Commercial Account Bidding

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Babbages01, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Babbages01

    Babbages01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    I do yards for a realtor and today I was approached by their main office manager to put a bid in to do their office.

    The property includes approximately 30 small bushes, about 10 sq. yards of that leafy ground cover, the same amount of grass as a quarter acre residential lot and then a few small flower beds.

    The bill of work basically includes...
    mowing every two weeks,
    trimming up shrubs and ground cover as needed (about once a month),
    pulling weeds from flower beds as needed, and
    planting approximately 100 flowers in the beds four times a year.

    They dropped their previous landscaper because he was lazy and did bad work for a high price (billed them $400 to trim the shrubs alone.) Of course though they wouldn't tell me what he charged as a regular fee.

    I work by myself and landing this account could do wonders for my business so I don't want to bid high and blow it but I don't want to do the work for nothing. I was thinking along the lines of $400 a month for all the above services.

    What do you guys think about it?
  2. Babbages01

    Babbages01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58


    I'm still going for $ if anyone has any other advice, let me know.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,366

    You are a little high.....are you thinking $4800 a year to do this property?
  4. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    If the customer is used to paying a high price, and you were lucky they told you that much, charge less, but not too much less. For example, charge them $600 or $700. That should be less but not too much.

    In my dealing with commercial, I found that price is important but not as much as residential. Reason is that the manager is not spending his own money. So keeping that in mind, what they value most is a no problem job...period. They have enough problems to deal with, if you solve more problems than create them you're golden in their books.

    Welcome to the world of commercial/property management. It's a very profitable world if you study and work hard at understanding what makes them tick...

  5. Babbages01

    Babbages01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    Just to let you know my thought on it...

    Let's say I mow 3 times a month at $75 each. =$225
    Hedge trimming once a month $30x3hours =$ 90

    Now the total is $315 and I still have flowers to plant, mulch to pull out and replace and then weeds to pull from beds.

    Does $350 sound more in line? I certainly don't want to overbid and blow it.
  6. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    You can't blow it... sounds like you are fairly new to this and you've got years ahead of, so don't be scared. Charge what you feel the customer will bear. Often it's not what you want to charge that counts, it's what the customer hints at you that you need to charge. This is something that's lost on a lot of lcos. He gave you a hint by giving you the price of $400 for the shrubs alone. Why would you then turn around and charge less for the shrubs and the grass?? Profit is not a dirty word you know...:rolleyes:

    Just today, the owner of made 1.8 billion dollars on his stock in the company. Does he feel guilty??? no :nono:

    We're talking chump change here. Maximize your profit. Think really hard on how he spoke to you, talk to him again before bidding. Clients give you clues on what they want to pay. Be patient and learn from this one bid. I've been doing this for over 25 years and I've gathered a lot of experience doing this.

    Here's an example of what happened to me yesterday.

    A property manager approached me off a fax we sent him and spoke to about 4 parkades he needed swept. I asked him who was doing it before and how much he was paying. He told me and let me know the contractor who was doing before and I knew him, so I told him my prices were at least 30% more than him. I was taking a chance he could have told me to go where the sun don't shine, but he didn't so we negotiated price and struck a deal.

    Lesson: You can negotiate without offering a quote with certain people and it's worth doing it.. you can feel them out and squeeze the best price from the deal. If they don't want to talk, but insist on a written quote, at least you had a chance to feel them out!

    This same client asked for a quote for a large townhouse complex that had a staining job go bad. He said "we know it won't be cheap" because of the repairs that need to be done and that they are now even more picky.
    Guess what... my quote is NOT cheap, probably 30% more than usual and when he got the quote he liked the fact that I heeded his advice and he said the price was right on. I let him tell me... now he'll probably push for me at the board meeting. I hope I get it, it's over 50k. Nice gravy job.
    If I hadn't talked to him and just bid, I would have probably been around 35k.


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