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  • Help scared rookie with apartment bid

    So, this is my first full year of doing lawn care. I started in March and have done pretty well. I also have a full time job. Iíve invoiced for 50 jobs over the summer giving me some spare change in my pocket. I got hooked up with a property management lady. Mostly I go in and clean up the property for her to rent back out and also did some painting for her. It has turned out to be a good working relationship.

    I also have about 5 other customers I do routine lawn care for and it works real well. Well, the property management lady just got a whole apartment/condo complex, and she wants me to give her a bid.
    First, a bid for initial clean up, then a bid for yearly lawn care, sprinkler control, fertilizing and fall leaf clean up; basically take care of everything. Then a twice a year bid for pruning all the hedges and trees.

    It is just me and my wife who helps-she always jumps on my riding lawn mower and cuts the grass for me while Iím weed eating- and will probably do the same here.

    Here is a list of my equipment:
    Truck and trailer
    42" John Deere riding mower
    New Honda HRX twin blade push 21" mower
    Old Craftsman 22" push mower
    Stihl KM 130 Kombi trimmer
    W/ attachments:
    string trimmer
    edger
    chainsaw
    pole extension
    Stihl Blower/shredder vac Sh 86 CE

    Here are some pictures on web shots of the property and an ariel view.

    http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/578525044meWLIm

    My wife and I have been combing the forum, walking the property and making lots of notes. Iím attaching the estimate we have come up with so you can see we have given it a lot of thought.(I removed some colums and her name and my name on this for version for you guys) Normally the lady thinks I bid way too high (sheís pretty cheap!) but this is her first big property and we are both nervous.

    How close are we on the estimate? Do you think I can handle it if itís just me and the wife working on the weekends and evenings? Any input is appreciated on this $11,000 bid

    estimate_worksheet_forum_post(1).pdf
    Attached Files
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  • #2
    I think you have done a great job so far. Part of why you might be scared on this bid is because you may not have answered to yourself why.

    Why did you price those services at those prices? What are the man hours you are associating with each service you listed? What are the additional expenses associated with each service listed.

    I think it is the estimation of the man hours that can be the biggest area to make mistakes with.

    As you look into this more and explain it more, I think you will become more comfortable with the bid.

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    • #3
      If you have any associates with other, albeit larger, landscaping companies in the area, is it possible for you to ask them their input?

      Being that they are actually in the area, perhaps you can ask the owner a favor and help you bid the job? Of coarse you wouldn't really want a company that you are in direct competition with actually deciding to bid against you, but maybe one that doesn't service that area?

      I have an associate that is actually in another state that I have asked questions off, and sent referrals too. He has been in business around 25 years, and was actually going to sell me a trailer when I first got started (our schedules just couldn't line up for the sale to happen unfortunately).

      But, is it possible to ask another company to stop by and meet you there and go over your notes with you? I wish I could help you with the bid, but I just do residential lawns right now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the input. I think i need to make some local lawn friends here just seems like to me there is just stiff competition around here. I just heard from the property management company and they will be making a decision next week. She did say I was the highest bidder out of 3, but she also said I remembered all things to do all year around "IE fall leaf clean up etc." So i would be doing the most work out of all the bids. So we will see what happens.

        Bobby
        www.painelesscreations.com
        Visit us on Facebook
        http://www.facebook.com/PainelessCreations

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        • #5
          Maybe you will get it. Even though you are the high bid, at least you remembered all that needed doing, and you already have a working relationship with her.

          Let us know if you get the job.

          Comment


          • #6
            Bobby,

            If you can, I'd still like to hear how many man hours you were basing your bid on per service.

            I think it's easier for everyone to help you with your bid when they can compare your man hour estimate with how long they think it would take.
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            • #7
              Bobby,

              If you can, I'd still like to hear how many man hours you were basing your bid on per service.

              I think it's easier for everyone to help you with your bid when they can compare your man hour estimate with how long they think it would take.

              Well thanks for Asking. First off I watched your video you have "gopherhaul 61" on the 70k bid that was done. I studied the over head shot and compared it to my over head shot. I determined that the property is 5 times bigger than the one i am working on. So i took the those totals and divided them by 5 and made a starting point. I then took a look at all my picture and tried to determined how long each one would take me and started to adjust the bid from there. I do charge her $25.00 a hr a low rate but she does keep me busy and I do make money from her. I am attaching a sheet of my thoughts that might explain where i got my totals.

              estimate worksheet forum post pdf.pdf

              Bobby
              www.painelesscreations.com
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              Comment


              • #8
                That is fantastic! I am so glad you were able to use that previous show to help you come up with this bid.

                It will be fantastic to see how this job goes. I do hope you get it so you can compare your estimated times with the actual times it took.

                Great work!

                Going through these figures the way you did, do you feel better prepared now to bid larger jobs? Do you feel it was a learning exercise?
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                • #9
                  That is fantastic! I am so glad you were able to use that previous show to help you come up with this bid.

                  It will be fantastic to see how this job goes. I do hope you get it so you can compare your estimated times with the actual times it took.

                  Great work!

                  Going through these figures the way you did, do you feel better prepared now to bid larger jobs? Do you feel it was a learning exercise?
                  Yes I am glad you asked I have learned so much in the last week. I feel more confident I can bid on these things now. Well wait lets see if i get it, LOL. But the feeling you get when you submit it is very odd "You ask yourself am i too high or am i way to low" we will see.
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                  • #10
                    Well, keep in mind, it would be better to overbid and know you wouldn't want to do the job for any less, than underbid and get the job knowing you are losing money every day you show up there to work.

                    I have my fingers crossed and I hope you get it
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                    • #11
                      Well, keep in mind, it would be better to overbid and know you wouldn't want to do the job for any less, than underbid and get the job knowing you are losing money every day you show up there to work.

                      I have my fingers crossed and I hope you get it

                      YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I GOT IT!!!!!!!!

                      might not get the first clean up as they want the exsisting lawn care company to fullfill that end of the bargin.which is ok. I should start as soon as the other lawn care contract is over. Great day today!!!!

                      Bobby
                      www.painelesscreations.com
                      Visit us on Facebook
                      http://www.facebook.com/PainelessCreations

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                      • #12
                        Bob congratulations! That is great news!

                        When you get out there servicing the property, compare the actual times with what your estimated times per job were. It will be interesting to see which jobs were under or over estimated when it came to time.

                        Knowing that should really help you bid future jobs, dead on with the proper times.

                        Keep me posted.
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bob congratulations! That is great news!

                          When you get out there servicing the property, compare the actual times with what your estimated times per job were. It will be interesting to see which jobs were under or over estimated when it came to time.

                          Knowing that should really help you bid future jobs, dead on with the proper times.

                          Keep me posted.
                          Absolutly I will, you have been such a great help so far I truly thank you.

                          Bobby
                          www.painelesscreations.com
                          Visit us on Facebook
                          http://www.facebook.com/PainelessCreations

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                          • #14
                            GOOD LUCK, It seemed the right price for the work you were descriping. I might have been around 10K, but 11K or 12K is a good price for the work in detail.

                            I have a bid out for 44k and I was like middle of the road bid for the service needed. Hopefully I hear soon about that one for next year. The tractor is slow so five hours is probably right in time. A zero turn and you can cut 1 hour off time, Look at the Toro Grandstand for the smaller yards and big areas maybe a 40" mower and you can cut your time down. I always wright our times down and weather temp down and during the season I see if we are getting our times in line with what I bid.

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                            • #15
                              I always wright our times down and weather temp down and during the season I see if we are getting our times in line with what I bid.
                              How do you utilize that information to help you grow?
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                              Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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