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lkendall
03-28-2012, 06:05 PM
Its a little late to ask now. But has anyone become a contractor for property management companies who manage foreclosure properties? Just wondering because I just got 40-60 lawns through this company.. It sounds like alot but they are only every other week. Its still great, especially with everyone trying to get lawns. But they want a ton of pictures at each place. Just seeing if anyone out here has worked in this type of situation. Thanks!

ptjackson
03-28-2012, 06:43 PM
during my day job we manage foreclosures for commercial property. What's the biggest challenge with them? I assume your using iPhone or android to take pics?

lkendall
03-28-2012, 11:45 PM
I have an android, but I have a camera just for it, since there will be around 500 pictures a day on average. I was just wondering if they were real strict, like it has to be done on Tuesday not Wednesday..

lawnworker
03-28-2012, 11:53 PM
I have an android, but I have a camera just for it, since there will be around 500 pictures a day on average. I was just wondering if they were real strict, like it has to be done on Tuesday not Wednesday..

Thats a lot of picture taking. Keep us posted on how it goes with them.

BOSS LAWN 2343
03-29-2012, 12:41 AM
I've worked with more banks then I can count on my hands. They are a good landing to get, when you first start mowing for them.. they'll pay on time and return your calls for the first 4-6 weeks. After that, you better have some extra cash. You wont hear from them after that point

I have to say FROM MY EXPERIENCE every single bank I have worked with has worked this method.

zmancgc
03-29-2012, 01:15 AM
I do some property maintenance on foreclosure homes. Not a big company, just subcontracting from bank to middleman...pays the bills, and hope to expand when my new gravely's come in this month. Every bank/M&M is different regarding how strict they are. I have some companies that want Property Condition Reports (interior photos of all rooms) at every re-occuring lawncut I go to...others just want before/after pics and a photo of the front of the house/address.

An important thing to remember is to keep them updated. If you can't get to a job or jobs on time, make sure they know ahead of time. They will usually work with you and allow extra time within reason, especially on grass cuts (unless they are a rush initial with potential city violation/fine). I typically have to take before and after photos w/ date stamps for some companies.

Also, unless they require it, don't worry about manicuring the yard...they just want it cleaned up and presentable for agents to show the house and to avoid city citations. Don't spend more time than necessary but do the job well.

Whenever you can, I highly recommend spraying weed/grass killer on the edging and trimming. This will save you LOADS of time and effort for the next several recuts, and the better you're able to complete jobs on time and per your company's specifications, the better your grade with them will be.

Good luck!

LawnMan19
03-29-2012, 02:31 AM
That's a lot of pictures to take, and let us know how it goes.

BOSS LAWN 2343
03-29-2012, 02:35 AM
One bank that we worked with had us take action shots of us mowing.trimming.edging at EACH property for 3 months. Imagine that.

ClassicLawnCareInc
03-29-2012, 08:11 AM
Ikendall,

If you don't mind me asking what company are you working with? I'm working with a couple and Im curious to see if we are working for the same company.

orangemower
03-29-2012, 09:46 AM
I have an android, but I have a camera just for it, since there will be around 500 pictures a day on average. I was just wondering if they were real strict, like it has to be done on Tuesday not Wednesday..

So they hired you to take pictures? It will take longer to deal with the pics then it will to do all the mowing.

Tha5150
03-29-2012, 10:11 AM
I found someone on craigslist that was pretty much a middle man to the bank. wanted the same thing. Everyone told me not to do it cause of the time it took to take pics, upload, etc etc. this all adds time per job that you will be spending a less time on the road to next job or mowing.

what are you paid per account? how close are they?

Maco Services
03-29-2012, 11:43 AM
It is a very time consuming process that will never give you consistent income. There are too many variables, clients change, frequencies change, people you work with change.

I have been in this biz for three years and planned to do minor maintennace. It ballooned and did well, then the photo lists got larger, requirements became more rigid, inspections became an issue. Oh, and you will have to do interior cleaning of a home, and if you miss something you'll need to go back to for free.
Your insurance will need to be high. On top of all the add ons for work requirements, the pay cycles have gotten longer and tw price /lawn have decreased by 20%.

All are a little different, but most of these you are never able to build a relationship with your client, which is a big downside. You are a commodity. If you will not do it cheaper, others will. And the back end photo work will take hours per day. Enjoy you days working your behind off, and nights uploading work.

It used to be a niche, but it's pretty ridiculous at the moment. You need patience, cash to burn, and expect to get taken advantage of, so move forward with a very guarded point of view. Lots of new people come in, take the lowest price, and then get run into the ground.

Tough business. Can be good, can be horrible. Good luck!
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BOSS LAWN 2343
03-29-2012, 11:44 AM
Pay is anywhere between $24-$32 per account, smaller to medium sized yards. That's what I charged them last year. They send your invoice to the bank that will say 10-25% more than what you charge in the first place. That's what I noticed..

Also they were between a 10mile radius, about 20-30.

I will not be cutting for banks this season.

Tha5150
03-29-2012, 11:47 AM
an idea i have looked into is getting in good with a Realtor or realty business in town. they need maintenance done to better the appearance on the rental or sale of the homes they list. if you do a good job, maybe the home owner would get your card you know? that's an option i am open to. still trying to get more than 5 accounts so i am new too.

BOSS LAWN 2343
03-29-2012, 11:50 AM
I did that, when the house sells I send a card two weeks later. Have gotten about 12 new customers that way.

Tha5150
03-29-2012, 11:51 AM
what was your initial approach to the realtor or company? offer 1 cut free or something?

BOSS LAWN 2343
03-29-2012, 12:20 PM
They came to us, most of them were references bounced off each other.

Tha5150
03-29-2012, 12:28 PM
How would you approach them then? go to office with cards or call the realtor on a house or what? i called 1 person from the number and name on a sign. she said if it is a forclosure they do not do maintenance and the back would do something along the lines of this thread. but then how would we get the business? the realtor office doesnt own the property right? so i just dont know how to approach them.

lkendall
03-30-2012, 12:05 AM
@ classic lawn care, yes its the same company .. however i'm not coming to Salisbury area, im staying in the OC and berlin area.. the pay is basically what was stated in the above comments. This opportunity was presented by a middleman, not the bank.. They pay 2x a month direct deposit. And yeah the pictures are about 7 before, then a few during showing someone cutting, and then 7 more when your done. I do not have the list of accounts until Tuesday but they are all in about a 15 mile radius of where I live, I have a route planner to get the most out of it. Hopefully it will give my workers something to keep them busy during the slow times.. Ill keep you posted, I begin this week ( first week of april)

Tha5150
03-30-2012, 08:42 AM
what do you use for a route planner?

Ducke
03-30-2012, 08:53 AM
I was dealing with a Foreclosure Company last year out of Alberta, I was charging $60.00 per single cut and $45.00 for and repeats. I e-mailed my bill after each job and three days later I had an e-transfer to my bank.
I guess I've been lucky as I have never had a problem.

WHIPPLE5.7
03-30-2012, 12:06 PM
One of them called me yesterday offering $15 a cut up to 35K sq ft and not cut until its a foot high. I had Coca Cola burning nose after I heard that. I laughed so hard I cried.

lkendall
04-05-2012, 12:01 AM
ok, so here is the update on this project.. Tuesday I went and cut 11 properties.. all within about 4-5 miles of each other in the same neighborhood. Some were part of apartment complexes so I just had to edge and trim a bush or something simple. Others had small lawns, maybe 50x100'. They went pretty smooth, and the pictures are not to bad to upload. As for today I had a list of 20 properties to hit.. But they were in clusters, like 3 of the addresses were in the same building, 3 addresses ended up being condos on the backside of hotels on about the 20th floor. Over all though, it will be a good source of supplemental work for my main worker to keep him busy if we slow down..also it gets my trailers out in the rich areas that I would like to target.. So for this year we will keep the contract

Tha5150
04-05-2012, 08:25 AM
glad its working out for you. the job i called about on a craigslist ad were 15-25 per lawn in a 30 mile radius and didnt seem worth it from the 15 pics per lawn i had to take. plus someone else mentioned the fact of their servers. how long would it take to upload 15 1mb pics, etc. might take too much time.

again, glad its working out for you.

lkendall
04-06-2012, 12:19 AM
yeah that lawns that they gave me at first werent in a good radius and I told them good luck I have better things to do, but they said wait we will send you a new list and it was alot better. The pictures actually arent that bad. There is a resizer that you download and drag and drop your picture folder into it, then drag that file to the upload page and it takes about 1-1:30 min to upload 300 pictures, I was pretty surprised at how fast. So all in all not that painfull

Earth&Turf RI
04-06-2012, 01:33 AM
yeah that lawns that they gave me at first werent in a good radius and I told them good luck I have better things to do, but they said wait we will send you a new list and it was alot better. The pictures actually arent that bad. There is a resizer that you download and drag and drop your picture folder into it, then drag that file to the upload page and it takes about 1-1:30 min to upload 300 pictures, I was pretty surprised at how fast. So all in all not that painfull

Are you right in Ocean City doing this work? man i love that area, we vacation on assateague every year.

caddy029
04-06-2012, 06:29 AM
Is thhis company called premeir landscaping

cgaengineer
04-06-2012, 07:02 AM
Ive done a few, before and after pictures with date stamps and electronic direct deposit of payment. The are not loyal customers...they will ditch you for someone cheaper.
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dhardin53
04-06-2012, 09:35 AM
As a rule these companies are nothing more than a job broker. They will get tons of foreclosures from several banks and loan companies. Then find several guys to do all the mowing. All in all that don't sound bad but the fact is these middle men are making more money than the guy doing all the work.

If they can find someone to do it cheaper they will. Some not all get payed a flat rate for each property. So if they can find someone to mow cheaper they make more money. Other companies get a flat percentage over and above your mowing charges. I myself work directly with the banks and skip this middle man.

Tha5150
04-06-2012, 09:50 AM
what we need to do is devise a plan to get the jobs from the banks themselves. That is my ultimate goal. get in with a good local bank/realtor and get all the rentals or foreclosures or something.

problem is, banks own the house and would be hard to get in with someone there.

any tips or ideas?

ClassicLawnCareInc
04-07-2012, 12:41 PM
Ikendall, you must be working for a different management company that what I am. Mine sends you a list, there is no "I don't want these I quit", then they say wait I'll send you a different list lol. The list they give is yours take it or leave it. Mine doesn't have me do any bush trimming or edging. If I feel I want to do any landscaping other than grass cutting I can submit a bid to do it and they usually approve it. If I go to a condo I don't have to do anything except take pics showing its a condo in a building with no grass. On the pics we submit they auto re-size them after we submit them, we just submit and they auto do everything else for us.

Good luck with yours this year. I'll probably see you around as I'm all over the place. Im usually in my silver Dodge Ram.

lkendall
04-24-2012, 10:49 PM
Yeah we are down in the Ocean City Area, I actually live right near the assateague bridge.

The company is Rising Sun. The properties that I didn't want were up in lewis. I just said "hey, these are too far away ill need more money" then they said ok we will send you a new list. Same goes for the trees or any other landscaping, submit a bid and they will let you know.

I'm sure ill see you around Classic Lawn Care, I drive a orange and black Harley Davidson, hard to miss lol