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Apartment Complex

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by StormRanger, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. StormRanger

    StormRanger Member
    from NorEast
    Messages: 72

    Ive been plowing for 4 years now, never got into apartment complexes though. Ive been asked to bid 7 unit complex, around 1/4mi of lanes, plus spaces.
    Plow + salt.

    He wants a seasonal price for both, which im not a fan of, but whatever gets me work. He wants to get people to alternate parking spaces after storms, but we know thats not going to happen. Im competing against 2 other bidders, but I have the upper hand, they came looking for me.

    But I need to figure out how to bid this as a seasonal bid, I live close by, so going there a couple few times a storm isn't a big deal. I figured cut the lanes open first thing, and then come back later on to clean up more, then maybe several hours later to try and clean where the cars were. Do you typically figure out a price for clearing the entire lot with 'no cars' and multiply that times the number of average snow falls?

    Now the salting, that will be on an 'as needed' basis, but how does that work if the cars are filling the spots and I can't get salt there, then someone falls while getting into their car? Hows that work?

    Is bidding something like this seasonal a bad idea? I was going to suggest hourly, but he mentioned seasonal.

    Anything else I should know about apartment complexes?

  2. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    heres how

    there are two ways you can do this, (assuming you are doing both the walks and roadways) either you can make it the responsibility of the owner/manager to arrange for the cars to be out of the stalls at a certain time during the day when it snows (picking a time when most people are away at work or something. i have actually had dozens of cars drive around a block for 10 min while i did there parking spaces once,lol) or you can have someone go between the cars by hand and push the snow from around the car on to the roadway, we do both, and both work just fine, just make sure you make it the responsibility of the manager and tenants to be moved for you, going back a second time is a bad idea because you well get the expectation that if one car doesn't move when you are there, that you well come back for one or two spaces. protect yourself legally and make sure they understand if they can't have all there cars moved at a certain time (say 11am) on days it snows, that you are only going to do the roadways. bidding for the season if ok, if you can do it a little faster great, i do my bids like this, i work out the average amount of snowfalls that incure services, i well get per month, then work out the amount per time, and multiply by the average of snowfalls i have worked out, example
    i expect a average of 7 snowfalls a month, at a cost of $100 per snowfall in plowing and salt, and 5 months of service, 7x100x5= $3500 (then adjust price according to how bad you may want the job)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  3. StormRanger

    StormRanger Member
    from NorEast
    Messages: 72

    thats the other issue, the maintenance guy is doing the sidewalks with a gator, and he wants to push it onto the drives, theres no way he's going to get to it before I plow, so I'll have that to clean up too
  4. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    for the sake of convinence i would say you may have to make a concession here, if you have to wait til earlly afternoon or something for him to get his stuff done, as long as there is a set time in place, then go home take a nap, come back out at the designated time, just make sure there is a clear stipulation in the contract that you arent responsible if you show up and they haven't got things ready for you (walks aren't gatored yet, or all the cars are still in the lot)
  5. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,541

    Apartments can be a pain sometimes. I have one that's about 5 acres of pavement, 400 units, higher end place. People use absolutely no common sense in parking, so dealing with cars in the way and plowing around them is the nature of the beast. We plan on 2 opens, 1 complete plowing (everything curb to curb), and 1 touch-up visit the next day to clean up where the cars were before. If we get a big event, the touch up visit gets delayed another day until the management has the lot completely clear of vehicles. We do all the sidewalks too, so it's alot easier to coordinate my own guys versus trying to work with the maintenance guy, but even if you plow everything, then just come back to clean-up where he pushed the snow out with the gator, how much time will you add? Price accordingly.

    These places with seasonal contracts can be your best friend on a light year. They can be your worst enemy if the management and resident's expectations are too high. We have a great relationship with the management of the bigger one that we service, which makes things a whole lot easier. This has been one of our favorite accounts.
  6. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    Stay away! Your going to be running back there so many times per storm it will make your head spin :dizzy: Clean-up for this, clean-up for that, I doubt you can bid it seasonally and make on it.
  7. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Apt complexes suck. Some cars won't move and then if they do the crap left on the ground is frozen solid.
    Unless it is DAMN good money I would walk away.