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How does one go about acquiring their own commercial lots?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by JaimeG, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. JaimeG

    JaimeG Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Well, we've been subbing for a long time now, and we think it's time to move up the ladder and start getting our own contracts. Only one problem, we don't know how to start. What do you do when trying to get new lots?
  2. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Call development co's, talk to people that own businesses, make lots of phone calls and set up meetings, take time and hustle.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Just start writing up proposals on the lots your interested in then mail them out in the summer then start calling and ask if there is any interest in your bid.
  4. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    start calling and asking around. find property managers, hoa boards and other management people
  5. Mackman

    Mackman PlowSite.com Addict
    from S.E. PA
    Messages: 1,356

    Just start going in and lowballing
  6. JaimeG

    JaimeG Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    So I should just mail in proposals? Is there a specific person I should look for when mailing them in?
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    i just put on the outside , snowplowing bid.
  8. JaimeG

    JaimeG Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Seems easy enough. Better get to work then. Thanks.
  9. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    be careful being that your a sub. I dont know if you had to sign anything with your contractor, but I know some companies require you to sign a non compete at least for the lots they have contracted. I would hate for you to win a bid and then all of a sudden your in court because it was a guy you worked fors lot.
  10. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    If you are not talking to the actual decision maker......you are just another bid number.

    Do everything within your power to figure out who that is, and talk to that person.
  11. Michigansnowkin

    Michigansnowkin Member
    Messages: 75

    You should download Google Earth, look up a S**t load of businesses and mail them an estimate by using google earth. You wont even half to leave the office. Not that going from site to site isn't good, i have just found that showing up uninvited can piss people of. Make calls, calls and more calls. Stick and move, good luck, GET GOOGLE EARTH!
  12. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    Thats a terrific idea michigansnowkin, that way when the business has expanded in the last 4 years since the image was taken, theres new tenants that now have half the parking lot taken up with trailers, there are hundreds of potholes or destroyed asphalt, the business is closed........ should i continue? Google earth is a nice tool to use, AFTER you have surveyed the site, formulated a plan, and made contact with the decision maker.......although that method is probably a really good way of lowballing a job.
  13. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    my biggest advice woudl be to keep good records. i would invest in a program like microsoft outlook or something similair with the business contact manager. each and every person that i contact goes into there and then i set up reminders for each person as i go along. lets say i call burger king for lawn care right now, and they say, well sorry we have someone...i then ask when will you be taking snow bids....September....ok so then i add a new task for like August 10th, to call up burger king about snow

    august 10 rolls around, its on my todo list....

    with this method, i never loose track of any bids, follow ups on bids, calls for more work. I cant tell you how many times in the past i quated a price, didnt get the job, and folishly never contacted that person again. not to say i would get any work from them, but you never know just becasue you didnt win today, doesnt mena you loose tomamrow. now every one is in a data base that gets bigger each day. I literally have lawncare bids on almost every property that is on a certian major road by me, runs 8 miles long. and each and every bidding season they will get bids, and i move on to the next major area to bid on
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  14. JaimeG

    JaimeG Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Thanks for all the help guys.
  15. Mvplc2010

    Mvplc2010 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Get your name out there and get known. Look for businesses with neighboring businesses. If you get one and the other businesses see how great it looks they will want your number to see if you could work out a deal for all the lots. This isnt something you can do in one off season. If you start out next winter with three or four contracts you did pretty good. Once you get a couple you will be able to get your name around easier. This all coming from someone who started out plowing with a four wheeler and now run two plow trucks and have 14 commercial contracts not including the residentials
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  16. JaimeG

    JaimeG Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    You do 14 lots with 2 trucks? Are they all close together?