Bidding on large apartment complexes?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    I currently do other small commercial places, but nothing of this size.

    One place is ~34 acres total size with about 60 buildings on its property.

    The other is ~28 acres and 25 larger buildings on its property.

    Both places want the front yards of the apartments bagged, the open areas behind them not. Trimming, blowing of lots & edging curbs & all sidewalks is included for the weekly priced bid.

    Im estimating it will take a 4 man crew a minimum of a 8-9hr day for each of these properties. The open areas in back of the buildings dont worry me, as i can have a 72" mower, 61" mower and 48" mower and even the walk behind going if i need them. Its the massive amounts of trimming and edging involved. I cant possibly ask any of my employees or myself ot "edge" all day long. The longest ive been on an edger myself is a little over an hour.

    I would need two trucks at each property while being mowed, lawn mowers on one trailer and dump trailer on the other for clipping removal. It holds about 11 yards~

    Is the price of $2,800 wk for the 28acre and $3,200wk. for the 34 acre unreasonable?

    The rest of my commercial accounts barely touch those figures "monthly" let alone weekly.

    Estimated out per acre @$40 per would be $1,360 per wk. for the 34 acre lot. Those are my residential cost basis for a house on a one acre lot.

    Being that there are parking lots, curbing, tons of sidewalks, fair amount of trees and tons of beds on all of these plus bagging, i dont see it as un-reasonable. I just hope its low enough to place an adequate bid to get the job, at least one of them :dancing:
  2. Tony DiMauro

    Tony DiMauro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Be careful dude. If you don't have experience in large commercial properties they can eat your lunch. I cut my teeth on apartment complexes and they are not easy to bid, especially when there a tremendous amount of trimming to be done. Hedge trimming is the part that is not only expensive for the customer but very labor intensive for your company. Again BE CAREFUL!
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    I ran into this a While back..... I bidded mine at 1200.00 a visit.
    the way I did it was to itemize...

    a price for the hedges, a price for edging and so on....

    I was called in and we discussed the Bid, they wanted to Cut this and that, doing some Biweekly services. and monthly on the hedges.

    We never did come to an agreement, what I couldnt get into there heads is that If you only trim hedges once a month. it will look bad for 3 weeks, and it will cost more Because there is more growth. same with the Turff areas....

    Good Luck
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I think if I have to resort to my imagination to figure out how I'm going to do something that it means it's just too much?
  5. Tony DiMauro

    Tony DiMauro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Only you know what it cost to run your organization. Many things go into bidding a property correctly. Your labor cost, insurance cost, materials cost, etc. you need to figure all that out. To my knowledge there is no science to bidding a property, only experience. Getting your feet wet is the only way you know your in water. Just hope the water is not over your head!
  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    thanks top, of course this by far would be the largest commercial property to service for my company. Its not so much the acreage as it is the trimming as noted above. I know the grass portion can be cut with 2 mowers in a full day. But the trimming, can 2 guys trim and edge everything, will it take 4 guys to do it or will i run into a 1.5 day job instead of just one full day.

    The other thing included in the price is maintenance of down small limbs/twigs off trees, and pruning of such. Of course this part isnt entirely time consuming though.
  7. Accu-cut Lawn Care

    Accu-cut Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,206

    A good employee will edge for a full day... It's not too bad. I've done it more times than I can count.
  8. Tony DiMauro

    Tony DiMauro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    He's absolutely correct. I'll bet you'll find that a good edger man may do it faster than you think. Edging was never an issue with us and we serviced three rather large complexes per day. The trimming will be the issue. You seem to be thinking one 8 to 10 hr. day's work. You may revise your thinking to the actual time it truly takes. Although two EXPEREIENCED hedge trimmer men and two guy's cleaning up, that are not (Perezoso), will get a lot of work done in 8 hrs.
    Plus, if they want one trimming a month ---double your time!
    Apartment are a headache - they want everything looking perfect but want to pay you for a mow and blow job!
    If they were trying to get you to cut corners for finacial reasons I would suggest to move on. Don't waste your time. You will make more money moving on!
  9. jcthorne

    jcthorne LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    Apartment complexes of this size usually go for 5 to 6 grand a month for 24 months in my area.

    We run mulch kits on properties like this and I have a dedicated edger man who does nothing but edge all day.

    5 good people can do an apartment complex a day minus hedge trimming.
  10. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    I see your from TN, thanks for the info, probably in NJ the rates are much higher, just the nature of dirty jersey :)

    on a side note, what are your experiences with bids from huge Maintenance companies? I know that there are two very big companies bidding on these two properties as well. Im guessing based on their reputation locally that they'll bid high so i shouldn't worry, but Im asking anyway.

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