1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum .

    Dismiss Notice

What would you do?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by B_gerrits, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    I got a call for an estimate on 40 linear feet of fence, pruning some trees, and staining a balcony. Here's the problem the owner of the property died and the house is owned by his three daughters who all have different ideas on what should be done. Oh on top of this they want to split the cost of the fence with the neighbor who is asian and according to the lady I spoke with is very picky which now puts the amount of custs to 4.
  2. Dean of Green

    Dean of Green LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    As you pointed out already, 4 customers. That is your problem. This one looks to be a real headache. Charge appropriately and get your money upfront. I rarely require payment upfront, but this one I would.
  3. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    Sound like your getting set up! What better way to get something free then to have 4 people complaining about it after the work is completed....Oh! did i mention that when 1 of the 4 people or more complain, that they're all going to agree to not pay you! I would stay away or make only one person responsible for inspection & payment!!! You are a professional, Don't let all of them chip in on your work like they are buying a pizza.
  4. tedfrk

    tedfrk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    if your going to do it,have one of them sign a contract.i would at least have them pay for the cost of materials up front if its only you doing it otherwise get your helpers pay upfront also,that way your not out totally.just be honest with them.it like dealing with a husband and a wife he tells you one thing then goes inside and then she starts in on what she wants,so i usually listen to the wife they usally get what they want.goodluck
  5. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    Well I am smart enough to make them sign a contract that would make one person responsible for payment. I would also require 50% up front. The biggest prob I see with this one is satisifing 4 people someone is going to find something to gripe about.
  6. plowking15

    plowking15 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Depends,are they fixing the house to sell or settle the estate? Has house gone thru probate. The neighbor thing bothers me,unless fences make good neighbors. I've done work for estates and sometimes you don't get paid until the estate is settled. Is any of the daughters the executor of the estate? To bad you couldn't get a photoshop of what they want before you actually do it. plowking
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Get paid weekly.
  8. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    I would do one of the following:
    1. Talk to the three daughters and tell them you to proceed with the work they need to agree on a plan of action. Explain to them that once the work has started, if they want to make changes, that's going to change both the time and price of the work. Also, explain that one of them needs to be the contact person, that is you are only going to listen and make changes on what your contact person is conveying to you. As for the neighbor, I would tell them that you work for the daughters, not the neighbor, and if they want their neighbor to fork over some money, the neighbor will have to go through your contact person.


    2. Walk away, and concentrate on people who know what they want.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh, you mean customers who don't know what they want?
    With some you can work with, but this one's a ways out there still.

    It doesn't have to be A+++ perfect, but you need a considerably more concrete plan to work with than this hehe

    Yeah, I wouldn't go so far as saying this all out loud or in so many words but you need to tell these folks that when they
    come to an agreement you'll gladly speak about the work to be done, because in the meantime there is nothing doing.

    The easy way is to just let it sit, don't worry about it,
    you showed up to take a look and that was your job for now,
    you did what was asked of you and hopefully that's the end of it.

    Unfortunately, no matter how it works out as far as whether you tell them or you just let it slide,
    it has been my experience you won't usually hear back from them.

    Such is life :p
    Just that same old same old
  10. thegreek

    thegreek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    I wouldnt do any job that gave me that much stress! :wall

Share This Page