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View Full Version : Pissed off about local lawn aeration pricing in SALT LAKE CITY, Utah


Shaunsaltlakecityutah
03-08-2012, 06:16 PM
Hey everyone! I started my company in 2008. Started with sprinkler service the first few years. Now the last 2 years I started a lawn service side to it also, for the slow season in sprinkler service. Spring of 2011 I bought my first aerator. Really didnt now how to price it so I asked around. Everyone was charging anywhere from 25 to 45 a yard. I thought that was low but didnt no any better. I just ran into this site over the winter and I love it. found some other people on here that shared there pricing in there area out of my state and there prices ARE SO MUCH BETTER! I got an idea of what we should be charging. $12 per 1000 sq ft. And from what I can tell thats on the low end. But still that hella better then what everyone in salt lake city is charging! I called around to some of my competitors and all of them are telling me they dont charge more then $45 a yard. Most yard are $25 to $30! How the hell do you pay for gas? The time it takes to do a yard, there giving away the service! Plus your killing your body for NOTHING!!!! 1 company told me they do 1/3 acre lot for $35!!! If this is really how they charge, im going to sell the aerator and figure something else out! I hope people from salt lake city read this!!! My spelling suck I know, but I just want to vent and get this off my chest! Please leave comments! I want to hear what you have to say to this. Thanks.

SECTLANDSCAPING
03-08-2012, 06:41 PM
This is what happens in this industry when people keep lowering their price to get more jobs. Eventually everyone goes broke. Its like a pricing war with department stores. They lower the price knowing if you compete, your going to go out of business.

My suggestion is to package the service in a yearly contract. I figure part of the reason the others are charging so less is to upsell other services. So do it that way and it wont seem like your doing it so cheap.

The other thing is are you sure there using real machines? And not some el cheapo tow behind unit? If thats the case you just have to sell them on your machine and service.

Shaunsaltlakecityutah
03-08-2012, 07:06 PM
Thanks for replying. Im going to try to sell it the best I can this spring and see what comes of it.

jonathan thomas
03-08-2012, 07:07 PM
I lost about 3 bids today!!! They where smaller sized yards and they wanted the basics. They where within my route and they wanted yearly service which would be 42 visits a year. I gave them est. Of 100 to 110 a month. They all about fell over. They said so and so up the street said 60 a month.
My first question was are they insured? Licensed? Bonded? And they said NO
and I tried to explain to them that this was for there protection.I Had a folder with all the paper work in had to show them I was. Then I asked how many visits a year are they going to receive and again they said they did not no.
Well long story short they all said they would call me back tomorrow (ya right)
This is killing are industry.
as I was leaving (wife and 2 year old son in the truck) I turned around and asked the last guy(wearing a business suit) if you where to hire a electrition, plumber etc. They would be appox. 75-100 an hour, and you would want the best possible service right?
And he said of course and then I said what makes your lawn different its the first thing people see when they come over and the last thing they see before they leave.
as I walked away he had the most puzzled face. (My wife called me an ***)
PEOPLE STOP LOW BALLING.

Shaunsaltlakecityutah
03-08-2012, 07:11 PM
Right on!!!! I love it! That is a GREAT way to look at it! Thanks!

Shaunsaltlakecityutah
03-08-2012, 07:20 PM
People we need to get out of this recession NOT DIG ourselves deeper!!! Like jonathan thomas said, PEOPLE STOP LOW BALLING!

stevef1201
03-08-2012, 07:21 PM
When You called you cpmpetitors did you let then know that you were the compitition?

Heres an idea, have your neighbor call for an estimate, from several different companies. You will get a real idea of the rates.

If you charge more and these guys do it for less I see a money maker without the work situation

CHEESE2009
03-08-2012, 07:30 PM
Charge whatever it costs to rent an aerator for a day. That's how most companies do it, regardless if they own the aerator or not.

e.g.;

It's about $50 to rent an aerator for 24 hours. So you would charge $50 per client.

Ducke
03-08-2012, 08:19 PM
Man here I start at $45.00 for a 2500 sq foot lawn and go up from there.
If they don't want to pay 45 I walk away. I don't want to do it for less.

hansenslawncare
03-08-2012, 08:43 PM
In MN we typically charge about 3x's the mowing rate. So if the mowing is $35/cut I'll charge about $100 + for the aeration. That size yard usually takes about 45 minutes max to aerate and that's with a 5.5 hp walk behind aerator. I don't typically measure it out by square footage but I think at 3x's the mowing rate it's a fair price for the customer and myself.

Just my two cents.

Thanks,


Rich

jonathan thomas
03-08-2012, 08:45 PM
To be honest I don't understand why you would charge 60.00 a month. From April to Oct. You are cutting every week and some times there is 5 weeks in a month. That is less than 15.00 a visit gas in Florida is 4.00 gallon. You are make no money if anything it is costing you money.

jonathan thomas
03-08-2012, 08:54 PM
If y'all want to laugh. Go to craigslist.com Florida Daytona beach farm and gardens services. And see what this people are charging. There are 3 right now at 10.00 a cut.

Hedgemaster
03-08-2012, 09:15 PM
In MN we typically charge about 3x's the mowing rate. So if the mowing is $35/cut I'll charge about $100 + for the aeration. That size yard usually takes about 45 minutes max to aerate and that's with a 5.5 hp walk behind aerator. I don't typically measure it out by square footage but I think at 3x's the mowing rate it's a fair price for the customer and myself.

Just my two cents.

Thanks,


Rich

Sounds fair to me.

I don't offer it and don't know a ton about it, but I did rent a core aerator from Home Depot once for my own lawn. It was a lot of work and the price of the rental was high enough that I asked a few neighbors to share the cost with me and we did 3 lawns.

I'd much rather pay someone to do it than be bothered with a rental and all the work.



Hedgehatesthelittledogpoopsmaster

Turningleafmaintenance
03-08-2012, 10:20 PM
I won't take an aeration job for less than 60$ typically they run $90. I don't do allot of them, but as far as prices go it's just what we get in a bad economy.

That guy offering 10.00 mow... we get them here too but they are often a guy that shows up on his bike to use your equipment and perhaps case your house for a robbery later.

PEOPLE WANT PROFESSIONALS if you show up in a jalopy you will never get the job for the price you want. Show up in your rig without your family, in uniform if possible and you will find people are not as surprised at the price.

People pay for professionalism.

jandrbusiness
03-08-2012, 11:07 PM
I have a business in Missouri.The prices in Missouri is about $50.00 per yard.My wife is visiting her family in west valley.Maybe one day we may move up in Utah.Good luck with your business and take care.

jt

Steve
03-09-2012, 02:20 PM
Is this an example of some services will be profitable in certain areas while others aren't?

If this service isn't going to be profitable, have you talked with customers in your area to see what other services they may need that have a higher barrier of entry than aeration services?

Maybe there are others that might take a little more investment but will bring back better financial returns for you?

TiedemanLLC
03-09-2012, 06:32 PM
Our rate here is $15 per 1,000 sq feet, with a $75 minimum charge.

Now another thing you need to ask, are they just making one pass with the aerator?

Shaunsaltlakecityutah
03-10-2012, 08:57 AM
I wanted to say thanks to everyone for replying with great ideas that helped me figure out my pricing. Iím hoping I'll start aerating this coming week.
Iíve come up with,
Aeration - $75 Min for 0 to 5000 sq.ft. $15 for every 1000 sq. ft. after that.
Power raking - $100 Min for 0 to 5000 sq.ft. $20 for every 1000 sq. ft. after that.
Fertilizer - $30 Min for 0 to 5000 sq.ft. $6 for every 1000 sq. ft. after that.
Iíve been thinking about allot of the customers I did work for last spring, and all of them jumped on my pricing I was giving. Thatís because I was not able to figure out my pricing before I started aerating. I asked someone who now that I look back on it, was driving a beat up s10 pickup,pulling a small little trailer with an old aerator. Thatís where I went wrong. I bought it after the aerating season had already started so I just jumped in with both feet. Thanks to this site Iíve been able to figure out what I really need to be charging to make what I feel is right. I remember walking away from some houses that I would look at the money in my hand and look at the yard, and think, thatís not right! I feel ALOT better with this pricing. And with everyone input, I feel good charging this. I'm not some Joe Schmo that went to Home Depot and rented one to make an extra few $'s for the week. And for those of you who do do that, more power to ya. I just have allot $$$ put into my company that I can't charge those low prices. I'll write again in April to let everyone know how everything is going with my pricing. To everyone thanks again and you guys have a great season.

willshome
03-10-2012, 10:46 AM
Shaunsaltlakecityutah you would love this billboard in my city

<a href="http://s1259.photobucket.com/albums/ii549/willshome/?action=view&amp;current=100602_1313121.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1259.photobucket.com/albums/ii549/willshome/100602_1313121.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

stevef1201
03-10-2012, 12:52 PM
If y'all want to laugh. Go to craigslist.com Florida Daytona beach farm and gardens services. And see what this people are charging. There are 3 right now at 10.00 a cut.

I have one repeat one job that I charge 10 bucks, it my neighbor (two houses down) and all I do is run the weedeater around her house (she dosent have one and is afraid to use it)

The Cleaning Doctor
03-11-2012, 01:56 AM
You could try a different tactic and use the Natures Lawn products for this and your cost will be much less. There are also several selling points for using those products such as no broken sprinklers, phone lines etc. If this stuff works in the south that is all clay it will work anywhere.

Dan Frazer Gardening
03-18-2012, 12:11 PM
Do you guys clear up the cores after aerating? I assume not. I always do it here though I know a lot of companies don't.

jandrbusiness
03-31-2012, 01:44 AM
Whats LOW BALLING.

willshome
03-31-2012, 09:03 AM
Low Baller or Low Balling
A person or "business" that prices services with out thinking about costs (insurance, up keep, fuel, time to do paperwork....) You should know what your costs are and how many days/hours you can work per year. You should work hard and make a good living