Losing my best account....probally a good idea

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SouthernYankee, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I have an estate type account, the house is over 10k sq.ft on an acre lot with Well over 100 shrubs and palms that need constant attention.

    I get almost $400.00 a month for it and the homeowners are very easy going and always pay on time. Everything seemed great until they told me that they sold the house to a family from California and that is when things went bad.

    I was actually informed by the homeowner that the buyers were the nastiest people they have dealt with. They even said that I shouldnt work for them and they were pitas. The wife told the family what I charged and they said it was way to high, but they will not find another lco that will do it for less that what I charged.

    I dont mind lossing this account because I am sick of pitas and I will be gaining the current homeowners new home when they finally move.
  2. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Messages: 507

    how are you losing? your just changing location!!!
  3. MacPhersonlawn

    MacPhersonlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    I suspect that the old clients new house is not as big ($) as the old clients old house.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Sounds to me like $400 a month is low:confused:
  5. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789


    It might have been a little low, but they werent picky about their yard since who ever did the install planted shrubs right next to eachother which made a huge mess. I couldnt even trim some of the shrubs because they were unreachable.

    I personally perfer being a solo smaller yards since I can make almost the same loot on 2 smaller yards to 1 big one. there new house should be around 5 to 6k sq.ft.

    The reason why they are selling the big 10ksq.ft house is because of the property taxes.........$30,000 a year!!!
  6. jameson

    jameson LawnSite Fanatic
    from PNW
    Messages: 7,472

    A number of years ago, we did a major landscape renovation of an estate (Olmsted Bros. original landscape) and also maintained the grounds. The owners soon after put the house on the market. The house sold and the new folks came charging in....

    To sum them up, they were nasty, petty, nouveau riche, unappreciative, unimaginative boorish yuppies. They complained about everything, especially the monthly invoice. However, as nasty as they were I was unmoved by their antics, mainly because this was MY landscape and there was just too much blood, sweat and tears put into it (you guys KNOW what Im talkin' about). So we finally had our showdown, high noon, by the cabana....after about 10 minutes of the Mr. foaming at the mouth...we came to a mutual understanding: I know best how to manage the landscape of the estate. Period.

    So this was about 4.5 yrs ago. I still work there and believe it or not we have a yearly meeting re the property that is short and to the point and we exchange pleasantries when/as required.

    Who knows....?

  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I worked a property for several years and always saw the man next door mowing his lawn. He was up in years, but a couple of years ago, he became ill and died soon thereafter. His widow asked me to do the mowing, which I did for two or three years. For me, it was a good arrangement, having two properties, each about 25-30K sq ft of mowing, side-by-side. They could be cut together, on the same schedule, backyards ran together, etc. Both were good customers.

    Late this Summer, she sold. In the six weeks between the sale agreement and the transfer, she talked with me several times. Her interactions with the new owner were horrible, and she shared them with me. So, when he moved in, I hesitated to ask for the work.

    After a week or two, he called me, "... can you clear the leaves and do the mowing?" I was a bit reluctant, but there were only about two months left, and if it didn't work, I could scratch for next season. Before I even made the first mowing, he called back, "... I had the neighbor cut the grass, but you can do the leaves." I was not happy, and even more displeased when I showed to clear the leaves and saw that he had cleared them himself, put them in paper bags ready for curbside pickup.

    I am now glad I never started work. He will not get an offer letter next Spring, and if he calls, I will tell him, "no." I regret not having two properties side-by-side, but his behavior already told me he would not be a good customer. Because one owner is a good customer, and you know the property, is not a good reason to take a new owner as a customer.
  8. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    I was thinking the same, Rod. Plus, he said "almost $400 a month".
  9. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    We recently had a great residential client move to NY. The yard was always spotless, and the shrubs / trees pruned as needed , and anything else we saw fit to do weekly.I hated to see her go, not just for the money, but she is a rare client who knows what she wants without wasting my time to go back 20 times over plans,changes, prices,.. etc.. Well, the new owners declined to continue services with us, saying they would do it themselves. Needless to say, it looks terrible in just 2 short months. Congrats, they bought a half mil house with over $50K in recent landscaping /patios/walks, and are dragging it into decline in less than 2.5 months. Some people just don't get it. The landscape looked that good when they bought the house because professionals were taking care of it, not the homeowner.
  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    yeah but we are just a bunch of slack jawed idiot that don't know what we are doing.

    Yeah right.

    My area doesn't have many of this type of property and the majority of the people who own them are not interested in continuing maintenance. Great big houses, tons of money spent on it, but no money for minor upkeep like the landscape and painting.

    what a shame.

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