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Real Estate Companies....

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by gd8boltman, Dec 18, 2002.

  1. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 328

    I am new to this forum, and thankful I found it. I have a brief statement and two questions. Three years ago, my wife had a Real Estate agent that is a good friend of hers over for dinner. We had been hit by several inches of snow earlier in the day, and she explained to my wife that she had a showing the next morning and was concerned about getting in the driveway. My wife being the slave-driver smart businesswoman that she is suggested that she call me on the Nextel and I would get it taken care of, she called me and I had one of my trucks hit it after his scheduled route. The next day my wife's friend was so happy, she mentioned it to several other people in her office, and my wife printed fliers to post at that office as well as every other in town. For the last three seasons, I have consistently recieved an average of 16 calls per snowfall that is over 3". I have become smarter and require them to provide at least 24 hrs. notice, I have the Real Estate office pay the bill and be reimbursed from the homeowner. I average $33.00 per driveway, and $21.00 per avg. sidewalk, I add them to the end of the routes for my operators so they can be assigned based on location. It has been very profitable and I wonder if anybody else has adapted this practice? I see many posts from the East Coast, are there many folks from Northern Il. or Southern Wisconsin like me? And if so, is there any meetings or Associations that I can hook up with?

  2. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 877

    Just about all real estate companies (except for maybe the smaller ones of five or less brokers) have what are called relocation departments.

    These relocation departments handle houses generally for companies that help employees relocate (move). For example, if you work for a company that transfers you from New York to Maryland, your company would probably have a relocation department at a real estate company handle your house while it is vacant.

    They also handle many foreclosures.

    The "handling" of the house includes lawn mowing, general maintenance, and snowplowing. In a foreclosure situation, it would also include the initial clean out of the house.

    These are all quite profitable.

    From the snowplowing aspect of it, I've seen bills ranging from $35 to $65 for a basic residential driveway. For the most part, the bills are never challenged. It can take awhile to get paid due to the reimbursement process (maybe a month or two), but you very rarely get stiffed.

    Since the houses are vacant, they can be last on the list. The primary concern is just to keep the driveway open for showing the house.

    Kind of a long winded answer, but you're absolutely right - a real estate office as a customer can lead to profitable jobs.
  3. gd8boltman

    Funny that you started this thread. Only last month did I notice that several homes in my area are vacant and there are no tracks in the drives after it snows.
    I stop at one locally owned real estate office and mentioned it to the owner. I also told him that it invites trouble as to no tracks or footprints are in the snow. I also mention that they must need to show the house and I could provide the plowing, shoveling and salting. He thought it was great that I took the time to stop by and introduce myself. I gave him my card with a magnetic back and he put it on the front office desk were several other cards were.
    On my way home I received a call from a large Real estate office 40 miles away to do a vacant home only a mile away. I was so into what my idea might have opened up, that I forgot to ask how they heard about me.
    I did the drive and steps and walks and salted. Sent the bill out, now lets see how long it will take to get paid.
    (I kind have not said anything about this to others in my area) Good Luck, I think it will develope into a good thing.
    Bob V:waving: :)
  4. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    I have had real estate reps, call and request plowing for vacant homes. Never thought of approaching them, great idea.

    Only problem I see with this, is that, the route will change all the time.


    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    I have done work in that fashion before.this last season we did quite a few sprinkler winterizations,for a realty company
  6. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415

    Yes, it's a good way to make more $$$ :waving: 20 yrs. ago I did over 50 houses for Real Estate Companies @ yr. & always got paid. The routes usually didn't change thru the winter. I gave the Real Estate accounts to a bud of mine when I went almost all Commerical Lots 15 yrs. ago. I still do about 9 drives for family & friends.
  7. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    Funny you mention this now but yesterday i got a call from a broker who closed on a house and had a moving company coming to clean it out,what they didn't mention was that the road and driveway were never plowed this year and the moving van was sitting there now stuck in the middle of the road,i cleared some of the road pulled the van collected a $100 bill from the broker and split,thats my only dealings with wonderfull brokers!
  8. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 328

    Real Estate Companies Reply...

    It will affect your routes as much as you let it. I have always compiled a list because I requie them to provide at least 24 hrs. notice, most are now in the habit of calling the office when it is forcasted. They can fax a list if necessary, or provide addresses and we take it from there. I would suggest that if you are looking for a little extra $ and from my experience pay is good and reliable, make a flier and drop it off at a few real estate companies in your area. Put the area that you are prepared to service and if you have magnetic cards they seem to work great.
    One of the reasons I brought this up, it has been the greatest source of new revenue, easy to schedule, no pressure, and beast of all, I don't have five fly by nighters coming in and undercutting me constantly... HAPPY HOLIDAYS