As a small business owner in the cleaning industry, you've probably discovered that some jobs pay more than others. Sometimes private clients are a good bet, but they come and go. Business cleaning contracts bring a steady stream of income, but you might need additional clients to maximize your profits. Foreclosure cleanup contracts are one way to diversify your cleaning business' income streams to help you meet and exceed projections.
Foreclosure Clean-Out and Cleaning Businesses
Foreclosure clean-out and cleaning jobs aren't the same as regular cleaning jobs because personal artifacts, furniture and more are often left behind in foreclosed homes. Banks, sellers and real estate agents need your first priority to be clearing out the junk. This means making use of dumpsters and hauling things to the dump. Once the junk is cleared out, many clients might also want you to perform traditional cleaning services to help the property sparkle and make a fast sale.
No matter how you get your foreclosure cleaning contracts, you'll want to make sure you have your business ducks in a row first. This means taking care of basics like:
- Business licenses
- Liability insurance
- Cleaning and hauling tools and materials
Most clients will request to see proof of liability insurance, as well as a portfolio of prior cleaning and junk removal projects.
Working With Real Estate Agents
Specialized real estate owned (REO) real estate agents focus their work on serving banks that are holding foreclosed properties. These real estate agents are skilled in helping banks quickly turn around repossessed properties in order to recoup some of the money they've lost. As part of this, REO real estate agents maintain a foreclosure cleanup network of trusted professionals. To become listed, try networking with local agents, sharing your portfolio or even working alongside a professional who's already on their list to get some needed foreclosure cleanup training.
Working With Contractors
Many foreclosure properties have major work that needs to be done to meet code before listing. Banks and REO real estate agents work with contractors to ensure this work is done properly and efficiently. Try visiting local REO contractors to swap professional information and create cross-referring relationships. When the contractor works with a bank, they might share your information with them and vice versa. This can increase your pool of customer contacts.
Working With Buyers
Some buyers purchase foreclosure properties in "as-is" status before any junk has been cleared, repairs made or cleaning done. Check local foreclosure auction listings or the foreclosure section of real estate websites like Zillow and RealtyTrac. Once you find out the date and time for auctions, attend in order to network with others in attendance. You're sure to connect with real estate investors or potential home buyers who'd benefit from your services.
Working With Banks
Banks employ REO professionals who are responsible for overseeing the process of selling foreclosed properties to help recoup losses. Many banks maintain online databases of foreclosure cleanup crews in their area. Contact your local bank's REO department to find out the best process for listing your business. Simply being listed in the bank's database might not be enough to get you hired. However, if a friend or REO real estate agent recommends your work, that could help you gain traction and land your first gig.
Foreclosure Cleaning Secrets: Hidden Profits
Many foreclosures are full of furniture and other items that homeowners were unable to remove. When your contract allows and the bank doesn't want to sell these items, you can list and sell them on auction sites or in local yard sale groups. Extra sales are one of the best foreclosure cleaning secrets that could help you grow your small business more efficiently to enjoy faster financial gain.
Anne Kinsey is an entrepreneur and business pioneer, who has ranked in the top 1% of the direct sales industry, growing a large team and earning the title of Senior Team Manager during her time with Jamberry. She is the nonprofit founder and executive director of Love Powered Life, as well as a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, certified HRV biofeedback practitioner and freelance writer who has written for publications like Working Mother, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle and Our Everyday Life. Anne works from her home office in rural North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three children.