What is the motivation behind the purchase?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Do most people buy our services because they want the lawn to look good for themselves?

    Or do they buy our services because they don't want the neighbors to dislike them? In other words, they don't want to be a bad nighbor?

    For the average middle to upper-middle class home owner, what is the real motivation to pay someone to maintain the landscape?

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. harryhomeowner

    harryhomeowner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    I do my own work but, for my friends who use your services their are several reasons:
    1 - Lack of time/not mechanically inclined
    2 - Time vs. $ value (They believe their time is worth more than you're charging for theses services)
    3 - Prefer to golf, go to kids soccer game etc. vs managing yard
    4 - You guys do a better job than you're average homeowner

    I'm sure their are many more but, this seemed like a good starting point
     
  3. firefightergw

    firefightergw LawnSite Gold Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 3,340

    DFW, you and I are in the same market. You are a little West of me but around Mckinney, Frisco, and Plano there is a lot of pressure to keep up with the Jones. I think this mentality also shifts to the quality of the lawn you have. The people that hire us either A) Don't feel they have the expertise to maintain their own lawn like they would like to see it B) Like the convenience and can afford it of not having to worry about it and know that it will be taken care of or C) Just don't have the time to take care of it.

    From your posts, I know that you stay very busy and we both fit into the demographic that we target. I really don't have the time to mow my own lawn and have had my crew do it a couple of times. However, I do it myself most of the time because for me it just seems a little pretentious to have someone else do it.
     
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I don't know about you .... but fore me as a home owner ....ie I have my mortgage paid ....but even those paying on a mortgage

    One's home is an investment .... I wish to maintain that so my home maintains it's value with the increasing prices in my area ..... the average homes total value can attribute up to 20% of it's selling price on landscaping
     
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I don't think you guys are understanding my question. I will re-phrase:

    Why does anyone mow their own lawn or hire someone else to do it for them? I mean, it is always going to be easier and cheaper to let the lawn turn into an absolute jungle and mow it about 6 or 7 times a year. And there are people that actually do that. But for the others, why do they do it?

    Is it because they want it to look nice for themselves or is it because they feel pressure from the neighbors to do it?

    Reason I ask, there are several neighborhoods in my area with homes in very similar valuation ranges...mostly in the $160K to $190K range. You drive though some of the neighborhoods and things are pretty much nice with a "lawn-slob" every now and then. But then, in other neighborhoods with similarly valued homes, the guy with a clean landscape is the exception and not the rule. Most of the lawns and landscapes are neglected, beds are routinely over run with weeds, dallisgrass and weeds all over the place, bare dirt under the trees and and most lawns haven't been mowed in weeks. The homes are essentially the same, there is no HOA to point to in either neighborhood but one neighborhood is kept up a lot better than the other.

    Is it the neighborhood pressure that causes people to maintain their landscapes or do people maintain their landscapes because they are truly concerned about their own feelings?

    Personally, I think for most, it is an "I don't want to be the bad neighbor" that motivates them to buy our services. At least, I think it is with the middle class.

    It's kind of like in school...if all the other kids did their home work and you are the only one who didn't, you feel worse than you would if there are several others who also forgot.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  6. harryhomeowner

    harryhomeowner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    I don't live in an HOA community so, no pressure their.

    I enjoy maintaining my lawn, I love the smell of fresh cut grass and I like the maincured look of a 3.5" lush green lawn.
     
  7. firefightergw

    firefightergw LawnSite Gold Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 3,340

    I was raised to believe that the look of your lawn is a reflection of you. Therefore, I personally try to have the nicest lawn in the neighborhood and always have even before I got into the business. However, now that I understand your question, I believe the ones that you speak of that only mow 6-7 times a year only do so to please the neighbors. Not everyone believes a lawn is a reflection on them. While some people look forward to the Spring when their grass begins to grow again, there are some, I am sure that equally look forward to the Winter when they don't have to mess with that damn lawn again.

    The funny thing about it is that when I do an estimate on regular lawn care and notice that the yard is in horrible condition, I quote it higher than I do for a very nice lawn. I have found that those motivated by "I don't want the neighbors to hate me" vs. those that "I want to have a nice lawn" are willing to pay more, oddly enough and don't usually have high demands. However, the danger is that you damn well do something remarkable to that lawn and make it look nice because when you take any customer, that lawn then becomes a reflection of you and your business not just the home owner.
     
  8. dlm17

    dlm17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    Dfw Its Not Pressure Its Priorties Some People Just Dont Care Some Are Anal And Some Do It Because They Are Supposed To I Cant Stand To See My Lawn Need To Be Cut But Even Being In The Buisness I Dont Have Time (customers Come First) So I Hired Someone To Do Mine And Im Glad I Did Keeps My Wife Happy
     
  9. Dano50

    Dano50 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,781

    I love the look of a nicely manicured lawn and I find it difficult to keep up with on my own. Freeing up that time up allows me to keep up with other chores and still feel good about the yard. It's mostly for my own satisfaction. Nothing like coming home to a beautiful, well landscaped yard.
     
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    A few years ago, before I was in the business, my 2 yr old daughter was playing in the front lawn and our neighbor (the wife) came outside and we were talking. My daughter was running around bare foot and stepped on a sharp object in our neighbor's lawn and started crying. Without thinking about being rude, I said "Did you get a sticker?" I remember the neighbor's wife started saying something along the lines of "I'm so embarrassed about our lawn. I have been trying to get my husband to take better care of it...blah, blah, blah."

    I can't recall exactly, but I am guessing that was the motivating factor behind them hiring a lawn service. For about a year or so before they moved out, they used a lawn service.

    The salesman at the local dealership was telling me a story about a month ago or so. He basically said since his neighborhood doesn't have an HOA, if someone in his neighborhood starts letting the landscape turn into an eye-soar, he sends them an anonymous letter, politely asking them to clean up their property. He said it almost always works.

    At the end of the day, I am guessing most patrons of our industry are more concerned about being a bad neighbor than they are with having the lawn look nice for their own satisfaction.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     

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