Question on Foreclosure Cleanings - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 03-18-2011, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Question on Foreclosure Cleanings

I've been doing residential cleaning for a couple of years and I have a friend who's been in custodial work for about 15 years. We are considering getting into foreclosure cleaning.

Just doing some googling, I see that there are no companies in our area offering trash out + cleaning. There are companies doing either, but not both.

We are not capable at this time of doing complete trash out, but between us we do know how to get a property clean to high level of detail. We can clean tile and grout, polish/buff floors, renew ovens and refrigerators, paint walls, re-caulk, and seal grout if necessary. The only thing I think we would need that we can't do right off the bat is the ability to shampoo carpet.

What do you think? Do we have potential? Getting the appropriate license and insurance is not an issue. We have some commercial cleaning equipment and a little $$ to invest.
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post #2 of Old 03-19-2011, 12:33 AM
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great idea!

With the number of foreclosures rising every day, It is a great idea to get into the foreclosure cleaning business. I purchase foreclosures myself so I know the tremendous amount of work involved in cleaning a foreclosure property. I would definately take a short business course in your local area. Also talk with local realty agents and see if there is a need for this business in your area. Good Luck!!
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post #3 of Old 03-22-2011, 02:17 AM
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First of all you don't make sense. You say there is no one in your area that offers trash outs + cleaning but apparently you want to. Then you say you can't do a complete trash out. So that means.... You can't offer that service either.

But more importantly... why can't you do a complete trash out? Is it because you don't have the cash flow to rent the dumpster? Is it because you aren't strong enough to load heavy things in the dumpster? Those are the only 2 things I can think of that would prevent you from doing it.....?? Just remember about trach outs/ foreclosed cleanings.... most have 0 electricity. Which brings me to the next thing.... winterizing a house. Money to be made there too. Before 2006 there were companies that had all the bank jobs but subbed them out... not sure how it all works now. We used to make about $500.00 an hour but when the bubble busted it went down to like $750 for the whole job which could take several hours plus dumpster fee so we quickly exited. I'm not saying you might not be able to make good money nowadays but for us going to like $30-$40 an hour from $500 an hour kinda hurt my feelings. lol
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post #4 of Old 03-22-2011, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for not making sense. I was mentioning that no one does trash outs in my area just to note that if I were to go into foreclosure cleaning, I wouldn't have any competition on that point. I was thinking that I wouldn't be able to do complete trash out because I don't have a large utility trailer. However, since first writing this post, I have contacted a friend of mine who owns a landscaping company who said he would be interested in doing the hauling and providing landscaping services, so that changes the picture a bit. I figured the best way to do trash out would be to haul trash to the the dump, recycling center, and donation locations ourselves. Obviously, I don't know too much about how the foreclosure cleaning biz works, so I'm just trying to gather some info. From what you are saying, it's better to rent a dumpster.

There are foreclosed homes everywhere you look in my area. Our city is smallish, but our outlying suburban area is quite large and we have foreclosed homes from here to to there and in between. I'm not sure if that means there is market for full service foreclosure clean out services though. Just looking online it doesn't look like there are any companies dedicated to doing foreclosures here. We have home preservation companies, trash hauling companies, and cleaning services who specialize in move outs, but I don't see any one offering all three services.

I have a little $$ to invest, but I don't want to just throw it down a hole if there's little potential for a good return. As of this moment, I am just exploring options of how I can branch out in the cleaning business and possibly make a little more money. From what you have said, sprintcar, it sounds like the profit after expenses makes the earning potential pretty small in relationship to the amount of work that needs to be done. I know it's a tough, dirty, job and it would only be worth it to me if the earning potential was there.

I think I will have to get in touch with some realtors I know in the area and ask them for some input.
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post #5 of Old 03-22-2011, 09:20 AM
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I would guess.... and remember... this is only a guess... the reason for no companies that do that is because the banks still use the 2 major companies throughout the US. It's been about 5 years but I think one of the names was Safe Fast or something like that. But even at that, they don't just let anyone be their sub. They have dedicated companies that sub their work. Let's take back when we used to do it.... Safe Fast had 1 company that subbed 5 states including the one I was in. The way we got in was that my buddy was a realtor which got us in with the sub. We did some work for the sub (we were the subs sub) then we contacted Safe Fast. At first they kept saying no but when the other company couldn't finish a job one time they let us do it and from then on out we were their 1st back-up. As for the name Safe Fast.... I could be totally wrong on that.
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post #6 of Old 04-28-2011, 04:45 PM
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I've heard from a few colleagues that Atlanta is the place to be for foreclosures.
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post #7 of Old 05-03-2011, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by OneTime View Post
I've heard from a few colleagues that Atlanta is the place to be for foreclosures.
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post #8 of Old 05-05-2011, 08:36 PM
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.. I don't have experience cleaning foreclosed homes but I have an ex who did. And these are the things that I know about cleaning out foreclosed homes.

1. Usually the previous owners left most of their belongings in the homes. That means beds, dressers, couches, tables--heavy items. People assume that since no one lives there anymore that there will be few to no belongings. But when the authorities show up to evict them, they have only a short time to get out and usually only take what they need, not what they want.

2. The homes didn't always belong to 'normal' people. My ex often had to clean out houses that had drug-use items (needles, lighters, pipes) which is not only a personal health hazard but has to be cleaned with extreme care.

3. The homes may be in bad condition and have bad upkeep. Some of the houses that the occupants knew were going into foreclosure no longer took care of the house because they were losing it anyways. Which meant there were rats, mice, roaches and he would have to carry an extra change of clothes and have to throw away the ones he was wearing.

4. People who are homeless sometimes see a foreclosed home as a place to temporarily stay. My ex had to get a right to carry permit to carry a firearm on him because homeless people would end up finding a way to break into the house to stay. There were many times that he would enter a house that claimed to be secure and there would be someone inside the home.

5. They usually had 3-4 large sized men to each home to be able to clear out all the items.

6. They also were expected to mow the lawn, clear yards, and to check all the plumbing and pipe lines. They also had to winterize the plumbing so that the pipes would not freeze in colder weather.

7. They drove pick-up trucks and large trailers to each job to be able to transport all the items. There were instances where people had left vehicles behind either in the garage or yard and they were expected to tow them. And you also have to be the one to dispose of all the items that you take from the home. They had to have an account at the local dump and would make a trip there every morning to empty their trailers. But for items that you cannot take to a dump, you have to have a place to store them (pole barn, garage, large yard).

8. Most times the bid for 'cleaning the foreclosed home' meant taking all the belongings off the property (house, yard, garage), wiping down all surfaces, mowing the yard, removing snow off the walkways, installing smoke detectors in each room (that you supply) and winterizing the plumbing if necessary. After all that was done, they had to take pictures of the whole property and all the work they'd done and send them to the bank.

9. Sometimes a deal was made so that the PB (personal belongings) had to be boxed up and saved in the home that the previous owner would be able to get after a certain amount of time. If it was not picked up after that time, then it would become your responsibility to dispose of them. So they had to box up belongings and leave them in the home and come back 30-60 days later to take them.

10. There were times that the family had not been evicted yet and when they showed up at the house the police were there. That meant they had to go to the door with the police and let the family know that they had x amount of time to take what they wanted and leave. They then had to wait for the family and then get to work. Most of the families didn't have another place to go and had children. It was hard for them to have to do that.

I don't mean to deter you or scare you from cleaning foreclosed homes but to make you aware of all the risks and work that come along with it. It may be different for other companies cleaning foreclosed homes but that was his experience with it.
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post #9 of Old 05-15-2011, 04:34 PM
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Thumbs up Foreclosure Cleaning-Cleaning Bank Owned Foreclosure Reo Properties

We have been heavily in the foreclosure cleaning industry for years, here are a couple of helpful links:

Also, make sure you are listed in the foreclosure cleanup directory, this is where most of the banks find cleaning companies to contract with them
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post #10 of Old 07-11-2012, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dreamstinvestments View Post
We have been heavily in the foreclosure cleaning industry for years, here are a couple of helpful links:

Also, make sure you are listed in the foreclosure cleanup directory, this is where most of the banks find cleaning companies to contract with them
thanks for that resource
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