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Anyone else REFUSE to do residential??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by trqjnky, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. trqjnky

    trqjnky Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    I HATE resi work. 40 driveways, 40 bosses, wanting it done 40 different ways. theres a select few that let you do your job. but all the others try to chime in on price, how its done, what time, etc etc.

    anyone else feel the same as i do?
  2. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Been plowing almost exclusively resi for years- found commercial was too much work with the added maintenance, low trigger points, etc...
    Most of my resi customers have been great, thos who have not are no longer customers.
    Very few in my time have wanted to work on price- they either sign or they don't, and as I don;t raise my rates often and thro my good customers discounts here and there (like half cost cleanup or no charge cleanup) there is very little concern about my costs- and I have come to find out I am one of the more expensive in my area.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    we have been doing resis for over 20 years....best money maker we do
    once you establish a relationship with the customer you are good to go....most of the same customers now as day 1
  4. I understand where you are coming from on this to a point ,but after all we are in a service business and its an unfortunate reality that our customers are going to have an opinion how we should perform our job. Luckily my local market share allows me to concentrate mostly on larger commercial properties and I do not generally solicit residential work, however I do plow several residentials as well, mostly long time customers who understand how and when I will service them. I refer most other residentials who approach me to a friend who does strictly residential work and he in turn gives me a percentage of the money he makes off these. I must add however that this guy does QUITE WELL for himself on strictly resi work, largely because he understands how to plan his route, has a good equipment for that type of work ( Jeep n Ranger w 6.5 plows n blowers) etc.
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Rewriting your contracts(assuming you have them sign one) & tightening your route(this may take time) might be where you need to start?

    I have learned over the last couple yrs, that resi work can be just as profitable as comm work when done right....I like a mixture of both.

    Do some searching. There are ALOT of helpful threads here that touch on the aspects of building a profitable resi route. Good luck.
  7. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    As has been stated-we are a service business. Some providers are more willing to give a little for individuals needs, just as dealers do. I do business with the dealers that can satisfy my individual needs. In 20 yrs of providing service, I have worked hard at maintaining a 50/50 split residential/commerical. If a commercial wants to get screwy on price, so be it, I pick up another at my price. If a residential gets too demanding, I pass along the name of another provider, and ask that they cancel service when arrangements are made.

    I have to be honest, commerical has always been more demanding!

    To me, you can let price drive the market or you can market your price.
  8. trqjnky

    trqjnky Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    i understand what you all are saying, and everyone is right. i myself just like commercial, i have 1 place to go (with each account), stay there and work, they all understand the triggerpoint, all they care is the lots are clean and sanded. they get the bill, corporate pays it. corporate never misses a week of work due to illness, or had to replace the transmission in their car so they cant pay me. I have 1 person to answer to (property manager) and 1 person to please. its just simple to me.

    However, if you can get a bunch of drives in a tight space, and clearly explain to all customers so they dont ***** and argue, you can make good cash. but that never seems to be the case with me anymore.

    VIGA CONTRACTOR Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    To Who It May Concern:
    We are a snow removal sub-contractor (Residential or Commercial). We have well-trained crews. We are hard workers with more than 10 years of experience, used to work up to 15 hours a shift or more if is necessary.
    Our hours are flexible depending on weather or contractors considerations.
    We work by hour and we are able to send out to the job side 20 to 40 workers every single day.
    We are incorporated with the proper insurance; we are responsible, organization that is loyal and honest. We are easy going and will always listen to your supervisor’s recommendations.
    We are looking for a company that always pay on time, and can keep one or two crews working on any storm.
    We also do snow removal on commercial roofs).
    Our areas of service are New Jersey and East Pennsylvania.

    Ivan Gamboa
    VIGA Contractor inc.
  10. trqjnky

    trqjnky Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    THATS AWSOME!! what side of the job do you usually work on?
  11. Bartlett_2

    Bartlett_2 Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    A little random for placement, don't you think? You're going to do well in the business!
  12. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    originally i didnt want to do residential work. Just didnt want to deal with all that stuff that the op was talking about. In my first year I had a lot of requests for the work and sadly turned it down. I then thought about it a little more over that winter and summer and decided to add it the next winter.

    Its a great little money maker if you do it right. First we dont send a huge truck, right now were just using a 1/2 ton regular cab truck. Makes it really easy to manuever in drives. Two guys in a truck. One gets out and does the walks and areas that need to be cleared with a blower and the other plows. Usually the guy is done plowing first so he salts then. 10-15 bags of ice melt in the bed of the truck and a push spreader and your ready to go. truck has two snow blowers and 2 shovels so on sites where it doesnt make sense to plow, or we cant, both guys are running the blower.

    By using a seperate crew, were not taking away from our commercial work, but should the need arise basically another plow truck or shoveling crew is available.

    STIHL GUY Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 663

    it sucks having a different boss for each driveway but most of them let me do my work without bothering me
  14. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I refuse to do commercial

    More expensive equipment more ware and tear more insurance, and less $/hour
  15. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    I'm strictly commercial. I have a close friend that is strictly residential. Overall, he grosses more per hour than I do but I prefer having fewer bosses and being able to be on one site for a few hours rather than moving around all night.

    Six of one, half dozen of the other I guess.
  16. simoncx

    simoncx Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    We do mainly residential and 99% of all our snow clients are year round with landscaping. It does take time to get the right clients, the worst are the ones that only want snow done that park excalty where you tell them not to and then think your going to stand 20 mins and wait while they clean off there car and try to drive out.
  17. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I have a client that was like that. I said I will be happy to wait for him to clean his car off and move it. I charge $225/hour so take your time.

    He now keeps his car out of the way :)
  18. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    I don't do residential. Actually as of this year I'm not doing any residential service for my irrigation business anymore either. It's just not worth the headache. All residential accounts do for me is pay for the work getting done. A service call pays basically for a guy and parts for the hour, maybe fuel. Then if you count the return visits or the freebies here and there it literally breaks me even most of the time. Too many people can not be pleased.

    As for snow, around here it's not worth it. The most I'd ever get for a driveway is $20 on the high side. I make real $$ on my commercial accounts and would be wasting my time doing anything residential.
  19. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694


    We only do commercial work. However, I don't think it's wrong or right. It's how you are set up equipment and labor wise. Your niche will work.
  20. DeAdZoNe

    DeAdZoNe Member
    Messages: 31

    few ways to look at it, 40 bosses..yes....but with 2 commercials (ie gas stations, banks, resturants) you could have 2000 bosses a day....slip and falls, accidents in the lot, etc. You dont see alot of cases going to court over a driveway not being plowed, but ALOT go for commercial. Can make good money both ways, its all about what kind of BS you want to deal with lol.