Apartment complex contract...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 04TurfT, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. 04TurfT

    04TurfT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Okay guys, I need some help.

    A few weeks ago I gave an apartment complex a bid and I bid it appropiatley. In my bid, I estimated it to where I would be servicing it for 12 months. Obviously, I wont be mowing the grass weekly for all 12 months. So I'm sure my price looked a little bit more appealing to the president of the complex. I went ahead and compensated for the winter months being slower...

    So today I get an email saying this,

    "The Board President asked if you would be willing to put in a provision in the lawn contract that if we enter a drought and if mowing is not required we pro-rate the monthly mowing to the number of times actually mowed during that month assuming that in an average month we would mow four times.
    If that is agreeable can you fax over a new agreement and I will get the Board's approval. THANKS!"

    How do yall think that I should handle. Obviously, I don't want to do this, I think that I am going to email them back or call them and just tell them that that is my bottom line and that I will need that certain amount of money/month..... A contract is a contract. So I guess they were planning on paying me nothing in the winter months??? Sorry for the long post, can yall give me any input???

    thanks guys
  2. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I would tell them that your charge is per visit, not per mow. That way you can still pass by weekly, make sure the turf looks tidy and just pick up any debris/fallen limbs in the winter time.

    If you allow them to decide when it needs to be cut, and only pay you when you unload the mower and cut the grass, you're setting yourself up to get screwed. Market yourself as a lawn SERVICE, not a lawn mower operator. Just my .02
  3. 04TurfT

    04TurfT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Thanks paulup i completely agree! thanks for the prompt response....I'll be making a call this afternoon
  4. wheels910

    wheels910 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    they wouldn't be contacting you if they weren't interested in you.

    I'd tell them you bid the property and stick with it.

    If it rains all week and you have to cut 10 inch grass the next cut, will they pay double?

    stick with bid and good luck
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    wheels makes an excellent point about too much rain. and who decides if it a drought? You, Them....

    Did you base your amount of cuts on last years weather only, or an average of the last few years. If you had a drought last year and based your predicted cuts on the number of cuts you did last year, then you'd be OK. If you spec'd four cuts each month from now until the fall, then you messed up. as often in the summer time the cooler season grasses go dormant and can be skipped, and as such those months would only get 2-3 cuts not four. Do that have irrigation? if so then the drought should not be much of an issue....the months of May, july sep, oct, have the possibility of being 5-cut months depending on when the place is scheduled.

    I'd be willing to offer a provision for drought and missed cuts, but it would have to be as a credit towards the following year contract, or credit towards extra's, Flowers, new plantings, ect....But it would have to be for a complete skipped visit....But along with the provision for drought, I would want a provision for extra/double cuts based on too much rain or too fast of a growth...this might settle them down a bit and make them rethink their demands.

    I had a town house complex in FL that I took care of. I spec'd 52 visits per year. SO if I did not cut, i still showed to do a walk around, knock down some high spots, blow down the streets and walks, trim shrubs pick up trash.

    I if you had a drought last year or very recently, i would pull that years mow schedule and see how many and when you cut the grass, and when you skipped. line that up with what you bid on the complex. Show the Board this chart, let them know how you came up with the proposed cut schedule. We have to make sure our clients trust our abilities and that we are not just running the company based on guesswork. And sometimes that means we have to hold their hand and walk them through our thought process.
  6. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    I tell them that the bid already compensates for less mowing in the hot dry months.
  7. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Messages: 950

    Tell them a crew will be on site weekly and will devote their time to improving the property whether it's mowing or clean up.

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