What’s the best way to measure sq ft of a property?

With the availability of many free satellite mapping services, a lawn care business owner may consider using them to their advantage. But in what ways can you utilize them? Can they be used to help you estimate? Calculate square feet of a property? How much information can be safely pulled from such images and not put the business owner in a position where they improperly bid on a property because of them? That is what one entrepreneur was curious to know when he asked about it on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

He wrote “I am wondering if it is a good idea to check for square feet of a property using free satellite map sites before I bid on a job. I notice that the pictures are much clearer and better defined on some sites than others and if they are good enough to use to get accurate property measurements.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I look at properties with Google to get a rough idea but I personally would not quote a lawn care job based on them until I see something in person. I have never had a client refuse to meet because I wouldn’t give them a quote solely over the phone site unseen. To me, meeting the customer is the ice breaker as it’s our day in court to sell ourselves and our company/what we do.

I know I am no where near the cheapest priced lawn service in the area however I can sell and have a pretty specific target market that I focus on. There are some areas we receive inquiries from that I will not work in for a host of reasons.

I would guess the majority of the time as the maps seem to be months or years out of date, I just use them to get a general idea of what the property looks like but I can’t bid sight unseen. Ever.”

A third said “I won’t base my estimate on a satellite image either. When I get on a property I use one of my hunting laser range finder to measure most of them. That really makes things a lot easier for me. Most times I can park on the street and figure the sq. ft. before getting out of the truck. This really makes fast work of calculating size and allows you to focus on the detail involved.

Also if the customer is with you, it allows you to make conversation rather than using a rolling wheel counter or trying to remember how many steps you have taken.

I have had the laser for about four years now and have never had any problems with it. It will pick up targets up to 600 yards away, so that is well within the range of the properties I mow.”

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