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View Full Version : ...and...here come the Easter calls!


ratchetmaster2
03-28-2013, 09:35 AM
Yesterday I had 5 calls for "just a little clean-up before Easter, I have family coming over". It's only 10:45 AM this morning and I've already had 2 more calls.

I barely had two call per week before yesterday. People love to wait until the last minute. Calling for a clean-up 3 days before Easter. Some woman called me at 5PM last night and asked if I could come do it that night. LOL woman, only if you're paying 3x price.

SECTLANDSCAPING
03-28-2013, 09:45 AM
Yesterday I had 5 calls for "just a little clean-up before Easter, I have family coming over". It's only 10:45 AM this morning and I've already had 2 more calls.

I barely had two call per week before yesterday. People love to wait until the last minute. Calling for a clean-up 3 days before Easter. Some woman called me at 5PM last night and asked if I could come do it that night. LOL woman, only if you're paying 3x price.

Yep someone just called for the same. I have a few voicemails to answer but I suspect its the usual spam.

Its really annoying people do this. It doesnt matter the season or holiday.

I been sitting around doing tune ups and painting plows. Now they want to call with no time left.

Steve
03-28-2013, 10:31 AM
Yesterday I had 5 calls for "just a little clean-up before Easter, I have family coming over". It's only 10:45 AM this morning and I've already had 2 more calls.

Did you put out any marketing for this? It might be a great time to market to pick up such services in the future.

ratchetmaster2
03-28-2013, 11:38 PM
Did you put out any marketing for this? It might be a great time to market to pick up such services in the future.
No, I didn't market for this holiday in particular. I didn't even think of it, but that's a very good idea. This year, I wasn't really sure if Easter would be 30F with snow, or 65F. Like Sect said, it's just someone who is scrambling last minute before a holiday, it happens for all of them.

I went and did the estimate for this particular caller. The woman had a beautiful house and nice landscaping. Probably a 1/3 acre lot with 5 ft. wide beds around the entire perimeter of the property. Of course, full of weeds, leaves, and twigs.

She wanted "a light clean-up". In my head, I was thinking $250 to do any sort of work that I would put my name behind. Even after the clean-up, the beds would still be full of dull mulch from a year ago.
She kept saying "nothing too spectacular, just passable for visitors". So I went fishing with "well, what's your budget?" because she seemed to want a lot of stuff cleaned up for not much money.

Then she says "oh, I want to keep it under $100". As soon as she said that, in my head I thought "ok..seems like we're done here".
Not to be all high and mighty, but she isn't first in line. I'd rather do other work for people that realize they called last minute and plan to compensate appropriately.

SNethercutt
03-29-2013, 12:05 AM
If $100 is for blwong out the beds and baging it in the yard, sounds good. To clean it up.... pass. I don't even call people like that back. Don't even think about it. I tell them politely that I think they would be better off calling Juan or Pedro or picking them up at home depot. That I do not put my name of halfway done work. Bottom line. Its unprofessional being a hard ***. But have you ever put up a game camera during a job on a busy street of a subdivision and left it there 7 days after finishing?

You would be surprised how many people come look. If you spend any time over there anyone who has ever thought to call you will go inspect your work at any house they saw you at when home owner is not home. Would that $100 sell you to another client t if they saw what it was after you did the measly $100 in work?

SECTLANDSCAPING
03-29-2013, 12:18 AM
thats the problem when asking "whats your budget?" Half the time youll get some lowball number. Then when you tell them a lot higher its like setting yourself up for failure.

I checked out a guys yard. He cleaned the back and sides and just needed the front done. So I'm already thinking its going to be a small job and a waste of my saturday. I get there the front is pretty damn big and thats where the trees are. I told him $350 and I need to know by friday.

I picked up a gutter job today too. This guy pretty much over budgeted himself by wanting top of the line guards. He chose the ones that go for $1 a ft(1.50 marked up). I wont be doing that till next week when hopefully things pick up.

Steve
03-29-2013, 12:19 PM
She wanted "a light clean-up". In my head, I was thinking $250 to do any sort of work that I would put my name behind. Even after the clean-up, the beds would still be full of dull mulch from a year ago.
She kept saying "nothing too spectacular, just passable for visitors". So I went fishing with "well, what's your budget?" because she seemed to want a lot of stuff cleaned up for not much money.

With this in mind, how do you feel you might handle future situations? Could you tell her your $250 price first and point out what she will get? Then maybe if she balks, say well I could do this, this, and this for $X?

Or what is your view?

wandfsmall
03-29-2013, 01:09 PM
Did you put out any marketing for this? It might be a great time to market to pick up such services in the future.

We have the same problem with spring service, marketing does not seem to help, you can convince some of your regular customers into planning ahead but for the most part you will always have a good number of people that wait till the last min and wonder why you are backed up.

SECTLANDSCAPING
03-29-2013, 05:06 PM
I attempted to do a clean up today but the transfer stations were closed. I loaded up one load, cut down 4 hedges, removed the stumps, remove a pond liner, filled it with top soil, but I have to wait till monday to dump the other 2 truck loads of leafs. The lady had no problem paying today.

ratchetmaster2
03-30-2013, 08:48 AM
thats the problem when asking "whats your budget?" Half the time youll get some lowball number. Then when you tell them a lot higher its like setting yourself up for failure.

Asking that question hasn't really given me a problem. The woman already had $100 in her head. Even before calling me for the first time.
Before she told me $100, if I spit out "My estimate is $250 for all this", she would have said "I was thinking more like $100". Then I would have left.

I know you're just going to say "you have to sell yourself", but either way she wasn't interested in spending more than ~$100. No matter when or if I told her $250. I ended up doing about 3 hours work for $150 at her house, only because she promised future work with the mulch (probably end up being ~5yards of mulch, so I'm happy about that). I actually did a damn good job with weeding, getting all the leaves out, trimming up fountain grasses that hadn't been maintained, etc.
$150 for my Friday morning isn't bad. I'll take that, especially after struggling to make $500 a month through the winter. And she seems VERY connected with the community.

stevef1201
03-30-2013, 10:55 AM
I get these rush jobs all the time. I look at the job, and give a price. If they that's too high I leave. Sometimes I get the job, and good referrals, sometimes I don't get the job. Even when I feel like I'm starving I wont cut my own throat. Get the reputation for good work at low price and that is all you are going to get.

Lopes Lawn Care
03-30-2013, 03:19 PM
I tell them politely that I think they would be better off calling Juan or Pedro or picking them up at home depot.

Hahaha My names Pedro and I definitely didn't come from home depot. I'm not even spanish, i'm american/portuguese. It's funny when I show up at yards or answer calls. Seems people are sometimes expecting some foreign spanish guy, insted they're getting a tattooed white guy. No home depot low balling going on here people. Next.

SNethercutt
03-30-2013, 06:19 PM
Vote for Pedro haha

The small town I grew up in had a pop. Of 742 people. The neighboring town had a lewis (lou-ies) and it was a gas station/restraint/clothing store/ grocery store/ gun store. I'm in Texas. All the Mexicans would stand out there in the morning waiting for someone to come pick them up for work 8 hr + lunch.

So now I live 30+ miles from that town but still get a good bit of business out there.

I hear a lot of times " for that price I can go to lewis one morning and get it done cheaper"

And I say I agree you can. But remember I gotta have labor out here, and still make money. And most of the time they understand. Plus if they don't understand that you make the understand the complexity of what they want to do and the major downfalls it could have bad effects.

Lopes Lawn Care
03-31-2013, 08:58 AM
Hahaha vote for me! I'll build you a cake. haha This is very true. The home depot in the town next to me has people waiting out there for work all the time. When I started doing yard work here and there I stopped by cause my father recommended that I grab a worker to help out. After that one time I never did it again. First of all everyone surrounds you and you can't help feeling like your picking up a hooker. Before I knew it, there was a guy in my truck and we were off.

He did great work but i just couldn't shake the shadiness that I felt being in that situation. hahaha

Customers should know that in doing something like that you never know who your picking up and bringing to your home. Doesn't matter what race they are, you just don't know WHO they are.

SECTLANDSCAPING
03-31-2013, 09:43 AM
The home depot in the town next to me has people waiting out there for work all the time. When I started doing yard work here and there I stopped by cause my father recommended that I grab a worker to help out. After that one time I never did it again. First of all everyone surrounds you and you can't help feeling like your picking up a hooker. Before I knew it, there was a guy in my truck and we were off.

He did great work but i just couldn't shake the shadiness that I felt being in that situation. hahaha

hey I had bills to pay and you had a yob.

Steve
04-01-2013, 12:18 PM
I know you're just going to say "you have to sell yourself", but either way she wasn't interested in spending more than ~$100. No matter when or if I told her $250.

I do wonder if additional services like planting some easter colored tulips in the yard could help bump up the price? Or maybe placing potted tulips on their front stairs.

http://img.ehowcdn.com/article-new/ehow/images/a04/sm/ec/plant-tulips-spring-800x800.jpg

ratchetmaster2
04-01-2013, 12:28 PM
Those are nice.

Yes, I'm really starting to push planting things. Debris clean-up, weeding, and mulching are good, but I can really make a lot of money from installing plants and bushes.

Lopes Lawn Care
04-01-2013, 06:30 PM
hey I had bills to pay and you had a yob.

hahaha thanks again man. Good yob.