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Class-D / Class-F yards .... ????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by topsites, May 3, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I get these calls, folks got these yards where nothing has been done in at least 3-4 months as far as grass-cutting, nevermind anything else likely has been neglected 10 or 20 years, yet they all act like I should come in and give a 'grass cutting' estimate at regular price and make it look all shiny and spiffy, too.

    First one did this to me called around september last year indicating she needed regular service and she did me in with the low-balling moves so I did her a special favor by cleaning up thigh-high grass and crap for 45 dollars (2/5 acre lot, between 1/3 and 1/2 acre) figuring I'd get to maintain it from then on out at the same price... Didn't hear from this one again until just now, about 8 or 10 months later the whole yard's gone right back to where it was before I even touched it and wants another cleanup... Can't wait to tell her the estimate is 85 dollars.

    But I did learn something in all this time, and that is to recognize the low-ball moves and to use counter-motions that effectively thwart the whole attempt.

    Next one calls and is looking for someone 'reasonable' (yes the word was emphasized on the phone, I know what this means!!) to cut their 'small' lot which is really one of the smallest in the neighborhood (same old song and dance) and doesn't have that much grass, blablabla... Of course, you realize that by now with their stupid comments they have given themselves away and I know they intend to pay 30-35 dollars, because that's what happens when they influence, I can read their mind.
    So I looked this one up before I went out, it did come out to 9k square feet which does make it a small lot, but nothing prepared me for what came next. As I drove up to give the estimate, I took one look out the car and kept right on driving, never stopped to think twice about talking to them because I was in no mood to have the LB moves put on me in person. Thigh-high grass and weeds and crap, not to mention a 'steep' (my emphasis this time) slope where someone must've put down mulch years ago... Of course there is grass and weeds growing through the mulch so this has to be cut as well, as far as to how this is to be done on a treacherous slope that has decomposing mulch thrown on it, that part is beyond me. Won't touch it for less than 60 dollars.

    Neither one will hear from me again unless they call back and just happen to catch me, but I'm on a short fuse from dealing with the association and its 200-some members all of whom have their little special requests of what needs to be done on their lowest-bidder contract.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    wow surprise, I just got the $85 one...

    Guess I need to re-check my bearings, how humbling.
  3. Billz

    Billz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    85 is still very cheap for a mess like that it seems. Last year I did a cleanup on a lawn that was 3 acres... the lady calls and asks if I would mow her medium sized lawn for $100...sounded too good to be true so I told her I would come by after my work was done and look...she decided to have me cut the 1/4 acre in front for the $100. I was glad she didnt take me up on the $400 for the whole place, it would have taken all day at least!
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Yea topsites this is what I keep trying to get through your head...Re-check your bearings when it comes to your people skills..you screw yourself out of alot of work with your customer communication and pre-judgement on customers reaction to your pricing.
  5. WildLake

    WildLake LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    so what was the car?
  6. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Sounds like at least $125 (if not $250) to me. And then only if I have nothing better to do.

    I mean really 8 months of neglect. So charge for 2-3 months anyway.

    Or find out what the county charges when they get redflagged and charge 10% less than that. I love doing that. 1/4 acre 2 ft grass. That will be $250.
    Song and dance. Well right here the county says by tomorrow or $300. Call me and let me know. Begin walking away.

    They are still coming out way ahead and they know it.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    sorry, my car... I took one look out of my car (I drove my car to give the estimate, better fuel mileage).
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Not to disagree, but this is why I get so frustrated, even if it's all my fault

    See, I should've gone 120... ahhhh yes.
    But for 85 I'll run the '98 proline around, the blade belt needs replacing anyhow, it's been hanging by a thread for close to a year. 90 minutes run-time tops, it will look better than the last time they got 55 minutes run-time and it's far better the time I originally did it for like 40 or 45, see what made me so mad is I was told by the customer they were looking for someone regular and of course it's my mistake but I gave them too good a price figuring now I can come out on a regular basis to take care of things.

    Next thing you know, it's next year, I could've handled January but ...
    And yeah, some association did get called and complained about the house, so either way you look at it, maybe my people skills are terrible but evidently my prices make up for it, I'm just trying to come out ahead lol.

    The contracted association problem is next but I'll gladly take my sundays back, too.

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