Commercial Bidding

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mezammit, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. mezammit

    mezammit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I received a phone call yesterday from an mobile home complex manager about getting a bid this coming season for there lawn care. I do 98% residential with just a few small commercial accounts. The homes in the park are fairly close together and are priced out per unit. That part is no problem.

    This complex sits back a good 250-350 yards from the main road and stretches a good 3/4 of a mile. The easement or approach as i just described is huge, but just straight mowing with very few trees to trim around. I talked to the manager and he said last year there was a 4 man crew and it look them all day to complete the job. That was with 2 guys mowing on lazers and 2 trimming and when the 2 trimmers were done they would mow after. I guess the manager was very unhappy with this company and is looking for someone new this coming season.

    With residential I can pretty much walk the property and do some simple math to give a bid. But with this large of a property how would any of you try to get a number for this property?
    I am looking at how long it would take me to complete this property plus all the man hours and expenses. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Herbert02

    Herbert02 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Did you find out why the manager was unhappy with his previous service?
  3. mezammit

    mezammit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I guess the company was never there when they were supposed, and when they were they would miss some of the homes in the complex.
  4. oldclawn

    oldclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Measure it off with googleearth Pro--never eyeball something really big. A big 72" mower will easily do 4+ acres an hour--do your math from there. If you do not have big equipment either pass or consider subbing out the large areas as needed--there's a lot of guys up there with big mowers that may be happy to help you on a wide open mow--just my .02 - but down here we mow the "north 40" of 3 different projects for another crew--win win
  5. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    oldclawn, a 72 probably doesn't fit between the houses.

    Trailer park? I'd ask what he was paying and have him show proof. You're guessing right out of the gate. How do you know the other company didn't get screwed out of a few months work doing this place? Sure the door can swing both ways. Maybe the company wasn't doing a good job for what they were getting paid. You still need to find out more details on the place and try to get a price out of them.
  6. mezammit

    mezammit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Oldclawn, yes i will definitely take my measuring wheel to measure it off before any number is assumed and between all the homes i would just put a guy with a 36 or 48' walk behind. Any size ZTR would be way overkill but a 72' would make quick work of the larger area. . ALC-GregH, yes you would think a trailer park really?? and believe me I had my doubts as well. When I heard some final numbers of what this complex pays out each year to a lawn company I was blown away. The complex is actually very well kept up and they have everything fertilized throughout the season which is nice. Thank you for the comment and please do keep them coming.
  7. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    4 Guy working a full 8hr day at a billable rate of $35 pmh = $140 per hour or $1120.00 per cut. The $35 per man hour is just an estimate but this should give you an idea of where to start. You may want to ad in an equipment charge on top of the hourly rate.

    Questions I would ask are - Were all 4 employee's there the whole day 8hr? Was there anything that was not done? Was the time of service ok with owner/manager? Quality of service ok? Did the owner/manager feel he was getting the service he expected for the price he was paying? Or is he just price shopping as many do? Do you have the equipment to do the job?
  8. mezammit

    mezammit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Thanks for the comment. As of now i would need to purchase another mower weather it be a larger walk-behind or a rider 60' lazer. Where a lot of time spent on this property is all the trimming and mowing in between all the mobile homes. The front easement would be straight forward. It is a great opportunity at the time but I really don't want to get in over my head spending an entire day at one property is a lot in my eyes than if it rains everything gets pushed back. The manager said to take my time with it because there is still snow on the ground and the season is still 3 months away he just had my business card from last year and wanted to get in contact with me. This weekend i am going to drive through the complex and really get an idea as to how long it will take.
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,292

    Alls I can say is trailer park careful, might want to think twice.
    I have had a few bad debt write offs working in those.
  10. mezammit

    mezammit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    DA Quality,
    Yeah I thought the same thing when i was approached with the opportunity. I know the guy that does all the maintenance for the people there and he said they are good about getting you paid in a timely order but believe me I do have my doubts as anyone would. With any commercial payment it takes much longer than a residential customer. With any commercial costumer they would sign a contract with me and a payment due date will be under the contract.

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