Bidding Over the Phone?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I've had this happen several times. Someone calls and asks for a bid for a property they own, either unoccupied, or perhaps their mother's residence, etc. This week a guy calls on Wednesday while I was outside working on the mowers, I call him back and leave a message (cell phone). He calls back in just a bit and explains he owns a property about 5 miles from town and would like to get a bid on mowing, as he just doesn't have the time.

    I get a few details, 5 acre property, mowing approximately 2 acres, etc. He gives me the location, and I ask if it is OK if I wait until the next day to look at it (Thursday), as we are getting ready to go mow as soon as things dry out a bit, plus the property is only a couple of miles on down the road from where I park my route truck. Turns out his Dad works for the same company I do, in a different department. I don't know him personally, but recognized the name. Says that will be fine, just wants to get try and get something worked out prior to the weekend, as it is needing mowed this weekend.

    Thursday, after work, I run by the place. I'm short on time anyway, because of rains earlier in the week, and we are half a day behind on our mowing. New house, sitting on a steep hill. I measure, and it is almost exactly two acres he is mowing. Ditches are a nighmare. New suibdivision, and the ditches are eroded badly. He hasn't touched the ditches, and I can see just what he has mowed.

    I try calling from my cell after I decide what to charge. Got voicemail again, and left a message. Try again that evening, again, no answer. Try again Friday about noon, tell him to give me a call back as I'll keep my cell with me. Tried him again yesterday, went directly to voicemail, and, I, again, leave another message.

    Well, here it is Sunday, and still no reply. We could have mowed the place yesterday, as we did one place to finsih up the week, then mowed ours and our neighbor's. I"m trying to decide whether to call him one more time, and leave a bid on his voicemail, and if he calls back, fine, if not, fine, or whether to keep trying and perhaps be able to talk to him personally. I don't like just leaving a bid, because with this property there are lots of variables, and I'd like to discuss them with him, but am getting tired of wasting my time, which, I'm relatively sure I'm doing.

    My question is, if you are asked to bid on a property with an absentee owner, and all you get is an answering machine, will you go ahead and leave a bid, or keep trying until you get to talk to the individual, and if that doesn't happen, just forget the whole thing?
  2. Hamatsa

    Hamatsa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Leave him a bid on his VM. If he don't call back, he don't call back. DO NO WORK untl you get a contract in hand.

    Sometimes tirekickers wind up as customers but my guess is that other LCO's are vying for the same job and he's already gone with a guy with a Craftsman and hand held Ryobi blower.
  3. Lawn Shark prop mgmt LLC

    Lawn Shark prop mgmt LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I would call again and if i still got his voice mail, i would tell him that i went by the property on Thursday and worked up a bid. That will let him know you did what you said you would do. I also dont see a problem with leaving your bid amount as well, but i would also thank him for the chance to bid the property and if he had any questions to call me.
  4. borwicks

    borwicks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    1 call is enough. Your wasting your time. If he really wanted you to mow it by the weekend he would have called. Maybe he died.
  5. Kutz Lawns

    Kutz Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Give him your price on the voicemail, he doesn't call back, screw him!

    It sounds like you didn't want to do it anyway!
  6. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Messages: 1,346

    Not a priority for him so don't waste anymore time. If he was truly interested he would have called back. Use your energy to find clients in true need. I find more one time customers calling toward fall. 99% of the time they are waste of time for me. good luck
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    If you've called more than once and don't get a call, give it up. You'll sound desperate.
  8. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I did call once more, thanked him for his inquiry, and gave him my bid on his voicemail. No return call. I'm thinking either he, or more likely, his wife, decided they didn't want to spend the $ to have the place mowed. Free country, but it irritates the hell out of me that someone can't just give me a call and say thanks, but no thanks. I don't really think they went with someone else, because he had no clue what I was going to bid, as I didn't even mention a ballpark figure in our one and only conversation, and if it were I, I'd want to hear all the bids for fear the one I dind't was lower.

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