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  • #16
    I am glad to hear you are getting busier. As you do, you will feel more comfortable raising your rates and testing out prices. Keep us posted on how all that goes.

    Do you have a table grinder or anything like that for your blades? Maybe have a couple of them you can switch in and out and then sharpen them in a group?
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    • #17
      I'd get a table grinder if I knew it was quicker. I have an extra set of blades. I could get another set but it seems that the sharpening is the quick part, and changing them takes all the time. I haven't switch out the blades in about a year, but I remember it took a while taking of the belt, deck, and blades, then putting it back together. How quick can you switch out the blades? Do I have to remove the deck? Also, I think I'd have better blades that way. The table grinder would give easier, more consistent results. Yesterday I fixed all the trailer issues so the gate is all good now and I sharpened the blades with the dremel. Do you sharpen both sides of the blade (top and bottom I mean) or just the top? I sharpened both but I just have a feeling I could be doing it better. How often should I sharpen them? Once a week? I don't mean to be making a big deal out of this. If it takes an hour every saturday afternoon to switch out the blades, so be it. I'm just wondering how you would do it. I noticed I can go a lot faster today. Its just those tall shoots that come higher than the surroundind grass that seem to get pushed over instead of cut, but that might have more to do with the deck hieght and the front edge of the deck pushing long grass blades down. Would I be correct with that guess?
      www.speedyspiderlawncare.com

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      • #18
        real estate companys

        im going around today and taking pics of these propertys for sale with grass up to your knees, then walking into the said offices, show them the pics & my price, then ask them how they can sell a house looking like this?

        I am also doing this to the owners of the houses. you can look their addresses up online by just typing in the property address. its just you have to hard mail these.


        lets see if this candle gets lit!!!!!!

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        • #19
          Just be sure not to offend home owners by telling themtheir yard looks like crap. Maybe say " I know you're probably busy, I can barely keep up my own yard, but I thought I'd offer to take care of it for you, since I have equipment that can get it done more quickly so you aren't pushing a mower in the hot sun on your day off". I found that a lot of these vacant yards need a good initial "cleanup" and I've been charging $100 for the first initial pruning/ edging/ etc and making it look nice, then going to the regular maintainance. I did 2 of those today actually, and 1 was a scheduled cleanup, the other was just a first time "mow" but it was so bad I spent hours there. The lesson is, try to charge more for the first time because its gonna cost you more. Even if they say "just mow it", your conscience won't let you leave a property looking like crap and you'll want to impress them with your job, i.e., spend all day there for $30. I've been really busy lately from these, partially because when you go to a yard thats been vacant for a year, you end up being there all day. Even though I offer to get paid at closing, about half are paying me right away. I might charge more for the "pay at closing" to encourage promp payment. It gets old driving around town, using all your gas, and not getting paid. If it takes me a while to get to the yard, I explain that because payment is deferred, I can't pay employees and have to do it myself which takes more time. Let me know how it works for you. I'm always looking for new ideas. I've driven by some bad looking "for sale" homes but wasn't sure how to approach it. I wrote down 2 numbers yesterday but I think emails are better (less confrontational). This strategy took me from slow to busy, I just need to see the $ soon. One is closing on 7/30. Also, I think I'll stay away from houses listed by realtors without some sort of contract, making them responsible for payment, in case their listing expires without them selling it. Luckily, I only have 2 of those, and 1 is the one closing soon. The other homes are for sale by realtor/ owners and a small investing business with a realtor and an owner. Emailing a list of realtors is very efficient time-wise though. Google your town and MLS and see if you can find a way to search for vacant homes. It might be hard because only realtors are supposed to access it but sometimes they put links on their websites.
          www.speedyspiderlawncare.com

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          • #20
            im going around today and taking pics of these propertys for sale with grass up to your knees, then walking into the said offices, show them the pics & my price, then ask them how they can sell a house looking like this?

            I am also doing this to the owners of the houses. you can look their addresses up online by just typing in the property address. its just you have to hard mail these.


            lets see if this candle gets lit!
            I can't wait to hear what kind of response you get on this.
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            • #21
              I am starting something similar to this in my cleaning but I have also hooked up with a carpet cleaner and I need a lawn care guy and a painter and we would have the entire thing covered. I am targeting this at the home owner and requiring a $99 deposit. This will at least cover gas and any cleaning solutions required. I am requiring them to pay if they pull the home off the market, change agents/agency or after 6 months.

              With all that there is a higher cost to all this bucause I am waiting for the money or not getting paid at all. 20-30% markup is good if you have an agreement to get paid in 6 months. Hell they would pay that on a credit card. If you are taking all the risk then it should be more like 50% markup. The key is to keep in touch with the realtors.
              Pat

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              • #22
                I am starting something similar to this in my cleaning but I have also hooked up with a carpet cleaner and I need a lawn care guy and a painter and we would have the entire thing covered. I am targeting this at the home owner and requiring a $99 deposit. This will at least cover gas and any cleaning solutions required. I am requiring them to pay if they pull the home off the market, change agents/agency or after 6 months.

                With all that there is a higher cost to all this bucause I am waiting for the money or not getting paid at all. 20-30% markup is good if you have an agreement to get paid in 6 months. Hell they would pay that on a credit card. If you are taking all the risk then it should be more like 50% markup. The key is to keep in touch with the realtors
                Can you tell us a little more about what it is you are doing with this? You are targeting the home owner and offering what kinds of services for a $99 deposit?

                What are the variables where you would want a 20-30% markup versus a 50% markup?
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                • #23
                  As far as the rates the more risk you take the more you need to increase the pricing. For instance if you are taking the risk that if the house does not sell then your markup needs to be higher to cover for those that will not pay. If you are setting it up so you get paid after like 6 months then you can lower the rates because it is kind of a better guarantee. The percentages were just an example. If they put it on a credit card they would pay between 20 and 30% on the money.

                  As far as the kinds of services it can be anything to make the home look better. You have to pick and choose though because if you make the outside look great but they have a trashed interior the home may not sell. You also have to make sure there is equity in the property to cover the fees.
                  Pat

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                  • #24
                    As far as the kinds of services it can be anything to make the home look better. You have to pick and choose though because if you make the outside look great but they have a trashed interior the home may not sell. You also have to make sure there is equity in the property to cover the fees.
                    Have you noticed that the home owners are willing to spend within a certain range for such services? Or is it what ever it takes to get the maximum return on the home?
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                    • #25
                      Just started this a few days ago but I already have a deck lined up for next April before the home goes on the market using this program.
                      Pat

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