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Residential Snow Removal Leads

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Michael J. Donovan, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. Michael J. Donovan

    Michael J. Donovan Head Moderator, Online Communities Staff Member
    Messages: 991

    1. As a Snowplow Operator, would you be willing to pay for residential snow removal leads? Yes or No

    2. If the answer is yes, what is the maximum that you are willing to pay?

    $25 +

    3. In which state are you located?

    Please post your responses within this thread...Thanks in advance to everyone who responds
  2. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    It's a concept I've given thought this year as I propose more work for next year. I want to put on another truck and would increase the residentials by probably 20-25. To do that, I might offer an incentive to customers like 1 free plowing per referral. At an average of about $25 per plowing, my "cost" if you look at it that way would be $25. It's just been a thought, and nothing I've acted on. I'd be curious to see what others might say.

    New Hampshire

  3. mike33087

    mike33087 Senior Member
    Messages: 555


    yes 20-25

  4. BOSS550

    BOSS550 Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    Seems like a good idea. Yes, I'd pay up to $25. Pa. To get a little off this thread. I used to offer my res. customers $5 off my rate for every customer they refer that pans out within 1/2 mile radius. After a while some would get their drive plowed for free but I more than made up for that with new customers plus they were all close together.
  5. Mick

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

    I actually did that a couple years ago. Started a service, something like being a broker. Put out notices for operators to get on my list for referrals and they told me what areas they operated. Then in my advertising for customers, had people call me for referrals to plow guys in their area. First year, I offered it as a free service as a way of guaging potential on both sides of the operation. The next year was to charge for being listed for referrals. Got several listings the first year, but not enough the next year to make it pay for the time involved. But, consider that in this area there is very little advertising for plowing. There was only one other guy besides me who advertised at all this year for the towns within a 30 mile radius. Most referals and business is word of mouth.
  6. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Mick & Boss make great points. I might look at $5-10 discount for referring a new customer in my service area (one city). Also, word of mouth IS important to me, as I really prefer getting people who KNOW others who have used my service.

    Good thread!
  7. Gusco

    Gusco Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    1. How many leads would there be for the amount of money paid?

    2. I get a decent amount of new pushes every year from advertisement and word of mouth. For every one that might drop I usually can replace or add two accounts.

    I guess it would depend on how it was presented. I wouldnt want to have to solicit accounts by calling a list of prospects.
  8. nicksplowing

    nicksplowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,226


  9. Pushin_On

    Pushin_On Junior Member
    Messages: 29


    I am a new member and am responding to your question, I would be willing to pay 20-25 dollars for leads for snow removal. I am located in Colorado near the Fort Collins area. I am also wanting to find out rates for a pickup with a 8 ft plow and a bobcat skidsteer with a 78 inch snowblower are going for.
  10. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368


    If you have a market you need to advertise and they will come. We just had a 12-14 inch snow event. We turned down over 200 calls on the phone. We put a message on the phone if you are not an existing customer we are not taking any new customers.

    When we have snow on ground we get calls. The only bad thing about "call ins" is you don't know what you are plowing. Most of the time the drive has a car stuck in it and they want you to pull it out.

    I would think a good advertising program would be the way to go. I would also remember lots of liability in this type of plowing.

  11. Marine1

    Marine1 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm new to this site, so my two cents for what it's woth is: i wouldn't pay anything. There are very few pro's doing residential. Once i'm in a neighborhood word gets out after the first tough storm. I charge a premium and they get timeliness and reliability for it.
  12. KINNCO

    KINNCO Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    20 Bucks...
    And I Always Give A One Time Discount On Jobs For A GOOD Referral !
  13. Plownazzi

    Plownazzi Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    i think that if you need to pay for plow jobs you must not be doing a good job...this storm we probably could have went and rented another peice of equiptment and still made money....you just need a customer base and they will recommed you....so unless you are just starting out then you probably wouldn't need to pay for leads.....also...residential plowing is a fast quick and easy way to make lots of money in a little amount of time...so if you are knocking residential plowing how is the liability insurance premium you are paying for all of those commercial accounts....we have one or two commercial accounts only because we can make more money on the residential side and takes a lot less time....
  14. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    not knocking residental plowing

    Plowing a lot or drive you have never seen is hard to do with out doing damage to equipment or property. I prefer to plow lots that I am familiar with.

    Example: We went to plow a drive. We ask home owner where the drive was. She said it is right next to house. We plowed right next to house. Husband came out of house and said you just plowed the flowers the drive is over 8 feet.

    Example: I ask home owner where the drive was. He said it was a "U" shaped drive and it goes around back of house. I dropped plow and started pushing 24 inches of snow. The truck started to lean to the left at an alarming angle. I stopped. He yelled that is good enough. I said but you said this was a "U" drive. He said yes it is but it is more like a "J". Had I kept going as he stated I would have been stuck and did property damage.

    I just choose not to get these unpleasant surprises.
  15. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Are others getting the same referral? I wouldn't want to pay for something if 30 other guys got the same call. I wouldn't pay more than $5 even for a guaranteed plow though since around here your lucky to get more than $25 for the one time plow.
  16. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    green mountain hits it on the head.

    There are these types of services for home improvement. You sign up, they call you with leads, and there might be a 30% close rate at best. You aren't the only one getting the lead.

    If you were the only one, then I would think much like people going to home cheapo for window installation, you'd be dealing with a lot of cheap people who don't want to drop a dime to a reputable service in the phone book.

    The other posts about giving discounts for actual referrals that pan out makes more sense.

    I wouldn't pay a dime for a lead service. I would also question the ability of such a service to come up with customers in a reasonable range. For smaller towns, I think this would be a bust....for larger cities, it might have a chance. Word of mouth will always rule.

    For new guys, maybe a co-op type of advertising scheme might be a better idea.
  17. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,035

    I'd pay for good commercial leads. Kind of like Dodge Reports. The lead could give name, property size, contact info and taking Bids from this date to this date.
  18. nickr42

    nickr42 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Service Magic

    I'm a painting contractor and this one company keeps calling me every 2 months or so and it's called service magic. They are a referal company that charges for each lead and wants you to give them a Credit card # so they can charge you every month for however many leads you want.They suggest about $700.00 worth. Personaly I thick it's a scam...You get your lead and 4 other guys get that same lead and you end up spending your week trying to out bid 4 other guys. The only one that wins is the referal company because they just collected 4 payments of $30-$40.00 from each contractor. If they would let you bid the job and if you get it, then charge for the referal it might be worth it.

    I have found over the years that the only good customers come from word of mouth.

    Word of mouth is the BEST and only way I get my customers.:cool:
  19. Ronslawncare07

    Ronslawncare07 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    service magic??

    Has any one ever used service Magic I got them calling me too an i mean they dont take no for a answer like u said it could be a scam an your just gonna get screwed out of money
  20. BOSS550

    BOSS550 Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    Nobody said you have to subscribe to this service and pay into it forever and ever. I think if you use it either to get a start in the business or use it to expand it could be worth it. As many have pointed out and most others already know-- if you plow a drive for the first time in the daylight many times you will get other neighbors to have theirs plowed also. It usually doesn't take too many leads to get something rolling as far as a route goes.