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Plowing for realtors

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Blizzard Man, May 16, 2004.

  1. Blizzard Man

    Blizzard Man Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Does anyone do this?
    They have alot of vacant houese.
    Would you give them a break on pricing if they kept you busy?
    I got a chance to bid this for a couple of realtors and they said I could get a couple more realtors they know for sure if I do a good job which I would do any way.Would have to plow the drive,shovel the walk and salt both.Thanks for your help.
  2. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Unless you are plowing for the actual realty company I would pass. The realtor will string you on regarding payments. If the account is with the actual company then make sure they know when you expect to be paid and do not flinch because they will drag you out for ever.
  3. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I don't give breaks for nobody. I have set rates and they apply at all times.

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    My wife and I are active Real Estate Brokers. I posted that same concept on our web site for MLS and got no replies. We are both 20 year plus Realtors and found most of our colleags are short time agents. Bottom line is the homeowner gets the summons not the Realtor. Many new Realtors lack the integrity they should have. Good though but Good Luck!
  5. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    You could always have them pay in advance and give them a refund of money not used if you are worried.
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I actually had this typed up last night just after your post, then the DSL crashed just as I hit "Reply" until this morning. Fortunately, I'd saved it, so I'm posting it so I don't feel the effort was wasted:

    I would use caution. I’ve found that these deals of “other work” seldom come through. If you’re going to do this type of account, which basically involves plowing a vacant house, you will want to have a very specific contract. Realtors are, by nature of the business, tricky. If you have ever seen a Mortgage, take a lesson from the Realtors, themselves - spell out everything, be specific and have penalties for any deviation or delay in meeting conditions.

    You will want to plow any snowfall of xxx inches, whether it comes in one snowfall or accumulation of two or more. The realtor may want you to only plow when they want to show the property - and then RIGHT NOW. The problem is that successive layers will have hardened and you’ll have a mess. Even with this provision, they might want you to “just let this one go” hoping it’ll melt. Don’t let it happen, even once. Specify that SNOW REMOVAL will incur additional charges - the Realtor will want to show the property in the best possible condition. Along with that specify exactly what is to be done and include pictures of the property with locations indicated for piles.

    Specify billing cycle and due date with a penalty for any days payment is not received. Do not “let it go” even once - remember the Mortgage. Determine beforehand what that payment procedure is and build that into the contract or you may find that all of a sudden bills have to “be processed through the Home Office”.

    Remember, you are not dealing with the owner. For the Realtor, this is just business.
  7. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    I have monthly contracts with two realty companies. Actually they are for year round maintenance. We laid out a set number of homes they may have me do. If I do more then there is a surcharge. They almost always have 4-5 for me which is what is specified. I also have allowances for bigger then average (around here) jobs. Has woked well for two+ years now. Usually they sell a house within a couple months, but appreciate the service. Often I pick up the new owner as a customer.
  8. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I can imagine that there would be a big difference between plowing for a large realty company and plowing for an individual, residential broker who has the occasional vacant house to sell. My father is a real estate broker and my plow and truck come in handy alot more than you would think. Like siplowguy said alot of how vacant propertys are maintained depends on the intergrity of the broker. technically the broker has no obligation to do anything maintainance wise to the house (lawn, snow removal etc.). In fact most brokers are getting so much money these days that they don't care to do any work to houses themsealves. My father did not always have alot of money just recently when the market came up. So he will work his ass off to sell any house, whatever he has to do he does it himself. Before i got my truck i used to go around with him every storm shoveling out houses, and i used to walk (with the mower) up to 2 miles to mow lawns at vacant houses:rolleyes:

    Remember, if you are plowing for an individual broker odds are they will not commit for the entire winter most of them are the kind that call when it gets real deep and can no longer be driven over. Also properties usually close at the end of the month so most of the time houses are vacant for only a month or so if the buyers are not redy to move in. If you really want to make money off a residential broker then find one that gets alot of new construction listings, once the houses are built the contractors leave and its up to the broker to take care of the houses until they sell them which can take a while (an entire winter maybe). Also sometimes brokers get several houses in a new developement and many times when the people move in they do want to have you plow for them. I had to turn down 8 buyers of new homes that my father sold who asked me to continue plowing their drives. I could not because of the travel time (10 miles) and at the time (last winter) i was doing 15 drives over there in addition to my 37 close to my house. Lots of payup but a pain in the a$$ at times. Also anytime you show up with a truck when people are about to move out its always "can you help me move"? Sometimes i do sometimes i say no iam too busy. Overall just from real estate stuff (plowing,mowing,moving stuff) i have paid for my truck and plow ($19,000) 2 times over.

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    I should have clarified there is a difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Management company. Glad to see your Dad is like us CJA1987, In it but not rich. Tell your Dad keep it up, although the financial reward is not great, the self reward is to know you do the right thing!
  10. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    I plow 2 Realstate offices when i do their houses i hit them heavy it takes a while to get paid.
  11. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 697

    We had a real estate business that we sold a few years ago.

    We had what were know as "relocation" properties, whereby the owner had been relocated by his company and the company tok care of selling his house, etc. We also dealt with many foreclosure properties.

    We would be responsible for the upkeep of the house, be it mowing in the summer or plowing in the winter. For the most part, these are very profitable jobs. For the plowing, since there is nobody home, you can take your time plowing it (you don't need to have it done at 6:00 am).

    Our contract with the employer/bank required that we front the costs, and then we would get paid by the employer/bank when the house sold. We always paid the contractors within 30 days, but I do know that may real estate firms take the position that they won't pay the contractor until they get the money from the employer/bank.

    My point is that it can be a lucrative "side" job, if you can put up with the hassle of payment delays.
  12. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Most of the Relo jobs I do take 60 to 90 days to get paid
  13. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Being a Real Estate broker and a plower, but in Canada, I can answer most of the concerns in the previous posts. Most plowing contracted by agents is thru a Relocation or Bank repo. The agent usually doesn't get paid for 45 to 60 days, and the Max amount paid is usually set by the relo/repo company and sometimes these are unrealistic, especially in rural locations. Most Realtors are Commission only and therefore only get paid when the property sells. So if you have concerns about timely payment contact the Broker, he/she should be able to pay you thru the company, and would deduct the charges from the Agent's commission. Relocations can be a major part of a Real estate companies business, and if you can work with a local company and absorb the delay in payment, and as seville 009 said these properties are almost always vacant, and can be plowed when convenient.

  14. farmertim

    farmertim Member
    Messages: 95

    I plow for two realtors and they pay 75% up front yearly charge and if I plow past a set amount of times they pay the rest of the yearly cost with a cap.
    I charge cost for the realtors but usually end up with the account after the house is sold and that where I make the money.
    The realtors know I do the houses for sale will be done last, but I will get one early if it is up for a showing.
    No shoveling, no salt, just get them in the door and enough room to turn around.