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Already bidding for 09-10! And this Winter isn't over..

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by lawnprolawns, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    Hey everyone, I spoke with a potential client today that owns 6-7 commercial properties and she wants proposals for year-round service. Here are three of the locations: two apartment complexes and one office building. I know it's hard to bid from an arial pic, but what would your rough numbers be for plowing and salting these lots?

    I haven't even been there yet to look at them in person, she sent me these pictures. I plan on meeting with her later in the week..

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  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Those look like some decent lots for plowing. No huge open areas, but not a lot of crap in the way either. Try to find out what she's been paying for all her services, that's a good place to start. I would be signing up for anything I can get for next year. I have three schools under contract for two more years, and some of my other commercials won't be in a hurry to get anyone else. I'm very thankful for these customers.
     
  3. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    How does one go about finding out what they paying? Ask the owner?
     
  4. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    You will never get a straight answer
     
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    You might get a ballpark number. What's good is you can watch this place this year. See what they are using for equipment, schedules, drifting, removal expectations, etc.
     
  6. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    True... Maybe I'll do some spying..
     
  7. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I hate appartments, there is never anywhere to push snow and you have to work around cars at all hours of the day. Except the first one, those look pretty easy and big.

    Are they asking for summer mowing also?

    I got "yelled" at on PS for telling the guy to ask for last years numbers. Others didn't think it was fair. They said, "bid what you would normally bid". My point is get all the information you can. You are going to measure the lots and the grass. You are going to watch the other plow company plow. Why not ask what they are paying? Information is the key to success. They are looking for cheap. (all management compaines are) If you can't beat those numbers, don't waste your time.

    Here is how I go about asking. I tell them that I don't want to waste either of our time on a bid if I'm going to be too high for them to consider. Can you give me a ball park figure for what you are currently paying?

    I like it when we go back to the office and they pull out the invoices for the previous year. That is a good way to tell they are telling the truth. If you can beat those numbers, grab on to it and sell the heck out of your self.

    Good Luck
     
  8. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    10:10 in the morning and everyone that has posted on this thread is on line right now. Don't we have anything better to do than be on PS when it is raining out side? LOL
     
  9. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    No, we dont. Haha.. lawnsite!

    Thanks for the advice quad power. These are going to be year-round accounts. Mowing, plowing, maintenance, possibly fert, which I'll have to sub out. Thankfully they're not run my a management company, one family owns all of this stuff. (Crazy rich people!!!) I'll be dealing directly with the owners, also taking care of year-round service at their homes.
     
  10. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Sounds like if you ask, they will tell you. But remember, crazy rich people didn't become crazy rich people by giving away money.

    Northville is close enough for me to drive to in this economy. Post what you bid and a contact number for them. I won't under bid you. I promise. LOL
     
  11. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Your best bet is to be honest with them. If you're new to bidding something this size, tell them. If you can find out what they are paying, you have a starting point. If they have been paying the same for 5 years, it's time for an increase anyway. Hopefully you have some commercial accounts they can look at, to see your quality of work.
     
  12. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,039

    just give me the guys name and number and I'll find out all the info :)
     
  13. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    Oh will you? lol..
     
  14. snow game

    snow game Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 255

    Maybe its just me, but why would you post a picture with street names of something you are bidding? Isn't that inviting all the guys in your area that are on here to drop by their management office? I like this site alot, and I think one of the things that keeps me interested in it is that you get more honesty from people if they don't know who you are or where exactly the job is. I have given up information on here that I wouldn't give to a local competitor unless he was my friend, and that includes what jobs I'm bidding. I never tell anyone what jobs I'm bidding unless I trust them.
     
  15. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    There's enough work out there for everyone. Don't need to steel leads off of PS. I'm over 100 miles away and was just joking about biding on it. I'm pretty sure Superior was also.
     
  16. lawnprolawns

    lawnprolawns Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    haha.. i accidentally deleted the pics and then saw this..

    I know where Superior's shop is at.. he better not steal my stuff!

    I, too, would hope plowsite doensn't turn into spysite. but it could, I guess we all need to play it a little safe.. I try not to step on other company's ground too much if I dont have to. Sometimes it's hard when you live within 5 miles 3456546547 other LCO's... haha!