Apartment Carpet Cleaning Business Model-What's involved? Worth it? | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Apartment Carpet Cleaning Business Model-What's involved? Worth it?

rob allen

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I see several companies in my that area apartment based. They usually are multi-truck and seem to be fairly busy. But I have heard it's a difficult and low profit model. Anyone know much about this model?
 

Mama Fen

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I see multiple companies in this area who do apartments, and I can tell you that most of them have these things in common:

1. Multiple trucks, many of which are in poor shape (explained below)
2. Multiple teams on each truck, often a day shift and a night shift, neither of which take care of routine maintenance so the trucks are constantly down for repair
3. Most techs are underpaid, undertrained, and feel that they are of little or no value to the company
4. Leads are stressed, cannot figure out who did what, do not hold people accountable, and are on such tight budgets that they cannot afford what they need to do the job properly
5. FAR more money is spent on equipment repairs and overused/abused chems than would be found in an O/O situation
6. Rates for cleaning are about 50% or less of what a typical O/O would charge for the same square footage

There are some O/O who do apartments as a stop-gap, but because it isn't their daily focus I do not include them in the above observation.
 

Dream Clean

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When I hear "apartment", very rarely is it something I can use a tm to reach. Either lack of parking or how high up it is it's a safe bet for me to be needing a portable. Also complexes love to lowball you on the price. One company would always try to get me to do a 3-4 room apartment for $50 and threaten to go somewhere else when I said no. Finally I sent them a letter with set prices and said if you need to go somewhere else don't let me stop you.
 

OneBlueSummer

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about 5% are willing to pay for the extras.
the rest want to pay 40$ per no matter if pissed out or not.
Most companies that do the 40$ per are OO non American born. OR they are indentured servents/ illegals that are 1099ed under someone's LLC.

They will also want you to send them endless invoices stating " the carpet is so bad we reccomend replacing everything " they also will want you to provide pictures etc... did i mention they dont want to pay you for this either?
 

Mama Fen

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about 5% are willing to pay for the extras.
the rest want to pay 40$ per no matter if pissed out or not.
Most companies that do the 40$ per are OO non American born. OR they are indentured servents/ illegals that are 1099ed under someone's LLC.

They will also want you to send them endless invoices stating " the carpet is so bad we reccomend replacing everything " they also will want you to provide pictures etc... did i mention they dont want to pay you for this either?
Quite frankly, a guy who identifies as an "owner/operator" who does apartments on his own, without a work crew, isn't a guy I'm going to see here anyway. His focus is not on what I as a distributor can provide for him. If I had to guess, I'd say there are at least 200 or so folks who fit that description in my area alone, and of those 200 at least 50-60 go out of business each year and are replaced by the next iteration.
 
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Jim Davisson

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We have always had some in our mix. This year we are going to be adding more. Priced properly and if you offer repairs and spot dyeing you can easily do 1k a day. I like high rise work, very little competition in my area worth their salt, pay is great and it's not hard work with low liability while on the job vs residential. Not having appointment times also makes for a stress free day.
 
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Mama Fen

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We have always had some in our mix. This year we are going to be adding more. Priced properly and if you offer repairs and spot dyeing you can easily do 1k a day. I like high rise work, very little competition in my area worth their salt, pay is great and it's not hard work with low liability while on the job vs residential. Not having appointment times also makes for a stress free day.
Knowing the units you service, Jim, I'd say you're fishing a pool of much cleaner fish than the guys doing certain other properties in our area. :LOL:
 
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Kxp

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I know a few company’s that do probably 85% apartments they have multiple trucks and the techs can repair, and spot dye and they have nice equipment and busy every day but I would say it’s boring empty’s all day
 

Anderson

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you can make money on any carpet cleaning if you get your method down../
hotels at 10-12$ a room or apts at 30-40$....

you should be able to clean a
hotel hall and 25-30 rooms in around 3-4 hours
even if it takes a little longer no big deal....

I average 50-60$ an hour on both of these
but it is steady work and you are at 1 site...
better than sitting around not working....
just slow down and pace yourself if you are an OO

if you get a namco portable and namco scrubber
you could go up in 1 setup and skip the TM.....

i talked to a guy last year had 4-5 trucks and said he cleans 100-200 apts a day...hard to believe but he had been doing this a long time....
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Well if that is true, he essentially has a $1-$1.5 million dollar business.

I do see that as a problem for some guys - they turn their noses up at the $50 an hour jobs because they are used to the residential jobs for an average of $100 an hour.

The way I see it - if it's a continuous commercial work proposition, I'm saving on my marketing costs, less time acquiring new clients, helps fill in my gaps and if it makes money, it makes money, until I get enough higher value work to replace the lower value, then it is worth it for me to do those accounts.
 

Luky

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about 5% are willing to pay for the extras.
the rest want to pay 40$ per no matter if pissed out or not.
Most companies that do the 40$ per are OO non American born. OR they are indentured servents/ illegals that are 1099ed under someone's LLC.

They will also want you to send them endless invoices stating " the carpet is so bad we reccomend replacing everything " they also will want you to provide pictures etc... did i mention they dont want to pay you for this either?
I like your take on apartments topic, but 5% is stil high percentage, haha...
I don't cooperate with property management at all. I've cleaned my son's property condo and part of common area and yes, someone from association contacted me and I gave them my price. Guess what? They didn't call back.
I like small tiny bit landlords with one or two buildings, they have already learned that
" overpaying " for 3 room is better option than paying for a carpet replacement. So, we have an understanding and no questions are asked. They've also learned that COD is a necessity, not luxury.
Here and there, someone falls off, but I keep 80% retention rate in check, which, as you'd agree is unheard of in this environment....
Yes on pictures requests, but I'm trying to eliminate this bad habit of theirs.
Another take: If you're able to safe these guys thousands of dollars by making water extraction on WD almost perfect, they think twice to pay big guys for complete remodeling
( believe me some don't like to make insurance claims , whatever the reason may be). Once moisture reader is in the safe zone , walls are dry, carpet replacement sounds like a plausible end of bad looking case.
We have one agreement and I'm very strict on this. I call it first 48 hours. The minute disaster happens and they learn about it, source has to be fixed and I'm on it, usually between 2-6 hours from hour 0. Speed is everything along with determination and hunger !!!
 

Jim Davisson

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Well if that is true, he essentially has a $1-$1.5 million dollar business.

I do see that as a problem for some guys - they turn their noses up at the $50 an hour jobs because they are used to the residential jobs for an average of $100 an hour.

The way I see it - if it's a continuous commercial work proposition, I'm saving on my marketing costs, less time acquiring new clients, helps fill in my gaps and if it makes money, it makes money, until I get enough higher value work to replace the lower value, then it is worth it for me to do those accounts.
It's possible to do much more than $100 hour in rentals, cleaning much less carpet. Most of my jobs are carpet in the bedroom and closet only. Pet treatments in those are my specialty and those are very lucrative in 30 minutes.
 

Dream Clean

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Well if that is true, he essentially has a $1-$1.5 million dollar business.

I do see that as a problem for some guys - they turn their noses up at the $50 an hour jobs because they are used to the residential jobs for an average of $100 an hour.

The way I see it - if it's a continuous commercial work proposition, I'm saving on my marketing costs, less time acquiring new clients, helps fill in my gaps and if it makes money, it makes money, until I get enough higher value work to replace the lower value, then it is worth it for me to do those accounts.
My newest boss was trying to figure out what customers to go after when this newest venture started up. He asked if we should do only residential or only commercial. I said do any job that's literally asking us to take their money and stop worrying about what category it's in.
 

Kxp

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like I said earlier the guys around here that do Apts they don’t charge 40 they make good money there equipment shows it and they been doing it for 20 plus years my tech used to work for them they do everything and they charge for it and the giant complexes don’t have a problem paying for it because it saves them having to replace it