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Bidding Apartments

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cutters edge, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. cutters edge

    cutters edge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I am currently bidding on some apartments. I ran in some big properties. My question is what is the right way to bid on them? I measured the property it was 8 acres. Can i just multiply that on what i charge for an acre. JUst trying to figure out the best way. Thank you for any imput.
  2. llama

    llama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    sure u can do that
  3. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    You can do that, nobody is stopping you....but I don't think you will be accurate. 8 acres of open field is not the same as mowing 8 acres of apartments. Measure what you will be trimming and edging in linear feet also. Once you come up with a total, see how many feet you can trim and edge in 1 minute....and do the math. Then you have to factor in moving toys around and picking up trash and other stuff. Add some buffer time in on that. They are not easy to bid. I have only bid a handful and actually think I might be lucky not getting them.
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Hey Cutters, I would a least double your acre price for the pita factor alone. Most apartments weve dealt with were unloyal, whiney double crossers. They obtain 5 or more bids from other lco's a year and go with the lowest price. Problem is the new guys bid low, get it and end up wishing they didnt.
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I had a town house complex (150 units, totaling 15 separate buildings)

    Edging and string trimming were a PITA around parked cars. Ther were no parking stops so you had occassions were the area's under the bumpers would not get cut. (spelled out in contract) Trimming hedges even remotely close to the holidays was nightmarish. I made money on the job. But buy a book of car washes from the local carwash place. I hated to do it, but sometimes to get someon off my back about dust or a blade of errant grass that had blown on their car it was easier to give away a $10 carwash. than argue. No matter how well you angle your deck away from things, grass will get everywere.

    I actually became the "pool guy" as well. Subbed it out, but as long as you make money with little headache your ok...

    Parking lot blowers are great, I used one of the JRCO mounts withmy Lazer. Made it so easy blowingthe parking lots. Picked up some odd extras like pressure washing the walks as well.
  6. lrunner

    lrunner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I dont find that to be true in my area. The apartment buildings where i have bid actually what to see references and pictures of jobs that i have done. It's pretty tough. I've managed to land two, but it wasn't easy. Actually, I'm glad that they ask for references and pics, this way you dont have some new comer and get the job because they bid so low.
  7. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    Thanx for the heads up on the cars and grass. I went to bid on 9 buildings yesterday and I think it will take longer to trim them out then to mow them. I have an OCDC on my tiger cub so that may help to keep the grass off the cars. I cant remember if they have the stops in the parking spots or not, Im gonna have to check that out and get it in the contract too. Thanx for the tips
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I had a blocker plate too for the tough areas to keep the grass down. But you will never ever be able to keep all the residents happy. As long as you keep the Prop manager happy you fine.

    I tried to always schedule...yes I know you should not schedule...the shrub trimming and tried to keep the grass cutting on the same days of the week so that way people would get used to it. If people knew I was coming they would sometimes park back a few feet.

    Let them know via the monthly news letter (if they have it) when you plan on trimming shrubs, or doing any tree work, so if there happen to be holiday decoratoins up they would understand why I would skip....

    I got on the good side of the HOA president, but also the Prop Manager and got some more work from it....

    I had one peice of equipment that I only used on the property and they let me keep in their storage locker on site, which was nice too....

    Never ever try to do any maintence on the property on a weekend, you'll be asking for trouble...

    I always scheduled it mid week so if I had any issues, weather, equipment, labor I had fall back days....

    If you have a chance....take part of a day and watch what the current guy is doing..good for ideas and would help with the bid as well
  9. cutters edge

    cutters edge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Thank you, I am going a little crazy trying to get the right price. Its my first year.
  10. cutters edge

    cutters edge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Ok, What i have been doing is taking total square feet of property. Including everything, Pavement, Buildings which was 8 acres. Thinking that would offset the trimming and edging. Thanks for your responce.

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