View Full Version : Start-up REO "Trash-Out" business

07-02-2008, 06:22 PM
I'm looking into starting up a foreclosure "Trash-Out" business with a family member. I've been in real estate for 6 years so I do have some contacts but am pretty much starting from scratch. I'm in one of the hardest hit area's in the nations for foreclosures, Sacramento. I've done rehab work and have the equipment already

What I have:
Lawnmowers, Chain Saws, Edgers, etc.
Dump Trailer
Tree Stumper
High power pressure washer
& lots of energy

What type of advice would any of you have?
Do you charge per hour or flat rate?
What do you charge for mowing the lawns every other week?
What have you found to be the best way to get new business?
How many jobs can 2 young guys hammer out in a week?

I apologize for all the questions but I want to understand what I'm getting into. I do really appreciate any help you guys can be :drinkup:.

07-02-2008, 10:12 PM
What type of advice would any of you have?
Do you charge per hour or flat rate? Securing the property, clean outs, and repair of any liabilities (ie. railings, replace broken windows, remove above ground pools etc) are a flat rate based on the job. securing averages anywhere between 80 and 200 dollars we can be in and out in under an hour most of the time, clean outs vary from 50 to 4000 dollars depending on the amount of garbage and travel time. Railings and stairs, any where between 40 and 500 dollars
What do you charge for mowing the lawns every other week? Mowing is charged out by the quarter acre starting at 20 and up stopping at 80. We bill for mowing every week from May 15 till July 1 then bi-weekly until October 30. All the mowing is in and out as quick as possible. no stripes or fancy patterns, minimal string trimming and only blow inside the city if possible
What have you found to be the best way to get new business?We started 12 years ago with one property management company with a recommendation of a REA and currently we provide service for 6 companies with offices located all over Canada all from word of mouth and property transfers. We do not directly deal with REAs. All quotes and approvals go through our head offices, hired by the mortgage company to maintain the property
How many jobs can 2 young guys hammer out in a week? ]We have up to 4 guys on some jobs but on average we usually use 1 guy for occupancy checks, securing, mowing and plowing. 2-3 guys for clean outs and repairs. Most clean outs will fill our 16' trailer and on the scales at the landfill weigh in around 2 tons usually and take around a day to complete with trash removal and scrub 'n shine

In the last 12 years we have managed 1000 plus properties: residential, commercial and industrial and on average we manage and maintain 60 to 80 properties at any given time. Remember these are Atlantic Canadian prices as well. Our gas was also $6.22 a gallon this morning so you may need to adjust your prices to fit your area and expenses. Our properties also can be up to 100 miles one way travel.

Hope this answered some of your questions.


07-03-2008, 01:16 AM
And be ready to wait 1-3 months, sometimes longer for your check in the mail.

07-03-2008, 12:56 PM
Thanks, Kubota. Good info, very helpfull.

07-03-2008, 02:01 PM
Run away fast. It sucks. It's horrible and disgusting and dangerous. I've done maybe 500 of them, and also average 50-60 at a time.

Prices are usually set by middleman companies who will try to strong-arm you into doing $30 yards 100 miles away because they bid the work out at a low price to a huge bank to get their business. It's all flat rate and the companies who send you the work will want 20-25% off the top. And they'll be completely annoying too. Be prepared to drive 100 miles to pick up a 3 inch piece of plastic from a garage floor because they threaten to backcharge you to get somebody else to do it.

Also be prepared to wait a couple months for payment, and keep in mind they usually don't want any quality rehab work done. They want to spend as little as possible. Bigger the bank, the less they'll spend because they have a slew of 'em and just want a low flat rate and don't have time to take bids and screw around. Be prepared for meth houses and hypodermics and overflowing toilets and rotten refrigerators and dead pets. I hate it.

And you'll need a portable generator, and a respirator, and some other small stuff.

RC Works
07-03-2008, 02:30 PM
I talked with a guy yesterday that was researching our area and looking for contractors to do this. It sounded pretty good at first but what laxative said rings familiar. He wanted to pitch 300 or so properties on someone for $20 each to include a 'perimeter' cut and inspection. In a rural area with big drives between jobs I don't see how you could pay for fuel.

I'm interested still, and looked over the related posts and HUD payment schedules posted elsewhere but I think I'll try and find jobs on my own rather than being pimped out for peanuts.

Has anyone had any luck approaching local banks or credit unions to do this or is all the work channeled through the middlemen?


07-04-2008, 12:46 AM
Has anyone had any luck approaching local banks or credit unions to do this or is all the work channeled through the middlemen?


A little. Realtors too. Smaller local banks only have a handfull of foreclosures.

Today I almost got shot by a sheriff's deputy for breaking in to change the locks on a vacant house. Fun stuff.

07-07-2008, 06:14 PM
Laxative...that sounds horrible! Why do you continue to do it?
I was going to market to Realtors instead of the banks, I've heard they actually do get bids but I was thinking a flat rate depending on the sqft and work needing done.

07-07-2008, 07:47 PM
DONT DO IT. You'll be bankrupt before you get paid. Money changes hands many times before it gets to you and you will always be the last person paid. Ive even seen the prop managing companies use the money they are supposed to pay their contractors ie you, to purchase more properties.

09-24-2008, 05:07 PM
I started doing "trash outs" during the drought in Jan 2007 and it does suck doing them. NASTY! My lawn guys hate it! I'm about to start subbing them out.


david shumaker
09-24-2008, 08:14 PM
I'm staying away from rental houses, houses being flipped, overgrown properties, etc. I wouldn't mnd doing them, but from my past experience, the owners don't want to pay what the job is worth. They also don't want the grass cut on a regular basis....just when it's a foot tall and want you to cut it short.

02-16-2009, 11:39 PM
how do i start the buisness up? i have the guys and all the materials how do i bid on properties?

02-16-2009, 11:41 PM
how do i bid on trashouts? i have the crew and materials just dont know how to bid or get the jobs

10-21-2010, 04:38 PM
This is one heck of a business...

Anyone who has bad mouthed it doesn't know how to approach it & capitalize on it...

Order FREE Report 3 Steps to Start a Successful Junk Removal Business at http://trashoutorlando.com/junk-removal-business-squeeze.html

Lawn kid
10-22-2010, 10:51 AM
What about getting contracts for just the lawns for the 2011 mow season?

11-30-2010, 08:17 PM
you could try to get just lawns by contacting agents or property preservation companies who need lawns maintained until the property sells.

with the current foreclosure moratorium or halting of sales these properties are going to sit on the market longer until they sell. The whole time they need to be maintained.

many preservation companies or agents are wanting a one stop shop so to speak that can handle everything from the initial junk removal, initial lawn service and the lawn maintenance until it sells.

some properties will be needing to be maintained just a couple months... others much much longer.


11-30-2010, 10:31 PM
I have done some trash outs for a real estate company that i mow foreclosed homes for when there normal contractor couldn't do it. The money is not worth it and it takes awhile to get (Im still waiting on some). I agree with sancho try and get the lawns. We do lawns and other work on the foreclosed homes like cleaning gutters and washing the driveway and walkways. We make more profit doing that than we do from trash outs and the money comes from the real estate company and so it pays a lot quicker.