For property managers, every season has its challenges. Winter seems to bring more than its share of them—not the least of which being snow.
There are three basics types of contracts used by commercial property managers: time and materials, per occurrence, and a seasonal snow contract. In our experience, using a seasonal snow contract provides the best ROI. To understand why, let’s look at each in turn.
Time & Materials vs. Per Occurrence vs. Seasonal Snow Contract
The three basic types of snow removal contracts are structured in fundamentally different ways. Time and Materials contracts charge a varying price based upon the amount of resources provided to your property during a particular storm event. Per Occurrence contracts charge the same price per visit to your property during a snow event regardless of the amount of resources provided. And a Seasonal Snow contract charges the same price year after year regardless of the resources provided or the number of storm events.
On its face, Time and Materials contracts seem a like a good deal. Only pay for what was used, right? Well, there are two problems with Time and Materials contracts. First, you pay for contractor mistakes. What if the contractor accidently puts down too much salt, or plows the secondary priority areas as frequently as your high priority areas? The customer ends up paying extra which can lead to billing disputes. The second problem is the lack of predictability. There is no way to know from one storm to the next how large your invoice will be.
Per Occurrence contracts remove the unpredictability from your services. The contract states up front how much you’ll be invoiced for each service visit. The price is static (except for blizzard rates). This is the most common form of snow removal contract for commercial properties.
Seasonal Snow Contracts are not yet widespread in the market, but they are gaining in popularity, largely because of the multi-year price stability. The multi-year contract also removes the hassle of rebidding contracts each season freeing up your time to focus on other matters.
Why a Seasonal Snow Contract Is Your Best Snow Removal Budgeting Solution
A seasonal snow contract is best described as a flat rate snow removal service, similar to a landscape maintenance contract. Our seasonal snow removal agreements run from November to March on a three year contract.
Why three years? Because snowfall is so unpredictable from one year to the next. This year could be nearly snow-free, while next year could bring a major storm every two weeks. There’s no way to predict in advance, but a three year term is long enough to average out these weather fluctuations and ensure a fair exchange of value for both parties.
How Does A Seasonal Snow Contract Work?
It’s very simple: we clear snow from your property when and where you need it, and you know exactly what it will cost three years in advance.
We monitor the weather, and before a predicted storm we do a process called scouting. This involves taking ground temp readings to find out whether the ground is cold enough for snow to stick after it falls. That way, we only use de-icing product when it is needed.
Effective use of materials helps keep costs down and protects our ground water. We perform scouting procedures throughout our service area, because conditions can differ from one part of the area to another.
We sit down with you in advance and find out what your plowing preferences are (where you need plowing at what times) to keep your budget reasonable, your property safe, and ensure satisfactory service. For instance, many properties have high and low priority areas; perhaps you can cut costs by only plowing certain lots on a regular basis—or, you may have areas you need kept ultra snow-free.
For property managers, the advantages of a seasonal snow contract are many, including:
- Budgeting predictability. Say goodbye to surpluses, over-budgets, and all the time-consuming explaining and negotiating that goes along with them.
- Time savings. A signed 3-year contract saves you two years’ worth of bid-gathering headaches.
- Less red tape. Three years between contracts also means fewer approvals to navigate.
- Security. A snow removal contract ensures that your property will be kept clear as needed. Snowstorms become a slight inconvenience rather than an emergency.
The best snow plowing contractors get their contracts signed before the snow falls, so most snow contracts are set in November. If you wait too long all the good service providers have their capacity filled, and you won’t get on the books this season.
Need Safe, Reliable Snow Removal?
Looking for a trustworthy snow removal company capable of meeting high corporate standards? We’re e-verified, we drug test and background check employees, and we have a solid track record of providing satisfactory snow removal services to corporate clients throughout the Lexington and Louisville areas. Call us or request a quote today!