Curious to see how y’all manage working with HOA/Neighborhood group jobs. I have an HOA that reached out to us several months ago asking to be a group rate for gutter cleaning and pressure washing the homes in their neighborhood. We’ve never worked with these folks as a whole before, just individuals in the neighborhood. Once our bid was accepted, the point person for this asked that we section off 2 weeks for the work based off their experience with a previous company. I explained that we will need a couple of weeks cushion from getting the list of folks participating to doing the work in order to plan properly. All seemed to be g2g. A week out and I haven’t gotten any information from the person. I finally get in touch and they say they will plan to send over the information the Friday before bc if they do it too early folks will forget and it’ll be a whole ordeal (doesn’t make any sense, but ok). Friday comes and goes, no information. Saturday I reach out again and ask when to expect the information, and their response is, “Tomorrow (Sunday, when we are supposed to start Monday) at the earliest.” So of course I am heated because it’s May, and you all know we are in the thick of the busy season, and now I’m having to mess around with this crap. But it is what it is at this point, so I tell them the start date will have to be changed to TBD until I receive the neighborhood information. Now it’s Monday 2pm and still no info. I’ve had other folks call in to ask questions, but nothing from the point person.
Now that you’ve read my book, is this normal? How do you typically deal with large group work like this?
If it’s not a managed community/property manager, then we book with the individual clients (and provide the follow-up/reminders per our usual system, thus no “forgetting”) and consider each a one off job. We usually don’t do a “group discount”, but that is handled on a case-by-case basis, so I could as long as the numbers work. If I did, then we’d stipulate some scheduling requirements, but still with each homeowner. Essentially, work with whomever is going to be paying the bill(s) in every case, unless that person designates someone else to speak on their behalf (but still I have their info, and they get the follow-ups).
That how this was supposed to go. We work with each individual client, but all have the understanding we are scheduling together. The point person is just supposed to collect their info and send it to me.
How did anything get booked without the info? That’s not “booked” IMO. If I don’t have contact info and an affirmative acceptance of the price/work, and confirmation of the scheduled date/time, then there isn’t a job on the schedule.
I’ve done a similar contract with a large patio home community doing windows.
The ‘point of contact’ is absolutely supposed to be the one coordinating everything with the homeowners, all you need to do is provide a price per unit, timeframe it can be done and contract written up.
I’ve also done a ‘sign up sheet’ style where a newsletter is passed around and people interested will put their name and address on the sheet. We then contact the homeowners and give them an approximate time and day for the service.
So it’s not a group job in any sense, except it’s a lot of jobs in the same neighborhood…we do a ton of jobs in some neighborhoods, nothing new there. I htink you just have to change your mindset on it, there’s nothing that needs to be coordinated about it. “They all want service? Tell them to give us a call so we can coordinate that.” But from our perspective (and I gather yours from your posts I’ve read), that coordination and service is part of what you do. Two people can’t fulfill the same role in a transaction…either you’re the coordinator, or they are (and you show up when they schedule you to…). I’m definitely not interested in that sort of arrangement, maybe in February, maybe, but definitely not in busy season.
Second, if I’m allowing someone who is not bound to pay the bill do the coordination, what’s to stop several homeowners from saying they never scheduled service, and they aren’t paying the bill? When it’s an HOA that’s booking/paying, of course they are the POC.
Maybe I didn’t explain very well. It is a group job in all senses except each homeowner is paying their own bill. Appointments aren’t being made individually, we will enter the neighborhood and complete the work in a sweeping motion from one end to the other. Literally the only thing the “point person” is meant to do is gather necessary information from the neighbors that are participating in the “event” and send that to me. That is something I should have just done myself, but it’s a first for us so a learning experience for sure. Was wanting to clarify if this is normal or not for the guys that do these sorts of jobs on a more regular basis.
If one person organizes, they collect all the checks and give them to me. I’m not writing up 50 different invoices. I give a date a couple months out and they have a cut off date one month or where they can’t add on anymore. If you are having those problems it is probably in Wake Forest. That’s the new Cary lol
Did they ask why you’re behind schedule?
People disrespect other people’s time so much these days…it hasn’t mattered what field I was in, people do it. Everyone is so self-centered, and probably never even considered that you couldn’t book other work that day (and lost money) because of them.
I know right. In the past when people are discouraged by the time to schedule or the price (its usually both) ive said “oh wait, i can do it tomorrow for free”. I had 1 guy believe me. I had to explain i was making a sarcastic point about their irrational expectations
We keep a book of recurring maintenance jobs that can be added last minute to cover things like this, so thankfully we didn’t have any gaps. Good learning experience though, now I know we don’t accept an account like this unless we are the ones coordinating.
Haha, we get that all the time. I’m convinced people think we are just sitting in a truck somewhere all day waiting for them to call so we can zoom over to take care of them.
I also love when people tell me they have someone that can come tomorrow or are cheaper and that they’d rather go with us if we can do the same price or schedule. “No ma’am, I’m booking for July already. And no, there’s a reason that person is charging $200 less than we are (and a reason they’re available tomorrow when it’s the middle of May). We don’t price match.”