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Hedge Pricing.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ubirajara83, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. ubirajara83

    ubirajara83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    Hello how do you usually charge for hedges? By the hour or just by looking at it and giving a price. Would love to hear how some of you do the pricing so i can get some ideas.
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    Esitmate how long it will take and multiply your hourly rate...add on some for disposal....add on some for taller hedges / bushes. I hate hedge trimming so I always overprice, so if I do get the job, I won't mind it too much.
  3. Kortas

    Kortas LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 40

    I know you'll all laught at this, but I estimate by the lot size. I don't even leave my desk. Havn't done an on-site quote in months.

    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But I dont spend over $3.00 per gallon driving to jobs anymore either.
  4. Burkhart Lawn Care

    Burkhart Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    What if they dont know there lot size?
  5. Kortas

    Kortas LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 40

    I use www.zillow.com. I don't ask them, I just go there. It has virtually every house in the country listed with information (including lot size) and a satelite photo of the property too.

    Pull your house up, or a clients, you'll see what I mean.

    Keep in mind, I only offer full service. I don't do, just mowing or just hedging like it seems many on here do. But that's common in Phoenix to do it all only. But even if I did do just one or the other, I can pull a picture of the property up on www.zillow.com or google earth and get a good idea of what I'll be needing to do. Although the pictures are not updated but within a few months.
  6. Burkhart Lawn Care

    Burkhart Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Thats really cool I will check that out. Do you have a prescription to google earth, or just the free one. I do full service also....
  7. Kortas

    Kortas LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 40

    Just the free one. I'm not really clear if the one that costs gets me a more updated picture. I don't think it does, so i really don't care about it printing in great quality if the picture is not updated. An old picture doesn't do us much good when trying to bid on a full service maintenance. You can't tell if it needs a clean-up or has been serviced, that's for sure.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Use a job or two for experience, you'll likely price it too low but then you know.
    You can always start high then come down, if that helps.
    Don't forget to clean up afterwards, that usually takes at least as long as trimming itself.
    40-70 bucks are good starting rates, I'm usually in that range unless it's a TON of hedges.

    That's as likely to backfire too thou, you'll only end up getting customers who have more to do than what you're bargaining for...
    Fenced lots, steep hills, and so on.
    I look things up too, but more so I have a heads up and so I can compare what I now know to what the customer says to me, it's one more pre-screening step, specifically it helps determine customer honesty.

    So like if one tells me "we just moved in and we need some help" but it shows the house was purchased in 1998, that kind of stuff.
    It does save me a few trips, such as if it's out of the area or the customer has said several things that don't add up at all.
    But in the end I ALWAYS look at the work, my prices reflect this.

    There is something to the method...
    Once I started hedge trimming and I realized the use of fuel in the trimmer was fairly consistent, I base one of my final prices on the amount of fuel used (thou it's just one more method). I like to have at least two but really 3-4 figures in my head, one by the time, two by the amount of work, three by fuel used, and so on... With that range of figures I usually know where to land the final price, as for the estimate that comes with experience.
  9. Kortas

    Kortas LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 40

    Take into consideration a couple of things. I'm not the cheapest in town as it is, and have no desire to be (I often get underbid by $20 or more per job). I also make them agree to a commitment to 12 additional services in case they do have more work than I expected, then it makes it worth it over the long-run, if they cancel early they have to pay a start-up fee that I waived of about $80 extra on average, and I charge an additional $5 p/month also (just in case) on these over previous prices (I raised my prices and stayed home to bid them!!).

    So I don't see it backfiring on me as I charge what I'm worth (a lot!!). However, I will agree that it costs me some jobs. I currently get 1 out 4 jobs I bid on. Not sure if you all experience much higher, but I'm guessing you're more like 50/50. But I sign up an average of 2 new clients per week and have alot more time to do more advertising and follow-up calls for new clients.
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    With all due respect this is ********. You sound like Mr. Haney on Green Acres

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