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Who is in charge?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by cessnasovereign, May 7, 2006.

  1. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    There's an closed down dollar store near here in a rather large shopping complex. It's very overgrown and looks bad, there's signs saying "soandso leasing company, 110,00 sq ft. for rent, will divide, call ***."

    Would that be who is in charge of getting the property taken care of?
    It is my understanding that say your local Food Lion is in business, they don't own the building but as long as they're renting it, the manager is in charge of getting someone to take care of the property, when they close down, the building owner (leasing company) is now in charge, right?

    I haven't done any commercial but want to get a few, how should I approach these people?
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    dont waste your time. They will only get it mowed if they have to to avoid a fine from the city. But if you want to pursue it, i would call the leasing company.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yeah, which means you'll be dealing with a realtor, that's just about the cheapest labor you ever wanted ready to happen. Only way to get something like that is if they call you and even then it's half-way to a raw deal.

    One thing I did (once) is pulled up to a lot like that and made a bit of a show (don't overdo it lol) but if you have signs on it, and I just took care of a lot like that for free. You don't get much out of it except personal satisfaction and the hopes someone saw you, it doesn't hurt to get your name out but it won't make your phone ring anymore, at least not anytime in the near future. The bonus is I took it as a learning experience so I could find out what it took to clean up a fouled up place like that, so I would know how to bid one should it ever come around (they do, if rarely). That and I wanted to find out what these Toros can really deal with and in the end, it doesn't matter how it looks so long it looks better.
  4. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    I would call the leasing comany and ask if they have someone to cut the grass. You might be able to get an every other week cut out of it, until the property sells or leases.

    And most realtors handle more than one property, so this may lead to more work down the road.....
  5. PMG

    PMG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    How big is the property?
    How long would it take to clean it up?
    How much of a investment do you think it would take?

    We have come across these as well, some we have made money on, some we broke even on. The best part of the whole thing is we used the property to provide training of our staff. Because there is no one to report to per-say, it was a great hands on learning experience for all our crews.
    We have specific ways of treating all our properties, unfortunately our field supervisors can't be everywhere at once, so when we secure one of these properties, we get together as one large team to train. It has proven to be very effective.

    We would call the leasing company and give them a price, granted the cost was basically at cost, but the biggest benefit was to be able to provide the training, if we covered our costs, then we did great.

    After it was all said and done, we would post signs. We had special community service signs made up, we believe that it increases our commercial services by aprox 3%, depending on where the property is located from a flow of traffic vision view so to speak.

    There is always a time and a need to train, this may not work well for you, but it works great for us.

    PS...if you call the leasing company, ask if they have any thoughts on when it may be leased, this could also drive your desire to do work on the property. If it is in the process of being procured, you may be able to hook up with the potential new owner for future work.

    Good Luck
  6. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Thanks for the tips. It's a large property but 99% parking lot. I'd guess it's AT MOST 1/5 an acre. of actual grass but a row about 100 feet long or shrubs that are wild and tons of edging work and bed cleaning. I'd guess I'd spend a solid 4 hours to make it look good again. I left a message, just waiting to hear back..
  7. PMG

    PMG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Well, you have taken the first step....

    It will either land you a decent job or be the stepping stone for a quality customer to come.

    If you have not spoke to them yet, when they do call you may ask if they have other properties you could service and you would be willing to work out a deal on this one if they have others you could sign a contract to service.

    Good Luck, let us know how you make out.
  8. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Ugh!!! I got in contact with the guy, the Broyhill family owns it and I talked to their property manager who probably hasn't seen the property and lives in another state. I tell him it looks wild and he sounds really mad and says that he was promised it would be taken care of last Wed by a hired guy. He asks if he can call me back and he called the guy who said "I'm 3 minutes away and I went there on Wed but there was a sign up and it wasn't your name on the sign so I thought I was in the wrong place and I called the number on the sign but didn't get an answer." Which is an obvious lie! The guy could have called the property manager he spoke with!! The name on the sign was for the broker.

    Anyway, I drive by a few hours later and it looks like $hit! He just ran over it quickly, didn't edge or weedeat and blew grass clippings all over the parking lot and into the road.

    So I'm wondering if I should call the guy and say something to the effect of "Hi, I went by the property coming between jobs and noticed your current LCO didn't weedeat, edge, trim hedges or use a leaf blower. If you're really wanting to make the property look leaseable, I'd be more than willing to do a complete service on the property, but if you're just looking for a quick cut, it looks like you already found the right guy."

  9. PMG

    PMG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    There are a couple of ways you could approach this.

    1) Let it go, unless you would like the job and it is in a high traffic area yielding you some free advertising.
    2) Call the gentleman to discuss the property. I would approach it in a slightly different fashion such as:

    We spoke on whatever day it was, the reason for my initial call was to introduce myself and my company and to offer my professional services to you. You advised me that someone was to take care of the property last week and apparently he or someone has done an initial cut down of the high grass, but that is it.
    Because I am interested in developing a relationship with your firm, I figured a second call was warranted to be sure you have received what you contracted the other gentleman to do. (Explain what was done and how the property was left)
    If interested, I would be happy to complete the clean-up of this site to aid in a faster lease turn around for you. I am sure you, more than anyone knows that a empty property isn't doing your bottom line any good as well as a empty property that looks in poor condition isn't going to be leased as fast as one would like.
    I would be happy to send you information about our company as well as developing a quality customer relationship with your firm.

    Put it into your own words, but approach it in a professional manner, they will appreciate it and you may be able to walk away with this account and any more they may have in the area.
    Good Luck, let us know how you make out.

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