How are you catering to high end residential?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by johnnybravo8802, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,319

    I've always steered in the direction of large commercial/industrial properties but am thinking about veering towards the high end residential. The big commercial properties take big machines which takes big trucks to haul them, lots of fuel, lots of blades, lots of wear and tear on equipment, lots of labor, etc, etc.

    I've always heard that high end residential is the way to go. However, my question is, "Can you necessarily make more money with that type of clientel?" In my experience, a lot of those people are the tightest people around. I've had some customers in the past that have demanded premium quality service but only wanted to pay slave wages-It doesn't work that way. I would like to offer a premium quality service but I expect premium pay. My other question is, what will set you apart from any other lawn service? I know the competition is fierce with these types of customers-most of these kinds of neighborhoods around here have about a million lawn services coming in and out each day. What is going to separate you from everyone else? What kinds of services do these people expect?
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,251

    I do well in this area. I charge for them like anyone else, my hourly rate and cost plus on materials. They can be a little harder to sell at first but I find it easy to build a good base as they are good for referrals. Most of mine get lots of extras and are willing to pay the price.
  3. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,319

    Thanks for the reply. I know there are some people on here who have clients they roll out the red carpet for but these people are willing to pay for it. There's one guy in Connecticut that charges $750/month for a residential customer and they gladly pay it but he's doing everything and their brother for them. I don't mind doing that if they're willing to pay. He also claims they're loyal as Lassie, as long as you feed them.:)I get tired of the commercial property that will rebid the property whether you're doing a great job or not and the residential customer who's only price driver. I also get tired of the customer who will give you a contract but doesn't want to spend an extra $.50 on pinestraw to keep his yard looking good. You have his yard manicured perfectly but the beds are showing dirt because he's pinching pennies-that reflects on you.
  4. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192

    Welcome to the world.
  5. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    I found these customers are harder to obtain, and harder to get them to bite the hook on services so to say... But once they find your reliable I find that they will pretty much rely on your expertise and allow you to do most if not all your services. I spend half a day at one large house and it sure is good on the bottom line not having to drive around all day and just stay put and work, that's what good about em in my opinion
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  6. buttaluv

    buttaluv LawnSite Senior Member
    from MidWest
    Messages: 572

    I'm not a fan of that type of customer, most of the time they are hard to get paid from, they are generally picky, as in they complain about something different every week, while being behind 2 months on paying with that being said, I have also have some real good ones! You really don't know until you work for them a bit...if it turns out to be a pain, drop them!
  7. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Yep. All areas of the country differ in what price you can expect from the ultra high end residentials. I have found the sweet spot in the developments that contain 300k-400k homes. I have done a couple bids in the 1 mil. neighborhoods and was too high on my bid to get the job. These are huge houses on 1+ acre lots with fences, big playsets, pools, ect....These people want there yards serviced for $50 including bagging. No thanks. I will let my competition have all of them. Around here these are the least profitable accounts to have along with the low-end scrub yards.

    The folks in the 300k homes are willing to pay for a decent looking yard without bankrupting your time to provide said results. I can line up 5 or 6 on one street and bang them out quickly. Even with a helper I would have a hard time lining up that many 1 million homes in a row. The time spent would simply not be worth it for what they were willing to pay.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,319

  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,643

    80% of the homes I service are 1mil plus homes. Its a real tough market to get into, and honestly it doesnt pay as good simple homes. I enjoy the work but if I was int for the max. amount of money Id just do elderly ladies that live in decient homes.

    The big plus is high end homes all have irragation and you never miss a week due to drout, and generally theres alot to due in the winter months.

    Being solo seperates you from many of the others, the customers expect a real nice yard. I generally put out pine straw or bark after the leaves are all gone and that keep me busy during the winter.
  10. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    Sounds like it's time for a new profession? Or a long vacation.....

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