I use google earth to bid lawn care jobs.

We ll try to save time in all the processes we do throughout the day. How can we schedule our mowing routes to make distances shorter between customers. What equipment can we get to speed our mowing times. What lawn care software can we use to improve our billing speeds. Then when it comes to estimating mowing jobs, you really have to question if a short cut is the better way to go as we will see in this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “when I get a call from a new potential mowing customer from one of the hundreds of flyers I canvass in colossal suburban neighborhoods, I always ask for their name and address and promptly get to my computer or tell them I’ll call them back with an estimate. I toss the address into google earth, use the ruler to measure the yard, check elevation for hills and I can give them ‘An estimate barring any other extenuating circumstance (long grass yadda yadda).

Most of my accounts have found it to be pretty nifty to get a nearly instant idea what they’ll be paying and I usually can get them to agree to a 14 day mowing schedule right on the phone. By using this lawn care estimating method I know what I’m mowing and what day I am mowing before I even get there.

It works for me because I see every house a couple days before they call- when I tape my flyer to their door!

I’ve had a couple accounts that I acquired person to person while mowing or canvassing and it is a bit easier to ’sell’ to them. However almost every call I’ve gotten they are very eager to hear the bid and when service will start, so I haven’t had to really sell anything on the phone.

In my case I’m more-or-less introverted so a little less customer interaction doesn’t bother me, mow it, bill it, leave it. My work has been speaking for itself.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I see two problems with this.

1. When you actually see the property.

You: So it will come out to $xxxx.
Client: But you said it would be approximately $xx!

Regardless if it was an estimate, it’ll annoy the client and cause them to become defensive and picky. Don’t give them false hope.

2. Google Earth does not provide a lot of detail of the property. There are some homes with trees, and an aerial shot becomes useless (backyards). Hills and whatever are also very difficult to see.

Sure there are benefits to using your computer, like if you go into street view using Google Maps, you can locate the house address and get an idea of what the front of the property will look like, more information is better than none. Still, I wouldn’t rely on a photo when it comes to pricing work. A lot could happen in 3 years (and most of the imagery from Google Earth has not been updated since.

What I do is use Google Maps to view the front of the property to get an idea of who I may be dealing with, then I try to drive by when nobody is home, get a look at the back yard - just in case I don’t want to do business with them I wouldn’t be stuck wasting my time and then I bid in person, if I decide I want that customer. As you are in business longer, you become more picky about who you want as a customer.”

A third landscaper said “I used google earth one time, arrived at the property to find a new swimming pool, fence and all kinds of squirrely landscape beds. My bid over the phone then had to be changed from what I found in person and I decided that was the last time I would do things that way.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

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