How do other park owners handle mowing lawns. Do you pay your lawn mowing guy per each time he mows, or a flat amount each month to keep the landscaping maintained?
Right now I pay a teenager in my park $5/lot each time he mows (my lots are small). However, I feel like he always has an incentive to be extra “proactive” and try and mow more frequently than is necessary
How do you manage landscaping in your parks?
Tenants are responsible for maintaining their own lots, common areas are cut by my contractor that I pay a flat fee quarterly for grass and plowing roads in the winter.
Our tenants are responsible for mowing their lawns. If they do not, they receive a ‘nasty gram’ from our manager. They usually take care of their lots then; occasionally we’ve had to mow for them and bill them.
The vacant lots (with or without a home on them) we pay $10/lot to be mowed by a resident. We pay $120 for that same resident to mow the large side-areas of our park. We cut the grass (lots and side areas) roughly every other week June, July, and August, maybe a little less in May and September and October. There is no need to mow the other 6 months out of the year.
We are not fancy enough to have ‘landscaping.’ We do have trees that occasionally need to have a major branch removed or to be taken down entirely (every other year we nix one). We use professional crews for that with bucket trucks. Removing an entire tree is typically a $1,500 - $2,000 proposition. Ouch.
How do you pay the resident that does the mowing? Business check?
What about the liability issue?
Business check. Paid from our on-line bank account.
The liability issue is an issue. Frank would advise only ever hiring companies with worker’s comp - even to mow.
Your mileage may vary,
Our managers mow common areas and vacants. The pay is built into their pay.
we provide our managers that need to mow with nice, big, zero turn mowers. Like the 40+ inch boys. So they can mow pretty quick. I am a huge believer in buying the right tool, so the job takes less time. We add these duties to our workers comp policies and that is that. In the spring and fall, we mow weekly- and in the slower growing summers we might mow every other week. each area is different, but that is our general rule.
Storage… we provide a shed. I REALLY like small shipping containers. You can get them in 10 x 10, 10 x 15, 10 x 22 etc… got my last 10 x 10 which is a perfect size for a smaller park for $500 delivered. Water tight, great locks etc… its not one of the fancy sheds you see at home depot- but it is very functional.
We do what Jim Johnson does – have our own guy doing the mowing with our own ZTR equipment. We can’t seem to find affordable landscapers to do it for us and we’ve found that “random” people tend to run over things they shouldn’t. (Sewer cleanouts, for example). Plus the liability issue.
My plan, (and I just bought my first park) is to follow the precedent set by the place I used to rent:
Every homeowner (or renter) is required by contract to maintain his own lot.
If a homeowner is in violation, a notice is placed on their door. Within 24 hours after receiving a notice, a forced mow will be done by the complex, and an extra $50 will be added to the monthly lot rent.
I assume that the $50 goes to pay the kid mowing the lawn, as well as for gas and maintenance of the mower/ weedeater/ trimmer/ blower.
Additionally - the mowing crew also gets paid a monthly stipend for mowing the common areas.
In the end - you aren’t the one paying the mowing crew - the tennents are.
Hope this helps.
If you are paying your manager $10 per lot each month to oversee the park, is the job of mowing the common areas included in that?
Or, is he paid over and above that fee each month to mow the common areas?
It is included in our pay of 10/month for each occupied and 15/month for each open lot. Let me add- that is a general rule- as we have a park that has a bunch of open area so we pay a little more. So you need to use your judgment. Our largest mowing area where we hold to the 10/15 payment plan takes about 4 hours to mow, and they mow weekly. It is a riding zero turn mower and they mow about 7 or months out of the year. I would say they mow 4 times a week for about half of that 7 months, and every other week or every 10 days thereafter. Remember that pay happens all year- and in the dead of winter there is much less mowing, though there might be snow removal etc…
How do you figure what you’re going to pay a manager at one of your parks? What responsibilities?
Well, we make a very complete list of all of the duties required to operate the park. Every park has different things. Then we break that down to daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks. We look at the total work load by week- and then by month. From that we can exact a managers pay that fits the parks requirements. Remember you are looking at the work spread over a year- and then paying for that per month. So the summer might seem short on pay, and the winter might seem strong.