10 2-acre upper class homes want to combine to one company- how to bid?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Right Touch, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Right Touch

    Right Touch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    I just received a phone call to bid on 10 2-3 acre lots in an upper class neighborhood in a very desirable area. My company has a little over 100 residential accounts, ranging from 1,000 square foot lawns to half acre. We only have a couple that are an acre or larger. I have one 52" rider, a 48" with velky, and an purchasing a 60" rider soon, so I feel we have the capability to take on the accounts, plus I am adding a second mowing crew and needed to add accounts to fill space. So the timing seems perfect, but how do I bid on a such an account? Bid them all separate then give a 15% bulk discount? And can anyone give a good per acre price for cutting since we dont do many large accounts?
  2. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

    I can't offer you any sound advice but I sure wouldn't mind being in your predicament!!
    Good Luck!!
  3. G.L. In Ont

    G.L. In Ont LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I have had this idea several times in the past - to approach all the people on one street and try to convince them all to go with us.

    If you really wanted to see what type of discount you could offer you could make a spreadsheet that calculates total cost to do 20 homes spaced a random distance apart (use a range similar to a real case).

    You could then compare it to the cost of not having to spend the fuel each time you pick up and go to the next place.

    You're saving time and fuel which equates to $$. That said, if you end up giving a discount to everyone it can make it tough to price the same sized lawn elsewhere at a higher price.

    If you want spreadsheet help let me know.
  4. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I don't do maintenance but have had simular with multiple fertilizing accounts on the same street or in a HOA were they individually hire there own landscapers. What I do is price them as normal but give them each a couple of referal credits towards there account each year. This way they continue to receive the credits yearly so long as they are all on the program, if some stop service for what ever reason after a couple of years the referal credits are adjusted accordingly.
  5. Right Touch

    Right Touch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    well i spoke with the gentleman this evening. seems all the neighbors got together over a holiday party and decided they wanted to all try one company. Seems a win-win for both parties- the homeowners get a discount because they all go with the same company and we take on the street as if it were a condo complex- park once and you are there all day. So if anything on the street doesnt look good, you know who is to blame. The one guy will be the liason for all the neighbors and the contract will be solely for cutting. Cleanups, fertilization, mulch, etc. will all be contracted individually and I'd imagine we'd get a bunch if not all the extra work from everyone, if not the frist year, a year or two down the road once confidence is built in our company. I asked around to some guys in my area and got responses ranging from $50-$80 per cut. All these houses will be billed one price even if one guy would have been $50/cut cuz he is wide open and another $80 cuz fences and alot of trimming and such. Hopefully all the properties are fairly similar so that the guy who would have paid $50 doesnt feel like he is getting screwed.

    Does anyone have any standard 2 acre cut rate?
  6. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    My personal property is 5 acres. I am guessing the lagoon, house, garden, detatched garage and pole barn take up about an acre. Leaving around 4 acres to mow...would be my guess. It takes me exactly 3 hours to mow only on a 52" Wright discharge mower.

    Hope this helps. BTW, I have buffalo grass and mow it bi-weekly.
  7. KingImprovements

    KingImprovements LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    We price it at $50 an acre plus trimming. That is pretty standard around here I believe. Good luck with your bid.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    I wouldnt try to come up with a per acre price. IF you think that 2 guys will be there all day (8 hours) doing the work. Thats 16 man hours. If your billing $60/hour thats $960. That comes out to 96$/house. If the crew is 3 man then obviously it will be a little more. Thats just how I would bid it personally, i try to avoid doing a per acre price.
  9. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    I want to work in your market. You couldn't get by billing $60 per hour for 2 people not just 1 around here.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    Leaving the pricing issue alone for the moment, your statements regarding the arrangement sound confusing. At one point you speak about "one bid," but on the other hand you speak about "contracted individually."

    If each is contracted separately, why is there "one bid?" But, more importantly, if each homeowner has a separate contract, each will have their own requirements, and comparisons will be made for "my cost" vs. "your cost." If each is separate, then there is no reason for somebody not to opt out of the 10-part deal. One party will not agree to a service that requires the other nine to accept as well. If somebody does not like your price, they will opt out, and you are left with nine. If two opt out, .... (you get the picture).

    It would seem like the only way this would work is with one contract, and the holder of the contract works with all 10 homeowners for payments. Maybe I am not understanding what you are intending.

    I have one neighborhood that has eight properties. All are either next to each other, or across the street. For me, everybody pays their own price, pays their own bills, etc. Everybody is separate, no community discount. I've dreaded the day when they get together and ask for something else. I never know when I want to drop somebody (one of them is a slow payer, and may not be in the group next year, despite their location). And, I never know when one, or more, will drop me off their list. I'm talking less money than you -- mine are 0.50 to 0.75 acre each.

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