Residential vs Commercial accounts

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by spitfire3416, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. ozarklawns

    ozarklawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    VERY TRUE! I did not deal with a national but I have learned loyal residential customers relieve so much stress from my job. Year after year I keep coming back and they keep referring me to new customers.
  2. superdog1

    superdog1 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Lebanon, PA
    Messages: 218

    I want to clarify that I did these accounts FOR the National and I did not take the contracts from them. The bottom line is that the margins are just to slim to make any $$. Even when I pushed the crew to cut down on the time we had at each location, it still didn't help much.

    The National is getting $$ for a property they never even touch, so you know darn well that if you are getting $50 a job, they are billing for $100 and pocketing the difference.

    I am thinking about going crazy and grabbing as much of the local accounts I can and then just subbing them all out except for a few to keep my guys working. If the Nationals can do it, so can I?:confused:
  3. cuttin-to-the-Max

    cuttin-to-the-Max LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,338

    Funny to joke around and say that but YES people do that!
    All you have to do is Find the person who makes all the decisions, Give him or her a BIG Bribe, And they'll give you as many accounts as you want. They will also let you know if anyone else is trying to take your accounts.

    This guy wanted me to be a sub for him. He had a HUGE connection with a Property MGMT co. and got every plaza they had in the 6 cities in SE Michigan. He wanted to pay me 60k for an all inclusive that was worth at LEAST double that! I was curious so i had my other landscaper buddy bid it too. (Gave him all the specs that i had.) He was 2k higher than what my number was! It was a about a 150k dollar account. I said no way, he got somebody to do it for cheap, the guy who ended up servicing it left mid-season. Majority of that money went straight to material cost.
  4. superdog1

    superdog1 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Lebanon, PA
    Messages: 218

    Yeppers!!!!! If you were at $150,000 and they only paid $60,000, you know darn well that more than %50 of almost every job goes to cover gas, wages, wear and tear with breakdowns etc. Even if everything on your trailer is brand new at the start of the season, something WILL break before it ends. Even if it is under warranty, it will cost you time, which is just as bad as having a bill to pay.

    Some of the jobs I took are actually COSTING me $$. They are far enough away that until I get there, get the job done and get home, I am in the hole. As I said, I am willing to admit I am an idiot. I signed the contract and no one forced me to do it. It just goes to show that you have to be really careful and be darn sure about what it is you have to do, how often you have to do it and how long it will take each time. Any one of those 3 things could ruin you if you get it wrong.
  5. acculawnsystems

    acculawnsystems LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I have always found that residential properties pay more especially when you have them in the same area and in subdivisions with higher end homes. We have developed a method that will allow for you to focus your attention on more profitable residential yards in your community. You can start by coating the area with door hangers and then promoting your website to those customers on the door hanger. Then by using instant online quote feature, you can give instant quotes and sign customers up without much effort. See what the homeowner will see at
  6. sterlinglawns

    sterlinglawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Why would Hao and retirement communities pay your company more than brickman?
  7. cuttin-to-the-Max

    cuttin-to-the-Max LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,338

    I got 3 assisted livings due to the fact that I'm NOT brickman or United. They said yes my prices were quite a ways higher than the other 2 companies but my references were strong and I sold them on spreading liquid in the winter opposed to rock.

    Their biggest complaint was brickman had all of these assisted livings in the area so they brought in a huge tandem dump truck with a under body spreader. Note: all of these locations are super tight so majority of the salt was getting on the lawn which shown in the spring.

    Long story short, NOT EVERYBODY LOVES THE BIG NATIONAL COMPANIES! The property managers are the ones who really knows what's going on NOT corporate.... Yet corporate still makes the decisions! Crazyyyy!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,133

    The property managers want their property to look good so they can get income from people moving in and paying their dues.

    Brickman cannot provide that service. For a nominal price increase, we keep all (except 1) of our accounts happy. We're low enough in price to gobble up work, but charge enough that we can spend another few man hours over Brickman to take the extra time to ensure there's no missed trimming, take care of the weeds weekly, and overall do a much better job.

    It depends on your location though...luckily around here, we are able to charge more because of the growing job and housing market, especially with high-paying stressful jobs where people just want to come home from work to their manicured no-maintenance townhouse.
  9. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I just landed a 60K per year for the next 4 years and rest of this year on a Commercial account How many Residential accounts would I need to get to match that around here. I figure it up be like 60 + and there no way find that many, with all kids and weekend mow and blow guys
    Im a Full service company and its hard to find Full service Res accounts vs Commercial.

    All areas are different Go to source stay away from them Lawn brokers Tell Customer it will save them money iff they cut out the middle man.
  10. acculawnsystems

    acculawnsystems LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Furthermore, we are offering this system to only one LCO per area. So once a LCO signs up for the area we will not be able to offer this technology to any other LCO in that area. Check out to see if your area is available by going to and reserve your spot today.

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