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  • Google Earth for Estimating

    I was wondering if anyone has ever tried using google earth to form an estimate. I personally have not but I do know that the ruler tool is pretty damn close to right on on a measurement that I took of my own back yard.

    It seems that this would be a great way to bring up the property if you were not near the sight and a customer called and wished for an estimate. This would provide for a great service to you (saving the trip and time) and also would be a huge improvement in response time (a half hour compared to the time to physically drive to location).

    Just looking for your thoughts and experiences
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  • #2
    That's a great question and if you do a search on here you will find some posts on it.

    One of the big problems we had seen from doing that is you can't get a real-time view of what is going on with the property.

    Most forum members seem to not want to give estimates over the phone because it seems that inevitably when they do, the day they show up to mow, the grass will be 4ft tall and the yard will be full of obstacles.

    It seems to always be a better idea to view the property, walk the property with the homeowner and point out the issues. Then use your sales skills to sell the price you need to make a profit on the job.
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    • #3
      I know one guy that does it for cookie cutter type places. The big issue would'nt be the priceing of the turf. You could give a quote to maintain the turf and simply explain this price is based on a well maintained property. Any clean up services will be approved before hand and billed accordingly.

      It's the detail that kills you. Are you bidding a slow growing shrub row like azeala or a much faster Hibiscus. Are there wet areas after rain that will need raked and double cut. Is there a wash out area constantly stacking sand on the parking lot.

      If it was fields or turf only then I think it's great. But if your taking care of beds and plants and not flat grade terrain, you might screw yourself

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      • #4
        I know one guy that does it for cookie cutter type places.
        How does he do with that method? Does he ever run into any trouble?
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        • #5
          He say's he dont but I dont see how.

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          • #6
            I was wondering if anyone has ever tried using google earth to form an estimate. I personally have not but I do know that the ruler tool is pretty damn close to right on on a measurement that I took of my own back yard.
            Have you had any experiences where a customer describes their property over the phone and then you get there only to find something completely different?

            What's your view on over the phone estimates?
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            • #7
              It's a waste of time. I've never known a client that can tell me every plant on site. Nor every tree. Without this info your wasting your time

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              • #8
                try this........ Aerial view of house and property. Way beter than google earth. Use your mouse to outline property, house, mulch beds, etc and it will figure out the square footage. Really cool! There is a charge to use the service. works out to around $2.00. Better than driving to the site...save $$$. Good luck!

                The Lawnscaper

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                • #9
                  But even with such a service aren't you still going to have to deal with the same issues when giving a bid over the phone vs. being onsite?

                  What ultimately makes this better, worse, or different than google earth?
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                  • #10
                    Google Earth is great as one tool in your quiver. I find G.E. very helpful in estimating dimensions of large mowing areas. You should not give a quote based solely on this information but it will help you hone in on a price.


                    Keith
                    Start a profitable lawn care business.

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                    • #11
                      Google earth for estimating is no good.

                      The other night I was eager to bid on a property, I used google earth to figure out the footage, it seemed right from the looks of it, though I didn't wanna take a chance.

                      I drove to the property at 2am & did the calculations myself, google earth was way off.

                      it's good to give a limited but general idea, though always double check.

                      the property is either small, medium, or large... that's all you'll know with google earth. You won't have the exact feet & can lose $$$ if you bid this way.

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                      • #12
                        I drove to the property at 2am & did the calculations myself, google earth was way off.
                        Can you tell us a little how it was off?

                        What was the condition of the property too?
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