Working with property preservation companies.

Once in a while, you may get a phone call from a national property preservation company that is working for a bank and has a local property in your area they need mowed. Should you work with them? Is it worthwhile taking on the extra tasks they demand, like submitting multiple photos as proof of service? Depending on your situation, such jobs may help you fill out your mowing route as we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner asked “have any of you had any experience working with property preservation companies? One contacted me today to provide lawn service in my area and this has piqued my curiosity as I have never dealt with such companies in the past.

I have heard nightmare stories about trying to get paid from these companies so I am a little concerned. After the phone call, I did an internet search on them and could find very little information so I guess that is good. They must not be ripping off contractors on payments or such information would be all over internet like some of the other less than honorable companies out there.

I am thinking I will give them a shot, I guess, to use as fill in between lawn care jobs and will see what happen.”

A second lawn care business owner added “I too was looking to make contact with one last night actually. I returned a phone call yesterday for someone looking to get a lawn cut locally and it turned out to be a preservation company. The caller said they pay $20 for up to 15,000 sq ft including the structure on the property. I asked how often they wanted the lawn mowed and she said every other week they all get cut.

I don’t know about doing work for them though. They want before, during, and after photos taken with about 40 photos in total, front and back. So on top of only getting $20 a lawn now I have to take extra time to take photos. Does anyone work for them now to see if it is even worth it? She said if the lawn is tall or bigger, to take photos and they contact the bank to try and get more for the job. Being paid only $20 to mow a lawn and take photos doesn’t seem like a lot but she said they have a lot of volume. Any comments?”

A third added “I work with a bunch of property preservation companies. The total number is between 5-6 now I can’t remember. Some are reasonable on time frames to complete work, while some email me work at 3 P.M. and expect it done that day. Some pay well while some pay next to nothing.

I do it to fill in the gaps between my lawn care customers and I get quite a bit of work from them. I started out just doing lawn work but I have got into securing properties (changing locks), boarding windows, initial inspections, and I have a few bids for trash removal pending.

If you want to make money doing it you need to be fast. Here is an example of last week.

  • $50 for gas because the property was out of my area.
  • $25 for a door knob install.
  • $25 for a dead bolt.
  • $25 for a lock box.
  • $10 for a pad lock.
  • $150 initial lawn cut (as the lawn was overgrown).

So that was $285 for 2.5 hours of work. Supplies and fuel were about $40. I was home by lunch. If I had more work that day it would have been an even better day. If the lawn is not overgrown it is $80 for the initial cut and $20 for each re-cut, which I don’t think is too bad.

One negative is all the work comes at once. The banks will send out their lists and its BUSY for a week then off and on for 10 days. Tomorrow I fully expect 30-50 properties to show up in my inbox and I will work for the next 6 days straight. I have yet to have any issues getting paid, but I am sure it happens. The pictures are a pain but you get used to it.

The pay does vary but I would rather mow 7 lawns for $20 each than sit at home. BUT it also depends on your location. 95% of the lawns around here can be done in less than 45 minutes. In some states though the average lawn size is a lot bigger.”

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