PLEASE READ cutntrim's post!!!

John Deere

LawnSite Member
I just want to back up cutntrim's post. I can't tell you how true his statements are. Most importantly - Property Managers! Property Managers can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I can definently name one that falls into the worst enemy categorie. Listen, I definently can sympathize with cutntrim because I know how it feels. One thing that really chaps my ass are all of you low bidders out there. I don't know why it is that most industries have set rates, but why is it that we always seem to get fly by night people who don't have a clue on how to bid and end up hurting everyone. I don't know about your area, but here some people are doing 50,000 sq. ft. lawns for $20 bucks. If you are one of these people you are screwing us and yourself! I've tried not to be to controversial in this forum, but I feel I need to stand up for my industry and my livelihood. Puting all of your eggs in one basket is not a good thing to do, but can't we just get a little bit of commitment and loyalty from these property managers and customers. It can be done, I truly think with being able to share more ideas via internet prices and rates in time could catch on. If all of the bottom feeders out there would grab a clue we could turn things around and all profit and have a less stress free business while making some money without having to always look over your shoulder. I lost a $600 a week acct. earlier this year and was sick about it for a week. I'm tired of that. It's time to make a stand. I also see bickering on this site as well. Why? So what if some people have different ideas than you do. You don't have to damn them for there own ideas. For the most part everyone on this site is very helpful. Let's keep that up and see if we can't get things to change for the better out there in the Green World! Good luck to all of you this season!


LawnSite Senior Member
Fruita, colorado
I used to worry about low bidders. This year we bid out a subdivision at a fair price and of course didn't get it. The other day I'm driving by and I see my competition. One guy older truck nice trailer new walker mower. He was throwing himself around behind a faded aerator. we hadn't had rain for a few weeks. The soil is as hard as a rock, and it still gets to freezing at night. He was pulling maybe 1/2 to 1 inch plugs. Wow! what a deal that subdivision got...what a deal this guy got! Hope he can pay for that mower. Actually I got the better deal. He will be so tied up working for an outfit that bought a low baller that he won't have time to get in my way the rest of the year. The sub. will probably continue to have a nasty looking, sick lawn. Odds are it will be up for bid again next year. No thanks....please keep another low baller busy.


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
Please go into detail about the 600 a week account-what it was, why you think you lost it, what you tried to do to salvage it, what equipment you have and if you know what the competition has.<p>Maybe we can use the info to help keep it from happening again.<p>Bill
Losing a $20k+ job is a big deal. But you got to remember the market. If your are dealing with this corp. that owns these apartment complex you have to remember<br>most people shop on price.<p>In may area these property managers feed on<br>the up and coming lamers in the biz and<br>can force them into bankruptcy.<p>They are constantly change contractors always<br>looking for a better price.<p>I personally stay away from this type work<br>especially the secton 8 ones.<p>Paul from Chicago is right the &quot;real&quot; money<br>in in public sector work. I am going to only <br>concentrate on in the future to find more<br>althetic field work at public school systems.<br>In two years I plan to do this exclusivly<br>and I will sell off all my other commercial<br>and residintial work along with a couple<br>of old mowers.


LawnSite Member
Southern Calif
Lawrence; Think about your plan with this information. <br>I have been a licensed landscape maintenance contractor and licensed pest control operator for 28 years. <br>From 1982 to current I have done public works. Federal, State & Municipal. I started doing public works after the building downturn in CA in 1980. <br>I had the same opinion you had. I didn't want to try and collect money from builders or deal with residential & HOA's. <br>Since 1990 the federal government has been moving to sole source contracting. That means that they hire a property management company to run the buildings. These companies handle Janitorial, HVAC, Carpentry, Etc. That company subs out all the work or keeps it in house. So you end up with the same problems as working for a regular property management company. <br>I see this trend moving into the state and municipal areas currently. <br>Also remeber that there can only be so many Government proerties in a given area, so to increase your customer base you have to work in multiple states. Which brings along its on problems. <br>In my humble opininon the best thing to do is have a balance of work including Commercial, Residential and Government. And Residential is almost an unlimted market in a smaller area. Darrell


LawnSite Senior Member
West Haven, CT
Stone - <p>Don't forget who pays for the section 8. Its your Uncle, Sam. He pays for the schools and the municipal jobs too. You may put all your eggs in that basket only to find that when the administration changes so do the sub contractors. I have a good mix including schools and municipal work. I always make the most of it, immediately. But, I keep a mix of accounts, and as you probably would surmise, we try not to work for those who pick with price as the main factor. <p>Speaking about price and bids, reminds me that today we were busy pricing stuff. I usually think that if I get between 25-35% of the bids I put out that my price is right. This system works like this - if you get 100% of the jobs your priced too low. Any feedback on this idea? <p>Today we told a guy $3600 for a landscape job that needed about 1000sq. feet of sod, lawn prep, for a total of about $1000-1200 in materials. He said another company bid $1000 total. Next guy jumped on the price for a Harley rake job, no question about the price. My brother priced both jobs, within 5 miles of each other, with the same per hour figures in mind. The second job doesn't even require as many materials. Go figure?!!?! :)<br><p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply -<br>Ivy League Landscaping -


Lawnsite Addict
Darrell,<br>That may be for the Federal Gov. but not the local school district or park district, they have control of the money! Those elected people have to write the checks every month. They know that if they have an employee do the work he by law will get a raise evey year, he will have all benefits that the highest paid boss will have. They will also have to pay for manitance on the equipment and replacements as needed. They are looking to get away from this, outsourceing or sub-contracting is a way for us to make money here. They will only hire contractors that have the qualifcation that are needed and insurance and workmans comp. Some will require a bond and maybe a preformance bond.<br>It's work that alot of people don't see and good money to be made.<p>Right now I'm in Fl. at a park safety meeting and I am talking to people from many parts of the country, they are looking for contractors to do this work all the time(if I had enough crews I could send them all over the U.S. doing parks. The lack of contractors bidding these makes me sick, your tax dollars could be going back in your pockets! They have to worry about the play equipment and other areas that you wouldn't see daily reports on the equipment, ADA acsessable, grading the ballfields and a million other things, we can step in here as Mr. Stone has done and make good money! You other guys give it a try!<p>----------<br>paul<br>


LawnSite Member
Ontario, Canada
Phil' sounds as if your bid to win ratio is about right. I start to worry when I win too many jobs. It means I made a mistake or left money on the table. Bad news either way! I like to keep an eye on the bid/win ratio and when it gets above 3/1 then I know I,m under bidding. I also watch who I am winning/losing bids to. There are lots of companies around here who are more efficient than I am. If I win jobs from them it usually means I've underbid and I'm about to loose some money! When I hear guys say they get 95%of the jobs they bid I figure they're leaving money on the table. I like to see the customer clutch at their chests (but still give me the job) this means I've charged just the right amount. I really hate hearing &quot; oh, is that all it's going to cost?&quot; Good bidding.

Top Forums