Foreclosure cleanup companies handle the maintenance, securing, and cleanup of homes after they have gone through foreclosure. This low-cost startup industry is burgeoning as more and more homes are being foreclosed upon. And, with the next wave of adjustable rate mortgages destined to hit the market soon, there is no end to the foreclosure crisis in the immediate future.
A big part of the foreclosure cleanup industry’s services focuses on, quite naturally, cleaning. There are two distinct types of cleaning in the foreclosure cleanup industry: White-glove and broom-swept. Not knowing the difference can cost a company cleaning foreclosures dearly in time, money and reputation. Let’s visit the two types of cleaning.
White-glove cleaning will include washing windows inside and out (including window sills), cleaning baseboards, appliances (including pulling out appliances and cleaning underneath), clearing spider webs from ceilings and closet interiors, scrubbing bathroom tile, mirrors, pulling out drawers and wiping them down, wiping all exterior surfaces, shampooing carpet, waxing floors, cleaning ceiling and floor vents, washing ceiling fans, meticulous corner-to-corner details, and on and on and on. There are so many details when it comes to white-glove cleaning; a checklist is a must for new staff so they know what you expect as the foreclosure cleaning business owner.
Hire Pros for White-glove Cleaning
A white-glove cleaning job really requires cleaning professionals. You really can’t just send anyone to a site when you get a call for a detailed job such as this. As a foreclosure cleanup company, you will also charge considerably more when you’re cleaning a foreclosure under the white-glove services heading.
Who will Purchase White-glove Cleaning?
In many instances, a foreclosure home being purchased by a buyer will require a white-glove cleaning, because someone is likely getting ready to live in it. Rarely will a foreclosure just sitting in a bank’s inventory of foreclosed properties call for this type of detailed cleaning — unless it’s a high-end property with lots of buyer interest.
Overview of Broom-swept Cleaning
Most cleaning of foreclosure properties will call for broom-swept type cleaning. This type of cleaning is what I like to call “dry-rag” cleaning (not a literal dry rag, but you get the point). With broom-swept cleaning, you simply complete a surface clean, wipe and scoop: the floors are swept; the kitchen, bath, and living areas are wiped down, and the home or unit is left free of debris. Generally, broom-swept cleaning is a lite clean, wipe and scoop service.
However, note that many of the larger REO-type contractors have very detailed expectations when it comes to cleaning a home. So if you’re a subcontractor, you will be given specific details on what a particular larger contractor expects when it comes to broom-swept cleaning. Some companies expect more detail in this type of cleaning than others, so be sure to ask for checklists if you’re working for a primary contractor.
Clarify What the Client Wants
When a foreclosure cleanup clients calls and asks for a cleanup estimate, make sure you clarify what they’re asking for before you head to the property to give the estimate. Do they really want white-glove cleaning; or do they mean broom-swept?
Take the time to clarify what the potential client is asking for so you don’t do two things:
1. Clarify so you don’t overprice a job. For example, the client may simply want a quick broom-swept job and you could give an estimate for white glove because you have not asked them specifically what type of cleaning they require.
2. Clarify so you don’t under price and under deliver. For example, if the potential client is a buyer, they likely want white-glove, but they will love your low price if you misunderstand and quote them for a broom-swept job. By the same token, that same buyer will be disappointed at the finished product if you give them broom-swept service when they expect white-glove.
Many times your clients won’t know what’s entailed in each type of cleaning. Explain to them so they have full knowledge and you all are on the same page when it comes to service and pricing.
Review Your Company’s Policies
Review your foreclosure cleanup company’s policies, procedures, marketing materials, website, and pricing structure as it relates to cleaning services. Are your services as it relates to foreclosure “cleaning” clear? If not, change them so you move forward delivering what the client expects and getting the price you deserve.
Good luck with your foreclosure cleanup business!