If you want to land large commercial lawn care mowing bids, you can play by the normal rules. Call the home office, find the date to submit your lawn care bid. Go out to the property, review the area and then get your bid in. Cross your fingers all the while hoping you stood out enough to land the lawn care contract or you can get creative and play by your own set of rules. That’s what one landscaper did when he bid and won an H.O.A. mowing contract and shared with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum the steps he took to ensure he got the bid.
He wrote “when it comes to bidding commercial lawn care properties that have the potential to make me a lot of money, I leave nothing to chance. I get to know the right people and then secure my bond with them in ways my competitors wouldn’t even consider.
Here is an example of what I do.
Property managers can be a pain to work with. They have a lot on their plate and talking with lawn care guys is more than likely at the bottom of their list.
However, most property managers that deal with Home Owner Associations must comply with the needs of the property owners and in most cases, these needs are presented to the property manager by the president of the HOA.
To win more of these kinds of lawn care bids, you must get in with the President of the HOA. To accomplish this, you need to introduce yourself, show him or her your abilities. Sell yourself to the HOA President first and win their endorsement. Then you have the extra force behind you when you actually bid on the contract.
HOA’s can be a pain to work with because you have lots of home owners that think differently. However, if you actually spend a little time with your customers, in the case the HOA meetings, one on one discussions, introducing yourself to homeowners while driving through the neighborhood, etc… that time is well spent and you will win the trust of the home owners.
My lawn care business won a lawn care contract yesterday and one of the things we put in the contract was that we would annually sponsor a ‘pig picking.’ For those of you not in the south, that’s a pig roasted on a large grill and the BBQ fest begins when it’s done. We added $1,000.00 to the contract to cover the BBQ and feed all the residents for a day. We actually saved the H.O.A. $5,000.00 per year on the lawn care contract plus we added a little perk for the homeowners. When May rolls around, we have lots of happy well fed customers that will remember the event and think highly enough of us to want us back year after year.
Most H.O.A.’s publish their annual budget. In this budget, they list their previous year’s expenses and what they are budgeting for the upcoming year. Lawn care expenses are detailed out in this budget and 99% of the time it is the highest expense in the budget. If you can get your hands on this budget prior to bidding on the contract, you will really give yourself an advantage when it comes time to formulate your lawn care bid and be within their dollar range. It pays to have friends that live in town homes, condos, single residential communities, etc. If you know of a community in which you would like to place a bid and you don’t have a friend there, it’s time to make some friends there.”
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