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Should I expect a kick-down?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by PCLL, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. PCLL

    PCLL LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 96

    I have a client who's currently looking to spend around 8k for some new landscape. Well, I'm mostly maintenance, so my landscape skills are best reserved for small beds, etc. I know a few people who are more experienced than I and I need someone soon. Should I request a little reward from one of these guys for sending them this job?
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    Sub-contract it out to them

    Or just charge a consulting fee to the customer
  3. PCLL

    PCLL LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 96

    agreed, the only thing i was really unsure of was whether or not to mention this up front or not? i had one guy ask for the customers number- i feel if i would've given the number away i would also have given the acct away with nothing in return.
  4. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    Thats what i do, just sub it out
  5. thisismurph

    thisismurph LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    One problem about subing it out is that if there were problems and you had to get involved it could be more trouble than it is worth
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I disagree - do not sub this out. We Licensed Landscapers don't really enjoy doing a job as a "sub-contractor" for some LCO who wants to tell us what to do when they really have no clue how to do it and we've been doing it for years. It's annoying and de-grading. Plus, the contract should always be between the main party doing the work and the client. It's an okay practice to sub-contract PART of a job out. That's normal. For instance, if we were doing a big installation and part of the install was to install a 10x10' concrete pad and I didn't really want to get into concrete work. I might sub-contract that little part out to someone else but I'd still be doing most of the work and so the contract would still be between me and the client. But if the job were ONLY concrete work, it would be wrong of me to take the job as my own and sub the entire job out to the concrete guy. That's just adding another layer of contracts, liability, people, etc. that doesn't need to be there.

    It's not that you CAN'T sub this stuff out. It's just that it's kind of the wrong way to go about it. Sub out the small stuff if you're doing most of the big stuff. But if you intend to have someone else do most of the work - don't sub it out. Just refer the customer to the other contractor and let them deal with each other. That's the professional way to do it.

    So the question then is; how do you get a kickback ($$$) for your referral? Well, you work that out with the other contractor beforehand. I have several contractors we do this with. For instance, I work with these two guys who build fences and decks. I don't want to get into that kind of work right now. I'd rather they do it. But I want some sort of $$ for getting them a big job. So we have a deal - when I refer them a big fencing or decking job, they know to work in about $200 - $300 for a referral fee for me. They just work it into their bid and pay me if they land the job. Then everyone's happy.

    I do the same when one of my LCO friends refers an irrigation job to me. I'll buy them lunch, pay them some cash, whatever. I make sure they're taken care of and happy. I appreciate the referrals, it saves me having to market so much, and so I reward them. But I prefer they don't take the irrigation job on themselves and then try to boss me around as their "sub-contractor".

    There's also the issue of legality. In most states, you can't even take on the job unless you're licensed to do that kind of work. So regardless of whether you're subbing it out or not - you have to have the license to do that kind of work before you can even place a bid or sign a contract for it.
  7. Pilgrims' Pride

    Pilgrims' Pride LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA.
    Posts: 481

    I learned from a wise old scraper years ago that you should never expect more than a thank you on referrals.
    He said that someone always ends up feeling like he's getting the short end of the stick when you start what he callled "finders fees".
    I t made sense to me then, it still does.
    I am a fert co. I refer any mowing etc. out to the landscapers in my area and they send me fert work when it comes up.

    Works for me.
  8. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    Jim, I quess i should of went in to more detail. I do the lawn maintence on some summer homes and when the owners are away but need something done that i cant i will sub it out. If the owners of a property are here or a customer of mine needs something done that I cant do I refer them to the correct people. I would rather not be involved with it or be the middle man if I dont need to be.
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I agree with Jim. I will also add to it liability. If you stay in it as a middle man you take on some of the liability should something go wrong. Let the experienced person deal directly with the customer. What you agree among the 2 of you is up to you.

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