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would it be wise to cold call real estate businesses to gain accounts?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by LawnEnforcement25, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. LawnEnforcement25

    LawnEnforcement25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    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.
  2. mbrew

    mbrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    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.
  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,180

    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.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    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.
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,180

    Realtors understand money as in they won't spend their own.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. bocefus78

    bocefus78 LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Messages: 16

    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.
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    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.
  8. BestImpressions99

    BestImpressions99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    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.
  9. LawnEnforcement25

    LawnEnforcement25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    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.
  10. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,180

    That's was me with house across the street. Do a search here and you will find a lot negative advice on the matter.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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