Need advice on bidding an apartment complex

So here is the deal … we have been doing A LOT of work right next to an apartment complex and the manager just so happens to drive down one of the streets in that particular neighborhood. everyday on his way to work. I walked in and asked to talk to the manager etc etc … to my surprise they were actually going to call us after the first of the year for an initial introduction.

I have made it as far as #2 in line from the top decision maker, I will be honest I have no ever sat down in a meeting with an apartment complex in regards to roofing the property. I am trying to be as prepared as possible and was wondering if anyone would have any insight as to what might be asked when I sit down for this meeting. If this meeting goes well I will have an opportunity to talk to the owner of the property management company, I would really like for this to go well.

I have roofed million dollar homes before where I was bidding on Slate, Spanish Tile, etc, etc, I know that means nothing in regards to something commercial and as big as this, I was just wondering what to expect …

Any help and insight would be GREATLY appreciated.

For the record I have no doubts that my company could HANDLE roofing an apartment complex and still deliver a quality installation in a timely manor. We have the cash flow to support a job of this size, so we would not be forced to buy from a shingle distributor on a credit account…

My main concern is just selling the job. Of course any help on any aspect of a job such as this would be GREATLY GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Presentation,presentation,presentation.Chances are you are already more professional than the complex manager.(Guaranteed) So that should be in the bag.

1.Be professional,clean cut and obviously on time.
2.Have a company packet;
a.Company accreditations.
c.Insurance Certificates,bonds etc.
e.References (At least 10 with addresses and phone #)
g.Safety plan

Prior to your meeting walk the premises.Get a feel for the job.Come up with a working and functioning approach to the job site.

Take into consideration ;
a.Residents (Priority)

The last thing you want is to interfere with the residents’ way of life.You can interfere by ;

a.Blocking parking spots,lanes,fire hydrants,mail boxes etc.Anytime you cause an inconvenience you will hear about it and complaints will be made.Look at your job site and come up with a strategy not to interfere completely with these areas.

b.Debris, Contain your debris and devise a plan not to interfere completely with your debris removal.Take extreme measures to keep your job site clean and clear of debris.If debris is present remove it in a very timely manner without completely interfering with management or the residents.

c.Entry ways and exits by foot traffic,don’t block side walks,entry ways or exits completely interfering with the residents typical and usual daily activities.

d.Personal property,Keep in constant communication with management during the restoration process.Have management post signs and warnings telling tenants to move personal property off decks,sidewalk areas,patios etc.And if the tenant has not moved property then move it and return it to its original place once the job site is cleared daily.

e.Complex property,Use tarps,plywood and go to extreme lengths showing management and the tenants that your there to prevent damage and you will do so in a manner that’s beneficial to the preservation of their property.

f.Equipment placement,Look at your job site and determine where your trucks,equipment,dumpsters etc can be placed during and after daily roof practices without completely interfering with management and the tenants.

g.Safety,When moving equipment have spotters to assist with the movement of equipment,cones should be used,caution tape etc.Close off areas affected by tear off such as the possibility of falling debris.But do so in a manner that is not completely interfering with management or the tenants.

Your not only representing your image but you are providing a service.With that service comes pacification.You are there not only containing your job site but your handling management,maintenance personnel and about several hundred different personalities of the tenants.

I recommend a safety meeting every morning.All OSHA requirements and restrictions MUST be followed to a “T”.Your competition WILL be watching and if they catch you slipping OSHA will be on site.

I have handled about 30 or so complex reroofs.And I can say in total honesty they are not all the same.Some may say just roof it but complexes bring their own difficulties to the table.Instead of a single homeowner your faced with multiple personalities who have one thing on their minds,to continue life uninterrupted.So when you have that many personalities and you throw noise,confusion,trucks,trailers,debris,shingle trucks and roofers in the mix then there is potential for melt down.But keeping your wits and sticking to a previous arranged plan that best suits the job site,management and tenants then it can be a success with minimal amount of stress.

I have never just been the single contractor called.I have competed with multiple contractors when doing large scale complexes.I can only remember one that I dealt with a decision maker.

These large scale complexes are owned by doctors,lawyers and developers.They usually have a board of directors who make the final decisions.

So I feel very strongly that if you take this information and use what you can and maybe apply it to your approach it can help you win the contract.

I have found that if you categorize all these details and work them into your presentation providing a detailed,legible order of approach on paper you I’ll beat out other contractors who just want to get’r done.

Good luck in your new adventure.

Thank you very much with you input, We working on some of what you pointed out already but there were many things I had not thought of that you brought to my attention. Thank you very very much for your help and insight. :o

Good read Roofmaster 417. One thing I would add… Stress your abilities to complete work on schedule and be able to prove it. References submitted with your proposal would be brief (1-2 paragraphs) previous customer submittals highlighting.

  1. On time.
  2. On budget.
  3. Done well.

Some might think (I am one of them) that nothing is perfect, chit happens and sometimes call backs are part of the process. Grow on that with conversations on how you do what you do and why you do it.
Maybe complexes are not the norm for your business and that is nothing to be shamed about. On walk arounds dropping lines like… “Pretty straight forward” or references to accessibility and protective measures.

I’ve been to only one Board Meeting Sit and Pitch. I had it I knew it as I was prepared and I had the best product and low and behold I lost that job to a stupid seriously low bid ($130,000 Seamless gutter and cover to a $45,000 foam drop in product). Considering the difference I understood. Only later to find out they were budgeting $100,000 if I had bid $100k the would have bitten the bullet with my company. My point of this last paragraph is this, low bid does not always win.

Good luck and learn from the win or loss.

Not trying to twist the thread but ironically enough I won a contract for a reroof on an old Motel 6 here in STL. I have only done 2 hotels and they were both nightmares.But since this one in semi vacant it should b good.

Hotels are very demanding projects a whole new ball of wax.

Sorry it is so big.

Content removed due to explicit insinuation. :mrgreen:

Edited for content. :badgrin:

If I understand a comment that you made about being financially secure to purchase the materials for the project “OTD” (Out the door).That is how I do it as well.

I am curious about the size of the complex ? Here is how I address the down payment part of the presentation/proposal/estimate/contract process.

0-1000 square is 1/2 down or 40% down and the remaining 1/2 or 60% is due upon completion.For these large projects I get away with a 4% penalty for every 60 days of nonpayment one the project is completed and inspected.All inspections are made within 168 hours or 7 calender days after project completion.

1001-1700 square is 40 % down then 20% at the half way point of approx. 850 sq. Then 40% on completion-

1700 square or more is 40% down then 30% at the half way then 30% on completion.

I am sure you might be able to fund the entire project but don’t let that be the deciding factor with contractor selection.Its already known that the normal down payment is at 50% so if anything monopolize off the 40% down.I don’t care who they are I get a down payment of at least 40%.

I have been scrutinized because I charged each of my parents to do their property repairs.But they would not want it any other way.And yes they paid me a down payment before I loaded their roofs.Its just business,show me yours and I will show you mine.

Thank you for that, common sense told me that I needed atleast a 40% down payment. I roofed my parents house too and got a deposit.

I know it is hard to put a “per square” price on a job because each job is different… however this particular complex is mostly 1 story not steep, with the building in the middle of the complex being 2 story not steep as well. I would think that you would bid it higher than a normal residential property but my question is how much higher.

We usually get away with charging between 200 and 230 per square for just your normal residential house, one of my buddies who works at a different company let me see his break down sheet and I figured out that he was charging right around 330 per square… his apartment complex was also 3 story not steep though.

I am estimated the tear off for this job will be right at 2200-2400 SQ. I will have a definite number after today.

Just don’t get drawn into the “Big volume” pitch by the property owners wanting you to base your price on “Square Quantity”.Been there and done that. :twisted:

I have had a customer tell me that before when they owned multiple properties … I told them that if they wanted my price to be HERE then they would have the sacrifice parts of my service. They did not like this and I broke it down for them that I could roof X amount of regular properties for my normal price for the what I would make working with them and have less headache.

They agreed to my prices :wink:

[quote=“Regency Construction”]

We usually get away with charging between 200 and 230 per square for just your normal residential house.[/quote]

Is that for a layover or tear off? If its for tear off then I think you are low.

That is for tear off. Unfortunately that is what you have to charge if you want to be competitive in Texas. I still get low balled all the time.

Hey Regency, what part of Texas are you from.

You guys charge what my material and labor costs are. I don’t understand how you can be getting materials much cheaper and why anyone is willing to work for less because they live somewhere else.

This is my fourth year in business and I already see the writing on the wall that it is time to get out. It’s too bad because roofing used to support my grandfathers family of 8, a full horse ranch and all the other children they took in and cared for.

Now you’re lucky if you make the same amount of money by the end of the week as a regular employee.


I agree texas roofer also were have more competition here and its lower cost.