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Edmir
10-08-2009, 10:43 PM
edmir lezaj wrote:>
Hi Steve:
Thank you for your e-mail. I find your web site interesting.

My business is booming, and this season I had to quit my full time job at the factory. I couldn't keep up with my mowing. This is my second year in operation and I am loving every minute of it. I am kind of stuck though, I want to expand. Don't know how? I don't have any overhead, and take really good care of my equipment. This season I bought 5 Brand New Steel Weedeater, and a Huquvarna. I am looking to buy a good decent truck and two more zero turn mowers, I am willing to settle for a second hand mowers.

Also, today, I just bid on a job and got it, I placed an add in yellow pages, and it paied off. I just got a $2500 job. I have to take two small trees down, and plant grass seed on a 3500 square foot area. I have to add some top soil and compost with it. I think the costumers like it when you are yourself, and relate to them, especially when they are old people and like to talk. This couple they moved from Dallas, Texas here in Johnson City, TN and they loved to share their life stories, and talk. I did spent an hour or a little more talking to them, going over the details, and telling them about myself and my business.

Thanks
Edmir

Steve
10-08-2009, 10:54 PM
Welcome to our forum!

My business is booming, and this season I had to quit my full time job at the factory. I couldn't keep up with my mowing. This is my second year in operation and I am loving every minute of it.

That is fantastic! There are a lot of members here that would love to be in your shoes. Could you share with us some advice as to how you promoted yourself and were able to attract those customers?

I want to expand. Don't know how? I don't have any overhead, and take really good care of my equipment. This season I bought 5 Brand New Steel Weedeater, and a Huquvarna. I am looking to buy a good decent truck and two more zero turn mowers, I am willing to settle for a second hand mowers.

When you say you want to expand but don't know how, what are you thinking as far as expansion goes? What would be your ideal expansion plan? Or concept?

Edmir
10-22-2009, 11:26 PM
That is fantastic! There are a lot of members here that would love to be in your shoes. Could you share with us some advice as to how you promoted yourself and were able to attract those customers?

I began studying your web-site and reading a lot of blogs, researching in your web page about promotion ideas. I placed several adds on my local paper, handed out business cards, placed an ad on yellow pages. Handed out flyers. Word to Mouth is the best advertisement that you can ever get..



When you say you want to expand but don't know how, what are you thinking as far as expansion goes? What would be your ideal expansion plan? Or concept?

In regards to expanding, I want to buy more equipment and hire some trustworthy guys to work for me. While I can bid on jobs, they can do the mowing for me, and afterwords, I can check the job sides to make sure the job is done right, and the costumers are happy. I have several plans, but I need to review them. That's what I will be doing this winter, when mowing ends for this season.

arthur712
10-23-2009, 12:21 AM
What a great testimonial!

Keep it going!!!!

Steve
10-23-2009, 03:44 AM
Word to Mouth is the best advertisement that you can ever get..

It seems start up businesses really have a hard time generating word of mouth advertising. Did you find it tough to generate initially when you got started?

What do you think is the best way to generate word of mouth advertising?

Edmir
11-01-2009, 07:26 PM
I read your question. In regards to finding it hard to generate word to mouth advertisement.

I am originally from Southern Europe. I moved to Greeneville, TN when I was 17 yrs old, now I am 28. I hold two college degrees and I love working with people. After I graduated from East Tennessee State University, I told myself, I want to make money in my own. America is the place to do it. That is why I started Landscaping. I also have two rental properties, and working on buying a third one. I payed cash for my education. Despite the fact that I had to pay out of state tuition fees.

I had to earn my reputation in the town where I live. I worked at a very famous restaruant, meet, created a lot of contacts. When I would run into my old restaurant costumers, I would tell them what I am doing, and give them my business cards. I always keep busniess cards in my wallet and my SUV.
Then the current costumers that I have I make sure they are extremely pleased. I have one lady, she has two sons in Iraq, and lives on Social Security income. Very limited. She called me after posting an add on our local newspaper, and told me how much the other guy was charging her? I told her how much she could afford to pay. She told me $40 per cut. It takes me 1 hour and a half to do that job. I told her I would do it. The last time I didn't hear from her for about almost a month. I called her up, and asked her, if she wasn't pleased with my work, or went with someone else. She told me she couldn't afford to pay me. So I told her I can mow your lawn for free one time a month. She was so happy, that she referred me to some of her friends, and I got 3 big jobs from her. For her birthday, I bought her one of her favorite liquer drinks she likes to drink. Sometimes it isn't always about money, its about being kind, generous, and knowing who can pay and who can not pay, for what reasons? You know, in the end we are humans, and need to respect that. Yes we are in business to make money, but need to know where to get it from.
I love dealing with people, and it makes my day to see them smile and satisfied. I tell my guys, that I hire part time, if my costumers aren't happy and they complain about you, then you might as well hit the road.

I hope that answered your question. Wish you all the best in this web site, not only you but all other members.

I love America. Land of the Free, Land of the Braves. God Bless this Country, and Tennessee.

Sincerely:
Edmir

Edmir
11-01-2009, 07:43 PM
One more thing:

To other members. In order to generate word to mouth business here are a few more tips:

Be yourself.
Be professional.
The few costumers you have keep them satisifed. Despite, the fact that on some jobs you might have underbid, or are not making as much as you would like to. Do a great job. Don't just think about the money. If you do a great job, as they say: "Hard work or quality work will speak for itself."

Be friendly. When you pull in to give an estimate, don't pull in on a tore up truck, or trashy car. Look as professional as you much as you can.

Be understanding, look at your costumers, what they wear, what they drive, where they live? Sometimes you can tell if they can pay or not based on what they drive, where they live, etc. I do this when I rent my apartements. I can tell who is going to be able to pay me the rent or not? Based on what they drive, how they dress, and what they do for a living.

When you run in to people at a store, or somewhere in town, be nice, be kind, help them if they need help, open the door for them, etc. Once you do that, then you can see if they want to talk to you or not, if so give them your business cards, make some shirts and always wear them with your business logo on it, and the phone number on it.

Hope this helped, it has worked for me.

Thanks
Ed

Steve
11-02-2009, 06:18 AM
Ed,

Great advice!

That is why I started Landscaping. I also have two rental properties, and working on buying a third one.

I think a lot of members would love to expand and get into rental properties as well. Why do you feel you invested in rental properties and what has your view on them been so far?

Would you have done anything differently so far with the way you get started and involved with them?

Edmir
11-03-2009, 02:29 AM
I thank you for your reply. I love reading your blodgs. I just love your web site. You always post interesting topics in your web site. Today I had a crapy day. I mowed all day, and it was muddy, and my mowers keep geetting stuck, it was one of those days. But I made it through and I picked up another job.
I have a costumer who is a truck driver, he is never home, so he asked me to paint a house he bought for a rental property before the winter kicks in. I did. He offered to pay me $1500 to paint his house, while he would supply the paint and all the equipment. I am going to let my dad do that job, as to I am very busy with other projects.
Another costumer, I have it's an old lady, she is so nice, and sweet. Her husband is very seek and can't see to well. Her son works at the Pentagon. I love my costumers, and try to go above and beyond to helpe them, not just mowing or keeping their lawns looking good. I told her to call me if she needed anything, even if it isn't lawn related. She liked that, so she related me to one of her cousins, and I got another big job to do for her. It's a tree trimming.

To answer your question:
"I think a lot of members would love to expand and get into rental properties as well. Why do you feel you invested in rental properties and what has your view on them been so far?

Would you have done anything differently so far with the way you get started and involved with them?

Rental properties, I love them. Recentley I have felt the economic recession. Last apartment I had for rent, I took me one month to have it rented. Before the recession I would have it rented within a week. I invested in rental properties, because that is a secure investment. Plus you can have a constant positive cash flow coming in everymonth. Right now it is the time to buy properties.

I had a package given to me by my ex-boss at the previous restaurant where I worked for my 21st birthday. The present was:"Carlton Sheets. How to purchase properties with no money down." I studied the the whole package and listened to the CD while I was driving. And I was very good friends with a few bankers in the town where I live, so they helped me to build my credit, and gave me some tips on what properties to buy or not to buy. For example, I the house that I live in is a two story house, I live downstairs, and I rent the upstaris, my Mortgage is $760 for 15 yrs. Out of that I pay $250 per month out of pocket, and my tenant pays the rest. It is cheaper than paying rent. I am telling you Steve, I love America. This is the country where you can make something out of yourself.

Then, I build enough home equity, and I used that as a down payment to buy another property. When I screen renters, I ran a promotion, which is, if you pay me the rent for 11 months on time, then on the 12th month you only pay me half of the rent. It works. Plus my tenants have money to spend on christmas.

Right now I am working on building a dating web side. I want to see if I can make money doing that.

I hope that answered your question.

Sincerely:
Ed

Steve
11-03-2009, 06:25 AM
That is very interesting!

Now for the average lawn care business owner who is reading this, thinking to themselves they would like to buy a rental property, where do you suggest they begin?

How much do they need to save for a down payment? How much can they charge for rent compared with the mortgage of the structure?

It seems like a lot of times, the rent doesn't always cover the mortgage fully and the owner has to pay the difference.

What's your view on the types of buildings that are a good first time buy to rent?

Edmir
11-05-2009, 09:50 AM
Now for the average lawn care business owner who is reading this, thinking to themselves they would like to buy a rental property, where do you suggest they begin?

First, they need to make contacts with real estate agents that they turst. Being in Landscaping business, mos of us, have done business with Real Estate agents, I have several of them, they call me up, and need a full clean up of a property, they want to sell, a property that has been reposesed by the bank, or a property that they bought it an action. My first property was a commercial property. I know the real estate agent for years. So when I meet with her, I told her wat I wanted to do. I wanted to make money. She recommended the commerical property, and the location is within walking distance from shopping centers, from the local city high school, and from the community college where I live. This location enabled me to rent my property quick.
Another sugesstion would be to look in the local newspaper, when the properties have been repossed by the city for back taxes, or for defaulting on a loan. Or go to property action places see how the action the properties and what the procedures are for that?
Being in landscaping business some of us, have mowing contract with bankers, use those connections and talk to them? Tell them you are interested in investing in rental properties, how to go about financing them? Etc. They will help, beacuse they need people who can pay?

How much do they need to save for a down payment? How much can they charge for rent compared with the mortgage of the structure?


My commerical propert that I bought in 2007 was listed for 110,000. I offered $85,000. The owner had purchased the property in 2006 and went to www.tennessee.gov under asessnment properties section. There you can enter the property adress and it will tell you who owns it, and how much they bought it for, and in what year. Based on that I was able to determine how much profit he was trying to make on that property. Then I hired a home inspector before I purchased my property, to fully inspect the house and the property. The bank where I got my property financed appraised the property at $95,000. The house was in great condition. I put $10,000 down on the property and financed it for 15 yrs. My mortgage payment is $760 per month. I turned the upstaris of the house into a two bedroom apartment. I spend about $5000 remodeling the apartment and I did most of the remodeling work myself. That saved me about $3000 worth of expenses that I would have had to pay someone to do it for me. Charging the rent, they have to look at the location of the property, and how much other competitors are charging for a two bedroom apartement in that location. Do they inculde any utilities?
So before I bought this property, I was paying rent in the same location for a two bedroom apartment $450 per month. That didn't include utilities, only water.
My apartment rents for $500 that includes water, and cable. My mortgage is $760. I only pay $250 for my mortgage, where before I was paying rents $450 per month. So I have a positive cash flow of $250 per month. That adds up within a 12month period. Sometime you can look in the local newspaper, and see how much the apartments are renting within the location of that apartment.

It seems like a lot of times, the rent doesn't always cover the mortgage fully and the owner has to pay the difference.

When you want to buy a property try to buy a house that is two stories, or that has more then one unit. That means, you must have two apartments into that unit or house. Therefore, you can use the rent from one apartment to cover the mortgage and profit the rent from the other apartment. Sometimes when you finance you have to look at the numbers on the mortgage deal? You need to let the banker know, you want to have positive cash flow comming in everymonth? If the deal on the mortgage doesn't feet your needs, then don't do it?

What's your view on the types of buildings that are a good first time buy to rent?
With the recent economic crisess, banks have gotten more strict and some of them have tighten the financing options on the purchasing a house, such as now they require a credit score of 700 or higher, when I financed my house before the crises, my credit score was 680. Another sugesstion for a first time buy would be to buy a two story house, and turn the upstairs into a two bedroom apartement. Or buy a lot, where you can put a trailer there and rent that trailer. You can buy trailers for as cheap as $5000 up to $7000 cash. Do a lot of research, and shop around? Buying a house isn't like buying a car, you have to know how the market, works, and what to look for? Read a lot of books and programs, talk to people you know who are experts into the real estate market.

Hope this helped. It worked for me. The downpayment I used was from my savings with the landscaping business. I also work part time as a cook at a country club, I took that job, to make contacts. I lot of rich people come there to eat, and play golf. There I have made a lot of contacts, from attorney's to doctors, bankers, etc.

Steve
11-06-2009, 08:50 AM
That is very interesting!

What made that property a commercial property? From the description it sounds like a residential home. How does it get defined as either residential or commercial?

Can you park your lawn care equipment on that location too?

What do you see as your next real estate investment move? What would be the ideal next step?

Edmir
11-23-2009, 02:53 AM
Hi Steve:

Been on the road lately. Haven't had time to read your posts? Just got back from Memphis. I also, work part time as a translator for Immigration Attorney's. I do this when they need me.

To Answer your Questions:
What made that property a commercial property? Properties have different zoning. My property is B-4 zoning, because of the location. B-4 is considered a commercial property. I have a list of businessess I can operate on my property based on the Zoning. That's why I purchased that property to begin with. The land is worth more then the house.

From the description it sounds like a residential home. How does it get defined as either residential or commercial?
It gets defined by zoning, it is a residental house, but the property is a B-4 Zoning. On my road, I can walk to McDonald's, Arby's, Real Estate Offices, Shopping centers, and Gass stations. Before you purchase a house, it will tell you the type of zoning your property is. You can check the zoning on www.tennessee.gov under real estate property assesment. On that side, you can enter a mailing adress of a property, and it will tell you, how owns it? How much they bought it for, and you can see how much they want to sell it for? That will give you some idea what the sellers profit is?

Can you park your lawn care equipment on that location too? Yea. I can park my lawn equipment, and put my business sign on my front lawn, without having to apply for a permit. I have put my for rent sign, and didn't even have to put an add on the local paper. Because of the location I had my place rented within a week.

What do you see as your next real estate investment move? What would be the ideal next step?
My problem is that I want it all. You can't have it all. I am very competetive, and like it. So right now, I plan on paying off my two cars, and my motorcycle. Then build more equity on my properties. While generating positive cash flow from rent.

I hope that answered your questions.

Hope everyone in this forum has nice, and safe holidays.

Edmir

Steve
11-23-2009, 01:09 PM
This is all fantastic!

Keep us posted on all your future updates. You are going to find a lot more continued success!