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somethin' for nothin'

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jarroo's lawncare, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. jarroo's lawncare

    jarroo's lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I recently did a massive cleanup renovation job for a real estate agent that i mow for. The job took 20 hours and i had me and another guy with me. I charged him 40 per hr per man, we were already covered up with other jobs and he said it was to be done as quickly as possible. so we worked every night til dark and all day on sunday (which people sort of frown upon where i live because of running power equipment). Anyway there was always a chainsaw, mower, brushcutter, weedeater, or hedgetrimmer running. But when I gave him the bill it took a month and a half to get paid, and when I called he said that he couldn't believe how much I charged him. he also said that his master carpenter only charges him 20 per hr and next time he'll just get him to do the work. I told him that was fine but i am insured and have an employee, gas, and equipment that costs money to run and if he wants to take a chance on his carpenter hurt himself or the property go ahead, but it will be your a$$ when it happens. I finally got my check and asked him if the owners were satisfied he said yes and i said "that is all I am worried about" and left, opened the check, and there was a letter that said "i will think twice about using you again. This guy has given me 3 properties to mow, 1 he owns the other 2 were people needing someone to mow because who they had didn't do a good job so i still get to keep those, they are satisfied with my services and think the price is fair. so i am not worried.
  2. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    I've found that Realtors can be the worse. They should be ashamed of the rates that THEY charge! They are astronomical. It does say something for up front pricing though. I'm not saying you did anything wrong, but perhaps in the future (with jobs of such large size), you could draw up a contract outlining the work and costs. It wll help you avoid such headaches in the future. Just my 2 cents!
    Sounds like you handled it well!
  3. jarroo's lawncare

    jarroo's lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    i should have give him an up front price but he said that he didn't need one up front so i didn't worry about.
  4. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    I've worked for a land survey company for 45 years and have heard all the reasons why our rates are too high. (Why because of the education, licensing, insurance and the real dollar liability costs?) We have just about decided (in jest) to charge a percentage of the assessed value of the property for our surveys. You know, like the sales commissions being based on the sale price of the property. The agents don't have a problem being paid like that, so why should we? Maybe we should base lawn service fees in a similar manner.
    Don't sweat a real estate agent's opinion of your fees. Chances are they aren't paying the bill anyway. Good luck .......

  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    next time insist on a contract and charge him 7% for writing it up and for the reciept.:D
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    you worked very cheap, and did a great job, and he still had a problem. don't ya just hate people?
  7. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    I know regional differences in pricing occur, but I don't do leaves for $40/hr. I charge $65/hr PLUS disposal/dump fees plus time to dump. I give as accurate quote (# hours needed) as possible, but also tell them it COULD BE MORE. If they don't like it THEY CAN PICK THEM UP THEMSELVES! I HATE LEAVES. It is HARD, DIRTY, DUSTY WORK. And I have THOUSANDS of dollars invested in dump trailer & vacs & blowers to remove them. IF THEY DON'T LIKE IT THEY CAN DO IT THEMSELVES. I don't work for free! I don't work cheap either. If they want someone cheaper, they can spend the time finding someone else. I keep as busy as I want to be doing leaves!

  8. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    I could not have said it better or agreed with you more.....

    Jim (aka The Captain)
  9. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    Estate agents must be the same worldwide, here in England we had problems getting our £800 (thats about $1400) from one recently, same story, urgent job must be done yesterday, and it took us three months to get our money even though the work done was satisfactory and the agent had the money from his client. we heard all the usual stalling procedures like "the money's in the post", etc. etc. I asked their manager how he would like to wait three months for his salary, he seemed to think it was different if you're running a business.
  10. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    What kind of business does he think you are running ? A non-profit type ! That's how a lot of those jerks operate by using others and other's money and paying off as a last resort.


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