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Small HOA - 10 Houses w/Private Road

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by underESTIMATED, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I was approached by an adjacent HOA, asking for me to provide them a proposal as they are "firing" their current lawn/snow people. As she wasn't too happy with the random "mohawks" left in her yard, or the lack of snow removal they've been doing.

    After several hours of figuring out exactly how much to charge them, per house X month etc. etc. I figured I'd better call her and feel her out for exactly what I was bidding against with their current crew.

    She advises me that they are currently doing the 10 houses of HOA for $55/house/month = $6600 including plowing/salting. :eek:

    After hearing that, I advised her of where I currently was, and as-is was $121.99/house/month and was pretty much all in at that price. Which also included salt.

    As I quantified it to her over the phone, that's $12.70/week to mow. I have a hard time with my trailer park people paying $10 for their lots at that price.

    She admitted she figured it was a pretty lowball deal, but wanted to "let me know".


    Fast Forward today:
    I followed up on my proposal to see how far apart we are, and she turned into a ***** about it. Said we weren't even close to the other proposals they received, the next closest bid was at $775/month ($77.50/house).

    I asked her again, if that was an apples/apples comparison in services, or if they were leaving some stuff out? (I included 10 yards of mulch, weeding, flowers every spring)

    She swears they are doing everything I've offering, and are still ~$6k lower than my original bid. She said "we don't need salt, just a few times a year". I politely asked her who's responsibile for the fall on the private road if someone falls, or slides off the street into someone's parked car in the driveway but she didn't respond to that.

    So I offered to revise the bid, removing the salt and am basically breaking even.

    But I wanted to find out your opinion(s). For what it's worth to you.

    They are literally adjacent to our property, and as I estimate cleaning the street to be approximately 1.5-2hrs and driveways 5/hr.

    There's two additional properties, not located in this Google Map, but are where the X's are.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    5/hr seems way too high for the driveways to me ,thats :30 per, which you could shovel faster than that.

    I'm sure the only thing hanging you up on not just letting this contract just walk away is the proximity to you (whatever that means, residence? shop?) Unfortunately not every job can be had, and this woman sounds like a pain to deal with especially if she is getting hostile about your bid. With your price being high the only comeback you really have is to tell her, or better yet, give her some addresses and referrals of properties you already maintain to give her a good feel of your caliber of work (assuming its good) You are going to be higher than the previous contractor because you have quality people who are going to do a better job.

    btw. nice first post.
  3. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Wow, I guess you are right..I thought I replied to some other great threads here - but obviously not. There's a plethora of useful information on this board!

    I was referencing another post/thread on here that talked about doing 5 driveways/hr with a plow. So perhaps that's a bit stretched and can touch all 10.

    Either way, if I had a mohawk in my yard and I was paying a company $55/month (/4.33 weeks = $12.70/week?!) I wouldn't be bitching much. Again, I wonder how many people are mowing, but they definitely bid low. IMO.

    Our shop is located adjacent to their lots. So even if I had to use an ATV to plow the driveways while I'm waiting for a truck to clear up it isn't a pressing issue.

    Thanks for the feedback. Seriously. :waving:
  4. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    I would agree . The nicest she could be was your follow up conversation regarding your bid. Imagine what she will be like in an ongoing storm and a 1/2" accumulates on the pavement, Make sure your contract is specific if you take on this job. In reading your original post sounds like you got a good idea of what you need to charge don't try and compete with lowballers you can't. Good luck
  5. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Thanks for your feedback.

    That's what I thought to myself after I disconnected my call with her - she's the voice of the HOA and going to be a nick-picky ***** about stuff as already stated in her original phone calls with me about the "random mohawks".

    Anyone else with feedback, or realistically what they would charge for this place?
  6. Pennings Garden

    Pennings Garden Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 242

    is there more street then what the picture shows? that amount of street should take nowhere near 2 hours?? 30-45min at most right? am I missing some thing? I don't argue your price, the liability alone need to be paid for...
  7. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    There's an 11th house, that hasn't paid their HOA dues (owes $900 in back dues) and doesn't want to be a part of the HOA. So essentially, I could block them in...and they can pay to get unburried. :laughing:

    So that's where the street jogs to the right...but there's a no outlet. Only one entrance, which is shown.

    I actually followed-up with her today to make sure their meeting was still on for tonight, and she wasn't as bitchy today...but I can tell she's the mouth of the HOA. Some people have diarrhea of the mouth syndrome. When it occurs, I wait for them to tell me everything I need to hear.

    She told me the name of their current company, where exactly my bid is (revised version) and admits that she wouldn't be able to get someone to mow her yard for less than $20, and understands the pricing. Let alone get someone to touch her driveway for less than $20/time.

    Basically at $15/driveway = $150/push....the street is getting done for free. I'll take $750 for two months of doing little to nothing and bank it for when the **** hits the fan if it does it again this year like it did last year.

    So we'll see tomorrow...!

    edit: ***** Garden - I like your sig!
  8. chs1993

    chs1993 Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    So did you get it or what?
  9. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Thanks for the follow-up.

    I'm assuming she's trying to blow me off. I'll call her on Wednesday in case last Tuesdays' meeting didn't go on.
  10. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    However, I did pick up one account today.
    Received the fax this meeting. :)
  11. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Now you see exactly why I don't do HOA or condos ... not enough $ and too much of a PITA ... good luck with your decision
  12. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I gave the 'voice' a call today to see how their meeting went.

    After some more diarrhea of the mouth, she finally disclosed how far apart we were. She had said they were most likely going with the next bid that was $15/month lower than my revised bid, and were located about 15 minutes away.

    While doing some quick math, I asked if what their main reservation was: price/service. She agreed that service would be sucky, but the price would be low. I offered to meet/beat that price which wasn't really all that much difference overall (and was my original instinct bid) and then she gave me some more BS.

    She then stated that they are doing it for $660/month (all in) which is $1200 lower overall.

    I thanked her for the opportunity, and to give me a call when they are snowed in because this outfit couldn't get to them in time and I'd still honor my current price. But wouldn't be interested in it at this new price. I've already invested enough time, research, and energy into something that doesn't pay any more than a mobile home lot would.

    Thanks for following this thread.
  13. chs1993

    chs1993 Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    Be sure to drive by when its snowing and they can't get out lol! I can't people that want good service but only want to pay for bad service!
  14. 2005_Sierra

    2005_Sierra Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    I cant believe no one else picked up on this :laughing::laughing::laughing:
  15. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Gonna be interesting to hear what happens this winter if this guy doesn't show or the service is bad.
  16. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    I've said it a few times, but I'll say it again.
    You get what you pay for!

    You're more patient than I would have been.
    When I did snow on the private side, my price was my price.
    The people that let me go because of lowballers, usually came back within a year.
    The only explaination I gave with my price was, I have all the necessary insurance and I hope your new contractor does too....
    I also reminded them that they were purchasing piece of mind when it snowed.

    I also agree with Mick, I wouldn't touch a HOA with a 10 foot pole.....huge PITA's.
    Every one that I delt with has always been that way
  17. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I certainly plan on it. I'll take some pics "for my records'. :waving:

    So am I; I was wondering when someone would notice. :laughing:

    It's funny - when you give someone an out to the conversation or proposal, they still can't seem to "Say No". I let her do the talking, and said I'd match/beat whatever they were doing. Therefore it was no longer about price. She then said they used to use these people a few years back, and I reminded her of their location as opposed to mine.

    You can't please everyone, I've been in the sales industry long enough to know this. But if I give you an out, just save face and say "no" so I can move on.

    Not many people are diligent like me, and follow-up until you buy/die. wesport

    I couldn't agree more. This was my first attempt, I'm sure it won't be my last...but have to get my feet wet somehow.

    I appreciate the overwhelming interest in this thread, thanks for the continued support/interest.