bid on housing complex lawn maintenance?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    First bid im doing for a local housing complex. Its mainly apartments and a few townhomes in a row. I am sure i can handle the job next season. A company came in today "saturday" to cut the place and had 3 dump F350s/550s, a rack body f450, mulching crew, two 24' enclosed trailers with 4 mowers, 4 trimmer guys, two edger guys and looked like a crew boss lol.

    I mean common, just me and my helper can do this place in about 6hrs or less so im not sure why theyd have two saturday crews out here, or 3.

    Are jobs like this usually bid out "cheap" or do they pay well? Altough i would cut it myself with two other guys and one truck/trailer weekly, is it out of the question to assume $900 for a job that eats up 18 man hours? Im figuring on $50 per man hour since there is no driving time once were at the site. I can average $100 easily with JUST myself and my one worker at almost all residential lots

    3 small $30~ lots in one hr all the way to $100-$155 large residential or commercial properties in 50-70 minutes worth.

    Am i in the ball park here or is the current LCO probably doing this for $500 ?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No, what I'm trying to get across to you is the guys that are doing it now are a bigtime company and you are obviously ill equipped to tackle it if you even plan on being there yourself, this is the kind of job where Lco's literally DO send out trucksss and crewsss because it's THAT much work!

    You better have at least a receptionist to handle the phone calls, by the time those 3-4 association members who have too much time on their hands start their bickering and pestering you will sure wish you had some employees to help filter that crap alone. In my case only a hard core spam filter kept that at bay but I can tell you that doesn't work with these folks, you still have to deal with them, someone has to because they want to be pampered or something, I don't know.

    To underbid isn't the question here, a commercial complex is just something to do for large Lco's, it's yet another place that keeps the 15 guys busy instead of having them stand around the shop all day with their hands in the pockets. But that $500 likely is the lowest bidder but the large Lco doesn't care because it's better than no work, but if you think you can do it for less easy then you're fixing to learn what I found out last year, the hard way.

    As far as I'm concerned you need to be on an accrual accounting system as well, that means if you lose 10 or 20 grand your full-time secretary simply writes it off as so much tax deduction and even if your company is 100k in the hole you and your guys still get paid, this kind of thing just isn't meant for small cash-based Lco's, I don't see no 1 or 2 man owner-operator team dealing with it.

    But I will say this, it was a humbling experience in my case.
    You can try it, but...
  3. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    When you deal with large properties, you must be equipped to do any work that they need done. When we pick up a new complex I ask for an email list or a mailing list of the tennants, then I contact them with a mailing including a business card and a 5% discount on services above and beyond what is already contracted. Mowing gets the larger companies in the door to do the higher profit jobs. Without seeing the property I have no idea on price, but it better be very large to get $900 a mow. I would say the winning bid would be much lower than that.

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