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Tired of bidding low to get account

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bassman, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I have a prospect that I gave a bid to for yearly service. Exclusive community, 1/2 million dollar properties on salt water. I have 2 in a row and he would be the third right next to them. Incredibly, in my area the going rate is $60/ month for basic lawn care and $100 month for basic + shrub trimming and weed control. I bid him $125/ mo. He wants to get 2 more estimates. I'm going to go up on my existing properties in this area because the work involved demands it. I have a feeling that I won't get this guys biz because he will get a lower bid. So be it. I am getting worked up thinking about all the sweat that goes into maintaining these beautiful properties for so little because there are large companies with crews of ******** that low ball in this area. I'm drawing a line in the sand and am prepared to pass on anymore business in this area unless I hook up with people who don't mind paying a little more for my superior service than the low ballers. Geez, they probably pay at least $10K in property taxes every year but balk at an extra $25/ mo. for great maintenance.
    Thanks for letting me vent. Any comments appreciated.
  2. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 264

    ******* or not there is still not a lot of profit margin there. Are you saying 60 a month or a stop?? How long do these properties take to service?? What do these properties mean to you?? If you are losing money on them fancy or not. Re-consider.
  3. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    $60/$100 a MONTH :confused: How small are these accounts and how often? I charge $30 min maybe $25 if two or more are next to each other, each week. People that tight don't deserve your superior services! JMO

    Are We Having Yet???:blob2:
  4. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Welcome to south Florida. Home of the retired folk. These accounts I'm talking about are yearly contract customers. Visit weekly April thru October, bi-weekly Nov. thru March. They take 20 to 30 minutes to get in n out except for full service and they need shrub trimming 3 to 4 times a year and herbicide weeds as needed. I probably should have prefaced this post to Florida LCO's only. We have to compete with lower rates on average than many parts of the country. We do alright but have to be selective with the customer base. Over time, the better customers who pay well and appreciate good service makes up the large part of the biz. Takes time and weeding out the less desirable customers. I'm not indigent from my business, I was just venting a little like everyone does from time to time. Overall, I earn on average between $30-$35 hr which may compare to many other parts of the country in this field.
  5. nuthinlikeadame

    nuthinlikeadame LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I hear you. I've got a few million-dollar residential properties that I provide maintenance for. One in particular is 125.00 per week has very little lawn and all kinds of shrubs, groundcover, weeding, 18 irrigation valves, even a small vineyard. We bust our azz trying to get this property done in 4 man hrs. to maintain our margin, but it does make me think that we can probably do four 30.00 mow blow and gos in probably less time without the super frantic pace. Maintenance is cutthroat around here with regard to competition.
  6. Chuck Sinclair

    Chuck Sinclair LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    California and Florida are about the same, low $ for maintenance the differance between us and say ill is we are year round (We don't get winters off)
  7. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    the problem is supply vs. demand... from what i here from my sister who is a orlando fl. resident. she tells me that there only two different jobs in fla. (landscapers and realestate agents) sounds like to me the supply of lcos. is extremly high! this will systematicly drive prices down...
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Just another reason not to bash the mow go and blow guys. We figured this out long ago.

    Get rid of those accounts and find a crappy yard that takes 20 minutes in/out. These have proven to be more profitable than the so called "high end" lawns.:rolleyes:
  9. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    I've been in that position. Sometimes in that type of area the neighbors will "get together". You are doing one or two properties and they are enjoying your prices and work and the word gets out. Any new prospects will expect you to give them the same deal. Time to raise prices or get out of that neighborhood.
    Like mentioned they will not bat an eye when paying the tax bill or paying a plumber,electrician,etc. for services.
    I have a few that think they have a "burger king" contract.(Have it their way,contract does not mean squat to "them")
    It is only a few so it is not too much trouble at this point. As new work comes I will increase the price (again) or replace them.
    It's good to be busy but at the end of the day you HAVE to make money. I've told a few in the past(jokingly)that I'm in this biz to make a living,not get exercise.

    :D ;)
  10. turfman33

    turfman33 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    I hear ya on that one. I'm finding the more money people have the less they want to part with it. As far as I'm concerned I'm the one out there in the 90+ degree heat because they don't want to be, so pay me. People seem to think this job is easy because we cut grass. Then let them get out there one time and cut and trim in the heat. They don't think twice about taking credit for a nice looking yard though. I may charge a little more then the average at times but I value my job sights. I will fininsh up then check around the yard to make sure I'm happy with what I done. I cut this one yard while guys were working on the yard next to me. When I did a strip up the side of the chain link fence to the other persons yard they had left HUGE piles of grass all over the yard. I will either rake that or run over it again to mulch it in more. So I see myself, as do many on here, as better then the average. So if they don't want to pay for better work done, drop them. if you can afford to that is.


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