NOT like it. So it would be interesting to see if he still uses it or not. Haven't talked with him for almost two years. I'll see him again soon. So I'll ask.
  6. biodale

    biodale LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    I admit the charges are daunting. However, we have only had it one month and it is well on the way of paying for itself. The time saved is amazing, it is accurate, and it will track all customer contacts (if you enter the phone calls). I am convinced this is the best investment I have made in lawn care. Forget the upfront cost, focus on how much it will make you. I will be able to let one office person go.
  7. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,025

    What does this do that Jobber doesn't?
  8. biodale

    biodale LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    I like the guys at jobber and their customer support is great. But the scheduling took longer than with gopher. You can't convert an estimate to a job unless the whole quote is converted to a single job. Jobber does not handle pre-pays well. Jobber does not handle programs well in that you cannot schedule a program but must schedule each job. If a single application is put back (for weather for example) you must reschedule manually every following application.With jobber when you get a lot of jobs for a single customer it is very confusing. You must complete the job and mark the invoice as complete also. I think that should be done automatically.
    I must say realgreen is not easy to set up, but once that is done practically everything is one push of a button. Also jobber is limited in reports while I can get almost any type of report I need to make critical decisions. I have just merged with another company and could not handle the paperwork without realgreen. As it is I have doubled the size of the company and let one office person go.
    Realgreen supplies are also no more expensive and sometimes much less expensive than buying office supplies locally. I went with realgreen for credit card handling and their price is fair and reasonable. I don't at the present time have any complaints. I spend $500 a month on phones to help the business run smoother and realgreen is just another expense that is needed to help the company run smooth and help it grow.
    I don't think I would get realgreen for $100,000 company for but for $350,000 up and think it would be invaluable.
  9. Jobber

    Jobber Sponsor
    Posts: 338

    Hey guys. We always love to hear people like our customer support.

    Thanks for the feedback biodale. We will keep working on many of those issues that you mentioned. We have had a number of changes in the last few weeks, and most have improved the things you mentioned but we always working on making it better.

  10. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,025

    Oh ok. I'm just a solo op. It works great for my needs. Very easy interface. 5 mins at the end of each day while I'm sippin whiskey and I'm good to go. Email the invoices at the end of the month. Most customers pay me thru Paypal which Jobber integrates with. Simple. No thought required. I like no thought.

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