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Easiest Way To Bid Large HOA's?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mcw615, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. mcw615

    mcw615 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 473

    I have never went after large HOA'a because they seem to forever accept bids and change service, I have always gone after small/medium commercials and build a solid relationship with them.

    I always when a bid a property get my walking measure wheel, measure all the sidewalks and get a rough SF of the lawn and with the combination of my judgement of time and not just a statistic calculation.

    Just curious to know if anyone does something to make it a little easier to bid a large townhouse HOA. Going out there this afternoon and figured just break the property down into sections and then combine them all so it does not seem so overwhelming.
  2. snowman55

    snowman55 LawnSite Member
    from middle
    Messages: 60

    just do like everyone else 2 ways they bid
    1) ask what they are paying and undercut it by 5%,or
    2) $28 per unit
  3. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    Bid it in bulk. I had a 50 home HOA. Individually I would have charged around $35 per home if they were out on their own. But being all in a straight line, I bid them at $18 a piece...yep...$900 for six to seven hours of work...mow, bag, weed wack, blow drives and sidewalks. I had the contract for five years. They changed board members and I didn't get along with the new president...needless to say...I was pushed out!
  4. ChevHayes

    ChevHayes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Also don't forget that sometimes they want a bid for all the services included. Around by me, you can't just bid the grass cutting, you have to have a total price for spring/summer/fall fert. apps as well as winterization,multiple tree/schrub trim,spring/fall clean-ups,mulch app in spring etc. Might not be like that for where your thinking, but it is something to think about.
    Derwood likes this.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,637

    I think you should be taking this bidding thing a bit more seriously,
    so you'll want to spend some time and do your homework.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  6. Teejw88

    Teejw88 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Usually the apartments/townhomes are roughly the same size.. just bid one and then multiply it by however many there are.
  7. flybynite

    flybynite LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,326

    Size doesn't matter here. What about the unit that's backed up to the woods and has a walk behind only hill where another unit have 50 trees to go around. We all know how fast you can go around a mature tree with large roots everywhere bouncing the mower enough to break stuff. Then there's a unit next to the swimming pool with tons of traffic and it has to be bagged!
    What were you saying about bid and multiply? This thread may be 9 years old but the OP asked a very legit question rather then "what would you charge" type of thread!
  8. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    You are right about one thing, they generally change service providers a lot. And they are generally a pain to deal with. Everyone thinks they are your boss. Everyone wants to give you input, even if they are not there when the contract is drawn up. Many on the HOA board have friends in this business. So, when they get elected to the HOA they want to fire whoever has the job and hire their friend. It is easier to price if you are just keeping up the common areas and entrance areas. If you are servicing all the homes as well, just decide what the minimum is for each yard, then lower it more since everyone is in one area. lol..

    Companies seem to often price these things too low IMO, so just be careful not to go too low. If the yards are super small, you can come out good still by not having to travel of course. I priced one once where I would have to do all the yards. Most of the place was town houses. And yes the yards were super small, but sometimes too small creates a problem, as it is difficult to use a zero turn. Maybe some 36" stand on mowers would have been great, but bagging would probably be necessary as otherwise in those tight areas clippings would be all over the beds etc. I guess a dscharge chute cover may be allowed in some areas, but I just don't like working in areas that are too tight. The idea of having over 100 homes just didn't appeal to me too much considering how super small they were and too many vehicles around etc. I priced it, but of cousre I was too high. Oh well...

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