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Author Topic: 400 dogs  (Read 4178 times)
lisaann
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« on: March 04, 2015, 03:47:42 PM »

Hello,
I got a call today from a property manager requesting info on scooping his apartment complex of 400 dogs. He said they "can't keep up with it" and it would literally take 8 hours of non-stop scooping to do. I will be giving him an estimate tomorrow but have no idea even where to start. This is the second estimate on an apartment complex I've ever done. The first complex decided it was too expensive to pay 180 a week for service. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

specifics:
will take over 8 hours
11 buildings with 610 units subdivided into campus housing/rooms
400 dogs
3-4 acres of land

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admin
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2015, 06:28:42 PM »

Although it may take one of their workers over 8 hours to do it, it might not take you that long because of your tools and techniques.

I would suggest a couple of things:  walk the area to be cleaned, as though you were cleaning it, to get an idea of how bad the problem is and where the worst places are.  Time how long that takes, and figure it will take you two times that length of time.  Then look at the area and try to sort of mentally divide it into "yard size areas" -- how long would it take you to clean that many regular yards?  Then a beginning estimate could be based on maybe an average of those two figures.  I would quote a price based on how long you think it will take (using those estimates), although I would just quote the price by the visit, not quoting the hourly rate.

I used to do a similar sized complex, and at first it was a losing proposition because I approached it like a regular yard. I was scooping the entire place every time, and because they wanted to save money they only wanted service every other week.  That approach didn't please anyone: the residents only had a truly clean place two days a month, it took too long for my to clean, and I could have made more money in that time doing regular yards.  I was about to give up.

Then I tried a different approach.  I realized that most of the dog poop was in just a few small areas of the complex, and the majority of the grounds wasn't getting that much poop in it.  SO, I kept the price the same, and went out TWICE A WEEK to clean just those high-traffic-high-poop areas.  And then I caught up on the entire grounds only maybe once a month.  It actually took me less time to clean that way, and  residents had poop-free common areas most of the time.  It was a win-win.  

A job like that may require some creative changes in the methods and schedules before you find what works best for you and for the residents.  That's why I would not recommend a contract for a long term, just propose a price that you think will work, and if they accept that, then try it out. If that doesn't turn out to work well, then propose something else.

One thing I would caution against is trying to lowball it.  Charging too low a price, especially if you trap yourself into it with a contract, will make you very unhappy.  If they aren't willing to pay what you need to make in order for it to be worth while, then don't do it for less than that.

Apartment complexes these days are charging pretty hefty fees to dog owners just to let them live there with dogs.  A wise apartment manager will realize, especially if you show them how this works, that a very small portion of what they are charging their tenants in pet-rent fees, paid to you, actually makes your service a profit center for them.  After all, if they have 400 dogs, paying you $200 a week is a mere 50 cents per dog per week!  They can pay you a tiny fraction of what they are charging people with dogs, and actually make it a selling point for tenants!   

Good luck, and hopes that it all goes well.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 06:35:03 PM by admin » Logged
Alberto
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 05:41:19 AM »

Excuse my ignorance here... as I currently have not started my business officially yet. I'm just scanning the old posts and trying to learn as much as I can. As I read this topic I can't help but to think, "Why doesn't the apartment complex put out Pet Waste Stations and make the tenants pick up their own dogs poop, and simply pay for pet waste station servicing?" Again I know very little about this business so far and still trying to learn. That just seemed like the logical solution to me. Maybe I'm wrong... please educate me here. Thanks
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Doody Duty FL
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 11:29:13 AM »

You're not wrong.  They will put those out.  But people will inevitably NOT pick up the waste.  Someone has to pick it up.  Let that someone be you.
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admin
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 11:45:22 AM »

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