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View Full Version : Landscape Installs????? Help


GeeGood
04-28-2008, 03:37 PM
I just started my lco late last year. Mowing, cleanups, mulch, trimming bushes etc... that is going great! However we have just completed four landscape installs and 2 of the four customers are slightly not satisfied due to they are expecting full grown mature plants and an immediate WOW factor. Am I doing something wrong here and how do I get them to not expect the immediate WOW? I am informing them how many plants/flowers, sketching the plan out for them, filling up their flowerbeds with color, grouping plants, everything I know to do. What am I missing and how can I get their immediate satisfaction? Any advise would be great!!! Thanks everyone

All Aspects Landscaping
04-28-2008, 04:06 PM
Give them what the want, but let them know that it comes with a price tag. Obviously a 1 gallon day lilly is less expensive than a 3 gallon one. A 6' cleveland pear is less than a 14' cleveland pear. Get to know a local nurseryperson. They will also be able to assist you in sizes of stock they have and all that good stuff. Also, experience will help. I always go for the middle of the road sizes if I am not sure about the customer... Tell them upfront, you get what you pay for. We're installing 14' Cleveland pears next week. 2 of them. Were getting $650 each for them. Retail. $160. Show them pics of different sizes of things and prices. And its your name out there... Id rather sacrifice profit for giving the customer what they want.... (within about $100.00) cause we will get the referral work that way... plus I let them know it!!! lol

GeeGood
04-28-2008, 04:30 PM
I think that is my main problem. I show them pictures of plants I pull off the internet and of course they are fully grown and then I install what I get from the wholesale nursery and of course they are not the same. I will start informing them of the container size of the plant and stop showing them pics of mature plants.

All Aspects Landscaping
04-28-2008, 07:55 PM
carry one with you for estimates if need be ya know...

Steve
04-29-2008, 06:22 AM
Greg,

This is a very good question. I guess this just comes down to the customer had a certain perception of what the project was going to look like and then the reality of it was different.

I would think that even if you could do a very basic cut and paste image of how the design would look after with the scale being close to what you were shooting for, then you would probably be able to avoid this problem in the future.

I think we are all very visual and if we can see something first, it would probably be well worth it in the long run.

What do you think of this?

cklandscapingorlando
11-14-2008, 06:54 PM
I go over every detail of the material.Options as to alternatives,plant specs per pot size,price per pot.If a client wants bigger and they understand the signafcant price incress then fine.I always explain that smaller pots equals more plants.I can get any 3 3 gal. for the price of a 7 gal.They also need to understand that focals cost money.Once they understand that it may have taken a grower 10 years to get a tree to that size then the price falls in line.If a client seems picky then I'll bring by examples or take them to the nursery.I always suggest that they go look at a nursery or comercial projects to find what material they might like.Also some plants are'nt worth getting big.A hibiscus grows so fast that you would be paying tripple for 3 months growth.

Team Gopher
11-17-2008, 06:29 AM
or take them to the nursery.

How much would you suggest a landscape project be worth before you offered to go to a nursery with a client or is that offer always on the table?

cklandscapingorlando
11-18-2008, 05:19 AM
Well Most of the time I suggest that they go on their own but If I'm looking at making 1000 or better profit then I'll run them or meet them their.

Steve
11-18-2008, 10:34 AM
Well Most of the time I suggest that they go on their own but If I'm looking at making 1000 or better profit then I'll run them or meet them their.

Do you have any advice for others reading this post on what % profit the average landscape install should be around?

ritchiem
11-18-2008, 10:59 AM
I love taking clients to the greenhouses. Not only can you get a really good idea on what they like, but they always see something more they want to add to the project.

cklandscapingorlando
11-18-2008, 04:47 PM
At least 100%.If it cost 5 then you pay at least 10.Its hard to say that for every one though.I've met guys that say I'm low and others that could'nt come close to that.I'm in a part of the country where we pay about 50% of retail.If a box store sells it for 8.99 I can install it for 10-12 including the plant.As far as up selling at the nusery, well its hard not to.I only take clients to ones with large selections so they have plenty to fall in love with.Also if your smart you'll deal with or at least know the prices for at least 5 wholesell nuseries.If lets say a bouganvilla is selling for 15 in the box store and I can still get one for 5 then I sell it for 20.Even though I got it for the price of an azaela, the going retail is much higher

Steve
11-19-2008, 09:22 AM
I love taking clients to the greenhouses. Not only can you get a really good idea on what they like, but they always see something more they want to add to the project.

Have you ever run into a problem where a customer would keep track of the plant prices and expect that price on your invoice? Or maybe the customer wants to buy the plants directly from the green house when they are there and have them shipped to their house?

How do you steer the customer away from situations like this?

ritchiem
11-19-2008, 09:50 AM
I tell all my clients what my rates are and how I charge for them. Just like subcontractor markup my material markup is the same (28%). That % allows me to pickup the materials and my time for ordering them. If the client wishes to pickup the materials they are more than welcome to (saves me time...sometimes). However, I do let them know that we know what we are looking for in healthy plant material and all plants that they purchase are not covered by our warranty. In order for the warranty to be effective the materials need to be purchased by us and installed by us. That tidbit seems to ease their mind on trying to save a couple of bucks.

cklandscapingorlando
11-19-2008, 05:22 PM
I agree.Besides my clients dont know my prices and the nursery charges them more so In the long run it would cost them more. They would pay the marked up price plus my install price.My clients see the end result price not the nursery price then a mark up.And to be honest their hiring you for a reason and if they want to nit pick then you nit pick and charges go up.Besides most client have little desire and even less room to pick up a few hundred plants.