1st Condo Association Bid...Need A Little Help!!

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by J&JPropmaint, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. J&JPropmaint

    J&JPropmaint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I have been doing resi's for 2 years now and just stepped up in equipment to handle some larger commercial accounts. I received a bid request from a Condo Asst. thats only 5 minutes away.

    33 Units

    I just need help with the mowing bid

    Includes trimming, blowing and bagging...NO edging

    The competition in Michigan is ridiculous with pricing

    I think to be anywhere near competitive and still make something after payout I would have to do $20 Per unit (Weekly $660)

    The plus side to this is that I received their other bid packet to do all of the other routine maintenance on the property as well (i.e. fence repairs, fix signs, straighten bird houses, gutter cleaning etc.).

    Where should I give a break if any to win the bid? On the mowing or the maintenance end of it?

    Is $20 per Unit in there for associations? There's still some profit margin there for me.

    Me and 1 other guy 8 hrs?

    Overhead picture of the association is attached

    Thanks for your help

    Saddlebrook Farms.jpg
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,101

    well it's hard to tell the exact size here. but I Bid something similar in size and scope this past spring and lost it, I was $17 per unit... have no idea what the guy under bid me with.
    My advice is, if you want it, never bid a round number. go $19, not $20.
    or even $19.50... most people will figure or look to round numbers (like 20, 25, 30) So if you come out to a round number, dip just underneath it.
  3. Oakleaf landscape

    Oakleaf landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    So you don't have to edge the concrete? The bagging is going to kill you on an area that size. Looks to be a good amount of leaves in the fall too. Is that bid separately? I could see it at 15-16 per unit if you could mulch it, closer to 18-19 if it required bagging. 3 guys id say half a day. 15 total man hours
  4. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Around here that would go for around $400. I bid on one last year just for giggles because I knew the management company. It went for $380 I was not even close. I did not want it anyway. As a smaller lco I did not want to devote so much time on a contract with such low margins. Let someone else make pennies. I will make the real money on the property when the snow starts flying.
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  5. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    First tip is never bid to get it. You need to figure out your cost and what profit you want. Be confident in what you want.

    Do you do similar size properties to one single unit? Say 10 min x 33 units = 5.5 hours. The take your normal drive time 3 min x 32 = 1.6 hours saved. So might figure 4 hours for job. Just a vague example of how I would bid the job although I do not know the size of property, equip type, or number of employees.

    What if you bid it at 15 because "you really want it" and it turns out it cost you 17 per unit to cover labor, operation cost?
  6. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    If I was mulching or side discharging I would be doing it for $19.99 a unit. Why don't they want it edged?
  7. J&JPropmaint

    J&JPropmaint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    The Spring & Fall Clean Up is separate. The wording on the bid was for mowing , trimming, and blowing with no evidence of clippings on the lawns.
  8. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    Exactly! Also, I will not mow without trimming. If the customer wants to save money, or has another reason, for not trimming they will need to hire another company. IMO, the best way to make a professional mowed lawn look unprofessional....no edging! I would be around the 15 man hours including mow, trim, edge, and bag.
  9. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    After working for a Large LCO for years and spending countless hours working them I swore I would never take on or even look at any condos. I'm in a similar situation as you. I got two requests this year as you did, one for a small one the other for similar size.

    On the 1st one they complained about weeds in garden beds, I also asked about any leaf clean up in the fall. Their response " we consider that part of the mowing" they had no contract.

    The 2nd complained the current LCO was not taking care of the leaves, then they complained they made too much noise with " those blower things on their back." When they showed up.

    If your plowing and don't have the place completely clear by the last snow flake stand by.

    The people that live there and see you and deal with you are often, not always, not the same people in charge of the $$$.

    Just something to think about they have no loyalty and are always looking to reduce fees and cut costs from my experience.
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