This thread is about the sisters and the way they start you out as a contractor. They start out small by seeing if you want to get into this business. They make sure you answer your phone and can receive email. You will need to have general liability insurance. They also send you some paperwork that you are supposed to read and study. A trainer calls you and sort of quizzes you for 30 or 45 minutes.
(Five times I have had Brothers tell me that.) Eventually, you will have to get a background check. So before you even work for the Sisters, you have to cough up some money for the background check done through some 3rd party website. It seemed very odd to me. I took the plunge, and it has worked out so far.
Eventually, I started getting a few work orders. I was pretty clueless at first. I got an initial secure and I didn't have any knobs or padlocks or lockboxes. So I got them to re-assign and I was told I should probably go to someplace like Bargainlocks.com (I think mfssupply.com is another) and order stuff. So after about $150 in money spent, I could start doing property preservation for the Sister Brothers.
I am still pretty new to it, but I made it through the winter making a decent amount of money. I get a lot of calls to go out of area... So far I haven't done it much. Here is a secret. Since I am in a rural area, I analyzed my local area's zip codes in great detail. All of the extreme rural areas I tried to ensure were not on my list. I tried to select just the ones in my favorite areas, mainly in towns. I think most of the other contractors just chose the county or counties they are near and it is a BIG mistake. You can pick and choose on your setup page where you work. The very first call I had with the Five girls was 100+ miles out of my way and it was an initial secure. I said no way, I don't even know what to bring. I could do it now, but no way Jose until I did some on the job training.
Of course I am describing this work as a part-time ordeal. There is no way I want to do this full time, as I am busy with normal stuff. I don't see how or why I would depend on these Five Guys to be my sole income.
Here is how I think I am making the most money: not on the initial secures per se, but on the add-ons. Like dryer vents, roof repairs, tarping, padlocks of outbuildings, and moving personals. Trashouts aren't the greatest, because you need the most manpower and overhead. But I made good on a reverse mortgage in good condition once that had lots of exterior wood/tree debris. I tend to bid high no matter what it is. I am in this to make extra bucks, not feed a family. I see a lot of advice saying don't feed a family on this job, and I would agree.
I take about 120 to 150 pictures on initial secures. I spend 4 hours on the computer writing and filling in things in Zephyr software after a secure. So a lot of this is driving, computing, emails, printing, and phone calls. You better have a few guys who can learn how to take good pics and do the quick and dirty parts.
So far, I am loving shrubs, tarps, swimming pools, and locks. Debris, roof patches, electrical things are so-so. Winterizing, mowing, snow removal, spraying bleach, and toilets are meh... blah... ewee. It's working out for now, but I am literally not quitting my day job or five. Ah, Brothers.
It's best to keep all of those things in stock you use a lot (locks galore, tarps, winterizing stuff) and only buy supplies from online stores. I will save my comments on dealing with the cubicle people... They are roughly the same as the ones in other threads about another national. But if I might sum it up in a nutshell?!?
- Do your job and invoice for it. If you goof up, don't sweat. They may not notice. You may be able to photoshop something on the upload.
- When you get the kickback email, push back. Right or wrong, tell them why it's bogus, against what you learned in training, or how you've done it that way a lot/always. They changed the rules. You are Tommy Lasorda.
- They will usually tell you to do it anyway or you won't get paid.
- Do it (or re-do it) anyway. Ask for a later deadline. (This is key)
- Give them a reason to like you once you submit the new results. Like all of a sudden, you learned your lesson and they won.
- Always push back. They sometimes fold.
- Bid high and bid often. I got an order for a second bid once after I had already bid a huge debris removal. I called and asked them what was up with this idea or was it a mistake, and they said just submit the 2nd bid. In other words, the Bank thought there were multiple bids, but it was just me versus me. Guess who got the bid? Guess who had extra money in time for Christmas!?
That's what I do. Take it or leave it.