What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Five Star Lawn Care LLC, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. Five Star Lawn Care LLC

    Five Star Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,006

    I get a call from a reterment home last week and they are looking for a full maintnance bid on of there properties. He tells me the same guy has been doing it for the last 8 years and he is getting out of the business in the spring. Heres the Question.....Do u ask the property manager how much the last company was charging or not. The way im looking at it is, im not bidding aganst the other contractor so there would be no conflit there.
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    It doesn't hurt to ask. Any Info can help! Some people don't want to tell because they always think someone might raise a lowball estimate if there current price was higher. IMHO


    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    I would ask. What do you have to lose. Most of the time I'll ask a potential customer what the last guy was charging before I give them a price. Surprisingly, about 8 out of 10 times they will tell me. Personally, I wouldn't tell.

  4. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob3: not to be rude, but you guys cannot be that naive to think your gonna get the accurate answer esp. whwn dealing with a prop. manager whose year end bonus is based on what the property did'nt spend. if your not seeing the old signed agreement, then i would take what they have to say with a grain of salt. Tony
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    I would never ask based on two reasons:
    1) I wouldn't expect the truth from that person anyways.
    2)But mainly, I know what I need to make money and what I want. I don't care what the other guy did it for. My bid is my price. If they don't accept it I'm not doing it for less. It's that simple. So many people try to base their prices off what the last guy did it for, or " a few bucks less", and all of a sudden your working for less than what you need. It just isn't for me.
    I say submit your bid for what you think it's worth and that's it. They take it or leave it.:)
  6. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    ;) well said randy!!!!!
  7. ceaman

    ceaman LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 131

    I ask! I am starting in to my secoond year in buisiness and I was late to start last year. I offer a 10% discount to any customer who will show me an invoice or bid from a competing company. I understand I am lowballing myself but the more work I get the better off I am. As I get more established I can get the "take it or leave it" attitude. But for now I need all of the references I can get stating the "quality of work" and "ability to get the job done".

    I am sure this will cause a uproar with some other members. I just hope it doesnt get ugly.
  8. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    I am not even gonna respond to that.... you know how i feel about that crap...

    I would ask the manager what there "budget" is for grounds maintenance... you don't have to ask what the last year price was... but atleast get an idea what they can afford..

    On that note, recently looked at a condo comlex that was roughly $80,000 a year for maint. my price.... there budget allowed for only $45,000 !!!! wish I knew that first....;)
  9. 2 man crew

    2 man crew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    One other angle might be to Ask who the other LCO is. Call him and see what kind of info he might tell you about the property. Info like how long it took to mow, how many guys, how picky are they, what kind of equipment he used. I'm sure price would pop out some were in the conversation too. But like Randy Scott and General Grounds said the old price does not really matter that much anyway. The other info would be very helpful. If this other LCO is getting out of the business he probably wonÂ’t mind talking to you. Plus if he is just letting accounts go like this one you are bidding on, HOW MANY MORE COULD YOU HAVE?!:eek:
    Good luck.
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Randy makes some very valid points. But I tend to agree with Paps and the others more. The flaw in the "they might lie to you if you ask" argument is that by doing this, they are only hurting themselves. If they drastically understate the amount they've actually been paying, any good contractor is going to say, "Oh, well forget it, then. I can't compete with that rate. Thanks anyway." and leave. Then they're out a good contractor just because they lied. Furthermore, I have a more trusting attitude of most people. I think most people are pretty honest.

    I'd ask if it were me just because it gives you an idea if you even want to attempt a bid on it. Many times when I've been in this situation in the past I wasted a ton of time only to find out, like PAPS said, that I was way over their budget.

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