Commercial property managers can be a landscape or asphalt professional’s best clients. They have money, they need to get things done, they may have multiple large-scale jobs, and they can be easier to deal with than residential clients.
It’s About More Than Just Price.
Property managers (PM) will always be conscious of pricing, but cost may not be their only concern; they also appreciate efficiency and value. One simple rule may be that if you make the PM’s job easier while providing cost-effective service or providing extended benefits, your chances of winning their business go way up.
And don’t forget that the average PM has bosses, or investors they have to answer to. So what you’re selling them is more than just a service. Part of what you’re selling them is the ability to defend their decision to choose you.
A ‘Real World’ Example:
I saw signs of this a couple of weeks ago, talking to a customer who had a problem. There was an error in his property measurement, and his client told him he was 25% higher than the other bidders. Instead of simply throwing out his bid, the PM asked him to confirm or revise his numbers.
Although our guy’s bid had included an error, he got a chance to prove (or disprove) his original estimate. When we reviewed his numbers, we found his measurements were actually closer to 45% above the actual square footage.
To me, this was clear evidence that:
- The PM DID NOT KNOW the square footage of his own property!
- He was simply using the bidding process to vet out a reasonable cost and when faced with an outlying number from our guy, wasn’t sure if it was right or wrong.
- He was unwilling to just go with the lower bids because he didn’t want to take the risk that they were the ones who were wrong.
We can make guesses about why our customer got a call back despite having an error in his bid (The awesome property map and spreadsheets from Go iLawn/Go iPave?), but another important takeaway may be this; if his clients are right, the other bidders “padded” their square footage by 20%… Why?
For a service provider, the challenge was in accurately measuring an oddly-shaped 300,000 square foot parcel just to make one bid.
This difficulty in measuring the space may also have led to the PM being unclear about its actual size, to the point that he couldn’t tell which bid was “right” when there was a 25% difference.
And of course this leads me to two important points about measurements.
- If you can confidently measure an odd parcel and bid it at 100% of its actual size, your bids will look great compared to other guys who bid it at 120% of actual size to allow a margin of error.
- If you can prove to the customer that your measurements are accurate (through maps, drawings and calculations), you give them a safeguard against management backlash and make yourself an attractive option, even if you don’t have the lowest price.
With Go iLawn or Go iPave, your ability to measure accurately and have confidence in your measurements can be very high. And once you’re done using your measurements to estimate your job, you can put them in your proposal to help the PM justify that you were the best contractor for the job.
Want more tips for dealing with property managers? Check out our “5 Ways to Make Property Managers Choose Your Service Business”.