How to market your lawn care services to gated communities.

Marketing to the average community is not that big of a deal. You can go door to door, put flyers in doors, send mailers, or a slew of other methods. But what about when you want to market your lawn care services to gated communities? How does one go about doing that? Such a question was asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and we were lucky to get the insight from a home owner to let us know how he was marketed too and what marketing methods stood out.

One homeowner wrote “when it comes to marketing to gated communities, don’t confuse value and quality.

As someone who has a home in a ‘gated community’ I know, they expect to pay for a service. You can charge just as much as the next guy, just make certain you do a better job. You may find that those customers who live in the gated community are also high-maintenance themselves.

Don’t sell yourself short. Be professional. Charge the going rate. Exceed your customers expectations. Over Deliver. Doing this will take you far.

If you go too inexpensive with your bid pricing, the customers or potential customers in that community may think that you are CHEAP…and frankly they don’t want cheap. They want a bargain, but if you are half, or significantly less than a competitor. You most likely won’t get the business.

Honestly, marketing to the ‘gated community’ is no different than other communities. We get lawn care flyers in our paper boxes below the mailbox. Sometimes I’d get some who would write down on the side of their flyer what it would cost per cut. But what differentiates one lawn care service from the others? QUALITY! If I received a flyer that was run off a photo copier, illegible, and had bad grammar, I threw it away. Why? If the business owner had no gumption to make certain his words were right, how could I be certain he’d care for my lawn the right way. Colored paper, especially neon paper would grab my attention. It forces you to read it. However, if it is badly run off and looks like a copy of a copy of a copy…same thing, I think this person is cutting corners, he’s going to cut corners on my lawn.

I also had someone walk up and knock on my door, let me know he was in the neighborhood. His truck and equipment were outside. He was leaking oil in front of my house. He was a nice enough fellow but if he couldn’t afford to drive around in more than a junky truck, how well is he going to care for my lawn? He also wasn’t insured, nor did he have a business license.

Want to crack the code to getting higher priced properties? Get one property to start with. Do an excellent job. Mow, trim, edge, keep the lawn green, and you will get others. People do ask their neighbors or tell their neighbors who they use. Knock on doors and let people know you are in the area. Sales are sales. Every single person you talk to should know YOU ARE the lawn guy. One has to ask for work (the sale) and deliver quality service to get it.

There are tons of upsell potentials in a gated community like mine. Everyone wants their lawn to look better than the neighbors, the flower beds etc. ESPECIALLY in a new sub division. The beds installed only have the minimum amount of shrubbery and no annuals. Most of the time the lots have been scraped and have minimal top soil. The builders then throw sod over clay. A lot of times the mulch is very very sparse, which is yet another upsell. Or the homes come with only three zones of sprinklers, which work only for the front and partial side yard. This is yet again another potential upsell.

The point is, be assertive, be confident, dress appropriately. If your vehicle leaks or is a rust bucket, people will shy away from you. Have a simple clean flyer that looks professional. It doesn’t have to be ‘glossy’. Indicate the services you can perform. Let the customer know what you can do and what you can’t do.

Here are services I had to have performed at my new house that you could market:

  • Grading of backyard
  • Topsoil - 14 dump loads (raised backyard 22 inches)
  • Retaining wall
  • Mulch
  • 15 pallets of sod for side and back yard
  • Three old oak trees removed that were dead
  • Four more zones sprinkler system for side and back yard
  • Annuals planted
  • Extra flower beds
  • 120 azaleas
  • 120 shrubs to form a ‘natural fence’ planted every 48 inches.
  • Custom colored concrete patio poured 1,200 sq ft.
  • Sprinkler system had to be blown out in winter and ‘opened’ in spring.
  • Pressure washing driveway and deck
  • Top sealing the asphalt driveway
  • Sealing concrete

And that is about the average of each house in a neighborhood where the people (including myself) paid over $200K for a home. That all took place over a three year period. Out of all those services I needed, the tree guy and the sprinkler company were the only one who I re-hired to do work. The rest were generally out of business after their first year. I spent a fortune on my lawn, as did all my neighbors. The sprinkler service was $150 a year and took them less than a half hour $75 for each service.”

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