1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

I've had it with residentials!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by dlcs, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    We got 12" of snow in about a 6 hour period. Really got going at about 2:30am and came wind strong winds. I was workion my ass off until about the afternoon getting all my commercials plowed out(most didn't open till afternoon). Every freakin homeowner called wanting to know when I will be there. I always tell them that i mostly do commercial but if they don't mind being plowed out late then I will take care of their drive. The when it snows the phone calls start. Why aren't you here yet, its 8:00am? I'm sick of it, I have to explaing this to them every snow. Sorry for the rant, just fed up. I think by the next storm, I will have dropped all residentials.
  2. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Just drop a note to them in the mail explaing one last time they get done when your commercials get done. It has to be drilled into their heads every year.
  3. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Maybe you have too much work since you cant get it done in a reasonable amount of time.

    Just because the residentials dont pay commercial dollars doesnt mean that having the snow cleared in a timely manner is less important to them.

    I understand your frustration, but telling them that the commercials come first is a serious slap in their faces, rude and something about your affairs that they do not need too or want to know.

    Why not take care of the complainers a bit earlier by breaking away from the commercials for an hour before all commercials are finished.

    And I gaurantee that if you go al commercial, at some point you will take on too many, and they will be calling you as well, or will be disapointed in the services you provide because you are too busy.

    This business like no other is TIME dependent.

    This all gets back to lowballing. Im not calling you one, but as the prices go down, we all need more work to make it, and more work means less timely service.

    And ultimately...unhappy consumers be they commercial or residential.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  4. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Ya know. the more i think about it I am leaning towards the idea that Resis are exactly where its at.

    If you are efficient, price average and and have enough jobs to fill your plate and be able to get them all done correctly and in a reasonable amount of time I believe you can make twice as much or mor than twice as much doing resis as you can the 'All Powerful Impressive Highly Sought After" commercial accounts, that everyone seems googly eyed about.

    Granted theres no salting dollars and the phone will ring ten times as much, but that last commercial on your route you do thats as disapointed as the last or underserviced resi, the "upset Dollar Amount" might be the same, or close. The phone rings less because the customer to dollars earned or work scheduled ratio is lower with 1 cutomer pissed rather than ten.

    Meaning the last ten resis that generate 300 dollars to 350, arent as happy as the first ten that get done, and the last 200 dollar commercial isnt as happy as the first commercial on your schedule.

    Again....this all gets back too too much workload to make the reasonable amount of dollars we all think we deserve, and it will never get any better. Trust me.

    Also....commercial accounts generally mean helpers are needed, an additional truck, bobcat rental or own.

    I really think a good route of |Resis will generate more dollars that a commercial route.

  5. 2moresleeps

    2moresleeps Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 131

    Since you asked for thoughts....

    If you are making more on resis than commercial, you seriously need to rethink your biz plan. If you aren't salting them (commercial accounts) you shouldn't be plowing them either.
  6. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I dont have commercial accounts at the moment. I sub three large commercials, and do 7- 50 dollar resis that I dont salt.

    My point is....that for the right resi route and right prices in theory at the very least, you could make twice as much per hour doing resis, over commercial accounts since commercials for standard blade, man and truck are supposed to go for 125 per hour approximately. If you did 5 - 50 dollar resis in an hour, thats 250.

    Maybe Im missing something and you could point it out.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  7. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    I do all resi and love it. Most are year round accounts. You can easily fall behind no matter how many accounts you have. It all depends on when the snow comes and how much comes. It gets hard on me the week before Christmas through the week after New Years, with the hardest time being the week between the two when all my props are occupied. Snow is a way of life here and if they have to drive through a little snow when they leave, they are fine with that, knowing it will be done by the time they get home and vice versy, they understand that if they are clear when they leave, they may have snow in the drive in the afternoon when they retrun, because they know I will be there again before they leave. Never have driving bans, school never has a snow day, business as usual for everyone. I do not want to be locked into having to have a comm. property done by 7:00 or 8:00 or whatever. My concern is to have my residential props happy. They are the ones that keep me in business year round, they are the ones that allowed me to get started, they are my bread and butter.

    I hate to say this, but I agree with LLM in a lot of what he has posted here.

    Did I really just say that? :D
  8. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Yes, and Im quoting just in case you change your mind. ;)

    It just seems like everyone wants the big commercial accounts, and Im not that bad at math, and Id like someone to explain to me how they can possibly be more revenue producing for a blade and a man.

    I understand there is no salt revenues with resis.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  9. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Quoting me doesn't make a difference at all. I can change my mind anyway and the post. Just look at where I just quoted you.

    Just remember, this was all done in fun and was not meant to start any trouble.
  10. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    What I meant was you cant change my quote of you.

    I've been on forum boards since the BBS and compuserve days. I know my way around these parts. Especially VB.

  11. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Unless I catch it quick enough to change my post.

    With the example of my quote of you, it could also look like you changed your post as I just suggested after I quoted you because it says that you edited your post. ;) :D

    So how did you like my post with your quote?

    BTW, just funning with ya. :)

    Now back to our regularly scheduled thread. Residentials all the way for me.
  12. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    man....Ive seen that scam so many times over the years.

    Usually its changed and then you post....FYP

    Meaning...Fixed your post...:)

    Yeah I mean Im anxious for a few smaller to medium commercials but I really believe resis are equally as profitable and easier to obtain and keep.

    Plus I dont need a 1000 dollar or 5000 dollar salter to give me a hassle.

    I dunno....maybe someday Ill be leasing 100,000 dollar loaders and degelmans and running 6 crews doing Malls for Al Taubman, but right now I just want to fill my plate with manageble properties for me.

    Ive seen many a guy go big, and go grey fast.
  13. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    But like I said, I tell them up front and actually every year that i do commercials first. Residential doesn't pay squat here, so thats why my bread and butter is commercial. They always say thats fine get to me when you can, but that all changes when it snows.
  14. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    you just have to be a robot. they call, you answer and say when you will be there,.
    they just want to make sure you didnt die or something..i know i hate it too.

    or dont pick up the phone!!
  15. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    The residential agreement that I use clearly states that work will be completed based on factors such as weather, driving conditions and work schedules....and at my sole discretion.

    I have a couple resis that asked to be done by I certain time and I do what I can to work that out.... Set the expectations up front and then things will be easier.... Most of my residentials at also lawn customers so they know I will be there and that I do good quality work.....
  16. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    I agree with LLM also. I have down residential and commercial work.

    The only area I would disagree is for salting commercial accounts... If it's a light winter but there are a lot of freezing nights with moisture on the ground you can go salt! In my commercial contracts I have salting as: AT OUR (my company's) SOLE DISCRETION.
    Meaning I can salt day and night if I feel like it! And that is very fast, easy, money.

    Residentials, if priced properly are treasure. I can definitely make what LLM said hourly on residentials, but never that on a commercial job!
  17. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678


    Sorry I forgot to address your problem in my last post...

    Here's an idea for ya: I do make a point to get atleast one push in for my resis by 8-9ish. If they need another we'll come back for it. But on the nights when sh*t hits the fan and we're getting flat tires and running late, I can always count on the phone ringing around 8am with all my favorite customers calling in! Well, what I've found works is using my voice mail to relay to the customers my current situation.. like this:

    Thank you for calling. We're currently experience minor delays on our residential plow routes. All routes should be complete within the next 3 hours. We apologize for this inconvenience. If this is urgent, please leave a message and I will get back with you as soon as possible.

    Now here's the REALLY great part.. I can set my phone so that only numbers in my phonebook can come through, and all other calls go directly to voicemail. So when I'm out plowing the only people calling me are my workers! Besides, if it's important they'll leave a message and i'll listen to it right away. Not many people will leave a message saying WHERE ARE YOU ITS 8 O CLOCK YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE BY NOW once they're heard you explain in your voicemail why you're late.

  18. 2moresleeps

    2moresleeps Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 131

    Around here, not one company that I can think of charges resi's per push. NOT ONE. So, having said that, once you charge your seasonal rate, you LOSE money every time you plow a resi account.

    WIth commercial, as I stated regarding salt, you make money each time you plow them. If it snows all the time, you make money all the time. If it doesnt snow (like here in G damn ontario and its Dec.2 LOL) we still make our monthly fee.

    If a person/company is happy with resi, so be it. Myself, I cannot stand a customers call when there is dust in their driveway...NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I STRESS THE TRIGGER. I only have 13 resi's this year and that will change to 5 then 0 the year after.

    Our goal is to acquire commercial accounts exclusively. I look forward to gray hair and molson muscle.

    ETA: Even if you do charge per push on resi accounts and it doesnt snow, you are losing money. Unless ofcourse the proactive approach was taken and its a 50-50 mix of seasonal and per push but even with that, you would have to bite off more than you can chew.
  19. rgrimes945

    rgrimes945 Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    private driveways

    Thats Way I don't do any private driveways. It's a special area that needs special attention
  20. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Thats what I mean about this all goes back to lowballing. Prices go down, profit goes down, ergo...we all need to take on more work to make the same money which easily translates into less timely service for clients.

    Its not you....its the biggest industry problem facing us all.