New to bidding midrise. wfp or rope?

Hi Guys,
so I got a call the other day from a management company that wants me to bid on 4 mixed use retail/multi-family buildings. All of them are on busy city streets and not much access room for say a man lift. I am sure I will need to finally buy a wfp setup. 3 of the buildings are 4-5 stories and the last one is 7 stories with extremely limited access. I have never done rope work so that option is out as well. I will post a couple pics on here. My main question is do they wfp poles long enough to do this? And I have also never used a pole system before so I have no idea how long it will take to do the job. i know what I need to charge hourly I just have no idea how many hours.
I asked the management company why they dont want to use the last window cleaner and they said “the company raised it’s prices significantly”. I just want to give a compettive and profitable bid. After doing some research I found that this company runs at least 50+ other properties in the area so if I get in with them could be a good steady paycheck and the ability to grow my company.
Any advice on bidding or questions that I should be asking please give me some feed back.
Thank You,
Nick Probst
In N Out Window & Gutter Cleaning, LLC
In N Out Window and Gutter Cleaning, Seattle, WA 206-432-0025


What city is this in? I saw a few of your flyers last week as my clients gave em to me. Flyers look good.

Yes they make poles that can do that work. As far as time is concerned it’s hard to say, some of those buildings have screens. Who removes and replaces them? You or the tenants? I would not get my hopes up as many times property management companies are on a tight budget and offer the world to a sub-contractor to get low bids. In the end they have met their contract requirements by providing the service, thus make their money. There maybe a very good reason the other company raised it’s prices with this company. It’s been my experience that property management companys become a major PITA after you have given them a price break. I don’t price break them anymore even if they promise the world. If they want a price break then sign a contract giving me all their properties. They tend to think they have “Buying Power” but their not wal-mart or home depot. Those companys have buying power. Companies that have 50 properties under their belt can’t always get you those contracts because in the end they always have to go through the owner of the property. Maybe, just maybe in the rare case they can get you all the work then they are going to expect a MAJOR price break. Which in the end could be a nitemare for you anyways. I would price out the job with no discount, ask for a 50% down payment, then go buy a WFP. Don’t go buying one unless you get the contract signed. Let me say this to you again, they will promise you the world but until they are ready to sign a contract, it’s just a promise. Let’s not forget once you get your foot in the door with them and you have discounted the work. The next property they send you will be “One of their small ones” so they will expect a cheaper price. Don’t play their game cause in the end you can loose the contract cause you will raise your prices. So to answer your question again, Yes they make poles for buildings like these. As far as time? Well that’s another story. BTW you have to think to yourself, why did the other company raise their prices on this company?

Perfect advice and dead on with how it is. Nice post Ray.

Hi Dave not sure which flyers you saw ( black and white on colored paper or full color postcard) We’ve really been stepping up our game this year. Thank You. And these properties are in Seattle.

Thank You Juggernaut, Thats why I asked the property management company that question to begin with. I have a background in contracting so I know all about low ballers. I figured it might be one of many situations some of which might include: WCer bid too low to begin with and was losing money, WCer decided it was a pain in the butt, WCer was FISH, WCer has alot of work and can afford to lose a few properties. I am still a small company and have relatively low overhead so I can afford to give a competitive price, I just dont want to low ball it through lack of experience bidding those types of projects. I also do not want to undercut my local competition just to get a job. Other factors I am considering is wfp cost, also I am considering a manlift for 3 of the properties, increased insurance cost, and if I will need any special permits to cordon off parking on the side of the street to have room to work with pole or a manlift.
The thing I am looking at is giving a high enough price that I will not be losing money of course, being a small company we cant afford a 2-3000 hit. Every penny counts right now. I know what I have to charge hourly to profitable, I just have no idea what kind of time it will take.
With that in mind are any of you guys from Seattle intersted in combining resources on projects like this? I would just hate to pass up on the oppertunity and I dont need it all in my basket. I dont mind sharing! Send me an email if you interested.

What a great post. How true this is. Bid them high if they go for it, great, if not, don’t think about it to much.

A quick update to my post I dont think wfp will be an option for the whole building, looks like rope will be the only way to go. I will not be able to access the balcony areas with wfp so i would need to rope down to them, or something.

Fish is in Seattle now? Since when? I knew this day would come. If you need someone to tucker that, look me up.