Cheaper price on lawn care in hopes of future work?

Have you ever been on a site to give a lawn care estimate and sensed there was plenty more work to come your way if you were able to land this account and develop a working relationship with the property owner? Did you take this into account when you gave your estimate price? Was it lower than you would normally have charged or would you never give a cost break in hopes of future work? This is a discussion we had on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum with a lot of great insight.

Cheaper price on lawn care

Cheaper price on lawn care

One lawn care business owner wrote “the most recent time when I implemented this strategy was this private community that had a grub issue. I low balled the association president’s property. His place alone was about $8,000 in work. I quoted him $5,200. I then picked up all 6 homes plus a common area. Each property had their own issues and I made up for the low ball quote plus I picked up total property care for three years.

Having vehicles parked on site with a lot of gear was a marketing strategy I was counting on to work and it did. I now have four private communities on this same road, all within a 2 minute drive of each other.

We finished 800 feet of drain and regraded a 2,000 foot road yesterday for one customer. They have had 6 companies in four years try and fix their road. It had never been done properly. The customer sent an email to me last evening and said they have never seen such quality and detailed work and felt they now have the best looking road in the area.

Not only that, but this one new owner wants his lot cleared for a retirement home. The lot if 7 acres, we will clear a road into it, build the road then clear for the house. This job will run $30,000 to $40,000, it’s quite a spread in price however there are a lot of variables and the owner agreed, we will start some this winter if there is not too much snow and finish next April/May.

If we want our foot in the door sometimes there is a cost to pay, in any business. The door could be someone that we could make money off from referrals, could be an area we want into or it could be that business is slow and we want to simply show our stuff.

A one time mow, clean up or whatever can lead to a lot of possibilities, some will work out and some will not, for what’s it worth don’t get hung up on the one’s that don’t work out and don’t be afraid to do it again, we have to take certain chances. I was going to say risk but there is no risk in breaking even or losing a few bucks if you have a plan. A plan in this case would be having a chance to prove what you can do.

I understand some readers may be living hand to mouth due to a tough year, I have been there however I always tried hard to keep my chin up and do whatever it took to get the ball rolling.”

Another business owner shared “I think you have to really read the situation & feel out the potential for future business to make the decision on a case by case basis.

When I 1st started my lawn care business up, a real estate investor who had 30 some residential properties called me because he had them listed with a property management company to get them rented. He didn’t like the price he was paying or the quality he was getting from the lawn service vendor the management company used. He wanted someone else to do the work on just his homes (30+) whenever they were vacant, though the paper work would go through the property management company.

The price he was paying did seem a bit high, but he was also very concerned about the poor quality he had been getting. I gave him a site-unseen per property per cut price for one month, which gave me time to show him my quality & to see each property. It was a basic break even deal for 1 month but I figured it could lead to more work & it was better than driving around to estimate all those properties & possibly not getting any of them.

Well my initial rate was a bit low & the management company called me to let me know that they thought I was nuts & they didn’t want me to think I could win over all of their business. They said ‘we’ve been with our lawn guy for years & we are not changing just because your a little cheaper, so please don’t sell yourself short for this one investor.’ I said I am not & that’s fine, I can respect that & that I knew what I was doing.

At the end of that 1st month I rebid each property for the investor & retained the work at a fair price, by the end of 3 months the management company started calling me for odd jobs or overgrown lawns the other guy didn’t wanna touch. I stated I’ll clean em up if I get to maintain them for you. I wasn’t going to do the hard part so he could make the gravy. They agreed.

Inside of 6 months the companies realtors & property managers were all apparently talking about how much better the yards I maintained looked than the other guys work & my rates were better! I won over the whole account & maintain it still today. They have also referred countless new home owners, tenants, & a couple other property management companies to me. The money I didn’t make that 1st month seems laughable now doesn’t it?”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Check out the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum for great prices on new and used lawn care equipment:

Chain Saw

Dethatcher

Garden Tools

Hedge Trimmer

Lawn Aerator

Leaf Blower

Leaf Vacuum

Mower Blades

Mower Ride On

Mower Walk Behind

Multi Attachment Trimmers

Pole Saw

Pressure Washer

Salt Sand Spreader

Shop Tools

Snow Blower

Snow Plow

Stick Edger

String Trimmer

Stump Grinder

Sulky

Tractor Attachment

Trailers

Trailer Landscape Racks

Trencher
Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success