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Residentail Contracts Part II

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by c_anfossi, Mar 2, 2001.

  1. c_anfossi

    c_anfossi LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 10

    Okay so the majority of you guys/girls don't have written contracts for residential properties. Do you have a hard time collecting your money for the work done? You send out your bills monthly right? What about the junior guys/girls here do you have a hard time collecting your money? Thanks again Chris
  2. syzer

    syzer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,266

    I have a contract signed on *every* property we maintain. I dont want to get burned and I always explain to the customer that it is to there benefit also. That way they are happy and we are happy.

  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    Most time my customers come out to chat a minute
    and hand me the check then.Most dont do it this way as it takes a little time,but not that much.Besides thats one thing my folks need a little of .Talking to someone other than their dog or cat or bird.
  4. smithf36

    smithf36 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 61

    We have contracts for a few of our residentials. I always get my $$$$, but some just take a little longer to pay. If I have to hound them for a check, they get warned that I cannot do business that way and usually after that they are really good. If they are still really slow, I collect what they owe and drop them. I don't have time to deal with collections. That's my two cents worth.

  5. SJR Lawncare

    SJR Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 250

    I have a contract with every customer this year. Last year I had a couple customers without a contract, & they are the ones that I had trouble collecting from. Contracts are just a good idea all around.

  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Contracts are just agreements in writing. If someone - buyer or seller - is afraid of a contract, it`s time to question their sincerity. Also, in any contract, if one or more parties wish to exit the agreement, there is usually no way to stop them. A contract does not gaurantee payment to the seller, or gaurantee service or goods to the buyer, because if the other party wants to stiff you, you are probably going to be stiffed.

    That all said, all of our business has been written contracts for the last 15 years. If something fatal, or near fatal, happens to me, my wife and father will have, in writing, the agreements with my customers, so they can properly bill the thousands of dollars that are usually outstanding - services done but not yet billed. The contracts are also a basis for a banker to judge the makeup of your business, if you ever seek to borrow for expansion. A buyer can see the real value of your business, if you or your survivors want to sell the business. Contract is just practical to me.
  7. VLM

    VLM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    It's probably not good business advice, but I never use residential contracts. I advertise the fact. My philosophy is that if I feel I need a piece of paper to enforce a contract (you have a verbal contract with all customers which is every bit as binding legally) I dont want that customer anyway. As for commercial accounts it depends on the relationship. I have a few I started out on contracts and now after years of doing business together I dont see the point. My computerized invoicing system is there in the event I get hit by a meteorite or something. Any new commercial accounts I get on paper mainly because of the amount of money involved.
  8. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    I get along great with all my customers, most of them I can consider friends. I feel one of the reasons we all get along so well is because they know what to expect from me ('cause it's in writing) and I know what to expect from them ('cause it's in writing). I will not, nor have I ever worked for any of my customers without a signed contract. Here's something else you may or may not believe, all my customers PAY ME IN ADVANCE FOR THE MONTH! Eleven years ago, when I started this business I got shafted for almost $2000 on a commercial property. Live and learn as the saying goes. From that point on I've used the contract. If you'd like a copy just e-mail me at mowerman@tampabay.rr.com with contract in the subject line and I'll be glad to send you a copy. Remember, a contract is there to protect BOTH parties.
  9. Toad

    Toad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 443

    I used to do monthly billing untill last year. I now bill once a year at begining of season. Set price for lawns including cleanup fall & spring. Price per cut times 25 cuts per year hear in NY. Worked out great. Spent more time working than sitting at a desk every month trying to figure out bills. No contracts sined either.
  10. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 822

    I have some people pay slow but usually a call or letter gets the check here. i too have friendly relationships with all my customers. and i also have a contract for all my customers. here its the norm for people to sign a contract. I dont have a complicated one it just states what is involved in my services, and what is expected from the customer. one page one side. If you can get away with not having contracts or getting all pre-pays then thats great! I wish it was like that here. but people want a contract around here.

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