Lawn Service and Prices: 10 Ways to Get the Best Deal
This is a Landscaper’s inside guide to lawn service and prices. Here are 10 ways Homeowners can get the best deal when hiring a new company.
- Get an estimate from a company already working on your street. Companies will give you a better deal in an effort to consolidate their route. Higher prices are given to scattered houses because setup costs are higher. For example, it costs money in gas to drive a heavy-duty truck to each stop. Workers are paid by the hour as they drive to and from each job rather than working. Furthermore, it takes time to load and unload equipment at each stop.
- If possible, get a group estimate for several houses. There is strength in numbers when it comes to negotiating a group discount. Groups of neighbors always get the lawn service and prices.
- Mention you have neighbors and friends looking for a new lawn service. This will make the Landscaper eager to get you on board for those future referrals. Since lawn companies only make thin profit margins on each house, they have to make up for it in volume.
- Mention who referred you, especially if it is an old customer. The Estimator will know you are comparing prices. Since newer customers tend to get charged more than old customers, you will likely get a price comparable to your friend. Also, contractors are reknowned for not calling new people back when they are busy. However, if they know you are a friend of a current customer, you will get a call back sooner. Companies don’t want to be bad mouthed to current customers for not returning calls.
- Be weary of low prices that are too good to be true. This usually means your property was mistakenly underestimated. This is common with new companies who aren’t aware of their overhead costs. Veteran estimators make mistakes too when they are in a rush. When the lawn service realizes money is being lost at your house, they will cut corners, raise you the following year, or eventually go out of business.
- Get an estimate early in the year. If the season starts in April, get an estimate in February. Lawn companies will have mailed out renewal contracts to their existing customers by then. Customers tend to wait until the weather gets warm to mail them back. This leaves the lawn service anxiously waiting to see who is renews. During this time, lower estimates are given to new customers because the company is eager to build up their route. If you wait until after the season starts, you will get a high estimate. You may not even get a call back because companies get overwhelmed with work during April and May.
- Ask for a discount if you sign up for several services. Most companies automatically offer this option. In addition to just a weekly lawn cut, most companies offer weeding beds, a spring cleanup, trimming hedges, a fall cleanup, and a chemical program.
- Better prices and priority service is given to regular customers. Customers who spend money year round are catered to. In contrast, Homeowners who only want a fall cleanup, get taken care of last and are priced higher.
- Ask for a discount if you pay for the whole year up front. Money is always tight in the beginning of the season for lawn companies. They have gone the entire winter without any income. Expenses keep piling up until they can bill out for the first month of service.
- Get several estimates. Use the other companies’ estimates as a negotiation tool. Don’t beat them up too much on price because lawn companies have ways of cutting corners to make up for it: spending less time on your property, using less fertilizer, not line trimming edges, etc. You can sign up online for several quotes from local companies by filling out an online form.
What Not to Say…
- You took your last landscaper to court. Regardless of whose fault it was, this will put the Estimator on guard. He will think you are problematic and may not give you an estimate at all.
- Brag about how much money you make. Keep the jaguar in the garage. This is common sense. If it looks like money is no object, you will be priced accordingly.
- Bad mouth your neighbors. Lawn companies hate neighbor disputes because they tend to wind up in the middle. (ie: Fights over property lines, leaves blowing from one property to another, tree limbs falling on the other’s property). They will anticipate headaches with your neighbor and charge you a higher price to compensate for future aggravation.
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