Good Evening Ms. Black. I have a friend who already does this kind of work. However, he wants to form his own company. The company he works with which does this kind of job, my friend informs me that banks gives him one day to completely clean out a home regardless of the state it is in, this includes if the home is in complete deplorable conditions, (as you are well aware). So by saying this he usually works 12+ hours/per day depending on the condition of the home, and he gets paid per home only. I understand that banks would like to have a foreclosed home ready to go as soon as possible for the next buyer. I would like to know what is the best way to come to an understanding with banks in the sense of the best time frame to clean out a foreclosed home, without hurting the worker and including losing a future client? Thank you for your time. I look forward to your reply in this, including any advice or suggestions you may have.
ANSWER: You can simply form your own "company policy" and let the banks know your policies are established so you can complete their jobs properly. Homes
are sitting empty for long periods of time with no buyer interests, so not quite sure why they are pushing in their timelines out there ... besides, if it's per job, why do they care if it takes you two days to complete (maybe it's a liability issue for them -- i.e., less time you're on the premises, less liability they have to worry about). In any event, you can establish your own company policy and work with those who can adhere to them. If their timeline won't work with yours, consider bidding on the job letting them know you can get it done in a day but your labor charge will need to be more b/c you will need more people. Most homes can be done in a day, though, with the right crew. You'll just have to charge more. If they can't pay, it means you can't make a profit with that client -- which is not a client you want.
QUESTION: Does you product "Foreclosure Cleanup Business in a Box" discuss the inspections that your website refers to? For example, how much to charge for the particular inspections? Thank you for your time.
ANSWER: Hi, thank you for your interest in our company and its products. The "Pricing Guide" discusses inspections in detail. You can find it here: http://www.e-junkie.com/stonecottagebooks/product/278509.php. Many wishes of success in your business. Cassandra
QUESTION: Hi Cassandra. One question, do most foreclosures have power, water etc? Or do most companies have to purchase a generator??
ANSWER: Hi. Really depends on bank/lender that owns the home. Many will have power and water... some banks are even turning utilities back on so they don't risk erosion, busted pipes, etc. Did an article on subject matter couple of years back about what to do when a home does not have specifically electric... peek at http://fcindustry.hypermart.net/blog.htm#power
for some related reading. Note that many of the smaller banks and lenders who own REOs cannot afford to keep utilities on. Will really depend on who has those properties. Keep in touch to let me know how your business is growing! :) PS: Let your business "pay" for the generator. You can get one at Wal-Mart for approx. $200 bucks that can do a good job -- they are loud! But in meantime, if you need a generator, rent it from a store like The Home Depot and add that cost into your job estimate if you can't yet afford it... see this related article: http://www.foreclosure-cleanup-blog.com/?p=67.
QUESTION: Mrs. Black, Good info. Thanks. How do we make money with the property preservation companies, i.e., Safeguard, Owen, AMS, etc., because their fixed price list for general services is unforgiving with no room for profit to speak of. Is the bid for the damages the key to some profits or what?
ANSWER: Hi, I remember discussing this in a few editorials. Some jobs you may have to simply walk away from. I mean, what good is the work if you can't make a profit? You're not in biz to work for free. Try negotiating higher, but if they won't budge, walk away on those jobs and tell them you would still like to remain in their database for work orders to consider for other jobs where you can make a profit. Let me know how it goes. Cassandra
QUESTION: Hi Cassandra, I wanted to touch basis with you because I have been in the market for insurance over the past couple of weeks and been getting quotes. However, I'm being quoted over $1k/yr. Previously, you mentioned that it should range between $200-$750/yr. I am not coming across any companies with a quote in that range. I'm asking for coverage under Janitorial Maintenance for Trash Out and Lawn Care Maintenance. I did reach out to insurance companies that you recommended and they still are giving quotes over $1k.... I feel as though once I move past this part, I will be well on my way! Thank you and I do look forward to your response in the near future.
ANSWER: Insurance costs have gone up considerably since we were first insured, so I'm really not surprised you're running into those quotes today. Just ask the insurer to give you the bare-bones coverage needed; make sure they're not padding your policy with ad-ons you don't need. If you're finding it difficult to afford, ask them if you can pay monthly or quarterly to simply get started. Good luck to you, and let me know who you ultimately choose. Cassandra