Need to know if Im close.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JasonBr, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. JasonBr

    JasonBr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I had a very nice opportunity laid at my feet by a fairly large homebuilder in my area. We have done design and build for them for several years, always done a great job for them, and the president of the company asked me if we would be interested in maintaining all of their properties. They primarily build villa communities (duplexes) and are looking for us to maintain anywhere from currently 10 up to 20 communities. (when housing market rebounds) All of the units , all of the common ground areas. Each community has on average 40-50 units + extensive common ground areas.

    They want full service, weekly mowing (all irrigated), edging, trash cleanup, Then as needed/seasonal weeding,trimming (shrubs,small trees),leaf removal, over seeding, aeration,fertilizing, mulch cultivation, landscape bed edging. Remulching (will be on separate bid)

    This of course is not a small operation, basically its a new instant company for me. We currently do about 1 mil in sales a yr on the design/build I have 13 employees. Of course we would need to hire 4-6 more employees,buy equip etc. I have an experienced employee that has bid the time requirements for the work but my question is my hourly rate inline? I'm figuring on about $90 an hour ($1.50 min) per 2man crew. Currently the properties are being maintained by one of the largest maintenance companies in the area (hundreds of employees). As long as we are close in price the jobs are ours.

    This is an enormous opportunity for my company and I don't want make them think I'm trying to gouge them, on the other hand I wanna make money. We have an excellent relationship with them now and Id like to keep it that way.
  2. troblandscape

    troblandscape Guest
    Messages: 0

    I think 90.00 is a fair price, but I will bet that the Co. that is taking care of the props. now is around $78.00 per two man crew.
  3. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    Never count your chickens before they hatch.
  4. JasonBr

    JasonBr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Not counting any chickens, just want to know if Im too high. Too low or inline for basing my bid at $90 an hr (2 man crew $45 per man). The company doing it now prob has 100 employees , Im not bidding low balling Joe & Bob in a F-150 and a Sears mower Im going up against a large company whom the builder doesnt like. They like us and said be competitive and we have the contract for a minimum of 1 yr.
  5. JasonBr

    JasonBr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks Trob, I may need to come down a bit.
    Or come up with some added value to help make up that difference.

    I have tossed around the idea since we do the inital landscaping of extending my warranty as long as we maintain the property. Generally most stuff dies in the 1st year if its gonna die so it shouldnt hurt me too bad, and I think they would love the idea of an "extended warranty". But that is something ive considered offering as a hook, that other guys cant match.
  6. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    Remember that this is high volume work. And they are going to give you alot of units and they know that. I would think of a better rate than $45/hr. for something of this magnetude.
  7. HTI

    HTI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Jason I was in the exact same situation with a builder this year. My problem was that I couldn't measure all the common areas, shrub beds, etc. to figure out the total man hours for each community. I spent about 15 hours trying to get measurements and gave up as I was getting nowhere. Did you have the plans and measure off there or did you measure everything on site? Any help would be appreciated. To answer your question I think your $90/hr. should get you in the ballpark of the other company.
  8. JasonBr

    JasonBr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Yes, the common areas definitely were the hardest to bid. On some communities I do have the plans since we did the landscaping some of the communities. Mainly how we determined the common area was one of my foreman and I went out 1 day and got some preliminary numbers, he was a foreman for a maintenance company before he worked for us for about 5 years.

    But yes, the common areas are definitely tricky.

    In fact one project is so large we are going back out next week. It's a very large community with 300+ units, so I dont wanna mess that one up for sure.
  9. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,962

    Jason, since the builder likes you and you have already a work relationship with him, why don't you just ask him what the current company's rate is and see if you can match it while being profitable.

    It seem to me he really wants to let the other co. go.

    Good luck
  10. miltthemower

    miltthemower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    The $90 an hour seems to be in the ball park. Are there any other duties you will be performing?

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