Looking for some straight advice - REO Property Preservation Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for some straight advice

Hello everyone,

First, my apologies for not initially posting an intro, I read very recently that it was good forum etiquette to do so. My name is Anthony Miller, I own and operate Reclaimed Elements LLC out of MN. I was turned on to PP work about 2 years ago, subbing grass cuts from another contractor. The wife and I decided to start our own business a little over a year ago since our little man was on the way. So, being as how i was already thinking about starting a lawn care business, and doing cuts, and I was already Recycling metal - we made a go of it. It was very low risk, we currently both work full time jobs, and I operate Reclaimed Elements during days and two weekends a month. Slow, and steady progression...but this is where I feel I went wrong. Or simply too excited, here is what has transpired.

I was at 12 properties. I was plenty busy on the weekends and on off days here and there. I get a heads up that there was potential to give me another approximately 60 properties to add to my 12. I thought wow, 60-70 (considering loss and gain) revolving properties makes this full time! I agreed to take the deal, and having been warming up management at my day job that things with my company were heading in the right direction I put in notice on a 9-5 job. Everything was cool and no burnt bridges.

The dust settles, some properties I cancel as they are an hour plus from me, gas - time - etc etc. I think six total - trying to run my business like MY business and make good calls. Time and Money are synonymous. I am left with 25 properties. half my expected volume. We would have been fine I am sure with bills, but it would have left us with nothing extra, nothing to continue building the business, etc. etc. LUCKILY my day job had a night job I could take - I do not like not seeing my family all night anymore, but we all must do what we all must do. My pride will be restored, time cannot be.

This has all transpired in time of a month. Now that I have properly introduced myself and shared my personal story - I wanna hear what you guys would do, have done, what did or did not work etc. I greatly respect constructive criticism, and know there are a lot of guys on this forum who have been around the block, and for many years. I seek your wisdom! I have listed some steps I plan on taking to steer more towards private clients, or even direct bank clients. I was sent 29 gutter cleans at a MAX payout of 37.50. Now, not all their prices are on par with this. The average rock bottom cost in this state that I have found is twice that. Things like this keep nagging at me to come up with a new strategy.


1) Attend a BNI network meeting - My mortgage guy invited me to their meetings when I reached out to him about sourcing private work.

**What would I even bring to one of these meetings aside from business cards? I would presume a price list for services, some examples of work done, etc etc. thoughts? Dress would be business casual.

2) reach out to brokers, agents, and private homeowners for work -

** what were your biggest obstacles, your easiest hurdles?

3) market, flyers, canvassing, ads if funds are there and cost effective.

4) Learn more. I know there is a trend with regards to knowledge and success - the more I know, the more money I can make

Thank you, so much for your time and for reading - Chat soon

Tony
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Maxwell10/4 View Post
Hello everyone,

First, my apologies for not initially posting an intro, I read very recently that it was good forum etiquette to do so. My name is Anthony Miller, I own and operate Reclaimed Elements LLC out of MN. I was turned on to PP work about 2 years ago, subbing grass cuts from another contractor. The wife and I decided to start our own business a little over a year ago since our little man was on the way. So, being as how i was already thinking about starting a lawn care business, and doing cuts, and I was already Recycling metal - we made a go of it. It was very low risk, we currently both work full time jobs, and I operate Reclaimed Elements during days and two weekends a month. Slow, and steady progression...but this is where I feel I went wrong. Or simply too excited, here is what has transpired.

I was at 12 properties. I was plenty busy on the weekends and on off days here and there. I get a heads up that there was potential to give me another approximately 60 properties to add to my 12. I thought wow, 60-70 (considering loss and gain) revolving properties makes this full time! I agreed to take the deal, and having been warming up management at my day job that things with my company were heading in the right direction I put in notice on a 9-5 job. Everything was cool and no burnt bridges.

The dust settles, some properties I cancel as they are an hour plus from me, gas - time - etc etc. I think six total - trying to run my business like MY business and make good calls. Time and Money are synonymous. I am left with 25 properties. half my expected volume. We would have been fine I am sure with bills, but it would have left us with nothing extra, nothing to continue building the business, etc. etc. LUCKILY my day job had a night job I could take - I do not like not seeing my family all night anymore, but we all must do what we all must do. My pride will be restored, time cannot be.

This has all transpired in time of a month. Now that I have properly introduced myself and shared my personal story - I wanna hear what you guys would do, have done, what did or did not work etc. I greatly respect constructive criticism, and know there are a lot of guys on this forum who have been around the block, and for many years. I seek your wisdom! I have listed some steps I plan on taking to steer more towards private clients, or even direct bank clients. I was sent 29 gutter cleans at a MAX payout of 37.50. Now, not all their prices are on par with this. The average rock bottom cost in this state that I have found is twice that. Things like this keep nagging at me to come up with a new strategy.


1) Attend a BNI network meeting - My mortgage guy invited me to their meetings when I reached out to him about sourcing private work.

**What would I even bring to one of these meetings aside from business cards? I would presume a price list for services, some examples of work done, etc etc. thoughts? Dress would be business casual.

2) reach out to brokers, agents, and private homeowners for work -

** what were your biggest obstacles, your easiest hurdles?

3) market, flyers, canvassing, ads if funds are there and cost effective.

4) Learn more. I know there is a trend with regards to knowledge and success - the more I know, the more money I can make

Thank you, so much for your time and for reading - Chat soon

Tony
Welcome to the forum. There is another forum called http://www.contractortalk.com/ that has areas related to marketing and it might be extremely helpful.

It all depends on what are you trying to do for home owners? We are in this industry for a long time and we do remodeling and it's not necessary easier than working day or night time job. Some people make flyers work, some don't. We are doing online marketing with the website and google, yahoo and what not and it's not cheap. You can print flyers and drive around dropping some of them, in this case it can be cheaper than mailing them plus more noticeable.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the ideas and input NewREO

I would like to look into the online marketing, may be tricky if the price is too high - my 8 month old is pretty spendy on his own
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 06:03 AM
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Not cheap but you'll go further with the online vs. the flyers in my honest opinion. Online is where it's at these days.

Now, the "rock bottom price is double that" may be true...for 1 job. But you got 29 of them, the cost IS going to be lower. Just the nature of doing business. If you don't cut a break (and still work out your own deal) when volume is concerned, someone else will.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxwell10/4 View Post

1) Attend a BNI network meeting - My mortgage guy invited me to their meetings when I reached out to him about sourcing private work.

**What would I even bring to one of these meetings aside from business cards? I would presume a price list for services, some examples of work done, etc etc. thoughts? Dress would be business casual.

2) reach out to brokers, agents, and private homeowners for work -

** what were your biggest obstacles, your easiest hurdles?

3) market, flyers, canvassing, ads if funds are there and cost effective.

4) Learn more. I know there is a trend with regards to knowledge and success - the more I know, the more money I can make

Thank you, so much for your time and for reading - Chat soon

Tony
1. I would recommend dressing similar to how others dress at the meeting of course. I dont believe you would need to bring your pricing and such to the event. I think people often make the mistake and assume that handing out cards will be a solution. Rather, what seems to work is building a relationship..I have heard that relationship advice everywhere, and its pretty much true. The strongest bond of course in a relationship is providing some sort of help to that person you are talking to. But of course hand them your business card, everyone needs those.

Something that helped me, was the fact that people really care about themselves more than they care about you. They care about how they are saying things, reacting to things etc. They are there at those meetings for themselves, most people would rather be on vacation. If you can be of some assistance to them, that's what should get your foot in the door.

2. Reaching out to brokers, agents, and private homeowners is a good idea.
Refer to: http://www.preservationtalk.com/showthread.php?t=3768
http://www.propertypreservation.ninj...eo-properties/
http://www.propertypreservation.ninj...f-reo-network/
http://www.propertypreservation.ninj...-local-agents/

Basically just send emails to agents every 2 weeks and you will get a few hits. Its all a numbers game. Relationships again improve your ratios. So a recommendation would be to get some email addresses, and find the agents on Linkedin. Spend some time "liking and commenting" on their stuff and that should help you over time. You can also try cold calls, but you need some sort of "warm up" and I think Linkedin should help with that. Most people do not like being called out of the blue...and no one like a phone call from someone selling them something. Facebook may be an option, but that may be a little too close to peoples "inner circle." Also be sure to post your own content that can help your target market, or so they can see that you know your stuff.

3. Go online like Field Audit Services recommended, brochures etc are good for some industries, but not this one. Plus they are expensive. Getting email address and meeting your target market on Linkedin, thats free.

4. Thanks for the good point, I actually learned something...about learning things. Reading around the forums here, joining some groups on facebook, and linkedin, reading through HUD guidelines, checking out references(there are a few here: http://www.propertypreservation.ninj...ry/references/), You can also take a look at: http://www.property-preservation.us/. You will learn a lot from all of these sites, especially the forums.

**Just a note, sorry for all the references back to Preservation Ninja. I built the service for situations just like this(and its free)**
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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1. Something that helped me, was the fact that people really care about themselves more than they care about you. They care about how they are saying things, reacting to things etc. They are there at those meetings for themselves, most people would rather be on vacation. If you can be of some assistance to them, that's what should get your foot in the door.[/U][/B]
Yes, thank you. this is exactly what I was thinking and just couldn't articulate it. This is very helpful, thank you. BIG point.

Also this is great advice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronMcKeehan View Post
3. Go online like Field Audit Services recommended, brochures etc are good for some industries, but not this one. Plus they are expensive. Getting email address and meeting your target market on Linkedin, thats free.[/U][/B]

Keeping overhead low is key. I recently upgraded to a larger garbage bin (96g)for the same price I was paying for a 35g ....after some patience and shopping. which will help with disposal costs of debris and more quickly free up space in my garage to turn and burn more ferrous and non ferrous metals. It is all relative.

I did infact just book my first private client! A homeowner needing lawn maintenance. That lead came from a local garage sale site on none other than Facebook. I have sourced MANY leads from FB for recycling and so why not simply do it for ALL of my services. Overall, the responses have been very positive. Great advice Aaron Mckeehan. Oh and by the way, thank you for the links - will look and follow!

Goodnight for now everyone.
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