I hate business days like this....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Catos, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Catos

    Catos LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 42

    I went around to somewhere around 17-20 apartment complexes, I lost count after a while. I was trying to gain business for the up coming year. Out of all those complexes I visited, I was only able to have the opportunity to place one bid on a set of apartments. I bearly could talk to each manager, I had to go through a different person just to try to talk to them, like the managers that worked there was the president or something. It gave me some frustration, but thats how it is sometimes. Any of you go through this which I'm sure just trying to talk to the right person to even see if you can bid on something?
  2. grasssin

    grasssin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Well most of them probably deal with a constant stream of LCOs trying to get business with them, and they already have someone they like. Secretaries are awful to get by, DO NOT JUST LEAVE YOUR CARD! Just tell them that you will be back later to talk to the property manager if they are giving you the runaround.
  3. o-so-n-so

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

    Thats 1 of 2 reasons I don't seek out these properties. To much of a hassle to deal with and they in most cases bid their services out every year or so. I can't compete with the LCO that seek out these properties.

    I received a call about a month ago...A Home Owners Association wanted me to bid on servicing their properties. The requirements were for a full service proposal. It included mulch, pruning trees, trimming shrubs as needed, gutter cleaning 4 times per year, plant replacement (labor only), weed control in beds, walkway and driveways and the standard weekly mowing, edging, trimming and blowing.

    The current bid was 1100.00 a month.... but my contact said they were willing to pay more to get the job done right. The current company was not doing what was required of them. Had not mulched and dead shrubs everywhere were the two biggest problems.

    I submit my bid for 2000.00 a month and explained that my bid is what is required...not a promise the world and do nothing bid. After going over the bids...she sent me a letter saying that I didn't get the bid. It went back to the original "promise the world and do nothing" LCO. This is a 38 home HOA housed in about 13 units covering 3 city blocks. My profit at 1100.00 was very slim so I bid based on what I wanted to profit and I wasn't even close.

    Not worth it to me...........................good luck and take care
  4. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    bring each manager a free box of chocolates and introduce yourself to them!
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    that is why I try not to pursue commerical accounts anymore, too many hoops to jump through to get something signed or approved
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    They see lots of people wanting that business. This is one reason why comm'l is very competitive and hard to make money at for some people.
  7. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I do the same thing. Don't give up if you are wanting commercial. This past year I put in probaly 30 bids and got one. Don't undercut yourself just to get it. It is very commepitive out there but you can get these just like residential. Next year I hope to keep my 1 apartment complex and add another 1 or 2. Probaly put out another 30 or more bids to get them.
  8. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I have been doing some thinking on this matter. I think the idea is not low bidding someone else. I think the idea is to have your company at the forefront of their minds when they need a bid. Establish credibility before they even call. How to do this??... I don't know. Ideas welcome. Maybe send info packets to apartments and even inlcuding a gift certificate for dinner. Also obnoxious advertising on all the work trucks and a yellow page ad is a must.
  9. CathyLynn

    CathyLynn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I'd rather take on ten new residential than an apartment complex anyday!

    Your residential people will stay with you.

    There is no real security in the apartment and commercial properties. It's all about money and budgets and so forth--no security for you!

    If you do get one of these kind of properties, try to bank all the money you can from it and not use it for everyday expenses--that way when you lose it you won't be hurting so much!

    We took on a property this season that we know for sure would only be a one year deal. We take every dime of this account and let it pay for our Saber Tooth. Next year--lose the property--but gain a paid for machine--works for us.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Now THESE above are words of wisdom. I can't remember how many times I've posted on a thread regarding Apt. complexes. They are useless and a waste of time. Even if you DO get the bid (which usually has to be low), there is no loyalty. They will drop you after 3 years to save 20 bucks a month. There are some good threads on here regarding this with more info on the reasons why. Do a search with the word complex and under my name and you will find them.
    Yeah, yeah, I know....there is something of an oxymoron when you mention the word comPLEX with my name... :rolleyes:

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