Realtor Account

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rbruchwalski, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. rbruchwalski

    rbruchwalski LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    My Wife and I need some advice on what could possibly be a big account. We were contacted by a major Realty Company about doing lawn maintenance for houses/businesses that are on the market and empty. We have a meeting on Wed 4/09 and was wondering what we need to know going into this meeting. All that I know as of now is that they charge $250 then refer us to their realty customers, then they take a certain percentage of that. I don't know what that percentage is as of yet. This company has several hundred realty customers in this area and I think there is alot of potential there.....$$$$.....Any advice on what I should know going into this would be greatly appreciated. There is also snow removal available if we care to do that also.. Thanks Everyone.....

    Ron & Marybeth
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Ok, they want you to pay them $250 so they will give your name out. Wonder how many others like you they have talked with?

    They will give your number out and then you do the work for the current homeowner until sold. Let me tell you this in bold letters:Don't do it!!! A homeowner living in another area trying to sell the house will forget who you are when the house is sold!!! I know I'm not the only one that lost money to homeowners moving.

    After they get you for $250, then they want a piece of the work revenue also. Reality check here!! Are you nuts? Mowing is a pretty low profit margin. How can you possibly give them a cut? There is too much work out there to be suckered by a reality company. How many real estate agents have you known? Many of them been much more than a liar? Best friend until the house is sold, then you don't exist any longer. Think they will be concerned about you anymore?

    I'm not being rude(before anyone accuses me of it), I am giving it to you straight. You can learn from those of us who have been screwed or you can learn the hard way.
  3. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    $250 and they get a percentage? Looks like they will be making out better than you. What exactly are they going to do to get you these customers? What happens after say 2-3 years? Will they forget about the 250 you put up front?

    Sounds pretty good, but a little risky. Like Eric asked, are they going to be properties that are selling or are they people that have just bought the home?
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Cos, they are empty, so the risk of not getting paid is huge. Try to find the previous owner in another state and get paid.
    As you know, "the checks in the mail". hahahahaha.
  5. Casey

    Casey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    It seems with the added risk to you, the Realtor should be paying you the $250 up front as a deposit against non-payment by their clients, and maybe a 15% premium for not being able to keep a regular schedule, one week you have 10 homes the next week 5, then 15, how would you ever know how much help you would need. Run as fast as you can
  6. Alan Bechard

    Alan Bechard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    Does the word "RUN" or maybe words, "RUN VERY FAST" strike a chord with you?

    Good greif, what are you getting for your $250? Our experience on the whole has been as above, or the realator and homeowner arguing over who should pay, and meanwhile you are out the money.

    We do mowing for a very, very few select realators that we have known probably over 10 years, and it is always explicitly clear, who and when the payment will be done.

    Just my 2 cents, do not want to stick pins in your balloon, but that deal just does not add up in my mind.

    Al Bechard
  7. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    Honestly, I MIGHT do it. However IF that was something I would ever consider... I would want to know EXACTLY where the head honcho of the real estate company lives. Not his work address, I mean his residence. Like that when I don't get paid... I know who to go after. I did some work for a couple people who were selling their houses. 1 was so kind as to leave the country owing me well over $1,500. Took me about 1 1/2 years to finally get my money, and that was only after threatening bodily harm to the people when they returned to the states. The real estate agent who they dealt with, and who I met repeatedly never assisted me at all with getting my money, even though I asked her a few times for help. I repeat, IF you go this route, make sure you know where the real estate agent lives. It would also help if you are somewhat of a big guy, if you catch my drift. Something about a big guy walking into an office angry wanting his money... it gets things rolling.

    Again though, this is just my experience with that type of client.
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403


    1. Most "pay us for referals" businesses turn out to be scams.

    2. These jobs are all temporary, obviously. You'll be constantly having to refresh them to stay busy.

    3. Big chance of not getting paid after the home sells.

    4. Most RE agents are happy just to find ANYONE reliable to mow a home that is for sale for the above reasons. They should pay you, not the reverse.

    5. Them referring you for a cut of the take sounds like what I think they call "payola" and is probably unethical. What does this say about the chances of you getting more referrals? They're probably hitting up every guy in town for $250 and letting you all fight amongst yourselves to be the low bidder.

    6. RE agents , not all, but many, can be a slippery bunch.

    I would never mow a home for sale w/o charging a premium over normal and getting paid each month in advance. The minute that house goes under contract, your chances of getting paid go way down. Even then, I would only do it as "overtime" work, and wouldn't rely on it for my business.
  9. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

    Do you mean that the realty company charges the clients a flat rate of $250 to keep the property nice while the house is being sold and in turn hands that money over to you but keep a little for themselves?? Or are they charging you to put your name out? I guess Im not really understanding what your trying to say.
  10. rbruchwalski

    rbruchwalski LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    They say they will charge us $250 and then give us pretty much as much business as we can handle, on a referral basis. My understanding is that the realtoer company will be paying us. I do not know how much of a cut they want. We will be meeting with them this Wed...

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