Join Date: Aug 2012
Thanked 35 Times in 24 Posts
You could call some of the nationals like Safeguard (in your back yard) or the supply companies specific to our industry, Bargin Locks and MFS and see if they will give you info on contractors covering your area. You might find it difficult to get them to give you contact info but its worth a shot. It worked for me once.
the truck and trailer will certainly come in handy for trash-outs so that's good. I say you'll need an efficient system because if you work for regional service providers or contractors looking to have the trash-outs out sourced there's little profit left in the job. Efficiency will lower your costs in general though no matter where you get your work.
as for the insurance, you need at least 1,000,000 in gen liab, but you might depending on where your work comes from need additional coverages which can range in price a lot. I think i remember paying about $45 a month for gen liab only policy from a local agent some years back. the gen liab and e&o combo policies are typically tied to income with a minimum premium of about 2500. I once paid 2500 per year for that policy, then was sued and the premium increased to 9800.
Pricing is completely relative to your costs. It would be very hard for me or anyone to tell you how to charge. I can say that most of the industry has standard pricing which you can find on some website like cubicyard.us and google searches for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, FHA pricing matrix. At the very least you need to be able to cover your insurance, labor (including you), fuel, dumping and administrative costs. These costs will change over time and a lot of things could be added to that list.
a little more on efficiency;
efficiency is way too often overlooked in our business but it can quite literally mean the difference between profit and bankruptcy. I use to use box trucks with dove tails. This seems to still be the most common (at least in my neck of the woods) vehicle of choice for reo/preservation. However they are more expensive to insure and repair, more difficult to load and unload and harder to garage (unless you live in a place where parking is not an issue, i'm in a deed restricted community) than trailers. However even though a trailer is cheaper to operate in general, a traditional landscape trailer is limited in its capabilities as well. For me, I have designed and built a trailer that allows me to do any and all jobs that i've decided to add to my personal scope of work, without ever needing to bury my mower with debris, remember to grab the pool pump, or load the bed of my truck with random materials and tools. There was a time where I needed to do jobs in a specific order due to the limitations of a standard box truck or landscape trailer. If i had to, say, board a pool at one house, perform an initial grass cut at another, and remove 8 yrds of debris at yet another all in an area 90 miles from my office, it would be difficult to complete all in one outing. Now i can do all of those jobs and more in whatever order makes sense because my mower can be loaded and unloaded while the trailer has debris in it, and debris can be loaded and dumped while the pool boarding materials are on board. I can't tell you how many contractors ask me about my trailer. For me efficiency is why i'm still able to do this work. Its getting harder, but i always find ways to reduce costs and increase productivity. When i can't stay ahead of that curve anymore i'll probably have to get out.