Neighborhood Pricing? - Am I crazy thinking this would work?

Discussion in 'Seal Coating Forum' started by beagleberry, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. beagleberry

    beagleberry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I have been lurking on this forum for the past several weeks in the interest of possibly starting a sealcoating business in the future. Most of the information on this site has been very valuable; thank you all.

    One of the biggest problem it seems that a lot of the sealcoating companies in my area have is marketing. Sales is what I do for my full-time job so I have been thinking on how a sealcoating company could do it better. I keep coming back to the idea of offering volume discounts for the more people in your neighborhood who sign up to get your driveway done. Some companies in my area do this now, but typically only offer $5 off if you get it done with a neighbor. I want to state up front that my operation would be quality work, using quality product. Not a fly-by-night operation using sub-par product and application techniques.

    Take the standard driveway in my area (2x2 cars). Having a crew of 2-3 people for one driveway may seem like overkill but think about the time they could get a quality job done when working together (i.e. first guy clearing, cleaning driveway, second guy begins filling cracks, 3rd guy begins spraying edges). Obviously all of this work would be slightly behind the previous person. First guy finishes and then moves on to the next-door neighbor (or someone a few houses down). This leads into my idea of neighborhood pricing.

    For example, if your standard charge for a driveway is going to be $200 for sealcoating only (keep in mind, I haven't done all the math on this yet, but I am just using that as a nice round figure). Then you offer the following discounts:

    -$185/driveway ($15 off) if 5 people in your neighborhood sign up
    -$170/driveway ($30 off if 10 people in your neighborhood sign up
    - $150/driveway ($50 off) if 20 people in your neighborhood sigm up

    Obviously, the idea here is that you are eliminating the non-revenue activity of driving from job-to-job. In the vast suburban area I live in, this could easily be 15-30 minutes between jobs. Also, if you do a great job, which would be the goal, you would have a huge repeat business that would only to continue to saturate neighborhoods every few years. With a lot of neighborhoods creating groups on Facebook and using sites like Nextdoor it could really spread a lot faster in a neighborhood than traditional marketing. Not to mention, taking this concept to homeowner's associations and really seeing some large numbers.

    So am I crazy? Could this work? You guys are the experts, please let me know your thoughts.

    PGHSEALER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    This is my 1st year in business and I attempted that strategy. I pass out a bunch of flyers and most of the time I put the pricing on there. I did the neighborhood discounts and get mixed results. No matter how good the price is there are folks that try to haggle you even more. I've found that when I do the neighborhood pricing there are always the stragglers that wait and call a few weeks after you were in the neighborhood. I usually honor the pricing as long as I'm still making it worth my while. Hope this helps. The business so far has been a success for me.
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  3. beagleberry

    beagleberry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Just curious, did you happen to measure the response rates for the flyers you put the price on vs. the ones you didn't?

    When you did have neighbors sign up together, on average how many would there be?


    PGHSEALER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I always get more calls when I start putting the price on the flyer as for the number of driveways it always varies. I've had neighborhoods where I get no calls and neighborhoods where I end up doing 30-40 driveways. Other than that I never kept track of the flyers because we would move to the next neighborhood and pass out flyers.getting your name out there seems to be the biggest thing. I developed a good relationship with a property management company and they throw me work all of the time. I only do this part time but with all of the quoting and passing out flyers it's a full time job.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. mhelpdesk

    mhelpdesk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    Do most people actually know 10 of their neighbors anymore? Or is that just my downtown background showing? I'd be very surprised if you could get any takers for the 10 or more bundle, unless you market it directly to management companies, neighborhood associations, etc. You could try marketing on Facebook and encouraging people to share your discount post; if you buy ads on Facebook you can narrow it down to the suburb, neighborhood, even the block or postal code. My friends who are in internet marketing say that LinkedIn ads generate more sales dollars, but you can't target them as well.
  6. ddlandscaping

    ddlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Male, from poconos of pa
    Messages: 91

    i plan on offering a deal in one the of large communities where I do a lot of lawn maintenance in, it never hurts to try lol

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