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Home Owners Association.......regret

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by o-so-n-so, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    I posted a few months ago about bidding a HOA. Well, I won the bid at what I call a great deal for the HOA.
    I was the highest bidder but was bringing a quality of service that this HOA had not had in the past.
    I worked on this price and trimmed all the fat, done alot a calculating and came to very lean price per unit per month. ( it currently has 11 homes with plans of 210 homes when complete)

    Stay with me on this one..............We signed the contract in November. Since then I have been doing some detail work on the beds, redefining edges and stuff like that.

    I get a call Wednesday from the person(Bob) that I delt with on the whole deal. Bob said that last night (Tuesday night) we had our first meeting of this year and I told the HMO members that the lawn service price would be increased by $10.00 a month. Bob said they did not accept it to well. They want to seek another LCO for a cheaper price. Bob then explained that he would give me a 30 day written notice of cancellation if they found a different company. ( I have this written into my contract. Either party may terminate the contract with a 30 day written notice and all monies paid up by the final day).

    Now......I told Bob that I would not do one more minutes work until the HOA made a decision. Me or someone else. He agreed to that. After carefully thinking this whole process through, I think I will write him a 30 notice and gracefully step out. As far as the money goes, I am ahead. Received 2 checks (Nov and Dec) and will be getting the third check soon. I billed on the first.

    How would you handle this situation? I am not dependent on this account. The money is ok but not alot of profit.

    I think I will send the Jan payment back to the HOA with a fair well notice. Or should I stick with it. I honestly feel that no matter what I do for the grounds, they will never be happy with a $10.00 increase.

    For the ones that told me to run away fast in the beginning, you can say anything you want. I am tough.............................

  2. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    If the account is not providing your expected profit margin I would raise the bid to the level that will give the profit margin you want. If the HOA members feel it is too high..say good bye to them and move on. You can always pick up smaller accounts that pay better.

    I know from experience that homeowners associations are a PITA. It always seems that each homeowner wants something special done to their yard and are not willing to pay extra for it. If you tell them that you have to charge extra for a special service they call the association and complain. I avoid them unless I can make considerably more off of them than other types of accounts. Good Luck.
  3. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    I wouldn't do a thing right now.
    Let the point of contact for the HOA work on the dues increase.
    This guy didn't time a rate increase very well - coming right after christmas and the holiday bills are coming in.
    If you have received payment already for Jan 04, go ahead and do the work.
  4. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Are you crazy?? Keep the money you've worked for it!

    I agree with Dennis F - move on! Why slave yourself!? If someone else can do it for less - let them (HOA) have it. They will probably accept a lower standard of work too.

  5. greensideup

    greensideup LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    We do our HOA differently. I have 6 of them, but the homes are not included in the bid. We bid the common grounds of the subdivision, which is billed to the homeowner's assoc. The each house in the subdivision is billed individually. We do not service ALL the homes in the subdivision. Some we have 4 or 5, others we have 30 or 35. If you have the ability to split this up, it works out better for you. Weed out the problem customers, and keep the good ones. Even if you only get 50 of the 210, that's 50 different accounts. One person cannot make you lose all 50. Not sure if this is an option for you. Also you may want to consider the eventual savings of having all the homes in one place. Also, how far off are you from the your target profit margin? As more homes are built, you are able to gain a better advantage on your profit thru volume. My best day is a subdivion of patio homes (35)+ the common grounds. I get $20 per yard plus $100 per cut on the commons grounds. Thats $800 gross and we do it all in 5hrs. If I had 4 more days like that, I'd me good:D SCOTT
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Nov. to Jan. 3 months to start b!tching about price. I would counter offer with a $20 month increase that way it would be easier for them to find another co. And if by chance they could'nt your making more $$$$ until they do. Any way you look at it your done there. It just a matter of time now

  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    HO associations. 100 homes, 100 people to complain. They're tough to please.
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    I would wait n keep a good relationship with them ... if they decide to move on over price so be it ... months or even years later you may get a call back n you can still send them letters each spring asking to bid

    4 years ago same thing happen to me cept we were doing the homes while a seperate had the common .... in the long run the total homes was almost 250 of em ... one section was all inclusive over 100 on the same paycheck .... we kept trying to get the common grounds but our price was more ..... than we lost all the homes due to polital bs & price (every one has a brother or cousin with a lawn mower)

    2 years ago ... new leadership change .... n we had a great past relationship with the new leadership ..... we got the +100 homes & common grounds at a price 20% greater than the former .... this spring I'm in the final interview for the common grounds of the other half of HOA .... my price is on target yet they want some more work as part which I charge extra fore .... they know it ... yet the the P & VP really want me cause they are tired of going thru LCO's every 6 months

    The HOA's can be a real pain or a pure delight ... the +100 home side luvs us .... due to past poor service .... I do have another one seperate of all this which can be a PITA but it is just the Common which is beatiful n right off a main road
  9. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Messages: 1,053

    Maybe I am missing something here.

    1. You have a contract so why would you raise your price when it has not been a year?

    2. A 30 day written notice is fine but only for cause. Not to find someone cheaper. That is why you have a contract in the first place. Cause means that you are not doing the work right and you should have a period of time to correct any problem they tell you about in writing.

    3. Tell Bob you are living up to your contract and that you expect them to likewise. Also, tell them that you are not raising prices until the contract is up.

    Man I deal with HOA and COA all the time. Never a problem like this.
  10. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218


    No..No..No.....I am not raising the price that was contracted. The price contracted is 10.00 more a month than the owners were previously paying the other guy.

    The stink is that Bob signed my contract on Nov. 1. He then raised the price to the owners on Jan. 1. They (2 owners of 11) did not accept the 10.00 increase and want to find another LCO at the same price as last year.

    Bob told me that they want an individual owner to be over the grounds now, submit new bids for service.

    This whole thing is just to much bull for me. I am giving a top notch service for a very affordable price and they can't see the writing on the wall.

    I have already detailed 5 homefront beds, detailed the 2 entrance beds, cut in 6 tree rings, trimmed shrubs, top dressed the beds and mowed one time. This stuff has never been done (accept for mowing) because the last LCO's were not capable of doing this type work.

    People in my area are a real PAS. I just can't handle knowing some PAS outfit is gonna come in and reap the benefits of my work.

    If you could just see it , you wouldn't believe it.

    thanks everyone.

    P.S......I've been doing this stuff to long to take this BS.

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