m h landscaping services..... anyone delt with them before?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by LoweJ82, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. mjstef

    mjstef LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    Send me a PM with your contact info. I will forward it on to the main servicer as i have been doing with the ones around here....
  2. fiber_tek

    fiber_tek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    That's exactly how I was making it work! I had an 85 Toyota pickup with a walk behind mower, weed-eater, and camera, and they had about 2 dozen properties for me to take care of. I have gone "pro" now and can't afford to waste my time and equipment on these properties any longer. They will pay a little more, they were paying $20 per yard, and you could usually get them done in about 30-45 minutes. In the spring when you do the first cuts of the year they pay closer to a normal price, anywhere from $45 up to $175, depending on the size and what needs to be done. All recuts that they pay $15-$20 on need to be done by someone that needs a little work and a little extra money and that's what they count on. Now that I have a full size truck, rider, no zero turn yet, Echo and Husqvarna trimmers, and 3 walk behind mowers doing real yards with GREEN watered grass, my BOTTOM weekly price is $35. Any less is working for free. Going to the MH properties, mowing weeds, and then taking that same mower to a green lawn, doesn't make for happy customers. You need a designated mower for the dirt and weeds you will be mowing. What I don't understand is that all banks and HUD require INSURED contractors working on their properties, and MH does not use insured contractors, they aren't even contractors, they are just "employees" on a W9. They (MH) are decent people though and I don't have anything bad to say about them, but they make their money by finding the guy that NEEDS work desperately. It isn't much different thnn charging a client $55 to mow their yard and you pay the employee $8-$12 out of that. Except that the employee is using YOUR truck and equipment that YOU pay for. It is true they are not looking for pro's, they are looking for someone with a fuel efficient vehicle and a lawn mower. Most REO/PPO companies are looking for desperate people, and they find them, that is why the vendor pricing has got so low. Just my $0.02.
  3. J Hackbert

    J Hackbert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the detailed information. No wonder the yard looks like crap!

    I can use your information when I take this issue to the Round Lake Beach Economic Development Department and the Lakewood Hills Homeowners Association. The village fines these neglectful owners. Obviously the fine needs to be substantially higher to get their attention.
  4. meliwolf

    meliwolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    i just started my lawn sevice and am trying to work for them. the person in my state is horrible and i have to fight to get gas or milage and they expect me to go to an address that costs me $26 in gas to go there and home for a $10 trip charge because the property needs to be bulldozed and the yard is impossible to mow with out heavy equipment. they get mad at me for not wanting to drive there.... go figure. i bet if the roles were reversed they would not want to go either. its only been about 3 months and the invoices are always off by close to $200 every check. the rep i have to deal with tells you sure i will give you that for that job and conviently forgets she said that. once i get more steady work for myself i am so done getting ripped off from them. i have been trying to save up for insurance but cant make enough to get it yet especially when they screw you out of money all the time.
    there is another company based in ohio the pays a more realistic price for lawns but i need to get insurance first. $15 for 15,000 sq ft is crap and not enough.

    does anyone know a good cheap insurance company that i can get 1,000,000 in liability insurance at a low price and make payments on it in wisconsin area?
  5. fiber_tek

    fiber_tek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Check with an insurance broker in your area. I called my area broker and they got me a million for $500/year. They break it into 12 payments so it is very affordable. $500 deductible. They set me up with Liberty Northwest.

    Place a free ad on Craigslist in the Farm and Garden section of the Services section. Make it look professional, and the calls will come. The most important thing I have learned it to ANSWER THE PHONE when people call. If you don't answer they go to the next number until they talk to someone. Every call I have answered I have got the contract. You will get some knuckleheads on Craigslist that want to go as cheap as they can get, but stick to your price point and don't work for less. We don't drop our mowers for less than $35. I bid so that we are making around $45/hour. Don't tell the customer that is how you are charging, just figure how long you think you will be there and quote at what you want to get paid. They don't want to hear your hourly charge. If you tell them and then finish 15 minutes early then they will want to pay less. I ended up placing an ad on Google AdWords and I only pay when people search for my type of business and click on my ad. I pay about $6.00 per click, but that click turns into $140+ a month contract nearly everytime.

    This is way off track from the MH question, hope it helps though.
  6. meliwolf

    meliwolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    thanks for the insurance name i will try them. obviously not making a lot of money from mh lands i cant afford a 1 time payment. i wish i could get more landscaping jobs like i just had that pay like that did. it got me caught up on bills buy thats it.

    thanks for the help
  7. SuperGreen1

    SuperGreen1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I worked for them over the summer. Terrible pay, but with the local drought drying up my regular business, it was necessary. They only pay mileage if you work outside a 30-mile circle drawn around your home. They don't pay extra for the time and effort of taking and uploading all the required pics. Otherwise, it's pretty much as described by others above. Regarding the gas, I told them I would no longer be able to afford to work out of town since I was paying all fuel expenses. They then offered to pay me a flat fee to go to certain areas and raised the pay on all my properties. WTF? Why didn't they just pay better in the first place instead of making me put the squeeze on them?
  8. mjstef

    mjstef LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    This is how the foreclosure business works. Screw the contractor. HUD pay schedule as follows.
    0-5,000 Sq Ft, $60
    5,000 - 10,000 Sq Ft, $80
    10,000 - 15,000 sq ft $100
    Over 15,000 Sq Ft bid.

    So now you know how bad your getting screwed because of all the middle men between you and HUD.........
  9. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    hmmm, i answered a craigslist ad like this last year, except this one was called "coast-to-coast lawn care" saw the prices and ran. but their re-cut was $25 and there were only 5 pictures required. But they wanted me to do janitorial stuff...no thanks. It seemed like a big scheme anyways.
  10. COOL12

    COOL12 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Don't work for them they will send you to do 12 prop and want it to be done by 6pm


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