Senior Citizens

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by thoakes3, May 27, 2005.

  1. thoakes3

    thoakes3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Hi Guys,
    I have been referred by a customer of mine (a senior couple 250k + neighborhood, great lawn). He referred me to his sister-in-law, her husband has a hospice nurse there 24/7 and they are definitely on a fixed income. They are seniors of course, and would like bi-weekly cuts and the hedges shaped up the first visit. There are several hedges there (about 10 youpons) (sp?) and a couple of hollies. I kind of have a soft spot for seniors that just can't do it themselves. I was thinking of just quoting the bi-weekly mow and not worry about charging for the shearing. Do any of you guys do this, or should I just keep it strictly business?
    Thanks
     
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    Everyone likes to do good deeds, it makes us feel good. However, for us, when it comes to work, we must keep it strictly business and price accordingly for our services. During our offseason when we are sitting around all winter and the money has already been made, then yes, we have been known to help people out. But during our working season, no, we do not do freebies for anyone.
     
  3. Shawns Lawns

    Shawns Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 638

    I agree with you!!!!!! :waving:
     
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    here is my take: i've heard it a million times, a senior says they can't afford this, or can't afford that, they are on a fixed income, etc. here is my mentality on that: it is MY JOB to make sure that my wife does not end up in the same position. in the event of my death, i can't bear to think my wife is begging someone to lower thier fee because she can't afford something. the money i make now, is part of the money that will provide for her when i'm gone. that being said, i may go out on my day off, when nobody is on my timeclock, and do something for them at a discounted rate. but only, if i think they are truly hurting for money, and only, if the work is important.
     
  5. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    About 70% of my accounts are senior citizens. Most of them are retired middle class people living in homes ranging in value from $200k to $500k. Most of them do not get special pricing and they usually don't ask for senior price discounts.

    However...I have a few that are living in very modest homes and have limited resources and those are the ones that I give discounts for mowing and hedge trimming.

    I have two accounts that I mow for free, because they were referred by local business leaders or churches. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes per account each week, so I'm not losing a lot of time by doing those lawns.

    I do it because I believe doing some charity work will pay you back over the long term. Referrals for other accounts, discounts from business's and the good feeling that you get are just a few of the paybacks.
     
  6. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    My first reaction would be to go with your instinct. But, you could be painting yourself into a corner. Once you start giving it away, it becomes an issue (with them) when youstart having to charge for it. Give them an inch and they'll be looking for a yard.
     
  7. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    i've noticed about senior citizens here, who are on a "fixed income" and "hurting for money".. that they seem to not have money, but have brand new cars, roof is being done, god forbid they don't but 3 weeks worth of groceries each week,... they usaully have it if they want something, but when it comes to maintenance chores, "they are having it tough".

    i think it's more of a mental thing most of the time, that they don't want to spend that much, because they used to do it themselves, or had a cousin come with a sickle every few weeks and chop down their front lawn. they can't comprehend spending money on these things.

    i had an elderly woman call my cellphone the other day, wondering where i am, it's been 6 days. i had to explain to her the the truck in front of her house and the mowing sound was us in the backyard :)
    god bless them. they make up about 25% of my customers.
     
  8. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Posts: 365

    I don't think it hurts to be a little nice when it comes to the price, or maybe providing a few extra services like trimming a small amount of hedges and only charge for the mowing. Just be careful how low you go on the price. I have one customer who has a rental property across from my house that I take care of. The house really should just be torn down because of the shape it is in. No one will rent it because of it's condition. The guy who owns it is very old, lost his wife recently, and even has to hold his eye brow up with his finger to see what he is doing. Rather than to have kids tearing up the lawn and gouging him on the price, or him have a heart attack mowing, I offered to do it for $10 per week. He lives off of a SS check so I know that he can't afford more than that.
    The problem arose one day after another neighbor talked to him about my services. The neighbor was in for a big surprise when he contacted me to do his lawn! So far, I haven't gotten the account. Would be a PITA anyway, but just the same. No one will ever get that good of a deal from me again!!
     
  9. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900


    Wow, this is probably the only post made by BG that actually has some merit. Now apply this mentality to all of your business dealings and I guarantee that you'll have way less client problems and you will get a lot more referrals which always lead to more guaranteed work. :waving:
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    you see turflady, this is why you'll be dead, before retired. your mentality of "more garenteed work" is propostorous. i prefer to maximise each client. i don't do more cheap work, like you, i do less, but more expensive work
     

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