Demon Client...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GreenBlade, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Friends, Neighbors and Relatives. I steer clear of working for them.
  2. GreenBlade

    GreenBlade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    Well "the other guy" that did it before me went off to college. He's always had neighborhood guys do his work for dirt cheap. Using them. When the guy went away he recommended me cause he knew I had my business. I am one of two lawn care & landscaping professionals that live in my neighborhood. I haven't ever talked to the other guy that lives in here, but I can guarantee that he & all others would probably charge him 800+ for that kind of work. & 40+ for his mowing.
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904


    but then again i'm pretty thick skinned and usually view a pita customer
    as a challange to please them but, i've got a lot of patience, i have kids.
  4. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    I agree. I do not work for neighbors or family. I will help them if they are in a jam but that is where I draw the line. Keeps everything much simpler and no drama.
    easy-lift guy
  5. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 651

    Mow...get paid....repeat.
  6. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Any time a client starts talking "hourly" figures it's a bad sign.

    They are comparing their own hourly pay to what they think YOU should be getting in comparison. They don't factor in ANY of the behind the scenes costs that eat into your hourly rate.

    And yeah, the neighbor thing can be a mistake.
    I had people move into a rental next door and when he found out what I do he asked for a price to cut his grass. I gave him a very low price, as (a) he was next door and I could just cut it when I did my own lawn, and (b) I was tired of looking at the mess, and figured they would just hire some hack that would leave it looking like crap after he left - at least I would be able to keep it looking decent.

    Pffffttt! He "hired" me TWO times last season. This season rolls around and I watched as the grass grew and grew - one foot, two feet tall...

    Another neighbor asked me, "Didn't you get the contract for that yard this year?" LOL! "Contract", she says... this guy isn't the type to sign a contract.
    I told her that I haven't heard from him and that I'm not going to approach him about it.

    The day before Easter, I was mowing my own lawn and one of the trash-neighbor's relatives from out of state stopped over and asked if they could hire me to cut the grass. "They don't have a lot of money and we'd like to help them out", she said. Keep in mind that I offered to cut it for $25, or $35 biweekly - the lawn should cost at least $35 weekly.
    I cut it - they paid me and asked about the possibility of paying me to maintain his lawn for him. I gave her the prices I mentioned. "Sounds fair, we'll let you know".

    Never heard another word from anyone. Three weeks go by... four weeks... now we're taking pics to send to code enforcement. I'm tired of this crap. Week five and in addition to our call, several neighbors called code enforcement as well. Week five the neighbor from the trash yard comes over and asks if I can "cut his grass". I guarantee he got reamed out by the landlord (who was even worse about caring for the lawn when it was vacant) and that's why he came over.

    "Whew... It's not going to be cheap at this point", I said. I may have time Saturday, but I'll have to go look it over before I can give you a price. "You probably won't like the price I'm going to give you either", I said.
    "No problem, I'm home all day Saturday, give me a call."
    I called. No answer. Fu@k. Seriously?

    THREE DAYS later, he returned my call. I told him he may want to consider looking for someone else, as my schedule was filled for the next week. "I would have cut it for $100 last Saturday, but if another week goes by, it's going to be $140" I told him.

    SIX WEEKS and THREE DAYS after I had cut it last, I came home to see him over there with an ELECTRIC lawn mower fighting that mess.
    Oh. My. God... ROFLMFAO!

    I couldn't stop laughing. I took pics and video. I doubt he'll ever ask me to cut it again, and that's perfect because I WON'T cut it again. I made him an incredible offer and he ignored it. SCREW him - he'll never get a better offer and he blew it. I'm calling code enforcement again on Tuesday - the grass he cut is pretty close to being above code again already. Not to mention he never did ANY trimming and there are still 4 foot weeds all over. People disgust me. Don't rent a HOUSE if you aren't going to look outside and see that it needs cared for.

    Oh yeah... and don't work for neighbors.

    Thanks for listening. I needed to vent.
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I absolutely do not understand why landlords don't rent with the mowing included in the rent, because about 75% of tenants don't give a crap what the place looks like.
  8. Penncare

    Penncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    Don't know what state you live in, but in my little humble State of South Carolina I would send a letter to the landlord stating:

    Dear insert name,

    Please accept this letter as actual notice that the tenants in your property located at xyz have repeatedly failed to comply with the legal requirement for property maintenance. I have taken pictures and have provided them along with this letter. I am informed and believe that code enforcement has taken action in regard to this property on more than one occasion. From speaking to other individuals close by, there is a consensus that this matter must be addressed to prevent diminution in the value of the property surrounding xyz. In addition to lowering the value of surrounding homes and properties, there are various health hazards posed by failure to keep the growth to a reasonable level.

    Thank you in advance for your immediate attention to this very important issue; however, should you fail to remedy this problem I will initiate legal action to require compliance with relevant codes as well as seeking damage commensurate with the loss in value of my property do to your actions. As both you and your tenant owe a duty to me, I will sue you both and the court can decide who has to pay. If allowed by law I will further seek punitive damages due to a history of failing to observe the codes.

    I hope this finds you well this matter is addressed in a proper and timely manner.
  9. orlawncaresvc

    orlawncaresvc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 962

    Well said 93.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Although I suspect you have a good relationship with the landlord in your neighborhood, I believe the more you contact code enforcement over some one else's problem the faster you will destroy your relationship with the landlord. This in turn will cause additional problems with other neighbors and before you know it you will have involved yourself with something that actually is none of your business. Leave it alone and let the tennet and landlord sort out their own issues on their own. You have done all you can.
    easy-lift guy

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