Home Owner's Associations

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by The Mowerdude, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I just read Joel B's query about bidding a 20 home association and rather than add more to it, I thought I might get up on my soapbox and start my own thread on this thing.

    I'm in my 12th year and I've dealt with a lot of HOAs. The faces may all be different, but they all do exactly the same thing, and that is they screw everything up ALL THE TIME! I think the analogy that best describes them is this: They are all nothing more than children squabbling in their little sandboxes. If there are 10 homes in a condo complex, for example, there will be 10 different opinions as to how everything should be done and if there are 20 homes then there are 20 opinions. You get the picture. They are all infested with sniveling, backbiting, gossiping busy bodies who simply don't have a life regardless of how much money they have or how nice the property is.

    The only, and I mean ONLY positive experience that I've had with these was when a property manager called me for a bid. I didn't go looking for it. When I got there, the entire complex was built up on the side of a hill. It looked like there should be roll bars installed on all the houses. It was going to be the yard from hell!
    Rather than give him my best estimate, I would cut the entire place for $200 and then I would have an accurate idea as to what the price really needed to be. To my surprise, the man agreed.

    When the day to mow it came, I sent everyone on my crew to another job and I did the whole thing myself. I knew that if I did it all myself, no time would be wasted and my bid would be dead on. Because of the difficulty of the steep terrain, I doubled my bid rate and then when I finished, I added another $150 for a fudge factor. Fudge factors are extremely important in this business. I knew that if I got the bid, it would be highway robbery but I just didn't care. I also knew that it would only be temporary because all condos are temporary. They never stick with anyone for very long. To my amazement, I got the call 2 weeks later and wound up cutting the place all summer long. I didn't lose one minute of sleep over guilt in charging too much.

    I really truly believe that when a lawncare professional reaches the point where he bids to make money and doesn't care if he doesn't get every bid, then he's finally in a position to make his business explode! But that really takes confidence (nads) and that type of confidence only comes with experience. It also comes from working so very hard all summer long and when winter arrives, there's no money. You either quit or you get mean and quitting is for losers.

    If a person will stick this business out long enough, and build up the experience and knowhow to handle it correctly, it will reach a point when he will not be able to hold it back!

    If you've read down this far, I wish you every success!

    Dave Grason
    The Mowerdudes Lawncare Co.
  2. marley

    marley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    could not agree more. this is my fourth season, and i have delt with a few condos association. they are pita's. although i did my best to keep them happy i figured out they are not very loyal and appreciative like residential customers are. i will still give a bid too a condo association but i know i need to charge alot and i don't count on having the account forever.
  3. anythinglawns

    anythinglawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    I agree. HOA's or POA's are bad news. I have never had a good experiece with them. I had a 45 unit duplex comunity a few years ago. I was the 3rd LCO they had hired that year. I made pretty good money with them but it was a nightmare. Some would call me at home to tell me that so and so two houses down was an idiot and not to listen to him. I held on to them for one year then they decieded to take new bids. I kept my original bid but lost. Another time I went to bid on a 10 unit community and the "King" of the POA told me they wanted rid of the LCO they had because he was an idiot and did terrible work. Well I knew the guys they where talking about and they only provide top notch service. After listing to some more of there demands I told the guy I would get back to him with an estimate. I never called.I knew where it would go.
  4. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    Here's one for you. We were doing this one condo complex and one of the owners fenced off a part of the common area and wouldn't let anyone in. She had everyone on the Association buffaloed and no one had the moxy to cross swords with her. But codes was down on them for letting it get grown up. So we solved the problem by jumping over the fence and weed eating everything. What we didn't know was that with our weed eaters we sliced right through all her new marijuana cuttings.

    Yup, that's why she didn't want us in there.
  5. Potomac Lawns Inc.

    Potomac Lawns Inc. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    I know what everyone means about home owners opinions as i cut a HOA with 104 townhomes in it and about 10 acres of common area with the townhomes i just cut the front yards wich is the biggest pain(must be cut with 21"push mower) but i would say 50 of them do there own so i still get paid the same.


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