one day i'm going to charge for estimates

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by barefeetny, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    Today was a huge waste of time for me. had a phone call off one of my cards.

    Corner lot, almost a full acre at the entrance of a pretty affluent neighborhood. homeowner talked breifly about every other week cutting and a small crabgrass problem.

    I show up to find a new construction house, properly graded,really thick ryegrass, row of mulched dogwoods along the front walk, nice house.

    I gave them a few quotes 65$ on the full service every two weeks, including the edging, trimming and blowing.120 on the 2 cleanups for the yard. I figure 16 weeks covers the season. I don't like every other week so i gave them a price of 55 as needed and figured on a 20-24 service visits in a year i dropped the price of the cleanups to an even 100 each.

    The owner tells me " i've got a 21 year old he can do the cleanups"
    ( I think then buy him a mower and he can mow it too)

    I was only paying the Lco with 3 man crews 50 dollars
    ( So why won't they be back this year)

    My grass don't grow so fast its only a 4 month seson starting in june.
    ( perhaps i can quote you a price on baling it up and selling it to horse farmers maybe i'll call a scientist to study this low maintence, slow growing rye)

    I tried to explain to him the stress he was putting on the grass by cutting that much length at one time... Crickets

    I held my mouth and left the estimates and said thanks,

    I don't think Wasting any more time explaining why any of that was a bad idea, was worth it. plus he had to pack because he was leaving for vacation with the wife...

    Maybe i should have explained to him what he was doing to his lawn, but the cheapness i was sensing made me think against it.

    What do you think, is there any help for customers like this,Was i too high or is it just a case over who will do it the cheapest.

  2. DavisLawn

    DavisLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    dont have too many of these problems but i know what u mean...... when i first started i would bust my butt to get to an estimate, only to hear..."i've got a couple more that are supposed to come look at it, i'll call you".... i got tired of hearing this so since my business has gotten big enough i still give free estimates but i ALWAYS ask.... "Are you shopping, and getting bids"? and if they say yes... i just tell them im not interested.
  3. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    i'm only looking fo about 8 more accounts and was hoping to be in this area...

    1 acre lots, houses in the low 300s and up

    shame its one of those propertys that you could show off your talent
  4. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Am I misreading your post? Why did you drop your price? You visit it, you quote it, they take it, or leave it.

    I quoted a beautiful lawn in my neighborhood last year, "but it only needs trimmed every three weeks and edged every other week, no big mower, no chemicals". I had to do public math in my head :dizzy: to adjust/explain that it would cost exactly the same per month with her system as to accept my original quote. The lady is still nuts but she's a great customer now. I'm afraid she was an exception though. Some people are squeezing their pennies regardless of the property they live in. In this case it doesn't sound like they'd let you turn it into a showpiece for your business. Put doorhangers on every other house in the neighborhood and press on.
  5. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    no you misread...or i wasn't being clear

    i bid it in my head and on my pad at 55 dollars

    i raised it 10 dollars for every other week because in the springtime it will be a pita in the summer it will be close to every 2 weeks anyway

    plus since i got the cheap vibe i figured they would dig 55X20-24 services

    vs 16 x65 i also gave them a small break on the cleanup being that the fall cleanup would be easier if you let me do what i have to do all year..

    Imo it looked like they had money (nice cars, vacation, really nice house) Maybe there yard just isn't a priority.....or they just are cheap and thats how they have nice stuff. I just wish I would have been told some of there ideas on lawn maintenance before i went and bid it...Granted the bi weekly thing sometimes is a clue but not an absolute... i don't know for some reason this just rubbed me the wrong way today....

  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh yeah, tire kickers.

    The problem is he's asking for work during the off season, as in wth is this guy doing calling for a lawn mowing estimate in the middle of winter? See it doesn't make sense, you wouldn't ask a company for a snow removal estimate in July, would you?

    Another way to look at it is if the work in question doesn't need doing right now then I can save myself the time driving out there, something I learned over the years.
  7. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    actually i always get calls dribbling in as soon as the snow melts off... its like people see the lawn and start to think about spring... The first 50 degree day will start a phone blitz...
  8. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

  9. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    hehehehehe Snow

    its like when you southerners mention

    mello yello
    R.c cola
    moon pies
    chic fillets

    i lived in florida for 6 months becuase my job relocated me

    felt like the longest hottest wettest august i ever had seen
  10. LawnGuy73

    LawnGuy73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Once we start getting closer to the growing season here I will get atleast one of these a week.

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