Originally Posted by TDS Landscaping
Agreed, this method works great for me also.. My cousin is a realtor, emails me a list once a week (i mow his lawn for half price in return) and i get alot of landscaping jobs that way, and a good amount of mowing and snow removal too. Most new homeowners are very appreciative of someone who comes up and offers to help them out (if i get a "good vibe" from the owners i will offer to mow there lawn free one time as a "housewarming" gift) rather than them having to scan the phone book or online in a new town during the hectic time during move in.
I've done the door to door flyers bit, but do not knock.. usually just annoys people if you knock. Don't get alot of jobs this way, but one is better then none on a rainy sunday afternoon when all of the equipment is ready to go for the upcoming week.
One strategy that worked well for me, especially recently, was contacting banks who own foreclosed properties (foreclosures are public information, and are in the paper every day) and offer to do basic upkeep of the lawn until the property is sold. Some banks already have a company they work with, others are thrilled that you have called and saved them 25 minutes to find someone. I don't take these on anymore because i have all of the full service accounts i can handle, but it was a great boost to my business last summer, really helped me pull in the extra income i needed to expand.
That sounds like a good idea about doing the foreclosed properties. You can maybe take that a step further and get in touch with the new homeowner when the property has sold. Tell them you did the prior maintenance and ask if they'd like to keep you on.