Ever wish you had an extra $1,000 or two in your account each and every month but are unsure how to do it? Here are some great ideas, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum on how to initially contact and work with property managers. Following some simple steps should make it fairly easy for you to get on their contact list to do jobs on demand. As we will see, such jobs can command a premium in price because of their rush status.”
One lawn care business owner wrote “when I first was looking to move into the area I now live in, I was reading the local newspaper and saw an ad for rental properties available by a local real estate company. So I picked up the phone and talked to the property manager. I didn’t end up getting a place from them at the time of the call but I felt it was productive as I was able to work into the conversation that I operate my own lawn care business.
Further on down the road, I did eventually end up renting from the property manager. As we were talking, I told her that the lawn care operation that she had did a bad job. So she thought she would give me a try. I’ve been doing work for them ever since.
I don’t if others are approaching local property managers at the real estates office but if you are looking for a way to get more work, you really should consider this. The property manager is the person who is in charge of all the rental properties, like apartments and townhouses. Since I initially got work from one because the previous lawn care operation was doing a bad job and I pointed it out, I now have repeated this process and found even more work.
Don’t be concerned if you are a small one man show. I was at first and found they will work with you. During my early conversations with the first property manager I dealt with, I told her that I was only a one person crew so I would really appreciate it if they could ease me into the jobs. They said that wouldn’t be a problem because they didn’t want to give too many jobs at once.
I have been working with them ever since. So the lesson learned here is the importance of networking and of being honest with people. When you are honest, it really shows your respect for them and in turn, you usually get it back.”
A second lawn care business owner shared “I have been doing work for a couple property management companies for a couple years now too. One of them manages 1,500 properties and they load me up with work. I average $2,500 to $3,000 per month from them (some months it’s the only thing that keeps me afloat).
What I have found is that they get so busy that they don’t have time to call a vendor and get the work set up, then call the owners to get approval, etc. So I always just try and save them a step and mention that ‘I could get it cleaned up for you today, or tomorrow… Just get the approval and I will get it done.’
Also while I am working on properties for them, I will keep my eye out for anything else that could be done. For instance I was doing a yard clean-up for a turnover and noticed a downed Oak tree on the back property. I called the maintenance manager and told him I could remove it for $100. He said sure go ahead. I took me about 2 hours and I had it all cut up and got 1/2 cord out of it. I then put the wood on craigslist and had it sold the next day for $150.
Sometimes I notice dangerous limbs hanging, etc. Anything that could be a liability is an easy job to get.
The way I first got in with them was by driving by one of their properties and noticing it in bad shape. I called their number and asked for the maintenance manager. I talked to her and said ‘I was driving by your property at ….and I can get it whipped into shape for you today for $xx.’ She told me to bring her my license and insurance and after that, I could get started. That was it!
It has been a great business relationship ever since.”
A third lawn care business owner shared “just a note for those of you that dont do work for rental agents. I currently work for several of them. They usually need what ever work they call you for done the same day they call. Most of the time it is because they are going to show the property. The downside to this kind of work is that it can throw a wrench into your regular mowing schedule.
Usually I am maintaining the properties when they are empty. This does allow me to pick up a new client from the renter a lot of times if I follow up with them. Such work can really add up too. Last year for me, these single one time jobs accounted for an average of about $500 to $700 in additional income per month. This year I estimate to be much higher. They pay like clock work most of the time.
One of the reasons they will stick with you is not the price. Price is not the top priority for the agent since the owner pays for it. Instead, it is response time. They get paid when the property is rented or sold, so if they have someone to see the property they need you to get it looking its best asap for them. This is why they use you, it’s your quick response time. When you give your price, make sure it is a little higher than the standard residential customer, to make it worth the inconvenience in scheduling.”