Even though the real estate bubble burst in 2008, there are still plenty of foreclosed homes that are hitting the market in every community every month. These homes come in varying levels of repair, but they all have one thing in common: they need to be cleaned. Some former homeowners are very good about cleaning their property before moving out of it during the foreclosure process. Others, however, may leave their former homes in a deplorable condition.
This is where a business that cleans foreclosed homes can be a very profitable business venture. If you want to know how to start a business cleaning foreclosed homes, then the first thing you need to do is get to know the lending institutions and government programs that are available in your area. Many foreclosed homes are HUD guaranteed properties, which means you need to be a government contractor in order to provide cleaning services. You would need to become an independent contractor of a licensed government cleaner in order to make money.
Some banking institutions also require this service, but the vast majority of business opportunities in this industry comes from guaranteed homes that are backed by the government.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
Because most cleaners are independent contractors, you may not need a business license to get started. You might not actually need to fill out any applications at all. If you run your business as a sole proprietor, then you can have business and personal funds mixed together and file just one tax return every year.
This means that the main things you will need to get started with the business that cleans foreclosed homes is cleaning equipment. Most of the items that you use to clean a home today are what you would use to clean a foreclosed home. Brooms, dustpans, wall cleaner, disinfectant, and vacuums are all part of the standard equipment package.
The only problem is that many foreclosed homes don’t have is turned on at the property. This means that you will need to bring your own source of power to use equipment that is necessary like your vacuum cleaner. A good generator can be in for $400 or less in most locations today and this expense is necessary before you service your first contract.
How Do You Provide Proof of Work?
With so many foreclosed properties out on the market today, real estate agents and government inspectors are only going to see the property once per quarter at most. Instead of waiting up to three months to get paid for your work, however, most agencies have set up a process of providing proof of work once it has been accomplished. This means that you will need to have a digital camera with you at all times to document the work that is done.
Simply showing a clean foreclosed home is not going to be good enough. You will need to show the work in action as it is being done. You will need to take before pictures of the property, after pictures of the property, and how you actually cleaned the property. If you spray bleach on a counter, then you will need to take a picture of the counter being wet with bleach to provide proof of work. Your images will also need to be time stamped to prove that you were at the location when you were assigned the contract.
Some agencies have started requiring photographic proof of a dated newspaper because timestamps can be digitally modified.
How Long Does a Cleaning Contract Take?
A good independent contractor on their own can clean one or two homes per day to the exacting standards that are required. If you have a team of contractors working for you, then most agencies are able to do seven or eight homes per day. The only problem is that work can be sporadic in this area. Some days you may have one home that has very little work in it that needs done. Other days you may have 10 homes and they all have unsanitary environments inside of them.
The good news is that the only expenses you typically have for this kind of work are your transportation costs and the cost of your supplies and equipment. As long as you maintain your equipment to the best of your ability, these one-time costs only come around every two or three years at most. Finding distributors that can provide you with lower than retail prices for cleaning products can also help you save money.
Most contract foreclosures will have a flat rate associated with them. Every task that you do will have a specific payment associated with it. This means that you can earn a fairly high hourly wage if you stay focused on the job and have the right equipment brought with you so that you don’t lose time going back and forth to your vehicle or heading to a store to buy more supplies.
Are You Ready To Get Started Today?
If you love to clean and you’re looking for a new niche to make some extra money, then being able to clean foreclosed homes could provide you with the right business opportunity. Although there can sometimes be challenges initially in getting contracts because of how this industry is regulated, your ability to network will help you out a lot. Look for your regional HUD contractor and ask if they have any independent contractor opportunities available at this moment. Forming relationships with mortgage lenders who may have foreclosed properties that need care can also provide you with work.
With some tremendous advantages and low start-up fees, cleaning foreclosed homes can provide you an almost instant source of income that is based on your personal skills. Get started today and you may just be surprised at how much work is still available in this business opportunity.