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Managment Companies

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BRIMOW525, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    I don't know if any of you do business with any,but I got a call from a property management company and they wanted a "bid" for snow removal for a chain store they manage. Faxed me 17 pages of stuff. Alot of it I couldn't read but a couple of things that caught my eye where, They aren't legally obligated to enforce customers to pay. Therefore they are not obligated to pay me(you) untill they recieve monies from the customer. I assume all of the risk of non-payment from the customer and I would not be allowed to try and collect from them. If the customer or company if dissatisfied with any of my work I must repeat the service with in 24 hrs at no charge untill the customer is satisfied. Of course a no compitition clause that lasts for 24 months. THEN the real kicker.... heres what we are paying:
    During business hours
    After hours
    6-10: $196
    11-15: $226
    16-20: $244
    That is plowing, sidewalks, salt lot and salt walks. I don't know if its each time, per storm, total acculations or what. Doesn't say

    Just salt walks and lot: $50
    Hauling (loaders and Trucks) $60
    I'm not taking it. I wouldn't even get out of bed for these prices let alone ask for a bid and tell me what your paying. The terms suck and there's no way to really ensure I get paid. I know everyone has to make money but these prices are.... almost below scrub level. By the way, it a Rite Aid Drug store
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2002
  2. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 694

    Regarding the issue of the management company not being liable for any amounts due to you, that's simply because the management company is just acting as agent for the property owner. That part is normal. Otherwise the management company would be using their money and then would be in the position of trying to get their money back from the property owner. If the property owner is "good", then there shouldn't be a problem. However, someone like Rite Aid, who seems to have numerous financial problems, may possibly have problems paying vendors.

    I've never heard contract terms like the rest of the stuff that you mention. I work for a property management company and we don't use contracts like that. We use the contractors own contracts, which are, for the most part, a one page deal.

    That clause you mention regarding you having to re-do the work if the customer isn't satisfied is something that they could use to really screw you. What if you have a late season nor-easter that drops 8" of heavy wet snow, and then the temperature goes up in the 40's the next day. They would say that they weren't satisfied with the job, and since the snow (for the most part) melted the next day, you couldn't correct it to their "satisfaction", so they wouldn't owe you a dime.

    Good move staying away from something like that.

    One thing I've learned in business is to not short change yourself. Charge what you think you're worth, do a good job, and, all things being equal, you should make a reasonable living.
  3. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    BRIMOW, that would be US Maintenance. Read this thread for more info.


    We just discussed it here a few weeks ago.

    On the SIMA Members forum is a lot more tidbits on them.

    They seem to be getting desperate now. Our office has received at least 4 calls about the sites, all from different property managers. I just got a call last week from a "new" manager that was handed the project. I guess they are not having good luck with THEIR pricing structure.

    Not one reply here or at SIMA from anyone saying they are going to bid the sites.

  4. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    I know who the company is. I was trying to keep it vauge so that if any bashing started, I didn't name the company. I called the guy yesterday about the prices. He explained to me that in a 6" storm, I would have to plow, salt lot, walks and salt walks 3 times and I would make a wopping $400. I told him I wouldn't get out of bed for that little. He asked me what I would charge and I said 250-300 just to plow the lot. He said that I would stand to make about 900 for 6" storm and I said yea...... I'm here to make money?! He told me that they manage companies up and down the east coast and every contractor but me thinks the prices are real good and falling all over them. I told him nope.. can't do it. He then asked if I would at least sign the contract and send it back so if there is an emergency that I would already be on they're list and I would be called first. I again said no because in the contract that I would sign there is no way to ensure that I get paid when the job is done. Oh the last thing was the hauling price...$80 per hour to haul away snow. no matter if u have 1 truck and a loader or 10 trucks and loaders....flat $80 per hour. BS. He told me I was really high on my price.. but oh well. All this equipment and materials cost money. Why do 50 jobs to x amount of dollare when u can do 15 jobs and still make x amount of dollars. I didn't realize Rite AId was in some trouble. the lot is bigger than a Mc D's lot but much smaller than a walmart. Oh yea I asked then guy if he's seen the lot, he says... no we don't look at them. ????HOW IN THE WORLD CAN U PRICE SOMETHING IF U DON"T GO AND LOOK AT IT? OK done venting.
  5. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    Hey chuck... I tried a search and came up with nothing. After I read your post I searched again..and again. I even typed the whole name of the thread and still no matches. The first search I did came up with everything but any words that started with U. I don't know who made up the search feature ... but it doesn' t work.
  6. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    I can't say for certain.... but from what I've read online - guys are not "falling all over themselves" to work for US Maintenance.....
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    That's what I was wondering. If contractors are "falling all over themselves" for these contracts, why are they hassling Chuck and BRIMOW525 when they are obviously not interested?

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    I'm glad we have no rite aids in this area .:drinkup:
  9. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    Its just too fishy to me. Plus I don't like to have a middle man in the operation. He does nothing but gets more than me and I'm doing the work. Plenty of other fish in the sea.
  10. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317


    Here's the thread, as I posted before. The original poster named it "US Maintenance? ne1 done work with ..."

    It is not uncommon for management companies to never see lots they manage. It IS uncommon for them to tell you how much they will pay you.

    Of course the guy is going to tell you that contractors are "falling all over themselves to get the work". He is hurting for contractors, and at this point, I imagine they would say whatever it takes to sign em' up.

    Even after you said you were not interested, he still tried to get you on board.

    BRI, I can understand you not wanting to name the company, but due to the other thread, the cat was out of the bag already, so I named them.

    IMO there is nothing wrong with stating facts and opinions about a company.

    I will be the first to give my opinion on a copmpany I would NOT work for (such as US Maintenance), the same as I would give it in regards to a company I would work for, such as SMG.

  11. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384


    I have to agree. If you are being truthful, there is nothing wrong with giving others a chance to make an INFORMED decision.

    I have worked with a couple of different national companies. Both relationships were financially beneficial. On the other hand, you have to be able to say "yes" and shake your head "no" at the same time when dealing with some of them.

    Although I have heard others complain they were never paid by one or both of the same companies, I was paid for all the work peformed. I consider myself lucky and would deal with either again. The key that I found is that you just don't follow their specs when they go against commonsense. You have to figure out how to please them, making money in the process using their pay structures.
  12. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    Chuck ... I saw the thread about "ne1 doing ..." but after I looked at it, it went to search and typed in the name and nothing came up. Anyway the guy wanted me to sign the contract anyway so I would"be in their system " in case of emergencies. DUUU........... If I sign the contract that means I agree to their prices and have to do the work. And I think $80 per hour to load and haul snow is no enough.
  13. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    $80 per hour is not enough.... Unless you are using a bobcat to stack and relocate on the property. Also, there will be nobody with a stopwatch timing your service. I'm not advocating cheating them, but on the other hand, we all know that $80 an hour is not profitable using heavy equipment.

    How about adding an hour for machine prep and travel, and charging only for full hours. The work is worth $X per hour, regardless of what they are trying to say. So, you have to be creative in getting the numbers up there.

    Let's say it takes 2 hours and 10 minutes of actual stacking snow. You charge for three hours (no partial hours), plus your hour for prep and travel. Now, you have been paid $320 for a little more than 2 hours work and NOBODY is going to raise an eyebrow. This is just an example, but you can manipulate the numbers to fair market value with a little imagination.

    Some markets may only pay that much per hour for heavy equipment, but most of their contractors will be padding hours like crazy if they have to stack and relocate snow for $80 an hour. If you choose not to take the job and be a "little creative," someone else will.

    Now, if they were willing to pay a fair market rate, we would not be having a conversation with this tone. I guarantee, in the end, they DO pay most of their contractors a fair market rate, it is just that the hours must be manipulated a little.

    Also, although their specs may call for hauling and removing snow from the premises, 99.9% of the places you will plow have room for stacking and/or relocating snow.

    In closing, I will state that hours on the job are difficult enough for us to track accurately as the contractor. How well is a national company who is managing another national company's snow removal going to be able to track hundreds or thousands of contractor's actual hours??? Why do you think SMG does not hire hourly subcontractors for their national accounts???

    If you feel what I have advocated above is unethical or dishonest, you can always tell them, "yes, we do work for $80 per hour and we have a four hour minimum." Many ways to skin a cat. If you treat them like any of your other accounts, you will not figure out how to make the job profitable.
  14. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Just a point of clarification....
    I don't want anyone misslead....
    In some instances SMG does hire owner operators 'by the hour'... but usually only on those sites where we have a Field Manager or a Field Production Supervisor at the site during a storm......
  15. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Heavy equipment pricing

    If you are going to send heavy equipment to a job site for snow removal on an hourly basis, if the equipment is not at the job site already, you have to bill "portal to portal" or you will lose money. some of the guys I know also bill as they do as general contractors, ie, so much an hour for the equipment, then so much as a percentage for overhead and so much additional as a percentage for profit.
  16. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    hourly pay

    I see what u guys are saying about the hourly pay. But really, during a snow storm, who has time to fiqure out how many hours are spent stacking,trucking, or moving snow. On top of that fiquring ways to pad your pocket while plowing. For me thats just too much to do while working. And to me thats a little dishonest to manipulate "the system" so you make more money. You want what u want for a job and thats it. I'm not saying you guys are wrong to do it, but I can't. I wouldn't want someone doing work for me to do that to me. Around here me never get enough snow all season to haul away so I couldn't use that to my advantage. I've been able to get as much as $125.00 per hour per machine. Including plow trucks. Just tto much BS in the contract to take it. He didn't even want to see or think about signing one of mine.
  17. litle green guy

    litle green guy Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    We just got a call from the same company, US Maintenance, to bid on a Rite Aid last week. They had the same specs and the same prices as posted above. It was the exact same situation, they even also sianh that guys where jumping all over these things... we wern't:rolleyes:
  18. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I'd say if they're still looking for contractors for about 50 stores in 14 states and two countries, that guys are hardly "jumping all over" them.

    Question for JA or anyone else who uses subcontractors on a regular basis: Is the provision mentioned normal? - - "Therefore they are not obligated to pay me(you) untill they recieve monies from the customer. I assume all of the risk of non-payment from the customer and I would not be allowed to try and collect from them." It seems to me that I would be contracting with the Management Company and therefore would expect to be paid by the Management Company. Whether, when and how much they get from the contracted site is not my business.

    Am I wrong in my thinking?
  19. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Has anyone tried letting them know that their pricing is WAY OUT OF LINE? They sent me some numbers that I know nobody in my market will work for, and that is a BOLD statement!

    For what I would charge only to plow their customer's lot, they were willing to pay me to plow the lot, "shovel" about 6,000 sf of walks and deice the walks and lot. What the heck, they were willing to pay almost $200 for all those services. hehehe

    Maybe I could really pump up my income with shovelers at the $15 per man hour they are willing to pay for "extra" shoveling. I'd be ashamed to be the dimwit that put that figure down on paper.

    I will be anxious to have them call me back when I don't respond. I will tell them to multiply by 3 and fax it on over. :D

    Mick, your thinking is right. However, that is not how it always works. I think you would likely get paid, but if a corporation was really slow to pay or went bankrupt, you would be assuming that risk. USUALLY, though, this is not an unreasonable risk.
  20. elitelandscape

    elitelandscape Member
    Messages: 79

    us maintenace in canada

    Hey guys i'm up here in canada and i have been approached by the same management company up top. the lot would probly take me an 45 mins to plow and here's the price layout. I actually though it was pretty good.
    Snowplowing, shoveling and salting walkways and lot
    less than 2 inches $200.00 (if needed done)
    2 to 5 inches $225.00
    6 to 8 inches $250.00
    9 to 14 inches $300.00
    ice storms $150.00

    Hauling and hand shoveling to be negotiated

    then is says down a bit lower :

    Initial snowplowing is to be done when snow accumulation reaches 2 inches or greater and every 2 inches therafter.

    Now i called them and said why would you give me prices for snow up to 14 inches if you want it plowed every 2 inches they said that if i went to bed say at 10:00 and woke up at 2:00 and there happen to be 6 inches on the ground then i get 250.00 BUT the i said so you are going to pay me for every two inches i plow and they said yes if we get 6 inches you plow 3 times = $675.00
    that's not to bad for approx 3 hrs work.

    Keep in mind for equipement i have a kubota for the sidewalks and a 1/2 ton truck for the plowing. I also have a few other small places i have to plow as well. I figured i could stay on this site all year and make some good money. For a big company with it wouldn't be worth it i don't think.

    i'm not sure i'm new to the plowing industry and if you guys have and comments would love to hear them.

    Also knows in this contract does it say they are not responsible for money being paid out.

    Keep in mind I HAVE NOT signed anything for these people yet

    thanks guys