Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Community Assistance

Community Assistance Community questions, comments, and suggestions. Problems posting? Email me.

Dealing with out of Province/State Customers


Community Assistance

Community questions, comments, and suggestions. Problems posting? Email me.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:31 PM
Ducke's Avatar
Ducke Ducke is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Duck Pond
Posts: 844
Rep Power: 0
Ducke is on a distinguished road
Default Dealing with out of Province/State Customers

Just wanted to ask if anyone has any dealings doing lawn work for people that live out of Province/State.
I now have two customers that are from away. One is a regular weekly customer the other is a one off for a couple selling their home here in Nova Scotia and are now living in Alberta.
The first one I'm not to worried about because I know the Family. But the new one from out west I got through a Reality Agent who I have done work for.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 06-13-2011, 08:43 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,772
Rep Power: 0
Hedgemaster is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I'm still a noob but what I do is if it's a minor job (under $50) that isn't going to "hurt" if I get screwed, I do the job on the promise of being paid by mail.

If it's going to be more than $50, I request payment before doing the work.

I have a new client that I cut a rental property for locally and apparently he lives across the country in Denver, Colorado. I did his on the promise of payment, and he sent a check for the first cut and also included payment for the following month of cuts in advance. Nice.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-14-2011, 02:11 AM
Fisher Fisher is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: White Bluff, TN
Posts: 156
Rep Power: 6
Fisher is on a distinguished road
Default

I have at least two residential from out of state and they are R.E.O properties in which I've never even met the realtor that asked me to mow them. There was three of these but after the first one I was informed that there was someone else signed up to take care of this property and was never paid for it. I do have five other customers that have out of state numbers though I believe they live local.

In total (out of state or not) I have twelve property owners that I have never met with in person or even via a representative of theirs. I suppose with any one of these that If I din't get paid for initial service that it might would be hard for me to collect without the ability to prove that this person did indeed hire us.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-14-2011, 11:26 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,948
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Would it be better to bill a month in advance for your out of state customers?

If they didn't pay, wouldn't it be a pain for them if you took them to court? If they have property in your area and you got a judgment against them, wouldn't that make it easier to collect?

Quote:
but after the first one I was informed that there was someone else signed up to take care of this property and was never paid for it.
Did you do anything about this?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-14-2011, 12:07 PM
Dragger Dragger is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Paw Paw West virginia
Age: 52
Posts: 75
Rep Power: 6
Dragger is on a distinguished road
Default

I have 5 customers that all live out of town/state that i do property for 1 is a house that is for sale and the others are weekend/vacation homes they all pay 30 days in advance except for the home that is for sale she pays 1 week in advance .

They Did not Question me when i told them i needed payment up front since they would not be there when i serviced there property .

Being a new business it would hurt me if i was into them for a months worth of work and they did not pay .
__________________
C&S Lawn Service

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-14-2011, 03:33 PM
bruces bruces is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 828
Rep Power: 0
bruces is on a distinguished road
Default

I suggest taking time stamped pictures before and after ,at least untill you start seeing payments ,I have heard of others doing this,then the out of towner claims it wasnt cut ,or asks for pics after the fact .
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-14-2011, 03:40 PM
Fisher Fisher is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: White Bluff, TN
Posts: 156
Rep Power: 6
Fisher is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Would it be better to bill a month in advance for your out of state customers?

If they didn't pay, wouldn't it be a pain for them if you took them to court? If they have property in your area and you got a judgment against them, wouldn't that make it easier to collect?



Did you do anything about this?
No, Steve I haven't done anything about this as it was just the one service that they got me for. I also never ask for any money up front from anyone, unless the total is over a certain amount and is usually a larger landscape project. As for regular maintenance customers I like to give everyone a chance and it has only failed me that one time (though I am still waiting on a check for $3k for work billed two weeks ago today that I handed the invoice to the property owner myself). I don't know if or how they even verify that I performed the work that I bill them for. I think that this helps build trust and I simply do not mow if the previous bill wasn't received on time before their next scheduled service whether it was a single weeks bill or a full month.

I also have a few that will mail back a check for 2-3 months of service to be credited to their account even when the bill was for just one service.

I have no doubt that at some point and time that I will take a hit for operating this way and hopefully it will just be a small one. I understand the view that If the customer can't pay a deposit to help cover materials especially if they ordered it c.o.d (stone, concrete, sand etc,.) Then they just may not be able to pay you after the work is done.

I know we've all heard on the news at some point about people getting paid or deposits for work that they never returned to perform. This is a big part of why I don't take money before work is done and on the occasions I do, I give proof of my bond, insurance and license information to the customer.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-14-2011, 03:47 PM
Fisher Fisher is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: White Bluff, TN
Posts: 156
Rep Power: 6
Fisher is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruces View Post
I suggest taking time stamped pictures before and after ,at least untill you start seeing payments ,I have heard of others doing this,then the out of towner claims it wasnt cut ,or asks for pics after the fact .

I take pictures as well. Though I rarely have ever been asked to show proof of work and really only on one r.e.o. property. I find pictures are also helpful for selling other services like showing them a dead shrub, much needed bed maintenance or that tree limb that somehow made it through the kitchen window. Pictures on initial service are good to have if you see something damaged or out of place you can show that it was that way before you even started work on the property.

On the other hand you may just show that you did indeed cut down their tulips that disappeared.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-14-2011, 03:52 PM
Tom53 Tom53 is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Northwest Iowa
Posts: 57
Rep Power: 0
Tom53 is on a distinguished road
Default

This might be a situation where a contract, or some type of written agreement was made in advance of the work. Maybe not a formal contract, but something in writing stating the person requesting the service is either in charge of that particular property or has authority to request such lawn maintenance.

It could also state that payment is required in advance, or at least 50% of the expected cost. That way you wouldnt be out anything, or at least much of anything.

With that written agreement it might be easier to take them to court if payment wasnt made.

Its easy enough to tell them that you believe they are an honest company or person requesting this service, but that you have also been screwed in the past by others who you felt were honest, and thats the reason for payment up front. Put it to them nicely and they really shouldnt have a problem with it, but if they are hesitant, tell them you will take the before and after pictures that are date stamped like mentioned above, and email them if they want. If they still hesitate about an up front payment, I would tell them to find someone else, as its not worth your time worrying about not being paid. Especially if it is a large job.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-14-2011, 08:13 PM
Ducke's Avatar
Ducke Ducke is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Duck Pond
Posts: 844
Rep Power: 0
Ducke is on a distinguished road
Default

I do plan on taking lots of pictures as I need some before and after for the web site.
I have also kept all the e-mail we have sent and I got him to send me an e-mail listing the things he wants done that way he can't say I said or didn't say to any of the things I do.
The worst part about this is we are in the middle of a Postal Strike so posting checks is an iffy thing. I know I will get them I just don't know how long it will take to get them.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dealing with problem customers - GopherHaul 51 Steve GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show, Video, Book & Podcast Discussions. 0 12-16-2009 09:58 AM
Dealing with pain in the butt customers - GopherHaul 51 Steve Lawn Care Business Marketing - GopherHaul Forum News 0 12-16-2009 09:56 AM
Hello from the state of Delaware oldmanriver Introduce Yourself 5 11-26-2009 08:13 PM
The Pleasures Of Dealing with Customers sasquatchmonk Starting a lawn care business. 8 07-29-2009 11:44 AM
15 Techniques When Dealing With Customers Steve Show Off - Picture Post - Photo Gallery 0 12-12-2006 03:26 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Is it too late?
Cpadgett
05-28-2016 09:10 AM
Today 11:40 AM
by Chilehead
3 72
Whats up??
Cpadgett
05-27-2016 10:57 AM
Yesterday 11:09 PM
by Cpadgett
1 40
Firefighter gone Lawn...
Firehouselawn@hotmail.com
03-10-2016 04:50 PM
05-27-2016 08:17 PM
by J.A.S.LawnService
7 9,693
help with sole...
greenbuds
03-24-2016 12:21 PM
05-27-2016 12:20 PM
by Wolf4dk
3 9,427
To mow weekly or Biweekly
WarriorLandscapingCAN
05-11-2016 04:09 PM
05-26-2016 04:45 PM
by lawngawd7
9 353
Help a Brother Out -...
Hedgemaster
01-23-2012 04:19 PM
05-26-2016 04:34 PM
by Crossett73
91 33,741
Hello from Alabama
pruzilla
05-25-2016 01:20 PM
05-26-2016 08:14 AM
by pruzilla
2 69
Hello from Centreville!
Daveylawns
05-23-2016 09:04 AM
05-24-2016 04:08 PM
by Steve
1 85
Laying new grass, Sod...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
05-23-2016 10:07 AM
05-23-2016 08:41 PM
by Steve
1 74
I need some aeration...
rootytalbot
08-14-2015 12:32 PM
05-23-2016 09:06 AM
by Daveylawns
10 3,795
Prolin
rmccutchan
05-21-2016 04:53 PM
05-21-2016 06:36 PM
by rmccutchan
2 94
Upgraded to a new mower
Stevenor92
05-17-2016 08:17 PM
05-20-2016 07:08 PM
by Stevenor92
8 226
Intro
LaraRahmani
05-18-2016 02:54 PM
05-19-2016 02:43 PM
by Steve
2 125
Best Push Mower You Have...
markty
05-14-2016 03:46 PM
05-18-2016 07:34 PM
by Stevenor92
4 203
New mower!!!!
Stevenor92
05-18-2016 03:46 AM
05-18-2016 06:39 PM
by Stevenor92
2 128
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
05-18-2016 02:59 PM
by LaraRahmani
1,249 435,115
Stupid idea?
hopolb33
05-13-2016 11:25 AM
05-16-2016 11:22 AM
by Steve
1 175
Planting SKYBOUND CEDARS
FrankieeLawnz
05-13-2016 03:59 PM
05-16-2016 11:21 AM
by Steve
1 158
Edging Fad...
Tree geek
05-10-2016 11:29 PM
05-15-2016 11:12 PM
by Tree geek
2 206
Business Overload
Chilehead
05-06-2016 09:27 PM
05-13-2016 11:15 AM
by Steve
11 419
Hello from great state...
Cel1980
05-11-2016 09:00 AM
05-13-2016 11:07 AM
by Steve
2 181
Did this job free to...
JJand M Lawncare
05-02-2016 02:33 PM
05-11-2016 03:54 PM
by JJand M Lawncare
10 453
How to tell Cust. to...
GeeGood
04-09-2008 09:55 PM
05-09-2016 07:08 PM
by JJand M Lawncare
16 5,544
Echo SRM 230 trouble.
Jack Rabbit
05-08-2016 06:16 PM
05-08-2016 11:22 PM
by Just for Cuts
1 165
Toro ZTR Issues
rsanchez1203
05-06-2016 09:27 PM
05-07-2016 10:26 AM
by Steve
2 190
Correct way to quote a...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
05-02-2016 11:52 AM
05-03-2016 10:59 AM
by Steve
1 312
» Popular Tags
advertising become an entrepreneur best mower be your own boss break business education business help business management contractor hacks deck lift dethatcher edging entrepreneur entrepreneur education estimates free lawn care fuel problems fuel pump half moon blade hydro increase customers jjandm lawncare landscape landscape design landscaping landscaping design company landscaping richmond va landscping lawncare lawn mowing lawnservice lowering grade marketing mulch new business planting plowing raising grade residential lawn care richmond va richmond virginia lawn care roundup safety scag snowblower snow plowing snow shovel solo solo backpack sprayer start a business start a lawn care business start business start up swzt toro timecutter tree tree pics tree service video walk behind what to charge work from home
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:24 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:24 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy