Starting an Apartment Preparation Service

Putty Knite with Spackling PasteWhen tenants vacate an apartment, they rarely leave the residence in a clean condition. Before a new tenant can move in, the apartment needs the floors to be cleaned, carpets shampooed, holes patched and walls painted. Landlords rarely have the time (or inclination) to handle these tasks. That’s where you come in. It’s a perfect opportunity for starting an apartment preparation service.

Your job is to go in and perform apartment cleaning service and basic repairs to help property owners prepare their rental apartments for new tenants. This type of service is very hard work, and you’ll need experience in painting, doing maintenance and being able to work quickly.

Usually, the labor involves light repair work and lots of cleaning. Be prepared to wash windows, fill nail holes, repair cabinets, clean counters and refrigerators, scrub shower stalls, and vacuum and shampoo carpets. You’ll also need some basic supplies, equipment and tools that are  essential for fixing up after the normal wear and tear in an apartment.

Equipment You Need

The amount of equipment you need will be based on the level of apartment preparation services you choose to offer. Most of your startup expenses will be in cleaning equipment and supplies—a vacuum cleaner, carpet shampooer, mop, broom and dustpan, rags or paper towels, scrub brushes and sponges, rubber gloves, garbage bags, a step stool or a small ladder, general-purpose bug spray, and carpet deodorizer.

Painting requires serious prep work. You’ll have to invest in paint (white latex), paint brushes, rollers and trays, putty knives, spackle, window putty, as well as handy work tools like hammers, scrapers, screwdrivers and wrenches.

And you’ll need a cell phone to connect with your clients in case they need to contact you quickly.

Marketing Your Service

To promote your service, take out an advertisement in the Yellow Pages, local classifieds or landlord associations, and on apartment rental Websites. Contact property managers, owners of large or small apartment complexes, and real estate agents that specialize in managing rental properties or sell vacant ones. Send them a brochure that describes the services you offer, and follow up with a phone call. Stopping in their office to introduce yourself works even better.

Charging the Right Price

Most apartment prep services charge clients a standard fee and add an additional charges for services such as carpet cleaning. Do research and find out what competing services charge before deciding on a price structure. Make sure that you price your services accordingly. The size of the apartment to be prepared and its state of cleanliness or disrepair are critical factors in determining the time required and the fee you should request.

Source: The Work Pad