How it Works
Compare Us to Our Competition!
(This is only an example using Property ID: YYC-SHG-01-06)
Our Fee Methodology
As of December 25, 2020, I have revised the all of the above figures to allow for a smaller upfront annual membership fee to make the initial start-up costs more affordable.
I have now added a Pay-as-You-Go pricing option for those who want occasional on-demand service rather than the more predictable monthly/annual fee structure. For details, please request a quote and I will personalize a rate plan for you based uniquely on the square footage of your property. There is a minimum seasonal service fee of $300 which includes the annual membership fee of $99 and a minimum lump sum prepayment of service fees in the amount of $201. You may top up your account at anytime using the CMBA-PAG (Pay-As-You-Go) Account Reload option on the Plans & Pricing page.
Most contractors will charge at least $25 to do just the typical 75 foot x 5 foot city sidewalk, and $45 - $85 per job to do the entire property when hired on a per job basis. However, most are unwilling and/or unable to reliably do one-off jobs. Many providers insist on a monthly contracted price of between $250 and $300 per month for 7 months. That's $1,750 - $2,100 per season, whether it snows or not. A similar methodology applies to the other seasonal jobs as well.
We negotiate group buying discounts with key contractors for the entire community, manage the trades and the plan fees, and then pass those savings on to you! And the more neighbors are join the program, the better the deals we can offer over time.
For my dad's property, he saves 57% on the individual cost of doing just the city sidewalk compared to the competition ($11.25 vs $26.25).
Each city block within a community is a unique parcel of land that contains a certain number of houses within that space which is bounded by the city sidewalks, a lane, park, river, or other such area defined by a set boundary. In the communities section, you can view the detailed pricing data and a map showing the specifics for each unique city block within the defined community. Using Google Maps and the measurement tool, we have isolated the precise linear frontage owned by the city that encircles the entire parcel of land for each block in every community listed.
Conceptually, we have prorated the cost of servicing each walkable sidewalk across the total number of units on that block, since those occupants are the most likely to use the shared city-owned sidewalks and boulevards, and so must share equally in the cost to service it. Also, for the contractor, being able to do one continuous sweep around the block is time efficient and gives all block members the best possible pricing per linear foot. Although each property's frontage will vary from its neighbor, there are areas such as the corners of each block that are shared by all pedestrians and for which it would be unfair to assign that space to just one property owner.
In fairness to all, each block in the community is treated as a separate billable parcel and the area is simply prorated by the number of units on it.
Based on that total liner footage, we then determine a fixed fee for servicing the city owned sidewalks in our winter service. For our summer service, the grassy boulevards owned by the city are likewise measured for those areas that are the sole responsibility of the adjacent property owner.
Your Private Space: As for each property's private front and back yard space, we measure each area and then bill by actual square footage at the rate shown in the Services section. For the purpose of estimating some prices here, we used a multiplier based on the known parameters and real world competitive quotes we obtained for one typical house in the community that we are familiar with. Your actual quoted rate for your private space may vary somewhat from the figures shown if your measured space is dramatically different from our estimated measurement. You may measure your private space yourself and estimate whether our general estimate is within 10%. If so, then our stated prices can be used as is.
Our Pricing Matrix
Service fees are based on a formula that assumes a set amount of time and a fixed labor rate to complete the job specific to each block and property plan. We reviewed historical weather snow-fall patterns over the last few decades and used a complex formula to estimate the number of likely snowfall events in a typical season. Currently, the Calgary area experiences an average of 35 snowfall events per season of varying severity, ranging from a low of 19 to a high of 52. Our risk and budget analysis assumes the local average will be the number of service dispatches we issue in a season and our pricing is based around that figure. Of course, other cities will have different historical values and therefore different pricing models.
We also look at long-range seasonal weather forecasts and the Farmer's Almanac to estimate the probable number of event days in the upcoming season. This risk analysis is critical to our pricing so we can maintain the service fees fairly but profitably so we can provide service for the entire season. We have assumed 35 annual total snow fall events in Calgary, which is historically accurate. Each city will have a different formula but a similar methodology.
All of our plans include an upfront Annual Membership Fee that allows us to build a reserve fund at the beginning of the season to cover anticipated early service dispatches while we auto-collect the balance of the Annual Service Fees over time from the community members through auto-billing to a credit card. Ask us about other options.
Note: we do reserve the right to make a cash call in the very rare event that an excessive number of snow events occurs exceeding the local record of 52. See the Services section for our general pricing methodology.
The service agreements are unique to each property and can be tailored as needed. Each term is for a 1-year period. For example, winter service is typically an agreement that starts on September 1 and the anticipated fees for your property are calculated to include the forecast number of snow events for the next 12 months. You agree to a 12-month contract term and are liable for the entire pro-rated service fee allocation regardless of the number of installments chosen. Of course, it is best for us from a risk perspective, if you prepay for the entire year, but monthly options are available to anyone on a budget (note: there is a $36 annual fee to cover our extra banking and admin costs for monthly billing). And NO, you are NOT paying for winter service in the summer, although Calgary has been known to have snow in every month of the year! Your agreement does cover you for 1 full year!
There are several relevant fees applicable when subscribing to a service.
Annual Membership Fee: An upfront fee is charged upon first enrollment and once a year upon renewal (you may cancel the renewal for the upcoming season at anytime on 30 days notice prior to your renewal date.) It represents a prepaid flat fee portion of your annual prorated service fee allocation. We must collect this fee in advance to provide us with a reserve fund of sufficient working capital to cover any required insurance, repairs and maintenance, new equipment purchases, and to pay the contractors during the early part of the service season. Depending on the block you live on, this fee may account for between 15% and 35% (for a block with a high number of closely spaced properties) of the annual services fee allocation. In most cases, we are collecting about 20% of the services fees in advance, while the remainder is paid over the rest of the year for those who choose to pay by installments.
Depending on the seasonal plan you choose, the annual Membership Fee:
For (W) winter service is due on October 1.
For (S) Spring cleanup season is due on March 1.
For (U) Summer service is due on June 1.
For (F) Fall cleanup season is due on August 1.
Annual Fees: This is the balance of the annual service fees due and payable for the coming season in addition to the upfront Annual Membership Fee. These two amounts are charged and billed separately as shown in the Plans & Pricing page. By prepaying all of the fees in advance, you will save the $36 annual finance fee. The annual fees can be paid in 1, 3, 6, or 12 installments, as requested.
Monthly Fees: Your total yearly service fee allocation is split into two parts: an upfront Annual Membership Fee (see above) and the remaining Service Fees balance which can be paid as an optional monthly installment. This remaining balance is divided by 12 to arrive at a Monthly installment. It is shown herein as 12 equal installments, but we do offer the options for 3 or 6 installments, upon request.
Finance Fee: This fee is applied on all installment payment plan options to cover the additional banking and monthly administration costs we incur for you to be on a monthly verses an annual billing plan. It is currently set at $36/yr and is payable upfront with the Annual Membership Fee.
PAG Pay-As-You-Go: With our PAG plan, we require a minimum pre-payment of $300 on account (includes the $99 annual membership fee + $201 towards your service fees for the season). These prepaid fees will be applied per snow removal event towards services performed at the rates specific to your property (e.g. a $30 fee per service = 10 service events). Once the credit balance has been fully applied to services rendered, we will let you know when to top off your account with additional funds. PAG service fees are based on a $0.06 per square foot rate for all cleanable areas quoted. Thus, the initial $300 will cover an area of 500 square foot for 10 cleanable snow events. One snow event is defined as a required cleaning of snow to a maximum depth of 10cm. Heavier snow falls could count as 2 or more events depending on the depth of snow measured on-site upon our arrival. Each call to clean your space on a day of continuous snowfall counts as one event. Although service calls are automatic on all plans, you may cancel a PAG call if you intend to clean it yourself and avoid spending a call on a relatively light snowfall day. We only apply a cleaning charge for days we actually attend. This allows you to budget for only heavier snowfall events using the PAG program.
Our Service Plans
Depending on your desired service plan, you have your choice of seasons (winter, spring, summer, or fall) as well as the portion of your property you want serviced (city sidewalk or boulevard only, front portion of your property only, back portion only, a combination of these, or all property service). Your personalized plan is coded onto a unique CMBA sign to indicate to the contractors what job they are to perform upon arrival in your area.
For more details about our copyrighted color coded signage system, see our Samples page. These signs come in two formats, an 8"x 5" vinyl removable window decal for placement in your front garage door window (or any other window easily visible from the street) as well as a matching coroplast 12" x 18" lawn sign which is displayed on your front yard prominently for the workers to easily see. When they arrive for work, they can visually confirm your service plan level and then scan the QR code to verify that your account is in good standing. This eliminates any need for interaction with them to approve any work, collect payment, or gain access to your property. All contractors are required to wear a CMBA badge and to have a magnetic door sign from CMBA on the side of their vehicles to indicate their affiliation with us.
To see it in action, click the sign and scan each QR code with your QR Code reader.
Sign Coding System
W, S, U, F: The first four boxes indicate for which seasons the plan is active. An * means no service is active for that season.
(W) winter service agreements
(S) spring cleanup season
(U) summer lawn and garden service
(F) fall cleanup season
A, B, C, F: The second suffix label indicates the Plan service level.
(A) indicates a full service level where All of the property is serviced including the front yard, back yard, and the City portion of the property (e.g. front sidewalk or grass boulevard).
(B) indicates only the Back yard is to be serviced.
(C) indicates only the City portion of the property (e.g. front sidewalk or grass boulevard) is to be serviced.
(F) indicates only the Front yard and the City portion of the property (e.g. front sidewalk or grass boulevard) is to be serviced, and the back yard is left alone.
Property ID Column:
Row 1: The first row uses standard airport codes to indicate the city of service.
Row 2: The second row uses a three character abbreviation for the community name. In our example, SHG means Shaganappi community.
Row 3: The third row indicates both the Block ID (first two digits) and the unit number on that block (the second two digits). Thus, YYC SHG 01-01 would translate as the 1st unit on block 1 of the community of Shaganappi in the city of Calgary. See this property map as an example.
Our contractors look for a colored-coded lawn sign and optional window decal as they approach each property (see the samples here). Based on the sign color and a scanned QR code verification, each property is then serviced automatically unless payments are in arrears or the account is inactive. Note: Our contractors will collect both signs whenever the notice in the QR code advises them to do so. Skipped services due to non-payment are not deducted from the total dues owing; a missed service is simply the penalty for non-payment and doesn't eliminate your obligation for all outstanding amounts.
Finally, as proof of work done, contractors will take pictures of each area cleaned and upload them to our private Service Reporting page along with date and time details of when the job was completed and by whom. This creates an audit trail for billing purposes to CMBA, for proof the work was completed competently, and to protect against city bylaw fines in the event you were issued an unjustified infraction.
Here is what the contractor Service Report page looks like.
That is the entire program in a nutshell. If you have questions, please call us today. Otherwise, click the button below to get started creating an account record now.