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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

Yeah, but where the FRICK is your HOUSE?


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #21  
Old 05-27-2012, 04:54 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Mustn't have been as "emergent" as they would suggest since they didn't reply with an address.




I will say that my new outgoing message on my voicemail has helped tremendously, as the majority now lead off with their address. LOL
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  #22  
Old 05-28-2012, 09:35 AM
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I will say that my new outgoing message on my voicemail has helped tremendously, as the majority now lead off with their address. LOL
Isn't it fascinating how tweaking your operations can make things run smoother? I bet as you move forwards, there will be a lot more tweaks.
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  #23  
Old 05-22-2013, 10:18 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Same crap, different year...


Overall, I have to say that 99% of people now include the full address when leaving messages/emails.
This is a good thing.


Yesterday morning I received a voicemail asking for an estimate in a specific part of town - but no street address given. Sigh.

I called back and (voicemail) indicated that if he could provide an address, I'd be happy to stop and take a look. I added that he could text me the address if that would be easier.

This EVENING, at around 7:30pm, I was out picking up annuals with my wife when he called and left another message.
"Hi, I guess we're playing phone tag - just wanted to talk to you to see if you can get my lawn cut. I have family coming on Saturday and it hasn't been cut since last fall. I'm hoping you have some time in the next day or two to get it done before they arrive, give me a call."


Really?

REALLY?

It's WEDNESDAY NIGHT and you need it cut by SATURDAY, and you STILL don't leave your address as is requested in my outgoing message (twice) AND the voicemail I left?

I was IN HIS AREA TODAY and could have stopped to look - IF he had provided an address!
Thursday and Friday are booked solid and we're supposed to get rain. I have a wedding to go to on Saturday.

People make this harder than it needs to be.


Moron.
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  #24  
Old 05-22-2013, 10:37 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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This guy called me last thursday and didnt leave a address. Then as I'm leaving the area he lives in, he calls again. I asked him where he lives he rambles on about how it takes 10 mins to cut and then goes on about the last guy charged $20 then proceeds to give me directions. Finally i get the address and I drove by the place while I was talking to him.

After turning around. I get there and see this.
 photo CAM00864_zpsf8409c7a.jpg



I'm about to drive off and he comes out waving. Ohh god! I ask him weekly? biweekly? Ohh no, it only needs to be cut every 3-4 weeks. Ill call you. Sure you will. I just left!
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  #25  
Old 05-22-2013, 10:59 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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That's what gets me. You play phone tag and find out that if the people would have given an address the first time they called, you could have given them the quote while you were on the next street.
NO! They call you with the info after you've driven 20 miles away.


I really have stopped MOST of it with a very pleasant, and clear, outgoing message on my voicemail, but a few still find their way through.
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  #26  
Old 05-23-2013, 05:41 PM
myblacktruck myblacktruck is offline
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I hate that how hard is it to give me your stupid address. Here's another one that irritates the hell outta me. This lady calls me with her area she lives in and telephone #. It was a little outta the area I'm serving but, it was several acres and, there's money in that area so I called back and left a message to give me her address. She calls back on Tuesday, and we set something for Thursday, as thats the day I'm closest to them. I call when I'm done mowing letting them know I'm on my way and get no answer. I call the other number and the husband says oh I hired someone Tuesday night . REALLY ??? I guess calling me to cancel never crossed your mind oh I was so pissed, but not nearly as pissed as I would've been after driving 1/2 hour up then 45 minutes to an hour back home stupid people how ignorant can you be.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:14 AM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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Ha! I've never had that much trouble getting an address, but I do completely understand. Maybe it's the area I live in, but I get a lot less phone calls and more e-mails and texts. I guess people around here are more comfortable with their new technology and don't want to talk on the phone, so I cater to that. Even in e-mails, some people just don't want to give up on the address.

What really gets me is the people who won't give you their address for "privacy reasons". Like they think someone wants to pretend to be a landscaper so they can rape you or something. Like bitch, I'm 18, you're 47, ain't nothin' goin' on.

Sometimes they say "well here's my zipcode and a intersection nearby, I don't want to give my address out to too many people because I'm shopping for quotes". Again...nobody gives a **** if they know where you live.



Here's a trick though, you guys might thank me.
I don't even go out for a physical estimate anymore (unless it's REALLY local. Like within a mile or two of my current location). I do it all without seeing the property. Now, before you say "but what if!!!", I give them a price range. I say "I can come out an give you a firm estimate, or can I give you a price range over the phone if you're shopping around." Of course they always chose that because it's convenient.

I ask for lot size (which they never know), how often they want it cut, if it's currently overgrown, if it's a corner house. I tell them that I need their address to look up the lot size. So I take their address and put it into Google Maps and see where it is. "Oh, that's close to where I have other lawns" or "ew..that's far away". I also take a look at the street view picture if it's available.
Then, I type in Google "*their address* acre" and I get several websites telling me all about the house. Usually Zillow.com comes up. It is very useful. It tells me the lot size, price the house last sold for (so you can tell the richy-riches), when it last sold, mortgage estimate, etc etc.
If it's some house in a rich area, and they are paying like $3k/month mortgage, then I'm sure as hell going to charge them $40/cut when it would usually be a $35 lawn.

So I take the lot size and compare it. If the lot size is .17 acres, using other properties I already mow, I can estimate that it would take me 30-35 minutes to service a .17 acre lot. So I say "my price would be $35-45". That gives me a cushion if I go to mow it, and it's got 2x as much trimming as I expected it.
ALSO, people LOVE it when you come in under estimate. When you say "$35-45", they're really expecting it to be $40-45, and if you say $35, they will think they just saved a ton of money.

This might be different for you guys in less populated areas. Zillow.com might have less info if you don't live in a super-populated city like me. IDK
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  #28  
Old 07-01-2013, 10:43 AM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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^^^ You still need their street address.

Which is the point of this thread.
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  #29  
Old 07-01-2013, 11:30 AM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
^^^ You still need their street address.

Which is the point of this thread.
Well....not exactly. If they can actually tell you the lot size, you're fine (mostly). But if you start the conversation off like this, you have yet another reason to ask for their address. Not just like "well gimme your address, I'll come by some time". It's "if you provide me with you address, I'll look it up on my computer and get back to you within 2 minutes".

And it's not nearly as stressful for you. If you ONLY do on-site estimates, then you're stressing out a bit. Like you were saying "when they finally give me their address, I'm 20 miles away! When I was a block away an hour ago". With doing online quotes, it doesn't even matter if you were next door and your now a hundred miles away.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:23 PM
stevef1201 stevef1201 is offline
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I use our county property appraiser web site. If I get the address, that's great. If I get your name and know that you own the house that's good. Renters don't care, they will give the address. I get all the information about the property, size of lot, sf of house, pool, patio, drive etc, and an overhead picture. I can also get a map. I then give a price range. I tell them that it could be higher depending on what I find out when I get there to look at it.
Like 123 some street, it's on .17 acres, the house id 1 story, 2500 sf with 500 sf of driveway, 100 sf of side walk, 1200 sf of patio, detached garage 300 sf. The overhead shows three large trees, flower beds around the house, a screened in pool, and kids play structure. I would give a price of (not really) say 20 to 40 dollars per cut depending on what is in the yard. I need to see the yard to give a firm estimate

I usually am right in the ballpark with these types of estimates, sometimes not.

Shoppers say ok and I may never hear from them again.

People interested in service ask when I can come take a look at it. I try very hard to schedule estimates for when I am in the area, give the estimate, do the cut, get paid, move on.
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