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National Property Manager

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by hydroturf, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. hydroturf

    hydroturf Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I'm looking into partnering with one of the national property managers to grow my maintenance business - mostly snow and ice. Is there a company out there that anyone can recommend to work with? Any advice - I've heard some horror stories.

    Feel free to email me at my personal address if you don't want to post online. I appreciate the help

  2. plowinginma

    plowinginma Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 326

    If you enjoy large objects placed where the sun doesn't shine ... Go For It !!!!
  3. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    There are medium sized National companies that are decent. I work for one. Actually Im subbed by a sub of theirs....but the two main ones everyone talks about I wouldnt go near with a ten foot pole.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    A sub contractor working for a sub contractor??

    Does the contractor give you an IRS 1099 form to fill out,
    and require you to carry the proper INS?
    you may be an employee and not a contractor.

    OR do they pay you directly (in your personal name) cheek or cash?
  5. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    No Comment:rolleyes:
  6. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Have you considered having your own property management company?
  7. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    That would be conflict of interest no?

    If I was to own a managenment firm contracted by say Wal-Mart and bid $XXXX.00 on year round maintance and do all the work myself.........I'd have a budget set by Wal-Mart and already know what they are willing to pay for these services.

    I'd bet you'd leave yourself open to lawsuits from other local contractors that you had inside info on what these jobs cost and they were never allowed to bid.
  8. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Murry - you don't think that happens now?? And ain't nobody gettin sued.

    Snofarmer - subs work for subs all the time. Some contracts say nothing about subing work out, others do.

    And the 1099 thing, no one has ever sent me one. Am I in trouble?? Nope, 1099's do NOT go to corporations.

    And as for paying cash. Why?? A business needs to write off costs, including wages. If I paid anyone in cash, it'd cost me tax money. I may be a nice guy and all, but I sure ain't paying someone elses taxes..............
  9. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    THAT DIDN'T STOP DICK CHENEY!!!!!payup :salute: What I would do is set up a business in a friends name. Be a silent partner! What do you think about that?
  10. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    There is no law about being allowed to bid on a project. For instance, all the landscape we do are large government jobs. Seeing as the General contractor for a school job will sub the site work out to another company, Grading, drainage parkings lots roads ect. and that company will sub the landscape out to the landscape company. Just because I know the owner of that sitework company and the general company, and know the exact numbers of where they need to be and the only let me give them a price for the work. That is not illegal. There is nothing saying they have to let others bid on the work. I know where they need to be with numbers, and i know where i need to be with numbers, if i can meet.. i do the job.

    This would be the same case for property management, in landscape, if you do maintenance, you try to make friends with property managers. We did maintenance for 5 years and that was enough for me, all of our work came from property managers who we started off bidding to but by the 3rd year or so.. they were saying this is what i need ur price to be, can you do it.

    It happens all the time where you have an "in" or you are the in and there is nothing wrong with that. BUT.. if you have an "in" at say a large sitework company, and they have recieved other bids from companies, and they happen to accidently dropped that bid say on your desk to see.. Then i can see some problems.. thats just bad business but even then.. i dont think that would be terms to sue.. maybe im wrong just my opinion on the situation.
  11. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    "Just because I know the owner of that sitework company and the general company, and know the exact numbers of where they need to be and the only let me give them a price for the work. That is not illegal. There is nothing saying they have to let others bid on the work."

    In Canada government buildings that recieve bids on snow removal must require 3 seperate bids from pre selected contractors with 3 million in insurance.

    In the above quote its still to me borderline on getting a lawsuit,your getting inside info from the man in control of the money and hired only one sub (yourself,who he knows) if that was in my area I or any other contractor would be plenty pissed off and the government or property owner would hear about it.

    I know for shure that it happens now framer1901,and I for one would wish the crap would stop as do many others.
  12. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    Well here there is no required amount of bids that a company may take, and i do not know of any company carrying less then 3 mil. coverage, so therefor we have no "preselected contractors"

    And let me get this right. If say you got hooked up with a builder. You knew him very well, he knows you over years of working together. And its to the point now where that builder just wants to use you only, because you do the work right, you are quick, and when theres something wrong you take care of it. Or in bind situations, you find a way to help him out and get it done, even if it means you loosing a little bit of money.

    Now just because you spent years working with someone and establishing a relationship, he wants no other bids but yours, even though he knows there are cheaper bids out there. There is something wrong with that?? Or I am subject to lawsuits? I dont see a problem with it.

    Its not like they are saying we need your bid to be at the absolute low ball of range.. For instance.

    I do not get .. "We want you to landscape this project and i need you lower then $237,000.00" That would be wrong.. But if the contractor knows what you charge for a sqaure yard of seeding .48 cents and he has 38,000 sqaure yards, he knows your price. If he knows you are charging $160.00 for a Cleveland Select Pear and he needs 105 of them, he knows what your going to charge. We get a call, I get plans, quanities, and location. If im withing 2 or 3 % of his number that he already had figured.. there are no questions asked.. If for some reason.. im 6 or 7% higher then what he figured.. he tells me.. and i say.. Call So and so see what price they give you..

    Its pretty simple.. Its not like we are undercutting.. or going in with inside "tips"

    If there is a problem with that.. well I never saw it.. no one else in my area seems to see it. We compete with 3 companies in our area for these contracts, We all know eachother, we all are within 1 % of price on any given job.. and we all provide the best quality work. Its all who you have established the relationship with on who gets the work.

    And it seems to work out, because all 3 of us have companies that work exclusively with one of the companies.. If we cant handle the work, we send it their way, vise versa..

    I could never see myself wanting to put a lawsuit on someone because they know the project manager, and were the only ones asked to bid on the job. Good for them. In my book that is no where near wanting to put a lawsuit on them because they know someone. Maybe its because there is plenty of work around, we dont have to get lawsuit happy about it.

    Sorry to carry on, I just find it amazing that in some peoples minds, thats grounds for lawsuit, and calling it "crap" or bad business. Just my Opionion
  13. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    There is nothing wrong with what you are doing NASConst_land .

    If it were Gov jobs you were bidding on I would still say you are safe doing what you describe.

    If they were letting you see other bids or something I would say maybe but in the private ownership industry all is fair in bidding.

    It never hurts to know a person and have that person know your work. That is what filters out the best from the rest really.
  14. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Ok,so if its government work and you and others bid and you happened to know someone that was in control of the bidding and you knew what his budget was,that its all fine?

    This is true to my situation,my dad is a project manager for a firm contracted by the Canadian government to look after federal buildings and another close friend is working for a company looking after a few malls in town,I will not bid anything even attached to their work,To myself its wrong and I'm making them look bad by having me work on their jobs.

    To each their own I guess.
  15. Tscape

    Tscape Senior Member
    Messages: 831

    Uh...you may very well be in trouble. Corps do get 1099s.
  16. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    The thing is.. is they dont say.. We have a budget of $xxxx amount of dollars.. Over the time of doing projects with the same company.. you know what they are bidding for their end right.. or atleast close.

    So after you do 5. 6. 7 jobs for the same person you are going to know exactly what they expect to get charged for seeding, trees, shrubs. Or in this case snow removal, but we do no government snow removal. But same difference. So you are going to bid that same number that you have gotton the work at before right. Its common sense. You lost a couple because you were too high, and lost money a couple times cause you were too low.. now you have figured out exactly what that general contractor is charging the "owner" for the work. They make money on you and you make money. Why would they bid out to someone they have never used before and have no relation with. Yes you have to start somewhere. We probably bid 100 big projects before we got one, when we first started.

    Now we are 1 out of 6 or so. Because we have relationships with the contractors and know what the magic number has to be. To me this is fair, and if its their choice not to bid a project out because they know they will get the quality of work they want with one company. then so be it.

    But as you say. To each their own, and im not being cocky, i understand where you are coming from, but at the same time, understand where im coming from. I guess its just hard seeing as we are not in the same region. If i were getting into pissin matches with the other landscapers here about it, then no one would do it, but here thats how business goes. all the companys back eachother here, and there is not much "under cutting" with the landscapes on a large scale.

    When you talk about maintenance its a whole different story because everyone has a plow, and anyone can get 500k or 1 mil insurance coverage.

    Let me ask a question, if a property manager of a large retail center calls before winter. And says look you did 4 of my places last year i need you to look at one more for me this year. You say ok great. And then they say, I was paying $XXXX amount last year, look at the property and tell me if you can do it for that.

    Would you consider that wrong. Because I will be completly honest with you, Every property manager i know does that. Sometimes I wonder.
  17. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Hmmm I'd feel more comfortable if they could ask for another 2 bids from someone local just to be fair,I'd feel like I was stealing work from someone who was interested and wouldn't get the chance to bid on that job.You can see my upbringing gets in the way of my business sense.

    Yes...its competition,but if say you and me were interested in say a Home Depot and only I was asked to bid I'd feel bad that you lost out on a fair chance to bid.
  18. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    Ok I understand that, I guess one of my big things was no one ever gave a damn when we were starting out. I know that it doesnt make it right for us not to care if they get multiple bids. But at the same time why should they have it any easier then us. Call it selfish.

    I can definently see if it were another guy that was just getting by and trying to put food on the table for his family, and he really wanted that job, and needed it.

    I guess that if i didnt get asked to bid on something and i wanted too.. I call them and asked them if i can bid, whats the worse they can say.. no.. Thats how we started and i still call people and go threw the chain of command to find out if they will take my bid. Most of the time the answere is no, and with snow plowing cases, i still make them a package with company info and drop it off and say. I understand you are not looking for a contractor right now, but if something were to happpen or you needed something keep this in your records and dont hesitate to call. 9 times out 10 you will get a call down the road for something.

    Its good to see that people actually do care about other companies and if they are making it or not. Maybe I need to change my way of thinking a bit.. Its hard to when youve worked so hard to get somewhere, makes you feel like everyone else should do the same. And there are plenty that dont.
  19. Mick

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

    To the original question about national companies - I haven't yet seen one that I would recommend. There have been a few that came here recruiting. Mostly from the West Coast and Northwest. Besides the ones many of us are familiar with. A few guys have had good luck with national companies and that's great for them. But it seems the "luck" is directly tied to willingness to accept what they are offered and being able to play the "game". For someone just getting into subbing for management companies, I'd really recommend starting with a local company and work up. Your local is going to be more willing to overlook things and improper paperwork, etc, while they help you learn the ropes. While you're working for them, ask them to point out things you did that could be held against you. This will help you when you decide to go to work for the "big boys". I've known some guys who are pretty savvy and owned larger companies who lost a bundle (I'm talking in the tens of thousands of dollars) while they kept getting lead on. A simple honest mistake can cost thousands. Many smaller guys were forced out of business because they have to front costs, then rely on getting paid to meet expenses. When you don't get paid because the paperwork wasn't in order, you didn't call in at the right time, you forget to list a service provided, or were late or the company simply doesn't have the money to pay you - you have a problem.
  20. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Turfscape - ahhhhh no - Anyone that works for me, LLC or Inc does not get a 1099 - only sole properiters. I work for many other builders and do not get 1099'd. All my plowing accounts, not one 1099's me. Under $600 no 1099 either.

    Just where on your business tax form 1120S does it say to attach 1099's???

    Don't read anything into this though. Checks I receive are made out to my corporate name and deposited into a business acount - you cannot get cash back from a business deposit at my bank. Checks I write are made out to the business name. I don't pay cash, I'll take cash for payment but it's treated just like a check.

    An accounting firm takes care of it all, a firm, not some guy that thinks he's a bookkeeper.