No idea how much to bid for apartment complexes. What about Motels? | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

No idea how much to bid for apartment complexes. What about Motels?

leofry

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Feb 12, 2009
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john rogers
yeah we all debate the price thing... i can telll you sometiems i think we are comparing apples to oranges.. when i say I clean a home for $100.. thats a small home and thats open areas.. and yes i can clean it in about an hour.. so thats not bad... and its what you can get here... sure you could get more out of a few.. but not enought to make a living on... of course like i said we are comparing apples to oranges... some of these bed rooms have about 40 to 50 sq ft of open space... and yes sometimes somoen will move everything out and its more that 50 sq ft.. but the avg is in my favor... also major differance in the new guy 4 or 5 years or less vs you guys that have been in biz for 10 to 20 years...... its almost like where you go get your hair cut... you have got your hair cut there for 10 years.. and someone new comes to town, they have a nice place nicer than what you have but people feel guilty leaving you... they do.. not all of them but a lot of them... i face this in my town.. i have better and nicer van, better uniforms, i think I work better do a better job.. but people have stuck with the other company for 15 -20 years so they feel somewhat guilty leaving him.. i have to do some apratments and i have to go after the people just staring out looking for the first carpet cleaning... times are still hard here, not srue about where you guys are at... AND for those who say they cant clean 500 sq ft of carpet really realliy good in about an hour.. your the one doing something wrong...
 

leofry

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I also want to add a little more to my post above, when your new and competing with others that have been in biz for 20 years.. you just cant come in and have a nice van and say i am charging more and i will clean better, you have to prove your better before you get much work.... go in kick butt and yes after a few years if you are as good as you say then rise the price, but you just cant start out with being the high price guy... and yes for a little while you may have to not make much money a lot of biz dont at first... it takes time, time time....you have to get clients first,...... this is true for almost 100% or at least close to 100%...
 

leofry

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Feb 12, 2009
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john rogers
lol one more thing... alll you guys charging the very high prices... your doing good today great, but who knows what tomrrow brings... it could be you that is hurting..
 

shane deubell

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lol one more thing... alll you guys charging the very high prices... your doing good today great, but who knows what tomrrow brings... it could be you that is hurting..


We will have money in the bank though so we can just start another business
 

shane deubell

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NO you just dont understand it is even worse here, NO NO it is even cheaper here, NO NO NO it is cheapest here

Whatever, apt complexes and motels are gutter work everywhere in the country, Now rickie charges for it so he made it work. But the race to the bottom, forget that
 

CoastalCleaning

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Apr 15, 2009
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Corpus Christi
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NO you just dont understand it is even worse here, NO NO it is even cheaper here, NO NO NO it is cheapest here

Whatever, apt complexes and motels are gutter work everywhere in the country, Now rickie charges for it so he made it work. But the race to the bottom, forget that

I don't consider it a race to the bottom. I consider it pacing myself as things develop. We aren't all as fortunate as you homerun hitters to just start a business and be booked top to bottom residentially right out of the gate. Some of us aren't as savvy as the rest and can't pop off 94 cents a sqft because we think we're worth it and by god if you clean it better they will come. Just charge more. Raise your prices. Bill higher. 250 for a sofa, why not.

There are a lot of factors when determining a profitable angle to take in this business. It reckless advice to simply state charge more, have faith and by the way don't clean apartments or motels for less or marginal profits because its bottom feeder work.
 

Will Reed

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Jun 3, 2010
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I am of the same mind set as Ryan of Coast Cleaning. I didn't envision myself as being the apartment carpet cleaner extraordinaire when I got into this business. Like a lot of people here I would like to mainly do mercedes level customers that care more about quality of work then how much it costs to get it done. I currently install satellite TV systems as my other job while I work this business. I've been to enough high end customers to know how they think and what they want. They are the customers that don't care it costs $70/hr to do custom work on their TV systems, the only thing they care about is that it gets done and that it gets done the way they want it done.

So anyways the whole thing about going after some apartment work is its a way to get busy, maybe really busy and make some money until your residential clientelle builds up. When the happy day comes that I am booked out 1 or 2 weeks in advance I can then either hire help to take over the apartment work or just raise my prices and get priced out of the apartment work.

After reading this thread I think I will go with:
50 - 1 room
65 - 2 room
80 - 3 room
price includes red stain removal.

If those prices aren't low enough to interest apartment managers then I don't think I'm going to be interested in working for them around here. Motel rooms for $8/per? I think I'll pass on that...
 

Alexa

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Mar 4, 2010
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Alex Najar
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I agree with some of the newer business owners here that this work can help fill in their schedules. Some of us are busy all day long, every day cleaning houses and we are fortunate. We have also been doing this for years. Remember one thing; it is better to be out there working, making less money than doing houses but more than staying home on your couch. Just try not to overdo it or you could burn yourself out.
 
Feb 24, 2010
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KEVIN SCHOON
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After reading this thread I think I will go with:
50 - 1 room
65 - 2 room
80 - 3 room
price includes red stain removal.

nothing wrong with that price list. if you can make money at those prices (and you certainly can) then don't worry about what other people think. however i do not recommend doing free red stain removal. maybe you can do up to 3 per apt. free. i have done apartments that can have 20+ red stains per room and it can take a lot longer to remove the red stains than to clean the apartment. lots of managers don't even know they can be removed and are happy if you can and they will pay extra for it. after all that is why they get security deposits, for damages like that.

btw i have been in business for about 16yrs and i still do plenty of apartments. they are great fill ins for the winter slow months also. i don't mind them usually. sometimes i would rather do apartments than some high end houses with tons of breakables in the way.

your base price is low but you can still make extra $$$ with add-ons like red stain removal (if you don't do it free), spot color dyeing, patches, stretching, repairs, and certainly pet odor removal and it can be plenty profitable.

good luck.
 

CoastalCleaning

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I agree with Kevin on the red removal. I offer it at no charge but if its excessive I have to add 5-10 just to cover myself. I usually work this out with the complex manager ahead of time...3-4 red spots is reasonable.
 

M4sT3R T3CH

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I have a lot of exp in apartment cleaning. There is great money in it, but u have to go in with the mindset that this suppliments my residential customer base. I am at 60,70,80 and i have steady work. However you have to get good at doing repair work to make the extra money on these jobs. It also dont hurt to offer 24 hr emergency water extractions. I have a complex now that is only townhomes and the going rate i have on those is 100-125-150 I clean at least 1 per week. These units take just a little under an hour so I feel like its icing on the cake. I used to work for a company that had over 120 apt complexes they serviced and we were doing 20+ apts in a day. So for 2 techs the average per day per tech was 650/day. Not too shabby. Another benifit of doing apartments is that they can give u work consistantly all year long. Even in the Winter months. Shoot them a bid for cleaning the hallways and stairs also in the buildings. Those can be some very profitable days there. GL getting some accounts.
 

shane deubell

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I don't consider it a race to the bottom. I consider it pacing myself as things develop. We aren't all as fortunate as you homerun hitters to just start a business and be booked top to bottom residentially right out of the gate. Some of us aren't as savvy as the rest and can't pop off 94 cents a sqft because we think we're worth it and by god if you clean it better they will come. Just charge more. Raise your prices. Bill higher. 250 for a sofa, why not.

There are a lot of factors when determining a profitable angle to take in this business. It reckless advice to simply state charge more, have faith and by the way don't clean apartments or motels for less or marginal profits because its bottom feeder work.

Yeah right! this has been hard arse work, 4th year and ican tell i have been working 7 days a week for... gosh since freakin february and thats 1st shift,2nd shift and sometimes 3rd (we never close} Vacations...pfffttt about 5 days in 4 years. Yes we have employees, so what its still hard work no homerun hitter here.

I am giving you legitmate advice but you are not listening, you have to put on your listening Ears. The turnover rate for carpet cleaning contractors is abysmal something like 25% a year and after 4 only 1:10 are still left.{Scott W knows the actual stats}

This is exactly why everyone keeps repeating the same mistakes and following failed business plans, you know how many guys follow this train wreck.

Like I said heed my advice or not, listen to someone like rickie or many others here. We are not trying to big man you we are trying to help you, just have to listen and leave the ego at home, dont be so defensive.
 

CoastalCleaning

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Yeah right! this has been hard arse work, 4th year and ican tell i have been working 7 days a week for... gosh since freakin february and thats 1st shift,2nd shift and sometimes 3rd (we never close} Vacations...pfffttt about 5 days in 4 years. Yes we have employees, so what its still hard work no homerun hitter here.

I am giving you legitmate advice but you are not listening, you have to put on your listening Ears. The turnover rate for carpet cleaning contractors is abysmal something like 25% a year and after 4 only 1:10 are still left.{Scott W knows the actual stats}

This is exactly why everyone keeps repeating the same mistakes and following failed business plans, you know how many guys follow this train wreck.

Like I said heed my advice or not, listen to someone like rickie or many others here. We are not trying to big man you we are trying to help you, just have to listen and leave the ego at home, dont be so defensive.
Then discuss further. Your plan or outline for finding success at a newcomers level vs. simply stating to charge more.

How did you fill the gaps when you refused the easily closed deals such as apartments and hotel/motel stuff?

Without any reputation how do you book a steady flow of residentials?

I'm all ears. Not trying to be sarcastic here. Egos aside. I'm ready to listen and learn.

To M4sT3R T3CH. Your townhome prices are nearly identical to mine. I do charge more for townehomes.
 

Scott W

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There is nothing wrong about making lower profits than an experienced cleaner. But the key here is you must still be making profits. Make enough to pay all your expenses, even the hidden ones like your own salary or wear and tear on your vehicle and machine. Be sure you know what your actual expenses are when you set your price. Don't just pick a price because it fits in with what others are charging.
 

shane deubell

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We are all different how but to answer your question i personally and this is just for me.

1. paid for website and monthly seo
worked the whole google maps thing
spent 20 minutes a day on offsite promotion- blogs, media distribution - this can mean e-zines ,associated content, etc. any free listing service, press releases, uploading pictures, videos, it just all adds up and generates a steady flow of leads.Any FREE or cheap resource that has pull.

2. hired a retired gentleman to work from home and telemarket, set commercial appointments, he makes 100 calls day.I started him at $12 hr 20-30 hours week depending on time year and his busy schedule {he is retired but hey ,he already did his time if he wants a day off go for it}.Works for both of us.

3. Visited retail stores for refferals, no tricks or donuts. just me hi i am shane my comapny does this if you run into anything give me a call.

4.small yp ad under floor cleaning

5. diversity of services, someone always wants something

6. small direct mail campaign, targeted but persistent monthly

Bottom line is i am a persistent little sob, i will just keep coming, politely mind you but i just keep pushing ahead,
No, no NO, no, NO, NO, NO No, yes alright a job. Keep learning and improving.

Risk taking, far bigger risk taker then most of you. That can translate to being overly optimistic about how fast i can clean a job, or also open to try new services or new marketing attempts.I will try any job, anytime, weekends, nights, dont care as long as meets the gross profit or job profit

You are not seeing it but no risk no reward.Apartments are safe and allows you to hide.
*** Some companies are very good at it but 3-5% maybe really make money.

Sorry but i cannot really go into much more detail, i am not a professional marketer, you get what you pay for.
 

sbsscn

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Sep 17, 2009
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Arm Ben
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Personaly I cannot charge little to properly and correctly clean a apartment unit. I get a lot of competitors trying to take away buildings. I am blessed And thank God for allowing me to to give quality and professional services that in which the managers feel really comfortable that turn down really low prices way lower than mine. I strongly believe this is were taking the time to be a professional comes to play for me offering services with quality with the mentality of believing that my services are not equal to coit but better . I agree with Scott and that you need to value your quality service if you do not Then no one will.
 

shane deubell

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May 8, 2006
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Bootstraping Version

If you literally have no money to spend here is a short bootstrap version

1. Website. search TMF there are dozens of members who have successfully built own sites for $20, you have to find them and ask them how. Library is free and has about thousand books on this subject. Make sure you talk to people who have sites that rank high in google not pretty graphics, Ranking matters most then you can tweak it to be prettier.google maps, plenty on this racket

2. Saturday Canvassing- have a local window cleaner i met , his whole marketing campaign is going door to door on saturday late morning to afternoon and giving free estimates. Shave, Hair cut, pair khakis, collared shirt, business card. No tricks or gimmicks, Hi i am john i own xyz carpet cleaning i would like to give you an estimate"

2 things- a.I guarantee all my work, we will reclean any area that dries funny or wicks back up.
b.If you schedule in next 2 weeks i can give a 20% discount because we will be in this neighborhood, so it cuts out travel time.

3.Commercial Canvass- No work on a tues, shave, shower, khakis, collared shirt, business card. Go door to door in retail or business districts and hand out business cards ask people for an estimate.Talking mainly small/mid size businesses.Dont overthink it just try everyone you will be suprised who buys.
I guarantee all my work
 

M4sT3R T3CH

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Feb 1, 2009
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Randall Blackwell
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Personaly I cannot charge little to properly and correctly clean a apartment unit. I get a lot of competitors trying to take away buildings. I am blessed And thank God for allowing me to to give quality and professional services that in which the managers feel really comfortable that turn down really low prices way lower than mine. I strongly believe this is were taking the time to be a professional comes to play for me offering services with quality with the mentality of believing that my services are not equal to coit but better . I agree with Scott and that you need to value your quality service if you do not Then no one will.

I am not quite sure how you are helping this guy understand how to bid apartments. When I read your post I get this feeling that you think you are the only one that does quality work. I dont like to campare my work to other companies. When I do a job I do everything as if I were doing it for myself. My work speaks for itself. As far as my pricing goes if u actually want to do work you have to remain competitive to the market. Once u establish a gd client base then you can raise your prices.

You know what is funny. When I go to a complex that another company is currently working for and offer them a demo on a unit that was preiviously cleaned by whoever, and walk away with that account. I am sure everyone doing carpet cleaning thinks they are the best cleaner our there. The only problem with that mindset is that there is always someone better. The main secret to doing apartment complexes besides doing good work is excellent customer service. Spending the time to actually inform Apt managers about the work being done and building a relationship with them.
 

CoastalCleaning

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Apr 15, 2009
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I wonder. Why is it that if I'm priced competitively in a minimally profitable niche in our market that it somehow equates to not valuing my quality work or service.

I provide an identical service for a 50 dollar apartment as I do for a 199 dollar home. The difference in price is simple. The apartment feeds me work week after week and I don't have to contend with furniture, personal items or tight scheduling. The other is priced higher for a more personal service because it requires such.

So some feel like its "giving your work away" or "a lack of respect for your time and energy"...bottom feeding. This is capitalization where an opportunity presents itself. No reason to alienate yourself where you can make a profit.

As far as Shane posts goes I do 1 and 3 religiously. Only Partly for 2. I guarantee our work but I don't door to door knock residentially.