apartment pricing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by eight1seven, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. eight1seven

    eight1seven LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Heres the deal i got a call from a big apartment complex whats the best way to charge :confused: hourly or just give them a price? i checked them out already i have never dealt with big apt. complexes and it looks like it would take me about 2 days (8a.m-5p.m)30min lunch(me and my worker) they want service every 2 weeks. how does $850 sound every two weeks, i dont want to scare em away neither any advise?
  2. ODwyerPW

    ODwyerPW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Break it down this way:
    2 guys 2 days 9 hours each day or:

    36 man hours.

    Say your operating budget is set at $30 each man hour .... 36hrs * $30 = $1080. You will loose your shirt at $850 cutting 14 days worth of grass growth.
  3. ODwyerPW

    ODwyerPW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    One caution regarding apartment complexes...each tenant is a possible source of complaint...and depending on the temperment of the apartment complex manager things can get blown out of proportion quickly and you will hate your job (in your case 2 of the 5 days of the week...not what you wanted when you went in business for yourself).

    Older Apt complex has 150 units. So the site manager may be stressed out with constant maintenance this complex requires and the feedback she is getting from tenants constantly.

    You mow, trim, sweep, etc... and do a fine job, but your helper gets a few grass clippings on someone's newly armoralled truck tire and misses a few weeds around a curbside sewer drain. Two complaints (likely blown out of proportion) are filed with the manager. Depending on how the manager reacts, your life can be good or miserable. Two or three such very minor, easily correctable, incidences in a two month period can sink you in the eyes of a stressed out complex manager. You become just another source of headaches. Of course next season you'll want to increase the price because of the headache the site is...which won't go over well in the mind of a cranky manager.

    End of Example.

    If the apartment complex manager has a nasty personality (you'll know in 60 seconds)...RUN. One of my best sites is an apartment complex...one of my worst sites was another apartment complex. It's all reflected in the personality of the manager. Truth be told, the good site is much more difficult, but the manager is pleasant, constructive with his observations and sees that my invoices are paid promply.

    Another good indication is if they can keep regular staff or are always shuffling contractors. If so...RUN. It's another sign of an out of control manager. Real Estate attracts these kind of people..I don't know what it is?

    Pick apartment complexes carefully and don't scale up with staff and equipment above and beyond your means to care for them. You are likely to succeed if you can make good money....It changes your spective and makes you willing to try harder to please them. Nothing worse than loosing your shirt on a big complex that is a chore to do physically, mentally and emotionally (cranky apt managers can make it personal).
  4. eight1seven

    eight1seven LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    thanks for the advise here is another problem i forgot to mention it will b a 2yr contract and im not familiar with contracts its harder then i thought
  5. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Well said. I do eleven 120 unit complexes for one company. Most all the managers are good to work with, but there have been a few exceptions over the years. We have been working for this company longer than most of the managers, and we have a very good relationship with the owners.
    I would never work by the hour and I doubt you will find a client willing to pay you by the hour. They want a set cost.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here is a copy of a contract of mine, feel free to edit / modify to your liking / needs:
    (It's actually not really mine, I found it here and edited / modified it to my liking lol)
    All you gotta do is plop it into a word editor, paginate and format and bulletize it some,
    and you're good to go.
    You know how, right? Yes, highlight it all with your mouse, then press ctrl+C (copy to clipboard).
    Now move into your word editor and deposit your mouse cursor into an empty document
    and press Ctrl+V (Paste from clipboard). Copy-and-paste, it's the wave of the future.

    Name of your CO
    (800) 999-0000

    Customer Name: Some Apartment Complex
    Street Address: 123 Their street

    Service Agreement for Lawn Care Maintenance

    The total cost for this service is US $ 6,6xx to be paid in ten (10) installments of $ 66x per month. This agreement shall commence on 1.mar.2006 and continue thereafter as long as both parties are satisfied. Additional service can be provided as needed at customer request, cost and details of which depend entirely upon issues unforeseeable at present.

    Mowing and trimming all turf areas, resulting clippings removed with power blowers.
    Annual core aeration, seed and fertilization until such time the lawn is established enough to commence weed control, which is also included.
    Seasonal mulch application in areas, with possible gravel re-fills.
    Leaf cleanup which must be disposed of either on property or via Shoosmith Landfill, the latter method costing more and is not included in the price.
    Trimming of all bushes and hedges twice a year, see prior note for disposal issues, to include replacement of some dead or rotten elements.

    Notes To Service Agreement:

    If you are not satisfied with the level of service you would please notify 'Name of your CO' immediately so the matter can be discussed and if necessary, measures may be taken towards correction. My company and I strive to complete work in a timely and respectable manner each and every visit.

    If animals are kept on the property, customer must have lawn free of pet droppings when contractor is scheduled to service lawn, or customer will be charged a $30 equipment clean-up fee per visit.

    Damages and liability:

    Name of your CO is not responsible for damage to items left on turf areas and/or malfunctioning sprinkler heads, or risers.
    Client is not responsible for personal injury or damage incurred to equipment belonging to or under the supervision of Name of your CO.
    Name of your CO will provide proof of General Business Liability insurance upon contract approval, while failure to provide same is grounds for immediate dismissal.
    Client may assume upon sight of proof of insurance this contract to be valid.
    There is no obligation for either party to continue service. Either party may terminate this agreement by serving a 14-day written notice.

    Invoicing and billing:
    Name of your CO submits invoices by the 5th for services rendered for the past month as no payment will be taken during time of service. Payments are due no later than the 20th of the same month of the bill. Any account(s) sixty days past due can be charged a late fee of $35 while any bill not paid within thirty days can be considered delinquent. All services can be stopped on a delinquent account until full payment for services rendered has been received. In the event of default the client agrees to reimburse Name of your CO all administrative costs, collection costs, attorney fees, recording fees and/or court costs.

    Customer Signature: ________________________
    Some Apartment Complex

    Owner Signature: ______________________
    Name of your CO

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you!
  7. eight1seven

    eight1seven LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    thanks for help guys

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