Sterling Field Services - REO Property Preservation Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 07:22 PM
JoeMal
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Sterling Field Services

Anyone heard of them or do work for them? They found me on the internet and called me wanting to do some mowing for them.

I'm not sure if they are legit or not. Offered 18-20 per lawn too and sent me some stuff via email to fill out and send back. 'Nora' doesn't have a lot to say over the phone, just says we'll go over more details once the information is completed and I start getting 'work orders'.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 07:26 PM
Tech Dawg
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Welcome to CT! We have an introductions thread... jus sayin
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 08:32 PM
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I haven't worked with them so I can't say yay or nay. But I DO know the grass cut rates are WAY TOO LOW.

Be very careful. I'm sure those grass cuts involve a lot of work, unless there's practically no yard at the properties, and you can go in the hole pretty quick.

Linda



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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 09:39 PM
JoeMal
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Well they are for foreclosed homes...so I guess you can't expect too much. I'm new to this industry and honestly just trying to make some extra money this summer; how much can you expect to make from mowing residential lawns? Especially in this economy? Charging $40 a cut, every week, that's $160 a month just to have your lawn mowed! Who can afford that?! Might as well buy your own mower for that amount of money

I'm a company of 1; I mow lawns in my spare time in the evenings and on the weekends. I have no overhead other than fuel for my truck and mower.
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 12:11 AM
FremontREO
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Wow JoeMal it seems that your the brains of your 1 man operation

I strongly suggest you read some good books on being self-employed and read some of the forums advising on grass cuts. Learn what your true costs (thats called overhead) are to being self-employed.

Unfortunately, all to often, you are the sucker the regionals are hunting for...a freebie worker results in high profits to these companies. Now I know you are saying right now "FREEBIE"....right? Well just ask many of us what that means and you will get a variety of answers from experienced FULL TIME P&P contractors who know the ropes.


Foreclosed homes are a lot different than mowing for private parties. With private party mows the crews do a lot of upselling (fertilizing, bagging leaves, airation services to name a few) so you can "start" at a lower price and be picky who your clients are...ie ones that can afford to purchase some upselling.

Now get out there and make that $$ :whistling
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 07:43 AM
DreamWeaver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMal
Well they are for foreclosed homes...so I guess you can't expect too much. I'm new to this industry and honestly just trying to make some extra money this summer; how much can you expect to make from mowing residential lawns? Especially in this economy? Charging $40 a cut, every week, that's $160 a month just to have your lawn mowed! Who can afford that?! Might as well buy your own mower for that amount of money

I'm a company of 1; I mow lawns in my spare time in the evenings and on the weekends. I have no overhead other than fuel for my truck and mower.
Now that's funny there.....lol

How much do you pay a year for your REQUIRED Liability Insurance? What about E & O Insurance? What about Repairs, Preventative Maintenance, Have you figured $4.00 per gallon of fuel into your apparently well thought out business plan?

You may want to invest some time into reading about CHARGE BACKS.

Oh yeah baby, they are salivating just thinking about you doing work for them............ If you don't get it, you won't get it

Also, have you ever heard of HUD, FannieMae or Freddi Mac pricing guidelines? Look them up and you will see who pays much more than 10 to 20 dollars per cut....
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 08:13 AM
JoeMal
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Glad to see everyone is so nice here. I guess I'll move along
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 11:42 AM
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Joe ~

They are actually trying to give you some good advice. It's just that we have a lot of "hacks" in this industry that work without insurance and don't pay taxes. We're all getting tired of it and quite often there's a good amount of sarcasm in the posts.

Many of the nationals are finding new people to do their work at the lowest prices because the vendors who have been in the industry KNOW what the prices are.

At $18 - $20 per lawn, they are making a killer profit off of you and, in return, they will expect you to do initial cuts on properties that are way overgrown and are between 5,000 to 15,000 sf. Maybe larger.

When you refuse to do the cut because the pricing isn't fair, they will bully you into doing it by threatening to charge you back. Problem is, the chargebacks will end up being MORE than what they are offering you to do it for because they will have to go to an experienced vendor who will end up bidding it.

You will have some companies tell you that before, DURING, and after photos are required or you won't be paid. If you work alone, you cannot take a photo of yourself mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, or using the weedeater.

If you want to get into this business and make any money at it, I suggest you read everything at both of these threads:

http://www.contractortalk.com/f118/h...rvation-21666/

http://www.contractortalk.com/f118/h...rvation-92906/

There's a LOT of great information there, including reviews of companies that burn people.

Should you decide to go forward with these types of cuts at these rates, I wish you luck. I would really suggest reading and participating first, however. We don't want to see a newbie taken advantage of anymore than we want to be taken advantage of.

Linda



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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 10:39 PM
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The biggest problem with folks "that are just looking to make a few bux this summer" is that they are single handedly responsible for driving down the rates and the expected rates for the industry. Both bank owned and non bank owned.

This makes life very hard for legit businesses to make it work. At the least its unfair.
At the worst its unethical for the hacks to be taking money out of the pockets and off the tables of legit businesses.


Good post Linda.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 11:25 PM
FremontREO
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Joe had to be a joke someone trying to get everyone fired up. If the comments such as these hurt his feelings then he is totally screwed when the service companies start yelling. Toughen up buddy.
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