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Neighbors lawns?>?>?>?>

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by John P., Dec 27, 2004.

  1. John P.

    John P. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I'm curious to know how many guys mow their neighbors lawns, or people on their block. I have been in the business for 2 years now and have 4 neighbors that all have landscapers (all different lawn-care business) and i want their lawns!! Do you think it is a good thing to try and get them or a conflict of interest.
  2. Garden Panzer

    Garden Panzer Banned
    from Seattle
    Messages: 313

    I've got 6 sites within 2 blocks of where I live.....
    Never had any trouble, if anything- picked up more EXTRAS because they'll walk by my castle and see something they want..... it's the best!

    Think of the saved travel time!

  3. ozzys cuts

    ozzys cuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    I have 7 on my street its great for driving time but I don't like working for friends or neighbors I always feel like I should give them a break on prices
  4. Triple R

    Triple R LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    Did it hated it! I will never work for a neighbor, friend, or relative again. With clients they are serviced on a weekly basis or as scheduled but with neighbors they will want to talk about their yard when they see you, ask for free advise, do a walk through of the yard to ask your opinion or aks for favors. Not worth the hastle. I work from a P.O. Box so not even my clients will know where I live.
  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I turn down all neighborhood work. Except for my next door neighbor whom I like and respect.

    Why? Because it can lead to unhappy people on either end. Take for instance the 1 time I cut my neighbor's house across the street. She gave me a sob story about how her brother in law that normally cuts it couldn't do it, and now it's 12 inches long, etc. So, being a neighbor and in the interest of keeping up relations, I did it. Spent a while on it, made it look nice. She paid, yeah, but never got so much as a thanks. Then, 2 months later after she let it grow out again, she comes over with the same sob story. Turned her down, told her I couldn't do it under those conditions, and she then never talked to us again.

    Or the neighbor that saw me with a leaf vac picking up leaves in my yard, and wanted me to do the same for him, for free!

    Then there's the story from back in the days when we first started and kept the equipment at my former partner's mother's place. Took on a neighbor as a client. Things went okay, until we got backed up because of the weather. We were running a few days behind. Came back at the end of the day, tired and overworked. We were putting the stuff away when here comes the neighbor. Didn't understand why we were behind, didn't care. Wanted us to mow it right then and there. Didn't understand why we would put HIM off when we get behind, since he lives right there. Thought he was entitled to special service because he was a neighbor. I've got about a half dozen stories about friends and family with the same expectations about special treatment as well.

    Bottom line is, friends, family, neighbors all think that they can get some kind of special treatment when you work for them, and they all don't care about your problems or want to be a regular customer. I can understand, but I don't work that way. I've had 3 new neighbors that moved in this past year that I turned down for work, with no hesitation. Although that seems to piss them off just as much, and they never understand the explanation of not working for friends, family, neighbors. My own yard I let grow long and don't take any special care of, to discourage requests. And I encourage neighbors to call others to work for them.

    Working for friends, family, and neighbors has never worked out for me, and I stay away from it.
  6. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I moved into the house I am currently in about a year ago. 3 different lawn care guys work at the homes around mine. I picked up the lawn that's to the east of me, but i think only because the guy that was doing it was flat out intimidated by my equipment and didn't want to work next to where I live! I say that because she told me that he told her that he was moving out of state, but 2 months after that I saw him at the dump unloading grass from his pick-up. The other two lawns are maintained by guys that I talk to and am friends with and I have no problems with them being on the same street as I. I am not going to try to solicit those customers either. I do not really like working for the neghibor, simply because i'd rather mow it with my lawn but the schedules never work out since I am mowing my lawn when I can and everyone else's on a schedule. Also when I'm home my trailer is backed into my driveway and off the street and if I need to mow the neghibors lawn I have to either drive the mower thru my lawn or pull my truck out onto the road next to the curb. Doing that I just know someone is watching me and thinks I'm smoking something, I just drove 50 feet to unload and mow. LOL! makes it easier some ways but not for others. Other catch for mowing so close to home is I feel obligated to do it cheaper since I can't say there's any gas to transport anything. So far everyone Iv'e encountered in the 4 houses iv'e lived in have been nice and offered me more than I was asking.
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    i will not take on work with my neighbors
    if you have any problems, it can get ugly.
  8. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    i agree with the posts above.......I currently dont have any neighbors whose grass i cut, but even if they approach me, i will turn them down (if they are within few houses of me). I can just imagine them running out of their house they see my truck and trailer coming home at night asking me to go over and check out something or ask me a question about their watering needs.

    And as MTD said, they feel like they are special because they "knew you before you started" or "they are right next door".....yeah right.

    I have a good friend whose grass i cut for $20. there are never any questions, but i always feel bad doing business with him. One time (when i started out) i wanted to "learn" how to spread mulch and see what is involved. Incidentally, he wanted to put some mulch in his flowerbeds as well. I felt bad charging him $50 for the spreading (no ordering, no delivery).

    I did not feel bad about taking the money...i feel bad ASKING for it if it's a friend of someone i know well.

    hope that helps.
  9. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    When I was young I did. Now I say no. YardPro is dead on the money. Plus, neighbors ALWAYS want something extra because they are your neighbor.

    Now if you lived on Wisteria Lane...... :p
  10. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    But then you have to watch out for the nosy mother in law.....

    isn't it funny how every time they show a pan shot of the street, there ISN"T even ONE single leaf, the pavement is spotless and the fences are perfectly white.

    And how come there are no black people on that street or in the show for that matter...incidentally, the only black person was a hit man....stereotyping? :D :D

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