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Bad looking lawns!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rookiemower, May 7, 2005.

  1. rookiemower

    rookiemower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    i have these two customers that are about five houses away from each other. I have had them for about three years now. They are good customers, they always pay and never complain. But their lawns look like complete ****!!!!!!!!! the lawns actually make me look bad, nothing but dadelins and dead grass. The neighbors all around seem to have great lawns. it's just that these two customers are very cheap and dont want to spend money caring for the lawn (i.e. fertillizing, watering etc.) They just dont give a dam as long as its cut. Have any of you ever dropped lawns because you get no satisfaction after the job is complete. I have lawns that make every neighbor around jealous, and it feels good after its finished and looks good. These lawns are a disgrace to even be seen on. They are not underpriced either the two average out to about a dollar a minute. what would you do. :dizzy:
  2. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    We feel the same way you do, on those sort of yards it is hard to even get motivated to do a good job. Maybe send them a letter mentioning services that you offer that may help get there lawn in better shape.
  3. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    I have done a few of those lawns as well, but they dont ever seem to last more than a season or so. Unlike your situation, these people are typically bargain hunters.
  4. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,377

    Cover your letters on the truck and trailer while your doing these houses.. lol no one will know it was you!
  5. l1011100

    l1011100 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I've got a few that look like total crap, I have offered aerating and overseeding to them, but they don't care as long as something in the yard is green, or any color for that mater. I agree with you WoodBrothersLC its hard to get motivated to do a good job.
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,657

    I happen to love the crap ones reason they are fast thin lawns don't clump they do not need to be bagged and weeds grow faster in summer so if they don't water you still get to cut them all summer. I have my show places but they do not bring in the money the crap ones do I got one 22 dollar cut takes me 3 mins from unloading the truck to leaving thats not that hard to take.
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    I happen to love to add a nice ratio of 50/50 crap to nice. I can do crap lawns faster than I can do nice lawns and they still pay the same for the size. I happen to have landed more accounts from one particular crap lawn full of weeds then any other account. I is High profile and with nice stripes and it being green and not dead it lands many new accounts. I hear so many times from those that see that lawn " If you can make that yard on xxx Teakwood look so good I wonder what mine will look like when you are done". This is my dandy lion infestation account but when stripes are laid( ha ha) it looks really good. I wish she would let me fert and spray but the old I am on a budget and I cant afford this and that takes place.
  8. Jeff@SGLC.ca

    Jeff@SGLC.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    I have a few crap ones, I'm never satisfied when I leave...always think it looks like crap. Sometimes ppl think just because you are there to mow....you can make it look like a million bucks with a blade.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    There are only three things that might tick me:
    1) When the customer thinks that by just hiring me to cut the grass, somehow the lawn will look fabulous.
    2) The dust. The dust gets all up in the mower and clogs the crap out of all the passages and filters and the bearings it eats them like sandpaper.
    3) When they are picky even thou the yard shows they don't care.

    If I think there will be a lot of dust, sometimes I add 5 dollars to the total estimate but a lot of times I just use the '98 proline instead of the 2005 model I just bought. The 7-year old proline still does a fine job on even the nicest yards, it's just slower and clatters and clanks a bit but these customers are very happy that I am smiling as I drive my old mower into the dirt for them.

    These customers are also a bonus because if they don't care then it is a lot less likely they will hound me when I am too busy to cut all the grass on the schedule. Sometimes I put these customers off for several days and it is nice when my phone doesn't ring off the hook with them yelling at me, a lot of them never bother me so long I show up whenever, a lot of them are not concerned if I 'rush' the job a little bit and so long they pay, I 'spray' the mower with the backpack to get the dirt off (like weeds) and everybody is happy.

    I learned in the last few years, sometimes it is exactly these customers that keep me alive because those folk who own the nicest yards sometimes drop me on a dime (like I show up 1 day late and Wham - they done found someone else) while the ones with the crappy yard are just glad that I show up and I have several whom I've worked on their yards for several years now.

    But yes, it does frustrate me somedays, also.
    Alas, so the war goes.
    Peace out.
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    We make a lot of money off of these customers. Most of these customers are bi-weekly. If they aren't fertilizing, we can service them bi-weekly and they are some of the best customers we will get.

    Bi-Weekly customers who don't purchase a fert plan always have weeds in the lawn. The weeds grow a lot faster than bermuda in the spring and fall. So when we show up to cut them, they always need it. Many of the nicer lawns with pure bermuda barely need cutting in the early spring and late fall. I have never had a bi-weekly customer ask us to skip a cut. They are also less likely to nit-pick the quality of the work and be a PITA. Lastly, because two cuts a month is so much more affordable than weekly cuts with 6 chemical apps per year, if they've made the decision to hire the lawn company on a whim (and they probably have), they are less likely to cancel service because they changed their mind.

    Just make sure your customer understands that fertilizers are OFF LIMITS during the peak growing season if you are going to cut them bi-weekly. If they refuse to understand why you require this, they are playing dumb and they need to hire someone else.

    I could care less what the lawn looks like when we pull away, as long as we are making money and the customers are getting what they expect. I always tell my customers that bi-weekly service is a lot cheaper than weekly service, but because they won't be on a fert plan, they will never have a nice lawn. They are more focused on cost than on having a nice lawn. They are getting what they want.

    DFW Area Landscaper

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