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How dumb is this?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Albery's Lawn & Tractor, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    I went to look at a job for a hoa. The entrance had been let go for months there once beautiful flower beds was COVERED in weeds, dead bushes, and debris. So the head lady asked me to meet her there to so she could show me what she wanted so I did. First off she had no clue what she was talking about. She wanted me to pull up 60 bushes rake out the pinestraw and put sod in that place. In her mind she said it would save on maintance. So I just said ok and went back to the shop to get my bid together. After doing it how she wanted the total was around $7,300. So I decided that I would also come up with another bid for how I would recommend doing it which was pulling out the plants and weeds but redoing the pinstraw. It was about a 40-50 hr job and the mowing was going to be done 3 times a month even though they asked for 2. Well my new bid was $6,000 and when I gave them both to the lady I explained in detail about everything and why I would go with the 2nd bid. She tells me it all sounds great and the price was good and that tthe next hoa meeting is in 2 weeks and she'll let me know either way.
    So its been 4 weeks and my girlfriends parents actually live in the neighborhood so last night we went over to ask them about it. How about they gave the contract to some guy who's brand new for $7,500!! Am I missing something? I bid lower, I've been doing this for a while and I told her I would even give her references if she needed. Half the board members weren't even there to vote on it from what I was told. I'm just not sure what to make out of it.

    Sorry for the long post, I was just trying to vent.
  2. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Dont blame ya for being pissed, hoa's can be a pain. Sometimes its a political thing or a popularity contest or maybe the other guy was just a smoother talker, who knows just be glad u didnt get it if they are that wacky. :usflag:
  3. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,157

    Its going to happen from time to time. Last year we bid on a Private school for 80.00 a cut,free labor on the mulch only 2 yds. Two weeks went by i noticed a guy on the property with a E150 ,he pulls a Small W.B OUT the back of this Van and statrs mowing..underbid me for 5 stinkin dollars and does a horrilbe job.This year Iam getting that Property!!
  4. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    Nothing makes me more happy than driving by the homes of people who went with a scuzzy looking guy working out of a car or van for $5 less than what I bid and noticing all the bare spots from where his mower scalped down to the dirt, and the wavy edging lines that look more like he had a few too many before firing up the edger or trimmer. Though, this situation sounds like he knew somebody on the board, or said or did something they really liked.
  5. Mow"N"Bud

    Mow"N"Bud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    These people kept changing their mind and wanted my wife who is a Landscape Designer to put together a proposal for them for FREE! I tell these people no Landscape Designer would do something as extensive as what they wanted for Free. Then I made 2 additional trips to this place, because they kept changing their minds on what they wanted done. Finally I told them, when they had their act together to call me. I'm too busy to waste this much time for a contract I may or may not have. These people were serious PITAes. They have called back to let me know they still want me to be their maintenance so I know they are serious, but they have to understand I'm running a business, and don't have time to waste.

    Good Luck down there in Jville. It must be all the influx of people moving to the coastal part of NC.:laugh: They are strange to country boys like me, but I love their $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, these are the kind of bids I send a polite No-bid letter to anymore.

    It's because to me, once my mind has become ill disposed, meaning I'm thinking badly about the place or the person, it's gone too far and it is nothing an estimate can fix because I am no longer in the right frame of mind for it. To me, it's more than about the price. To me, things have to click and the gears should engage smoothly and without trying (a little rough is ok) but once the stuff starts to grinding and I feel the frustration coming on, it's more than likely over before I even get started.

    For example, would you want an auto mechanic to work on your car if the mech is already frustrated because he thinks all cars of your make and model are POS? Well maybe they are but there's nothing to be done here, even if that guy is the cheapest, if he has a negative mindset about the work, you're better off talking to some other mechanics first.

    Which, if the lady in the first HOA case was as smart as I suspect most customers to be, she may have seen the attitude, and no offense but she simply made the best choice for the community, a job which applies both to her and to you, I am proud of a customer who can see the pita coming and decides to save us both the headache (by the way, that's a hard one to swallow after you go through it from the receiving end).

    But anyway, a lot of times when it gets to that point, I realize I'm better off not submitting a bid (because what IF I get it, and then things go wrong, which in this case the chances are high, now comes the anger), I save myself from first wasting more time and effort on the process, but also extricate myself from a potential disaster waiting to happen.

    So, I usually send them a short letter like this:
    [Headers (your address, date, their address, etc)]

    I'm sorry, but having considered the work and the requirements involved, I'm afraid I can not help you at this time.

    Thank you for the opportunity.

    And let someone else have the chance, maybe they see what she's talking about, maybe they know something I don't, whatever, it's a good thing it is not my problem when it is a problem I don't have a good answer for.

    Peace out
  7. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    It seems you are missing out on quite a few opportunities, as in shooting yourself in the foot.

    I am guessing they hired the other person because he had connections. Or they are fickle. The other question is how well recognized is your name and your time in business? Might be worth while to compare the other persons name and time in business.
  8. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    Thats just it we're a family business and it's been 20 years. We've done gov't work, we've done landscaping for a few of our new car dealerships, landscaping for the city, cell towers (we just finished a landscaping job for sprint that cost'em $8,500.) We're good at what we do and for the most part we don't even advertise. The guy they gave the bid to is brand f@#$in new. And I was going to mow 3 times a month and he's only gonna do 2 and he's getting paid more. And what I really hate is that she told me she'd let me know and I never heard from here, when I stopped what I was doing to give them an estimate. Whats funny is last year they kept trying to get me to take over the contract from the last guy that had it but we were to busy with our landscape jobs, and now I actually tell them I'm interested and there not. Kinda funny I guess.
  9. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    We use to cut all the common area and ponds at a development being built with people living in some of the houses now. We had been there from the start. Well they decide last year to "save some money" that they would call me when it needed to be cut. I said ok thats fine just call ahead of time. They would call on Tuesday and want it cut on Wednesday. I ended up telling them to find a different contractor after about 3 times.
  10. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Sounds like they are fickle... In that case it is prudent to walk away or wait and let it get the best of them.

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