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Should I pick up new customer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by burkcs, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. burkcs

    burkcs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    My wifes former employer (Keller Williams Real Estate Broker) and friend is looking for new lawn care. She lives in a high dollar section of my neighborhood ($600K plus homes). She is recently divorced and is having a difficult time financially.

    I checked out here lawn (steep hills, big swells, and approx 7k to 8k SqFt). The degree of difficlutly to cut her lawn and do a good job is up there.

    She can only afford what she is paying her current lawn care company which is $35 per cut. Before I found this out I was going to quote her $45-$50). Should I take the lot to get exposure up in this high dollar area or walk away?

    Note: I specialize in well manicured lawns (Reel cuts, rotary cuts and striping turf lawns)
  2. avjohnson

    avjohnson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Why doesn't she keep the person who's doing it now if the price is so good? If it takes a major effort to look nice, then the exposure might not be worth it.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Nope, we wouldn't take it. Before long, you'll be pulling up to that lawn, and you'll be resenting the fact that you have to cut it. If she is having problems financially, well the lawn guy is going to be the last to be paid. Then that will be causing problems for you since you say that is your wife's friend. I say wash your hands of this one, you'll be better off.
    If you want to get in this neighborhood, then market to it, either by sending out postcards, or use doorhangers.
  4. burkcs

    burkcs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    She is not happy with her current lawn care and by the looks of there work I can understand.

    One thing to consider is her house sits below the street and property declines failrly quick. I will not be able to showcase her lawn to other home owners driving by.

    On the other side she is into real estate and sells a lot primarily in our neighborhood. She might be a good connection/referral.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    So she wants better service for the same price? That's like saying I want to eat a steak, but pay for a hamburger price. I see nothing good from this potential customer, tread carefully.
  6. EngineeredLawns

    EngineeredLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I try and stay away from working for friend as a full time customer. If someone needs help for a short period, I will do that. If you want to explain to her that you will give her a reduced rate to help her out and ask her if she is happy with the work to recommend you to the neighbors, that might get your foot in the door to that area, but I still don't like working for friends.
  7. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    go for it. Everyone needs a realtor for a customer. Teaches them what cheapskates look like....
  8. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    $35 is the price the other guy charges. If you feel you need 45-50 for the lawn, then thats what you need to make a profit and meet expenses. I wouldn't go cheaper just to "break in" to that particular area. If you want that area that bad, as 1MajorTom stated, market specifically to it. Once you get your name out there and get a few lawns in that area, the others will follow quicker then you can imagine.

    Final note, you mentioned you specialize in reel mowing and the such. As mentioned in other posts, speciality services (reel mowing, deep inclines etc) equates to a speciality price.
  9. RonB

    RonB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 427

    Why don't you explain it just the way you did here.

    Try something like this," you're not happy with the current work, because that's what $35 will buy you. When I first looked at your yard, it's a $50 cut for my service, but since you're a "friend" I'll do the job you're expecting for $45, too help you out for awhile .. might have to bump you up next season though .."
  10. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Don't do it, if anything put her on a yearly contract spreading her payments out. If she doesn't get you referrals than where are you?
    What kind of reel do you have?
    How much extra do you charge for reeling? I would love a tri plex.

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