View Full Version : would it be wise to cold call real estate businesses to gain accounts?

10-12-2010, 01:45 AM
i was just wondering, and i know that most businesses only represent the properties for the owners and dont actually maintain them. but there seems to be a fair share of banks and such, even private owners that have moved out of one house and into another and just let the grass grow wild. ive called one or 2 reps before in the past and they gave me the info for the banks that owned the properties to let them know their yards were ridiculously overgrown and that i was offering my services at a fair price until the property sold. stupid me never called the banks and now someone else is maintaining the property until it sells. i was just wondering how often this matter might come up and do people ride around and find overgrown properties and try to recruit them as an account? would it be in the real estate reps best interests to have a business in mind should the need for a maintainer come up with one of their clients? just my thoughts. give me yours.

10-12-2010, 09:34 AM
Many years ago, I did a lot of work for realtors and made a bunch of money. I still work with some of them today, but the real estate sale and rental markets are so tight that there's just no money there any more. The property owners are in over their head and just don't have anything to spare.

If you can build a good relationship with an old time professional realtor or broker you'll do OK, but watch them close on the money until you get to know them.

Patriot Services
10-12-2010, 09:54 AM
Some scrub cuts the bank owned property across from my house. No.edge or trim and blow it off with the mower. Mulches any garbage. I asked how much he gets paid, 10.00 he said. I think he is overpaid, the neighbors and I clean up the rest since we live here. I would never put my name on that kind of work.
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10-12-2010, 09:56 AM
My advice is go for it. Direct mail with a business card and a personal note might be good, as well. Point out a particular property that looks shabby and give a price to make it look good. Don't be afraid to talk about prompt payment, either. If there is one thing realtor's understand, it's money.

Patriot Services
10-12-2010, 10:38 AM
Realtors understand money as in they won't spend their own.
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10-12-2010, 11:26 AM
The banks all have their go to guy who gets them all in a specific area. you dont want those anyway. All they want is a mow & go. Preferrably scalped to the dirt so they only have to pay once a month.

Go after the real estate agents who actually produce large sales volume in your area. These people are usually dealing with home owners who aren't broke, care about their property, have already moved out of town/state etc....

The bad part is the listings sell eventually. You may cut it for 6 months, or 6 weeks. You never know. Just do good work and you'll keep getting the calls when the agent has another one.

The good side is that spring is when everyone lists their home and they all want spring cleanups.......

I get a bunch of resi driveways in the winter from this as well. Listings can't be shown if the realtor cant get their lexus in the driveway.

Bottom line is that all realtors will not be your lifeline of gravy work. A simple few is all it takes however. Weeding through them all is the challenge.

Get to know them.....take them out for a drink or meal.....hand them some cards/flyers and talk about THEIR business.....not yours. They dont care how many houses you service.... But you should care how many houses they represent on an annual basis.

10-12-2010, 11:32 AM
I've actually considered doing this in the past, as I know a couple of the local realtors, but never did. I have mowed several properties that were for sale, but I have always worked directly with the property owner, never through a real estate firm.

I can't speak for your area, but from what I see around here, most real estate firms have someone to do mowing for them. The one's I've happened to see are generally someone with a consumer lawn tractor in a cheap trailer pulled by whatever, and they mostly just knock the grass down to where you can see the house, and that is about it. High end properties might be different, but I figure in most instances, the property owner retains someone themselves.

One property we mow now, the owner, who lives in TX, contacted me directly. We cleaned the place up, and he retained me to mow regularly. The first week we mowed, we did so a couple of days later than normal to work the new account into our schedule. The guy called, saying the real estate lady called and told him the yard needed mowed, and we hadn't shown up. I am guessing she had either a friend or relative she was going to put to work, or she had someone who was giving her a "finder's" fee.

10-12-2010, 11:48 AM
MOturkey, I know what you mean. If I was the guy cutting the lawn across from you I'd rethink the amount I'm getting paid to do it. Especially seeing as how that $10 is already spent by the time he gets there. BUT... in his defense if he's only getting paid $10 to do a job, no matter how small or large it is, it'll most likely be a cut and go no matter who does the lot.

That is the sad part about realty.

10-12-2010, 11:58 AM
i think ill try and get in good with real estate agents and see what happens. i may also call some bank offices up and ask them if they have any properties in need of care. OR i may just go drive around and find a few and then refer to the owners/banks to offer my services. thanks for the help.

Patriot Services
10-12-2010, 12:30 PM
That's was me with house across the street. Do a search here and you will find a lot negative advice on the matter.
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10-12-2010, 12:32 PM
on the matter of cutting for banks and real estate agents?

10-12-2010, 01:08 PM
Cold calling is a tough one to swallow. The girl I had working for me before she moved to SF was making $60k a year doing sales for me. Its frustrating to do cold calls. I actually watched her one day and I was stressed out! She was good though, she actually set up appoitments with people and closed them in person rather than on the phone. I paid her a great percentage of the contract and she did really well working only part time. We have what it takes to do what we do, and there are people out there that can talk great on the phone and set meetings up, so look into hiring someone and pay them a percentage of whatever they close. I have two options. You can take 20% of the contract or take 10% for 3 months. She used to take the 3 month deal in order to have money coming in. I was very sad when she left she maid me alot of money.

Patriot Services
10-12-2010, 01:12 PM
on the matter of cutting for banks and real estate agents?

Yes, the question has been asked many times with most guys saying low and slow on the pay.
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10-12-2010, 01:47 PM
One of my first customers was a agent I called about a overgrown property in our area. I got that account along with several of his other ones. I still mow for him 3 years later. You do have to keep in mind that those properties come and go. I worked for a house flipper that I would get calls for stuff he would buy all over town.6 weeks later on to the next one.Property management agents are good ones to work for since they take care of them for other people.

10-12-2010, 03:49 PM
im not too worried about the come and go aspect of the yards. as long as they kept coming i wouldnt be sad when one eventually went. i just want to gain some accounts. i know its tough right now because the season is closing up soon but i still want to establish some connections with a few realtors around the area so they know who to suggest when they sell a house to a person they know is incapable of such tasks. i guess riding around the area and taking pictures and # of the properties that need it most would probably be my first step.

The LawnRanger
10-12-2010, 05:47 PM
I get alot of business from Realtors and Banks they pay very well on repos I did a small property last Saturday took me 30 minutes to mow and trim and paid me 150 bucks not bad for 30 minutes of my time so yes get all the repos you can get

10-12-2010, 06:23 PM
I would talk to the broker not the agents, most offices have weekly or biweekly office meetings. talk to the broker and ask if you can present at one of the meetings. Give a quick 5 min speech about what you can offer them and hand out your cards. bring some donuts.

You will have every agent in the office there all at one time.

rain man
10-12-2010, 08:47 PM
If you can run them down there are threads on the subject. Never done them myself, had one realtor approach us but he wanted them for nothing. Some say that it works though if you get the right person or deal.