Estimates are an important part of any field-based business. When you bid on a project, your sales estimate tells clients what you value your work at. An overly high quote suggests you are trying to take advantage, while a low quote suggests you don’t think much of your industry skills. Using landscape service software, you can take advantage of a variety of tools and features to improve your estimates.
At Arborgold, we work with some of the best landscapers in the country. We know better than most how much work goes into developing an estimate. To make your life easier in this area, here are our top 5 suggestions for technology sales tools you can use in landscape estimating.
1. Drawing and Photography Tools
Visuals are everything these days. Potential customers don’t just want to hear your ideas for a landscaping design, they want to see it. Landscaping software includes drawing and photography tools to create, modify and share imagery of future landscaping designs.
One of the greatest benefits of drawing and photo tools being at your fingertips while developing an estimate is that you can modify the mock-ups as customer preferences change or evolve. Show consumers the potential of their outdoor space by sketching an outdoor kitchen, dream spa or garden getaway.
Arborgold’s drawing tool includes easy-to-use features such as virtual measuring tape and a database of shapes and lines to use. This lets you master more than just visual effects, it also provides a more accurate estimate of costs and scheduling based on yard size and necessary equipment.
2. Map and Routing Tools
Understanding the location of a landscaping job is almost as important as having experience in the job type. Access to map and routing tools allows you to better calculate timeframes and deadlines for your estimate. Locate a team member in the field or choose a crew member who lives nearby a new client to shorten travel times and save on excess fuel costs.
Clients want to know that they can depend on you and your field crew to get their landscaping job done on time. When job times are extended, it eats into your customer’s personal time and plans. For business clients, this can be especially upsetting, as landscaping and large outdoor projects can impede a company’s ability to operate as usual. Mapping tools let you estimate how long travel and transportation of equipment will take so you can provide a realistic quote on your timeframe and deadline.
Your routing tools also let you optimize the best crew for the job based on arrival times and qualifications. Field service software automatically compiles these lists for you, making it simple to choose a crew for every job.
3. Customer Database
Making an estimate or work order means knowing your client. You need information on business or home location and job type. Maybe you’ve worked with this client in the past and have information on file to help you compile your estimate. Field service software gives you a customer database full of useful information, such as:
- Previous services
- Current services
- Equipment needed for past jobs
- Payments to date
Your customer database also allows you to export data into other documents and share it with the crew and third-party service providers, to ensure everyone is on the same page. You can easily look up past jobs by client name, service type, or date.
Add new customers to your database in real-time, ensuring that nobody is forgotten, and your next estimate job runs quickly. At the tap of a button, you can add customers already in your database.
4. Messaging and Scheduling Tools
Communication is the key to any successful job, and this applies to landscape estimators. One of the top technology tools you can use in landscape estimating is messaging. Real-time communication through a bespoke landscaping software app lets you and your entire team exchange information. Receive all your updates and chats in the same location. Alerts can be set to let your team know when you’ve read a message, if you’ve approved a request, or if further information is required.
Another tool shared by your crew through field service software is scheduling. Scheduling tools let you see who is working, who is on vacation, who has called in sick, and where every employee is who is clocked in. Scheduling tools are beneficial to estimating because they let you know which members of your team are available to take a job.
Messaging and scheduling tools go hand in hand because they are both heavily reliant on crew engagement. From clocking in on a job on time to relaying messages about impeded travel, these tools vastly improve your ability to honestly update your customer on progress.
5. Mobile Estimates and Proposals
The world has gone mobile, and mobile estimating tools make your landscaping job much easier. Mobile estimating tools let you create proposals from your phone, tablet, or laptop. This provides a world of accessibility. Whether you’re commuting, or taking a personal day, you can stay connected to your crew and the office with mobile access.
Mobile estimates let you update and edit proposals from your phone. You can also assign estimate jobs to certain crew members, and allow editing access so estimates can be changed as needed.
Take the Arborgold Tour
Arborgold specializes in field service software, serving landscaping companies across North America with top-tier business management tools. We are constantly updating our services to make field service software more accessible, streamlined, and relevant.
In 2021, we expect to see more field-based businesses than ever before moving to estimating software and mobile applications. Making business accessible when in-person interaction isn’t always so easy, improves your chances at winning bids and making new connections.
Interested in learning more about Arborgold and our landscaping estimator software tools? Take a tour and see what Arborgold is all about.