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Any tips on bidding for a HOA

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Uranus, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    I'm looking for some useful tips to help me come up with some number for some condos that I'm bidding on. This is my first time dealing with a HOA. I've worked for many apartment complexes and condos before. Only thing is I was a laborer for another LCO at the time. I know through my source that this place has a hard time getting LCOs to bid on their property because of its location. They also are willing to drop last year LCO if they can get some bids that are reasonable. They are looking for SC, FC, mowing, trimming, and mulch. 80 yards by my calculations.

    Just looking for some tips on how to guarantee that I have a shot at getting into this place and still turn a profit.
  2. Pristine PM

    Pristine PM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    How many months is the contract? Do you get snow where you are?
  3. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Till the end of 2008 season. Yes we get snow. I dont want the plowing.
  4. pinto n mwr

    pinto n mwr LawnSite Senior Member
    from gr8, mn
    Messages: 422

    first step is to keep the mulch out of the monthly bid, bill it seperate. you may only make the same money that you would've if you were to include it, but if unforseen issues come along then you would've wished it was seperate.

    As far as bidding the property, can't give out secrets but knows your costs, know your mowing rate.

    I know three owners of LCO's that just get a unit count, drive thru the complex one time and get a per unit cost. Some how their price is competitive and profitable. Have know idea how they do it, but they do.
  5. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    HOA's are 50%-Plaaaayazz , always remember that !
    They luv to play you against imaginary-bids of nobody's - with zero documentation. Bigtime "pucker-factor" with HOA's, so get prepared to place your helmet under your jewels as your chopper ascends - here goes:

    Submit your best bid of what it will cost you, double that, and then always add 30% on top of it for your overhead - so you can afford to be in business the next year, without hardship for you and your family throughout the cold and lonely winter where nobody knows your name and zero jobs are coming in - even though they claim "they'll treat you well if you treat them well" which never happens ( always consider hourly part-time retail work in the winter to get you through, but tell them none of that).

    Make for certain you have no less than one million dollars liability insurance in case somebody's bmw or lexus or kid's eye gets a rock slung into it, and that your insurance company can fax or e-mail-scan in to them.
    Less insurance = zero contract.
    Like a good landlord would, always give them a discount for prompt payments and charge them a 10% surcharge when payments are more than 7-consecutive days late.

    When they balk at your numbers, tell them fuel, licensing supply, and insurance are higher than they ever were and make sure you bid enough for them to sit on their assez and play your bid against 3 other unlicensed and uninsured mfr's while their dam grass grows to beyond 2 feet high and they expect you to cut it with zero-preliminary-surcharge. We hope your mowers have 23-27hp, otherwise you are way out of your element with HOA's.

    Always stipulate that the grounds are canvassed prior all mowings, so that you don't launch chit into windows, patio doors, cars, and kids eyes.


    Good Luck & Best Regards

    *trucewhiteflag* :cool2::walking::weightlifter::hammerhead::confused:
  6. SoloSulkySurfer

    SoloSulkySurfer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 224

    WTF is a HOA?
  7. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Home Owner Association
  8. Pristine PM

    Pristine PM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    Home Owners Assoc.

    We bid them for 3 years when we can. We do our 12 month cycle based on a unit count, what would you want for the place if it was a stand alone? divide that by 5 and you might be lucky to get that amount. :)

    For us, we price per unit even if it is only 20 units or 120, it is the same per unit. It sounds wierd, but we are on par with the prices in our area.

    Sorry that isn't more help, I would want to plow them, you don't want another landscaper on site that tells them he can take care of them all year long.
  9. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    Word up Somm. HOA's are funny, we have some that are pleasant to work for and they really appreciate us, others that are a PITA. Our biggest problem is there are too many people that have their own ideas how things should be done. Figure out what each service should cost separately, add them up, then add 20-30% to cover crap they will ask for like replacing sod from their dog pissing in the same spot for 5 months, but somehow your brand new mower must have leaked gas in that exact spot, etc. Bid it to make really good money and in the end you should make decent coin. Also make sure in the contract you cover everything that is included and what is not. They like to think they are lawyers and "interpret" what is covered and what is not. If they don't pay within 30 days make sure they know service is suspended until paid in full.
  10. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Anyone cut back there labor rate a little since you will be on the clock for a longer time with no travel time between accounts?

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