I’ve had pretty good luck selling monthly maintenance contracts lately to apartments and now selling a commercial long term care facility. I owe @Gbrunsvold a call, partly to chat about it, and I’m gonna see @Jordie tomorrow in Hotlanta. So here’s a few points I’m going to share and hopefully after following Jordie around like a lost dog this weekend I’ll have a video for everyone by the end of the month.
But here are a few points that have helped that I’ll expand on in the video:
Send two estimates. Send one as a one time job, cleaning it after it’s already gotten bad with a few photos of funky siding and concrete you have cleaned. it’s not as simple or easy to clean if not regularly maintained so price accordingly. Send the second estimate with 12 line items with the annual cost less than a one off cleaning.
When you leave the estimate, give them a date by which they can expect the estimate, and schedule a second date to walk through the proposal with them showing them everything that will get cleaned in month 1, month 2, month 3, etc. Send the estimate a day before the deadline you set.
Find out what the average monthly rent is for ALL units. If it’s $800 and you can propose $800 worth of work per 6 hours per month they can usually stomach a single resident paying the cost of keeping the entire place clean. If it’s too large to clean everything in 72 hours, explain that it takes two days every month for 144 hours of cleaning every year OR ONLY two residents revenue.
Get a site map, draw the cleaning plan out on the site map and make a couple copies to take with you to the proposal so they can follow along. Put it on a clipboard for them so they can scribble notes. It’s important that the property manager feels like you’re selling to them FOR THEM and not the management company.
- It usually costs less than 2 residents rent to keep the entire property maintained.
- Prospective tenants love seeing a clean place to live and even better is if they see us cleaning so they know it’s maintained regularly.
- Current tenants love seeing the place maintained because this is their home.
Which apartments/commercial are you looking for?
Newer apartments and apartments that aren’t so funky that they need it done ASAP. Those are good jobs too, but price accordingly. If the newer apartments are just starting to get algae or funk on the siding it’s a good idea to point out the benefit of getting ahead of it by taking a couple photos of what’s typical on houses and apartments that have let the tiny black spots turn into a sheet of green.
Of the example above at $800/month for 6 hours that’s $9600 for the year. I used a townhome community that we washed last year for $11k.
One last tip: When you show up to do the job, stop in and say hi to the property manager when you get there and let them know you’re about to get going. When you’re finished stop in and give them a quick update using the maintenance plan you sold them. If you sold them 6 hours or 8 hours or 16 hours every month, be there for that long. If it only takes 4 hours on a 6 hour estimated time frame, stop in and ask if there’s anything they’ve noticed that needs cleaned.
These contracts are BEAUTIFUL. You have guaranteed jobs and monthly revenue on the calendar. Treat them like gold. Order pizza for the office for lunch or bring donuts and coffee in when the office opens. Less than $30 for an $800 invoice is a no brainer.
If you have questions, post them. I’ll add some in the video.
Here are my notes for the video:
How to find the prospective customer.
Landscaping marks from mowers/mulch/mud.
Downstreaming weak mix so you’re actually cleaning and not just washing over the top so you don’t have to rewash that year
Why it’s okay if they don’t say yes this year. Annual budgets.
Practice the proposal.
How to get paid same day on a commercial invoice.
Great info here as always Brodie. Thanks! Some alternative advice would be how to get the meeting to begin with. I have had a few great contacts here lately but it’s all by chance. This one knows that one, or they just found me on the internet. It would be nice to a have a solid system in place to acquire these types of customers or at least setup meetings. I’m on my way to my second BNI meeting, so hopefully it will lead to some higher quality commercial work eventually.
I will be looking forward to actually reviewing that information. I love the hunt of finding houses to wash, but I would really like to do what you’re talking about. It’s so practical it would make sense to the most challenged of new business owners. Lol.
How in the world do you have time for posts like this? Do you work past 5 pm?
Soo much good stuff
I have stuff in my head that if I don’t get it out I won’t sleep. LOL, I wrote up a commercial estimate after I posted this. Slept like a baby.
I think I enjoy sales as much as you do lol! Good stuff dude! Those key phrases are awesome.
One of my current obstacles is right there with @Harold. I’m having trouble finding who it is exactly I need to talk to at certain places. Getting bobbled around to 3 different people on the phone and then finally just getting a voicemail of who the last person “thinks handles that”
You’re looking for the wrong person. The maintenance manager is your foot in the door. They usually have a direct line that the apartment records in the voicemail after hours for residents. Just don’t call him after hours.
Josh latimer did a workshop on this very thing today actually.
A face to face meeting with the property manager at BNI or chamber of commerce or friend of a friend are best, but the maintenance manager will get you to a property manager before a gatekeeper will.
I firmly believe that given enough time I can sell ice to eskimos. Sales is my favorite part with 2nd being marketing, but I just happen to love working outside and getting stuff clean. Win win.
You took the words right out of my mouth! Haha. I’ll be putting some things we’ve talked about into action this week.
Here ya go @Gbrunsvold and anyone else interested. It’s a long one and I might be biased, but I think it should be helpful.
Thanks for this! You made some very good marketing points!
House cleaning says once a year when it suits them best, what if they choose winter months? Gutter cleaning says once per season but they may think that means 4 times a year,
Lol yea I should specify I guess.
I think the goal would be to bundle snow/house wash/gutter cleaning all into one price.
The only way a customer would think it’s worth it. If I was paying $30 in July for snow removal I’d be confused. Lol.
That’s the hope! I want housewash folks to get on our plow route. I will still offer it to anyone though.
I love the idea of monthly payments for steady cash flow. Once you get rolling and get new people on board each month you will do well with that. A few things came to mind that you might come across.
What if someone signs up for the monthly payment and wants it washed right away? How will you get paid if they stop payments later?
What if they pay and stop payments? Do they get a refund?
What do you think about starting of with a bigger payment the first month and no payment in the winter or just less per month. That way you won’t take such a hard hit if they stop paying after you clean them.
Things happen in peoples lives they cant forsee and sometimes they just can’t pay for things they could. Doesnt mean they planned on ripping you off or are people of low morales but it happens.
These might be some things you want to considet putting in the contract to protect yourself if you havent thought of them already.