Pricing help needed badly

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mowingandmore, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Mowingandmore

    Mowingandmore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Hi every one. I am new to comercial accounts I do mainly residentila but I have a meeting coming up for the contract on 5 major apartment complexes in my area all as a package deal. over 200 acers total. How can I price them?
  2. Sooners

    Sooners LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    Veryyyyy Carefullyyy. Actually, I bid a large tract last week. I gave them a one-time price and told them after I did it once, I'd give a firm price. Don't want to get burned again. It always takes longer than it looks initially.
  3. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I totally agree with Sooner because there's probably no way,at this point in your career,you can accurately bid a job that size.Whenever I tell a customer that I would need to do the job one time before giving them a firm quote they seem to understand.
    A big contract like this could be great for your business but if you underbid and enter into a contract with them,it could be bad news.Good luck!
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I sure ain't gonna tell you what to bid but I will tell you that I would'nt touch it if I were you. Not to smash your enthusiasim but just realize that this may seem like a great opportunity but can easily drill you into the ground.
    If you contract and can't provide service you are done. If you contract this year and acquire the equipment to do the job it seems great. Until next year someone comes along who is lower in price than you. Guess where you and all that expensive equipment will be.
    There is a big difference in small residential to large commercial. Its low bid city unless your wife or mom owns the subdivision.
    Good Luck.
  5. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    200 times $18.50
  6. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Unless you have a lot of experience with apartment complexes, you better stay away from them. I'm not trying to burst your bubble, but it is very easy to get burned by unscrouplous apartment managers/owners. These people make a living by keeping costs to a minimum. Mowing costs are a big part of their budget and they will do whatever it takes to keep those costs down. They are also notoriously slow payers when it comes time to pay for things like lawn maintainence.
    If you do decide to bid, make sure you take your time and look the properties over completely. Ask the manager(s) for a document that details all mowing/trimming/clean-up requirements. Get every detail in writing before making a bid. Try to estimate total man hours to do the required work. This is not an easy thing to do, so estimate man hours a little on the high side. You will allways overlook some work that will require more time to perform.
    One last thing. Ask for a credit report for the company/owner of the apartment complex. A friend of mine did this on an apartment complex and the report came back as a slow paying account and some bad loans that the owner had not re-paid. He didn't take the account for obvious reasons. Allways be on the defensive when dealing with apartment complexes. Good luck.
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Mowingandmore, I just posted a thread few minutes ago similar to yours. I decided quickly to pass on it, the above advice is excellent, if you have to ask, then dont do it. Also like mow ed says, if someone comes along cheaper than you next year, your dropped. There is no loyalty in these apt, complexes like you get with residentual. I would recommend staying away from this if your not 100% sure about it.


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