every 2 week landscape maintenace customer

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by grassmasterswilson, May 2, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Had a lady call about wanting me to come every 2 weeks or so and do bed maintenance, pull weeds, prune, etc. She has another company doing the mowing, but think I could get that down the road. Its a fescue lawn so overseeding a possibility and weed control.

    I've never done this before and told her I would probably just have to bill her by the hour. So I was thinking of telling her I would charge a $60 stop fee or $xx per hour which ever was greater. I'm thinking that this is a specialty job so i may charge a premium for the service. The first couple of visits may take some time to get everything under control, but 1-2 hours should be the normal visit.

    Anyone do this type work? Am I on the right track?
  2. I have 1 account like this. Every 2 weeks year round for $180/mo. We spend roughly 1.5 hours(my employee and myself) each visit during the summer and .75-1 hour each visit in the winter. It's all detail work. The only power equipment we use is a blower and hedge trimmer(on occasion). This is only for maintenance. No fert/chems included. Install work is extra.

    I would just figure out yourself a rough idea how much time it would take and give the lady an out the door price for everything. Don't tell them an hourly rate. If you are charging $60/hour, a lot of people will balk at that.
  3. jtis

    jtis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I went to look at a property today to give a spring clean up for the garden beds only. Turns out its a a huge estate and the owner is looking to higher me regularly, 10 hours a week to work on her beds, edging mulching, leaf removal, etc. she has all the equipment and disposal on site.
    It did seem easier for me to quote her hourly since my costs are low here and this is part time for me. She woild be some regualar work year round.
    Has anyone done this? I thought she would laugh when I told her $40 per hour but at the end I think I shoud have priced it higher. This is what I usually try to bring in with the use of my equipment so I thought is was fair without my equipent.
    Any thoughts or feedback?
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Hourly really is the best way to estimate such a structure as this... some weeks may be intense and others may be just a quick cleanup, so just make sure you give her $40/hr of excellent results and you should be fine...
  5. doobs41378

    doobs41378 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    So she is going to give you $400 per week to work on her beds? Must be nice to be rich....
  6. jtis

    jtis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    She has a huge piece of property and residence! I wouldn't mind to just have the pool house as my home. The lawn is maintained by her boys...teenagers. I am going to try to possibly get the snow removal for her in the winter (she has approximately 1 mile long paved drive.

    One of the downsides is instead of building my customer base I am putting all my eggs in one basket with this residence...I do think I will know in the first few weeks of working for her if it will be worth it. I begin work on the property March 30.

    Thanks for the feedback!
  7. Green-Man

    Green-Man LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,105

    That is awesome! I wouldn't mind getting to maintain a property like that. 40$ an hour I think is pretty decent you probrably could have gotten a little more but I wouldn't complain! Maybe you might get more work from her to so it could be a GREAT outcome!
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  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I wouldn't look at it as having all your eggs trapped into one basket, I would look at it as a doorway to having all your eggs in the right neighborhood...
    Do quality work and do it their way,,, becuz most of what we do, looks good ONLY in the eye of the beholder...
  9. nightshutter

    nightshutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from UT
    Messages: 513

    Sounds like you may be getting in the right neighborhood and establishing a good a good customer. Do good work for her and Im sure the word will get passed on. Good luck
  10. mjstef

    mjstef LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    Fine line she is walking there paying you hourly using her equipment. IRS would consider you an employee and want her to pay Work Comp, Social Security and Medicare. Now if you where using your own equipment and billing hourly it would be a different story......

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