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Boy I got a little shock today

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by sheshovel, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I go to meet with a potential customer that lives in a mnfctrd home park and give him my estimate,we had met before and talked about what he wanted a few days before,,6- 5 or 1 gallon Florabunda or Grandiflora roses,with that dumb scalloped edging around each to make a little circle
    ,(some people!),crushed granite for mulch one side and bark and 5 0r 6 Rosemary plants on the other on the other side.Her's been after me for three months and I finally have time to sneak him in.Rose side is 3'wide and 25'with a shallow underground culvert running it's length and the other side 2x25'
    There were some areas to fill and hand grade to drain and weeding and cleaning to prep.
    So I bid the job $300.00 prep and $600 to plant and put down the mulch his materials and deliverys were $455.00 or so I estimated the job at $1345.00 to $1500.00 CHEAP RIGHT??I thought it was.
    Iv'e landscaped 40 homes in that park and that was a real good est.
    He looks at the est and says WOW this is so much more than I expected!The guy who is doing #72 next door said he would do the whole thing for $1000.00
    My jaw drops ,"For labor and all the materials and deliverys and everything?"I ask,he goes YEA that's what he says he will do it for.
    I was totaly caught off guard and shocked!He had already pretty much hired me for the job and the est was just an after thought the way he acted.
    So I took a sec to recover my composure ;) (the lowballing so#!*%B I'm thinking)So I go hey you know what,if he can do it for that then hire him,I personaly have never seen him and don't know him or his work..But I do know he just planted 3 large birches within 2' of the street and they will make him remove them because it's against the park rules to plant any tree within 6'of the street.And the tree's you can plant can only be a mature height of 25' and those must not have gone thru management cuz he would have never OKed a planting like that.
    Then I go real fast But hey if he can give you a price like that..by all means hire him for the job,your looking at my price and my work speaks for itself,it's all over the park.Lemmie know what you decide,I gotta run now thanks. :D ..........
    Looks like I got a lowball dip**** undermining my bids and I gotta meet this guy .Just thought I would vent... cheaper that me??He's on his second home Ive been in there for 2 years,I can't wait to meet him. :cool2: :cool2:
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774


    You are working in a lowballer market. Trailer parks are inherently a lowballer market. You have to market yourself to a more upscale area and take your photos in such a way so they don't show the trailer park.

    If you work in economic markets, you'll be battling this forever. There is nothing wrong with living in a trailer park, but understand that people live there because they either can not or will not spend the money for a better home situation. Home is a high priority while landscaping is a lesser one. If people are not investing in a better home, they certainly are not going to make a financial commitment to landscaping that home.

    Aim toward people who have money to spend and are willing to financially commit to their landscaping and you will be less daunted by this.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    These homes are top of the line manifactured homes that are bigger than my house,this is a brand new park with upscale residents and they havent even finished bringing in the homes yet.
    I don't just have work in there and this park is only a small part of my business.
    I would be a fool to limit myself like that,I know better.
    These people DO have money and this is a money making venture when you can have so much work all in one spot.You are quite wrong,the people who live here have sold there large homes because it was too much to care for and most want to travel or just have less to worry about.And they have banked the $$.
    You have the compitition factor of the residents and the quantity factor here too.Diden't have to market myself in here cuz word of mouth is so good.This job I am speaking about had a very small yard and he is kind of a OK I'll do you if I have to kinda job,I just don't work THAT CHEAP even if it's a tiny job.
  4. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    I do a lot of work in a couple of 55 and older mobile parks. Just like everywhere, there are customers who want it done as cheaply as possible. Don't take it personally, just let it go. If, like you say, you have landscaped 40 homes in that park, it shouldn't bother you in the least that some scrub underbid you by $500. He won't be around long, because he won't be able to continue to work at a loss to get jobs. Just continue to do what you should, do good work, be honest, charge what you need to, and forget about the lowballers. A couple of years ago, I was underbid by a guy by $100 on a decorative rock job. I was kind of pissed, but I had satisfaction when that customer had me do another job a few weeks back. I charged what I needed to, and he didn't have anyone else bid because he knew I did good work.
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Theres a irrigation/LCO company in my area that conistantly underbids commercial jobs by several thousand dollars over anyone else.

    We don't mind, because we get to come in and fix all their mistakes :)
  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Hey, I was not cutting down your work. There is just a lot less competition the farther up the market you go. The clients tend to be less bottom line oriented and more interested to see what you can offer them rather than how much it costs. I would speculate that the lot sizes might be larger as well.

    To have a shot of losing a job over a couple of hundred bucks seems too competitive to me, that's all.
  7. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    ""so I estimated the job at $1345.00 to $1500.00 CHEAP RIGHT??I thought it was.""

    Complaining about lowballing......what about the guy who does it for $2500?
    What does that make you...
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    It sure doesn't make me somebody who is doing a job next door and asks my potential client if he needs his done and he says "No I am getting an estimate from a person I want to do it."And the lowballer says "Well whatever that estimate is I can do it cheaper,I will do yours the whole thing materials and labor for $1000.00"That's what I was told anyway,I have eyes and ears everywhere in there.
    Mabey your right though kootoomootoo exept the one other landscaper charges $20,000 or more and does lousy work and rips off old widow ladies with less bark than they paid for,no drainage,plants lollypop trees that cant and wont ever stand on their own ..his plants that die right and left because he thinks that useing a pressure compensating emitter to 1/4"dist line and just stick the open end under the rootball is correct drip installation,and the ladies can hear gusshers in the systems but cant see whats going on cuz the lines are UNDER the thick geofab he uses and the gofers have chewed it up.So me charging a fair price in the 1st place (and that one is the lowest I have bid so far)is not lowballing in my eyes.It is treating people fairly and honestly and I back up my work,he does not.
  9. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    The whole lowballer concept is all relative anyway. If someone is willing to work for lower prices are they scum, or are they helping the consumer? It is all relative and depends on perspective. The fact is that when someone offers to do something at a certain price and someone is willing to pay them both sides are getting what they asked for.

    You, or me, or anyone else will not lose much work to people who are not competitive with us. That means that you, or me, or anyone else have to understand that we are perceived as somewhat equal, or at least equally valued, to those whom we are competitive with. You, or me, or anyone else have not elevated ourselves past our competitors in the eyes of the consumer. If you, or me, or anyone else wants to assess how we appear in the marketplace, to look at our competitors is to look in the mirror.

    The better your actual competitors are, the better you are in what you are actually doing. If you, or me, or anyone else see ourselves as having better abilities than our competition, we are working the wrong market, or we are mistaken in our own self perceptions. If we don't like the look of our competitors, we have work to do.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I see what you mean now AGLA.Will do.

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