Work for realtors?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ScottHypsie, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    We get subbed work from a property management company that works with a realty company. I don't work directly with the realty companies. I always get paid on time, and if there's any extra work to be done, I charge accordingly. And I'm not under contract with the realty company, so it's not my head on the chopping block.
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  2. ScottHypsie

    ScottHypsie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    yeah she would send me some work and i never got a bid turned down, but her personal properties were the problem
  3. tannerbug

    tannerbug LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I have done ot before but prefer not to.
    I only work for the property owner themselves. Yo much hassle and he said she said when working for 3rd party. Just like all the commercial management companies that you see the complaints from on here all the time.
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  4. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768

    So far it has been good, anyway. I might be doing some lawns a little cheap, but part of that is also my mower (20 inch) and even then on the small lawns I've made $60 an hour.

    I left an estimate for a vacant home and underbid a little, because I've been out of the business for a few years and did not know how much prices had increased. I also did not know I could look online and see approximately what the lot size was (fortunately somebody on lawnsite helped me with that), so the lawns were a little larger than I thought. Anyway, I happened to leave a $35 estimate on one lawn a couple of miles from my house that belonged to a realtor. So he called me and told me he had 2 lawns in that neighborhood, and I did both of them for $35 each. About that time I realized I was too low on the price, but the lawns were only a couple of miles from me, so I told him I could do other properties, but they would start at $40 if they weren't in the same area.

    That realtor usually has several houses he is working on to sell, or selling, and he referred me to another person he works with that does the same thing, so I probably have 8 properties average off of that one flyer, which was really good for me because I had no customers before that.

    They might be a little cheap, but they just tell me to go do mow the properties and then tell them the price and they pay me. Usually I give them a break on overgrown charges (if it's the first time I've mowed it) but I still charge a little more. I think it is worth it for me so far, but I could probably get more with the right customers; the key for me is I don't have those customers yet. :) Oh, before I get to the main disadvantage, some of the lots where improvement is going on can be pretty difficult to mow: I mow one property that has so manly holes, trash, building materials, etc, that I will not even try to mow with my 20". I have to weed trim the entire back lawn (fortunately it's pretty small). And the first time I had to go in with hand loppers and a saw and cut some weeds that were taller than me (and I'm 6'1"). I charged enough for that to cover my time; sometimes the grass is dead in other areas so it saves some time there.
    So far there have been no debates about pricing.

    The main disadvantage is that the properties could be almost anywhere in the city (so far all on the north side, but that's still a huge area). But I've also realized that I don't live very close to the neighborhoods I'm targeting anyway, so I've accepted the fact that I'm going to be doing more driving than I had originally intended anyway.

    He's asked me about other things besides mowing, and I'm hesitant on some of them because it does seem like he wants a quick cheap job, and I don't have a lot of experience with the other things. For example, he asked me how much do do basic flowerbeds (with no plants, just mulch) but I had a difficult time quoting him because he just wanted to spray round up on the grass, put weed matt over it, and then mulch, and I thought the proper way was to dig up all that grass first.

    I offered him hedge trimming, and apparently he was too cheap for that so far. I also offered to give him an estimate on tree trimming, because I've noticed most of the lawns need some tree trimming, but right now he's been hiring somebody else to do it. If we come to a an agreement on tree trimming price and I can get the equipment it might be more profitable than the lawns.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  5. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Yup, it's that exact kind of attitude from some of my customers that got me to start charging for those little free things I used to do. Now I still do little freebies, but a sprinkler head is $30 and that's when I'm already there like mowing, just as an example, still way cheaper than calling the irrigation company.

    Without being a jerk about it, just nice as can be, I seem to get a little more respect now.
    Still not as much as I would like, but it does help, it does.
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Tetanus is a real possibility, but HIV is ruled out. The HIV virus has a very short lifespan once it's outside of a body. In the case of a needle it would be seconds to minutes. If a large volume of infected blood is spilled then the virus can live longer, until the blood dries. Even Hepatitis C has a very short lifespan outside of the body. 4 days at the maximum.

    I'm just saying that knowledge is safety. Be safe out there.
  7. mowisme

    mowisme LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    Thanks Richard on clarifying that- good to know.
  8. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,179

    I cut for 2 this year. Both are extremely nice. I've cut for the one lady for 2 years now i think.
  9. ScottHypsie

    ScottHypsie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    hep c lasts 2 weeks and even a bleach kit wont get it out of a rig. Hiv does die fast. Still i have no idea how long they were there.
  10. kawasaki guy

    kawasaki guy LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from USA
    Messages: 16,925

    The one I work for is great! pays on time, and always wants to pay me more. :clapping: Now, once he gets my nedt bill, he might not do that anymore.

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