Saturday, October 13, 2012

How to Make $500/week Cleaning out Foreclosures

The trick to entrepreneurship isn’t always how to start a business; it’s what business to start.
And it’s also not always about creating something new. When Steve Jobs built Apple, computers had been around for decades. Jobs didn’t make the first computer, he figured out how to make them smaller so that more people could have access to one. Cars weren’t new when Henry Ford introduced the Model-T. Ford innovated ways to sell cars for cheaper so that more people could buy them.
Hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy to look back at Ford and Jobs and conclude there were more opportunities in their time. However, opportunities still abound today, if you have an eye to spot them. One entrepreneurial venture that is booming right now is cleaning out foreclosures.

What is the Foreclosure Cleaning Business?

The housing bust has created a glut of foreclosed properties. Nearly 4.4% of all mortgages have received a foreclosure notice. Once homeowners move out, banks look to get the property on the market and sold as soon as possible. However, there is one major obstacle banks face in moving the houses to sell: cleaning.
Former mortgagees have no incentive to get properties in saleable condition when they leave their homes. In fact, most foreclosures are riddled with trash and property that foreclosed homeowners don’t feel like transporting with them. Foreclosed homes need a lot of TLC before they are ready for an open house. With a large inventory of bank-owned properties, there’s a need to hire cleaners.
How large of a need? From 2007-2010, foreclosure home cleaning businesses expanded 1,000%.

What’s the Work Like and What Does it Pay?

Those looking to start a foreclosed home cleaning business need a flexible schedule. Banks often need cleaners at a moment’s notice and work needs to be completed on a strict turn-around. Often weekend work is involved and some properties require a lot of work before they are in selling condition. However, the jobs pay well, often averaging between $500 to $2,500 per house.
Another way that foreclosure cleaners make extra money is by selling things that have been left behind by the previous homeowner. You obviously want to check with the client, but often times they’ll ask you to clear out anything left behind in the house. It’s your choice whether to dump the stuff, keep it, or sell it.
One time I was asked by a client to dump a left-behind treadmill and washing machine. I ended up making an extra $300 (in addition to my cleaning fee) by selling them on Craigslist!

How to Start Your Own Foreclosure Cleaning Business

The good news is that you don’t need much to start this type of business. All you need is a telephone number where you can be contacted and some cleaning supplies. The crux of business success is getting jobs. To accomplish this, you’ll need to do a bit of networking.
The best place to network is with real estate agents who specialize in selling real estate owned properties. They aren’t too difficult to locate. Simply call up local realtor offices and ask for the agents in charge of selling foreclosures. It might take some selling to get listed their cleaning vendor list, but if you have a competitive price and flexible schedule, there is no reason you can’t make in-roads.
While realtors are your best bet, you can also advertise on websites that have cleaning service directories. Also, it can be useful to contact local banks directly and reach out to real estate law firms. All this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get cleaning jobs, but banks won’t know how to reach you if you don’t advertise.
However, with payment of $500 per house, you won’t need many jobs to earn a little extra money.
Good luck Penny Hoarders!

Get some experience cleaning professionally. While cleaning is not difficult and most people comprehend how to vacuum and mop, it's important to get some detail cleaning experience. With this experience, you'll learn how to clean quickly and do a great job. This means more work and more money. It's also important to have experience dealing with people and possibly some sales experience so you can line up jobs.
Determine what services to offer. While cleaning sounds self-explanatory, it's important to know exactly what you will offer your clients. Will you simply vacuum or will you shampoo the carpet? Do you clean outside windows or will they have to hire someone else to do that? Sit down and create a list of the things you will do and the things you will not do. This way, you'll be prepared when you speak to a potential employer.
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  • Purchase cleaning supplies. Purchase the supplies you will need to completely clean the homes: a vacuum cleaner and bags, a good mop and broom, bucket, sponges, dust rags, kitchen and tile cleaner, furniture polish, bathroom cleaner, cleaning solution, window cleaner and deodorizer. Don't forget cleaning wipes, paper towels, and disposable brushes. Being prepared is important in getting a job, and most clients will not provide supplies for you.
    • 4
      Advertise your services. Get the word out that you're available for cleaning foreclosures. One great way to do this is to contact realty companies in your area, which you can find in the phone book. Tell them what you do, and leave your name and number. Ask if they're hiring anyone to clean foreclosures. By leaving your contact information with the company, you create a contact and plant the seed for a future job.
      Create business cards and business fliers to let individuals know what you do. Leave your card and fliers at realty businesses, local HUD offices and anywhere your target market may find them. This will help get your name out there.
      Creating a website is a great idea as well. This gives you a platform to sell yourself and advertise your business at the same time.
      By using the tips above, you can get a job cleaning foreclosures and make great money in a small amount of time.

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Read more: How to Get a Job Cleaning Foreclosed Houses |