Went to give an estimate and

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MikeKle, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,253

    This guy has a million dollar house, this thing was at least 7000 sqft, and he had a view of the entire river valley below from the back of his house! His yard was pretty big too, on the phone he told me the fertilizer company told him it was a 2000 sqft lawn, so I was expecting a very small lot, and knew something was wrong when i got there. Plus he had some very steep hillsides that he kept mowed, he even brought out the fertilizer bill, and showed me where it stated the sqft, but it actually said it was 20,000 sqft, not 2000, and it was very clearly written, so this guy was lying from the start, and I realized he was just wasting my time then, but he then showed me the bill from his last mowing company, according to the bill he had, they were only charging him $25 to mow it!!!! But he told me they hadnt been there in a few weeks and would not return his calls, so he was going to hire someone else to mow it. $25 for a hilly 20K lawn? what was he thinking, that I would just jump on the mower and agree to that price just because some other company did it for him? And to make it worse, he said he lives on social security and cannot afford more than $100 per month for mowing! He was upset when i told him I could not help him out and I could give him a bid, but it would be definitely be much more than $25.!! What a waste of time. I try to screen customers over the phone, but when they lie to you, what can you do?
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    I've ran into a few like that over the years.

    What I never understood is how certain cheapos on a beer budget somehow manage
    to live in million dollar houses, but I try not to worry myself about that too much.

    For one thing, the same size house and lot here in my necks...
    Down south and out towards the state park, them houses sell for 3-4-500k.
    But up north across the river into the Western part of the next county, 900k.
    Same house, all has to do with location, apparently.

    So we can't say for sure that dood's house was truly a million dollar home, but evidently it was no shanty.

    It does AMAZE me how someone in a big sprawl like that would TRY and make one of us feel SORRY for their plight.
    Like yeah dood, I live in a 1200 sq.foot single story rancher and you're here in this mansion and ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    If you live in a million dollar house, you are probably not living just on social security. I don't care if the house is paid for or not, you are not going to be able to afford to live in a million dollar house living on social security alone. Wealthy people don't get to where they are by spending a ton of money, they are usually quite frugal. I don't know this guy's situation but I am pretty sure he is just trying to get the chepest price possible to have his lawn mowed.


    I like the point that topsites brought up about how location affects the price of a house. That is completely true. The neighborhoods around me have houses that range from $225k-$400k max....and that is in a nice location. But you once you start to look at houses that are overlooking Lake Michigan, then you get into $1million+...and thats all similar sized properties too.
     
  4. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,253

    With the view this guy had, his lot alone was probably close to $250K or more, not even considering the house. He was just trying to get his lawn cut for next to nothing, and I can almost be sure he has more income than social security! Just made me mad he tried to lie to me about the size, and I guess he thought I could not read since the fertilizer bill he showed me clearly said 20K sqft!? BUt I have no doubt he will find some idiot to mow it for $25. but they may not be that reliable.
     
  5. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,325

    20k really isn't that large at all. That's like a 10-15min lawn max.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    i ran into a person like that once. she wanted an estimate on what it would cost to mow her front yard 4 times a month (weekly) and the back yard once a month. she claimed the backyard didn't grow nearly as fast as the front. i don't know it was totally covered with trees. so i went and gave her a price for both. she told me it would probably be ok with her husband but she wanted to talk to him about it and she'd call me back.

    she called back and said her husband found a guy to do it cheaper. i said ok. she asked me if i was interested!!! i said no way i could do it that cheap. she didn't understand and got all upset i wouldn't do it. then hung up.

    worth more than $25 for sure though.
     
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    AMAZING isn't it...

    I have a custoemr sitting on a 1/2 million dollar corner lot, " next to her home "

    she trys to cut us to the bone, when I said something about selling the lot she would NOT hear of it.

    she eats beans, and drives a 20 year old car.....
     
  8. Cboy7

    Cboy7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Fl
    Posts: 386

    meh. you lie too , so what can you do. it all comes around
     
  9. abcfamily

    abcfamily LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    O.K. How many L.C.O.'s on here can really service a 20k property in 20 minutes? :confused:

    Unless your talking 1 man trimming while 2 men mow with 60 " decks.

    I'm sorry but if your talking only one man, I can only wonder how good the quality of your work is.

    Maybe you are just that fast, I don't know!
     
  10. LCCaptain

    LCCaptain LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    That's how people get so rich in the first place. In my areas everyone is on SSI disability. They act poor and spend very little (except on bingo days) lol. One thing that I do when I get a call for a free estimate is tell them right from the get go that I have a $30 minimum. Why? Because if they agree when I get there and they have a super small lot then I can charge them my minimum or make them feel better by charging them a little less. I judge there reaction when I tell them over the phone so I almost know what I'm walking into when I get there. Then again I often get surprised myself.
     

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